Great Dessert from Giada’s Feel Good Food

Here at home, I have my very own recipe for eggplant lasagna that my family simply drools over. It’s a great dish because it caters to the needs of both my daughter’s vegetarian diet and my gluten intolerance. Everyone here at home is looking forward to the dinner tonight! Since I’m making my own dinner, I had to find the perfect dessert to pair with it! Flipping through Giada’s Feel Good Foods, I found chocolate blueberry brownies on page 246, a recipe inspired after Giada had a visit at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It was actually my daughter who pointed them out and requested that I bake them for tonight! She is quite the blueberry fiend.

As any baker knows, baking can be quite labor intensive. Giada always says that perfect baking comes from perfect measuring. So, be sure to follow the recipe (exactly)! Perhaps that’s why Rachel Ray doesn’t enjoy baking; I know she’s quite like me and just adds a pinch of this and a dash of that, which isn’t a good baking strategy at all! 

For years, I have been making my own vanilla for my baked goods. It’s as easy as filling up a mason jar! I purchase my dried split vanilla beans at either World Market or The Spice and Tea Exchange (which is my go-to shop for any herbs and spices that I can’t grow here at home). I then let them soak in vodka or bourbon for about six to eight weeks. The vanilla is fresh, preservative free, and just as good as anything that comes from the store! I love it! 

The brownies are in the oven right now, and already beginning to smell delish! My daughter, Katie, and just tasted the batter…quite a treat! It’s definitely as brownie as you can get, and the blueberries and agave add just the right amount of sweetness. I am eager to try one of them out…but first I’m gonna have my favorite lasagna.

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