Costa Rica,  Creative Cooking,  Family Home Evening,  Homeschooling,  Wendi's Daily Blog

Post #21 – Only 7 more weeks to go and FABULOUS Mint Brownies!

This morning we had a yellow and blue sky with cotton-candy clouds.  It was exquisite!

I am grateful to be back carpooling for Seminary again.  I guess over the last 2 months, amid the weekly counting down to the last day of Seminary, I grew to depend on my quiet mornings of solitude.  I also thoroughly enjoy the opportunity I have to read my scriptures with only the sunrise to interrupt my studies.  I am grateful that Paul has allowed me the opportunity to be the main carpooler again.  He filled in for me 2 weeks ago, when I was sick with this STILL LINGERING COUGH, and then last week he picked up his old schedule of driving Mondays and Tuesdays.  But I finally cornered him last night and asked if I could have the entire week again.

He said YES!

I truly hope that my appreciation and love for these sacred mornings can last for the next 7 weeks we still have remaining, until this Seminary year comes to an end.

Yes, Seminary in Costa Rica is scheduled differently than in the United States.  They schedule Seminary around Costa Rica’s school year, which is February thru December.  Thankfully, Seminary is only February thru the 2nd week of October.  This is so Costa Rica’s school children can study for their end of year tests that determine if they “get” to move onto the next grade level of school.  Intense is the only word I can use for their educational system.

The kids and I have enjoyed a wonderful afternoon together watching fun videos from “18th Century Cooking”.  How did we get onto this tangent?  Well, it all started with us wondering who invented French Toast, so we looked it up and learned about it here.  It was great fun and although I voted we call French Toast “Pain Perdu” the kids disagreed because it isn’t quite the same way we make it.  I now agree.

But one video after another led to this video about Hard Tack – fascinating information but YUCK!!  No thank you!!  It was a VERY educational lunch period that left us all feeling VERY GRATEFUL that we live in the day and age that we do and that we DON’T have to eat hard tack right now.  It also helped us understand a bit more of what our ancestors went through, coming to the United States and Utah.  They had to eat A LOT of Hard Tack!

Tonight we are having the sweetest little family over for a “piano recital” FHE.  The son in this family is interested in learning to play the piano.  So his mother and I felt it would be a good idea to have them all come over and SEE how learning to play the piano is not only possible but fun.  We were already able to give them a keyboard that we were given by our friends the Robbins, now we just need to show the son that learning to play, a little bit every day, adds up FAST!

I hope the kids have a good attitude tonight and that they enjoy sharing their developing talent with this little family.

Here is a bit of information for you . . . Costa Rica has a tradition that the people usually eat a LATE, lighter meal for dinner around 8 or 8:30 p.m.  That is far too late for our North American stomachs; we eat dinner around 6:00 p.m. and get to bed around 8:00 p.m. This can create a big problem for inviting other families over for FHE because we can’t just serve them a dessert, nor can we stay up too late.   We have found that serving them a little meal and then a dessert works best for all of us.  So tonight, we will be making mini pizzas and mint brownies.  We hope they like them.  I want to share this recipe for the mint brownies from Our Best Bites with you.  They are truly easy and FABULOUS!


Mint Brownies
Recipe by Our Best Bites

4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (4oz)
1 C butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

2 C powdered sugar
4 T butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1-2 Tbs milk
green food coloring

Chocolate Glaze:

6 oz (about 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips ,you could also use dark
6 Tbs real butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil making sure the foil extends over the edges by at least one inch.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

Chop both unsweetened chocolate and two sticks of butter into chunks and place together in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

With an electric mixer or stand mixer beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes.  While egg mixture is beating, measure out flour and combine with baking powder.   While mixer is running, slowly add melted chocolate and beat to combine.  Turn beater speed to low and add in flour by spoonfuls.  Mix just until combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a knife poked in center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a metal rack. When brownies have cooled to room temperature, prepare frosting.  Combine all frosting ingredients, starting with 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk, and beat until light and fluffy.  Add more milk by teaspoonful as needed.  Spread frosting evenly over brownies and then place brownies in fridge to chill.

While brownies are chilling prepare chocolate glaze.  Place chocolate chips and 6 tablespoons butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes and then carefully spread on top of the frosting layer.  Return pan to fridge to cool.  When chocolate has hardened, use edges of foil to remove entire brownie from pan.  Cut into squares and serve.

My sous chef, Joy Boy, helping me get the mint brownie ingredients ready!

Happy FHE night!


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