About Olive Juice

This is a journal of sorts of our ideas (as the design goddesses that we are) that don't necessarily get executed and instead just live in our heads. Punctuated of course with things we just plain love, covet, or if you will..."Olive Juice".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Friend is Famous!

Kristin and I met years ago while working at a design firm in Chicago and became fast friends, bouncing design ideas off of one another and using our lunch breaks for Michigan Ave power shopping instead of sandwich eating.

These days, Kristin is a white hot force on the Chicago design scene with her e-design business, Bien Living. Back in October, she was featured in Daily Candy Chicago and now she’s chatting about her business in this month’s issue of CS Interiors (article below).

She’s a wicked talented designer and I definitely recommend you enlist her services if your home needs a little pick-me-up. Her fresh design solutions will arrive directly to your email’s inbox complete with a design board and shopping list. To find out more about Bien Living’s design services, swing by Kristin’s website/blog here.

{Bien Living in CS Interiors}

{CS Interiors Cover}

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kitchen Sink Brownies

Happy 2011 everyone! Ready to blow your New Years resolution to eat healthy already? I mean, it’s been three whole days, right?!?

I came across this brownie recipe in a holiday magazine and had been dying to make it all season. I finally gave in to temptation over the weekend and made up a batch for the girls at work. I made a few (needed) modifications and they came out great. These little babies are riiiiich, so feel free to cut them smaller than you would a normal brownie. I’m calling them Kitchen Sink Brownies because well, they literally have a little bit of everything but the kitchen sink.

Kitchen Sink Brownies

1 c quick-cooking rolled oats
½ c all-purpose flour
½ c brown sugar
¼ t baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ c sugar
2/3 c flour
¼ c milk
¼ c butter
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 t vanilla
¼ t baking powder
½ c chopped walnuts
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 T butter
1 ½ c powdered sugar
½ t vanilla
2 T hot water
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For bottom layer, in a small bowl stir together oats, ½ c flour, brown sugar and baking soda, Add ½ c melted butter. Press evenly into bottom if an ungreased 11 x 7 baking pan. Bake for 10 mins.

While the first layer bakes, begin combining ingredients for the middle layer in a medium bowl. Stir together egg, sugar, flour, milk , 1/4c melted butter, melted chocolate, vanilla and baking powder. Fold in walnuts and let cool. Spread evenly over bottom layer. Bake approx 25 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool.

For the top layer, in a medium saucepan combine the 1 oz chopped chocolate, and the last 2 T of butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Stir in powdered sugar and add remaining vanilla. Add enough hot water to make mixture a spreading consistency. Spread chocolate mixture over middle layer. Sprinkle with the 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate(I’m also thinking that peanut butter or butterscotch chips could be fun variations). Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 16-24 brownies.

{snapshots of brownies}