Mexican Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mexican Brownies

Mexican Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Yesterday was our anniversary. I put on my wedding dress and we went to a nice restaurant where I drank wine and ate as much cheese as I damn well pleased. We even ordered dessert. People looked at me like I was crazy. I did not care. I’m 36 years old. I’ve been weird the whole time. I’m used to it.

I currently have purple hair. I work in a homeless shelter. I have pet chickens. I lived in Taiwan for two years. I’ve been on an insane “watch everything Star Trek” quest for the past year. I take photos of my food on my kid’s bed. There’s is no denying it. I’m a weird kid through and through.

Mexican Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brownies are not weird, but Mexican Brownies with chili and cinnamon are potentially slightly less than normal. You know what else they are? Awesome.

I got a bar of chocolate infused with chili as a gift from one of my volunteers. I thought of eating it immediately, but for once, I showed some restraint and saved it for you guys. I replaced some of the chocolate in a basic brownie recipe with the chocolate from that bar, and enhanced the awesomeness with some ground cayenne and cinnamon.

The result is a chewy brownie with a hint of heat and that little something extra that cinnamon adds to chocolate. It will take a moment before you even realize that you’re eating something a little, well, weird. Then you’ll embrace the weirdness and be happy because you’re eating a super tasty, slightly spicy, chocorific brownie.

Mexican Brownies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Make Mexican Brownies. Be weird. Be awesome

Mexican Brownies
Serves 24
Mexican Brownies have a little bit of heat, a hint of cinnamon, and a whole lot of chocolate.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bar chocolate with chili
  2. 2.5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or enough to equal six ounces after the bar of chocolate
  3. 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large pan, melt butter and chocolate over medium low heat stirring frequently.
  3. While you're waiting this to melt, measure out and combine the remaining ingredients, except for the eggs.
  4. Once the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth, remove from heat. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each egg in completely before adding the next. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour the batter into your waiting pan and spread evenly. Bake for 18-20 minutes. If you let them cool completely, they'll be easier to cut. If you can't wait that, I won't judge you.
Adapted from Nestle
Adapted from Nestle
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Cheddar Habenero Corn Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheddar Habanero Corn Bread

corn bread1

I’ve been so extremely lazy these days. A complete and total lack of motivation. I want to do exactly nothing. I think I need to hibernate. A week in bed with books, Netflix, and somebody bringing me food seems like the only good plan. Why does life keep happening? Can’t we ever just take a break? What I wouldn’t give for a little bit of Snowpocalypse right about now. But no, the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day. People expect you to go outside and interact with other humans. It’s disgusting.

Cheddar Habenero Corn Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If I was lucky enough to be trapped in my house, I’d want bottomless chili and this cheesy, spicy Cheddar Habanero Corn Bread. They’re the perfect match. The corn bread is dense with an awesome, slightly crunchy texture, and supremely spicy from the six ounces of shredded habanero cheddar cheese I folded into it. If you can’t find habanero cheddar at your store, regular pepper jack will suffice.

When you’re completely wiped out by winter doldrums, chili and corn bread is just the thing. It’s warm and comforting but also sets your mouth on fire. Hopefully you made it to the store in time to buy plenty of milk or beer before you got snowed in. Man, I wish I was snowed in. I can’t get over it.

Cheddar Habenero Corn Bread | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

No matter the weather, make this Cheddar Habanero Corn Bread to go alongside your next pot of chili. Spicy cheese. What could go wrong?

Cheddar Habanero Corn Bread
Serves 8
Cheesy, spicy, crunchy, and awesome, Cheddar Habanero Corn Bread is chili's best friend.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box Jif corn muffin mix
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/3 cup milk
  4. 6 ounces habanero cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9x9 baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together corn muffin mix, egg, and milk until combined. Fold in shredded cheese.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with chili or stuff in your face with honey.
Adapted from 1001 Fast and Easy Recipes
Adapted from 1001 Fast and Easy Recipes
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
12 Awesome Hot & Spicy Recipes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

12 Totally Awesome Hot & Spicy Recipes

12 Awesome Hot & Spicy Recipes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Okay, two things are of note here. First off, it’s National Hot & Spicy Foods Day. Duh. Secondly, I have a cold, so pretty much the only thing I can taste is spicy food. And as an added bonus, it helps with my congestion. Okay, that was probably gross.

Regardless of your health conditions, hot and spicy foods are awesome. Here are a solid dozen different recipes to set your taste buds on fire. Get your beer ready. 

Making your own Frito Chili Cheese Wrap at home is ridiculously easy and dangerously addictive. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Southwest Pasta Salad is a picnic favorite. And it makes enough to feed about half a bajillion people. Bonus!

Chili with Gnocchi is a perfect winter meal. It’s spicy and filling, and it just keeps getting better every time you go back for leftovers. I want it now.

I’ve made these Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers for a bunch of parties. There have never been any leftovers. Ever.

Mexican Spinach Dip is a great way to sneak vegetables into my diet. Bury them in cheese and amp up the spice. Bring out the crunchy chips. Go to town.

We make My Mom’s Tacos about once a month. They’re just as good with ground turkey, too. Favorite!

The good thing about cooking for yourself is that you can have things just the way you like it, like with these Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas. So delicious, no stupid vegetables.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos are super spicy. Also, blue cheese! 

In case you don’t feel like jalapeno burning your hands, you can make Jalapeno Popper Dip. Everything into one baking dish, bag of chips, done.

Layers of spicy veggie action abound in this Mexican Lasagna. It’s one of Geoff’s low-cal favorites. 

Start off any gathering with a spicy twist on a classic dish, Jalapeno Devilled Eggs. They’re kinda pretty, too.

Not all spice lovers are in to bacon, and that’s why these Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers are awesome.

There you have it, kids. All kinds of spiciness. Plus a scientific reason to drink alcohol. Margarita, please! Let’s do it!

Cheesy Black Bean Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheesy Black Bean Bacon Dip

Cheesy Black Bean Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I start out with good intentions. Black beans are supposed to be healthy. Salsa is full of vegetables. I’m going to make a healthy dish. But wait. You know what would make this better? Cheese. Definitely plenty of gooey cheese. And if we’re going to add cheese in, we might as well make it super awesome and add in some bacon as well. I can’t help myself. I can’t say no to awesomeness.

Cheesy Black Bean Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This dip comes together in no time and makes plenty to go around. You can subtly change up the flavor depending on the salsa you use. If you like something sweeter, choose a mild salsa. If you like a smoky flavor, find something with chipotle. If heat is your thing, try a habanero or ghost pepper salsa. Or if you’re really dedicated, make your own.

Cheesy Black Bean Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In case you were wondering, it’s totally okay to eat dip for dinner. And adding in a bit of bacon can only make life better. It’s gonna be okay. Just go with it.

Cheesy Black Bean Bacon Dip
Serves 4
Spicy, cheesy black bean dip with crispy bacon is delicious and almost healthy.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  2. 1 can black beans, drained
  3. 1 cup salsa
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese
Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Add the beans to the bacon fat and use your potato masher to give the beans a squish. You don't need to smash every single bean, but you just want to add some creaminess.
  3. Stir in the salsa and seasoning and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese until it's melted, the sprinkle the bacon pieces over the top.
Adapted from 1001 Fast and Easy Recipes
Adapted from 1001 Fast and Easy Recipes
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burger

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I don’t know about where you live, but in Honolulu, it is still way way way too hot for indoor cooking. That’s why I made you jalapeno cream cheese stuffed burgers. And even if it’s not 90 degrees with 97% humidity where you live, I hear they have this tailgating thing that requires cooking large amounts of meat on a grill in a parking lot. Make these. None of those float your boat? Just wear a coat. Or you could make these in a frying pan. That’s okay, too.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These burgers are super easy to make and even more fun to eat. You can definitely taste the jalapenos, and there’s a noticable heat, but it’s not overwhelming. I mix the jalapeno and cream cheese in my food processor, so there’s not even any chopping involved. Because your burger is filled with cheese, it’s best to put them back in the fridge for a while before cooking, so these are ideal to make ahead. It’s nothing but simple.

Geoff likes his burgers with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and habanero salsa. Choose whatever accouterments you love. Just get ready for deliciousness.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m so hungry right now, I can eat one of these jalapeno cream cheese stuffed burgers in about twenty seconds. Since I have leftovers, I may do just that. Isn’t life awesome?

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Serves 4
Jalapeno cream cheese hides inside a juicy burger for a super awesome grill out meal.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 jalapenos, tops removed, split down the center, and deseeded
  2. 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 pound ground beef
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  8. 4 hamburger buns
  9. 4 slices of your favorite cheese
  10. Your favorite burger toppings
Instructions
  1. If you have a food processor, use it to chop up your jalapenos until they're as small as you'd like. Add the cream cheese to the food processor and process until combined. If you don't have a food processor, chop up your jalapenos and stir them into your cream cheese.
  2. Add your seasonings and Worcestershire sauce to your meat, and give it a quick mix with your hands. Divide the meat into four equal parts, and then divide each of those in two. Flatten out and shape each section into a thin patty. We're going to put two together, so make them as thin as you can.
  3. Put a spoonful of your cream cheese mixture into the center of one of your patties, then top that with another patty. Gently press the edges together so your cream cheese is sealed inside. Repeat this for all the burgers.
  4. Stash your burger patties in the fridge or on ice until you're ready to cook. Four hours is fine as long as they're cold.
  5. Cook your burgers in your vessel of choice over medium high heat until they reach your desired level of doneness. I do about 5 minutes a side.
  6. Put it on a bun, add your favorite toppings, and eat til you drop.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
How to be Awesome on $20 a day https://awesomeon20.com/
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