Irish Cream Liqueur Brownies- A Delicious Experiment and Two Recipes

All Costco’s Kirkland brand drinks seem to be great- the wines, the liquors, and now… how about this Irish Cream Liqueur? Into the cart it went since I couldn’t pass up the possibility of a good drink.

We have since tried it, and the Kirkland Irish Cream Liqueur is a winner! On ice and in coffee, The Husband and I have loved it. The Bunco Club has indulged and gave their approval, but the level in the bottle has still barely dropped.What am I supposed to do with an enormous bottle? It’s time to experiment because this is a seriously ridiculous amount of booze…

How about brownies? Yum.



The Ingredients

Irish Cream Liqueur Brownies

Oven at 350. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Into a large bowl put:

  • The brownie mix

Mix together in a small bowl or measuring cup:

  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur instead of water (or amount of liquid as directed by recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee crystals

Beat together in a medium bowl:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or as directed)
  • 2 eggs (ditto)

Stir together the liqueur and egg mixes, then slowly add all the liquid mix into the large bowl with the instant brownie mix. Add in chocolate chips now, if you are using them in your recipe. Stir until combined, but don’t over mix. 

IMG_9748Pour batter into prepared pan. Follow your usual baking directions, and in about 25 minutes you should be in Brownie Bliss!

I need about a half gallon of milk right now, or maybe a big mug of black coffee… or two. I just tasted my brownie concoction and WOW. Very sweet, but Very good. I think that the brownie mix could have stood another tablespoon or two of liqueur, as the batter was not only more stiff than when usually made with water, but also- the Irish Cream Liqueur flavor is pretty mild.

Irish Cream Liqueur Icing (makes about 1 1/2 cups icing)

  • In bowl of stand mixer, slowly beat together one cube of butter, two ounces cream cheese(1/4 of an 8 oz. block) and two cups powdered sugar. Beat on high speed for three to four minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Stop the mixer and add one teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup Irish Cream Liqueur. Mix again, on low speed until combined, then high again for one to two minutes.


My Baking Notes:

-I used my family’s favorite boxed mix as a base and added my not-so-secret ingredients (instant coffee, vanilla, and chocolate chips). Remember, if you are going to use instant coffee crystals to punch up the chocolate flavor, you must add the dry coffee to the water/vanilla/liqueur and NOT directly into the batter, or they won’t dissolve.
-If you mix together all your liquids before stirring them into the brownie mix, you are much less likely to over mix the batter.

Bonus Tip!!

Ever hear that if you slice your brownies with a plastic knife, that they will slice more evenly and not get all ragged? Well, it is true.

Metal knife vs. …


…plastic knife (see the difference?

Yep. It works, slice up your brownies with a plastic knife from now on, everyone!

IMG_9754 (2)

IMG_9757 (1)

Overnight Stock in the Slow Cooker -and- World’s Best and Easiest Tortilla Soup Recipe!!

IMG_9680Costco’s Rotisserie Chicken has its own Facebook fan page, I kid you not. There is a good reason why- for $4.99 you get close to a 3.5 pound, nicely roasted bird with better tasting meat than the pre-made, pre-sliced, supermarket fridge section fodder. While it isn’t organic or”free range,” (a nearly unregulated term), it does provide a whole bunch of “clean eating” protein.

about two pounds of meat

From this 3.5 lb bird came a little over 2 pounds of meat… and the skin, bones and junk left over? DON’T THROW IT AWAY!!

If you want delicious, home made soups but don’t have half a day at home to make stock on the stove, your slow cooker is your ace in the hole! I’ve never tried this method, and have let the chicken carcass simmer for anywhere from 2 to 5 hours on my stovetop, and wanted to try this method for once. Is it easier with the slow cooker?



Here’s all of the non-meat leftovers- about 1.5 pounds of carcass, in the slow cooker and covered with water to about an inch from the top of the crock…

This muck sat on low for about 12 hours overnight. In the morning I put a pot in the sink, the strainer in the pot, strained the broth, put it in the fridge, tossed the bones in the trash, and washed out the crock. Bonus- if you are trying to cut calories, the fat will float to the top of the pot and solidify, just scoop it off for fat-free stock.

This was by far the easiest and tasted like any of the best broths I’ve made before. I’d say I ended up with close to just under a gallon of broth, too. Broth that tastes better than from a can or carton and nearly free to boot? Can’t beat that with a stick!


Wonder what the difference between a Broth and a Stock? Stock is long simmered and has bones, basically. Click here to read about it at

As for The World’s Best Yet Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe… turns out I don’t have any salsa, so the soup will be in tomorrow’s post. Whoops.


Friday’s Farmers Market- Rancho Bernardo Winery

Bernardo Winery Events
Bernardo Winery Events

Friday’s Farmers Market was up at the Bernardo Winery, Southern California’s oldest operating winery. This is a great place to take visitors, with its numerous shops and stalls, and on Friday they add the Farmers Market to the mix, too.

This is a small market, but the produce looked great, and the stalls with snacks and baked goods have tasty treats.

Click pic for this neat product's info...
Click pic for this neat product’s info…

From the specialty foods seller Wildtree I bought a neat fruit dip powder to mix with cream cheese and cream after just one sample… and I’m rarely an impulse buyer at these markets. Someone is going to get this for Christmas, and the seller is usually at the Bernardo Farmers Market, so I know where to get more, ha!

If you shop for gluten free baking mixes or desserts, there are a few baked goods stalls selling to your needs, along with one totally conventional vendor with a banner advertising “Full of Gluten!”

One particularly interesting vendor, Across Africa, was selling baskets made by Rwandan and Ugandan women. You may have seen similar baskets to these at your local Costco- Rwanda Partners Baskets. Across Africa, with its slogan “This is a Success Story,” is a company that has not only brought a steady income for many families through organized cooperatives. Look at these beauties, and look them up. Don’t you know someone who would like one of these for a gift? I know I would.


Click *HERE* or on the photo for the Costco Road Sale schedule in the United States

I don’t know if the Rwanda Partners Basket company will be in the Bernardo market much longer, but the rest of the vendors (including, you guessed it… the same hummus seller) are here year round.

And the setting can’t be beat. Spend a nice morning visiting the winery’s shops, have a cup of coffee at the cafe here, and finish your Friday morning with the Farmers Market.

A lovely day trip!


Orange Chicken Showdown

Left, Crazy Cuisine from Costco; Right, Trader Joe's Orange Chicken... obviously...
Left, Crazy Cuisine from Costco; Right, Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken… duh…

You know how people say that store brands of a product are just the same national brand in plain packaging? Whatever. I just bought the Mandarin Orange Chicken from Costco’s freezer aisles completely on impulse even though I had some at home already from Trader Joe’s.

OK then, let’s see how close these dishes come to each other…
Squaring off tonight we have three versions of the same dinner-

Mandarin Chicken from Pick Up Stix take out, and frozen, ready to bake from Costco and Trader Joe’s.

All three had something big going for them in that they are all fried. Let’s face it, if it is fried, I’m there. You could fry a dirt clod and I would probably eat it, most certainly if it has gravy. Yep.

Servings and Price breakdown-
Crazy Cuisine 13 for 13.99
Trader Joe’s 5 for 4.99
Pick Up Stix 2 for 8.95

Per serving breakdown:
Costco’s Crazy Cuisine $1.08
Trader Joe’s- $.99
Pick Up Stix- $4.78

None of us cared for the Pick Up Stix. It just didn’t taste as good as the other two, according to the girl, while the boy and I really, really don’t care for water chestnuts. I will point out his puny taste buds and that he also for swore the take out was too spicy. Wimp. I think he was just still mad that I went to the wrong take out place- apparently I mix up Panda Express and Pick Up Stix easily, so, oops.

Drum roll for the winners: 

The girl liked the Costco (because she likes white meat), the boy liked the Trader Joe’s (he prefers dark meat), I liked both so it is officially a tie. The husband didn’t get a vote since he wasn’t home yet and I wanted to put up today’s new thing on the blog. We will make him eat the leftover Pick Up Stix for lunch- that’ll teach him not to be home when we want to try something new!