Two days ago, I tagged along my beau's company outing for his department. We went to Subic, still a part of the Philippines. I had enjoyed the road trip immensely, looking out the window of the car, seeing buildings turn into miles of land and trees. A part of me wish the city had more trees and parks. I want to live somewhere peaceful like that, green bushes stretching on for miles, with countless trees and flowers around. It was still hot there, and I wished I was in a different country entirely. The heat was never something I liked, I love the rain and the coolness it brings along with it.
They had planned to ride an Ultralight a sort of mini plane, giving them a tour around the scenery for either ten or twenty minutes. Many of them proudly stated that they can finally scratch it off their bucket list, not me. I have a great fear of heights. I was happy not to be a part of the team expected to fly in the air in this tiny plane with my hair whipping about like crazy. I was shocked that in the end, I was sitting on this plane of theirs with a FREE ride offered by them. It was only to circle the vicinity, so that I would not leave the place empty. They are good at what they do, because I ended up on the ground in one peace, not having any panic attacks at all. It is quite an experience, so if you would like to give it a try... You can see their webpage here.
I brought Red Velvet Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies to the trip. The brownies were my first try at them, they were yummy but I find them a bit sweet. I ended up adding a tablespoon of cocoa to them for a bit more chocolatey flavor, I was glad I did. They had just a hint of chocolate, just as Red Velvets usually are. Ofcourse you have to lessen the flour a tablespoon if you do this. They were a nice red color as well, despite the fact that I had run out of red food coloring and had only added a tablespoon and less than a half to it. Maybe next time I would just have to lessen the sugar a bit. The white chocolate buttercream, I expected them to be too sweet to be added along with the brownies.. but they went a long great with it. Perhaps next time cream cheese would hit the spot, and would tame the sweetness to it.
Edit: My hubby bought what was left to his office, and it was a hit! They ate it aaaall.
Red Velvet Brownies
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
2/3 cups chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter and flour an 8 x 8 cake pan.
In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, red food coloring, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to create a paste.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add remaining teaspoon of vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed, add in cocoa powder mixture. Beat until batter is completely red. (If at this time your batter is NOT red, you can add a little more food coloring if desired. Color will depend on brand.) Add flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread in the 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
White Chocolate Frosting
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces white chocolate, melted (I used Lindt)
1-2 tablespoons milk (or more if needed)
Cream butter in an electric mixer until fluffy, then add vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer on low speed. Add in melted white chocolate and beat until incorporated. To reach desired consistency, add in milk 1 teaspoon at a time with mixer on low speed. If frosting becomes too liquidy, simple add additional sugar.
I am looking forward to coming back to Subic, to let my sister try out ultralight flying and have a swim. Here are some pictures from the trip!