Red Velvet Brownies & Thanksgiving Traditions

Before I get into another waistline busting recipe, let’s just talk about Thanksgiving traditions for a minute.

Everyone has their holiday traditions. Every year we get up and watch the parade (upstairs) and football (downstairs) while I finish making the desserts. Around noon we head over to my sister in laws and hang out while dinner finishes. Every year I pray really hard when they put the turkey in the big deep fryer thing in the yard because it scares the bejeezus out of me.

After dinner we hang out then head home around six and my sis gets into town. We all watch Christmas Vacation and drink Tom & Jerry’s or Hot Buttered Rum.

Lovely fun Thanksgiving Traditions.


Almost forgot that EVERY year I go to the Smiths (Kroger for some of you) on Eastern a few days before Thanksgiving to get the stuff I need and yesterday was the day I went. Grocery stores a couple of days before Thanksgiving are like bars on New Years Eve, except instead of people who never go out all year they are full of people who never cook all year.

They clog up the aisles and wander aimlessly and distract me with their rookie cooking conversation. Really? Celery is NOT a canned vegetable. Try the produce section.


It’s the place where they sell fresh fruit & veggies, otherwise known as PRODUCE.

I avoid the turkey section like the black plague because there are generally 10-12 carts of people debating the merits of Butterball vs Foster Farms.

They are TURKEYS.

From a FARM full of Turkeys. They are not born and bred and AKC registered with weirdo names like Champion Billy Ray Red Feather’s Achy Breaky Heart.

Just a turkey that either ended up hatching (they are not born live are they?) on the  Foster Farm side of the tracks or the Butterball side of the tracks.

Another tradition is that I bring the stuffing/dressing/whichever you call it. I like to make it not from a box so every year (NO, really EVERY year) I struggle like a one legged spider to locate dry unseasoned crouton things. Now I suppose I could be all thrifty and toast my own bread and make my own croutons, but frankly I am lazy and the big bag of them is only $1.99 so that is the route I am going.

Folks, it is like looking for Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket.

And of course it is the last thing on the list because I can’t FIND it anywhere so I have to maneuver my heavy cart around the store 4-5 times and WHY on earth would people buy the disposable aluminum turkey pans at the grocery store when the Dollar Store has them for, wait for it…..A DOLLAR.

Of course there are 13,476 extra employees crawling up your armpit and into your pocket asking if they can help you and guess what?


I know this because I finally broke down and asked.

They are NOT by the boxed stuffing, which is a logical first choice don’t you think?

They are NOT near the huge display of Thanksgiving-y things like chicken broth, french fried onions and mountains of jarred gravy.

They are NOT by the bread, another logical placement choice.

They are NOT by the bags of salad croutons, not so logical, but really, where would you look by now?

They are NOT by the gaggle of turkey debaters.

They are NOT by the flour, which is where two of the nice helpful employees told me to look. Close, because that’s where the bread CRUMBS are, but remember I am looking for croutons.

Every year friends. Every year.

And I am pushing my 5,000 pound cart and it is hot because once the temp hits 60 in Vegas people turn the store heat on and all these people are wandering around finding everything they need when they don’t even know how to cook and I am MAD.

And I want to screech out at the top of my lungs WHERE ARE THE !@^($%!@$ DRY UNSEASONED CROUTONS???

But I don’t. I press on and I really don’t want to ask any more employees. I even check the soda aisle on the off chance they might be there, but nope. So, I resolve to go to Albertson’s and find them there and I head to the liquor section for a bottle of wine because by now I am stressed out and red wine lowers your blood pressure I think, so I really needed some.

What do you think I found on an end cap in the WINE section?


On to happier things like the recipe for these delightful yummies which you will NOT find in a grocery store.

I have used up all my words for the day and I can’t think any more, so I am just posting the pictures and the recipe.

Have a great week!


  • 1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (1-oz.) bottle red liquid food coloring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Small batch Cream Cheese Frosting (I used 1/2 stick butter, 4 ounces cream cheese 2 cups powder sugar-let butter and cream cheese get to room temp and then beat together till creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat till smooth)
  • Garnish: white chocolate curls (If you’re fancy)


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.
  • 2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition. Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).
  • 4. Lift brownies from pan, using foil sides as handles; gently remove foil. Spread Small-Batch Cream Cheese Frosting on top of brownies, and cut into 16 squares. Garnish, if desired.



About Janice

I am 40 years old. Loving life and (finally) being a grown up. I have 3 great kids that sometimes make me want to drink copious amounts of wine. I have been married to my amazing husband since 2001. I have more great girlfriends than you can shake the proverbial stick at. Join me in this adventure that is my life.
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3 Responses to Red Velvet Brownies & Thanksgiving Traditions

  1. Ryan Bicker says:

    So bummed we can’t be there for Thanksgiving again this year! Reading your post I wanted to add a little (Dana and Ryan sometimes come)!

    We were just talking a few days ago about looking at next year and seeing if maybe we can make the trip and join your family next year. If you will have us!

  2. Snath says:

    I love you! You make me laugh out loud! I miss you so!

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