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Oh man, oh MAN! What a DAY today is!! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this! When I blogged about A Home Made for Hosting several months ago, my heart was to provide inspiration for those who love serving people with their home! So far, we have had such a positive and overwhelming response and we are so thankful!! From the very beginning, the idea of this series wasn’t just something that I wanted to do on my own, I had a secondary vision for it!!

So, everyone knows that HOSTING isn’t just about the decor and creating a welcoming space… it’s about so much. There is actually a WHOLE other side to hosting that involves the KITCHEN! If you know me, you know that me and the kitchen don’t mix. But what you may not know is that my SISTER is a wizard in the Kitchen! We couldn’t be MORE different in this aspect of our life but if I’m being honest, I love this about us! We are so similar and yet incredibly different in so many ways!! We’re sisters with totally different strengths and I think that “A Home Made for Hosting” needs to have some of Emily’s ideas included in some guest posts every now and then!! What do you think?!!! She’ll be sharing edible inspiration and you’re just going to love it!!

From Emily!:

When Katelyn first told me about “A Home Made For Hosting” series, I was incredibly excited! It’s such a fantastic idea. I mean, who doesn’t love beautiful home decorating full of tips and tricks?! But I didn’t experience the full extent of my excitement until Katelyn told me she wanted ME to be a part of it! “Wait, what?!”, was my initial response. I was shocked because Katelyn has pretty much decorated my whole life and any place I’ve ever lived! And I’m grateful for it because having an eye for home decor is not one of my greatest strengths. (although KK has helped me grow a ton in this area! :)

Katelyn began sharing with me some of the vision she has for these posts. She shared that creating a home that is great for hosting people can’t just be done by having nifty towel storage, magazines & chocolates on the guest beds, …. There’s a whole other component to creating a welcoming home where people feel loved and cared for! FOOD. Food is the center of most social gatherings and even every day life!!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve LOVED food, cooking and baking! Growing up I’d always be the first to volunteer to help Momma in the kitchen. Whenever she wasn’t looking I’d try to add new spices or ingredients to old recipes, just to see what would happen and how they’d turn out! She hated this because two of her LEAST favorite things… onion and garlic… are easily in my top 5 favorite ingredients, so needless to say they got added to A LOT of recipes! As I’ve experimented in the kitchen over the years, I have developed a deep love for creating yummy food, baking tasty treats, and trying new things!

As Katelyn invited me into this, she shared that she’d love to feature some recipes and food tips I have up my sleeve that not only make hosting through the kitchen easy and do-able but also beautiful and tasty! I could hardly contain my excitement, this is something I’m so passionate about! I can’t wait to share with you some ideas that’ll hopefully help make hosting through the kitchen exciting, easy and fun for you and your guests!! Thanks for having me!!

The first post we’re sharing is a recipe for…

Fruity Fudge Brownies

WHY THIS IS A GREAT RESOURCE FOR HOSTING:
These fruity fudge brownies are a fantastic way to take ordinary brownies and make them extra special and fancy!! A few reasons these are great for when you’re hosting…. they are already in cute individual servings, they are fine to sit out for several hours, they are incredibly quick and easy to make, they are adaptable depending on what you have on hand, and they make brownies SEEM healthy and refreshing. ;)

INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS:
If you have some spare time feel free to make these brownies from scratch following the recipe below or use your favorite brownie recipe…
3/4 C. Unsalted butter, melted
3/4 C. Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 t. Salt
3 Eggs
1 T. Vanilla Extract
3/4 C. Flour
Mix together the butter and cocoa powder, then add in the sugar and salt. Next, combine the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract, then add flour and stir until fully incorporated.

But for most of us, time is pretty limited! Sometimes we can’t make things from scratch and we just need to fancy ordinary things up a bit, especially when you’re hosting someone last minute! If this is you, feel free to just use your favorite boxed brownie mix and prepare it according to the directions on the back. :)

Next, pour your brownies mix into a prepared dish. I love to use my Pampered Chef Square Brownie Pan. If you don’t have one, no worries… you can use a 9×13 and then cut your own squares and they’ll turn out just as nice! Bake your brownies at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the icing, you can make your own OR use store bought icing that just needs a quick stir!
Here’s a very simple cream cheese icing that’s delicious:
6 T. Unsalted Butter, softened
6 T. Cream Cheese, softened
1 C. Powdered Sugar
1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and add powdered sugar.

While you wait for your brownies to cool, dice the fruit you will be topping them with! You can use whatever you have on hand… the fruits I have found to be the prettiest and most popular for these brownies are blueberries, strawberries and kiwis. Once cooled, ice and top your brownies with fruit! Then serve on a pretty platter or dish for your guests to enjoy! :)

xoxo, Katelyn
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