Recessionista entertaining made easy

Easy Brownie treatsOur newest contributor Ailey Pacione has a sweet tooth and so do her friends. This week she shares her tips for recessionista entertaining and gift giving:

The ultimate chocolate lovers’ fix for a diva on a budget …
I admit that with Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, I’m almost choco-ed out. However, as every DolceDolce diva knows, when a chocolate craving hits, we are at the mercy of the nearest chocolate fix. Two-bite brownies — while superbly delicious — can certainly run up your food bill. They are sold at high-end grocery stores, but are not as easy on the wallet as they are on the palate.
Here’s my advice: Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge Brownies are just as good at more than half the price.
What makes them even more fantastic is that you can add to the basic recipe. Toss in nuts, chocolate chips, or Smarties — or get even more creative and add icing and decorate them! Then, buy a funky tin can or a cheap, vintage tray, and wrap them up as a gift for any occasion.
Ailey Pacione -" I'm no Betty Crocker..."Everybody loves brownies and baking them at home and is a perfect way to be thrifty and creative. Even if they were wrapped in plain tin foil, they would still be well-received — they are that good! The instructions are easy to follow — and I mean easy. I’m no Betty Crocker and my batch turned out great. That makes it fun for everyone to try. It’s so low stress!
P.S. The best part about baking brownies at home is you can lick the bowl!
Editor’s Note: Ailey added Smarties to her brownies. She shopped for the vintage tray, too. She also had to bake additional batches of brownies for the photos, as her first batch disappeared very quickly. Her friends and family are amazed her baking talent — and want more!