Baking, Meals
Leave a Comment

Dinner Parties with Mom

My mother always liked a good party, and she was especially fond of the ones she threw herself.  When I was 15, she decided to have a series of dinner parties.  The menu was always the same; the friends rotated.  Needless to say, after a few of these, we got really good at sharing the kitchen.  It felt like a dance, as we weaved around each other to work in tandem to create a delicious meal.

img_4396Now, my mother always proclaimed she didn’t have a sweet tooth, however she did have one weakness:  chocolate!  For those dinners, we turned to The Los Angeles Times California Cookbook and created the Four-Minute Brownie Pie.  It was an ooey-gooey brownie in a pie shape that we served, fresh out of the oven, with ice cream and hot fudge.  Calling it decadent was an understatement, and that was exactly the tone she wanted for the evening.

The meal started with an appetizer of her signature crab dip.  Our guests would gab while munching on the luscious starter and drink wine – usually from Fess Parker’s vineyard and from a signed bottle by Fess himself.

Then we would graduate to the dining room, where half papayas filled with shrimp awaited at each setting.  The main course was a full Cornish game hen for each guest, along with steamed asparagus.  The wine flowed, the laughter was boisterous.  Finally, the Four-Minute Brownie Pie made its entry, and everyone would gasp.

Well, okay – that might be overstating what happened, but the Four-Minute Brownie Pie img_4387always did impress, and it was my favorite part of the evening.  My mother would beam in delight over the success of another delightful dinner party.

Four-Minute Brownie Pie – From The Los Angeles Times California Cookbook


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • Ice cream or whipped cream
  • Hot fudge



  1. Place eggs, sugar, butter, flour, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in small mixer bowl and beat for 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in nuts and pour into a greased 8-inch pie pan.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until done.
  4. Pie will settle like a meringue when cool.
  5. Cut in wedges and serve with ice cream and hot fudge.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s