Monthly Archives: January 2010

There Will Be Brownies

This will probably be a short post, because it’s been a busy night and I’m tired but….you should make these brownies.

No, really.  You should make these brownies.

Everyone should have brownies like these at least once in their lives.  These are the kind of brownies that make life worth living, the kind that men will kill for, women swoon over and diabetics joyfully submit to sugar comas.  The kind of brownies that’ll make you slap yo’ mamma and call her Sally.  These brownies could make Chuck Norris cry tears of chocolate joy.

So here’s the deal: I got a new oven, right?  You all knew that.

Well, part of my testing of said new oven was to make a batch of brownies (for testing purposes only, you understand–in the name of science.  Science.) and I figured, hey, might as well try out a new brownie recipe while I’m at it.  My mommy had been nice enough to pick me up a couple bags of chocolate wafers (milk and dark) while they were at the store, so I had that, and I also had a metric buttload (scientific term) of Dutch-process cocoa powder from making hot cocoa mix over Christmas.  And at some point in my travels along the information superhighway, I picked up this handy little brownie recipe from the buns in my oven blog.  They looked good and I had everything I needed to make them…so I did.  At 9pm.  On a Tuesday.  In the name of science and all that is holy. Continue reading

Tomato Chicken Sauté, or “Let’s See Hansel and Gretel Push Me into THIS Oven”

It hasn’t even been a full week in our new house yet and already we’ve spent more than a little bit updating things–the cable, the washer and most notably, the oven.

I have a new oven.

Do you know what that’s like?  It’s like Papa having a brand new bag, that’s what it’s like.

It’s beautiful—all shiny and black and stainless steal.  The oven at our old apartment was a trustworthy thing; while I am not a fan of electric stovetops, the oven got hot quickly and stayed that way.  When we moved into the house on Saturday, we knew the stove (gas) worked but that the oven didn’t.  So despite my fear-of-change-driven emotional need for brownies, I had to sit and wait until a new stove was ordered and delivered.  But I could still use the stove, and I did.  It was a bit odd changing over to a gas range from an electric one—things heat up so fast!  Lovely.

The new oven (I haven’t named it yet, but I might–any suggestions?) was delivered yesterday.  Josh decided he was going to hook it up himself. This required a trip to the hardware store to get a connector-thingy.  Me, I was all twinge-y with excitement, holding the flashlight while Josh fiddled around behind the stove (which was very shiny—did I mention it was shiny?  I like shiny things). I had it all planned out—first I was going to make a chicken tomato sauté with chicken breasts I had acquired from the store that very afternoon for this very purpose, as well as some plump round cherry tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar.  Then I was going to make a super-quick side dish of tricolor couscous and steamed spinach.  And then there’d be cookies.  Chocolate chip, of course, with maybe some oatmeal and I could nearly taste the chewy delici—

“It’s not going to work,” said Josh.

Well of course it’s going to work, I thought, oatmeal and chocolate go great together. Continue reading

creating a kitchen: adventures in moving

Well, it’s done.  We closed on our first home and moved in.  Seriously, in just two days.  Closed on the house on Friday, moved in on Saturday, kitchen up and running on Sunday.  That’s how I roll.

Anyway, I learned three very important things during this whole process:

1.  I have a lot of kitchen stuff.  A lot.  You might think some of it was unnecessary.  It’s not.

2.  A clean, neat kitchen is a happy kitchen.  In fact, getting the kitchen neat and clean sort of set the happy tone for unpacking the rest of the house.

3.  Eating out three times a day every day for any length of time sucks.  I mean, really, seriously on a Hoover-esque level sucks.

4.  Hardwood floors are rough on the feet.  Wear slippers.

That’s four things.  I promised three.  Consider that last one an extra tip on me.

While I did love my apartment dearly—fantastic cathedral ceilings, roomy, just a block away from Whole Foods and a great little Chinese restaurant—I am deeply smitten with our new house, I won’t lie.  I also greatly enjoy the opportunity to start out with a fresh, clean blank slate of a kitchen—especially a bigger kitchen where I can really spread out as far as my little gourmet heart desires. Continue reading

Brunchin’ Munchin': Freakin’ Fantastic Frittata

This is it.  The very last Sunday spent in my apartment.  Might as well celebrate it eggcellently (snicker).

Shortly before Christmas, my grandmother gave me a cast-iron skillet.  Gorgeous one, too, with nice high sides.  I have no idea how old it is but judging by the facts that it had been laying in the back of a cupboard, she couldn’t quite remember how she got it it and that the average age of items in her home is 53, I’m going to assume it’s probably about as old as me. But it’s nice high sides, ability to maintain a constant high heat and ease of going between the stove and the oven made it perfect for this morning’s potato and spinach frittata.

I’ve made frittatas before but I just want to reiterate how fantastic they are.  You can put anything into one, they’re fast and easy to make, very filling, easy to expand for as many people as you like and best of all, easily done in one pan. Continue reading

01.02.2010. How awesome is that? Oh, and other thoughts about change, food and this blog.

Oh. My. Bacon.  It’s a whole new year.  It’s a new decade.  How awesome and weird and terrifying is that?  And all over the intarwebs, I keep coming across articles and tweets and posts celebrating the fact that you (yes, you), never again have to utter the extra syllables required to say “two thousand and _ [enter number here]” but can instead shorten that puppy down to “twenty ten” or “twenty eleven” or “twenty you get the idea,” even though, really, isn’t that so last century? But whatever.

Me, I myself am less concerned with how many syllables are required to pronounce the current year and more concerned with a grave and serious question that I’m certain perplexes even the gods themselves: should I make brownies or cake?  I’m really leaning towards brownies here.  Partially because I’m feeling fudgy and partially because cake really requires there to be frosting and I just don’t feel up to frosting right now.  I have a hit-or-miss relationship with frosting.  It always comes out okay but never great and I think that’s partially a result of my blasé attitude towards frosting all together.  I really prefer ganache or simple whipped cream and somehow, frosting seems to pick up on that and it gets a little offended and then I just can’t do anything with it.

Of course, that’s not all I’m concerned about, whether to make brownies or cake (and by the way, it would have been a chocolate cake because I still believe that real desserts contain cocoa).  I’m also concerned about making crepes that don’t stick, roasting chickpeas (will I really eat them like a snack?  Or just say,” aww aren’t those cute” and store them in jars as a purely decorative element in my kitchen?), using up the four puff pastry sheets I’ve managed to build up in my freezer, global warming, this year’s (that’s 2010, btw) strawberry crop, which photos I want to blow up and frame as art in our new home—oh, and we’re buying a house, did I mention that one?  And will hopefully be closing in…oh two weeks.  Hopefully.

And on top of all of that, there’s the simple question of: what to do about this blog?

Now don’t be alarmed.  Step away from the fire extinguisher.  No sudden moves.  No hasty decisions.  Do not panic.  I am not ending my blog.  I actually want to focus on it more.  So what I’m wondering about is the direction in which I want to go–what else do I want to say?  What do you want from me?  Why are we here?  Why do people insist on putting nuts in brownies?  It’s all very confusing.  But I will sort it out—except for, perhaps, that last one.

In addition to content, I’ll be updating the design too, particularly since I’ll be moving to a self-hosted version of WordPress and will have more freedom.  So all the time design ideas dance like sugarplums in my head.  Doing the Charleston, specifically.  Those crazy sugarplums.

I may be a bit quiet for the next couple of weeks.  I’ll try to post things here and there, so that you know I’m still conscious, thinking of you and most importantly, eating.  And after the next life change is done (seriously, after what it takes to buy a house, I am honestly going to live in this one until I die, and then I’m going to haunt it.  Mostly the kitchen), the blog changes will commence.

It’s a new year and we’re moving forward.  Mostly because it’s hard to get your computer’s calendar to run backwards.  Unless you’re Superman and you fly in reverse around the earth, forcing everything to move back in time.  Which I would totally do.  Except it would, of course, tear a giant hole in the space-time continuum, throw the world off its axis, destroy the universe as we know it and, most relevantly, keep me from getting my brownie.

I’m hungry.

s'more brownies