Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Outrageous Brownies

Outrageous Brownies (by the Barefoot Contessa- Ina Garten)

*Ina's recipe is HUGE! It is dangerous for me to have so many brownies in my house- so this is 1/4 of her regular recipe. You could also half it. Here is her full recipe in case you are having 25 people over for dessert! (It calls for a full pound of butter!).

1/4 pound unsalted butter
1/4 pound plus 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1.5 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1/2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
½ c. + 1T sugar
¼ c. + 1T flour, divided
1 t baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cups diced walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 8 by 8 by 1 1/2-inch pan.
Melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

Sound like too much work? You can buy her mix here or I've seen it at Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel as well. (But it is not your betty crocker $2.99 mix- try $10.95!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My new favorite snack

Friends, meet my new favorite snack- Mozzarella Roll! You can buy these at your local grocery store in the specialty cheese section but I've also seen them at Sam's Club. My favorite is one with spicy salami and pepperoncini inside- but they come in mild versions too. While pregnant I need quick, high protin snacks- and this is it! You could even make one yourself using Paula Dean's recipe. Everyone needs a signature appitizer- something you are known for bringing to parties and get togethers- I think this along with some other antipasto trimmings is going to be mine!

Pioneer Women's Most Favorite Salad Ever. Ever, Ever, Ever!

Do you know about The Pioneer Women Cooks? It is a great down-home food blog that you should check out. This salad just screams summer and I can't wait to give it a try. Check out her step by step pictures (and super funny directions) if it looks yummy to you.
Asian Noodle Salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver

1 package linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin
1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
3 sliced scallions3 peeled, sliced cucumbers
LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet

Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapeƱos, chopped
More chopped cilantro—LOTS

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.*Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.

Blog Abandonment

Dear Blog-
I need to apologize. I have abandoned you. Left you high and dry. Ignored you. Pretended like you didn't exist. I'm sorry. Mostly to my 3 readers- but really, truly sorry. And to my co-blogger and sister, you rock…I stink. Here I dragged you into this blogging thing- and then abandoned you too.

I can offer only two explanations for my lack of effort for the last three months…

January Resolutions- eating healthier has been b-o-r-i-n-g! Nothing inspiring to blog about has been coming out of my kitchen! (My sweet husband has lost 25 lbs though!)

First Trimester Exhaustion. I’m pregnant and things are going well, but I'm really tired. And just doing the basics around here (laundry, dinner, diapers) is about all I’ve had in me. Now that I’ve made it to my 16th week, I’m hoping my energy level is going to pick up here- soon!

I miss you dear blog and I’m really going to try to devote more love and attention your way.

Sincerely, Sara