The Roaming Foodie

Archive for September 2010

So, I have a confession to make.

I’ve never made brownies from scratch before.

I always used the box kind, because, well, they’re easy and always come out fudgy and gooey. Always.

This all changed yesterday. I was in the mood to bake, perhaps because the last two weeks have been stressful, but whatever it was, I needed to cream some butter and sugar and sift some flour and just make something sweet and delicious. There was no way that I could have a good day unless I baked.

I was thinking about making my grandmother’s coconut cake, until I came across Cakespy’s blog (which you can find here:  http://www.cakespy.com/ )

As soon as I saw the post on Fat Witch Brownies, I knew that brownies would be what I made. So Andrew (who was completely up for brownies as long as they were JUST brownies, no frosting or fillings or extra stuff) and I went to pick up supplies for brownie making. As soon as we got home, I started my baking therapy.

Maybe I’m weird, but there’s nothing quite as soothing as standing over a stove, slowly melting bittersweet chocolate and butter until it becomes a beautiful, smooth, and glistening liquid.  Creaming eggs and sugar by hand makes me feel like even if I’m not in control over anything else in my life, I can control these brownies. And adding the chocolate mixture and the sifted flour and stirring until everything just comes together, well, I feel like I accomplished something, even if I failed my test or whatever, at least I can make a batch of brownies.  Baking/cooking is the best form of therapy for me, and I am perfectly fine with that.

Fat Witch Brownies (from the Fat Witch Bakery in NYC)

(I found the recipe here:  http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2010/9/24/lifes-a-witch-fat-witch-brownies-cookbook-and-a-recipe.html but it’s from Fat Witch Bakery’s cookbook:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605295744?ie=UTF8&tag=cakespycom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1605295744)

By the way, if anyone can tell me how to make a link that is just a word, that’d be great. I tried it, but it didn’t work, which is why there are so many links in my articles.

Ingredients

  • 14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ubleached flour
  • pinch of salt

Procedure

  1. Grease a 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool while you prepare the next step.
  3. Cream the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Measure the flour and salt and then sift together directly into the chocolate mixture. Mix the batter gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
  5. If you wanna, stir in nuts or any extras at this point.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with crumbs but not batter.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12-16 brownies (or 9, if you cut them like I do)
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Sorry for the lack of posting. Senior year has started, and it’s been pretty hectic so far.

Thursday night, the night before my first Chemistry test, I was struck by the mood to cook dinner and de-stress a bit, since I was freaking out about the test. I couldn’t put too much time into cooking though…I needed to put most of my time into studying. So I decided the best compromise between my desire to cook and studying would be to go to Trader Joe’s, pick up some ready made fresh ravioli,  a jar of pesto, and a red pepper and throw them all together. Not exactly cooking (hate to break it to you, Sandra Lee) but it satisfied and relaxed me all the same. Oh, and it satisfied mine and Andrew’s stomachs. 🙂

By the way, I love Trader Joe’s. They have great things there. Just don’t go when you’re hungry, or else you’ll end up buying these chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels (chocolate+peanut butter+pretzels are like crack to me) and there’s just no way to turn that into a good situation.

Ravioli with Chicken, Red Pepper, and Pesto

2 packages ravioli (I mixed spinach and ricotta and artichoke)
1 jar pesto
1 red bell pepper, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper
1/2 a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (1/2 because we already had that left over. You could use a whole one and just add more pesto. Or you could use half and save the rest. Or you could get chicken breast and cook it)

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

Heat the olive oil over medium high in a large pan. Add the chopped bell pepper, a dash of salt and a dash of pepper and cook until the pepper is soft. Cube or shred or chop the rotisserie chicken and add it to the peppers to heat through.

When the water is boiling, add a palmful of salt (about a tablespoon) and cook the ravioli according to package directions. Drain, and add to the chicken and peppers. Add the jar of pesto and toss to coat.