Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Turtle Brownies for a Total Cutie

Every year, my department at work has a Thanksgiving Potluck, and every year I get the honor of bringing dessert. 2009 was no exception, and this time I wanted something totally rich and gooey and awful for you that everyone would possibly hate me for (because it's so good, but SOOOOOO BAD). When I announced that I would be making Turtle Brownies, one of my co-workers commissioned me to make an extra batch for her to take home, and so being the good friend I am, I did.

This is where it gets hilarious. She took home the brownies and put them away in the fridge, saving them for the weekend. Well that night she woke up to go get some water, when she found her 5-year-old, sprawled out on the couch, with the now empty brownie pan by his side, and crumbs around his mouth. He was completely passed out. Yes, her 5-year-old had just demolished an entire tray of turtle brownies, and food coma'd.

So this year, for his 6th birthday, my co-worker has commissioned me to make him his very own tray of Turtle Brownies. How could I say no to that little guy?!

I've adapted a recipe I found at Kitchen Bouquet. Here is what you need:

1/2 cup butter
1 4oz bar of good dark chocolate
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup slivered almonds
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

We're going to turn that SCM into Dulce De Leche, and you can find out how to do that here.

Now follow the instructions:

  1. Melt butter and chocolate together. Stir in brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, mix well.
  2. Add salt, flour and chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9 inch square pan.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and spread Dulce de Leche evenly over top, then sprinklealmonds over the top. Spoon remaining brownie batter on top and smooth it out.
  6. Return to oven and bake for about another 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, cool and cut into squares. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
And beware of sticky little fingers! :)


Friday, August 20, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza - overpronunciated.

Our roommate, "Dr. Long", has one of the most amazing idiosyncracies ever. She purposely overpronounces her "H" sounds. You know that joke on "Family Guy" where Stewie overpronounces "Cool Whip"? Like, "cool wHip". She does that. All. The. Time. And it's hilarious. Also, rasP-berries. So any time I bring up making this pizza, she goes, "Oh! wHole wHeat?" and I giggle. It's awesome.

She's awesome.

So with that in my head, I embark upon one of my favorite recipes. Whole Wheat Pizza. Specifically, topped with local salame, beautiful fresh mozzarella, and crimini mushrooms. Oh, yeah, and homemade sauce.

Here is what you need for a perfect Whole Wheat crust:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbs. dry active yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt (I use Kosher)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour

Pour your water into a large bowl, add the yeast and sugar, and let science happen! Seriously, if you've never watched yeast activate, it's actually quite entertaining. Basically, you need to let it sit for a few minutes until it all gets foamy. After that, add your olive oil and salt. Mix well.
At this point, start adding your flour, slowly. Start with the Whole Wheat, using a spatula to mix, and then add your AP at the end, until it gets just slightly sticky. At this point, ditch the spatula and use your hands to knead it gently into a nice ball. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the dough, cover it all up and set it aside for a good 30min.

While your dough is rising, make the sauce!

You need:

12 oz. canned tomatoes (Fresh is fine, but takes longer to cook down)
2 oz. tomato pastea good pinch of kosher salt
a few cracks of fresh ground pepper
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped2 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. olive oil

Sauce, well, it's pretty self-explanatory. Start with your olive oil, throw your minced garlic and sliced onion into the pan, add your tomatoes and paste, your herbs and seasonings, and just let it all cook down. Now, I didn't break all my tomatoes down, so mine looked like this:


From here on out, it's just cake. As mentioned above, I used a local salame, fresh mozzarella, and mushrooms. I finished it off with a handful of chopped rosemary.

Cook this guy at 400F until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden. You will get this in return:

Ok, I've got to get to eating this now. It's a sleepy Friday, and our "Mighty Boosh" DVD is waiting.


It's been a long time...

Hello Darlings!

I would like to sincerely apologize for the absence of Rick and myself. We have been ever so busy!

There have been birthdays, work changes, gym restarts, and generally, well life got in the way. But do not fear! I am back, and ready for action. I have some super incredible recipes ready for this weekend, including homemade Paneer & Roti, my "world-famous" whole wheat pizza, and a special picnic lunch for a special day at Stern Grove.

Oh life, you do funny things to us sometimes, but that can't stop me from my one true love - Cooking. (Sorry, Rick.)