Tag Archives: recipes

Chipotle In My Brownies?

Felt the need for some kitchen adventure yesterday as we made our way over to our landlords’ for dinner, wine, and discussion. I’d had the opportunity to taste some spiced brownies at a potluck for an art final last summer and had been wondering about them ever since. Feeling even more adventurous, I began my first serious kitchen undertaking since Valentine’s Day and the swarms of Holiday baking. They turned out very well, almost as I expected but little on the spicy side (I’d err on the side of 1tsp of chipotle, not the 1.5 that I used) and paired marvelously with the old vine Zinfandel our landlord served after dinner. I most certainly recommend this recipe, though it’s a bit time consuming. The cardamom and chocolate were the most expensive parts, as we didn’t already have those spices. But the flavors play so nicely together. Don’t be daunted by the seemingly difficult “double boiler” (bowl) technique. It’s actually, very simple. These brownies are so worth it and a welcome departure from the standard plain chocolate.

The Baked Brownie, spiced up. Via Smitten Kitchen. (the photo is also via SK, as I am no food photog).

Warmer Days On The Brain

It seems like everyone is buzzing about their longings for sunny skies, warm days, and general for spring yearnings.

As a recent convert to bloody mary-dom, this Heriloom Tomato Bloody Mary just might fit the bill:

Via Locavore Lifestyle.

I have only a handful of cameras that do well in the winter; the limited number of daylight hours coupled with the generally low light conditions makes for some very “foggy” exposures. Spring cannot come soon enough.

(via.)

Adding to the list of cameras I’m “saving” to purchase; an Olympus Pen F; a half-frame single lens reflex camera. Essentially, as is the case with all half-frame cameras, two exposures are placed on a single 1″ negative. People have always sought out ways to democratize photography and make it more affordable. In the early 30’s (and much more commonly in the 60’s), the half-frame camera was the best way to do this, doubling the number of pictures on a single roll of 35mm film. More than anything, I find it to be an interesting way to create unexpected dyptics.

The Traveler III is coming together nicely. I even bought it a nice spring scarf while I was walking around town last week, meandering toward the bus station after the white beast broke down for the third time over a bad ground that’s causing the ECU to fail. Repeatedly. Usually at the worst possible times (my birthday while visiting the DMV to renew my license on the other side of town and with a laundry list of other errands to do before 6pm, while on a shotgun trip to Portland and in a hurry to get back home).

I also picked up two vintage Viewmaster reels: Venice and Mary Poppins, to add to the collection I’ve had since I was pretty little. Stereographic images always boggle my mind. The jackpot would be stumbling upon the Atomic Tests in 3d series; those have been in my wish list folder for almost a year.

Best “Ate” in ’08

One of my big goals over the last year was to truly learn how to cook- to make an honest effort to seek out interesting recipes, try new things, and challenge myself to take the time and make entire meals as often as I had time available. As a result, I came across some pretty awesome recipes and ended up learning a few things, as well as getting a better sense of where my boundaries are in the kitchen. For instance, various versions of lattice pies? Daunting at first, but in the end, no problem! Lemon souffle poppy seed pancakes? Bested me in two tries. I’ve assembled a (rather lengthy) list of some of the most awesome stuff I ended up eating over the course of the past year or so. I think it goes without saying that I recommend everything on here and it’s all completely do-able, no previous kitchen competence required.

Dessert/Baking:

Pie Crust: this is an absolutely easy pie crust recipe; not too dry, not too flaky.

Apple Pie Filling

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling

Peach Pie Filling

Bluebarb Crumble: this stuff is awesome. Perfect combination of tart and sweet. In the winter, I subbed the rhubarb for cranberry, with a few subtle modifications.

Cinnamon Raisin Puff Rolls: these are a worthwhile indulgence. Pretty bad for you in the long run, so they only get made once every few months or so. But when they do show up, they don’t generally make it past noon.

Cranberry Gingerbread: over the course of the holiday season, I made at least ten pans of this stuff. It’s easy, and I think it’s a far more better representation of that spicy/molasses flavor than it’s relative cookie.

Linzer Cookies: a distant approximation of the linzertorte, these also don’t stick around long. A fair amount of work, but definitely worth it in the end. Raspberry preserves in the center.

Peppermint Bark Cookies: Also some of my favorite cookies to make ever. A little messy because you have to grind candy canes, but the end result is definitely worth it.

Funky Pancake: this is kind of like a David Eyres pancake, with a few adaptations. A perfect easy hot breakfast in the oven. There’s probably a real name for it, but I never learned it.

Main Dishes:

Cilantro and Lime Chicken Breasts: this is a really simple recipe with a great fresh flavor. Totally healthy and almost refreshing to eat.

Spanish/Italian Rice: the result of having a lot of random peppers and other veggies laying around, as well as a few links of Italian sausage. You could probably use chorizo if you wanted to be truly Spanish about the whole endeavor. It’s a pretty hearty meal.

Gorgonzola Ravioli with Walnut Brown Butter: I used store bought ravioli from the local co-op, but could have easily made my own if I had the time and confidence (this was pretty early in the year). The recipe calls for an entire stick of butter- if that seems like a lot, well it is. It tastes just fine with the entire stick, but my conscience would have felt a little better with less.

Halibut with Apricot and Rosemary Glaze: This recipe was phenomenal. I couldn’t find any Halibut, so we used sole and it worked out just fine. But a thicker fish (the originally intended halibut) would have made it even better. The variety in flavor and pairing of the citrus with the fish, then hearty rosemary is just outstanding. One of my favorites from the year.

Spaghetti with olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, and garlic: this was my go-to on any night where I wanted a simple, hearty, yet refreshing dinner. It was awesome during the summer and even in the winter. You could probably even eat it cold out of the fridge and it would be a perfect pasta salad. It’s the simplest pasta recipe I’ve ever made, yet has the most flavor.

Whiskey Sage Cream Sauce: This sauce is heavy, and rich. I paired it with butternut squash ravioli and topped with toasted hazelnuts.

Appetizers/Sides:

Fried Mozzarella: This is a MESSY one. I only used smoked mozzarella, but the flavor really came out. It is definitely worth the havoc it wreaks on your kitchen.

Grand Marnier Plums: These were also very easy to make and have a complex flavor that seems to go over pretty well. They sound a lot more complicated than they really are.

Dates with Goat Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto: I got a lot of requests for this recipe. It’s so simple and the pairing of flavors is so weird, yet turns out so well- sweet, salty, and fresh all at the same time. The dish itself is a traditional Spanish tapa.

>>The entire index of all recipes for your browsing enjoyment is available here.