Funky

Hey Hey Hey,

How was your day blog world? My was funky. I was tired, had a headache and just couldn’t get motivated at work. Then my lack of motivation made me feel stressed. Deadly cycle.This might be because my workspace felt like the bayou today or because basically everyone in my workplace was slap happy. Who knows.

Tonight I did manage to make it on a run. However, I forgot to turn on my timer but I remember the songs I listened to and I didn’t end any early. So, my run was roughly 24:00 mins give or take about a min, if my math is ok. While on my run I ‘ran into’ Hiroshi. It was probably the most awkward 30 seconds of my life but whatever, awkward happens. Has this happened to anyone? Do you say hi or just run on when you see a Professor while on the road? I felt better after my run but still kinda stressed.

So I did the only logical thing… Mac & Cheese with mix ins!

Arugula, prosciutto, broccoli, and pepper. The pasta was Trader Joe’s from a box (what can I say, unmotivated) and should be noted that this is only a half portion.

Still didn’t fully kick the funk so I made brown sugar bars loosely based on Paula Deen’s recipe.

I browned 1/4 cup of butter

Combine with 1 cup brown sugar

An egg

Separately, mix 3/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of Saigon Cinn, some grated nutmeg…

Combine flour with brown sugar

and the finishing touch was 1 teaspoon of vanilla…

Put into a greased pan and bake at 350 for 20 mins…

and the final product will debut tomorrow I promise! I have to let it cool before cutting it up, thus everyone can be on virtual tetherhooks waiting for me to reveal the final product. I will say that the dough was delicious. Saigon Cinn is like my CAT NIP!

The moral of the story? I did feel better after baking brown sugar bars barefoot in my kitchen listening to the Temptations Pandora station. Baking cures all.

Outrageous Brownies

There are some foods that are just too good. Barefoot Contessa’s outrageous brownies are one of those food items. I am not surprised that she sent these to her husband Jeffrey when he was in college and he ended up marrying her. That’s the kind of power these brownies have. Also, this is Ina’s recipe but my mother is famous for making these brownies. I hope I can follow in her foot steps… and here is why everyone loves these brownies…

Two sticks of butter, one bag of good chocolate chips and three cubes of baking chocolate! Melt them together, take off the heat and let them cool down.

While the chocolate is melting combine egg, sugar, vanilla, and instant coffee grinds. Set aside until the chocolate has melted and cooled down.

Go ahead and combine the egg mix before setting aside until the butter/chocolate mix melts and cools down.

Also while the butter and chocolate mix is melting combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside for later.

After a while the butter has melted, cooled, and looks so delicious! Nothing is more yummy than butter and melted chocolate!

Then you combine the cooled chocolate mixture with the egg and sugar combination and combine well. Let cool after combined. Otherwise the egg might do some funky stuff…

Then slowly fold in the flour in three parts…

Once the flour has been completely well combined you can add another handful or so of chocolate chips and walnuts (although you can leave out of your allergic).

Take the mixture and put it into a pan and cook at 350 degrees for 15 mins. Rap the side of the pan to release the air from the brownies and cook for another 20 mins. When the brownies are done baking take them out and let them cool completely. Then refrigerate them overnight (make sure to cover in press and seal!)

Like always, so delicious. I truly believe that these brownies have insane power over people. I blame the coffee!

So good! Make them for yourself: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/outrageous-brownies-recipe3/index.html

Note that I made a half portion because the full is too big to 1) fit in my fridge and 2) can feed a small army.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Maybe the Legislature was concerned about the unrestricted flow of baked goods into the market?” –Quote from today’s Constitutional Law class. We were discussing Lochner v. New York.

Since the theme of today’s Con Law class was protecting bakers from having their right to contract taken away from them I will finally write this post about cookies that I have been putting off…

To be perfectly honest, I use the proportions that are available on the back of any bag of chocolate chips. I know that is probably lame sounding but I have a few upgrades that make the cookies extra special and delicious. All proportions were taken from the back of a chocolate chip bag, unless otherwise noted.

The first step is to combine the dry ingredients and set them aside. This includes flour, baking powder, and salt. Then I take the suggested measurement of butter and brown it. This gives the butter an even richer flavor when baked into the cookie.

While the butter continues to melt I combine the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a bowl which I will later add the browned butter to.

Once the butter is browned (you can tell because it will be melted, slightly brown, and it is important that it does burn) I combine and mix with the sugar.

Once the butter and sugars are incorporated evenly I add the egg and vanilla to the mix and combine well. I have but did not use electric beaters for this mix, but it is appropriate to use them at this stage. Make sure, if doing this by hand, that they are combined well.

Once the egg is mixed well, I combine the flour mix into the recipe is three parts. If mixing by hand, this is the part where you really have to make sure that you mix it well!

Then I add the second special ingredient: a teaspoon of Saigon Cinnamon from the Spice House! This gives the cookies the little something extra that makes them totally addictive (thanks Carolyn for this tip! It’s the best!)

This creates a great base cookie. I can add what ever ingredients I want to from this point. This time I decided to add oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Again… it’s important to combine well!

Normally I like to chill the dough before I bake them. Then I make as many cookies as I want and chill the rest of the dough until I want it. In order to bake them I follow the directions on the bag again! I believe its 10 mins at 400 degrees.

They came out looking so good! Yum!

It rains, I cook up a storm

So today was an oddly rainy day in LA. I made a good faith attempt to make it to the library. I made it about 10 mins to the coffee bean and tea leaf. At that point I realized that my water proof backpack was leaking. So I got a non fat, decaf vanilla latte which I proceeded to spill all over myself on the walk home. It was a full retreat. However, with my JCrew trench and JCrew hot pink rain boots I was the most chic preppy girl in all of Westwood.

Once I got home I did some work but mostly cooked. I made muffins, lunch for tomorrow and home made pizza for dinner.

Muffins:

1 cup flour
2 tbl. sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 tbl. melted butter
1 pear, peeled, cored, chopped
1/4 cup of crystallized ginger, pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take all the dry ingredients except the ginger, pecans, and pear and combine in a large bowl, set aside.

Then take the egg, milk, and melted butter and combine together. Take the wet ingredients and combine with the dry.

Once the dry and wet are adequately combined into a dough add the ginger, pecans and pear. Make sure that you have done a chop on all three. Rough chop is good for the ginger and the pecans. After they are combined place into a muffin tin.

Before...

Put into the oven for 30 mins. Once finished let cool and refrigerate! Recipe courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

Pizza:

Then for dinner I made a pizza. I bought prosciutto this week at Trader Joes and really was just looking for the best vehicle with which to eat it, so I made pizza. I took a plain dough from Trader Joes and used a tomato sauce, salt, pepper, prosciutto, spinach, pine nuts, garlic, and goat cheese.

I cooked it at 450 degrees for 10 mins. It puffed up and smelled so good!

So good!