chocolate-hazelnut biscotti

i knew this moment would come, but that doesn't make it any less of a let-down. the beginning of this year was a real spoil. i had over a month of no classes. the freedom of having nothing at all required to do in the evenings or weekends provided the inspiration for baking. but here is my schedule now ... working full-time five days a week, going to school for three classes, going to the gym three evenings a week, tennis lessons on sundays. and all those other errands life gives you, which in the city seems to take double the amount of energy and time to complete.

nothing insurmountable, but certainly daunting ... especially for someone like moi who evidently is incapable of incorporating any sense of time management into my life (and this, despite the fact that i have 2, yes two!, calendars and to-do lists). for instance, instead of being on here blogging away about these great biscotti, i really should be filing my taxes so i can apply for federal student aid. sigh.

i actually made these a week ago. i needed a quick and easy bake night and these seemed like a perfect recipe. i am not sure if i actually did it correctly, as the dough was sooo extremely sticky to work with; i could hardly shape out each piece into a round log. if anyone has made biscotti before, please let me know if this (the super sticky dough) is normal??!

i halved the recipe because i didn't have quite the amount of hazelnuts on hand. i didn't like them the first night, but by the next day they were great. and while maybe they weren't as great as the almond ones from here, suffice to say ... i meant to bring them into work, but we ended up enjoying them every night with some of our favorite tea for the rest of the week!! :)

chocolate-hazelnut biscotti: makes 4 dozen
from martha's baking handbook (2005, p. 131)

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
12 oz semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups (8 oz) blanched hazelnuts
4 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)

1. preheat oven to 350F. line baking sheet with parchment paper. in food processor, pulse flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, 1 cup chocolate chunks, and hazelnuts until chips and nuts are size of peas.

2. in bowl of mixer with whisk attachment, beat the whole eggs and sugar until mixture holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for a few seconds when you raise the whisk. switch to paddle attachment. on low speed, add flour mixture and remaining 1 cup chocolate; beat until just combined.

3. turn out dough on lightly floured surface and divide into three equal pieces. shape each piece into 18-inch log. transfer to lined baking sheet. with palm of hand, gently press the log to flatten slightly. brush egg white over logs and sprinkle with sanding sugar if using.

4. bake, rotating halfway through, until logs are just firm to the touch, 20-24 minutes. transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool for about 20 minutes.

5. place logs on cutting board and with serrated knife, cut 3/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal. place wire rack on baking sheet and arrange slices, cut sides down, on wire rack. bake until biscotti are firm to touch and completely dry, about 10-12 minutes. remove and let cool completely on rack.


red velvet cupcakes

when i first started bringing my baked goodies to work, i took any requests too. the first one was for red velvet cake. that was like over four weeks ago, and for one reason or another, the red velvet never got made. they were all good sports though, and happily enjoyed whatever else i brought in, but i was always reminded of my promise to bring in some of the red stuff. and by now, because of all the anticipation, the pressure was on!

red velvet cake:
makes 24 cupcakes (or 1 two-layer cake)

from martha's website

2 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 tsp salt

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups canola oil

2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring

1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp white vinegar

1. preheat oven to 350F. prepare two muffin tins with liners. in medium bowl, whisk cake flour, salt, and cocoa; set aside.

2. in bowl of mixer, combine sugar and oil and beat on medium until well combined. add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. add food coloring and vanilla and beat until well combined. add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk.

3. in small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar. add to batter, and beat for 10 seconds. evenly divide batter in muffin tins.

4. bake until cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. transfer to wire rack to cool, remove from tins and cool completely.

cream cheese frosting:
makes 2 cups

1 stick butter, room temp

8 oz cream cheese, room temp

1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. beat butter in electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. add cream cheese and beat until well combined, another 2 minutes.

2. add sugar and vanilla, beat until combined. fold in walnuts. top on cupcakes!


asparagus gruyère tart

i love tarts. all shapes and sizes, but especially savory ones. so with today's balmy 60+ degrees here in the city, i treated myself to a hint of spring for dinner. this tart is super easy to make and is as delicious as it sounds. when creating a meal, i tend to focus more on contrasting textures rather than complimentary flavors, so for the side we had my favorite crispy carrot-celery slaw. and just for a moment, i felt like it truly was spring and i was relaxing outside in the back garden.

asparagus gruyère tart: serves 4
from martha's website

1 frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces gruyère cheese, shredded
1 1/2 lbs medium asparagus
1 tb olive oil
salt + pepper
flour for work surface

1. preheat oven to 400F. on floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle (note: next time i would probably roll out on floured parchment paper and transfer to baking sheet; it was a bitch to pick up otherwise!) trim any uneven edges. place pastry on baking sheet and with sharp knife, lightly score 1 inch from the edges to mark rectangle. pierce pastry with fork at 1/2 inch intervals. bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

2. remove pastry from oven and sprinkle with gruyère. trim bottoms of asparagus and fit crosswise in shell alternating tips and ends. brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. bake until tender, 20 - 25 minutes.

crispy carrot-celery slaw

this salad always goes through slightly different incarnations each time we make it, so i can't really offer an actual recipe. but the basics: julienne a bunch of peeled carrots, and cut celery into matchsticks (a mandoline would shred the celery instead of cutting it). it should be an even ratio carrot to celery. toss with a scant amount of olive oil, just enough to barely coat. add any light vinegar. we typically use a sherry or champagne. this vinaigrette should be more vinegar than oil, a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio, depending on what type of vinegar you use. season with salt and pepper, and whatever other season combos you like. add lemon juice. toss and serve!

random weekend musings

this weekend was especially fruitful, even if it had very little cooking or baking to show for it ...

1. cut my hair short again. sigh, i guess long hair is just not for me anymore. i had been growing it out (again) and i had been doubting whether i really liked it this way. and then a couple of days ago, amidst a chat with colleagues at work, one of them mentioned that when i had my hair cut short and spiky i looked FIERCE. you know, fierce in a christian from project runway kind of way. ever since then, i was like, i am still young enough to be fierce, so chop it off and spike it up! however, as mr. mimi will sadly let you know, i have a terrible problem with salons. this is how it goes: i try out a new salon, get my hair cut, hate it and then the next day i try another salon. without fail, that's how it goes, and this weekend was no different. first stylist didn't want to cut it short. she had good skills and gave me a nice haircut but it wasn't ME and it didn't feel right. so the next day i go to a local salon and get exactly what i was looking for. even if it isn't necessarily the most technically flattering of cuts to my cheery round face, it's matches exactly how i feel and how i want to express myself ... which, in a way, becomes the most flattering look of all.

2. finally saw juno too. one really terrific line ... juno: "you're the coolest person i ever met and you don't even try" ... paulie: "well, actually, i try really hard". everyone talks about how great this movie is. but i found it annoying and certainly less than great. sure, there were funny lines. but the dialogue was so forced and fake. people do not talk like that in real life! maybe one person, but every person? i felt like i was watching that other horrible every-line-must-impress-with-brilliant-wit phenomenon aka, gilmore girls, but times ten. but not all was lost. i did come out downloading "anybody else but you" and i did learn that i shouldn't really watch movies with adoption as a theme; it hits me too hard, and in ways i never thought it would.

3. i woke up early saturday morning and started browsing online for new clothes. not because i actually need anything new, but just because i was bored and wanted something new. then the little good angel whispered in my ear that i should be saving for south africa this summer instead of buying yet another a-line skirt. sure, it's not like i even spend that much on clothing; i don't indulge at bergdorf, i am more a simple banana republic or ann taylor type girl. but i figure five months of not buying new clothes would save me probably, at the very least, five hundred bucks. and then the even brighter idea came along, to go with my must be healthy again kick, was that i won't buy a new piece of clothing until i am one damn size smaller!! but we'll see if that happens. i'm a sucker for online shopping :)

4. i started my tennis lessons on sunday. awesome, loved it. and since it was only two of us on the court, it was basically a private lesson for 1.5 hours. before we left (ray took his lessons too) i pondered whether i would get a good cardio workout from the lesson, considering that i'm only beginner. well, bad shots or not, i felt like i got a better workout from tennis than i did in my kickbox class. let's keep this on a roll!


raspberry-almond financiers

when i saw these financiers on the back page of martha, i knew i wanted to make them for v-day; they just looked so delish. it finishes out my trifecta of raspberry baking this week. my hearts didn't come out quite looking photo perfect, but practice will make perfect. i would have also liked to have baked mine a little longer to get a crisper crust on top, but there's always next time. they tasted great, not too sweet and with that great almond flavor.

i brought them to work and they got gobbled up. i'm sure some people are just being nice to me, but i never realized how happy i would feel when people really genuinely expressed joy for what i bake. i love baking because it is peaceful, patient, and reflective. it is quiet time for me and releases all my stress. i love the tactility, i love the creativity, i love the smells and surprises. but even so, i still wouldn't be as thrilled about baking unless i knew it gave a small glimmer of happiness in every tasty morsel.


be mine

raspberry-almond financiers: makes 45
from martha's mag (feb 2008, p. 216)

1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup honey
2 cups sliced blanched almonds (6 1/2 ounces), lightly toasted and finely ground
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
5 large egg whites
1 cup raspberries, puréed and strained

1. preheat oven to 350F. butter mini muffin tins (or use cooking spray).

2. heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently until golden brown, 6-7 minutes. add honey, whisk until combined. remove from heat.

3. using mixer with whisk attachment, combine almonds, sugars, flour, and salt on low speed. raise speed to medium-high and add egg whites one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. reduce speed to low, and add warm butter-honey mixture in slow, steady stream. raise speed to high and beat for 45 seconds.

4. spoon batter into muffin cups, filling halfway. spoon scant 1/2 tsp raspberry purée near one edge of each cup. draw skewer through purée toward opposite edge of cup to form heart shape.

5. bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 15-20 minutes. let cool slightly in tins on wire racks. using small offset spatula, unmold financiers, and transfer to rack.


small tarts have big hearts

little buttery boats

i so desperately wanted to join the revolution this month! i had been thinking about it all along, trying to decide what mini tart i wanted to sacrifice to the liberation. you know, the one that is due *tonight*! yesterday i finally decided on a caramel-hazelnut mini tart, recipe found on epicurious. no problem mee thinks, i've made tarts before, this is just a mini version!

well ... i was tempted not once, not twice, but like a dozen times to chuck this thing in the garbage!! i expected to roll the dough and trim to fit. but this recipe was a "pat in the pan" type of dough so instead, i was furiously trying to put this shit into tiny 2" tartlet pans with all the butter melting on my fingers. what a pain in the ass!! i was so pissed off. i was about to say frick with the revolution in all my turncoat shame. but then i took a deep breath, remembered that i am an honored member of the daring bakers, and pressed forward (no pun intended! and albeit, only making about a dozen because i was just so exhausted).

i finished the dough shells last night but then time ran out so i thought no problem (oh haha, we remember what happened last time i thought that! see above) i'll make the filling today. after waiting in the freezing snow for half an hour for the bus that never appeared, i was in no mood to be making caramel. between the trauma of the tart dough yesterday to the freezing sleet tonight i was just full of crank for this project. i could of easily whipped up a simple pastry cream ... if i had milk in the fridge. back to square one, with me *this* close to dumping those tartlet shells.

but then came mr. mimi to the rescue. pity the poor man that must make a self-indulgent pity-party-throwing baker feel better for the sake of a sane evening! :)

the revolution marches on!

so without further ado, here is my small contribution, thanks to the brilliant idea from mr. mimi, to the fight against cupcake oppression in all its magnolia bakery incarnations (which by the way, wasn't too bad of a place when we lived nearby ... but then sex and the city came and ruined it all) ... hazelnut-pear raspberry tartlets. no recipe here because it was a concoction of inspiration without much measurement. but it was basically caramelized butter, d'anjou pears, pinch of salt, dark brown sugar and then tossed with chopped hazelnuts. topped with cinnamon-vanilla whipped cream and a raspberry.

caramelizing the pears

filling the tartlets

piping the cream

and the verdict? some of the best tartlets i've ever tasted!!! no kidding. pat in the pan was a dreadful affair in these little tin things; but a crumbly (rather than flaky) crust was perfect. the pears were sweet but the nuts were earthy, the cream was just spiced enough, and the raspberry was tart. wow. i could have eaten them all!

hazelnut-pear raspberry tartlets

aerial shot

with raspberry purée

dessert is served


how do i love thee?

i am not a big fan of the big annual v-day of mid-february. first of all, i ain't a big chocolate lover. second, i'm allergic to the fragrance of roses. third, such peer pressure!! a "special" dinner with a crowded house and inflated prices just doesn't seem all that romantic to me. so this thursday i hope to be sweating it out in my kickbox class that starts this week.

but i do have a soft spot for baked goods during the v-day madness. when i heard lovely zorra over at 1x umrühren bitte was hosting a heart for your valentine i knew i couldn't pass it up. i decided to make some linzer hearts, one of my favorite cookies. when i was in undergrad, i used to love treating myself to some at the all-popular hungarian pastry shop that was right around the corner from school. i figured if i was going to procastinate writing that 20 page paper on the use of romanian troops in the second world war, at least i should have some relevant late night snacking to go with it!

one of my favorite cookware shops in the city was always broadway panhandler. however, since it moved to 8th street, i just haven't been feeling the love. my last trip there was a disappointment. so today i decided to try sur la table. if martha lists it as resource, it has to be decent. and their website is pretty tempting so i had some good hopes ... that were quickly dashed. i was specifically looking for new aluminum jelly roll pans and mini muffin pans. all they had was non-stick (same problem i ran into at the bp). i don't want to get into a huge debate about why i don't use non-stick or silicone (carcinogens) but suffice to say, i do believe there should be other options for consumers than just the usual non-stick shit. i mean c'mon already!! if you're going to be using silpats anyway, why do you need non-stick pans? at least give me those in the real stuff!!

i was also annoyed at myself. usually i go to cook's companion here in brooklyn. they truly are a testament to quality vs. quantity. they may not have a huge store, or every variety of every tool. but they always have everything i need. sure the majority of bakeware is non-stick, but they have plenty of good old fashioned aluminum. for some reason, i still tend to think that manhattan stores will be better. and then every time i betray my borough-based consumer loyalty, i am faced with the stinkin' reality that they are not necessarily so.

i have to admit, i did forget about new york cake in the flatiron district. i haven't been there in years. last time i was there, buying supplies for christmas cookie gifts, i was greeted by the unmistakable aroma of ganja. the juxtaposition of looking for sprinkling sugar and smelling cannabis was just weird! :)

golden hearts
but i digress at the expense of sounding bitchy. this post is about happy hearts. somehow in my excitement, i used the wrong sized cutters. so not only were they a pain to put together because the cutouts were so thin and delicate, they also didn't quite come out looking the perfect ratio of white powder to red jam. but looks are so superficial when you have delicious flavor to enjoy! to check out other people's hearts, click here.

linzer hearts: makes 1 dozen cookies
from martha's baking handbook (2005, p. 117)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (4.5 oz) blanched hazelnuts
2 sticks butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1. in large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. in food processor, pulse hazelnuts until finely ground; whisk into flour mixture and set aside.

2. in bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. add egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest; beat to combine. add hazelnut-flour mixture and beat until just combined, 15 seconds.

3. turn dough onto floured surface. divide in half, shape into flattened disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4. remove one disk from refrigerator and let stand until softened slightly (to prevent cracking). on large piece of parchment dusted with flour, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. transfer dough on sheet to pan and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. repeat with other disk.

5. preheat oven to 325F. line two barking sheets with parchment paper. remove one sheet of dough from freezer; working quickly, cut into heart shapes with 3-inch cutter. cut out center heart from half of the shapes with a 2-inch cutter. transfer cut outs to prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inch apart, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. you can bake the center cutouts as bite-size cookies, or re-roll the dough - i decided on sandwich cookies).

6. bake, rotating halfway through, until cookies are crisp and lightly golden all over, about 15 minutes. transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely. spread flat sides with about 1 1/2 tsp of jam. sift confectioners' sugar on open hearts. top jammed hearts with open hearts and enjoy them with the one that makes you smile!

waiting to cool

raspberry jam = love
linzer darling

three hearts

warm spinach salad with fried egg and potatoes

today was nipply cold here in the city. the early afternoon sunny skies were just a tease for the gusts and snowflakes that would somehow arrive at the exact time i walked out of the prince street station for a shopping binge. the snow part (the little that fell) was a welcome sight, as even i, miss-i-hate-winter, do like the childish joy that seems to come from nowhere when i feel snowflakes falling on my face. and i really miss those all out nor'easter blizzards that seem to be a thing of the past.

but i absolutely hate strong winds in the city. i have this paralyzing fear that debris (scaffolding, bricks, glass, signposts, whatever) will break loose and come flying straight towards my head. yes, i know, this is completely neurotic, but IT DOES HAPPEN. so don't blame me if i walk through the streets in a complete haze, steeling my jaw at every whip, snap, and crack heard against the wind. it goes along with that same only-in-new-york fear when i am forced to walk over sidewalk grates. again, it does happen!! i've learned to deal with that by holding my breath every time i have to walk over one. as if somehow the lack of oxygen will be my savior if i fall onto a con edison transformer. whatever it takes to get me across the street!

so after a cold afternoon of running errands to here, here, and here (which that last one, by the way, was a total bust; more in another post) we were in the mood for just a super easy dinner. i had been wanting to try this meal since i read about it last month. i love spinach. i love eggs. i love potatoes. so a salad with all three sounds like a yummy winner to me!!

i did use two eggs instead of one, and i don't like sunnyside, so my photo doesn't look as pretty as martha's. however it was just as tasty as i had imagined!

this also reminds me of the mark bittman blog entry that nicole over at pinch my salt references. while we tend to make vinaigrettes for certain dishes, usually i am just lazy and end up buying salad dressings, albeit better than average ones. however, after making this dish, and reading the reasons why no vinaigrette (or dressing in general) should be store bought, the mimis have resolved to do homemade dressings from now on!

warm spinach salad with fried egg and potatoes: serves 4
adapted from martha's everday food magazine (dec 2007, p. 115)

4 yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil
canola oil
salt + pepper
2 tb olive oil for vinaigrette
2 tb red-wine vinegar
1 tb dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
2 bunches baby spinach (2 lbs total), washed well and torn
2 oz parmesan cheese, shaved with peeler
8 large eggs

1. preheat oven to 375F. toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. place on sheet pan and roast until golden and tender, 30-40 minutes.

2. meanwhile, combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and shallot. season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.

3. in large bowl, combine spinach, parmesan, and vinaigrette. add potatoes. toss salad until spinach is slightly wilted.

4. heat skillet with canola oil over medium. gently crack eggs into skillet and cook over medium (or really, however soft your prefer). top each salad with the fried eggs and serve immediately.

tossed in vinaigrette

protein, veggies, carbs ... yummm!


thinkin' light

are you like me? got the winter belly expansion? i don't think it's even an issue of weight per se, but just that overall feeling of blahness and heaviness. the great thing about winter is those warm comforting stews, chilis, chunky soups, and roasts. but the two hours to digest afterwards is another matter. so the current issue of everyday food was a perfect inspiration for something lighter, brighter, and healthier.

prep time

i used to hate avocado. nachos with guacamole? i was probably the only one around who would take a pass on that mushy, tasteless stuff. i mean, who doesn't like the good guac?! but when we were on our honeymoon here, part of it was spent in the rain forest, where i was fortunate to have lunches of fresh avocado right off the trees. i fell in love with that creamy sweetness served with the fresh acidity of sliced tomatoes. and so i found the light and became an avocado convert.

a bowl of goodness

brown rice bowl with shrimp, snow peas, and avocado: serves 4
adapted from martha's everyday food magazine (jan/feb 2008, p. 27)

1 cup brown basmati rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tb rice vinegar
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tb olive oil
salt + pepper
1 lb peeled, deveined medium shrimp
1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed and halved on diagonal
1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 hass avocados, pitted and cut into chunks

1. in large saucepan, bring 2 cups salted water to boil. add rice and cover. reduce heat to low and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 45-50 minutes.

2. meanwhile in small bowl, stir together soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved; set aside.

3. when rice has finished cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. add shrimp, snow peas, and ginger; season with salt and pepper. cook until shrimp are opaque and snow peas are bright green, 2-3 minutes.

4. divide rice in four bowls. top with shrimp mixture and avocado. serve sauce on the side.


best. brownie. ever.

happiness in a little square

i hate being sick ... i've missed half a week of work. i've missed the first day of two classes. i've missed a nephew's first birthday party. the clarithromycin horse pills are giving me nausea and headache all day. you'd think it's humanly impossible to sleep 18 hours a day for two days straight, but unfortunately i proved it isn't.

but after feeling better this morning and going absolutely stir crazy this afternoon, i decided i just had to bake. something, anything. it needed to be with whatever ingredients i had around, and something easy to whip up with not much physical effort. and after being laid up in bed for the past three days, it needed to be something comforting.

the chocolate cure
welcome to the perfectest and bestest brownie. ever. how can something so simple and common be so delicious and superlative? i'm a firm believer that the best sensations on your tastebuds aren't always from the most exotic of ingredients or daring of combinations. sometimes ... it's just plain, simple, and unadorned chocolate.

you won't need another brownie recipe (or ever go back to that mr. hines box!) after you try this one. it's fudgy without being dense. comes out with the requisite crispy top and just the right bit of chewiness. even with just the old standby of ghirardhelli, it had a great deep robust chocolate flavor, without being too sweet. no extra nuts, no redundant chocolate ganache. just pure brownie heaven.

and yes, i know this is my second "vote for me" plea, but 'tis the election season, so let's get in the spirit! this is my entry for the death by chocolate contest hosted by the lovely folks over at culinate. so click on this pretty logo below to vote for me ... because sending the mimis to sunny napa may be just what the doctor ordered :)

best. brownie. ever: makes 16
from martha's baking handbook (2005, p. 119)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

1. preheat oven to 350F. butter 8-inch square pan, line with parchment paper, leaving 1-inch overhang on two sides. set aside.

2. place butter and chocolate in large heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water; stir frequently until both are melted, about 7 minutes. remove bowl from heat and let cool to room temp, 10-15 minutes.

go ahead, lick the bowl :)

3. stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each egg. whisk in vanilla. gently fold in flour and salt.

4. pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with offset spatula. bake until cake tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 40-45 minutes. transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.

5. run knife around edges of pan. using parchment, lift brownies out of pan. cut into 2-inch squares and enjoy!

brownie heaven

crispy tops


little (unwanted) haitus

waiting for spring ... and for me to feel better
sorry for the little hiatus here at chez mimi on the move. i've had the ill-luck to become sick, yet again. i honestly don't know what is wrong with me, it makes me want to cry. since december: i get sick, i feel better, i get sick again. i'm not doing anything differently, i'm not out late in the wee hours. i'm not stressed at all. i'm trying to eat more veggies and fruit. zinc drops and citrus. but i'm still getting sick. and my skin looks horrible! another tell-tale sign that i'm not at my 100 percent. something is off inside of me and i'm not sure what. maybe i just need a good old fashioned diet cleanse.

i hope to be baking away by next week, but in the meantime, here are just some random thoughts while i nurse myself back to health ...

1. debate was good. however, if i hear one more time from anderson cooper that obama voted against the war i'll poke my eyes out. it's repeated over and over on the airwaves, and in the blogs. obama was not in the senate and thus there is no vote to speak of. and while it is true, he made an anti-war speech at a rally in 2002, it's easy to have an opinion about something when that opinion doesn't matter. i'm not saying he wouldn't have voted no. i'm just saying it's easy for anyone to say he was against the war and he would have voted no when he didn't have to vote at all!! yes, of course i'm pissed that clinton voted for that resolution. but i get even more pissed when people say that obama voted no!

2. i was desperately wanting to make new york's finest black and white cookies to support the homeboys win on sunday. but who wants to eat cookies from someone who blows their nose every five minutes?? wahhh! i hope this isn't a jinx!

3. i'm trying to decide what to do this summer, for my month off. i'm debating between studying french in antibes, travel to south africa to see the big five, or travel to thailand and cambodia to eat amazing street food and see ankgor wat. your thoughts and opinions are welcome!

and most importantly ...

4. vote for me!! my little mediterranean pizza is officially in the hay hay it's donna day round-up and i would love to win! there is some mighty fine competition out there and i'm not trying to peer pressure you or anything, but hey, you do like me right? so vote for me by sending an email to eighty_breakfasts (at) yahoo (dot) com and vote for mimi on the move!!