Ultra Tasty Brownies

This is delicious. 
A terrible picture, but a delicious brownie.  

Good Golly, Miss Molly!

I'm not actually sure I know anyone named Molly. I know of Mollys. I used to work at Camp Molly Laumen (remember that, it'll come back). Molly Ringwald is pretty cool, although she is second fiddle to Ally Sheedy (sorry, Mol, but even being a fellow ginger can't save you here).This is off topic.

You know what I did, after three days of baking cookies? First, I reminded myself that it's ridiculous to make so many cookies just because I'm working out and then I thought that it didn't matter and so today I made brownies. Do you see the logic there, 'cause I do not.

This did not stop me from making brownies. Delicious brownies. More fudgey and chewy, not dry and ridiculous. It's a nearly perfect brownie. In fact, it might even be the lock-it-down brownie. Might. Only time will tell.

Time and my dress size, yikes, brownies. Delicious! I should find a CYT Recipe for them. Hm. Things to do.

Anyway, these are pretty delicious.

Ultra Delicious Brownies (this was adapted from Diamonds for Dessert

- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 TBS milk
- 2 TSP vanilla
- 1/2 TSP baking soda
- handfuls of chocolate chips (optional)
- handful of butterscotch chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Prepare a baking dish by buttering a baking pan -I used a     pan, but if you want thinner brownies feel free to use a larger one.

Mix the sugar with the butter and beat, then add the egg and beat. Mix in the vanilla. Then mix in the cocoa powder, baking soda, and flour. Combine, add milk, mix, add the chips (or nuts or whatever) if using and stir stir stir.

Pour in the pan.

Bake for about twenty minutes or until a knife comes out slightly sticky. Slice or use cookie cutters or just get some forks and eat it out of the pan. Whichever.

My roommates LOVE it. As in, this pan didn't last a full twenty-four hours. So, that's a plus. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cuddle with my cat and then work off these brownies.


Fresh bread! Is anything more delicious?

 Oh man, talk about a smell you wish your kitchen always had.

I find a lot of things, both in and out of the kitchen, to be rewarding. Doing the dishes is nice because at the end, you've accomplished something. I mopped the other night and felt amazing because it was just so CLEAN and smelled so NICE. That was because of the vinegar. Did your parents clean with vinegar? I think that's a difference between people who walk in a kitchen after a cleaning spree and go "smells awesome!" and people who don't.

Those of us who think it's nice remember the spray bottle of vinegar/water that was around for counter tops.

Anyway. I've been wanting to do something especially rewarding for a few days now - make bread! So I did just that today. I've probably mentioned that I've been working on getting over my yeast-fear and this really helped with that. I used Julia Child's white bread recipe because, well, it's Julia!

I tackled my task with a smile and later, multiple hours spent making jewelry later, I was pleased to have two delicious loaves of delicious warm bread in my kitchen. Between my roommates and I, we killed more than half the first loaf and some butter and milk. A bread dinner is a winner, in my book.

 This is why could never ever be on the Atkin's diet, even if it does forgive bacon.
Mmmm. Bacon.

Julia Child's White Bread

- 2 1/2 cups hot water
- 1 TBS active dry yeast
- 1 TBS sugar
- 7 cups flour
- pinch salt (one teaspoon if butter is unsalted)
- 7 TBS butter, softened (mine was salted, thus the pinch of salt rather than a teaspoon)


You'll want to pour a half cup of hot water in a bowl and add in the yeast and sugar, then mix until foamy (ish, mine never got super foamy) and then let sit for about five minutes. It'll look creamy but if you are really uncertain, it'll be okay. Mine turned out and I was a little nervous. I believe in you!

Now, mix the yeast mixture, the rest of the water, and 3 1/2 cups flour together. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, good for you! If you don't, well, pretend your arms are a dough hook. 'Cause for now? They are. Mix until blended, then add the rest of the flour. When it comes together, add the salt and then keep mixing until smooth and elastic.

Now, add one tablespoon of butter at a time and mix mix mix. It might come apart, but that's okay, it'll work out okay. I kneaded the hell out of this in the bowl and once all the butter was in and it was still nicely together, I kneaded it more on a floured surface until it was back to the smooth elasticity that it had been before. I lightly oiled the bowl and lovingly placed the bread in it, turned to have the whole thing oiled, and then covered with a cloth and left it on the counter for about forty-five minutes.

"Rise," I said to it sweetly, "so help me, you will rise."

Once it is doubled in size, come in and punch that sucker back down (sweetly).

I then lightly oiled my bread pan and another circle pan, in preperation.

I shaped a loaf out of one of them, rolling and folding and then pinching it together and putting the sealed bit at the bottom of the pan. Then I made a bunch of rolls out of the other and put them in the other pan.

Re-cover, re-abandon for about forty-five minutes until they have doubled. You can do as I did and whisk an egg white with some water ferociously for a moment and then brushing the tops of the loaves.

At this point, I was feeling pretty good.
But...would it continue to do as I wished?
(yes. yes it would.) 

Place in a 375 F oven for about 30-40 minutes. The tops will be so golden delicious and tapping the loaf will get you a sort of hollow-y sound. Sort of. I think. I get concerned.

Turn out of the pans and place on a cooling rack. Devour and enjoy! This is absolutely insanely delicious and I can NOT wait to do variations. Oh, yeast. I can't believe I spent so long being afraid of you!

 Oh bless my sweet sweet could-have-been-a-wife-in-the-fifties soul.
If wives in the fifites hit on the other housewives over the hydrangea bushes. 
Think they did? I like to think they did. 

The moral of the story here is clearly: don't fear the yeast! Embrace it! 

And eat bread. It's awesome. 


C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me.

I could probably eat all of these just like this. 
Thankfully, I have more sense than this. 
Or, um, maybe I just ate too much cookie dough... 

There are probably one millionty billionty chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, making up a not-as-large-as-you'd-think chunk of the over all zillionty types of cookies that exist. Say what you will for the humble cookie, my favorite probably is the chocolate chip and so that is what I have been making lately. I made the traditional Toll House recipe. I made something that very closely resembles that recipe. I made the standard chocolate chip from my 1,001 cookie recipe cookbook.

My aunt got me this cookbook for Christmas this year. This thing could seriously keep a girl busy and, well, I do like to read it. I've even got a short list of things that I was especially "oh, gotta make that" about although it's slow to grow because I can't exactly write most of the book in. (or...can I?) I like cookies. Who doesn't?

Good thing I worked out so much this week, wow. Cookies.

Anyway. The recipe I'm giving you is not, by any means, the only one out there. It's not even the best one out there. But it is pretty tasty and it's what is in the picture, above. My advice? Make lots of them, figure out your favorite recipe, and repeat with a new style of cookie. Stop whenever you eat one and think "yep, okay, this is it, success!" because what matters here is your enjoyment of said cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-  dash of salt
- 1 stick (half cup) of butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus two tablespoons
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or try another spice of your choice!) (optional)
- 6 oz chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate, chopped) (or, um, what is left in the bag of chocolate chips that you've been eating for a few days....)

Preheat the oven to 375 F and butter your cookie sheet.

Mix the butter and sugar together until combined, then add in the egg and vanilla and combine again. Mix in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and the baking soda, then stir up nicely. Add chocolate. Mix mix mix. Taste, determine what is missing (if anything) and play with to your heart's content.

Place a spoonful of the dough on the cookie sheet and lightly press down a bit on the top. Repeat, keeping a little distance between the cookies (about an inch). Bake for about seven to ten minutes or until golden brown. Place on cooling rack.

When you don't think you'll burn your mouth, shove a cookie in it and drink delicious milk.

This is also a fabulous breakfast with coffee. By "fabulous" I mean "delicious", but there are healthier choices.


The Eggs Have It. It being a potpie.

 Oh, but don't I love me some panko.

I know what time it is and that time is Posting Time! Or two in the morning, take your pick. My primary reasons for posting right now: I am awake and while Lyra would prefer that I were sleeping (or so I would gather from watching her sprawl endearing on the bed and stare me down with half-shut eyes), it's a little toasty in here and part of that is the weather and part of that is the fact that I feel like I'm running a slight fever?

I started to say "baby fever" but then realized that may send the wrong message. Which I don't want to do.

Also, I just wrote and deleted a description of some amazing thrift store finds. Maybe I should add a partner blog to this that talks about my actual life-life. I'm not boring, just ask my therapist (ba DUM bum).

Would anyone be interested in that?

H-hello? (is it me you're looking for...?) 

On to the food! Which is why you are here, I presume. That and my sparkling wit. 

One of my cookbooks is Elinor Klivans' Potpies: Yumminess in a Dish. No, I know, it isn't the best title, but so many cookbooks fall prey to the fact that they don't have the best names.

For those interested. My cat has just climbed under my (new! well. new to me! my roommate sourced this from his home in the 'burbs, bless.) bed and is likely going to climb into the box spring BECAUSE SHE IS INSANE.

Back to Elinor! She also wrote a book about cupcakes, which I also own, and is full of delicious ideas. Now, I love me a potpie and while I have made several from this particular cookbook, I've managed to perfect my own person chicken (or veg!) potpie by this point and so use this for the less traditional ideas. One thing I have always meant to cook from this dish is the Comfort-Me-with-Eggs potpie.

The story she has about it says she was served this in Ohio (represent!) by the Overbey family. I thought her recipe seemed...more basic than I would have preferred, so I took the idea and ran with it. Because you know what? When I made this (the day after Easter) I genuinely needed a comfort dish.

April Fools Day is, apparently, still an excuse for people to break out their inner Mean Girls.

SO. Eggs! Plenty of hardboiled eggs lying around, it had just been Easter! Only one thing to do!

 Oh look! Brightly colored eggs!

Kitchenry's Comfort Me With Eggs Potpie (with major kudos to Ms. Klivans and, apparently, the Overbey's.)


- eight hardboiled eggs
- two cups milk
- butter! about two tablespoons
- one half of an onion, diced the hell up.
- a handful of mushrooms, sliced
- garlic, minced to minceytown. (I used three cloves.)
- 2-3 TBS of flour
- dash of salt
- pepper (or even lemon-pepper. god I love lemon-pepper.)
- basil (as much as you want!)
- paprika (a pinch)


- panko! the original recipe suggests 1 1/4 cups, honestly I just put a nice amount in a bowl.
- 2 TSP paprika
- 3 TBS melted butter
- pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Peel your hardboiled eggs, then cut them in half and place them in the baking dish. I used my pleasing green dish, the original recipe suggests a six cup baking dish. I was fine. You can lay the eggs atop each other if you need, it's fine.

 Chopped and beautiful. 
Although at this point, I was a little like "what. are. you. DOING?"

In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it is hot and steam starts to rise, but don't boil it. Turn off the heat and ignore while you continue.

In another saucepan, melt the butter with the onion and mushrooms for around two minutes. Season with basil. Stir in the flour and cook a bit (or you can, um, forget this part until you've already added the hot milk and then add it but this way is easier. trust me.) for another couple of minutes, then slowly pour the hot milk over it while wisking away like a devil. Season with some salt and pepper and the pinch paprika and any other seasons you'd like. Let thicken, which will take about two or three minutes, and then pour the sauce over the eggs in the baking dish.

Even in non-traditional potpies, the creamy delicious sauce is the turning point. 
It's like a promise to be delicious and comforting.
And a reminder that maybe you should eat a salad or go to the gym.

Now. Mix the panko, paprika, melted butter, dash salt, and any other seasoning if using in a dish to moisten all crumbs. Spoon over the filling and spread it out evenly.

Bake around a half hour, until the top is a deep golden color and it's all bubbly and delicious. Then serve the hell out this.

I'm thinking of adding cheese to the crust next time, since when I reheated mine I added cheese to the dish and died. Seriously, so tasty.

And you know what? Comforting. Which is the whole point of a potpie. 


Pictures! And captions! And a cat!

Panko Chicken. 
Panko is pretty much the best thing ever.
I'm not even kidding you.
It's just so delicious and comforting, no matter how you do it. 

 Creamy Lemony Chicken Pasta. With veggies. 

 That's whipped cream with cacao nibs on it, like sprinkles, only better.
You know what's under that?
Delicious honey-vanilla ice cream and chocolate mint ice cream. 

Slightly melty.

You can also just call this "medicine" since that's basically what it was.
Lyra, playing Little Red Hen. 
"Mom, can I have a treat? I've been sleeping all day and I'm bushed."

Your lovely chef.
Who apologizes for not having a legit entry tonight. 
Work + Dealing With Cruel "Friends" + Other Issues = EXHAUSTED
Not too tired to cook, just too tired to post. So. Recipes (not shown above) coming soon! 

Delicious ones! 

Beth & Lyra


Easter Brunchfast: All About the Syrup, Baby.

Breakfast table of champions.

I had a simple dream for yesterday and by golly, I achieved it.

I wanted to make a really fantastic breakfast for my roommate and myself.

Now, as you can tell from the previous post, I made tsoureki and I decided to turn that homemade bread into french toast. Sausage was obtained from Jewel, Bob Evans brand, in fact (amusing only to me as an Ohioan with a checkered Bob Evans past). Whipped cream. Tangerine-vanilla syrup. Mimosas that involved some freshly squeezed tangerine juice.

Now, part of my allergy means that I can't have fake maple syrup or, indeed, many syrups. I love syrup on waffles and french bread. Pure maple syrup is expensive. As such, I sometimes have a blend of pure maple and agave around, but it's been a bit.

So I made my own. And it was amazing.

The whole of Easter was awesome, in fact, but this as a kick-off (well, dishes as the real kick-off, followed by cooking this, followed by eating this, followed by some laziness and more dishes) made the rest of the day even better. I've been pretty stressed these past few days - friend-drama!

This breakfast makes you forget about that.

For the sausage: mine was just a packet of Bob Evans breakfast sausage, sliced and made into patties and cooked in the skillet until done, according to packet instructions. I sprinkled a little Gateway to the North seasoning on a few of them.

For the whipped cream: Ideally? Heavy whipping cream, zipped into whipped cream. Actually? Low-fat Reddi Whip since, oddly, the diet version is the one with no corn in it. Simply spray and delight! (cash was an issue.)

Even cold, this was awesome.

For the French Toast:

- medium slices of tsoureki (or challah or brioche or any bread you are using), I'm pretty sure I made about ten or twelve slices, but my slices were long slices of the loaf and then those were cut in half.
-  one egg
- a few shakes of cake spice (or cinnamon, pinch of ground clove, dash of nutmeg)
- milk - 1/4 cup seems like it'd be too much, but then, I just poured some in the dish and mumbled "coffee".
- one teaspoon of vanilla

Take all but the bread and whisk it together in a bowl.


Soak slices of bread in the dish, on both sides, until saturated (and I do mean saturated) with the egg-mixture. In a medium skillet, melt a bit of butter and then start cooking these babies until golden and delicious on each side. Ta-da! Serve hot or, keep the oven on low and keep them warm in there and THEN serve hot when good and ready.

For the syrup:

- the juice of one tangerine
- half teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons of water
- half cup sugar

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt down the sugar with the water. Add the vanilla and 3/4 of the juice, stirring often, and let reduce over low heat. A lid on it is helpful, but keep an eye on this as the sugar likes to boil up from time to time (especially if the heat is too high, as mine often was it seemed). Using the back of a spoon, let this burn-friendly mix cool a bit and taste to determine if it needs more tangerine (if so, add the rest of the juice) or vanilla.

It'll be thin, sort of like pure maple syrup, until you turn the heat off and let it sit for a minute or so, when it really thickens up. Serve warm but not hot - remember! Cooking sugar can be painful. So please be careful.

Put some of all of this on a plate. Make your mimosa or coffee or glass of skim or whichever.

Cheers with your roommate (or significant other or friends or family or cat) and really love breakfast time.


If you cheat, may you cheat death.

To whatever you celebrate, be it socially or genuinely, may you enjoy it.

Kristos Anesti! Traditional (ish) Tsoureki!

 Actual loaf is bigger than it appears.
More delicious, too.

For those unaware, which means I am choosing to believe that I don't know who is reading this, I grew up in an Orthodox religion. Rather, first my family was Greek Orthodox and then became Russian Old Calender Orthodox until we all did our own things. I am not Orthodox and do not really align myself with any religion, but I do have some warm feelings towards Pascha or as it is otherwise known, Easter.

This year, Orthodox Easter fell on Western Easter, which is different as usually it is either a week or a month after. There are lots of traditions and everything, but this year I've taken part in three of them.

That's a VCR that was broken and taken apart in the background. It's part of an art project, so I left it there.
After all, my eggs were MY art project and I didn't want anyone to move them! 

I dyed some red eggs.

I used those eggs to make tsoureki, which is a Greek Easter bread - sweet, though not like coffee-cake-sweet. It's been compare to challah and brioche.

I also made koulourakias, which I did last year as well, so you can read that blog post if you like. I baked it less this time around (fifteen to seventeen minutes, to be exact) and added half a teaspoon of vanilla in addition to the zest. I am beloved of my people.

Now, as you may or may not know, yeast-baking makes me nervous. But I think this time around I may actually be over the fear and on to just edgy feelings. And that's fine! Edge means I'll do it more, to show that damn yeast who is boss. We've certainly plenty.

And I do like bread.

Now, truly traditional tsoureki would mean I would need to have mahlab and mastic, two things I not have. I made do. In fact, I did more than make do, I rocked this. And if I could, you can to! Here is how...

You'll need...

- 6 - 7 cups of flour
- 1 1/2 TBS active dry yeast
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup + 1/2 TBS sugar
- 1/4 TBS vanilla
- the zest of one tangerine
- a few shakes of salt
- juice of one tangerine plus enough water to make two cups
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- egg, beaten, with water for an egg wash
- hardboiled egg dyed red (optional and, clearly, you could use another color)

Possibly the most organized mis-en-place I've ever showed you. 
And look! No bottle of whiskey in the background!

You'll do...

First, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk and add a few tablespoons of flour to make a paste. It'll be thick, but not super thick.


You'll want to cover it and let it rise in a warm spot. The counter did nicely, but maybe your life is different from mine. I just set mine in front of the microwave and carried on.


Now, in a bowl combine five cups of flour and the salt and melted butter. Add the vanilla to the water/tangerine juice mixture and add this. Mix.

Add the eggs, zest, sugar, and risen yeast mixture. Mix it up and add in another cup or two (or, if you must, more) of flour and knead until you have a malleable dough - about fifteen to twenty minutes. I like to call this stage "pretending I am a Kitchen-Aid mixer. Because that is what I am doing.


Cover and let rest for about two hours, until it is doubled in size.

This made me feel SO accomplished.

Preheat your oven to 350 F and wander off, watch something interesting, and obsess about personal problems with your friend. Then, go in and punch the dough down.

Now, you shape the dough. You can braid it or twist it or pretty much whatever you like. Tuck the egg in there! Place on a greased cookie sheet or a baking pan or something and cover, then let rise more.

I'll be honest, because this blog is about honesty, an admit that I forgot this step. It was late. I was dealing with a really, really long day and stress and hurt feelings caused by a joke that should not have been played (if you ask me, which by reading this blog, you have basically done).

And everyone is loving this bread so HA HA HA. Still. Best to go with the original plan, I suppose.

Then brush it with an egg wash.

You can sprinkle with sugar or blanched almond slices or sesame seeds if you like.

Bake for thirty minutes or until golden-browned. The bottom of the loaves should sound hollow when tapped. Cool for five minutes, then move to a rack to cool completely.

Is this the Easter spirit? 


Come, partake of my bounty.

I totally had a tiny loaf and I served that puppy still warmed from the oven, with butter, because that is how I roll.

And that is how I spent my Friday night.

Kristos Anesti!


Homemade Potato Chips or Lazy McLazerson Can Still Impress You

Look at that! Chips! 
Ignore my thumb and the fact that I am clearly holding this up in a place not meant for food-tography.
You'll forgive me, won't you? 

Potato chips.

Not healthy, but delicious. I usually eat pita chips or sesame sticks when I want crunchy snacks. I've baked garbonzo beans in the oven. Enjoyed random delicious things from the Asian grocery store I frequent. From time to time, there are other things, but rarely are these things chips.

Inexplicable, then, how I should really really want some the other night. Luckily, my father had told me a while ago (and then, of course, blogged about it)  about how to make your own chips in - no, no, wait for it - a microwave. Of all things! The ol' microwave! The cheese-melter! The heater-upper! The friend of all college students! This is not to say that  I do not use the microwave, 'cause god knows I do. This is to say that I do not often put uncooked things in it and then later, blog about it.

Hell, I'm skeptical of microwave cake. I like to reheat things in it. On the rare occasion where frozen food exists in my life, I like to use it to turn it into non-frozen food when the oven is not available.

And when is the oven not available?

Rarely. That's when. RARELY.

Anyway. I was skeptical but also figured it was healthier than frying and less time consuming than baking and, well, I was just frying my panko-chicken up in a bit of butter. I hardly needed to wait for my (admittedly finicky) oven to heat up and then make me some chips.

So I did it. I nuked the thin potato slices, the thicker potato slices. And when all was said and done?


Who knew?

Here is how I did it.

- a potato
- any seasoning you like


You want to slice the potato in whatever thickness you desire. I suggest thinner ones, but then again maybe you fancy kettle style chips. I like the thick ones too. I get it.

Put the potato slices on a microwave safe (and I mean, really, a microwave safe) plate. Thick in the middle, thin on the edges. Sprinkle with whichever seasonings you like - I did some salt & pepper ones, a few spicier ones, and then just played a bit with some of my Spice House blends. Do whatever you like. One was barely - and I do mean barely - touched with olive oil.

The others weren't oiled at all.

Set your plate in the microwave and nuke for five minutes. You might need more, but I doubt you need less unless they are all really thin or, you know, you like it like that. Feel free to check at around four.

Ideally, the chip has gotten brown spots and crisped up. Most of them popped right off the plate, but even the ones that were a little reluctant came up without any problems.

And I took a bite...

and it crunched! And it tasted good.

Belated apologies for the awful awful plating in that photo. I meant to do it nicely and then got all hungry and then had eaten most of them before I mumbled to my cat "oh, right, the blog!" and then snapped the snap and went back to stuffing my maw.

I know you read this for the depictions of my delicate life. I am, after all, a lady.

A lady with an early appointment who must go to bed.