Monday, August 31, 2009

Brownies for Ordinary Time

Inexplicably, my original post here disappeared. Well. Here it is again, and a pox on the forces that conspired against it!

The absolute best brownies on earth are made using a recipe by Nick Malgieri called Supernatural Brownies. The recipe appeared in the New York Times in 2007. These brownies are really, really good. And rich. As good as they are, sometimes a simple brownie is what you what. For those ordinary times, try the following:

Brownies for Ordinary Time

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (the best you can afford)
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. espresso powder
2 Tbs. low fat sour cream
1 large egg
1 egg white
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 12-inch square pan with a length of aluminum foil, one length running horizontally, one vertically. Push the foil into the corners of the pan and allow a "handle" of foil to extend over the sides of the pan.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a medium bowl in the microwave. Let cool. Into this chocolate and butter add the brown sugar, white sugar, and espresso powder. Stir until well combined. Add the egg, egg white, sour cream and vanilla. Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture.

Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 22 minutes and check. In my oven this recipe needs to bake 30 minutes.

Cool brownies in the pan.


This is for a 13 x 9 pan of brownies; numbers in parenthesis are for half of the recipe.
1/4 cup butter (2 Tbs)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup cocoa (2 Tbs)
2-3 Tbs. milk (1-2)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (1/4 tsp.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sun Dried Tomato Dip

It's August and fresh veggies abound. Serve raw vegetables sliced or whole with this Sun Dried Tomato Dip for an easy, delicious appetizer.

Sun Dried Tomato Dip
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

For the best taste, make this dip the day before you intend to serve it so that there is sufficient time for the flavors to combine.

Don't be shy when using the Tobasco sauce. The recipe calls for dashes, not measly little drops. Start with 8 dashes and taste; I typically use around 12 dashes. If you do not use sufficient Tobasco, the dip will disappoint.

Substitutions: Stick with regular, original cream cheese for this recipe. I do use light sour cream, but I don't like the taste of either fat free sour cream or light mayonnaise and avoid using either one.


1/4 cup (about 8 pieces) sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped.

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

10-12 dashes of Tabasco sauce

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

2 scallions, thinly sliced.

In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Add the scallions and pulse just a few times to lightly combine.

Refrigerate until serving.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julia Child Quotes

From Chow: Ten favorite quotes attributed to Julia Child, including No. 3: If you are afraid of butter, just use cream. (more)