Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Next week I will struggle to come up with five things making me happy in the Caribbean. It is going to be tough.
As for this week, I had quite a few bright spots. Firstly, I bought a box of Tagalongs from some Girl Scouts peddling them outside our farmers market last Sunday. Kale and tagalongs don't exactly go hand-in-hand...mostly because both of your hands are busy stuffing tagalongs into your mouth and you are completely uninterested in kale.
toast tongs? I bought mine at Pearl River in Soho, thinking they were tongs to take tea bags (without strings) out of tea. I now realize they are toast tongs, and I am all the more grateful for them. No more burning your fingers on the hot coils (or bread for that matter)! These are insanely cheap, take up almost no room, and work a heck of a lot better than a knife.
Hunger Games for reading in the shade and Black Heels to Tractor Wheels for reading in the sun. Trash reading ahoy.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-2 cups tomato salsa (your own or store bought)
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobe, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
Sliced iceberg lettuce
Add chicken, sliced garlic, chopped chipotles, salsa, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chili powder in a slow cooker. Mix until chicken is covered with other ingredients. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Do not remove lid until cooking is complete (or almost complete). Pour chicken and sauce into a large bowl and shred with two forks (it should be falling apart). Serve with heated taco shells or tortilla, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and a nice squirt of lime juice.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I'm running a half marathon this June with Natalie - so long as work doesn't get in the way like it is threatening to. I love running almost as much as cooking, but when describing runner's high I can't say I feel the same as this commenter on the NY Times today:
(What a weirdo.)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
There is a thing around where we live where instead of vendors selling flowers in anticipation of Valentine's Day, they set up these white tents and sells creepy bears of all sizes wrapped in cellophane. John and I saw them all weekend leading up to Valentine's Day and kept laughing about how bizarre they were, especially because any recipient of said creepy bears would know they came from a parking lot. Because John and I have exactly the same sense of humor, he naturally stopped at one of the white tents and picked up a stuffed bear and stuffed rose (who knew they even made those?) for me. When I opened it I burst out laughing and immediately said, "Did you get this before or after I made fun of these?" Luckily his answer confirmed what I should have already known.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The moral of the story is that you should make these brownies, fall in love, and not share them with anyone.
XOXO, Harper Girl
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
Adapted from Joy the Baker
1 stick butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon instant coffee/espresso (optional)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Coarse sea salt for topping
For peanut butter swirl:
4 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
One large handful of pretzel sticks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish, line with parchment, and grease parchment.
Bring one inch of water to a boil in a large sauce pan. In a heatproof bowl placed over the boiling water, melt and combine butter, chocolate, and espresso powder. Stir continuously and when butter and chocolate are melted, remove from boiling water to allow to cool slightly. Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture until the sugar is combined. Stir in the vanilla extract. When the chocolate is no longer too hot, whisk in the eggs one at a time.
In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Using heaping spoonfuls drop the batter into the prepared pan.
To prepare the peanut butter swirl whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla.
Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate batter and run a knife through the batter to create a swirl. Top the batter with a few sprinkles of coarse see salt. Lightly crush some pretzel sticks and scatter over top of the batter. Bake at 325 degrees until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs, 35-40 minutes.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Of course, how could I not include in my list of favorites my beloved chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. I've been picking mine up at Whole Foods and have been opting for the more adventuresome looking cans, those made in Mexico. I can't say they taste better than the ones made in the U.S. (since I haven't tried those), but I do know they cost more.
garlic peeler as a stocking stuffer a couple of years ago. I don't know why I haven't posted on it yet, but this is essential for anyone who loves garlic. I don't use it for peeling one clove of garlic, but if I'm peeling upwards of three cloves, I will break it out. You shove the garlic in the center, rolls with your palm and magically the skins are removed.
Anika recommended this book to me, and I've since passed on the recommendation to a few people, including my boss. David Busch writes books specific to lots of DSLRs. They are infinitely more user-friendly than the horrid manuals that come with these cameras and really help you figure out how to use the silly things.
Have a great weekend, everyone! We'll be walking around at parks and such all weekend and celebrating Valentine's Day at Dio Deka.