Posts tagged ‘snow’

March 7, 2011

Snow Mountain and brownies

After shoveling approximately 800 cubic feet of snow out of our driveway, our visiting friend, L, and I came in to enjoy these wonderful brownies L made this morning:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Toss and handful of chocolate chips on top of the batter in the pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

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March 7, 2011

Pizza dough recipe

We’ve been making pizza every few weeks since it requires relatively few veggies and is consistently delicious.  Over the  weeks I have tested both  Mark Bittman’s pizza recipe and my own personal one.  Ultimately we all agreed on my recipe: it is more diverse and always wonderful.  It also doesn’t require a food processor.

My pizza recipe was given to me in 2005 when I lived with friends of my parents in London.  They were both great cooks and passed on tidbits of their knowledge to me.  So, scrawled into a handbound notebook six years ago, I have this fail-safe recipe:

  • Make a sponge of the following:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 rye or whole wheat flour

  • 2. Let is rise for 20-30 minutes
  • Stir in the rest:

1/2 cup water (also lukewarm)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
(Note: if you do 100% whole wheat flour, add 1/4 teaspoon extra yeast in the first stage)

  • Carefully oil your dough all over and place it in a bowl.  Let it rise for 2 hours in a warm place with a cloth over the top.
  • Punch down lightly and let it rise another 40 minutes
  • Finally, knead gently for a few minutes, roll out into desired shape and place on a oiled and floured baking pan.  Bake at a very high temperature until slightly golden-brown.

Some topping ideas for mid-late winter:

Mushrooms

onions

raw garlic

arugula

This weekend a friend from college was here visiting (and here snowed in for the night…just because we had a few days relief in the mid-40s doesn’t mean winter is over) and we made a mushroom onion pizza with small garlic chunks. When she arrived for dinner last night-the pizza dough rising on the counter-it had only just started to rain; however, by the time we’d eaten dinner and sat down to watch The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (2009) it was snowing heavily and we decided our friend should spend the night.  Of the Imaginarium: a wonderful movie with an unexpected ending.  It could have done with a few more exposition scenes to help smooth the narrative shifts, but overall very enjoyable.  Beautifully shot and designed.

This morning it is still snowing heavily and the word from the fine people who have actually left the apartment this morning is that the snow is at least two feet deep.

January 25, 2011

Making Brownies on a Cold Winter’s Night

It is 1ºF out and this week’s first round of snow has just started falling. In the street lamp outside our living room window we can see the snow dusting the street; in the morning it will be ice. The weather isn’t predicted to break for a while. It’s the perfect night for brownies.

Tonight we’re making the brownies I grew up on.  My dad and I used to whip these up in the evenings, a double batch so he could take some to work and the family could eat the rest.  It’s a great recipe because, as my dad says, “you can mix these up and have them in the oven in under ten minutes.”

Maida Heatter’s All American Brownies:

Over the years Maida Heatter’s careful, often obsessive instruction have been lost, but, the gist of it is still here, and it still works beautifully.  I do remember that she recommends pressing aluminum foil over the outside of your pan, then laying it inside the pan to perfectly line it.  You can also just grease the pan without foil.

1/4 lb butter
2 oz unsweetened baker’s chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt

1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat or a double boiler.  Add vanilla and eggs and sugar.  We don’t have an electric mixer, but if you had one, you’d use it now.

2. Stir in the flour and salt.


3. Preheat the over to 350.
4. Grease your 8×8 inch pan and pour in the batter.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes.  If you’re us, your oven is hyperactive so the trick is to check early and many times.  When you check, stick a fork, knife, or toothpick into the middle and if it comes out just a little gooey, then the brownies are done.  If it comes out dry, you’ve gone too far.