It’s elementary! I ran across a delicious-looking recipe a few weeks ago for Bourbon Brownie Petits Fours which I couldn’t pass up. I ended up tweaking the recipe a tad by using Kahlua instead of Bourbon and substituted some actual coffee for some of those coffee crystals. I ended up sharing several with people at work who told me “they’re the best brownies I’ve EVER had”. Sounds like it was worth all the work to me!
While the end result on these petits fours was grand, the process to create them ended up taking most of the afternoon (filming certainly added to the time). When I was finished, the entire kitchen was coated in chocolate (as was I), and the sink was piled high with dishes. And then, I discovered I was pronouncing the name of the dish wrong. As I said in the video, “I’m a writer. I took French in school. Pathetic.”
Mr. Burt Bacharach said it best: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” And that was my intention last week on Valentine’s Day when I made a pink-frosted chocolate cake for a good friend and co-worker of mine (as it happened to be his birthday the same day). It seems as though this week, I’ve seen several examples of bullying, hatred in the media, and an all around depression because of our never-ending winter here in New England. And then, there is that little bit of depression that the single people of the world (including myself) often get on Valentine’s Day. In short, last weekend, everyone was desperate for sunshine, for laughter, for smiles, and for friends.
It can be hard to look past the desire for companionship when you feel lonely in order to realize that there are people in your life who matter, who you care about and who care about you. Basically, without descending too deeply into preaching, look at what you have today, the good and the bad and appreciate it for what it is.
Today, I’m telling you to make a cake. Make it for someone you care about, make it for someone who might need it, make it for yourself if you are feeling low and need just a little break. Make that cake and enjoy the act of making it. Put on your favorite song and rock out in the kitchen. Because…being happy is what matters. And if you’re making cake, how can you not feel good?
I live in Maine where we’ve been getting an abundance of snow… Basically, a snowstorm every couple of days. In between all of this insane shoveling and toning of my shoulders and arms, I’ve been inspired to do more baking, especially literary themed baking. And, yes, I have been itching to do this particular idea for a few weeks now.
So, we still have about two weeks until the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to the wonderful little town of Camden, Maine. Every year, the Banff Centre in Canada holds a film festival where hundreds of athletes professional and amateur, budding and professional film makers all compete for the chance to be shown in the World Tour. This year, like last year, I was eager to do a Cooking Adventure that was, in a sense, “adventure” themed.
In my mind, fall begins far before the official autumn solstice date late in the month of September. I celebrate my birthday at the end of August, usually doing something that I haven’t had the chance to do all summer long, and then…fall is here, to me anyway. The time between the end of August til the end of November is my time to party, to look forward to all the crafts I’ve been cataloging to do at a later date, to bake a ridiculous number of things… This is my favorite season. Which means more Cooking Adventures for you guys. Oh yeah. Celebration.
I’ve been quite bad with keeping up on blogs this summer. I don’t want to give excuses about work, and writing deadlines and such but that’s really what it all boils down to. And this autumn isn’t going to be any less busy for me. But, now that it isn’t five million degrees outside and a cool breeze blows through the window in my kitchen door, I feel justified in baking and cooking more often now. This season’s baking begins with a stellar recipe for a peach pie that I found from Two Peas & Their Pod. I’m a bit of a pie fiend and I wanted to attempt a fruit pie that I had never tried before. This did end up being more of a cooking “frolic” as it wasn’t very involved, but it was still very fun to make.
Yes. ‘Tis I once again, returning for a rogue Cooking Adventure. I’ve honestly been up to my eyeballs trying to get everything ready for Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles and haven’t had any time to even cook new things! I’ve literally been subsisting off of the boring same ole, same ole for weeks. But last week, it was a special week, one of my absolutely favorite weeks in the year. It was SHARK WEEK, a time where the Discovery Channel dedicates the week to raising awareness about sharks and trying to portray them as the beautiful and magnificent creatures that they are, and not as nightmarish beasts. In my bid for a slightly more successful Shark Week party this year, I decided to up the ante by making some stellar Sharknado cupcakes in addition to a carved shark watermelon and cool blue cocktails. This proved to be just a little more in depth than I expected.
COOKING ADVENTURE #93: Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
This has quite possibly got to be the miracle of all Cooking Adventures I’ve ever done. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much go wrong with a recipe and yet…turn out to be edible in the end. Literally everything I touched during this managed to go terribly. And what’s more…I was dictating most of what happened to a friend whilst doing it. It was my first “Cooking Adventure Live” attempt…and it proves that any outside distraction can have disastrous consequences. Well, maybe not “disastrous”. After all, they were edible in the end, ha ha. And they lasted me practically a week! I shall now dictate to you absolutely everything that happened during the Great Enchilada Meltdown. Be Prepared.
COOKING ADVENTURES #90: Chicken Parmesan and Apple Coleslaw
So, when I decided to make coleslaw alone for a Cooking Adventure, I may have been underestimating just how much of a meal it could make by itself. I mean, this coleslaw was BITCHIN’, don’t get me wrong. But once you’ve munched on it for four days straight like some kind of bovine cabbage lover, you really do start to miss eating other food. Yes. The above picture shows the coleslaw paired with a burrito. Don’t try to understand it. Just know that I needed to eat SOMETHING besides coleslaw that night. I decided that in order for this to be a really interesting adventure, I’d pair it up with my very first attempt at making Chicken Parmesan. When I really get down to the details, the coleslaw was really more of a “frolic” than an adventure. I mean, it’s cutting stuff up (unless you’re lazy like me…) and tossing it together with other stuff in a bowl. Not all that difficult. Anything involving chicken, however…instant stories to tell, old friends. Instant stories to tell.
This recipe. Oh my freaking word. It has taken me a week longer than usual to just have the right time to sit down and knock this recipe out. Between working crazily on Book 3, working on yet another writing project, work, presentations, birthday parties, and other what not, I wasn’t able to finally complete this one until last night. And, my dear folks, as I’m sure you’re more than likely aware, it didn’t quite come out like it should have due to three cardinal reasons: A.) Laziness, B.) Missing ingredients, and the all popular C.) Time constraints. I really tried my hardest to have everything assembled and to do it correctly. But let’s face it; when you’ve just gotten home after a long day at work, the last thing most of you want to do is slave over a kitchen stove, trying to assemble something that’s going to take another two hours before its done. I didn’t eat last night until close to 10. I basically looked like this. On the upside, I have a bunch of leftovers for the rest of the week. Pluses and minuses, folks. Pluses and minuses.