The endless drapery project. And I didn't even
mention the kitchen windows...
Remember that burglar I told you about? Turns out he hit a house several doors down from us at 9:30 IN THE MORNING last week. This was the morning after we had a neighborhood meeting with the police and detectives assigned to the case. Suffice it to say it freaked me out, partially because the back of our house is largely windows and we had never felt the need to cover them with drapery fabric. Long story short, I hit Bed Bath and Beyond quicker than you could say "burglars not welcome here" and got those windows covered up in no time. I wielded that drill and hemmed those panels like a pro. Who knew? Maybe I have a second career as a decorator. (On second thought, "nah." I could never be as good as my friend Holli).
In addition, I hid all the valuables, took stuff to the safe deposit box and managed to get burglar bars installed on the basement windows. Paranoid, anyone? All in the space of three days. No wonder I didn't blog!
Then there was the snowstorm and the ice on the road leading to our neighborhood (we live on a cul-de-sac, high up on a hill). When the snow fell on Thursday, ice formed and no one could get their cars up the hill. It was a virtual parking lot down there! We had plans to go to Miller Union for dinner on Friday but that didn't happen! Nor did we make it out on Saturday night. We did manage to walk on Sunday, but after two very chilly hours we said "screw this" and went to Taco Mac for beer, fries and the football game. Best part of the weekend.....and I don't like football!
And today we moved my mom to a new apartment community.
Okay, I'm done bitching now. The good news is the burglar is now behind bars as of this morning so I can breathe again. (Couldn't this have happened before I spent all of that money for window coverings and burglar bars?) That's okay, I'm not complaining. I'm grateful we didn't get hit.
One-pot brownies. The cure for everything!
So it's back to baking and blogging. And brownies. I wasn't going to post this recipe because it is so ridiculously easy. I've posted a couple of brownie recipes here before (see Thomas Keller's Brownies from Ad Hoc on 10/27 or Marbled Cream Cheese Brownies on 10/5) but this is my tried-and-true recipe that I have used for years. After a long day (and a LONG week), I needed to make them tonight to take to one of "my guys" at the VA hospital tomorrow. I'm almost embarrassed to post this because it's such a no-brainer. It requires only a saucepan and you can whip them up in an instant. The hardest part is waiting for them to chill before you can cut them.
LIZ'S CHOCOLATE CHIP BROWNIES
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs (I use extra-large)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (preferably Droste)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose, unbleached flfour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz. (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with heavy duty foil. Allow foil to overhang edges and grease well with butter or cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a medium-large saucepan. Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients. Stir well with a wooden spoon to blend. Do not use an electric mixer.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes until just set (middle will still look slightly underdone). It is crucial not to overbake these. Let cool then place in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Turn out onto a large cutting board, remove foil and cut into fingers or squares as desired. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week. Remove from refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 10-12 (or one hungry person - just kidding)
Hungry yet? These are SO worth blowing off
all of those New Year's resolutions!
These are very dense, rich and "chocolate-y." They are not for the calorie conscious or faint-of-heart. If you like cakey brownies, do not make this recipe!
However, if you do not make this (seriously easy) recipe, you have missed one of life's great pleasures!