Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bitchin' About My Kitchen

For years, I have dispensed the sage advice of "be careful of what you want because you just might get it" to more people than I can count.  Uh-oh.  It appears these words are now coming back to haunt me.

When we bought this house five years ago, I was so eager to get out of that 85-year-old-house-where-we-lived-for-20-years-which-needed-major-renovations-and-major-money, I didn't really pay attention to this kitchen.  It looked just fine and I never stopped to look at the lack of counter space, the cheap cabinets, the bottleneck between the kitchen and the eating area and the lack of natural light.  At least, not until the move was complete, the unpacking was done ... and the reality of this crappy kitchen set in.

Trust me,  I had more than a few of those "what in the hell have I done?" meltdown moments.  Just ask Henry.

So now we have gone and done it.  Hired an architect and a contractor, that is.  We are about to rip out the entire kitchen, open it up to the adjacent rooms and build a brand-spanking new one.  And while we are at it, we are also adding a screened porch to the back of the house, since that's the thing Henry misses most about that old house on Fairview Road.  Oy veh, this is going to be a nightmare!

Demolition starts in two days.  I've done my part by cleaning out all of the cabinets, packing everything in boxes and turning the living room into a great big storage area.  My entrance hall is going to become a temporary kitchen (this will not be pretty) and it's going to be interesting to live through this.  For at least three months.  Double oy veh.

Packing up the living room

And turning it into storage space

For now, in addition to packing, I've been engaging in a baking marathon, figuring that not much of it will be happening in the temporary kitchen.  Ha, maybe I'll become proficient in producing baked goods from a microwave!  (Don't hold your breath on that one).

This gets a makeover into a temporary kitchen.  Seriously?

But here's a recipe worth passing on.  I call it Cookie Dough Pie, but it isn't really a pie at all.  It's more like a giant cookie baked in a pie dish so it's a snap to make and it doesn't require a crust.  (I'm betting I can even make it in my faux-kitchen).  It's also scrumptious and you can adapt the recipe to any combination of ingredients you like.  Here's my take on it with macadamias and white chocolate chunks.


1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (I used extra-large)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 oz. white chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, toasted, cooled and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate.

In an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.  Scrape down bowl several times.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed to combine.  Beat in vanilla extract.

Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl, whisking well to blend.  Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture, beating only to just combine. Remove bowl from mixer stand.  Use a spatula to fold in white chocolate and macadamias.

Turn batter into the prepared pan.  Cover the edges with foil by placing the pan onto a large piece of foil and bringing sides up to cover edges.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until just golden and set in center.  Place on a baking rack to cool completely.

Serves 8 - 10

*  This is a basic recipe, so tweak it as you desire.  Chocolate chips and walnuts?  Butterscotch chips and pecans?  Add cocoa to the batter, omit the nuts and keep the white chocolate chunks?  Consider adding dried fruit, such as cherries or cranberries instead of the chips?  Flavor the dough with lemon instead of vanilla and add dried blueberries?  I could also see adding coconut to the above macadamia and white chocolate version.  Change it up any way you like.

*  Needless to say, everything is better with a scoop of ice cream.  Or a dollop of freshly whipped cream.  This dessert is no exception.

So now you know.  If you invite me to dinner in the next few months (please, oh please) and ask me to bring dessert, this is what you are likely to get.  Just letting you know in advance!


  1. You are always invited to dinner at my place, but you have to come to St. Petersburg.

    You will be so happy with the new kitchen I am sure.

    hugs to you and Henry

  2. Consider yourself invited to dinner -- sounds delish! :) Best of luck with your renovations. It will be lovely once it's done (this can be your mantra in the meantime!).
    Hugs from us!

  3. Sorry you can't cook now, but maybe you can blog about some of the restaurants you've been eating at during the renovation.