barefoot thursday and memorial goodies

>> May 28, 2009

i'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that i was scared of ina's outrageous brownies. i give props to eva of i'm boring for choosing it as this month's barefoot bloggers second recipe. she's far more ambitious than i am. this fear leads me to my confession: i was going to lie this month. we hosted a birthday party for my neighbor last weekend, and i made brownies for the kids. my mom is known around the neighborhood (and the neighborhoods in naperville and pittsburgh, too) for her brownies, and i couldn't disappoint the kids. i thought it was a perfect out. i'd just whip up my mom's recipe and pretend they were ina's. a box of pillsbury brownie mix with a few tweaks, a tub of frosting, and my new icing tips would save me!

while the results were pretty fantastic, i felt dishonest and gross (maybe because i basically licked the entire bowl of batter and ate all of the crumbs stuck to the pan after doling out the leftovers).

so after the gnawing guilt i was feeling, yesterday i mustered up some courage, cracked open the cookbook, and trucked through. obviously, i cannot consume any part of this recipe, especially after my changes. i halved the recipe, which still required 2 sticks of butter and almost a pound of chocolate (i used semi-sweet chocolate chips and a 3oz hersheys extra dark with almonds bar). i'm bringing them to a cookout tomorrow as dessert for a 3 and 5 year old, so i omitted the coffee (my mom is making ina's lemon yogurt cake again for us big kids).

we didn't have a good rectangular pan for the halved recipe, so i went for a 9-inch cake pan. bad, bad choice. these aren't supposed to be massively thick, and thus they didn't cook in the center well before i thought the edges were starting to burn. my mom was okay with this, as my cutting them out of the pan produced a lot of chunks and breaks for her to sample. i sneaked a tiny taste (i'm sorry, intestines!). fantabulously undercooked and gloriously chocolatey. i think i'll probably just stick to my mom's brownies from now on, as they caused a lot less gastrointestinal distress (both in making and in my consuming), but these were fun to try.

i spent my memorial day weekend, fittingly, at my sister's house in dc. we're finally almost finished with the re-building of my bathroom and the laundry room, and we celebrated our hard work with a great cookout, best shown through photographs because (1) outdoor photos turn out well and (2) i need to go for a run soon.

grill master v
mmm sangria
tiny little weber
grilled chicken with spicy apricot glaze
smashed baby red potatoes with homegrown chives
the family that eats together stays together

we celebrated the hanging of really ridiculous split-frame doors with a bonfire, more sangria, and mm mm s'mores. i was rather bored last week and decided to make homemade marshmallows. my roommate (whose NYC internship started two weeks ago) now thinks i am officially crazy. she's busy working. i'm busy making things that no one ever really makes. or so you'd think. there's a gazillion recipes out there for homemade marshmallows, but i went with david leibowitz. he used 3 packets of gelatin, while all the others called for only 2 with the same quantities of other ingredients. i don't know what difference it makes, but he didn't let me down. the process wasn't hard at all, just sticky. my mom came into the kitchen to find me with my head in the mixing bowl, face covered in little marshmallow strings like a cobwebbed three year old. it was yummy. and homemade marshmallows make the best s'mores. plus the recipe made like 500 billion, so i think we're stocked for at least another week =). i highly recommend making yourself some. it'll impress all of your friends, and it offers the perfect excuse to eat melty chocolate and crunchy graham crackers.

we're officially on the countdown to my last weekend of underage. we're not commenting on the fact that i got carded buying a powerball ticket yesterday at wegmans. i will be 21 on monday, and i will celebrate.

time to go run. hope you all enjoyed your memorial day weekends and are looking forward to june!



chocolatechic May 28, 2009 at 1:18 PM  

So glad you tried them...even to the intestinal dismay.

Debinhawaii May 28, 2009 at 5:27 PM  

They are really good brownies but it is nice to have a favorite to stick to. Good for you for trying them!

Suzie May 29, 2009 at 1:00 AM  

Your brownie cake looks amazing. Happy birthday for Monday, and I will definitely try the marshmallows.

Me! June 2, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

i'm not opposed to box mixes. i actually think i prefer ghirardelli box mix to these (sssh don't tell). a 9x13 pan is perfect for a half recipe if you decide you want to try them again.

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