Smells Like Brownies is turning 2! It’s so hard to believe that it’s been two years since I finally got up my nerve to type my first blog post. So, to celebrate, let’s make some amazing espresso ice cream!
This ice cream tastes just like a latte. It has an incredibly rich coffee flavor, creamy and just barely sweet.
Anyone who knows me knows that is a major must…I am a very heavy coffee drinker, sometimes to the tune of a cup an hour from dawn til dusk (yikes, that’s way too much caffeine, right?). I am not at all a coffee snob, but I always drink it black.
Coffee is one of the only things in my life that must never be sweetened. In my opinion, sugar (and, come to think of it, flavored syrup of any kind) completely ruins a great cup of coffee. It’s not that I like my coffee super strong or anything, though I admit a certain sense of pride whenever someone asks if I want room and I say no. It’s just that the bold, slightly bitter flavor of coffee is perfect as it is. So, to me, this ice cream is absolutely perfect!
(And don’t worry if you like your coffee with half a cup of sugar poured in…this ice cream appeals to everyone I’ve served it to!)
Sometimes the kitchen is a magical place. It can take an ingredient or combination of ingredients that I have never liked and transform them into something delicious that I want to eat again and again!
That pretty much exactly describes how I feel about dill, which I have never liked…not in pickles (blech) or eggs or anything else. And yet, one day I spotted a simple recipe that highlighted dill in a breadcrumb topping, and for some reason I knew I would love it.
And I did!
My mom came to visit a few weeks ago. She brought a large container of kale chips with her.
I literally could not stop eating them. I ate like 3 cups of kale chips in half an hour. I was so disappointed when they were gone!
But I justified this to myself (quite convincingly, I might add) by reminding myself that even though I was snacking like I never expected to eat again, I was eating KALE! My crunchy, salty, melt-in-your-mouth snack couldn’t have been healthier. Hooray!
I have never been one to celebrate or otherwise observe St. Patrick’s Day. I was always the kid who forgot and wore blue and got pinched all day long, while exclaiming that no one had the right to pinch me, regardless of what color I was or was not wearing.
But! I married an Irishman. And he appreciates the opportunity to celebrate his heritage…though I admit he is more interested in the landscape and history of Ireland than anything else. He likes to try to convince me that we are going to move to Ireland. He hasn’t gotten much further than me freaking out about the traditional cuisine of the country: what is a vegetarian potato-hater supposed to do in a country where meat and potatoes reign supreme?
But let me tell you, one thing I do enjoy celebrating on St. Patrick’s Day is the drink many Americans know as an Irish Car Bomb. (Though, of course, the Irish prefer to call it a Baby Guinness!) Have you ever tried it? Drop a shot full of Baileys Irish Cream into a mug full of Guinness and drink up before the cream curdles!
Okay, okay, I admit that I’ve never done this. Drinking fizzy things quickly is not my strong suit. Also I do not enjoy drinking beer.
But what do I love? Turning this classic bar drink into a cupcake. Chocolate cake full of dark, rich Guinness, topped by a mountain of Irish cream–infused frosting. Yum!
Happy Pie Day!
If you’re scratching your head right now and wondering what Pie Day is, just drag yourself back to your high school algebra classes and think, “3.14.”
I love any day whose chief celebration involves making dessert. This year for Pie Day, I bring you a simple treat that only takes about 20 minutes of hands-on time. That means if you forgot it was Pie Day, but you want to mark the occasion in style, you still have plenty of time to make it happen!
If you have ever been to Red Lobster, you know that one of the highlights of the meal is the endless supply of delectable, buttery, cheesy biscuits. I could easily eat about a dozen of them by myself…
I have had these biscuits on my to-do list for about four years, ever since I saw that they were included in the famed collection of Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. But you know how it goes. Stacks (or files, in my case) of delicious recipes multiply weekly, and sometimes perfectly wonderful foods continue to get shuffled to the back burner, so to speak.
When I stumbled across another recipe for cheddar bay biscuits this month, posted on Morsels of Life, my Secret Recipe Club challenge blog for March, I knew it was finally time to indulge in some flaky, cheesy, garlicky biscuits fresh from my own oven!
This salad hit me out of the blue. I was just scrolling through one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks, when I spotted this yummy bowlful and suddenly realized I had all the ingredients in my kitchen, and that I had a potluck to go to that very night.
What a stroke of good luck!
Come on. Make some Moroccan-spiced, greens-free salad with me.
This morning when I woke up, my neighborhood was carpeted in white.
It really seemed like an appropriate time to make some hearty, spicy baked oatmeal. A nice, toasty breakfast for a beautiful frozen day!
When I was a kid, my mom made the best brownies at all the church potlucks. I mean seriously, they were simple, fudgy, and sometimes topped by a colorful sprinkle of mini m&ms. Nothing compared!
And yet, time after time, we would come home from said potlucks with half the batch leftover. It was a complete mystery…how could our fellow worshipers not see that they were passing by the best plate of brownies on the table? They were making beelines for the more frilly desserts, the brownies with all the frosting or the cheesecake swirls. And yet for all their curb appeal, most of those fancy-looking desserts tasted exactly like crunchy cardboard.
Oh well, we figured. More for us! And we enjoyed the spoils of everyone else’s dessert-selecting mistakes.
Memories of those beautiful, tasteless brownies at church potlucks haunted me, in a way. I developed a sort of bipolar snobbishness about my baking (“My food isn’t pretty, but at least it tastes good!”) on top of a massive case of low self-confidence (“Well I think it tastes good, but what if no one else likes what I bring, and then they think I’m a terrible baker, and I have to bring most of it home?”).
I also eschewed such extravagances as cheesecake on my brownies.
Who really needs cheesecake on a brownie, anyway? Isn’t it good enough when they are sweet and chocolatey and soft enough to melt in your mouth?
I obviously hadn’t met these particular cheesecake brownies yet. The brownie part is rich and dark, and the tangy cheesecake is thickly swirled through the chocolate. Each bite dances with flavor. They are perfection!