Hot times in the kitchen:

Tonight I did some real baking at home for the first time in a while. Since I'm building pies, pastries, cookies, bread puddings, cupcakes and birthday cakes on a daily basis at work, the last thing I want to deal with when I come home is an oven.
However, when it comes to offering food as gifts to others, I consider boxed mixes a non-option. I feel like instant-food is cheating. This is because I have lived in Japan, and as a woman your entire worth is measured by how much you weigh and how well you can cook. I'm pretty much over the whole weight thing, but cooking from scratch has definite value whether you are a woman or not. And since I know the in's and out's of baking due to my job, I really can't feel ok about sending box-made brownies for a 1 year anniversary gift. And I can't just send them wrapped in tin foil, because I know I can do better. Thus the fancy decorated boxes that took up my entire Sunday, and the baking fandango today. In the end, I can put my name on every last inch of it. I like that :)
Here are some key points I've learned about baking:
1: Sift!: If you don't sift flour, granulated sugar, and especially cocoa, you will have chunks. Guaranteed.
2: Scrape down the bowl with a spatula while you are mixing, multiple times.
3: Use pure vanilla extract. It's different, I swear.
4: Treat it like a science experiment. Be exact. But remember to taste the batter. And listen to your favorite music while you do all this. Above all, put love in it.

The recipe I used for these brownies is here. I used 90% cocoa chocolate since they didn't have unsweetened solid at Target and I was too lazy to go elsewhere. I think it turned out rather spectacular either way.

Apron found last summer in North Hampton. I recall my sister scolding me for buying something so unnecessary, but I honestly love this apron. I'm still glad I got it. I think it was about $30.
Headband: Forever 21
Shirt: Charolette Russe, about two years ago.


  1. Those look SO yummy!

    I'm more than a bit jealous.

    -N.V. Essman.

  2. Yummmmyyyyy. good job. you must must MUST have secured your place as top hot girlfriend. if this doesn't do it, then our nation's military needs to seriously rethink their top girlfiend priorities, and while they are busy doing that, I suggest we look into the Russian or maybe somewhere-very-far-away-and-exotic's military.

    ~Jailbait Bellydance-Sensation Rebel

  3. hahaha..... girlfriend. i meant girlfriend. but now that i think of it girlfiend is probably equally as great.