White chocolate brownies have it tough. They share a name with a baked good that needs no improving on; their chocolate is rejected by self-titled “real” chocolate eaters for being a pale imitation of the rich, nutty and bittersweet awesomeness of darker chocolates; this same chocolate is so sweet that you must dial back the sugar in your brownies to adjust for it, removing moisture, risking leaving them cake-like and if it couldn’t get much worse, they’re barely white. More like, pale-yellowish-beige. Yum, right?
I had a terrific and by no means life-altering discovery this weekend — er, unless you’re me, and the concept of ‘having a life’ is an abstract one, at best — which was that my favorite dead-simple green bean and cherry tomato salad was even awesomer when made with (I hope you’re sitting down this, people) a mixture of green and yellow beans. Really!
I don’t know what’s happening to me — maybe it’s third trimester dwindling energy levels and an accompanying desire to get the most bang from my feeble bursts of productivity — but all of a sudden, I find myself saying that I don’t want to cook this thing or that because it’s not practical. Practical! Who am I? Certainly not the girl who baked a wedding cake last summer in her tiny, overheated kitchen. Certainly not a person who has [shh, can’t tell you]-making and a 12-layer cake on her summer cooking agenda.
When it is as cruelly cold out as it has been this week, beef bourguignon is one of my favorite things. If there is anything better than a symphony of onions, carrots, red wine, broth and a scoop of tomato paste simmered for hours, I haven’t met it. I don’t want to meet it. I already know my favorite.
We had a decadent weekend in the North Carolina mountains, and I never wanted to come home. The air up there is so delicious and clean, I never realized how cautiously I inhale in New York City, not that you can blame me if you’ve ever gotten a curbside whiff on a humid summer day after a long holiday weekend with no trash pickup.
Five Bits of Housekeeping
- After a series of unfortunate kitchen mishaps over the last week, I decided to give up cooking for at least a couple days and focus my efforts instead on mixology at my friend Jocelyn’s Oscar Party on Sunday night. I guest-blogged Dove Cocktails over on her site today, though I prefer to call them Pomegranate Margaritas. [Dove Cocktails at Pixxiestails.com]