Dark & damp molasses cake

dark and damp molasses cake

It’s inevitable that we’ll go through things we don’t want to go through. We’ll eventually have to face these dark happenings, happenings that will fill your eyes to the brim with tears and fall down to your cheeks like mini waterfalls. During these moments, we might question how such a thing can be occurring or if we deserve it. Perhaps they’re things that you see in movies or books or in surrounding people’s lives that you never think will actually happen to you. Like a loved one dying unexpectedly. Because although we know we’ll meet death we’re always surprised when it comes. Your good friend might be involved in a car accident on a whim because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You might lose all your money or you wife, husband, or children unexpectedly. Your parents, while having done their absolute best to raise you, might have given you some hurtful scars that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. You could have been totally in love and expected to be with someone forever, and then your eyes see them with someone else, figuratively crumpling you up like a flimsy brown paper bag and throwing you in the trash.

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Discussion Leave a comment Category Cakes, Desserts

The best brownies in the universe

I’m fully conscious of the boldness contained in this post’s title. It’s a robust claim. But if you know me, you know I’m someone who doesn’t flail such claims about without reason or utter certainty. When I taste something, a sandstorm blows around in my mind. Things are “meh”, “okay”, “good but not that good”, “good but not great”, “pretty great”, “excellent (never)”, and “the best (even less)”. I’m not sure when this bestness obsession started, but I remember my college roommate always making fun of me for asking “but which ones the best? I want that one!” with anything ranging from chicken to munchie induced ice cream chocolate bars. I’m uber picky, finicky, and pretty hard to please when it comes to food. My standards annoy me. I stare at the faces of people who try what I make with such urgency before they’ve even swallowed to see what they think or how I can change the recipe for the better. And this is why I strongly suggest you get in the kitchen stat if you want the best brownies in the universe to be a part of your world.

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Discussion 5 Comments Category Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts

Citrus-marinated olives

Olives snuggled together remind me of the roundest animal scales or tiny picturesque ruffled mountains and hills. You see them at the specialty store in their little bins, with their confetti flecks of spices and seasonings oilily clinging to them. You see them in the condiment aisle, fat or miniature but always bursty and filled with firey red pimentos or jalapenos, or plain. Sometimes I see these usual suspects in the always questionable food aisles at Marshalls or TJ Maxx, a discounted price label slapped upon them haphazardly because these lonesome jars of olives from Smith & Wollensky stuffed with blue cheese not desired wherever they were previously sold. There’s the prized “fancy” olives that are dubiously high priced. But are you going to throw down $20 for a scarce, Oliver Twist style portion of olives? I didn’t think so.

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Discussion Leave a comment Category Appetizers

Pumpkin & dulce de leche bread pudding

Dogs will occasionally bark at me while I run. When I’m laying down parallel to the sunrise mirroring its tranquility, my desire to rise from my feather laden bed and pound the pavement, swiftly swooshing my legs and feet back and forth goes hand in hand with getting a colonoscopy. But I do it anyway, and like a Scrooge I huff and puff and grumble on the onsets of my run, filled with…not negativity, but wanting to leave the moment that I’m in, waiting patiently for that feeling I get once it’s over. In a spiritual sense I should enjoy this, because the moment we’re experiencing is the one we should always soak up, take advantage of, and experience fully.

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Discussion 3 Comments Category Breads, Desserts

Pumpkin chocolate chip loaf

Do we realize that when we agree to host Thanksgiving or prepare millions of potentially complicated dishes how stressful it can be? All we currently yearn for is a time to relax amongst the sandstorm that is known as Thanksgiving prep. Amidst this hurricane, what could be better or more seasonally appropriate than a pumpkin chocolate chip loaf. This loaf is overflowing with practicality in the sense that it’s a breeze to whip up, it feeds my pumpkin obsession/compulsion, you get two for the work of one, it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it gets better as it ages. Think of it as your sustenance. Moist, dense, chocolatey, pumpkiny sustenance. As you cut a piece(s) of this, you’ll find yourself taking the edge off. If you’ve been looking for a solid pumpkin bread recipe, this is your match.

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Discussion Leave a comment Category Breads, Breakfast, Desserts

Apple & blackberry crisp

Desserts lovers oppose each other. On one side of the boxing ring, we have people who prefer fruit. On the other, people who prefer chocolate. Unfortunately, desserts with fruit as the star get lost on me. I’d die happy with towering pieces of cake with cream cheese frosting or anything with chocolate beside me. Additionally, there’s a million recipes and variations for how to handle fruit desserts, desserts that attempt to take something the earth provided us with that is perfection on its own, ie a good Honeycrisp apple, and transform it into something indulgent. Sometimes it’s not necessary. But sometimes I guess we’re in the mood for a little butter, a little more sugar, a little heat, and a little crisp action.

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Discussion Leave a comment Category Desserts, Pies and Tarts

Pamela’s orzo & mushroom stuffing

My family has resided in the USA for decades, but I wouldn’t consider us entirely America. Within our bunch, we hail from Honduras, Nicaragua, and Cuba, and we’ve admittedly become more and more Americanized as each year slips beneath us. The most obvious proof of this is demonstrated by our hefty, voracious, and food-pregnancy inducing Thanksgiving feast. Every year I wait for this meal with nail-biting anticipation, because the gluttonous plate I serve myself is consistently worthy of my last meal on earth. And if you know me, you know I’m one of those crazy people who shuffle through their mind for selections.

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Discussion 1 Comment Category Sides

Buttermilk pumpkin bundt cake

Options are irrelevant to the subject matter. The point is: there’s always options. So many and too many that bombard us in all periphery directions. How do we choose? For a somewhat indecisive person like myself, this can be completely overwhelming and distressing. Because we don’t need that many options. For anything. People all around you have found the “something-whatever” of their dreams and in the end of their search, they’ve found peace. And this is the kind of thing that you won’t know until it happens to you. Because you see these people and you’re perplexed. Really, you’re done? Please elaborate on how you did this. Because they’ve found the right thing. I’m currently living this, and the thing has to do with a little squash and a bunch of indecision.

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Discussion 2 Comments Category Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts

Delicious & easy dinner rolls

Do boundaries between parents and their children ever cease to exist? Because my dad always chooses to knock on my door at the precise moment that I am undressed or changing. Picture Jack Gellar, Monica’s dad on Friends….the one that walks in on you while you’re changing. Sheesh, I guess this is what happens when you’re 27 years old and still live with your parents, as I do. In Latin cultures this is very typical. Additionally, when you live in your old but completely revamped and comfortable bedroom, your parents leave you alone…. for the most part, give you good food, you’re saving money and they’re always delighted to see you, there’s no reason to not stay.

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Discussion Leave a comment Category Appetizers, Breads

Peanut butter & banana bread

Who else thinks of Forrest Gump as Elvis pops up in the brain? Particularly, the scene in which Forrest is dancing and creeping along to “you ain’t nothing but a hound dog” (sorry — I just put it in your head) while Elvis stays at the Gump plantation bed and breakfast…later, Forrest witnesses that Elvis totally copycatted his moves on TV. I feel like Elvis was a nice and swell guy and I feel drawn to him. And the need to someday go to Graceland occupies a line on my ever-growing bucket list. Why? Like many things in my life, I have no clue. For some reason this bizarre establishment appeals to me. I’m not sure when my little feet will step into the great state of Tennessee next, but if they do, you’ll be sure to find me at that weird white church-like house. It’s more like a plantation, isn’t it? I’d be taken in to see where Elvis slept, composed his music, tourguided by Lisa Marie or Priscilla. Yeah, I haven’t contemplated this at all.

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Discussion 2 Comments Category Breads, Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts