Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies with Goat Cheese Swirls

My dear, most darling readers.  

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I baked so people would love me.

It’s been a busy time for Ye Olde Insomnibaker.  Things are blissfully chugging away at Ye Olde Brand New Job, which is going quite well.  I have already broken my baking cherry there, by bringing  in a tray of Browned Butter Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting for Valentine’s Day.  It was one of those recipes that sounds much more difficult than it is.  Browned Butter is just absolutely magical.  

Speaking of Ye Olde Dreaded Holiday, your Insomnibaker has once more attempted to dip her  dainty toes into the muddied pool that is Online Dating.  The theory being that since The Ex’s Death, it would probably be a good idea to go on at least a few “practice dates” so that if by chance I happen to meet someone out in Ye Olde Real World, I won’t be a complete psychopath.  

The good news is, I’m not a complete dud at a dinner table.  The bad news is, I’ve now been out with a couple ripe ones.  

I shan’t get into the gritty details, but needless to say there have quite a few first dates, with nary a second in site.  

The Ex is still missed though.  Whatever the many, many, many pitfalls of our tumultuous relationship, he got more than a few things right.  He opened doors, he always gave me his umbrella if it was raining, and he always made sure my seltzer glass was full.  Cheers to him.  

Once, while we were in our 8 year non-speaking period, I happened to be dining in a restaurant where he happened to be the manager.  We didn’t exchange many words, but apparently when I excused myself to the restroom he zipped over to our table and folded my napkin with an intensity that unnerved the rest of my dinner guests.  He placed it lightly on my plate, and strode off without saying a word.  I returned to find the table all staring numbly at the perfectly folded fabric, not sure what to say.  When I questioned him about it years later, he said, “I wanted to be sure everything was perfect.  I even stayed in the kitchen when your food came out to be sure they hadn’t missed anything.”  An odd duck with a big heart, that one.

Moving on. Tomorrow night is Oscar Night.  Ye Olde Brother In Law will be liveblogging from Television Without Pity, and I, Good Samaritan that I am, offered to bring a treat.  I have yet to see The Artist, but I thought something in a black-and-white theme, with a touch of the old school, would work out best.  Thank goodness then, for this exquisite recipe I found for Brownies with Goat Cheese Swirls.  

  1. I pre-het an oven to 350 degrees, and sprayed a 9×9 pan with cooking spray.  
  2. In a smallish bowl, I mixed together 6 ounces of chèvre, one tablespoon of powdered sugar, one large egg, and one tablespoon of flour.
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    Om nom nom chèvre nom.

  3. In a medium-ish bowl, I mixed together 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar, some hefty grinds of sea salt, 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup chocolate chips. 
  4. You’re supposed to add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, but I forgot.   
  5. I’ve been watching Grimm on Hulu.  It’s so . . . so . .  remarkably bad.  And . . . I can’t stop. 
  6. Why can’t I stop?  There are literally no characters I care about, or even casually like.  
  7. But I keep watching . . . and watching.  This episode wasn’t even about fairy tale characters, it was about gladiators.  SERIOUSLY?!??!
    Image

    So much better than Grimm

  8. Into the dry ingredients, I mixed in three large eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 sizable dollop of vanilla paste. 
  9. It was black as tar, but chocolatey good.  Not that I sampled.  
  10. I spread 2/3rd’s of the tarry chocolate goodness into the pre-sprayed pan, then glopped the chèvre mix on top, then glopped the rest of the brownie mix on top.  
  11. I slid a knife through the batter to create some lovely lil’ swirls.  
  12. I made myself a single cupcake. 
  13. You know, to taste.
  14. I baked the delicious mess for about 35 minutes.  

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BEHOOOOOOLD!!!

VERDICT:  Just lovely.  There is a nice balance between the chocolate and the creaminess of the goat cheese.  It’s almost like a cheesecake brownie, but with a gorgeous tangy aftertaste.  It probably helps if you’re ga-ga for goat cheese already, which your Insomnibaker most certainly is.  It’s not overpowering (honestly, I would pump up the goat cheese a little bit if baking again), but is overall just a lovely solid brownie.  Hurrah for the Oscars, and late-night baking.  

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Browned Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Browned Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

I baked so people would love me.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brown Butter Coconut Oil Monster Cookies

Oh, my most darling sleepy readers,

What a wondrous couple of weeks it has been.  I’ve now worked a nice solid week at Le New Job, and it is Le Frickin Awesome.  I don’t tend to discuss specifics of my life on this here bloggity blog, but it involves film production and education and science and giant robots.  And the great circle of life continues.

Go, mixer, go!

For those who have been following for a while, you’ll know that I got walloped right in the gonads by life about 6 months ago.  And you know?  I’m darn proud of how I’ve bounced back.  It took a lot of hard work.  I did individual therapy, group therapy, anti-depressants (which was very helpful in the midst of my trauma, but I’m happy to say I’ve tapered off them this month), I worked out, I did exercises from What Color is Your Parachute?, I read books on grief, I ate healthy and worked out when I could, and sobbed on the floor of my living room and ate chocolates when I couldn’t.

And you know what?  I lived through it, I walked through it, and while life isn’t perfect, it’s pretty damn incredible.  I’m grateful for every second.

Now that the inspiration part is out of the way, we get to the part where I’m cranky and cramp-ridden and deep in thought.  I’m back out on the rollercoaster ride of Dating for the first time since The Ex’s death.  And I forgot the thing about dating– meeting someone who you don’t like can be an awful disappointment.  Meeting someone you do like is constant screaming torture.

Such circumstances require some big metaphorical guns.  Therefore, I’m dragging out an old recipe– Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  You can read the original recipe here, and my first attempt here.

  1. I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, I browned 7 tablespoons of butter.  You’re supposed to use 8, but I only had 7.
  3. Stop judging me.
  4. In a medium bowl, I mixed together 2 cups of flour.  Again, you’re supposed to use 2 1/4 cups, but I only had 2 cups.
  5. STOP judging me.  Stop it.
  6. Into the flour, I mixed in 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder. You’re supposed to use baking soda, but I used it up deodorizing the catbox.
  7. STOP. JUDGING. ME.
  8. I also added 1 teaspoon of activated yeast, and several mighty grinds of the sea salt mill.
  9. In the cherry red Kitchen Aid bought for me by my parents for my last birthday, I mixed together the browned butter, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.  I let ‘em mix together on medium speed for about one minute.
  10. I added one egg, and a dollop of the exquisite vanilla paste my sister purchased for me.
  11. Getting baking-related gifts from family and friends is one of the great joys of my life.
  12. Still on medium speed, I let the egg and the vanilla work into the sugars for a good 7 minutes (a trick suggested by Milk Bar’s illustrious Christine Tosi).
  13. Reducing speed to low, I added in the flour mixture and let it mix.
  14. You’ll notice I haven’t done anything bone-headed in at least 7 steps, so hopefully you’ll have actually stopped the judging by now, you judge-y bastards.

    I am delicious just as I am. I believe in me.

  15. I added a cup of peanut butter chips, and a cup of chocolate chips.  This dough is a bit stiffer than normal cookie dough, so it requires s bit of kneading to fully distribute the chips.
  16. I balled the dough and put them onto two sheets sprayed liberally with baking spray, popped those suckers in the freezer, and settled in for a nice half-hour of Netflix.
  17. Current show?  Frasier.  No kidding!  It’s not a bad little show, ya know?  This episode features Mercedes Ruehl, star of one of my all-time favorite films The Fisher King.
  18. I have not one, but two kittens curled up on my lap.  Seriously?  Seriously.  Too effing cute.
  19. After 12-14 minutes, I took out the cookies and allowed them to cool.
  20. No, really, you need to allow them to cool.

BEHOOOOLD!!!!

VERDICT:  You guys, this is undoubtably one solid cookie recipe.  It may be a little sweet, but the dough is firm, the inside is chewy and giving, and the nutty taste of browned butter permeates the whole shebang.  Dear Jeebus, this is a tasty cookie.

And now, to bed, my darling sleepy fellows.  May dreams of peanut butter ships dance in your little heads.

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How to Go on Baking When Someone You Love . . .

And a good evening to you, my dearest insomniacs.

The fuzzy wondertwins

This night finds your weary blogger once again on opposing ends of powerfully conflicting emotions.  Reasons to rejoice abound in the Insomnibaker’s life.  For one- my job search has finally come to an end, and it’s one doozy of a gig.  I shan’t be mentioning what it is until I’ve well and truly settled in, but let’s just say that I’m Insanely Happy to No Longer Be Unemployed.  And as I mentioned before, there are two adorable furballs wreaking fuzzy havoc across my living room.

Though, as always, there are some things that weigh heavily on the Insomnibaker’s heart.  I was hit earlier today with a wave of grief over the death of The Ex.  Thinking, he would have been so excited to hear about this chapter of my life.  He was always incredibly supportive of my professional life.   The past few weeks, the constant sting of his absence has subsided a bit.   The fact that I’m still living day by day while he is not brings on a new ache.  More subtle than before, but an ache nonetheless.

Curt, as I remember him best

Today, also, I remember the death of my friend and mentor Curt Dempster.  For those not acquainted with the man and his work, Michael Feingold at the Village Voice pretty much nails it with this moving article.  Though a bizarre series of happenstances, I had the opportunity to produce the Marathon at EST while still technically an intern.  Dempster was a hard guy to work for.    Over time, I came to realize that he gave the brunt of his constant, unyielding criticism to those he most wanted to succeed, and grow.   But it usually stung to hear.  He was often curt. And always, irrepressibly, Curt.

So here I am, still processing the last few dregs of my unemployment, looking back on these two men who changed and shaped the course of my life.   I can’t call them up to tell them about my new job, or my new cats, or just that I’m alone in my apartment, or that I miss them.

BUT, what can a lonely Insomnibaker do but bake brownies, blog, and by golly live an amazing life.

  1. Today’s recipe is fairly convoluted, and will be difficult to replicate as it involves the use of many scraps of ingredients I have around the kitchen.  The basis for the recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen’s Classic Brownies.
  2. I pre-het the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. In a small bowl, I whisked together 1 and 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder, and many healthy grinds of the sea salt mill.

    I Endorse These Quality Products

  4. In a larger bowl, I mixed 2.5 ounces of Taza stone-ground chocolate (in other words, most of a bar after I had eaten a few pieces), 3/4 cup Double Dutch Cocoa Powder by King Arthur Flour, and 12 tablespoons Plugra butter.
  5. These brownies will be better, because they are branded.
  6. Though I should say, that Taza chocolate is somethin’ else.   It’s $8 F*&KING DOLLARS A BAR, but it is gawdamned delicious, I tell you whut.  Under no circumstances would I generally encourage buying bars of $8 chocolate, but really, you should try this.
  7. Also? Downton Abbey.  Just started Season 1 on Netflix.  Amazeballs.
  8. So I took the cocoa/chocolate/butter bowl, and zapped it in the microwave until the butter had melted, and it resembled a pool of black tar.
  9. Into the tar, I mixed in 1 and 3/4 cups agave syrup.

    Agave: delicious, delicious hype

  10. Here’s my mini-rant about agave syrup.  It’s a delicious sweetener which is perfectly fine for use in a variety of desserts.  But don’t believe the hype.  It’s not health food and never will be.  It’s a highly processed sugar product with a higher calorie count than table sugar, and current marketing campaigns to hawk it as a “healthier” alternative to corn syrup or table sugar is total bunk.  In my opinion.  I’m not a nutritionist, nor a doctor.  I believe this to be true based on my own research, so take it as you will.
  11. Except I’m totally right.
  12. On the other hand, it’s delicious! And I had to use it up.  So if you want to use it in your baking, then fabulous.  I just wouldn’t suggest this as a “sugar-free” alternative.  Just use what works best in the recipe.
  13. I whisked in 4 eggs, one at a time, then added a dollop of vanilla bean paste (provided courtesy of my loving older sister).
  14. As something of an afterthought, I added 1/4 cup of my homemade hot chocolate mix to the flour mixture.  Why the hell not.Hot cocoa mix: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
  15. I added the now-chocolatey dry ingredients to the already-chocolatey wet ingredients and folded them in with a wooden spoon.
  16. I spooned the mixture into a silicone brownie-bites mold, and a mini-muffin tin.
  17. Hot damn Maggie Smith is one baddass dowager.  Hot damn Downton Abbey.
  18. I popped those suckers in the oven for 30ish minutes.

BEHOLD!!!!!

VERDICT:  The final result of this experiment was a delicious and fairly complex cocoa taste, but a rather disappointing texture.  In the absence of regular sugar, these brownies puffed up like hostess cupcakes, and had a similar texture.  However, since the goal was to use up the rest of my agave syrup, and stave off night-time grief for a few hours, I say mission accomplished.  Good night, dear ones.  It’s a good life, and I’m glad to be living it.  Now off to bed with Downton Abbey on Netflix, and the kitty-twins Sherlock and Mycroft making merry hell around the apartment.  Solider on, my sleepy friends, soldier on.

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Let He Who Is Without Sin Throw the First Scone

Greetings, my sleepy followers.

Rather than start each new post apologizing for not posting more, I’m going to just forge ahead and be thankful that I’m posting at all.  What with the holiday season n’all, between my going on a silent Jewish retreat (YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT) and the good folks at Sleep No More pursuing other options for their weekly cake binge, I haven’t had many reasons to bake.   I did create some fantabulous gift bags for the holidays, which included homemade hot chocolate mix,   compost cookies, and homemade bath salts.  But as the US Postal Service is a steaming pile of doody, they didn’t arrive in time for Christmas.  Soooooooo, buttons.

Their names are Sherlock and Mycroft. Because they're awesome.

Your Insomnibaker has been awful busy though.  Interviewing like a high-speed, pneumatic interviewing machine, and adopting kittens.  Yes indeed, adopting kittens! I first met my new cuddly friends while perusing Petfinder.com, when I came across a litter of squirmy little guys on the website for Barbara the Cat Lady.  Initially, these cats caught my eye because they were born on the same day that The Ex died.  I thought that adopting them would be poetic in a “great circle of life so mysterious” sort of way.  And it is.  But I’ll tell ya folks, after seeing these little guys scamper around the floor of my apartment, trill their little kitten trills, and clamber onto my sofa to be petted by yours truly, I love these kittens truly by virtue of their own cuddly awesomeness.

Anyhow.  Tomorrow is the birthday party for my darling niece Aeryn, who will be all of one year old.  I couldn’t very well pass up an opportunity to bake, though I did decide to put off the process until 11pm.  Which is how I roll.

So therefore, let us roll. SOME SCONES, THAT IS.

  1. I wanted to make something vegan for my brother’s girlfriend, but was largely having a hard time finding a promising recipe.  I was hoping to use up some of my coconut oil, but most of what I could find relied pretty heavily on the inclusion of vegetables like zucchini or carrots to keep them moist.  After a great deal of searching, I came across this recipe and decided to fuck with it as necessary.
  2. I preheated the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. I had some brown sugar in my pantry that was hard as a rock.  I put it in the microwave with a few drops of water for about 30 seconds, which usually does the trick, but in this case it just liquified.
  4. Spicy and sweet, just like yours truly.

    I cursed the heavens.

  5. In a large bowl, I mixed together 1 and 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup old fashioned oats, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, a few tablespoons of white sugar, a dash of allspice, some hefty shakes of cinnamon, and many grinds of the sea salt shaker.
  6. On a whim, I tossed in a handful of crystalized ginger I received as a gift from Penzey’s Spices.  
  7. Best thing about having a baking blog?  People get you cool baking-related gifts.
  8. At this point, I noticed that I wasn’t supposed to have mixed in the oats yet.
  9. I cursed the heavens.
  10. Using my cheese grater, I cut in 8 tablespoons of a stick of Crisco I had been keeping in the freezer.  This is the best trick EVER.
  11. I got Crisco all over my hands.
  12. I cursed the heavens.
  13. Using my shortening-covered paws, I pinched together the mixture until it was crumbly and lovely.
  14. All ready for a'baking

    Making a well, I added in about 1/3 of a cup of almond milk, and the few tablespoons of the brown sugar I accidentally liquified earlier.

  15. The dough was unreasonably sticky, so I added a little bit of flour to the mix.  I turned the dough out onto a floured surface and patted it into a circle, and cut it into 8ths.
  16. I popped the pan into the fridge.
  17. For the non-vegans in the room, I set about making some Cream Scones by the illustrious Smitten Kitchen.
  18. I won’t waste too much of your time with this recipe. Read it yourself.  Mix the dry ingredients, mix in the wet ingredients, pat together the dough and cut into wedges, bake.
  19. While the scones were baking, I put on the latest episode of Grimm.  I swear to the heavens, this has got to be the worst show that has ever existed in the history of television.  But it features a very game cast saying some of the worst dialogue ever, which makes it appealing to me for some reason.  It’s like you can almost picture the writers all getting together to brainstorm ideas.  Such as, “Ummmmmmmmm . . . I dunno . . . . like . . . . ogres?” “Whatever.  Is it time for lunch yet?”.
  20. After 19 minutes, these babies were done.

BEHOLD MY BUTTERY DELICIOUSNESS!!!

VERDICT:  I’m not going to lie, those vegan suckers were delicious!  The oats make them hearty and fulfilling, and the ginger adds a nice twist.  Not half bad.  Unfortunately for the vegan scones, however, they were sitting right next to some perfectly nice scones made with butter and heavy cream.  No contest.

So to sum up, vegan scones are pretty great, buttery cream scones are pretty amazing, and Grimm and the US Postal Service both suck at everything forever.   Goodnight, sleepy folks.

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Late-Night Quickie: Blondie Surprise

Greetings, my sleepy readers.

I owe you a post- I made a creamy and dreamy Tres Leches Cake last week, and oh, so many leches did it have! – but tonight I’m keeping it simple.  The lovely folk at Sleep No More  already have a cake for their weekly sugar binge, but a little birdie told me that “Well, we could, uh, maybe find some a couple bucks in the budget if, uh, you, uh, maybe wanted to make something small . . . hint hint . . . “.  True story!

Actually, it’s not a true story.  They didn’t say it like that at all.  But that’s how I imagine they said it.

A shitty picture of an awesome haircut.

It’s been a good week for your Insomnibaker.  I’m currently job-hunting, and have been getting a fairly kickass response thus far.  Nothing solid, but lots of second, third, and fourth interviews, a plenty of support from some great people.  That, and I have a new haircut that is simply divine.  Seriously, this is a POWER HAIRCUT.  People will take me seriously as a super-fancy professional lady with this haircut.  It was inspired by the incomparable Renee Russo’s tousled locks in The Thomas Crown Affair (warning: this link contains a shirtless Pierce Brosnan.  You may become distracted).

And I’m genuinely excited about the next chapter of my life.  It’s definitely No Fun to be job-hunting, but I have Many Skillz, and people seem to be excited about Said Skillz.  Let’s hope they can pay the Billz.

SO.  On to tonight’s super-simple recipe.  I’ve made it before, and yet again it’s from the Smitten Kitchen.  Blondies! With mini-Reese’s in them!

  1. Pre-het the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. I melted a stick of butter in the microwave, and stirred in 1 cup of packed brown sugar.

    A Reese's snuggled into the batter

  3. Well, it was about 4/5ths of a cup of packed brown sugar, topped off with white.
  4. What? I ran out. I didn’t know I was gonna be baking.  Don’t look at me like that.
  5. I whisked in 1 egg and 1 glug of vanilla extract.
  6. I stirred in 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
  7. Into about 20 mini-muffin tins, I scooped in one tablespoon of batter.
  8. I stuck in a mini-Reese’s into each tin.
  9. Things are better when they’re mini.
  10. I topped each one off with another tablespoon of batter.
  11. I baked ‘em for about 20 minutes.
  12. I let ‘em cool.

SURPRISE!!!! Uh . . I mean . . BEHOOLLLD!

VERDICT:  This is an intensely dependable recipe, and you can do ANYTHING with it.  It’s meant to be backed in an 8×8 pan, and that works fine too.  You can stir in nuts, chocolate chips, chocolate chips AND nuts, cranberries, you can frost them or not frost them, or you can just keep the recipe as-is.  It’s a crowd-pleaser, and as simple as it gets.  One bowl, one spoon, no fancy equipment besides your great and powerful Baking Brain.  And for some reason, nobody really makes blondies that much.  Dunno why, they’re awesome.

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Kitchen Sink Veggie Chili

Greetings, gentle readers.

As I write this, I’m watching yet another episode of Law and Order: SVU.  Ice-T just spiked a dodgeball onto the head of an adolescent bully, and Richard Belzer is crackin’ wise.  All is well in the world.

Parsnips, ready for the chopper.

And what a topsy-turvy world it is.  Your Insomnibaker has been on the path of some serious soul searching these days.  Three months ago, I had several Grand Plans For Life that were Definitely, Definitely Going to Happen.  Everything was Coming Up Insomnibaker.   There’s a wonderful Yiddish proverb that comes to mind, “Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht” (Man plans, God laughs).   I won’t give specifics.  Some you know. But the Insomnibaker is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a Snuggie, watching Law and Order.

Such topsy turvy times call for a delicious bowl of my Kitchen Sink Veggie Chili, topped with a healthy helping of melted cheddar cheese.  It’s on of my staple recipes, especially when I’m trying to stretch a dollar.   This chili is quite versatile, and can be made into a variety of dishes: over rice, mixed into an omelet, as a side dish with grilled chicken, and (my favorite) eaten strait with melted cheese.  It’s also a healthy serving of veggies and fiber, with an easily adjustable level of spice.  Why so easily changed?  Because it’s made with whatever you happen to have in the fridge.  All that, and the kitchen sink.

  1. Like all the best recipes, this starts with a big heavy pot, a few glugs of olive oil, and diced onion.  I love onions, so I usually use a large onion.  I prefer red onions.  If you like a bit more sweetness, use yellow.  Like ‘em benign? Use white.

    Stir it up . . little onions, stir it up . . .

  2. Like garlic?  Use garlic.
  3. You best hunker down, the whole recipe’s going to be like this.
  4. Personally, I love garlic, but in this recipe it tends to overpower the veggies.
  5. Speaking of veggies, it’s best to have everything neatly diced up ahead of time.

    It's starting to look like a triple rainbow

  6. This time around, I used 1 yellow pepper, one green, two poblanos, two anaheim, three biggish carrots, and three medium-sized parsnips.
  7. A note about parsnips.  They are awesome!  Slightly sweeter than carrots, but with a hearty goodness all their own, parsnips are an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
  8. A note about the veggie mix that you use– this recipe is flexible enough to accomodate just about anything, but the basic ratio should be 1 part mild peppers, 1 part slightly-hotter-than-milk-peppers, 2 parts root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips are best– they will provide bulk and fiber.  Potatoes don’t add a ton of flavor and don’t hold up well enough against the rest of the veggies).
  9. Everything prepared?  You ready to cook?
  10. No? Oh, okay, I’ll wait.
  11. Have you seen Louie?  It’s amazing.  I once worked on a a comedy event to benefit a shelter for abused women and children.  Apparently the year before, a comedian dropped out at the last minute, and Louis C. K. filled in.  Apparently he was not a big hit with the board.  Something about how making joked about killing his wife was in poor taste while raising money for battered women.  Ah well.  I still think he’s the best comedian working today.
  12. Ready now?  Awesome.

    These are beans. Yes, they are.

  13. Heat up your olive oil until it shimmers.  Sweat the onions over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
  14. Dump in your veggie mix and sautée for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often.  The veggies should be pretty firm, they’ll soften up during the simmering process.
  15. Dump in 1 can each of black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and diced tomatoes.
  16. How big a can, you ask?
  17. It doesn’t matter, I answer.  I promise, you can’t fuck this up.
  18. Dump in a smallish handful of chili powder, and a largish handful of cumin.  Some dried parsley wouldn’t go amiss in here.
  19. Stir it all up, and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes.  If you like your chili super-thick, let it go for longer.

Looks ain't everything

VERDICT:  Pretty she ain’t, but this is a near-perfect fridge staple. Hearty, cheap, and darn comforting.   It will keep for about 10 days, but mine never lasts long.  So get out your shredded cheddar, put on some SVU, and be merry.

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