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Archive for September, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Glory

Well hello there! You look like you’ve spent a lot of time working on those abs. Just enough time, in fact, that you might be a little bitter, and spend most of your time thinking about brownies. Well YOU, my friend, are in luck! These devious little spare-tire inflaters are coming your way just in time for the fast approaching chilly weather. n.b.: If you don’t like peanut butter, these are not for you. The batter smells like peanut butter, as does the finished product, and your entire apartment once you’ve made them. For those of you who do like peanut butter—you’re welcome.

Now, then. If you read my Peach-Rhubarb-Raspberry Pie recipe, you will not be surprised to know that I have never made a scratch brownie recipe before. Brownie mixes don’t make the best brownies in the world, especially using the box directions, but they are a fine place to start from if you’re serving brownies as a chocolate-y afterthought, not a special, attention-deserving dessert. (Hint: replace the suggested oil with butter. Mmmmm.)

I must also use this moment to give a brief shout-out to Smitten Kitchen (link on the right). While the assembly of the ingredients below only faintly resembles any of the recipes I used as measurement references, this recipe was the one that inspired me to add peanut butter which, as I mentioned, plays a prominent flavor role. So here it is, folks. My first attempt at brownies (although “Glory” is an equally appropriate name):

What? Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of the chocolate ocean in my ears.


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Most Improved Meat

And the winner is… STEAK!

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Impostor Southwestern Steak Dinner

1.5lb steak—Sirloin or T-Bone
pepper
salt
Balsamic vinegar
olive oil

8oz canned corn
black beans
bell pepper
fresh turnip greens (not pictured)
scallions
mayo… NOT
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (alternately, use chili powder)
olive oil

Cooked rice (to be done simultaneously—I went with basmati)

I am about to admit something quite—QUITE—embarrassing. I was, until recently and in spite of numerous sincere efforts, just plain BAD at cooking steak. I didn’t do a very good job baking, broiling, or pan-frying it. Part of the reason may have been that my “wing-it” style just doesn’t mesh with something that has an ideal cooking temperature resulting in a medium level of doneness.

I haven’t posted any failures on A Fork and A Bowl thus far, and this is not one of them. But as you make this recipe, consider that it was preceded by about 11 relatively unsuccessful ventures, and rejoice in the fact that you won’t have to go through what I did. Furthermore, the reason I have used the word “Impostor” in the name of this dish is because I have no idea what people in the Southwest US actually eat, nor how they prepare foods. But I do know they eat corn and beans. So there you have it.

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Ode to Sesame Oil

Sesame oil, you are delicately fragrant when used to sauté vegetables. You add a subtle flavor to chicken marinades. You are a little expensive, but I don’t mind very much because your golden hue and mastery of melding with other ingredients in sauces make me blissfully happy. I want us to be together for eternity.

I’m sorry, you were saying? You don’t care how much I love toasted sesame oil? Well, you should, because it’s good for your body (no saturated fat, high in antioxidants if you go for that kind of thing, may lower blood pressure) and might even inspire your poetic brain regions! Following are several EASY suggestions for sesame oil use in quotidian cooking that will add flavor to your dishes while removing saturated fat if you use it as a replacement for, say, butter.

But before that, let’s have a hearty welcome for A Fork and a Bowl’s BRAND NEW PHOTOGRAPHER!! Craig Glick Miller of Lucid Eye Studio will be shooting a picture or two of the cooking process/final product of my recipes when possible. One day he’s going to be a really expensive professional photographer, as evidenced by the outstanding introductory pictures on his site. So thank him for being inspired to try out my crazy ideas, because he will be the one making them look so ridiculously appetizing. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming… food!

About time we got a real photographer up in here, right?

Pan-seared Asparagus

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