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My day started at 4:30 this morning, when I got up to frost some brownies for orphans...

That's actually true. I had a horrid evening last night. First, I had to go to the grocery store. I wanted to go to Kroger, instead of K-Mart (and, yes, I am still protesting Farmer Jack) because they had some good specials. So I went to the one in Redford, which also must double as a gateway to hell.

It was packed. And every person there would walk two feet, then stop and gaze off into space, blocking the entire aisle. There was no rhyme or reason to the layout of the store. This really threw me, since I always type my grocery lists and put it on the order in which those departments are found (not that I'm anal or anything). I swear I saw raisins in three different aisles. And I never did find a bread section. You'd think a major grocery store would sell bread. I even went around the store twice (which, what with the twilight zone stop-and-gawkers, took forever).

Not only was everyone weird, but they all smelled bad, like different variations on rancid oil. I was so relieved when I made it to the checkout and there was only one woman in front of me. Then she asked the clerk to scan a candybar to see how much it cost. Once she found out, she had to argue with the clerk about it. You know, in case its possible to haggle down the price of candy at Kroger.

As I left, a teenage boy approached me and asked me if I needed any help. Sure that he's working some angle, I say no. He walks to my car with me. I'm pretty sure I won't be mugged, but I was so pissed off from Krogering that I didn't really care. I open the back of my car, which contains nothing but an infant car seat. I briefly ponder the damage a pregnant lady could do to a healthy teenage boy with no weapon other than a car seat. Again I decide that I am just too tired to care. He tells me that he works at Kroger as a bagger and he's just killing time on his break. I tell him that he needs to be doing something fun. He puts one of my bags in the car. I thank him, but tell him again that I don't need help. So he wishes me a Merry Christmas and leaves.

It took me about five mintues to realize that he was just a good kid. I wasn't mean to him or anything, it just sucks that it took me so long to realize that someone was just being nice to me.

I was so tired that I slept pretty soundly until 4:30 this morning, which I guess is Owen's idea of sleeping in.

As part of my healthy-healhty-lets-not-have-a-monster-sized-baby diet, I made this for dinner last night



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch collard greens, center stems cut away, leaves thinly sliced
5 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 3/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 pound spicy sausage


Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft and golden , about 5 minutes. Add collard greens and sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add sausage and sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer 2 cups soup to processor. Blend until smooth; return to pot of soup and bring to simmer. Mix in crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper.

Make soup-sized meatballs out of sausage. Cook, toss them into the finished soup.

Makes 4 .

I had no idea that collard greens were such a super-food. But its apparently great for gestating babies. Then I made something that is not great for babies (but are ok for orphans, I guess): Peppermint Brownies.

1 box of brownine mix, enough for a 9x13 pan. Add 1 tsp peppermint extract to mix, bake as directed.

For toppings
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
8 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Make toppings:
Beat powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, milk and extract in bowl until creamy. Spread over warm brownies. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
Stir chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over mint topping, spreading evenly. Decorate with sprinkles. Cover and chill until set, about 1 hour. Cut into squares.

These rock!

Wish me luck on my 7 hourslong with no break exam tomorrow. I will fail. I know that, but it hardly matters at this point.

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