unapologetically spicy smores brownies

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with a flash and bang, summer is gone. it wasn’t even a gradual transition, no gentle fade-out-of-summer-fade-into-fall. no. mother nature is unmerciful sometimes and i swear, once it struck midnight on september 1st, 2016, there was a distinct chill in the air again. a sharpness that only comes in autumn. clouded skies. early sunsets. emails in our inboxes about PSLs. (shut up starbucks im not ready yet).

i’ve mentioned it before, but i like to find meaning in everything. be it a chance event, interaction(s) with someone, a scene you see as you’re driving, a photo you’ve taken. making the insignificant significant. yes it can be dangerous, but it’s human nature. sometimes it’s out of necessity, sometimes it’s just for fun, and sometimes you’re just bored and it’s an exercise for the mind.

in this case… these brownies have a few meanings.

  • one.) they capture the essence of summer. smores is a quintessential campfire treat, and the cayenne pepper is the fire that forever burns.
  • two.) it represents the complexity of  life and the “there’s more than meets the eye” situations… brownies are so, so indulgent, but if you look closely, there are chia seeds. the metaphorical good in every situation. it just depends on your perspective.
  • three.) i’ve always been intrigued by Mexican mole sauce and the pairing between chocolate and chili (and cinnamon!) and wanted to work it into my baking.
  • four.) maybe i just really wanted to make people eat something disgusting but make them think i intended it to taste good.

kidding about the last one. you guys know my sense of humour.

or am i.

i saw this post on ladyandpups where she puts grated white cheddar on top of a sponge cake, and while i’m all for crazy combinations (peanut butter & fried egg sandwich with a dash of soy sauce is srsly AMAZING) sometimes i wonder if sometimes chefs randomly pairs two different ingredients, perhaps with a random generator, then proceeds to hipsterfy it through a myriad of different techniques, obscure sourcing of ingredients, abstract plating, coming up with a meaning behind it… and then SERVES IT TO US and we patrons are like YES MHM AHH THIS TASTES VERY GOOD HOW INNOVATIVE FIVE STARS FOR YOU.

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Chocolate PB Raspberry Chia Loaf

Happy First-Week-into-New-Years, everyone! How’s everyone holding up? How’s that gym membership going for ya?

I’m very excited for 2015, but that’s only because I love odd numbers and I love the way 2015 looks, compared to 2014. I liked 2013 too, but 2015 looks nicer. Okay. My weirdness is showing.

Although I’m sort of wary of all the gimmicky things you’ll see around New Years– ads selling things with the promise of a better, new you; vitamins and supplements all shifted to the front of stores– I do appreciate this time of year, because it gives us a chance to breathe and reflect. New Years = a big stop sign in our lives. We stop, and realize another year has passed. We stop, and think about what we’d do differently. And yes, most of the time you may not carry through with your resolutions, but honestly, they don’t need to be impossible goals. Start simple, and go slow. Continue reading →

Black Forest Snack Cake (sugar-free)

Both my parents, for whatever reason, are intensely intrigued with Black Forest Cakes. They don’t know exactly what it is, but they have the impression that it’s really sophisticated. My mom commented to me how she sees all sorts of things “reduced to clear” from Safeway, but never the Black Forest Cake. And I scoff thinking about the fake whipped cream and the questionable maraschino “cherries” and the probably-too-dry cake layers. I mean, not that I think my baking is all that, but it’s pretty easy to beat supermarket cakes in the flavor department. And the moistness department. So one day, I will bake a black forest cake to end all black forest cakes just for my parents, but before that, here’s a spin-off…

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