Author: Luisa Perkins
•8:54 AM






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Author: Luisa Perkins
•4:18 PM

I've been having a stupor of thought when it comes to the blog lately. In an effort to inspire me, the excellent Megan recently supplied me with a list of ideas for posts. (Go read her great piece on Joyce Carol Oates's classic short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"; you won't be sorry.) All Megan's ideas were great, but I'm still coming up short. Is there a such thing as "blogger's block?" If not, I just invented it. Again.

Life is good. Everyone is healthy and happy (except Hope; apparently there is a wormhole in our house, and her backpack has disappeared into it). The weather is gorgeous. I'm busy, busy, busy, but that's nothing new. And I'm thinking that my recent jam-making exploits or ruminations on the current state of the speculative fiction world or rages over evil ninja garden-decimating deer aren't terribly interesting to anyone but myself.

Maybe I'll get myself together in time for Fascista Friday or Soap Opera Sunday later this week, but for now? I'm hoping James Cromwell will nod and smile at me and say, "That'll do, pig."
Author: Luisa Perkins
•7:41 AM
Anyone...anyone?
Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:16 AM


(Click on the comic to enlarge it.) A friend just sent me another Wondermark comic today, and I fell in love instantly. Find more neo-Victorian hilarity at www.wondermark.com.
Author: Luisa Perkins
•11:41 AM
I invented these mouthwatering treats accidentally. There I was on the Fourth of July, racing around in the time between the Ward Pancake Breakfast and the arrival of our good friends, who were coming over for an afternoon and evening of fun and games. I wanted to make a treat, and I needed it to be relatively low-input, so I opted for a bar cookie.

I opened up Christopher Kimball's excellent Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook and found something called "Butterscotch Brownies." Yum, I thought, then noticed that the recipe called for an 8x8" pan--which wouldn't be nearly enough for the crew I would have to please. I decided to double the recipe, then monkeyed around with the other ingredients, as is my wont.

They smelled divine while baking. They looked gorgeously golden brown upon their exit from the oven. We let them cool--barely--and then I cut them into squares. As I did so, I suddenly realized that I had doubled everything except the eggs. Oh, no! I thought, but remembered that on the back of any given brownie mix box, one is usually given two options: fudgy (two eggs) or cakey (three eggs). I'm a fudgy gal, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that this new, 'reduced-egg' treat would be passable.

They skyrocketed way beyond passable. They are so good that I simply cannot make them unless there is a social function involved: picnic, party, whatever. Otherwise, I will eat the entire pan.

Hope dubbed these "Brookies." Here's the recipe, without further ado:

Brookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons molasses
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional, but highly recommended)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9" baking pan. Beat the butter and the sugars on mixer's highest speed for a minimum of 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the vanilla and the molasses. Scrape down the bowl again and add the eggs one at a time, then beat mixture on high speed for another 3 minutes.

With the mixer on its lowest speed, stir in the salt and the flour and mix until incorporated. Add in the chips and optional nuts and stir. Transfer batter to pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. The top of the mixture should be dark golden brown and should crack in a few places; otherwise, the center will be too gooey. (Though you can eat all the edge pieces and rebake what's left for about 15 minutes; don't ask me how I know this.) Let cool in pan and cut into small squares.

If you try them, let me know what you think!
Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:50 AM