I feel like Charlie Sheen of the kitchen. I'm in the midst of a full blown bitchin' kitchen bender, and I'm kind of loving it. It was triggered by the Just Desserts night last Monday, and then kept on going with a good sized Valentine's truffle order during which I came up with another flavor that I'm heretofore referrring to as "Coconut Spice". It's a white chocolate truffle made with salted browned butter and infused with Saigon cinnamon and Tahitian vanilla, and then rolled in a layer of toasted coconut flakes. It's kind of like a cookie that melts in your mouth.
To temper the raging sweetness that I was lolling about in, I made a hearty Blue Plate Special style Friday night dinner. I revamped my standard meatloaf to favorable reviews, and served it alongside homefries with my spice du-jour smoked paprika. By adding a much needed snap, Chinese restaurant style green beans rounded out the meal. Because I just can't ditch the sweet toothed monkey who lives on my back, for dessert I tried out a recipe for a slow cooker brownie pudding cake. Chocolate euphoria, hot fudge frenzy. The smooth and gooey texture was ineluctable, the depth of the chocolate was unending. It was bleepin' rad! The only improvement would be to include the option of a tart and bright raspberry coulis.
The Superbowl which was on the flip side of the weekend ensured that my kitchen binge would stretch out even further. Because Samwich is a football zombie, the past couple of Superbowl's have doubled as his birthday party. I let loose on the menu, restraint and moderation shoved aside with my excercise routine. There was a spicy slow cooker sausage dip with garlic bread. DIY deli sandwiches with a rouille sauce. A romaine salad with hard boiled egg, avocado, tomatoes, a homemade dressing of roasted garlic, horseradish, mayo, and the ubiquitous smoked paprika. Three kinds of wings: shwarma spice, sriracha honey, and Mojo. A Chinese cole slaw. A yellow cake with fudge frosting in the shape of a football and corresponding XLV cupcakes.
There is no time for post-party languishing, this cooking jag goes on with a few more Valentine's Day orders and an article on Hamantaschen due apres VD. I'm working on a vegan whole wheat hamantaschen, and also a lemon blueberry one enfolded in a cream cheese cookie crust. There will be a quickie version of this three cornered cookie that is the culinary hallmark of the Jewish holiday of Purim. And finally a traditional recipe complete with instructions on how to make apricot lekvar, which is a kind of Eastern European fruit spread. Four in all, hope they work. This kitchen spree will eventually consume itself. I'll blow out my desire to experiment and conjure and create. Dinner will come out of a box or from a restaurant for a while. I'll focus on getting back into shape. I'm always a little nervous that one day I'll use up all my ardor. That I'll go on a tear and spend every last cooking urge, dry myself out, and then exile myself from the kitchen forever after.
PS:My sweet lord! the Vegan Whole Wheat Hamantaschen are good!
Brownie Pudding Cake
1 package brownie mix
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 c. boiling water
Lightly spray a 3 1/2 qt. slow cooker with cooking spray. In a medium bowl stir together brownie mix, melted brownie/marg, eggs, chopped nuts, vanilla, and 1/4 c. water until batter is smooth. Spread brownie batter in the bottom of slow cooker.
In another bowl, mix together sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon. Stir in 3 c. boiling water into sugar-cocoa mixture. Pour over batter in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high-heat for 2 hrs. Turn off slow cooker. Cool, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes.