Monday, December 22, 2008

Orgasmic Brownies

Jane, one of the midwives I work with brought a plate of brownies to the hospital the other night. They were, quite simply, the best brownies I've ever tasted. So I promptly went to Publix the next morning and bought the ingredients to make a batch. Mike Geraci brought some to work and I'm still getting rave comments from his co-workers. So this afternoon I made another batch to have for the holidays because really, you can never have enough chocolate in the house. The recipe is from and it's called Outrageous Brownies. (Although they really ought to change the title).
Don't be scared away by the "difficult" level. If I can make them, anyone can. Also, don't skip out on the instructions to refrigerate well before cutting. I really think that adds something special to the consistency.

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kate Spade is the Devil

Yesterday, while on my trip back to Tally from my parents' house in Melbourne, I stopped at the Prime Outlet Mall outside St. Augustine in the hopes of getting a few Christmas deals. While the economy sucking is a negative for us all, the one bright shining star in this mess is that retailers are going crazy with their sales. Kate Spade had a whooping 40% off all their merchandise, a lot of which had already been marked down to begin with. I tell you, the devil himself couldn't have come up with a better deal to tempt me with. I'm so not a designer type of girl. Prada, Gucci, Coach, they all leave me cold. Kate Spade is another story all together.

But I was strong. I wasn't there to shop for myself, you see, I was there to shop for others. So after combing through the store, I wiped the drool off my chin and shut the door on Kate Spade.

I did go on to find pajamas for my girls, designer fragrances and Christmas ornaments. All at reduced prices, so the trip was a total success.

Hopefully, the January sales will be even better than the ones they're holding now. If Kate goes down to 50% I'll happily throw myself into the inferno.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oprah is fat again

It's official. Oprah is fat again. She's going to announce it in the January issue of O magazine and start another 'lifestyle' change so she can get healthy, lose weight, and start America on another craze while probably making trillions in the process.

Honestly, with all the crap going on in the world, I really can't believe this sort of stuff makes headlines. Don't get me wrong, I really like Oprah, but please, can't she move on to something else?

In more important news (at least in my universe) I've finished my revisions for Bunco Babe Gone Wild. I didn't have a lot to do, but one of the things my editor asked me to do was to show more of my heroine's growth. So I went in and changed up one scene, which of course had a domino effect. Each scene after that was altered, so I had to go in and fix it, which led to more fixes, and, well, you get the point.

I'm printing it out this morning, finishing my Christmas decorating and then sitting down to read it again from beginning to end. Hopefully, they'll be in her inbox bright and early tomorrow.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas and Revisions

My tree is in the same state it was in 6 days ago. It's up, but there are no ornaments on it yet. A few years ago I convinced Mike Geraci to buy a fake tree. It took lots and lots and lots of whining but I eventually got my way. This is the first year he actually sort of admitted something to the effect that it *was* pretty convenient to simply get your tree out of a box and put it together in a few minutes. He's softening, I tell you. Of course, once it was up, only 1 friggin strand of lights on the tree worked. I swear, he got a gleam in his green eyes with an "I told you so" look, but he was way too smart to actually say it out loud.

This weekend, I'll get around to trimming the tree and putting up the rest of the indoor decorations (I still haven't gotten around to organizing the closets but it's on my list). I also hope to get my revisions on Bunco Babes Gone Wild done and back to my editor early next week. There isn't a lot to do revision-wise, for which I'm grateful, but what I do need to do is subtle layering-in which requires a lot of going over my ms numerous times to make sure I get it just right. Hopefully much progress will be made on all fronts.

Oh, and while you're out Christmas shopping, don't forget to buy the best present of all. Books!

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