Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have a confession to make.  I'm not much one for recipes.  I love to read them, don't get me wrong.  I read food blogs (which more often than not contain, oh, recipes) like the food I'm reading about will actually fill my belly.  I pore over cookbooks and the recipes in the back of Real Simple, dreaming of the dishes I'll create.  But if I'm being honest?  Most of the time, when I cook, I just make things up as I go along.  I gather information, ideas, inspiration from recipes, but when it comes down to hungry-time, more often than not, I don't have all of the ingredients on hand.  Or I'm just not quite in the mood for the thinking and the measuring and the reading involved with cooking from a recipe.

This might be why I have literally hundreds (tried to count to give you an accurate number, gave up) of untried recipes.  From Food Loves Writing, from Happy Jack Eats, from Hungry Girl from Smitten Kitchen.  From the 4+ years worth of Real Simple Magazines, of which I am finally ready to just let go.   Because you see, when the time comes to prepare food, I like to just let loose.  Yes, ok, I often use semi-pre-prepared items, though I'll admit to not being a huge fan of Sandra Lee (she scares me a little).  I guess what I'm saying is that I admire people who are able to cook 100% from scratch, beautifully recipe'd meals, I just don't always have the energy. And I'm ok with that.

Today had me thinking about self-acceptance.  I was asked to join a few colleagues in speaking to Berkeley Rep's current group of Fellows about our time in the program and how we transitioned into our lives and jobs afterwards.  I wanted to let them know that it's ok if your internship teaches you what you don't want out of a career (even if you have a great, fun, wonderful ole time while in it).  I remember vividly how difficult it was to reconcile a lifetime preparing for a career in the arts with the fact that I was about to start working in tech.  I wanted to impress upon them that they are building real, valuable marketable skills now, and that whether or not they decide to pursue careers in the craft to which they've so diligently harnessed themselves, having a theatre background will help.  I could go on and on on the merits of experience with the arts, arts education, and being the most holistically, well-rounded person you can be, but this is not the post for that.

This is the post for brownies (digression much?).  These are really good brownies.  Brownies made mostly from a box, with a little twist thrown in.  Because that's how I roll, when I want to fill my pretty new cake plate, and I need something to go with the pumpkin ice cream I just bought, and it's 9:00pm, and I just don't have the cocoa powder or the patience to make it from scratch.

I have only found this brownie mix at Costco.  It is worth a trip to Costco on a Sunday afternoon.  I added cinnamon and nutmeg because there are pumpkins on my countertop and I felt like making these brownies a little bit more...autumny.

pumpkins and brownies. delightful.

*PS: if you look carefully, you'll see something new hanging in the back of the shot.  That is, if you remember what our curtains looked like when we moved in.  There will be a whole post about that, don't you worry.

Update: brownie, pumpkin ice cream, and whipped cream.
Which I made from scratch. With cinnamon and vanilla.
Make of that what you will. It was delicious.  At midnight.

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