Fudgy Brownies and Feisty Women…

September 20th, 2008

The other day, J asked me, “What is the greatest heroine in American literature?”   Well, I thought about it but nothing immediately came to mind.  There is Hester Prynne in the Scarlet Letter but why can’t I think of a great heroine?  J suggested Nancy Drew and Scarlett O’Hara.  The question got me thinking about what constituted a heroine and I brought it up with some of my friends.  We all love reading so I was sure we could brainstorm some great characters.  Again, we struggled…adding only Jo Marsh from Little Women to the list.  Well, that gives us a few.  Now, what do these women have in common?  They are all strong, intelligent, independent and feisty women.  As a modern woman, those seem like admirable characteristics.  Unfortunately, there seems to be few examples in literature.  Why is that?  Do you have any additions?

In honor of feisty and chocolate loving women everywhere, I tried out Katharine Hepburn’s brownie recipe.  She definitely fits into the feisty women category.  The brownies were amazing!  I took them to class so that I did not eat the entire pan myself.  I did change the recipe a little bit because it calls for unsweetened chocolate and I only had bittersweet.  Overall, they were great!

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies
(adapted from here)
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Melt together butter and chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat.
2. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla, and beat the mixture well.
3. Stir in flour and salt.
4. Bake the brownies in a buttered and floured 8-inch-square pan (I use a pie pan) at 325°F for about 30 minutes.

Crab Cakes!!!

July 12th, 2008

This is Mortimer…He is a Blue Crab from the Chesapeake Bay. A couple weeks ago, J and I went crabbing with my uncle, catching Mortimer and many of his friends. We did a fairly good job. The first time I went crabbing with my uncle, I fell asleep on the boat and was not too good at catching the crabs. In my defense, I did have to get up at 4am so it was understandable that I fell asleep. After that though, I normal chose to sleep in and just eat the crabs with my brother and sister caught. Lazy, I know!

This year, however, when J expressed interest in going crabbing and my uncle mentioned it, I thought, “Why not? It would be fun!” This time, I had to get up at 6am, which was not as bad. We spent a beautiful morning on the boat and caught a good amount of crabs. I have definitely improved in catching crabs and found that I really enjoy it. When we got back to the house, my uncle smothered them in Old Bay and steamed them. We picked some for lunch and took some home with us.

A few hours later, J turned to me and said the magic words “Crab Cakes?” We picked the rest of the crab meat and I called my mother for her recipe. My mother’s secret is more crab and less filling. They turned out great! J is responsible for the photography. Mortimer was quite photogenic and quite tasty!

Maryland Crab Cakes
(from Ginny’s Mom)

1 lb crab meat
2-3 tablespoons of flour, pancake mix or bisquick
4 shakes Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Pick over the crab meat carefully to remove any shell or cartilage.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently.
3. Heat vegetable oil in the frying pan to about one-half inch depth.
4. Form the cakes and fry for 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

P.S. I am off to Ireland this week! I will see you in two weeks!

Mango- Avocado Salsa…

June 29th, 2008

As much as I do not really want to admit this, my friends and I have been known to compare ourselves to the women from Sex and the City. Although, we really are nothing like them…after a couple glasses of wine, this topic of conversation sometimes comes up. With the recent movie, my roommates and I found ourselves again comparing. They agreed that I am most like Carrie…slightly crazy and outspoken. Well, considering she uses her oven to store shoes, I beg to differ but as I was apartment shopping in Chicago this weekend…I think I may have slightly channeled my inner-Carrie.

In the movie (and yes, if you continue reading, I am going to ruin a scene), Carrie and her boyfriend, Mr. Big, are looking for a place to live…they walk into a beautiful penthouse with the light streaming in and hardwood floors…Carrie is instantly hooked until she sees the really tiny little closet. Mr. Big, of course, says he will build her a better closet…aw! so cute!

Well, in Chicago this weekend, the realtor showed me a number of places that were small, dark and depressing. Then we walked into this absolutely gorgeous studio… my mouth dropped as I looked at the view of Lake Michigan, jumped for joy at the amount of sunlight and then cringed when I saw the tiny little kitchen…I looked around for Mr. Big but, alas, I didn’t have one…

I went for it anyway. It is a beautiful apartment and the kitchen will just challenge me to be more creative with cooking. Plus, although I do not need the space, the closet is huge so I may just have to store some of my kitchen ware in there! I think the best part is that the apartment is all mine! For the first time, I will not have roommates!

I know this should be a Daring Baker’s post but…the challenge this month was just not in the cards. I barely had time to cook, let alone make the delicious Danish Braid that is popping up all over the place. Instead, I have been keeping things simple with this yummy mango-avocado salsa. This time I paired it with this chicken and some rice. Some simple seared salmon or tilapia also tastes great with it. I also want to enter this in Meeta’s Monthy Mingle of Mango Mania over at What’s for Lunch Honey.

Ginny’s Mango-Avocado Salsa

3 Mangos, diced
1 Red Onion, diced
2 Avocados, diced
3 Tomatoes, diced
2 cups cilantro, chopped
5 limes, juiced

1. Mix it all together and serve. Makes a really large bowl.

P.S. Many thanks to Canary Girl for passing along the I Love You This Much Award! Made my day!
I would like to pass it along to some excellent bloggers…

LyB of And then I do the dishes
Mark of No Special Effects
Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
Deborah of Taste and Tell
Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody