Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let's Get Baked | Spicy Buttermilk Brownies

I'm usually pretty good at using leftover ingredients from a recipe for another recipe. And I find that the most common unfinished ingredient is buttermilk. So, when I had some leftover from making gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, I decided to dig out my favorite cookbook, Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook, to find an easy recipe calling for that very ingredient. Lo and behold, a guiding light led me to the delicious recipe that I decided to tweak a little.

spicy buttermilk brownies

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9 baking pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ginger and cayenne pepper*.

Step Two: In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder and water. Bring the mix to a boil while stirring constantly, then remove from the stove top.

Step Three: Combine the cocoa mixture to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer until well combined.

spicy buttermilk brownies

Step Four: Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and beat for one minute. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Step Five: Bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool.


*I added half of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and it was just spicy enough for me. Most recipes call for only a 1/4 of a teaspoon but that's not good enough for me. If you really wanna feel it, add 3/4 of a teaspoon to your mixture. It really depends on how much spice you want in your brownie.

Song of the Blog: Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard 

Follow Katie Grimmer's board Food | Sweets + Treats on Pinterest.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekly Wishes | Twenty-Four

Last Week's Wishes

Enjoy the Last Bits of Summer: I spent my time off from work writing, baking or watching movies #somuchfail

Go.To.The.Gym: Yes! And we got to vote on our new Zumba teacher...and none of them will ever live up to the great and powerful Nikki.

Table for One: Today I made oatmeal. And that is my extent of not eating out for every single meal. #somuchfail

Table for One: The Reprise! This is real life. I need to go to the grocery store (are there other isles besides the beer and baking isles?). I need to cook for myself. I need to not spend so much freaking money on food. I need to eat all the food that I actually buy. I've been training my whole life for this one moment.

Become a Pro at Italian: I start my very first Italian class this week and I am so excited! I guess I would say that I'm most nervous about getting Italian confused with the (little) Spanish I know. I mean, they are all love languages anyway, right?

Song of the Blog: Be Italian by Fergie*

*author's note: Before Nine came out, the one musical number I wish I could have been in was El Tango de Roxanne from Moulin Rouge. Then this little number appeared and, while the movie was TERRIBLE, dear God, was this the sexiest thing of ever.

Weekly Wishes is where I join up with The Nectar Collective amongst many other bloggers to share the goals or challenges we wish to achieve this week. We're a community of goal-setters.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Come with Me Now, Angel in Blue Jeans

I hate to admit this, but I am LOVING what is on the Top 40 radio right now. I guess I don't really know if it's Top 40 but these songs have been on my two alternative rock radio stations every time so maybe they're just Top 40 in alternative rock. Woof! That was a long sentence.

tdlr; These two songs are on my radio all the time and I'm 100% okay with that.

Kongos — Come with Me Now
I blast this song when it comes on. It has such a fun beat and all I want to do is head bang while I'm driving (but I don't because I am a safe, defensive driver).

Buy Kongos' album Lunatic here

Train — Angel in Blue Jeans
This might be my favorite song on the radio right now (except this one, obviously). First off, Train?? What up?? I didn't know you was still 'round?? Age looks good on you! Second of all, this music video is fantastic. Danny Trejo and Hannah Simone TOGETHER. Obsessed.

Buy Train's album Bulletproof Picasso here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Review | The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Goodreads Synopsis: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review: I did not want to like this novel. This is a YA novel about two cancer kids who fall in love. It sounds like it could be worse than a Nicholas Sparks book. But, God dammit, I could not put this down. It reignited the dry spell I was having with reading (as in I read it in four days as opposed to the month it was taking me to get through a book). 

There is a reason this has been one of the most popular books of the past few years and that it because it's fantastic. 

The two leading characters and their best friend are mostly believable — although, I feel like they would fit into the Dawson's Creek cast quite well. Kevin Williamson would be proud of this dialogue. I unfortunately found out the ending right when I started reading this (screw you, YouTube) so while I wasn't surprised, it still cut my heart into a thousand little pieces. 

The quotes that John Green got out of this book are perfectly Pinable, such as

My only beef was with Hazel's dad. I realize that I would never know what it's like being a parent with a child who is terminally ill. However, you think her father would be try to be a little more strong in front of his daughter and not cry in every.single.scene. 

I loved the adventures that these two got to go on. But mostly I loved the point of view form Hazel. I loved that she didn't — or wouldn't let herself — fall in love with Augustus as quickly as he fell in love with her. There was something special about her being afraid to break his heart.

It's a story about two kids who are in love who also have cancer. It's cliche, yes. But it's lovely.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 goats

Buy The Fault in Our Stars here (or borrow it from me).

Follow Katie Grimmer's board Read on Pinterest.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekly Wishes | Twenty-Three

Last Week's Wishes

Kick Ass at the Showcase (and Open Mic Night): Hell to the Yes. What an expletive amazing experience that I will get to do again in seven weeks.

Get Health Insurance: Moving that to this week. Fail.

Plan Trip to AZ: Yes! Ticket purchased! (and might I add, prices have increased exponentially!)

Enjoy the Last Bits of Summer: It's finally below 100 degrees here, which means next thing you know, I'll be wrapped up in blankets and big socks for, well, three months because I live in the South. But that's long enough for me. It's time to soak up the last bit of hot sun. #longlivesummer

Go.To.The.Gym: I have not exercised in an amount of time that I'm just not going to confess to you. Plus, my favorite Zumba teacher just announced her Zumba retirement, so I've got to enjoy her while she's there. #longliveNikki

Table for One: I've told you before that it's hard to go grocery shopping for a household of one and not waste all my food. I don't know if it's just me, but I keep having to throw away massive amounts of food (even bread) and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. If anyone has any tips (or those awesome Pinterest boards), I would take them. #longlivemoney

Song of the Blog: Help! by The Beatles

Weekly Wishes is where I join up with The Nectar Collective amongst many other bloggers to share the goals or challenges we wish to achieve this week. We're a community of goal-setters.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

All About the Bass

What do you get when you mix Iggy Azalea and Adele?
My favorite new artist.

Except it turns out Meghan Trainor is not new to the music scene. In fact, she's been living in Nashville for the last year, writing songs for people and bands like mother freaking Rascal Flatts. Say what?

Anyway, I'm obsessed with her song and I'm taking back my previous statement that Magic!'s Rude is the song of the summer and declaring All About the Bass as the updated one.

It's also my new life anthem.

With lyrics such a:
"I know you think you're fat, but I'm here to tell ya, 'Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.'"
"Yeah, my momma, she told me don't worry about your size. She says 'boys like a little more booty to hold at night.'"
Yes, Meghan. People may have forgotten that Queen Bey originated being Bootylicious, but gurl, in the styling of Justin Timberlake:
"I'm bringing booty back."

Buy All About the Bass single here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let's Get Baked | Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

One word: yummy

The closest breakfast restaurant near me has these amazing seasonal lemon poppy seed pancakes with lemon glaze that I can't get enough of. The problem is they won't be there forever and they're adding some serious poundage to my hips. So, I searched my Pinterest pins and found this recipe and adapted it to what I had in my kitchen.

It turned out so delicious. I ate it for breakfast with yogurt and my cup of tea every day for a week (and brought it in to work where it was devoured within the day).

Step One:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub coconut oil and flour the bottom and sides of a loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. 

Step Two:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, xantham gum, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk until well-combined. I also like to add half a teaspoon of ground ginger to every baked good recipe to give it a little flavor. That's my "secret" ingredient to all.the.thing.

Step Three:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest.

Step Four:
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and add the melted butter. Gently mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Step Five:
Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Leave the bread in the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.
Step Six (this is the best part): 
Whisk the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a small bowl until completely combined and no lumps remain. Pour the glaze evenly across the top of the bread and allow it to drizzle down the sides. Let the glaze set for 15-20 minutes before devouring the loaf in one sitting.

Song of the Blog: Sugar, Sugar by The Archies