Phoning It In: Pumpkin Swirl Brownies


Last weekend I travelled to North Carolina to cook for visit my bestie’s newborn daughter. My husband and college buddy made two of the Food Lab’s amazing spinach lasagnas (the army-base carnivores went back for seconds), 30 burritos (green chili chicken and stewed beef), and a truly enormous triple-batch of Flour’s banana bread (also baked in a giant lasagna pan). All of this made its way into my friends’ chest freezer for the next month of eat/sleep/nurse sustenance, as it pleases their tiny adorable dictator. There was a lot of kitchen time in my week. A LOT. Which is why I’m not surprised that sci-fi night rolled around without any baking or even baking plans. I had meant to do the baking on one of my wide-open days with no meetings or tutoring appointments. Oh well.

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Plum Torte for the End of Summer

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It’s the end of the summer, you can spin the light to gold…if it’s not drizzling. The leaves haven’t turned yet, but it’s noticeably cooler. Suddenly there’s a (laughable) pumpkin spice version of every imaginable product. The farmer’s market is full of decorative gourds, but I’m not quite ready to embrace all the apples.

So plums then.

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Cranberry Chess Pie: The Beginning of a Study In How to Make Normal Sized Desserts

cranberry chess pie

I had stepped away from baking for a bit, and when I came back to it, my life was different. I married my partner in crime, and in a strange twist we started weightlifting together, shifting our diet away from things that aren’t animal protein or vegetables.

On the other hand, I spend one night a week with dear friends watching sci-fi (when available, or whatever ridiculous shows are available instead), drinking wine, eating cheese and ordering the best delivery we can find on Seamless. At some point I decided that civilized gatherings require pie. Sci-fi Pie. This gathering draws between four and eight humans on a average, and the idea of making an entire batch of brownies or a standard size pie was troubling. None of us are kids in our 20s. We want our pie, but we don’t want to be stuck with the 3/4 of an entire pie that would remain if we each had a slice.

Continue reading “Cranberry Chess Pie: The Beginning of a Study In How to Make Normal Sized Desserts”