not healthful

Midnight Cheese


There's a line from the Joni Mitchell song "My Old Man" that I love, it goes "The bed is too big, the frying pan is too wide."


Baby, that's where I'm at.
Lately, when I can't sleep, I roll out of bed and stand in cold light of the refrigerator and eat hummus and chocolate and cheese in an attempt to fill up the night and the hollow spaces inside me.
Because at night, I easily get lost in the past and overwhelmed by the future, and food is so tactile and so real that something as simple as a snack brings me back to the present, which is also intimidating, but better, because there is chocolate to be had in the present. 
And chocolate is comforting. 
The famous food writer Ruth Reichl wrote a beautiful memoir called Comfort Me With Apples, which is a mostly perfect title, but if I were to write that food memoir right now it would be called Comfort Me With Chocolate. Or, Comfort Me With Cheese


Baby, if we're being totally honest, I just can't bring myself to really cook meals these days. 
The frying pan is too wide. 
So mostly I am eating eggs, hummus, beans out of a can and apples and coffee and beer. 
Which is simple and small and just fine. 


But this is really to say, I think about you all the time and I have a lot to say, I'm just figuring out how to say it right. 
I don't know. 
I'll bake you a cake soon and we can talk about that. 
But right now my frying pan is too wide, and I really just want to eat two kinds of cheese until I'm full enough and then go laugh and drink beer with my people. 
Because right now that feels nice and sweet and good. 

So. 
Cake soon. 
Meals again soon. 
But for now. 
I love you I love you I love you. 

xoxo
mary 



Excellent Midnight Cheeses:
Tillamook Sharp Cheddar: http://www.tillamook.com/
Cabot: http://www.cabotcheese.coop/
Barber's 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar: http://www.barbers1833.co.uk/



Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl


I keep comparing myself to who I was two years ago. 



Because when I was 18, I was pretty certain I knew what was up. 
I knew what I liked, and what I didn't. 
And I had a certain way of being and speaking and seeing. 
I thought I knew myself. 
Now two years have passed and I'm different. 


Go figure. 



And the only reason this is exciting is because I've surprised myself. 
I mean, actually really surprised myself. 

I've done a lot of things I never thought I would do or could do or was even capable of doing. 

I think I'm braver. 
I think I'm also quite a bit dumber, but maybe that's the tradeoff for being "vulnerable" or "impulsive." 
I now appreciate Taylor Swift, who I was definitely too much of a snob for at 18. 
I've gotten better about saying thank you. 
I now have a very long list of things I've learned since 18 called "Life Lessons." 
It has some absolute PEARLS of wisdom on it such as, "Always keep tums on hand" and "Save money." 



Whatever. 

However, what brought about these scintillating ruminations, is that at 18, other than Taylor Swift, I had absolutely no interest in cheesecake or cheesecake related edibles. 

Oh how the tables have turned. 

These are raspberry goat cheese brownies. Basically cheesecake's cousin. 
And they are really fucking good, especially when frozen. 

What I am trying to tell you is, you don't have to wait two years to become the new, improved you.
 You can start right now. 
With these crazy cheesecake cousin brownies. 


"To change one's life; start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions."
                                              - William James

You're welcome. 

XOXO 

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl


via thekitchn.com



Makes about 30 small brownie squares
Raspberries
2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed
2 tablespoons brandy or Kirsch
Brownies
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Raspberry Goat Cheese Swirl
8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Heat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan (or any 3-quart dish, like the gratin dish I use here) with butter or baking spray. Place the raspberries in a bowl and stir in the brandy or Kirsch. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter until liquid in a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan over low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the milk, and cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one by one. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold in until just combined. Fold in about half of the raspberries and spread this brownie batter in the prepared pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with hand beaters, or by hand with a heavy whisk) beat the goat cheese with the cream cheese, butter, egg, sugar, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the other half of the raspberries and their juices. Drop the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls, then swirl it through the batter with a knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until just barely set. The top will be just turning light brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Store at room temperature, well-covered. The flavor and texture of these brownies really bloom when you let them rest overnight.

Chocolate Chip Cookies & Valentines Day

February, man. 

It's a rough month. 

School is hard. The weather is fickle. Life is tricky. And there's Valentines Day. 


 
Lately, I've been asking the cosmos to just throw me a bone. 
This past week I fell over twice because my backpack was so heavy, which simultaneously made me want to laugh and cry. 
I chose to laugh, but really wished that someone would just give me a hug instead. 

Also, Valentines Day is this week. 


There are about 2 things in the world that I hate. 
I hate papayas.
And I hate Valentines Day, even though it means lots of marked down chocolate on february 15th. 
Which is definitely a win for the stress-eating singles of the world. 


Whatever. 

Tonight, I made these cookies. 
This is the third time I've published this recipe here, and ironically, the last time I posted it was exactly around this time last year. These cookies somehow answer all my comfort food cravings and February sweetness needs. 


I hope you have a lovely week, and I hope your backpacks are a little lighter, and I really hope you make these cookies, because February man, it's a rough month. 

XOXO
m




Perfection In Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips or 2 cups store-bought chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer w/paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed mix in chocolate and nuts.
Spoon on tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes. Until light brown on edges and golden in center.
Allow cookies to rest for one minute. Then using spatula transfer to cooling rack.

bones

Hi Sweet Darlings,
I haven't abandoned you exactly.
I have been so busy and so tired.
Which maybe is not a good excuse but I'm using it any way.




 I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be strong. And brave. 



Because this year, the one thing I've learned is how strong being vulnerable makes you. 
When you say to someone: Here are my bones. Here are my insides. 
And some people will take you and hold you and all of your ligaments and vertebrae, and they help you love and forgive them. 
And others do not. 
These things make you strong. And brave. 

You will trip and fall and be foolish. 
And you and your bones and insides will get up again. 
And this will make you strong. And brave. 

You are strong. And brave. 
I am too. 

Be safe. Be good. Maybe next time there will be something zesty and delicious to share with you. 




But until then. 
XOXO