Wednesday, November 26, 2008

magic blondies

I tell you one thing, Ms. Martha sure can come up with good recipes. Or else, perhaps, the food people she hires can. I made a batch of these magic blondies for a coworker's birthday earlier this week and they were such a big hit! Super simple and super yummy (yes, I snuck a bite of Tony's, shhhhh!). I'll have to make another batch sometime next week after the holidays.

Magic Blondies (makes 1 dozen)


2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)
2/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries (I used cherries)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (oh crap! just realizing that I forgot to add the baking powder! whoooopsies!)
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
9 tablespoons (1 1/8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. Stir together coconut, chocolate, walnuts, and cherries in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
4. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in 1 cup coconut mixture.
5. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Sprinkle remaining coconut mixture over tops.
6. Bake blondies until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 25 minutes. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

And here's snapshot of how they turned out. Enjoy!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

what is tapioca?

"Can you eat this?" is something I hear so often from my concerned friends (thank you guys by the way). Recently, my friend Shannon and I were talking about tapioca pudding and how I can eat it thanks to the folks at Kozy Shack. And then she asked a really good question, "What is tapioca?"

My answer: "I don't know but whatever it is I'm not allergic to it."


So I decided to look it up because we were convinced that the perfectly small, round, pearls were too perfect to be naturally formed that way (i.e. man had to step in somewhere).

According to Wikipedia:

"Tapioca is a flavorless, colorless, odorless starch extracted from the root of the plant species Manihot esculenta. Tapioca is gluten free, and nearly protein free. The commercial form of tapioca most familiar to many people is pearl tapioca. Commercially, the starch is processed into several forms: powder, fine or coarse flakes or meal ('flour'), sticks, and 'pearls'. In all its forms tapioca starch is opaque before cooking; after cooking it becomes translucent."

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

"In processing, heat ruptures the starch grains, converting them to small, irregular masses that are further baked into flake tapioca. A pellet form, known as pearl tapioca, is made by forcing the moist starch through sieves."

And then I couldn't read past that because I'm not a member of their website and couldn't gain access without a credit card number.

Interesting. And yummy. Thanks for not using corn syrup, Kozy Shack!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

zaftigs delicatessen

"Let us be your Jewish mother." Ha ha ha, that is the first thing you'll see on their website. After a quick crafting trip to Paper Source and driving around the Brookline area, Liz, Renee, and I had a late lunch at Zaftigs in Coolidge Corner. We were actually craving sushi, but Mr. Sushi was closed so this was our second choice. And right next door.

They had so many good things to choose from on the menu, plus they serve breakfast all day. How can you go wrong with that? Liz got a giganomous pastrami sandwich that she said was killer with the spicy mustard. Renee got the challah french toast which was simply yummy and covered in syrup. I opted for a sirloin burger that came out perfectly medium-rare.

And since we were all too stuffed from lunch, we got dessert to go. I mean, how can you not get something from this lovely display of baked goods?

And alas, my hubby benefitted from this little outing, too, by divulging in a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. I went for the coconut cupcake. Yum-o! They bake all the cupcakes and brownies there on premise by the way. So if you're in the Coolidge Corner area and need something to soothe your sweet tooth, be sure to check out their bakery!

Now where's that treadmill of ours?


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