Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Here's to the lovers, the dreamers, (and you)! Happy Birthday Jim Henson!

Someday, we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers , the dreamers, and me 

Once again, it has been far too long! Life just got a little crazier, (in a good way), so I have not had as much time to share yummy new recipes, but fear not: I have returned with an excellent one from Diva Martha Stewart. The recipe is for these delightful little treats called Dream Bars: graham cracker crust, chocolate chips, coconut...what's not to love? Also, these bars fit perfectly into the theme of this recipe: celebrating one of my favorite dreamers of all time: Jim Henson. Jim Henson was the brilliant mind behind the Muppets, Sesame Street, The Labyrinth (hello David Bowie), and so many other puppet-centered projects. This week marked what would have been his 76th birthday. For those of you who don't know me that well: Jim Henson is my hero, (and I don't even work with puppets)!

Here's why: from all accounts, he was a super kind man (who also just happened to be an artistic genius). It warms my heart to know that he "made it" without being mean or cut-throat:  he was just a sweet guy that wanted to bring joy to people, and I am all about that! On a sidenote, if you have not already read it, I highly suggest taking a look at It's Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider. It's a collection of inspirational quotes by, for, and about Mr. Henson and his friends. I wholeheartedly believe his positive approach to work and life in general is something we could all learn from. Without further ado, here is the recipe:

This is all Martha Stewart. No copyright infringement intended:

I added a pinch of vanilla bourbon extract to the filling, and that was my only adjustment. I also suggest baking these with a friend: they're super rich and perfect for sharing, (I baked these with my lovely friend, Karen...hey girl hey)! Now go enjoy these and dream away!

Love Always,

The Rainbow Connection as sung by our favorite frog:

“I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey.As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to re-fold it no matter how smart you are. 

So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it never fly as cargo.” --Jim Henson

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dark Chocolate Brownies for The Night Circus

Night Circus Brownies!
Have you heard of The Night Circus? No, it's not a new movie starring Michael Fassbender (I wish), or a TV show. It's actually *drumroll please* a phenomenal book by Erin Morgenstern about two rival magicians growing up in the 1800s who fall in love, (yes it sounds a bit silly, but trust me, you'll love it). I got fifty pages in last night and had to force myself to put it down so I could get up in time for work! My lovely friend Saskia suggested it to me a long time ago and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it: it's full of eccentric characters, interesting plot twists, and of course, lots and lots of magic! So, in honor of said book (and in an attempt to get more people to read it), I give you: Night Circus Brownies.

What makes them Night Circus-y,  you ask? Well, there's dark chocolate in them...almost as dark as the night (yeah that's a little cheesy but bear with me here). I adapted the recipe from this one posted by   Baking Diva Deb Perelman over at Smitten Kitchen:

Here are my adjustments:

I used 3 ounces of dark chocolate, 72% cacao instead of unsweetened chocolate
I added 1 extra teaspoon of vanilla extract (and of course)
I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.

I also found that I had to bake my brownies just a tad bit longer in my oven, but other than that, I stuck to her recipe. The original recipe is all Deb Perelman, no copyright infringement intended! These brownies are super easy to make! Happy baking! Once you're done, get a copy of The Night Circus or if you're like me tonight, enjoy said treats with some good friends and a glass of wine.

Love Always,

Erin Morgenstern's personal website for the book: