The Heat is On…

…It’s on the street… And in my oven! Jeepers, it is HOT in Portland this weekend. I keep psyching myself up for cooler weather and then in rolls a heat wave. I have a system down for staying sane (cool) though. My essentials: (1) A spray bottle filled with water and kept in the fridge; (2) Lots and lots of cucumbers to eat; (3) a Japanese folding fan; (4) Barley iced tea; and (5) Window blinds pulled down and shut to keep out the melting heat. Of course, I suppose a trip to a cold river would be nice too (anybody want to teach me to swim?)!

Anyways, the heat in my oven was on this morning because I was baking another batch of brownies! This particular batch has been on my must-attempt-soon list and I finally got the necessary ingredients to give them a try:

Rice Crispy Treat Brownies!!! The recipe for these delightfully fudgy, chocolatey, crispy, gooey brownies will be in my book! I am stowing them in the freezer for a cold, sweet dessert after dinner.

In other funky-fresh news, I finally opened my Etsy shop! It took me forever and then some extra forever because I am admittedly lazy. My shop name is Chirp Cards and I make cards (primarily with an animal theme because I LOVE animals!)! Please take a peek and spread the word!

I even take custom orders for cards and will eventually be adding photography cards too!! Yay!

I hope everybody is keeping cool and having a super rad weekend.

Cook, Photograph, Clean, Rep(eat)

Wow, summer is quickly fading into the forgotten world isn’t it? I am totally okay with that considering fall is my most favorite time of year. I realize summer will be sticking around a bit longer, but I’m still excited for cooler temperatures, clouds, and local apples.

It’s been awhile since my last post – with good reason… I’ve been mighty busy!! Amidst writing and testing brownie recipes for my book (and eating them too!) I had the absolute dandy pleasure of working with Isa Moskowitz for the last two weeks. My job was to prepare and cook recipes from her upcoming cookbook, Appetite for Reduction, and then help with setting up photo shoots and lighting, cleaning up afterward, and eating a bunch of the food that was photographed. It was hard work but also immensely enjoyable. I learned a lot about food photography from an obvious expert and also gained a fondness for her three kitties! You can check out the photos Isa took here and get psyched up for her book!!!! Everything I made was delicious. I am hopelessly addicted to the Green Goddess Garlic Dressing, the Tamarind BBQ Tempeh, and the Caulipots. Curious? Well head over here, and pre-order the book!!!! You can look forward to filling your tummy with goodness!!

With all the business in my life, I have found myself becoming increasingly tired despite healthy eating and exercise. I am getting plenty of sleep and cannot figure out why I am so drained of energy. I’ve taken to napping during the day which I used to avoid in the past. It’s frustrating! Any thoughts or advice?

Let’s see… What else? Oh! How about a sneak peek at a gluten-free brownie that will be in my book?

These are Gluten-Free Coconut Brownies. They are for serious coconut lovers only. It would probably help if you liked chocolate too!

What would your ideal brownie be? I’d love to know!

It’s a Brownie Wonderland!!

Hey everybody! I recently announced that I am in the development stages of writing a vegan brownie book. Amidst the flour, cocoa powder, and sugar I started a fan page on Facebook for the book. Please join and tell your friends too! You can stay up-to-date on the book progress, see photos, and maybe even help me name recipes! I would love your support and encouragement! Thank you!

Happy weekend!

Cherry Invasion

Guess what? It’s cherry season in the Pacific Northwest!! Oddly enough, me and the gorgeous cherry never enjoyed one another’s company until a few years ago. I was happy to eat cherry-flavored candy, cherry pies, and cherries in canned fruit cups, but fresh from the tree? No thanks! I thought cherries were too tart. I thought their pits were creepy. Obviously I discovered that those feelings were absolute nonsense. Now I can eat a whole pound of cherries (in one sitting) and happily spit pits across the table, aiming precisely for Tim’s face. You think I’m kidding about that last bit?

Last week Tim and I went to an orchard in Hood River, OR and picked a hefty twenty pounds of cherries. Yipes! Want to know the best part? They were only $1.00 per pound and organic! What an amazing deal. Cherry picking is quite relaxing even when you have to climb a twelve foot ladder into the tippy-tops of trees. I had the advantage of being on the ladder while Tim picked from ground level.

What do you do with twenty pounds of cherries? Well, so far we have dehydrated a bunch, packed some into the freezer, and eaten heaps of them alongside all of our meals. Oh, and I made cherry brownies!

The recipe for these brownies will be in my book. Fudgy, chocolatey, cherry goodness.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy cherries? Do you have recipes you want to share? I still have a huge load in my refrigerator!

Big Announcements!

Hello everybody! I hope summer is treating you with amazing produce, relaxation, and plenty of time spent with friends and family. The weather in Portland has been pretty nice – and that’s saying a lot coming from somebody who prefers clouds, cool temperatures, and rain over the heat and constant sunshine. Diagnosis: I have a black, evil soul…

I also have a few super-duper surprises! Since quitting my job earlier this month I have had more time to bake and be happy. My job was consuming my insides and turning me into an empty shell. Sounds dim, huh? Eventually I will be seeking out employment because after all, it is essential. And it helps me pay the bills! In the meantime, I am writing and creating recipes for a vegan brownie book!! Hooray! A few good friends have been motivating and encouraging me to distribute my brownies around the world. That task seems mighty overwhelming so I am splitting the difference. I have been working on recipes for the last three months and Tim was the one who suggested I write a book. It’s going to be lots of work, but so far I am enjoying every minute.

Here, have a look at my Newman O’s brownies:

B-b-b-b-b-b-brownies!!!

My second announcement is that I will be opening an Etsy shop soon and selling handmade cards. It might take me a few weeks to get everything ready, but I will post a link to my shop once I’m done.

That’s it! Happy weekend everybody!