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Must-Have Gadget: Fish Spatula

17 May

Before you start whining about fish and how you don’t like fish and don’t eat fish and don’t want to deal with fish and your kitchen and smells and picky children…this has nothing to do with fish.

(Can you tell what kind of morning we had?)

I made cookies last night (and again this morning, thanks to my evil, evil dog figuring out after two years that she can actually reach the goodies on my countertop. Anybody want a dog who may or may not have gastro issues later? Cheap?) and realized that I’d never talked to you all about my fish spatula. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is about the best $12 you can spend in the gadget aisle at your local Target.

Fish spatulas were designed for seafood. They’re long and slim and wafer-thin, and were made that way to support flaky fillets between your pan and plate. But that same skinny, slender design makes them among the best multi-taskers in your kitchen. They slide right under all sorts of fragile things. Cookies, pancakes (oh my gosh, they revolutionize pancakes), omelets, poached eggs, tortillas…you name it. And because they’re much longer than normal spatulas, they’re super easy to handle without worrying about your sensitive fingertips, particularly when you’re working with a grill or griddle.

Most of these have metal business ends. Mine is plastic, and it works just fine. It’s a KitchenAid only because that’s what was on sale–you absolutely do not need any kind of fancy-schmancy brand. I bought it about six months ago and can’t believe I survived so long in my kitchen without one. They’re very reasonably priced on Amazon or in the gadget aisle of whatever store is near to you, and I highly recommend picking one up and putting it to use, even if fish doesn’t enter your house.

That’s my gadget o’ the day. So tell me: What’s your favorite?

Toasted Oats

21 Feb

Just so you know, this isn’t much of a recipe. It’s more of a technique or an idea. But it’s well worth learning because it is so simple and you’ll find a lot of uses for it.

As part of my eating-healthier challenge, I’m trying really hard to like yogurt. It’s loaded with calcium and all kinds of good stuff, and the Greek variety has a ton of protein, which helps keep me full until lunch. It’s cold and creamy and comes in a ton of flavors, and in theory, I should like it.

Sadly, it’s a struggle. Plain yogurt does nothing for me except make me grimace. I’ve tried all the flavors and all the brands and all the varieties, and I just can’t do it. I’ve found, though, that stirring in other things helps a lot–fruit, granola, nuts. Unfortunately, my favorite is granola and that can be really calorie-dense and full of sugar despite the beautiful T.V. commercials with fit people crunching away on mountaintops.

I really like cold Swiss style oats in the morning (which is a mixture of yogurt and uncooked oats), but I’m not always good at thinking ahead far enough to mix it together so the oats soak up some of the yogurt and get soft. And if I don’t give it enough time, the oats are chewy. I don’t enjoy chewy raw oats.

This morning, I drank my coffee and smacked myself in the forehead. Because toasting the oats takes all of 10 minutes and makes them deliciously nutty tasting and wonderfully crunchy, which is the perfectly perfect thing to stir into Greek yogurt. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

This is so super easy: You preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil. I used a 7 x 12 pan, but you can really use anything you have. Pour plain oats (rolled, not quick) into that pan and shake them out into a layer or two–you want as many individual oats touching the bottom of the pan as possible. Pop that into your preheated oven and let those oats toast in there for 10-15 minutes, giving the pan a good stir every five minutes so the oats trade places on the bottom and none of them burn.

See the difference between raw and toasted oats? The raw ones to the left are chewy. The toasted ones at the right are a gorgeous golden brown (channeling Anne Burrell–brown food tastes good!). No sugar. No preservatives. No fat. No billions of calories. Just toasty, crunchy goodness that’s perfect on vanilla yogurt with some blueberries, or whatever yumminess you like–these would also be delicious on pudding or frozen yogurt or anything else that needs a little crunch.

Toasted oats have rocked my world, y’all (or at least my breakfast table). I made up a mess of ’em and stored them in a container to use all week. So simple and easy, and such a nice thing to have around. Hope you’ll try it!

The Paula Deen Thing

19 Jan

In case you’ve been under a rock this week, Paula Deen the butter queen announced she has diabetes. And everybody seems to have an opinion on it.

Was it her diet? No way to say. If you believe her TV show, she lives on a steady diet of cream cheese, butter, heavy cream, and more butter. If you believe TV is TV and that “reality” shows aren’t really what they claim (staged? what? you serious, Clark?), you can’t make a judgement. Food Network aside, Paula Deen can have whatever diet she wants and not have to justify it to the rest of us. If you enjoy the cupcake diet, rock on. Answer to yourself and never mind other people’s opinions, because the consequences are yours.

Personally, I think a lot of us have a dangerous obsession with weight. We’re bombarded by size 0’s who, along with a generous dose of Photoshop, are held up as ideals. A new diet is released almost every day, each sounding more miraculous and wonderful than the last, with a trail of celebrities hanging on to proclaim their success on whatever the newest trend is. On the other extreme, we’re tempted, constantly tempted, by cheap junk food that–let’s face it–tastes good, fits our budget, and looks darned fun in all of the ads. Sadly, many people think that’s the only way they can afford to eat.

No doubt about it, our attitude and knowledge about food and our bodies is messed up. Many people understand the concept of moderation, eat less/move more, and having a healthy body image (that at least has a real digit as a size). But many of us don’t, and the misconceptions are perpetuated by what we see on television and in magazines.

So. Paula Deen. Paula Deen has the right to cook the way she wants and develop recipes the way she wants and feed her own body the way she wants. I don’t think she has any kind of obligation to change any of that because of her diagnosis. Our habits are not her responsibility, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in butter and cream and cheese every so often. Remember the saying about the women skipping dessert on the Titanic? Word, yo. Have a cookie and birthday cake and ice cream and bacon. Just don’t do it all the time. Moderation!

My issue with Miss Paula is the timing of her announcement, which oh-so-coincidentally came at the same time she allied herself with a pharma company that happens to produce diabetes drugs. If news reports are to be believed, she’s know about her diagnosis for several years now. One would think if she was trying to do good, as she claims, she’d have shared her Big News well before signing a contract to hawk medication.

Your disease, your diet, your business. Your right to do whatever you want with your television show. Our obligation to educate ourselves and be reasonable and make our own choices as adults, and not blame a TV chef for our own issues and our own choices.

Paula Deen is a hypocrite and an opportunist who claims to want to do good, but really is angling for a profit. And that is my only beef with her, celebrity or not.

Whipped Cream Redux

22 Nov

You might remember that last August (2010), DH sprayed “Happy Birthday” in our driveway with a can of whipped cream, and that a few weeks later, it hadn’t quite vanished. Which made our family rethink that stuff that comes in the cans.

That picture up there? I took that this morning. Fifteen months after the sweet message landed on our concrete. Fifteen months of rain (including a hurricane) and snow and basketball and cars and people and garbage cans, and a lot of stuff…a lot more than goes in inside your body.

See what I’m saying, y’all?

You can see my original post on how easy it is to make whipped cream, and now that you’ve seen a real-world science experiment with that canned stuff, I’d urge you to rethink the convenience route. To make it a little more special for Thanksgiving, drizzle a little maple syrup in there while you’re whipping–it’s fantabulous. If you need it to travel, add a few pinched of cream of tartar, which will help it stand up longer.

Happy Thanksgiving, gang!

Warm Pumpkin (or any) Breakfast Muffins

15 Nov

I promised my daughter pumpkin bread last night.

Of course, that was before piano lessons and basketball practice, and shuttling everyone through late-for-a-school-night showers and teeth brushing and reading time and bed, and it was definitely before all Hades broke loose with a client project in the late afternoon and dinner had to be made and then the kitchen had to be cleaned. It was also after a full day of work and home-running nuttiness.

All of this is a long way of saying: I made the promise and then I did everything else on my list and then I fell asleep on the couch.

Oops.

Thankfully, I avoided catastrophe (you do not want to break a promise to my daughter. Hell hath no fury, y’all). DH exercises with a neighbor on Tuesday mornings and wakes me up before he goes, which is quite early by normal-people standards. After I came-to and realized I’d forgotten her bread, I poured myself some coffee, mixed the ingredients together (in four minutes–I timed it), doled the bread batter into greased muffin tins, and headed up for my shower. Twenty-five minutes later, the kids were getting up to the scent of hot pumpkin muffins wafting up the stairs, which is not the worst way in the world to awaken.

The pumpkin bread/muffin recipe I love is here–I posted it last year, but it’s worth revisiting because it is so good and keeps so well and takes so few minutes to toss together, and it’s relatively healthy to boot. And the good thing is that you don’t have to completely space on a promise to your kid to also enjoy fresh-from-the-oven yumminess in the morning– I have a few tricks to make that happen even if your brain isn’t slowly leaking out your ears like mine apparently is.

First, find a quick bread recipe you love and can make easily. Pumpkin bread, banana bread, oatmeal bread, blueberry bread, lemon bread–whatever. Convert it to muffin size–a loaf equals a dozenish muffins, depending how large you want them to be.

The night before you want hot baked awesomeness for breakfast, get out two bowls–make one the bowl from your mixer. In the mixer bowl, stir together your dry ingredients–your flour, sugar, salt, spices, etc. In the second bowl, stir together your wet stuff–your eggs, milk, oil, vanilla. Cover both with plastic wrap. Leave the dry on the counter and put the wet in the fridge. (If you don’t do this, it really takes no more than 5 minutes to gather everything together and give it a whir in the mixer in the morning. Don’t sweat it.)

When you wake up, turn your oven on. Get your muffin tins out and butter or spray them with your nonstick goodness of choice (I am partial to Baker’s Joy, but whatever floats your boat). Get your cold bowl out of the fridge, dump it into your dry bowl, mix it up, and dole it into your muffin tins (and by the way, an ice cream scoop works beautifully for this job).

Put your bowls in the dishwasher (or into a sink of hot soapy water), let the oven tell you it’s preheated, slide your muffins in there, and give them a little less than half the time you’d bake a loaf of bread. Enjoy your coffee, take a shower, hit the treadmill. Whatever your morning entails–go ahead and do it. My pumpkin bread recipe takes an hour, so I started checking the muffins after 20 minutes.

Once they’re done, pull them out. Gently, gently slide a knife around the edges of the muffins you want to eat immediately, slide them out of their tins, and put them on a plate to cool for a few minutes (so they don’t crumble into oblivion or toast your tongue off when you bite into them). You’ll have warm comfort just when you need it the most, and your house will smell awesome all morning.

Let your remaining muffins cool all the way and store them in a plastic container with a tight lid.

Enjoy your warm breakfast muffins, y’all!

De-Rutting the Chef

14 Nov

It happens to the best of us: we love cooking, but just aren’t in the mood. For a few days or a week or more. Maybe we’re tired of serving a delicious meal and listening to complaining from picky family members (spouses included, and what’s up with that, anyway?). Perhaps we’re frustrated by climbing grocery bills, persnickity appliances, or hard-to-find ingredients. And maybe we’re just tired. Work and school and activities and bills and car issues and home projects, and it never seems to end.

I hear you. Want my confession? I made two meals last week (old standbys) and we had leftovers twice and then had cereal for dinner the rest of the week. Time was short and I was in a mood and the stove wasn’t singing its sirens song to me, and that’s the way it was.

We all lose our kitchen mojo, and it’s OK. I can tell you that the more you stress about it, the longer it’s going to go on. And I can offer a few tips that have helped me climb out of the rut:

  1. Chill. It’s totally fine to take a week or two off. Cook some family favorites–meals you know everyone likes and that you can put together easily. Try breakfast for dinner–scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pancakes and even cold cereal are totally fine for your evening meal and are simple to put together and clean up afterwards. Ditto for grilled cheese or turkey or peanut butter sandwiches, French toast, a rotisserie chicken from the market, quesadillas, omelets, and even that mac n cheese out of the box. It’s all good! Take a break and let it go for a bit.
  2. Go visit your local kitchen store and just wander around. Flip through the cookbooks, touch the pots and pans and gadgets, look at the samples that are out. I find a ton of inspiration even in the cooking department at Macy’s, where I see something and think, “I can do that,” and find myself re-energized.
  3. Park the kids in front of a TV for a few hours (nobody’s brain will rot that quickly, I promise), park yourself in front of another with a soft blanket, a cup of something hot to sip, and a comfy pillow, and settle in for a food movie. The two that are sure to get me re-jazzed about my own kitchen are Julie & Julia (the movie is so. much. better than the book–and that is the only time you’ll ever hear me say that about any movie, ever), and No Reservations, which didn’t get a lot of attention but is wonderful. Watching other people cook is fun, and you see their frustrations too, which helps with your own.
  4. Take yourself out for a really nice meal. Pick your favorite cuisine, get a date, and go enjoy. Sometimes the great stuff someone else makes for you inspires you to get back to making your own fabulous meals.
  5. Pretty up your kitchen! Make the room somewhere you want to be. Hang up something you love on the walls. Rearrange your countertops. Add a music system to the room. Whatever you need to make your kitchen a magnet for you.
  6. Bake something. Seriously. Bread or brownies or cookies or whatever. Something about sifting and mixing and measuring is very zen.

We all hit ruts. You can’t rush your way out, either. Let it work itself out, give yourself a little boost, and you’ll be back at the stove in no time!

 

Bake Sale!

11 Nov

This weekend marks the annual Christmas Bazaar at my church, which includes a bake sale that funds need-based scholarships to our school. I always bake a lot, and this year was no different. But I wanted to show you these super-cute cupcakes in a jar!

I stole this idea–it’s on about eleventy-trillion different websites–but it came out so well that I had to give it a plug. You need jelly-sized canning jars (8 oz, I bought two cases at my local hardware store), a load of ribbon, some plastic spoons, tape, and your favorite cupcake and icing combo.

Let your cupcakes cool completely and then slice them in half, so you have a top and a bottom of each. Put your frosting into a piping bag with a star tip (a Ziploc bag with a small corner clipped off works great).

Place the bottom of a cupcake into one of the jelly jars. Pipe icing on top of it, being sure to go all the way to the edge of the cake, so you can see the icing when you look at the jar. Gently press the cupcake top down on top of that, and then ice that the same way. Put the lid on, tape a spoon to the side, and put some pretty ribbon around the top. Voila–instant bake sale happiness, and something people can walk around and snack on while they shop the rest of the show.

Two other quick tips: I made chocolate chip cookie cake for this sale as well. I made the batter a day ahead and stored it in the fridge, which saved me time on baking day and freed up my mixer for other things. I also used foil pans, which are both prettier wrapped up than naked bread, and let me double the cake recipe and get three loaves out of it (since the disposable pans are smaller than my regular ones). I also made my sweet white bread, as it’s always popular and keeps for a day or two, tightly wrapped.

Breads get wrapped up in their foil pans, first in regular plastic wrap and then in a layer of clear cellophane, and then tied with a bright ribbon and labeled with a pretty card. Pretty food sells.

I’d love to hear your great bake sale ideas–post them below!

 

Cooking Lesson

7 Nov

I spent yesterday at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show, which was such fun I can barely put it into words. I got a cookbook signed by Giada, I won a T-shirt (*giggle*), I snagged a super cute Christmas present for my daughter, and I came home with some yummy things in jars and some yummy ideas in my head.

There were about 10 aisles of booths filled with all sorts of foodie things (and some not so much–Gutter Helmet? BathFitter? Really?), and I spotted some definite trends. Salsa and barbecue sauce are both hot–I saw lots of those from all sorts of vendors. The line for soup was the longest in the place, and comfort food in general was very popular. Two vendors were selling high-end knives (no Wusthof, which surprised me, but Guy Fieri’s line looked nice and there was an artisan company whose hammered blades were stunning), a few were selling expensive table linens, and there were two booths of brightly-patterned aprons and lunch totes and chef’s hats and soft cooler bags and all sorts of fun things like that. One large exhibit in the back sold Viking stoves, one truck was handing out Duke’s mayonnaise (I am a recent convert, by the way–that stuff is good), and a large area was hosting beef cooking and eating demonstrations.

There were three demonstration stages open to the masses and one large one that cost extra, which is where Paula Deen and Giada and Guy Fieri spoke. The (free) demos I saw were all about making life easier, both every day and during the holidays, and the speakers had some super cute ideas.

The biggest free stage hosted Michel Richard at noon, and that was what made me buy my ticket, what with my foodie crush and all. I sat down 20 minutes early to be in the front, and he did not disappoint.

His food demo–an orange sponge cake–was wonderful, but the real reason I enjoyed it was that it was FUN. Food and cooking are FUN, you guys, and that totally came through–he laughed and joked and danced and sang and shouted through his recipe, and then bounced off the stage to take questions and laugh some more. I learned quite a bit in the half-hour he talked, including…

  • You don’t have to spend a lot on your kitchenware–he baked his cake in a plain, frill-free metal pan–but a stand mixer makes a huge difference. “Do you have one of these,” he asked the audience as his KitchenAid whirred away. “You should buy one.” It was the only product he endorsed. Have to say, I heartily agree–mine makes all the difference and was worth the investment and counter space.
  • Ingredients matter. He talked about using butter in recipes, and how his mother used margarine and it just wasn’t the same. Eat less if you must, but use quality ingredients when you cook. You’ll be happier for it.
  • Want chocolate cake? Substitute cocoa powder for 20 percent of the flour in a white cake recipe. Simple, eh? (The recipe he demonstrated called for orange juice. He recommended using apple if you go with chocolate there. Cool.)
  • His favorite food to make and eat at home? ROASTED CHICKEN WITH GARLIC. Vindication, my friends. Total, beautiful, absolute vindication.
  • He baked his cake in a pan lined with plastic wrap. I asked why plastic instead of parchment. He said–and I completely agree–that he doesn’t like using parchment paper because it’s hard to get down in the pan properly. Spray the pan with nonstick spray and then line it with plastic, and it magically conforms to the walls of the pan, giving you a beautiful cake at the end. I’d never seen that done before  and am intrigued.
  • Finally, he stopped bouncing around long enough to stand very still and ask us all if we knew what the magic ingredient was to give food a special sparkle. Nobody knew. “Love,” he said, and began bouncing and singing. “Love, love, love loooooooove.”

Gang, this is fun. Food is a creative outlet and eating is a joy and the kitchen is a place for family and friends to gather and enjoy each other. I had a ball yesterday simply because he’s so much fun–he’s not stuffy and snobby like other chefs in his position (he raised both fists in the air and gave a hearty “YEAH” when his introducer mentioned his James Beard award), and he could not be nicer or more encouraging. He sat down and took a few pictures with me and chatted about what I liked to cook, and it felt so accessible, which is the way it should be.

“You can do this,” he said to us. “In your kitchen. It is easy.” And he’s right.

 

Good Reads

2 Nov

Do you love magazines? I do. A lot. And I subscribe to a large handful of them, all on paper (Santa hasn’t brought me an iPad yet–sniff). Lots of those are food magazines, and I thought we’d chat about them this morning.

My all-time favorite and the one I’ve subscribed to the longest is Cooking Light. I like this one because, for the most part, the recipes are made with real ingredients–things your grocery store carries and things you’re likely to already have in the house. They don’t taste diet, they’re easy to follow, and they’re very nicely photographed. I also like the product tips, the fitness advice, and the lifestyle articles in this one, and it’s the only one I read cover to cover as soon as it arrives at my house. Lots and lots of ideas in this one, and as a bonus, their website is easy to search and navigate for specific ingredients or meals. Love, love, love.

Second on my list is Bon Appetit. There is nothing diet about this one–it’s all about amazing food, butter and cream and sugar and all. That’s not to say you won’t find roasted chicken and vegetables in here, because you will. This is the magazine I page through slowly, drooling at the gorgeous photos and dreaming up elaborate dinner parties (that I never throw–ah well) in my head. These also stick around my house the longest because the magazine is beautiful and a delight to peruse. The recipes are well-tested, and there’s a fantastic technique school section in the back that explains basic tricks to those who are new to the whole cooking-from-scratch thing.

Third? Food Network Magazine. Seriously. Super fun to read, with a light, happy tone and lovely photography. The recipes are easy to follow and run the gamut from healthy to dietary disaster, and most are very easy to make using regular ingredients and the pans you already have. There are photo spreads on celebrity chef home kitchens (droooooool, but it’s interesting to see where lots of them have the same basic stuff as the rest of us), really interesting interviews and features, and they have a fantastic website that’s easy to navigate. I adore this relative newcomer.

Real Simple has some lovely recipes, and it’s a great magazine for general reading as well. I’ll be honest–their ideas of clothing bargains are not the same as mine and once in awhile I shake my head at the liberal use of convenience foods (sodium, anyone?), but I get some great ideas for family meals in here, and their organizational tips are first-rate. Great gift ideas inside as well, and every so often there are unbeatable kitchen bargains to be had in their special offers. While it’s not a cooking magazine per se, it is among my favorites, and my copies are well-worn by the time they hit my recycling bin several months after publication.

I subscribed to Food & Wine last year to fill a void (more on that in a second), and I have to say, it’s just not me. It’s a lovely magazine, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a bit high-brow for this working mom of two. Ingredients aren’t always standard grocery store fare, and rare are the days I have an hour to stand over a pot, tho it’s a nice fantasy. I’ve never made a recipe out of it and don’t intend to renew my subscription. Nothing personal–they do a great job at what they do. It’s just that what they do doesn’t fit in with what I do, you know? Perhaps after retirement.

I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living thanks to a deal I got through one of those bargain email lists–I think I paid $3 per year for three years or something. It’s fun to read and beautiful, but let’s be totally honest: nobody cares how my fitted sheets look in the linen closet and I’m not going to spend three hours making them Ritz Carlton perfect. I don’t starch (who are we kidding–I don’t iron), I don’t crochet my own lace, I don’t raise farm animals, and I don’t make my own pie dough (shocked? Seriously, gang, the rolled dough from Pillsbury is among the greatest inventions of our time, and we should all bow down to it). It’s a lovely magazine in theory but, again, doesn’t fit my life so much. That said, I do enjoy reading it and I get a lot of ideas that I scale down to fit our family, so it’s worth the cost and the paper.

Martha has another magazine too–Everyday Food–that’s nice enough. I got it for a year and always flipped through it. But I never cooked anything from it. I also didn’t like the little format of it, which was too hard to open on a countertop if you did want to cook from it. This one’s probably worth picking up in the checkout line, though, because the problems between it and me are largely on my end, I’m sure.

The great food magazine void, as far as I’m concerned, happened when Gourmet ceased paper publication awhile back. I loved Gourmet. Loved it like I love few publications. It was gorgeous and lived up to its title in the quality of its recipes, but it was also accessible to the kitchen hobbyist and very do-able on a layman’s stovetop and budget. At the moment, archives are available on the website and they have an e-magazine that’s available on the iPad (elitist much, guys? Sheesh.), but that’s not an option for me or lots of other people. And so I look at my final, unopened issue in my magazine basket and sigh heavily, unable to mar its plastic over-wrap, and hope some deep-pocketed foodie will resurrect it for the masses someday. Sooner rather than later, please.

That brings us to the magazine I cancelled this morning. (Rant ahead–you’ve been warned). And that is Every Day with Rachael Ray. It’s a pretty magazine, in a dizzying, too-much-on-the-page kind of way. I don’t think I’m the target demographic judging by its design, which is clearly more for 20-somethings than those of us a decade or two beyond that stage. The recipes are simple enough, albeit not always what one would call healthy. But what killed me on this one was a letter they sent with their November issue. I quote:

“This edition is so big, in fact, that we are treating it as a special issue that will count as two of your subscriber issues, so the duration of your subscription will be adjusted accordingly.”

Did you get that? They made a big magazine and decided their subscribers could eat the cost and be docked a full issue as a result. Lucky lucky us!

Sorry, kids, but that’s shoddy business. If I paid for 12, I get 12, even if you went to town on Thanksgiving with your Biggest Issue Ever! You can’t come in after the fact and subtract stuff that we already paid for. And I, for one, am offended that they’d try to pull this over with an upbeat, exclamation-point-laden letter that tells us how totally awesome this rip-off is. Thumbs way down on this one, and I am done. Subscription canceled.

So that’s my list of food magazines. If you read one you love, I’m all ears–tell us in the comments!

Trick or Treat!

31 Oct

Last year, I scored a fantabulous Jack-0′-lantern cake pan from Freecycle the day after Halloween. It wasn’t until I tried baking a cake in it that I realized why its original owner gave it away to a total stranger. That’s because it’s wide and flat, and trying to turn an actual cake out of it is a losing proposition. Crumble city, baby.

This morning, I sprayed the pan liberally with baking spray (basically Pam with flour added into the mix), poured a batch of the world’s best brownies in there, baked them an extra five minutes over what the recipe said, and then let them stay in that punkin’ pan until they were room temp all the way through. And then I slid my biggest cutting board overtop the pan, held it with one hand, and quickly flipped the whole contraption over.

Success! He’ll get orange frosting later, but I wanted to show you how well he turned out.

Happy Halloween, gang. May your diet be chocolate for just one day, may your little ghosts and goblins have a wonderful (safe!) evening tonight, and may you use a brownie recipe next time you need a shaped and formed cake. 🙂

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