For a long portion of my baking life, I was afraid of curds. Puddings, too. And candies, caramels, basically anything that involved standing in front of the stove, stirring and stirring until a specific temperature was reached. I get distracted easily, I knew I’d scorch something and then there’d be all that time and energy wasted. Because I knew this would happen, I never tried. Yay self-defeating bullshit! Then, about a year ago, I decided to be the BEST GIRLFRIEND EVER and make my guy some key lime cheesecake bars. The recipe called for key lime curd, so I put on my apron and tried not to ruin everything.
The cheesecake bars were tasty, but the absolute best thing about the recipe was the curd. I feel like a weirdo saying it was a revelaaaation but it was. Oh my goodness. Tangy and sweet and silky, it was just the essence of YUM. I ended up making a huge batch and giving it out to my family for Chrismukkah last year and I was voted best family member ever (not really) (but basically). I now make it without bothering with the cheesecake and I LOVE CHEESECAKE. It tastes so amazing with everything. Strawberries? Heck yeah. A brownie? Shut your mouth! On top of crumbled graham crackers and a mountain of whipped cream (that you obnoxiously call a deconstructed key lime pie because you’ve seen too many episodes of Top Chef)? HOLY FUCKING YES, GET IN MY MOUTH.
The best thing about this? It’s actually super freaking easy to make. Like, for real, I don’t know why I was such a dork about it before. The whole process (if using bottled key lime juice, which I do because have you ever done the whole juicing key limes thing? That is for suckers) takes approximately 20 minutes, including standing over the stove time. Believe me, surprise someone with a bowl of this stuff and they will worship you and may give you a giant bag of money (still keeping my fingers crossed on that last one). You’re welcome.
I really enjoy baking. This was not always the case; it used to seem fussy and overly complicated. Then I learned a bit about the science behind the recipes, why things need to be done in a specific order for a certain amount of time, and it all clicked. Cookbooks weren’t written by OCD dicks, there was a reason for everything, a science reason. I like science and cookies, so it all worked out. Baking became something awesome and relaxing, follow the steps correctly and you have something delicious to shove into your gaping maw. I prefer to make things from scratch. They usually taste better than box mixes. They generally don’t take too much extra work. It’s cheaper in the long run. Choices are endless. I feel like a badass when I make something delicious. The only problem? I now live with other people who find my baking pretty fascinating.
This week has been…tough. A couple of weeks ago, I went to my boss and did the craziest thing I may have ever done – I offered to do way more work than I’m paid to do. I think I had some sort of breakdown, or an alternate personality surfaced, or controlled by government aliens. I basically said, “You know how I’m completely overwhelmed by my current job responsibilities? I think everything might be easier if I took on some extra work!” See? CRAZYTOWN. So, that all started on Monday and I ended up logging a bunch of overtime (a bunch = any at all).
On top of that, my guy was out of town this weekend. He left on Friday. I’ve been home alone with the boys since they got off the bus. All the stuff in the previous paragraph about work being insanely stressful? I’m REALLY looking forward to getting back to it. I am exhausted in a way I don’t think I’ve ever been before. I don’t want to go to sleep yet because it’s actually quiet and I’m basking in silence.
In The Kitchen is a sporadic (word of the day!) column featuring what we’re eating and making. Warning: Your ass may get fat. But in an awesome way.
This weekend has been a total shitshow and I don’t want to even try to process it at this time. So, I went to my happy place, Pinterest. I found a pin for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies and figured that amount of chocolate would make me feel better.
The recipe is simple – brownies, chocolate chip cookies – but because you’re making two things, it takes a little longer and needs some pre-planning to get everything together on time. Is it worth it? After a day like today, after a weekend like this, after a really hard week? Absolutely.
Recipe can be found here…