Sunday, February 21, 2010

Batter Brownies and Soup to clear your sinuses

After 6 long months of training, running through extreme temperatures (from 100 to 19 degrees), through rain and snow flurries,  I finally completed the Austin Marathon! Last Sunday, I ran 26.2 miles through the heart of Austin.  The race was difficult and painful and I can't wait to do another one! :) This was my third marathon to run and while my ultimate goal was to just to finish the marathon, my secret goal was to run it in less than 4 hours.  My first marathon I ran in Austin in 4 hours flat and after training long and hard (and fast) for this marathon, I was sure I could beat my time with no problem.  Sadly, it wasn't my day.  There are so many things I could say "I should have done this..." regarding the morning of the race, dressing for the race, starting the race, running the race, but when it came down to it, my quadriceps started cramping about mile 14 and from then on I ran in pain and tired.  I still finished the race in 4:11 and honestly, I'm happy with the time, but now I am even more determined to train harder and faster and try to run another marathon next fall.  I'm thinking the Chicago Marathon...we'll see. This picture below is my wonderful family and boyfriend who came to support me during the race.  Starting from the left, Ryan (boyfriend), Steven (brother-in-law), holding Aubrey, Brandy (sister) holding Owen, Meredith (little sister), Gordon (younger brother), me, and my mom.  I also had some AMAZING friends who navigated the course and cheered me on the entire way.
Unfortunately, after running that much on Sunday, I was sore and exhausted all week, and I had entirely too much food and sweets and not enough exercise to balance it out. Oh well, we'll call it an off week.  Regardless, let's move on to the food I did make this week.  

I decided I wanted to join a food blogging group called "Tuesdays with Dorie."  Members of this group buy the book "Baking: From my home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan, and rotate choosing recipes from the book, then everyone makes the same recipe and blogs about it on the same day weekly.  Sounded like so much fun and what better way to experiment with baking, than to be required to make recipes I wouldn't necessarily pick myself.  I applied to be in the group and while I am not "officially" a member yet, I'm going to continue baking as if I am already and wait for my membership to go through.  The first official recipe with the group will be posted on Tuesday, but since I had my book, I decided to make some brownies I had seen on previous bloggers post that looked amazing.  
The recipe is on page 91 of the book and are called "Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia" (as in Julia Child, as in Julia&Julia).  It's safe to say that I have never made a homemade, from scratch, brownie.  Box brownies, sure, but never a measure flour, melt chocolate, add sugar, type of brownie.  Not only did I make these from scratch, but I REALLY made these from scratch, meaning I actually "coarsely chopped" two kinds of chocolate to melt over a double boiler...not the -I measured cocoa powder and added it to flour-type of brownies. I felt so professional.
After you melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler, you whisk together the eggs and sugar, then add half of the mixture to the chocolate, whisking constantly so you don't cook the eggs.  Here's the kicker though.  You continue to beat the rest of the egg and sugar mixture until doubled in size and fluffy, then "gently fold" the mixture into the chocolate.  Complicated much?
Then to top it all off, "sprinkle the flour mixture" over the top of the chocolate and fold it in little by little until just barely mixed.  Goodness, I felt like I could make a mistake at any second, but this batter was amazing.  I could eat it by the spoonful (and I did). Now the recipe says that the brownies will be "delicate" once cooked and not to overcook them, but just to bake until "set."  I had read on other bloggers pages that made this recipe, that their brownies seemed to come out "undone." Some said they tried cooking them for longer, freezing them before cutting, adding more flour, etc. I decided to follow the recipe, see what I ended up with, and go from there. After 28 minutes in the oven, my brownies were definitely not done or even set. They jiggled when I touched the pan.  I decided to leave them in the oven for 10 more minutes and when I took them out they seemed set.  I let them sit overnight and cut them in the morning so I could take pictures.  They cut easily enough, but when I tried to take a middle piece out, it was....gooey.  Not cooked.  Slightly thicker batter. So, I stuck the brownies in the fridge to try to firm them up.  Ugh, still no help.  The edges cooked just fine and tasted great, but the middle was ooey-gooey batter with a crispy top crust. Next time I will cook even longer.

Feeling slightly defeated, I decided to counter the sweetness of these brownies by making a delicious soup that my mom gave me the recipe before.  She has literally made this soup twice in the past two weeks and I made it a third time this week. It's just that good.  The soup is called Caldo Tlalpeno and is a spicy chicken, rice, potato soup that is sure to clear your sinuses.  It has hot and spicy chipotle peppers with adobe sauce in it, with new potatoes, carrots, rice, chickpeas (or in my case, I added hominy), and topped with avocado.  The recipe can be found here.  I took some shortcuts, like buying a rotisserie chicken, box chicken broth, can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, and just threw it together.  Essentially, my soup goes like this.  Pour 2 boxes of chicken broth into a large pot, add 4 cubed new potatoes and 2 chopped carrots.  Boil them until they are soft.  Add half of a shredded rotisserie chicken and 2 chipotle peppers and tablespoon of adobo sauce.  Add 1 1/2 cups cooked rice and hominy (or chickpeas).  Let simmer. Serve with avocado on top.  Delish!
Spicy. Tasty. Healthy. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great picture of the soup. Simple, quick, nutritious and so delicious! Keep up the good work. Your blog always makes me smile.