July 16, 2013

Bad habit

I came home one Saturday morning after a particularly late night out to find that my roommate had, what I assume was mere moments prior to passing out on the couch the night before, decided to put a turkey burger on the stove to cook. It was 3am and she was hungry. She was apparently also tired because she left it cooking the entire night.

The first two occurrences of this, I laughed it off. The house smelled terrible, of burnt plastic and charred processed meat, but what an idiot! I was proud of her for accomplishing such a task an admirable four years after graduating college.

The third time wasn't as funny and neither was the fourth.

More than anything else, I was just really tired of that smell. Sure, it was also a massive fire hazard. Yeah that too.

There was need for an intervention. We had pep talks. You can do this! We had coaching lessons. Ok, pretend you're hammered drunk, so you basically have the brain of a small child with a slight mental handicap. You're hungry. What do you do? We thought about hanging signs all over the kitchen with friendly reminders Don't leave the stove on when you're drunk or maybe don't cook at all but resolved that would be too embarrassing when guests were over.

I had accepted my fate, was okay with it even, when one day my roommate realized cooking her turkey burgers Friday after work, prior to going anywhere, was the answer to everything. To deflect the fact that it took us a ridiculous amount of time to drum up this solution I'm going to share a side story with you: Once in college my friend turned on the oven to make pizza bites and then promptly placed them in the microwave in an attempt to cook them and then fell asleep to Antique Roadshow, so that's pretty awesome.

Baking tip: Turn on the oven, put food items in the oven, take food items out of oven, turn off the oven.


Want to know how to make cinnamon mocha biscottis? Somehow my almond biscotti post gets more hits than any other post on this blog, so I've put peanut butter on hold for a second to bring you another biscotti recipe that's equally as good.

Cinnamon Mocha Biscottis
Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbl. instant espresso
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper - optional but adds some
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or white chocolate chips for topping


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Combine butter, sugars and espresso in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Add vanilla and mix briefly.

5. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and mix until well blended. Fold in almonds and chocolate chips.

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough out onto paper and form into a large rectangle, about 3/4-inch thick.

7. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

8. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough into 1/2-inch thick slices.

9. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the oven for 8 minutes.

10. Turn and bake 8 more minutes.

11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

12. Put semi-sweet or white chocolate chips in a ziploc bag and melt in the microwave for about a minute and a half at 20-second intervals. Are you scared this is going to give you cancer? It probably is. When smooth, cut a hole at the end, pipe the chocolate on top of each biscotti and spread with a knife.

If you haven't made biscotti before, I suggest checking out this post for some very inspirational photo instructions being performed by my mother.

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