Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Most of you know that I love to cook and bake. I was searching the web, looking at the many blogs that I check out every day and I found this recipe for pumpkin swirl brownies. They combine two of my favorite things, pumpkin and chocolate. The recipe is from Martha Stewart Living.

So for those of you that like to bake and want to try these tasty treats, here is the recipe. I'm sure that they will soon become a fall favorite

Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablesppon vanialla extract
1 1/4 cup solid-packed pumpkin
1/4 cup veg. oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch baking pan.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, caynne pepper and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Mix sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy and we combined. Beat in flour. (If you are using a kitchen aid mixer, I would recommend the paddle attachment because the dough does get thick.)

4. Pour half the batter (about two cups) into a serpate bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it. If the mixture is a little thick, add a little more batter until it is more pourable.
5. In in the remaining batter, add the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer half of the chocolate batter in to the baking pan, smooth. Top with half the pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chooclate layer and one more pumpkin layer.
6. With a small spatual or table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Be sure to get your knife all the way to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with nuts, if using.

7. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

The brownies are very tasty. I think I'm going to try a few adjustments the next time I make them. For me personally, the pumpkin part lacked a little pit of flavor. I think I'm going to try replacing the cinnamon and nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice. I think it might add a little more zing.

Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Second Anniversary

Today we celebrated our second anniversary. I can't believe it has already been two years. Crazy!!!

This weekend we went out to a nice dinner to celebrate. We've been talking for awhile about going to The Oregon Grill, a nice restaurant in Hunt Valley, so we decided that it our anniversary was a great time to go.

I started off the meal with the Oregon salad - watercress, mushrooms, apple and hearts of palm on a bed of endive with vinaigrette. It was all right, but I think that they forgot to put the vinaigrette on the salad because it lacked a little bit of flavor. Micah enjoyed grilled oysters on the half shell. I'm not a big fan of oysters, but they did look good.

For the entree, I had the grilled Chilean sea bass with a red pepper butter served with broccolini and potato gnocchi. It was really good. Micah enjoyed the prime rib, which looked really good and tasted even better. (I stole a bite even though I'm not suppose to have rare meat, but I'm a sucker for a good piece of meat.) We were to stuffed after dinner to even think about dessert, even though I really wanted some.

The service at The Oregon Grill was amazing. The waiter was very prompt and the kitchen was even faster and put out amazing food. We had an 8 o'clock reservation and were seated promptly and we done and leaving the resturant a little after 9 pm. I would highly recommend this hidden gem to anyone in Baltimore looking for a romantic dinner.

Next weekend, we are going to pick out robes. I know a cheesy anniversary gift, but the traditional gift for the second anniversary is cotton. So we both need new bathrobes and thought this would a perfect opportunity for us to purchase them. Off to Macy's we go!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home Improvements

This weekend Micah and I were busy painting our new dining room. For those of you have been to the house for a visit, we decided to move the dining room into the living room. I know that sounds confusing, but the house came in with a formal living room, which we don't really need. We aren't formal living room people. So we turned the living room into a dining room, since the original dining room was way too small for a good size table.

Last week, our new dining room furniture was delivered. The plan was to wait until next year (January/February) to paint the room. However, Micah got it in his head that the room needed to be painted before Thanksgiving. So we powered through and painted it this weekend. It looks good, if I do say so myself. :) The paint color is "Maple Leaf" and I took the idea and color straight from a Pottery Barn catalog.

We need to get new hardware to hang the curtains, hence why they are on the table. I'm excited now that I can display my china. I've been waiting two years to do so and now I have a beautiful new hutch to show them off on. I can't wait to host Thanksgiving dinner this year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My Gram sent this to me and I thought it might be fun to post here. Please feel free to post on your own blog.

SCATTEGORIES... it's harder than it looks... \
Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things... nothing made up.

YouCAN'T use your name for the boy / girl name question.
BOY NAME: Justin
FOOD: Jumbalaya
A PLACE: Jupiter

Monday, October 13, 2008

2.99 a gallon

This is a quick post, but the gas station at the corner has gas for 2.99 a gallon. Crazy!! It went down almost 30 cents over the weekend. It takes the economy to hit the shitter for us to get some relief at the pump!! What is the world coming to?!?!?