Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

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So it seems as if no sooner do I give myself permission for The Waspy Redhead to be about more than just food, than I’m filled with “bakespiration!”  I made these cookies on a whim – I had plans to attend a Super Bowl party, and hadn’t really decided what I would bring.  Then I saw this recipe on Pinterest – and I was overcome with a need to get in the kitchen and try it immediately.

The recipe is unlike any cookie I had made before.  No butter.  No flour.  It’s basically egg whites, sugar, and chocolate whipped into submission, then rolled in more sugar and baked until they are just done on the outside, and ooey gooey on the inside.  They are very rich-like eat one and you’re done rich.

I think they were a hit at the party.  One of my coworkers, Michele, was kind of moaning as she ate one.  When I asked her if they were “blog worthy” she responded. “Are you kidding? I need a cigarette, they’re that good.” Ha!  She cracks me up.

You should make these immediately.  You’ll thank me.  They’re simple, delicious, and gluten-free (if that’s important to you).  It would be really fun to make these with kids, because you form the cookies by rolling them into balls with your hands then coating in sugar.  Kids like to get their hands dirty.

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Recipe Source: Epicurious
As adapted by: Divine Baking
Discovered on Pinterest via: Arianna Barbour

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, divided (I actually used Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. {Note: if I wasn’t afraid of salmonella, I probably would have smeared this magical glossy white mixture all over my body and licked it off.}

Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly.

Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart.  Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

 

2 Comments + Posted in: Dessert, Recipes

My 400th Post…

Oh goodness, how did that happen?  How did more than 3 years go by?  How did 400 posts get written?

It really feels like I JUST started this little project a few weeks ago, but when I sit down and think about it, the past three and a half years have been some of the craziest of my life.  Since I started this blog in 2008 I have…

- moved 4 times
- held 3 jobs
- started and nearly completed a masters program
- loved big
- lost big
- dusted myself off and started over
- made 14 different types of brownies
- had miserable failures in the kitchen
- cooked delicious meals for loved ones
- thrown many a party
- traveled to New Orleans (3 times), New Mexico, all over Texas, Washington DC, Florida, South Carolina, and Paris.
- eaten too much butter, sugar, and chocolate
- made amazing friends from the Internet
- made amazing friends in real life
- pushed through very challenging times
- laughed and enjoyed amazing experiences
- felt totally lost at times
- gotten closer to understanding and appreciating who I am and what I want from life? Maybe? We’ll see.

I have so enjoyed having this blog as an outlet for my creativity, as a place to speak my mind, and a way to document experiences in my life.  I don’t post nearly as often as I would like.  My schedule with work and school makes it really difficult for me to fit in recipe research, cooking and photography.

Lately I’ve been missing my blog so much, feeling like I am letting people down, or myself down by focusing on career and school and somewhat abandoning The Waspy Redhead.  I went back and read my very first entry on this blog, from October 16th 2008.  I was floored to see that in my first post I declared that this was not a food blog, or a travel blog or a wedding blog or a baby blog.  It was just my blog.

Somewhere along the way, this became primarily a food blog- but I’m thinking about taking a bit of a departure from that.  I think part of why I rarely post is that I feel such pressure to make some sort of killer recipe, take a great photo of it, and work it into a witty narrative. The content here will always be very food centric. Food is one of the things I’m most passionate about.  But I have decided for myself that I would rather write about whatever I can, when I can, and when I feel like I want to, than put strict expectations on myself and end up not saying much at all.

I’m not sure if this change in content will scare off readers who were only interested in recipes.  I’m not sure if I even have readers anymore since I’ve so neglected this space.  Even if there are just a few readers left including my parents and best friends, I’m not ready to walk away from The Waspy Redhead yet.  And if you’re still here, I hope you’ll stick around.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for cooking along. Thanks for being a part of my life for nearly 4 years.

18 Comments + Posted in: Uncategorized

Comfort Food & My Favorite Casserole Recipe

We all have different ideas about what “comfort food” means. Foods that you like to indulge in when you need a pick me up, or to have a pity party. Foods that make you remember your youth, or a special time or trip. Foods that are emotionally comforting. I know we’re not supposed to eat our feelings. That we should eat to live and not live to eat, but I think that even the most health conscious and intentional eater would be able to list a few comfort foods. Some people think of foods like ice cream or chocolate as their comfort foods. For others its salty/crunchy foods like chips or popcorn. For me – creamy starchy foods like pasta and potatoes are my preferred comfort foods.

Last week I had a really busy and stressful week. I was finishing up the aforementioned move from hell, and also had two business trips acting as book ends on that move. It was a long week. Lots of driving, lots of late nights, and way too much caffeine. I had been planning to cook with my mom over the weekend, so I suggested that we make a Chicken and Rice casserole – I needed some comfort food! I also have a friend who had recently had a baby, so I thought while we were at it, I would make two batches. She and her husband could probably use some comfort food too.

Chicken & Rice Casserole

This dish is very easy, very tasty, and very comforting. What’s even better, is that the casserole base is very flexible – it can adapt to include whatever ingredients you have on hand. This recipe is actually inspired by a seafood casserole my Mom used to make around Christmas using shrimp and crab instead of chicken. I think part of the reason I find this casserole comforting is the memories of eating it at the holidays when I was little.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs skin on, on the bone chicken breasts (this is about 3 breasts, and will yield enough chicken for a double batch of this recipe or one batch plus extra chicken to put on salads throughout the week).
1 cup uncooked basmati rice, prepared to package instructions.
1 cup mayonnaise (I guess you could use light, but don’t come at me with fat free mayo. Mayo is made of eggs and oil, and therefore can’t be fat free whilst still honestly being mayo).
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 small can of sliced water chestnuts
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Panko bread crumbs
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Begin by placing the chicken breasts, skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and generously salt and pepper each side. Roast at 375 for an hour to an hour and a half, or until a meat thermometer registers at 160. Allow chicken to cool completely.

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Once the chicken is cooled, shred it into large chunks using your hands or two forks. Discard the skin. You may want to freeze the bones for making stock later.

In a large mixing bowl incorporate the mayo, cream of celery soup, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Stir in the water chestnuts, 2 heaping cups of shredded chicken, and the cooked rice. Once everything is well combined – evaluate the consistency. You may want to add a little milk to thin it out.

Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish, and spread out evenly using a spatula. Top with panko bread crumbs, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, then broil (keeping an eye on it) till the bread crumbs turn golden brown.

Serve with a big green salad, or your favorite veggies.

Ideas to improvise on the recipe: add in steamed broccoli or frozen peas for some added color and nutrition, use tuna instead of chicken, use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store instead of roasting your own. Have fun with it.

1 Comment + Posted in: Main Dishes, Recipes

Waspy vs. Life

Oh hi there.  Hope you’re having a great 2012.  I would really like to be baking you something yummy, but alas, I’m involved in the move from hell.  It will probably be another week or so before I’m back in action.  For the time being, I would love for you to follow me on twitter.  If you follow me on twitter, you’ll get to experience the hilarity that is my every day existence.  For example, there was this time I became trapped inside my storage unit facility after hours and was forced to scale a fence and walk home in 40 degree weather.  See below.

  • Ok. The shenanigans I’m caught up in right now are probably the silliest set of circumstances ever. No really. Lucile Ball had nada on me.
  • One day, the absolute nonsense I just experienced in the battle of Waspy vs the Storage Unit Gate will be funny… today is not that day
  •  Warning twitter rant ahead: If you are the proprietor of a business w a gate that locks at a certain time, potentially w/ customers inside…
  • …then you have a moral obligation to list an after hours number on your website, or in your outgoing voicemail message. Seriously.
  • Who thought it was an ok idea to have a gate with an access code that lets you in but not out after hours with NO other method of escape??
  • It’s a good thing I lived close to said business, and that I’m trying to work more exercise into my daily routine. Or I would be more angry.
  • I’m kind of a goof, I get into scrapes like this, I’m constantly creating genius physical comedy vignettes. I dont think this 1 was my fault
  • So done with moving. Even if it’s only emotionally so, and there’s actually more moving to be done. I quit for tonight. I have been bested.
  • End rant

Ok, so it’s Storage Unit Gate 1, Elizabeth 0 so far.  But as my sweet friend Ryan said, I’m probably just getting all of the bad stuff for this  year out of the way early.

Miss y’all!

I’ll be back soon!

- Waspy

4 Comments + Posted in: Uncategorized

Farewell to 2011

Hey there readers, so sorry it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me.  I’ve taken a little break from blogging in December while I focused on final exams, projects at work, prepping for the Holidays, and moving out of my apartment.  I’ve missed you so, and hope you haven’t forgotten about me.  I’ll be back in action soon with some yummy recipes, don’t you worry.

For now, I thought I would recap 2011.  2011 hasn’t sucked.  Not in the least.

I continued to love the job I started in 2010, and got back into the groove with my grad program after taking some time off.  I did a fair bit of traveling, both for work and pleasure.  The highlight of my travels was definitely the magical two weeks I spent in Paris in May.

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It was the kind of trip where you don’t return as the same person you were when you left.  I find that I’m homesick for Paris every day.  Fingers crossed I can cross the pond again in 2012.

The Waspy Redhead got a little media love in Spring of 2011, I was interviewed for both The Huffington Post and the Today Show about my Royal Wedding party. Don’t worry though, I didn’t let it go to my head…

I only wear wear tiaras on special occasions.  I promise.

While I wasn’t able to post as often as I would have liked this year, I am proud of the food posts I did share.  I tried to take a more informative approach with some of my content.

I like to think that posts like my guide to the ultimate cheese tray,


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I also did a fair bit of recipe development, stretching myself to invent new favorites in addition to relying on trusted texts and cookbooks.  Some of my favorite new recipes include:

Green Chili Mac & Cheese:

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Chocolate Chip & Potato Chip Cookies:

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Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter & Nutella Frosting:

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Beyond savory and sweet baked delights… there was a fair bit of boozing going on with the blog this year ;) .  I added some awesome new cocktails to my arsenal, including:

Earl Greytinis

Princess Punch

Fresh Raspberry Margaritas

Fresh Raspberry margarita

and White Trash Sangria

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I’m not much of one for New Years resolutions, so I’ll spare you a list of goals and accomplishments I’d like to hit in 2012.  I’ll just close by saying thanks for your support, and I hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

Cheers!

Waspy

3 Comments + Posted in: Uncategorized

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