I forgot how much I love this cheesecake. I’ve made it on and off – obviously mostly off recently – for the better part of my baking life. The first time I made it was for a boss’s birthday many moons ago and then for quite a while it was my go-to party dessert. Somewhere along the way, much like mood rings and shoulder pads in ladies suits, it fell out of favor or I got bored with it … In either case, my loss. But no more!
I love popcorn. I eat it almost every day for my afternoon snack; some days it’s lunch. Drizzled with unsalted butter and Old Bay is best …. I know, I know; living on the edge. And I live in a house where there is always a hunk of BD’s home-smoked bacon in the freezer. It was kizmet; eventually I was going to find a way to get those two crazy kids together.
Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life’s undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe
A holiday indulgence, if you please. In all their splendor, linked below are eight uncut, unedited, completely amateur (by yours truly) videos of our day of biscotti making with Aunt Dot. Interspersed with an intro to “The Monsta,” nuggets of family chatter and some wicked dance moves (don’t ask but do watch if you dare), you will find all of the secrets to making a perfect batch (or six if you are Aunt Dot) of Nonnie’s biscotti. Enjoy or be afraid … you decide!
I must start with the caveat that this is not actually my recipe but BD’s. And, truth be told, it’s not even his. Many years ago, when shoulder pads and perms were in vogue if unfortunate and our meeting was but a fleeting dream he could only hope to attain (my blog, my version), he found himself in a liquor store that had a Jack Daniel’s promotional recipe for this cake on a tear-off pad. He availed himself.
Doing a Google search for “brownie recipe” brings up a whopping 3.96 million hits. Even narrowing the parameters to include only “the very best brownie recipe” drops it to a mind-boggling 1.44 million hits. Methinks someone is lying there… Let me save you the trouble. Just make these. Ah, this may take convincing, I see. I understand completely. I am a chocolate snob. A chocoholic. A chocomaniac. A connoisseur (when in doubt say it in French! Adds a certain weight, a certain panache … see what I did there). These brownies are not quite cake-like but not fudgey. They are densely chocolatey but not heavy. They have a silky texture that defies their ease of preparation. Need more? They catch men! Being as I’m married, I practice the old catch-and-release … oh, I digress.
I didn’t start out as a fan of granola. There’s something about the flavor of the sort you get in the box that never sat well with me, and after that wayward Summer we spent with the cousins when the aunt decided that orange juice was a suitable wetting agent for cereal, namely granola, the fate of the oated pariah was sealed for me.
I told the boys I was starting this blog to create a family “recipe book” so that if I were to die in a firey ball tomorrow, at least there would be good food at the wake (hey, they’re 8 and 9 … they love that sort of talk). They immediately went cross-eyed when I told them I would start with Pasta Fazool (pasta e fagiola for the purist). “No! No! If you die in a fiery ball, I want compost cookies!” “Me, too! Me, too!” I’m pretty sure I heard a mumbled “who likes beans anyway?” but I ignored that sacrilege and pulled out the mixer.