Today is a big, big day. Well, it actually happened 11 days ago, but we shall celebrate today instead. It has officially been a year since the inception of this little blog.
As many of you know, before starting this blog I was an avid blog reader (and still am). Reading those blogs pushed me to be more creative in the kitchen and try new things I had never done before, like cupcakes, sugar cookies, and cakes. Despite my drive those first attempts were mostly disastrous. Very disastrous.
My sugar cookies would puff up, my frosting would droop in very sad manners, and my cake would stick to the pan. But I was convinced that if all of these folks out there who were self-taught could do it, then I could too. I kept trying, kept learning, and kept reading. Slowly, I started having more successes than failures in the kitchen. I can now bake and decorate sugar cookies, swirl frosting on cupcakes, and make a cake (even if it topples over).
This is not to say that I am a master at any of these things, but I am happy improving and continuing to try new techniques.
The second element of a blog is photography. Before the inception of this blog I had never so much as touched Jon’s camera. But I figured I was set to have stellar photos considering Jon has a dSLR and the same lens that all of the food bloggers recommend. Oh man, oh man, how wrong and ignorant was I. I took pictures of a salsa, what I thought would be my first post, and they were catastrophic; dark, out of focus, and poorly composed. I called Jon at his work and asked what button I needed to push to make his camera take good photos. He laughed and told me it wasn’t so simple. I was left confused.
I again went to the almighty Internet, started reading, and kept attempting taking pictures of food. I bought a book about food photography and read it all in two weeks. I then bought an external flash, a light reflector, and Adobe Lightroom for photo editing.
For the composition aspect of my photos, I built a fake table top out of wood planks and painted it to make the background of my food photos look more “rustic” and less shiny. I bought white plates and got cloth napkins for photo props.
My first goal entering the food blog world was to simply to be “published” on Foodgawker or Tastespotting, I submitted the picture of my first post, a carrot cake, sure that it would be accepted. But, of course, the photo was very tactfully rejected. I had a long ways to go (and still do).
After many attempts I did manage to get a photo or two accepted.
I tell you this story today simply to serve as an inspiration. With some dedication and will to learn we can accomplish things that we never dreamed of being able to.
This little slice of my world is not perfect, nor shall it ever be. Sometimes, despite the best of intentions it takes me three weeks to post something new. But, it is with much fervor and love that I will continue baking and cooking for all of you.
Thank you to all of my friends, family, and strangers alike for supporting and cheering on this small endeavor from day one.
It is with this that I leave you with the chocolate chunk (because there are no chocolate chips in Paraguay) cookie dough brownie. Note: my brownie might not appear as dark as the one you might make due to the fact that I wasn’t able to find semi-sweet chocolate, so I resorted to milk chocolate. Delicious, nonetheless and very fudgy. Regarding the cookie dough, it doesn’t use raw eggs so it’s safe to eat and is crunchy just like real cookie dough. I hope you like crunchy.
Recipe (from Recipe Girl):
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips or a chopped up semisweet chocolate bar
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature or almost melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped chocolate chunks/ miniature chocolate chips
chocolate sprinkles to decorate the tops (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9 (or similar size) pan with aluminium foil, with enough to hang over the sides. Butter the foil.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Mix in the white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the flour until just combined, you don’t want to over mix. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Place in the fridge and let cool completely.
Cookie Dough Layer:
3. Mix the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and salt together. Add milk and vanilla until combined, then add the flour until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks/chips.
4. With wet hands spread/pat down the cookie dough layer on top of the brownie. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.