Saturday, 28 April 2012

Crab and Fish Soup

Today I went to the Asian market looking for some dinner inspiration. I adore the Asian market because you can go in there to pick up one item and you get carried away into a different world. My intention today was to try to find a nice duck to roast, but I had just come from the hairdresser and I was pretty much loitering in frozen aisle trying to get a good look at my new hairdo in the reflection off the freezer doors. As I stood there mesmerized by the sight of my golden highlights, my neighbour came up to me and the excitement in his face made me think there had been a police chase through the parking lot or something of the like.
In his broken English, he excitedly told me I better get straight over to a certain seafood bin because they had gigantic lobster tails, the likes of which he had never seen. I'm allergic to lobster, but his excitement and the fact that he is native Portuguese and a lobster tail sighting in Canada could excite him, I practically ran to see! Indeed he was right! They were huge! But sitting right next to the lobsters were whole crabs. I used to also be allergic to crab, but for some reason now, I can tolerate a little bit of it. So I picked out a beautiful big crab and some lovely shrimp. So that's dinner tonight. What I am going to do with it is eat it. It's already been cooked and the recipe has already been perfected by God. I don't care to accompany it with garlic butter because I prefer it plain. And God even took the trouble to grow the grapes for my favourite seafood partner and that's a crisp, chilled Petit Chablis. I'm in heaven on earth!
And there will be leftovers for sure, so tomorrow I wish make a fish soup, old style. You will love this if you love fish. Otherwise, pass it up.
You'll need:
2 pounds of any fresh fish you like. I've used salmon, seabass, cod, monkfish. Just don't use sole because it won't hold up.
1/2 pound tiger shrimp with the shell on
olive oil
1 carrot chopped
2 small potatoes peeled and diced
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped
4 or 5 nice big red tomatoes. (6 or 7 if you're using Roma tomatoes)
I add a dried red chili pepper from my garden, but you can skip it if you don't like heat
1 cup white wine (I find whatever you're drinking works best)
bunch of cilantro leaves
salt & pepper
2 bay leaves

Dice the fish into 1 inch cubes and boil it in a pot of salted water with the shrimp and bay leaves for about 8 minutes. Use about 2 quarts of water.
In a separate pot, big enough for soup, saute the onion chopped, the garlic finely chopped and the chopped carrot on med low heat for about 7 or 8 minutes. When it softens, add the potatoes and the chopped tomatoes and the wine. Let this simmer on med low for about 25 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.
Going back to your fish pot, turn off the heat But Do Not Drain the Water! after about 8 minutes. Just pull out the shrimp and fish and leave the water because you'll need it. Peel the shrimp and toss the shells back into the water.
Back to veg pot, as the simmering is going along, add a ladle full of the salted fish water too keep it loose. Be sure to keep the shells out! When it's soft, puree it all with an immersion blender or whatever you have to puree. Put it back to the stove on med heat and whisk in a couple more ladlefuls of the fish water until the soup is thin enough to your liking. Add your fish and shrimp into the soup. Bring it up to just before boiling and season with pepper and more salt if you think it needs some. And top with about a tablespoon of the fresh chopped cilantro leaves. This is dinner so just serve it with some fresh bread of your choice.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Art of the Namesake Cocktail

We all know that food and drink go hand in hand. A good drink can save a bad meal. Or a bad day. Or anything, really. And nothing feels better than serving a drink named after yourself. Concoct it, name it, order it enough at your local watering hole, and soon enough everyone else will know and love it too. The air of celebrity that comes with others sipping your namesake cocktail is unparalleled, and isn't just reserved for Tom Collins.

Below, the namesake drinks I've devised for us three ladygirls.

1. The No-Fail Bail

This saucy little number is a winner in all crowds. Sure to impress, the No-Fail Bail always leaves a lasting impression.

To make, make sure you use a heavy-bottomed shot glass,  and mix equal parts of Bailey's Irish Cream and white sambuca. There, that's it. But this drink only counts if you balance it on your forehead and drink it without using your hands. (Trust me, it can be done).

2. The To-Di(e)-For

This classy drink never goes out of style. It's breezy and cool, but knows how to pack a punch.

Pour 2 oz. of vodka over ice in a tumbler. Mix with soda, top with a splash of orange juice and a splash of cranberry juice. For extra sass, garnish with a lime wedge and a plastic sword. Never let them forget that you can cut them down at the knees, if you so choose.

3. The Helen Kellen

Named as such because - brace yourself - it will leave you senseless. (Please forgive my tasteless sense of humour. But really, this drink will show them all that you've got wit and plenty of it).

Pour 2 oz. of gin (preferably pilfered from someone else's elegant stash) over ice. Mix with equal parts soda and lemon juice. Don't use lemonade. Just pure lemon juice. The lack of sweetness makes this drink what it is. Garnish with nothing. It speaks for itself.

Note: The Helen Kellen should certainly be followed the next morning with The Miracle Worker, also known as a spicy caesar. (Actually, that's probably true of all of these drinks).




Trying to decide what to make for dinner is the most challenging part of cooking for me. I'm tired of making  the same old things over and over again. I wish I was Ina Garten. Meal planning is so easy for her because she just makes Jeffrey's favourites. And he only comes home from the city on weekends, so she just has to plan out two dinners a week. I watched an episode recently where she was making Jeffrey a special birthday dinner and she was going to recreate the meal she made for his 17th birthday. She gushes over anything to do with with Jeffrey. And they both appear to be in their 50's so that's quite a number of years she's been cooking up special dinners for him.

Ina is a less abrasive version of Martha Stewart. She has the perfectly coiffed bob and pearl studs like Martha, but she is much less smug about her superiority over all humans. And Ina has Jeffrey to do all the illegal dirty work like insider trading since he is an accountant, so she doesn't have to worry about going to prison and coming out at dawn in a homemade poncho. And since Jeffrey only comes home to their idyllic Hamptons beach mansion on weekends, Ina is free to play bridge all week with her handsome gay friends and sweep into town in her Mercedes convertible to buy really high quality ingredients at the quaint local shoppes where all the locals fawn over her.

And when Jeffrey gets home, they are like two giddy school children passing love notes in the classroom. They don't seem to ever have had children, and I can see why. That would put a real downer on their romantic lifestyle where they take long walks on the beach with a thermos of French onion soup and smooch with wild abandon. And by the time Ina puts the dinner on the table, they are so playfully in love that you expect them to frolic across the lawn throwing water balloons at one another. Oh their life is purrrrfect alright! When the cameras are rolling that is. I've often secretly wondered if she doesn't swat him with a rolled up newspaper for leaving his socks on the floor when the camera crew has left the mansion.

And I'm pretty perfect like Ina and Martha too since I grow vegetables and can my own tomatoes! But my favourite thing to do with my tomatoes is to make a bruschetta.
Here's what you need:
A baguette
2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot
1 large tomato
bunch of fresh basil
freshly grated parmesan
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper

Finely chop the shallot and 1 of the garlic cloves and add to a small bowl
chop the tomato and add to the bowl
make a chiffonade with 5 or 6 leaves of the basil (Aren't I a saucy little minx? That's FoodNetwork speak for saying place the basil leaves one on top of the next and then roll them into a tight wad like a cigar and thinly slice) and add to the bowl
Add about 1/3 cup of the grated parmesan
Add enough olive oil just to moisten all the ingredients and about 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar.
Add quite a good pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Stir it up and set it aside
Now take your baguette and slice 1/2" thick slices and put them on a cookie sheet under the broiler to toast. Watch them because they'll burn in no time! When they get golden, flip them over and toast the other side. As soon as they come out of the oven, rub the surface of each one with the remaining clove of garlic. Add about a tablespoon of the tomato mixture to each toast round and top with a little more grated parmeson. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Voila! Fit for a king like Jeffrey!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

For the Cuisinart-phobic Among Us...

I am a bona fide lover of food. Eating is one of my passions, and I can boast that there is nothing I won't try once. Raw whole crab in Korea? Done it. Mysterious organ meat in Costa Rica? Done that too. I cluck my tongue when people order their steak more than mid-rare and I silently admonish their unwillingness to eat the fat. It's delicious, it's edible, and it's there. If you are going to eat an animal, then eat it!

But even though I'm a food-thusiast and love eating, I can't stand cooking. It's messy, it's time-consuming, it can be expensive, and it requires effort. I live alone, and so cooking a class-act dinner from a recipe book would generally give me three portions too many, would require at least forty-five minutes of my precious unemployed time, and would need at least twenty minutes of clean-up afterwards. Not to mention that arduous trip to the grocery store where I have to beat my way through the throngs of people and stand in the checkout line for a dog's age. All that for a meal that I can voraciously stuff down in about two and a half minutes. So not worth it.

But since I'm not a Rockefeller and don't have gold coins spilling out of my pockets, I am sometimes forced to forego meals at trendy waterfront bistros in favour of my own creations. So naturally, I devised the least taxing meal with the most taste, that can be cooked with almost no notice whatsoever, and hardly longer than it takes the Jeopardy contestants to finish their godforsaken anecdotes in the first round. Without further ado....

Bang-it-out Trout

Start with a trout filet. The fresh is great, but if you only have frozen, so be it. I like to buy a stockpile of frozen filets in advance, so that I'm not obligated to go out of the house in order to eat. If a shut-in such as myself is forced to go out of the house for any reason, I'd probably just go through a Wendy's drive-thru and call it a day.

Pat the filet dry on both sides. In a pyrex dish of some sort (is that what they're called, even? See, I don't know these things. Just use an oven-safe dish) put about two tablespoons of olive oil. Enough to swirl into a light coating all over the bottom of the dish.

Place the filet skin side down in the dish. On top, season with salt, pepper, and your fave seasoning. I like to use the Mrs. Dash lemon and herb, but cumin is great too. Trout works well with most flavours so go nuts. On top of that, liberally apply lemon juice all over the filet and some in the bottom of the dish too so that it evaporates over the trout (and the juice can be from the plastic lemon instead of a real one. No one cares.) Last, put a pat of butter on top of the trout filet so that it will melt and caramelize the fish a bit.

Put it in a hot oven for twenty minutes. I usually use 400 degrees but I find that no matter what you do, it still cooks, so you may find something that works better for you. After twenty minutes, take out your delicious piece of fish and serve with some fresh green beans (which, by the way, you cooked for about ten minutes in boiling water while you were watching Jeopardy and drinking wine). You have a delicious and healthy meal ready in no time, and the best part is that the dishes are a snap. The green bean pot is a quick soapy rinse, and the pyrex dish can soak over night until your significant other cleans it in the morning (hopefully, anyway. I live alone so that part is still up to me).

There you have it. Quick, delish, and hardly requires more effort than it takes to turn on the oven. Take note, though: in the event that you serve this for someone else, and they are too childish to eat their trout skin? Recommend a local chicken finger joint and say good riddance. The true gourmets among us know that if you're going to bother to make yourself dinner, you don't waste a bite. 


Grand Marnier Cheesecake

Do you have a great recipe that you've been making for over thirty years and you just want to try new things or just blaze a new trail gastronomically speaking? That's me. I thought at one time that I would not live through another day if I didn't buy a mortar and pestle. I was determined to put my old Betty Crocker ways behind me once and for all and start fresh. No sooner did I get my new onyx mortar and pestle set out of the box did I hit a glitch. I live in a small town that generally has a line-up outside the beer store seven days of the week. And you have to set out at first light on the Saturday morning of a long weekend if you expect to find hamburger buns in any store within 20 miles. So it dawned on me that I would have to find a Spice Pusherman if I ever intended to use my new set. My town is so spice challenged that I have to buy Old Bay seasoning when I go to Ottawa to visit my daughter. Pink peppercorns and truffle oil and sel de fleur would only be found in a dream. I realized that I would have to go back to the basics.  I'm not sorry I have the mortar and pestle in any case because the minute you walk into my kitchen and see it sitting on the counter, your first impression is that a serious cook lives here. And only I know that it holds bits and loose change and paperclips and the like. It's the thought that counts. Right?

Let's make a cheesecake. I've only made this one about a thousand times!
If you're not out to impress, just buy a Keebler graham crust shell. Otherwise, for the crust you need
1 1/2 cups of graham crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons of sugar.
Mix it all together and pat it down into a pie dish and set aside.

For the filling:
2 packages of cream cheese
2 eggs
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup of sugar
a splash of vanilla
a splash of grand marnier (read at the bottom because I'm going to tell you how to make your own)
Preheat your oven to 350.
Using an electric mixer, mix all these ingredients at Medium speed until smooth (About 8 minutes)
Pour it into your pie pan and bake for about 35 minutes.
Put it in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 6 hours.

For the topping:
1 cup of sour cream
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tsp of grand marnier
sliced mandarins
mix the topping with a spoon until the sugar is dissolved and spread it over the top of the cooled cheesecake
and arrange the mandarins in a beautiful design of your choice.
It's just that easy and such a crowd favourite too!

Homemade Grand Marnier
Pour a bottle of brandy (don't use the expensive stuff because it won't matter) into a large GLASS bowl. Don't use plastic or metal. Slice the top 1/4 off an orange and place it pulp side down into the middle of the bowl. Pour in 3/4 of a cup of sugar. Cover it with plastic wrap and push it to the back of the counter for a week. By then, all of the sugar will have dissolved. Remove the orange. Give it a stir and using a funnel, pour it back into the original brandy bottle. There will be a little bit more than what you started with, so pour that into your coffee and drink it! Cheers!


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Shrimp Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Sometimes I think the Foodnetwork counteracts the joy of cooking. As I sit here watching Chopped, the chefs are challenged to use a Blue Foot Chicken in a recipe. First off, nobody brings a chicken home from the store with the feet and head still attached. So if you are fairly new to the art of cooking a chicken, already you'll be turned off watching chef after chef hacking the blue limbs and feet off this bird with a big hatchet. And to give a bit of the background of each chef (and to have some verbal discourse to lessen the violence?), each chef describes their reason for entering the competition. As I just turned on the program, a clearly agitated, plain Jane chef wannabe explains that her whole life she had the low self esteem and how she hopes to prove to herself that she is worthy of winning this competition. WHACK!! Off come the feet of the chicken.

Now I ask you, if this is a chef's challenge, why do the narrators continually remind us that a blue foot chicken is dry and tough and needs to be poached with gentle loving care? Of course every expert on the panel finds each of the entrees to be inferior, tough and dry. Hello? Somebody's chunk of  poultry leather must get chopped. Well low self esteem girl moves on to the next round. Thank God. Let's see how she manages with the next surprise basket containing eye of newt, wing of bat, massa farina and goat's eyes. Oh, she now feels confident and in her most assertive scaredy cat voice, she announces she is going to make a shortcake with her ingredients. Of course she is.

Because it always comes down to the basics when you want food to taste good. The single greatest dish you will ever make will begin with fresh ingredients, flavours that marry one another and basic technique. Get to know what every herb in the garden tastes like. Choose the ones you like the best and grow your own. And when you entertain, always make your own favourite dishes. Your guests will taste the love.

I love to make my shrimp stuffed chicken breasts for company. Mostly because most of the mess comes early, so you can clean up and at serving time, you just pull this wonderful tray of individual servings out of the oven and plate them up.
So here's what you'll need for dinner for 4:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled & chopped (you can use salad shrimp to save time)
1 bunch of green onion
3 gloves of garlic
1/2 cup butter
splash of dry vermouth
splash of brandy
1/2 cup cream
puff pastry
flour for dusting chicken

To begin, dredge the chicken breasts in seasoned flour (season with salt and pepper is good enough) and fry them in 1/4 cup melted butter on Med heat. Let them brown on both sides for about 8 minutes or so on each side. Put them aside.

In a separate skillet, melt some butter and sweat the garlic (minced) and the sliced green onion. Add the chopped shrimp and just when the shrimp begins to turn pink, add a generous splash of vermouth. Swirl it all around for a minute and add the brandy. I flambe it at this point. But if you're not comfortable with that, skip that step and let it cook off for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the cream and gently stir that in. Turn off the heat and set this aside.

Here comes the messy part. Slice open each breast and stuff it with 1/4 of the shrimp mixture. Or however much you can fit in there. It's fine if there is leftover shrimp mixture because you can use it to garnish upon serving. Lay each stuffed breast on a sheet of puff pastry (you can also use phyllo dough in this recipe. Just brush it with butter). Wrap it up like a burrito so the entire breast in encased tightly in the pastry. Lay them on a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.

If you have leftover shrimp mixture, heat it up just before serving and garnish each breast with it.
I usually serve this with asparagus or baby carrots and that's it! People go wild for this one and to think you didn't have to take your hatchet out of the camping equipment at all! Bon Apetit!


Saturday, 21 April 2012


Cooking a nice delicious dinner is so much fun, especially if you have a recipe you want to try out. And following a recipe is a lot of fun and you can have a glass of wine and listen to your favourite tunes and really relax and enjoy yourself. But if you want to learn how to cook for day to day and you don't always have the time to make a special meal, then there are some basics you can follow that aren't hard at all, but people will think you have magical powers! Let's take homemade soup for instance. The minute you tell people the soup is homemade, they will bowl over at once and think you're a goddess of the kitchen. For myself, I wouldn't eat canned soup any more than I would eat a can of dog food. And most likely, the dog food is more nutritional. I always use homemade stock and go from there.

Homemade stock is a no brainer. If you find fryer chickens on sale on the cheap, buy a few of them. Freeze a couple of them and take one and throw it in a big huge pot. Fill up the pot to just cover the chicken and add half a palm full of salt (always pour every seasoning into the palm of your hand and then sprinkle it on the food or into the pot because if you pour it directly into your recipe and screw it up, you can't take it back out) and add half a palm full of peppercorns and 3 bay leaves. Bring it up to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer it for about 3 hours. The stock will taste really bland and boring but don't worry about it because you now have a base (just like a blank canvas for an artist) that you can build and mold and shape into anything you need it for down the road. And you can freeze what you don't use.

The base of pretty much any soup on the planet is a sauteed onion (sauteed means chopped into small pieces and stirred around in butter). And most soups also have a chopped carrot and chopped celery in the base. And once you saute your base veg, you add your stock and simmer until the veggies are soft (about 25 minutes). At this point, you can puree and add some cream to make it a creamed soup. Or don't puree and keep it to a chunky style soup. This all sounds way more complicated than it is.

So let's make a basic chicken noodle soup.

You already have your stock. Now add whatever veg you like. I add sliced carrot and celery and boil that for about 10 minutes in the stock. Next you can add your starch. I use mini bow tie noodles, but you can use potato or rice or what have you. Boil for another 10 or 15 minutes and now you taste it. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Then when you like the taste of that, add your chicken. And your soup is good to go.

It takes no time at all and tastes so much more delicious than canned soup.

But let's think that you want to make an impressive "boss is coming to dinner" type of menu. Then why not make a vichysoisse? It's French. It's impressive and you serve it cold. How easy is that?
It's the exact same basic recipe except now we're going to start with a base. So you saute in butter a chopped onion and also 2 stalks of thinly sliced leeks. (Be bloody sure to rinse those leeks well first or you're going to be sipping on sand at dinner time!) If you must have precise amounts, then let's call it a half a cup of butter. Stir all that around in a pot big enough to make soup on no more than medium heat until they all soften up and don't smell like raw onions anymore. Now add about 2 cups of your chicken stock and 2 potatoes peeled and thinly sliced. Turn down your heat to let it boil in a soft and gentle manner and certainly not a roaring, agitating, uproarious situation! Let that happen for about twenty minutes. Stick a fork in the potatoes and if they easily split apart, turn off the heat and let's puree.
Here is where you need an emulsion hand held blender or a cocktail making blender. Whatever purees solids is your buddy here. But if you use the cocktail blender, for God sakes be careful not to burn yourself. Slow and careful is the rule of thumb. But make that concoction smooth and report back here when it is.

So we have a nice smooth puree going on now. It should be pretty thick too. So back to the heat we go and we're going to whisk our puree and as we're whisking, add about 1 1/2 cups of cream or half and half and bringing it up to not boiling, but just a starting to bubble from the bottom of the pot situation. Now taste it and add FRESHLY ground pepper. Don't bother with the already ground stuff in your pepper shaker. And enough salt that it tastes nice. But remember, this soup is going to chill and relax in the fridge all day so the seasoning will invest itself as the time goes by, so less is more at this point. Chill it in the fridge and when you're ready to serve it, whisk in another 1/2 cup or so (add more cream if the soup is too thick or if somebody else shows up for dinner and you need an extra bowl) and now really taste it as though you're going to eat it and add more salt or pepper if needed. Pour it into the bowls for the people and sprinkle a garnish on top of whatever you're in the mood for. You can use sliced green onions or croutons or chives or even a swirl of sour cream or olive oil. Whatev works! BUT brace yourself for the accolades and know that people will fall all over you and swoon and beg for this recipe. It tastes that good. And you can make it the day before. Hello!

I have dozens of soup recipes up my sleeve, all just as delicious as the next, but the same rule of thumb always applies. Good stock and a base of fresh vegetables. Served with a smile!


Chicken Tacos

Okay. I think I might be on the site now. But of course I can't be sure. And I made some amazing tacos the other night and didn't take a photo because I wasn't sure if they would be edible at all, let alone photo worthy. But they were off the charts delicious. And that's not just because I invented the recipe either. So here's what I did in stages, but don't be frightened because they only took a half an hour from out of the car to the table:

Take two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and liberally add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and chili powder. Of course they are already on a cookie sheet ready to go into the oven when you do this. Rub the spices all over the chicken and then immediately wash your hands with soap and water. Put them in the oven on 325.

While they are baking, chop up some fresh cilantro (about 1/3 of a cup) and finely dice a half of a jalapeno pepper. Add them to a small container of sour cream and the juice of a lime. Stir it up and cover it and put it in the fridge.

Chop half a sweet onion and cover and set aside.
Grate 2 cups of Monterrey Jack cheese and cover and put aside.
Mix up some cole slaw (bagged or homemade) with mayonaisse, salt, pepper and lemon juice (or easier still, just use cole slaw dressing store bought)
Slice an avacado

When your chicken is done after about 25 minutes, set it out to rest and wrap your tortillas in tin foil and let them warm in the oven while you set the table and put out all the condiments. This will be enough time.

Slice the chicken and arrange it on a plate.

Put all of the items mentioned here on the tortilla and eat it up. And if you love cilantro as much as I do, put some extra in a bowl to add to your taco with all the other yummies because it will make that taco burst with flavour!

So what you need to buy at the store is as follows:
boneless, skinless chicken breast,
if you don't have the ingredients for the rub, then salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, chili powder
sour cream
fresh cilantro
jalapeno peppper
sweet onion
cole slaw
cole slaw dressing
monterrey jack cheese
Hope I got it all and enjoy!


Devil’s Brownies

I must admit, I am not much one for the baking, I far prefer cooking. I lack the virtues of patience and precision, both of which seem crucial to successful baking.

 I do, however, bake for special occasions. A friend’s birthday is one such occasion; so today I decided to make brownies for her. Not just any brownies however, I wanted to make something a little extra. (This friend is not a blah-brownie kind of girl).  And these are not your grandma’s brownies, nor are these brownies for the faint of heart.

These are sexy brownies. I always need a soundtrack for cooking, so for these rustic (and sexy, if I do say so myself) brownies, I need some a rustic and sexy soundtrack. Feist’s “Metals” will do the trick.

I adapted this recipe from the Fry’s Cocoa recipe found here:

I decided to jazz this recipe up a little though, so my recipe looks like this:
1 1/3 cups flour
            1 teaspoon baking powder
            1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
            1 cup butter
            1 cup Fry’s cocoa
            2 cups sugar
               1 teaspoon chili powder
            4 eggs
            1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Start by preheating the oven to 350° and grease your baking pan. I used a pan that is actually for little tarts. Then melt your butter in a large saucepan. While that melts, mix your flour, baking powder and fleur de sel together. When the butter is melted, remove from heat and blend in the cocoa powder and chili. When that is blended, add the eggs, vanilla and sugar to the butter. Finally, blend the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, and then allow to cool.  You could ice these brownies, but I opted for a sprinkling of icing sugar instead. This is primarily for the reason that I think it’s pretty. And at the end of the day, I find that to be a pretty important quality in my desserts.