Triple Triple Blondies

Triple chips. Triple nuts. Triple nerms. These blondies leave behind the walnuts and butterscotch chips, and have cashew, almond, and pecan along with (wait for it) caramel chips. What what???? I know, right? Well, let me tell you a story….

Wandering in the grocery a couple weeks back, I discovered that Ghiradelli makes a caramel chip. So of course I bought them, along with some dark and white chocolate ones.  I was thinking that they would be awesome in some blondies.

We’re going on a little hike and picnic today – probably one of the last days it will be enjoyable to be outside at this elevation for a while. So, along with the muffaletta, pasta salad and aranciata, we will need some blondies.  They are Himself’s favorite treat. I’ve given up trying to recreate a flavor from his memory and just bake what I think sounds yummy. And this definitely fit the bill.

These are really rich, so slice ‘em small. After I wrapped up ours for the picnic (Himself: “Wait. You’re packing only two? What if we have a blondie emergency?” He is such a dork.), I wrapped the rest and put them in a zippie bag in the freezer.  They’ll last a couple months that way, and a quick zap in the micro-onda and it’s instant deliciousness (perhaps with a scoop of vanilla [non-dairy] ice cream…) Plus, having them safely in the freezer keeps a tray of blondies whispering your name every time you walk past the kitchen counter. A win/win, so to say.

These are super. Super easy. Super fast. Super delicious.  And a one-bowl, one-spoon wonder, to boot. Give ‘em a whirl!

Triple Triple Blondies

INGREDIENTS
1 stick unsalted butter (½ c.)
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. AP flour
1 tsp.Vanilla
½ tsp. Salt
⅓ c. each white, dark, and caramel chips (total 1 c.)
¾ c. nut mix (almonds/pecan/cashew)
(Opt) Kosher salt & sparkle sugar to dust the top

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 8” square pan and lay in an Alton Brown-style parchment brownie sling.
Use a medium microwave safe bowl, and melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and stir to combine.  Stir in the egg. Set aside a half-handful of the chips and nuts, and add the rest along with the flour to the bowl and stir it vigorously (you want to develop a little bit of that gluten to get some chewiness).
Pour and smooth the batter in the pan, sprinkle with the reserved chips/nuts (and some flake salt and sparkle sugar, if you like). And bake 25-ish minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Don’t over bake – you want them just this side of cooked. Cool completely, then lift out the sling and slice in to at least 16 squares. Snarf ‘em right then and there, or wrap ‘em up and freeze ‘em.

Bon appetit!

Nutritional Information from VeryWellfit.com’s calculator, based on 16 blondies.  Each blondie has:
211 cal
13.1 . fat
150mg sodium
21.8g carbs (fiber 1.1g, sugar 14.5g)
2.5 g protein

Crunchy Green Bean Salad

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Originally I was calling this post: Blanched Green Bean Salad; or, that didn’t exactly turn out….

We went to Willcox yesterday, in our annual pilgrimage to farm country. Loaded up on fresh peaches, squash, eggplant, roasted green chile and of course the green beans. I was blanching them this morning, munching on one and thought – hey, this would be yummy in a salad besides salade niçoise.
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I was extremely disappointed when I first put it together – even himself was not enthused. It just tasted like raw green beans and dijon mustard. Yuck. I was so sad – I mean, come on! Green beans, bacon, onion, almonds – what could possibly go wrong??

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But the next day? It was pretty yummy. Only thing is, leave green beans in a acidic solution like that vinaigrette and they lose that pretty green in the pictures and become a more olive green, less fresh, appetizing color so I feel as if my pictures are false advertising now.

So…..make this the day before you intend to eat it; perhaps if your garden is drowning you in green beans.
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Whisk together:
1 tsp. bacon fat
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp celery seed
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ c. rice vinegar
Stir in:
2 c. freshly blanched green beans, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, thinly chopped
2 Tbps. thin sliced white or red onion
1/4 c. almond slivers
1/4 c. minced parsley
1 slice cooked bacon, chopped

Make the day before. Serves 2-4.
Bon apétit!

White Gazpacho: Adventures in the Land of Meh

Bill tells me I need start a fail tag. Made me laugh.  My friend T always raves about the white gazpacho at one of our favorite wino bars.  I was wracking my brain for a post idea, and a friend suggested salsa. Which made me think of gazpacho. Which made me think of T and her white gazpacho. 

Google recipe search garnered pretty much the same recipe over and over – water, almonds, bread, garlic, sherry vinegar, olive oil. Garnished with grapes. And if you drill down, they almost all go back to José Andrés.

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Serve chilled. Sounds simple. Easy. 

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Gotta tell you, though. We just weren’t big fans.  Grapes are not himself’s favorite fruit, which maybe didn’t help.  We tried this the day we made it after it chilled,  and again the next day.  We tasted it over and over, and are just on the fence. It’s cool, and creamy, and subtle; but the bread flavor is just too strong. Maybe it’s the homemade (poolish) bread I used; maybe its flavor is too strong and I needed a more neutral one.  

WhiteGazpacho4BCmedWell, we have tried this recipe for white gazpacho. And with $5 worth of almonds as the main ingredient, I am not so sure we’ll pursue this to see if tweeks would change our minds.  But, it sure is purdee. So, enjoy the pictures if not the soup. 

Soup
4 cups water
7 ounces blanched almonds
2 clove garlic
3 ounces day old white bread
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Garnish
Drizzle of the olive oil
Handful of green grapes, halved
Sliced cucumber
Instructions
Put the almonds and the garlic in a sauce pan with one of the cups of water.
Bring to boil, then drain.
Add another cup of water.
Bring to boil, then drain.
Cool to room temp.
Put all the (remaining) soup ingredients in the blender, and puree until super smooth.
Strain through mesh and chill, prefereably overnight.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top, dotted with the grapes

Servings 4
Calories 617
Fat 54 g
Sodium 571 mg
Carbs 26 g
Protein 13 g