Yes, I’m alive. Haven’t been writing here or on my novel (Bad Amanda. Bad, bad Amanda).

I pretty much cooked all day long. Started out roasting the squash and chicken thighs for Roasted Chicken and Butternut Soup. As usual, as I am of the non-onion-eating persuasion, I left the onion out and subbed in about six unpeeled garlic cloves (yes, six – they were small), and also decided to through in about a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger. And a dash of cayenne pepper.

I then ran up to Porter Square, merely with the intent of getting a new dish scrubber wand…yeah, make that said wand, a new pair of tongs, and a jelly roll pan (more on this later) at Tags Hardware, and coriander, sour cream, cream cheese, vanilla ice cream, whipping cream (basically, stocking up on dairy products for future baking projects), plastic spoon, paper plates, and a hanging sweater organizer (it was for my not-so-successful attempt for sheet set storage in my pantry).

Came home and baked Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies. I’d been wanting to try them because the recipe was adapted from the recipe for Chocolate Globs in the Soho Charcuterie Cookbook. Now, the place in Inman Square where I like to go for massages, Inman Oasis, is next door to Rosie’s Bakery. For my birthday the past two years (and presumably this coming year as well) I’ve gotten a massage, previous to which I stopped at Rosie’s and got cookies (after the massage, I always just miss the direct bus home, walk in the cold – my birthday’s in early March – to Central Square to take the T, get home and order delivery, light a Yankee Candle, sing “Happy Birthday to myself, make a wish and blow out the candle, and spend the rest of the night sobbing because it’s yet another birthday completely alone).

Anyway…this past year, I got a couple of SoHo Globs. Which were absolutely fantastic. So, kinda connecting the dots, I was thrilled at the thought of a brownie recipe that was reminiscent of these awesome cookies.

While I was out running my errands, I had the pan measurements in mind. Because I knew my cookie trays were too small. So I decided to get a bigger pan. It’s a good thing I did, because even this one was a little too small – the batter ended up running over a bit in the oven. This would be where I’m grateful that I no longer live in a university-owned apartment building,  with smoke alarms that would send hundreds of people out onto Comm Ave. (or, back in law school, super-sensitive alarms that would go off if you showered with the bathroom door open).

I have no real verdict on them yet – the only one I had was underneath vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. The edges where the spilling occurred seem a little overdone. And I’m not entirely sure on the flavor yet – the recipe includes 3 tablespoons of instant coffee granules, as a chocolate enhancer. I don’t know…I think it might make it too sweet. Or maybe it’s just too much coffee for me. Or maybe it was the brand – I used Folgers, because it was cheap/on sale (and yes, I did stand in my kitchen holding the canister and pretend I was doing commercials – “We’ve secretly switched so-and-so’s regular coffee with Folgers Crystals…”) – there’ s no way I was going to spend money on Taster’s Choice, just to use it in baking; judging from a Barefoot Contessa episode I watched this morning, it seemed like Ina was using Maxwell House, which I don’t like.

And then I went with an old favorite, Ina’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli. Well, minus the pine nuts and basil.

Why I need a serious relationship and a full-time job: the other day I was watching an episode of Barefoot Contessa from a few years ago, and I got all worried because Ina sounded like she was coming down with a cold. I wanted to e-mail Jeffrey and tell him to get home to the Hamptons and take care of her. Seriously, Mand – it was filmed over five years ago. She’s all better now.

(Yeah, I have a tendency to get all concerned like that…a couple years back I saw this LOL on Pundit Kitchen. I felt so bad for President Taft – I wanted to e-mail him and tell him tat I remembered that he’d been in all three branches of government, including his true dream of being Chief Justice of the Supreme Court…and then I remembered that he’s been dead for 80 years…)

A couple of random things in closing:

– Butter lambs are cool. Butter turkeys are just plain wrong.

– The Mom made a comment to me yesterday about my life being “on hold.” On hold? I’m getting pretty damn close to just hanging the fuck up.