I tested out my fancypants new mixer(thanks again, Z) for the first time by making a batch of a classic - basic brownies. I got the recipe out of the Kitchen Aid Great Baking and Morebook that Z's mom got me for Christmas (it was actually a happy coincidence), which details step-by-step exactly at what speed and for how long to run your Kitchenaid mixer while baking things (apparently, they're convinced their mixers take half the time of other mixers and whatnot). Being the sort of person who's a stickler for such exact instructions, I followed them to the letter and they turned out the best brownies I've ever made. I wonder if letting the machine decimate the eggs and butter and sugar into fluffy goodness really makes that big of a difference... and now I'm never going to know otherwise because I'm convinced these Kitchenaid folks do not screw around! Super-fudgey, awesome chewy brownies. Okay, they were actually a bit sweet for me, but I now know how to achieve my favorite brownie texture in the universe. I gave them away to avoid getting cavities (I might already have some, as I haven't been to the dentist in three years or so, but that's another story). More mixer experiments are sure to come.
To test out Z's brand new food processor(I have the same one without the nifty wide-mouth feed tube), we made a batch of latkes. Well, mostly, I made a batch of latkes because Z was helping a touring Japanese cyclist who hadn't had a tune-up since he started his trip with a new bike in Canada three months ago. Yosuke, best of luck and we hope you make it to Tierra del Fuego in one piece and well-fed! Frying latkes is a lot of fun, though I forgot how fast potatoes turn a sickly pink color after you shred them.
In a final meal recommendation, the Broccoli Soup with Cheddar from Epicurious is really good. You might want to cut the stock a little. I have this 2-lb block of Tillamook sharp cheddar (yes, from Costco), and broccoli was on sale at Whole Foods, and I really wanted ONE of my cookbooks to have some directions for me to mix it together to make some cream-laden cheesy soup, but alas - I had to turn to the internet.
Next up: adventures in herb growing (culinary herbs, silly), more mixer fun, and more complaining about trying to cook through all of my cookbooks.