red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies.

it’s valentine’s day week. i can already hear people around me dreading it.

the commercialized day of love.
another hallmark holiday.
because i’m single and everyone is in a relationship.
love sucks.

read on…


[little debbie] homemade cosmic brownies.

i had dinner with a group of summer community service fellows this past week. the summer community service fellows applied to do summer service at a variety of sites in boston. they have dinner and reflection with each other at least once a week to talk about their journey at their service site.

bringing a dessert was optional, but it’s me. so, of course, i made dessert. i needed something quick and delicious. i saw this recipe for a homemade version of little debbie cosmic brownies.

it was a done deal.

read on…

fudgy brownies with orange cream cheese frosting.

well, i’m surviving nemo just fine. the college was closed yesterday, so i get a three day weekend. winning. so far, i’ve spent half of my time in bed and the other half in the kitchen. it doesn’t get any better than that.

i’ve opted not to go play in the snow. there’s just too much of it. i don’t like snow to begin with, but i’ve learned to be okay with it after my time spent in the northeast. i can handle a few inches. this is just overwhelming. it does finally feel like winter. but, now i’m a little over it. i could do sunshine again.

but, if i can’t have sunshine in the real world, i guess i’ll just have to bring sunshine into my kitchen world. enter orange.

read on…

brownie cookies.

after my cake fail, i felt pretty discouraged about baking. i feel like that every time something doesn’t turn out the way i want it to in the kitchen. the cake was too dense and dry for my taste. i didn’t make enough frosting. and, i used too much almond extract.

to rescue myself from flops, i always make something extra chocolate-y. i also like to follow other people’s recipes for a guaranteed good result. i knew i had to turn to my newly acquired smitten kitchen cookbook to make it all better.

read on…

mini peppermint brownie bites

i have two student staffs. last night, i had my last student staff meetings of the semester. we decided to do secret snowflake–our inclusive name for what is popularly known as secret santa.

it would be unlike me to not pull out all the stops. i came with my secret snowflake’s gift, homemade picture frames with our team photo in them for each staff member, and baked goods. we always have a great time together, but this time there was ten times more laughing and love that ensued.

at my first staff meeting, we recapped the holiday party they did. they told me that students enjoyed the hanukkah and dreidel addition of the holiday programming. it was the first time they added anything other than christmas-y components to their holiday programming. they didn’t realize how fun dreidel could be and how much they could learn about hanukkah. success.

when it was time to do the secret snowflake exchange at my second staff meeting, everyone got super excited to be able to finally give their crafted gift. in lieu of purchasing actual gifts this year, we were only allowed to give homemade/DIY gifts. the student who got me as their secret snowflake made me a fun hanging decoration that included a photo of each person on staff that he took. for the first time this year, i cried at staff meeting. it was one of the most beautiful gifts i’ve received. he made the wire frames, chased staff members down to take their picture, and put it all together for me to hang up. more emotions as each person received their gift and realized that we’ve gotten so tight this year.

read on…