recipes

eating this: chocolate chess pie

04.23.12

Ever since trying out this recipe, this has been my favorite chocolate indulgence. And everyones that I’ve ever made it for. It’s like the richest, fudgiest brownie ever. And the best part – it’s a no fail recipe.

My chocolate-obsessed dad was visiting town so I wanted to make it with him. I had him do the labor intensive job of smashing up the chocolate graham crackers for the crust.

A quick warning about this recipe is that most grocery stores around me have seemed to stop carrying chocolate graham crackers. I noticed this a few months ago when I made it for a dinner party, we drove to four stores trying to find them, and were told by everyone that they were discontinued. We used chocolate teddy grahams for that version (WHICH WAS MUCH HARDER!) Weeks later, my boyfriend came home from the store with 4 boxes of chocolate graham crackers he found at Pavilions (Vons/Safeway). Safeway store brand seems to be the only one still in production.

Chocolate Chess Pie
(adapted from the Kitchn)

The recipe is originally for a 9 inch pie pan, but I like to use my 9.5 version because it’s the easiest for cutting out the slices. So I make extra pie crust and then we cut the top of it off when it’s done cooking. (I’d rather have too much crust than too little)

for the crust
1 ½ sleeves chocolate graham crackers
1 ½ stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

for the filling
1 stick butter
1 (1 oz) square of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. To make the crust, place the graham crackers into a large ziploc bag. Now smash! You can use instruments such as a rolling pin or you can just make a man smash it with his hands. Once it’s powdery, add the melted butter and sugar and mix until well combined. Press into the pie pan and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and chill for an hour until crunchy and firm.

Now heat the oven to 325°. To make the filling, heat the chocolate and butter in a saucepan until melted and smooth. Remove from burner and transfer to a mixer, add sugar and mix until well combined. Stir in the lightly beaten eggs, vanilla, and salt. Pour into the pie crust and cook for 40-45 minutes until the center is just set. I normally cook for about 42. I like it gooey.

Remove pie from the oven, and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Keep at room temperature and serve with freshly whipped cream (which I make while I’m waiting ANXIOUSLY for the pie to cool!)

interiors

to chalkboard paint or not to chalkboard paint?

04.18.12

Gideon wants to paint our office wall (yes, the one with the door) with chalkboard paint. This is one of the first time he’s had the idea for something we should do to the house so I kinda have to go with it. I like black and I like black with wood and it seems like a good idea and will probably make the office look better so I looked for inspiration.

I love the way the shelves look on the black. That’s what I want to do.

[ images clockwise: one / two / three / four ]

internet shopping / wish list

wish list

04.17.12


one: like an egg chair but less confined / two:  this lightweight throw to follow me around the house / three: boxwood topiary that you only have to spritz ONCE A MONTH! / four: i want a pair of leopard flats to replace wearing nude ones at all times / five: a horn vase that looks regal but still rustic / six: new dining chairs. these ones.

interiors

trying to style a bookcase with… books!

04.16.12

Whenever I look up inspiration for styling bookcases and shelves, it always seems like there are more tchockies and decorative items than there are books! The problem is, we have two built in bookshelves when you walk into the house. So when we settled in, I used all the prettier books for those shelves. All that’s left for the expedit are the COLORFUL ones. Yuck.

I’m happy with the way these ones turned out. I think I can do the expedit. Maybe. While looking for inspiration for our office expedit, I managed to find images with some books…


[left][right]

Oooo here is one with books!


[left][right]

First thing I decided to do was give the shelf a white back. I got some white butcher paper from the closet and my favorite white duct tape to cover it. The taping is pretty bad up close but it’s on the back. I’ll never see it.

Okay. So much better.  Next, I emptied it. That includes taking out the LPs and putting them next to the shelf. No idea where I’ll put these, but they’re taking up too much space.

Next, I removed all of the dust jackets. Something I’ve meant to do for a while. That helped a little.

Next, I gathered shit. Tchockies and such.

Then, I just kept trying. Playing around with what looked good. Putting things in, taking them out, and leaving them when they looked decent. The problem is trying to stuff all the books in while still trying to make them look good.

Feeling okay about these setups. I’ll leave them like this for now. Lotta books.

Alright! So it’s not the prettiest bookshelf styling ever, but it’s better than it was! I think!

 

interiors

open shelving is TOUGH.

04.12.12

Basically all of the storage space we have in our kitchen is what you see here, on this large wall of open shelving. You move into a place with a wall of open shelving and think it’s fantastic, but when you’re trying to store everything in the open, it really is hard. Besides this wall, we have two large drawers which we use for food and tupperware. What our house has in charm, it lacks in storage.

We painted our kitchen this sage color and decided to not paint the shelving since it would be such a nightmare. I’m still considering painting it.

My plan is to take everything out, rearrange, re-accessorize, and make it look like the kitchen shelving I dreamt about prior to having it. The problem is when your storage isn’t just staged or styled, but it’s all you have.

JARRRRRRS. (via)

Should I fill jars with things? Just put EVERYTHING we have in A MILLION JARS? (left image) (right image)

Examples of cluttered white. Working. White shelving. Ugh. (left image) (right image)

Or maybe we should stain ours darker?! UGH! (via)

Oh, and this is awesome.


(via)

Ok. So the next post about my kitchen shelving will be a before and after. The after looking like these. Yeah, totally.

interiors / internet shopping

decorative busts

04.11.12

Driving by the 7-11 this past weekend, we decided to stop at the guy who sells decorative busts outside. And we picked up Beethoven for 20 bucks! Now he’s sitting on our empty built-in, but we’re considering painting him or doing something fun, like dripping paint? Or a clown face? Okay, maybe no clown face.

So I’ve been looking at inspiration. I said to Gideon “let’s paint him chartreuse!” he said “no.” And then I see a bust painted chartreuse! Our house is really really white so if we paint him brightly, he might stand out way too much.

[ images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 ]

entertaining / holiday / recipes

making this: easter deviled eggs

04.09.12

I have a strong bond with eggs. In all forms. Unfortunately, my boyfriend is not big on the “sulfur” taste/smell of hard boiled eggs. So any chance I have to make deviled eggs for someone besides myself is very exciting. These are for his family!

Easter pastels? Eggs? Yes. Totally.

I try to use this egg timer thing I have, but by the time I’m positive they’re done, with or without the timer, I look at it and I’m all “what’s it say? oh well”. But I stick it in there when I remember.

I filled four cups with water, three drops of food coloring, and a dash of apple cider vinegar.

Peeling eggs is so therapeutic.

Easter Deviled Eggs

Eggs (the more the merrier)
For the filling I use:
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Horseradish
Worcestershire sauce
Paprika to Garnish

Place the eggs on one layer in a large pot and fill with cold water, filling about an inch or two above them. Put on stove and turn heat to high. Once they reach a boil, take off heat and cover for 12 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water. Let them get as cold as you can.

I use a butter knife to crack all along the middle. Then I crack the opposite way and peel off the shell easily. Cut in half, remove the yolk and place in a large bowl. Once all of the eggs are halved and the yolks are removed, it’s time to dye!

I was very, very, very weary of these looking disgusting. So I wanted them to be pretty pale, therefore hopefully still appetizing. I could have soaked each egg for a minute to get them super saturated, but I only kept them in the food coloring for about 20-30 seconds each.

Once they’re all colored to your liking, make the yolk mixture. I glob in a ton of mayo until it gets creamy enough.  Then add a tablespoon of mustard, a teaspoon of horseradish, a teaspoon of Lea and Perrins, and some fresh ground pepper. If it’s still not creamy enough, add. more. mayo.

Many people like to put the yolk mixture in a ziploc and cut the corner to fill the whites, but I feel like I have more control with a spoon. It’s just way less pretty. Garnish with paprika.

Just close to white enough to not make you want to barf.