I am visiting my sister (and newborn niece) in Brisbane, Australia this week and we are cooking up a storm! She and her husband are vegetarian, so our meal plan reflects that.
In between spending time with my family and cooking, I have been cuddling with koalas and petting this guy:
I’ve also had a lot of fun shopping in their local grocery, Coles; at their produce shop, Fruity Capers; and at the Davies Park Market. We are headed to a giant market this weekend (Eumundi Markets), so our Saturday and Sunday meals will reflect what we buy there that looks good.
Wound up with a lot of poultry dishes this week, for some reason. Also, the boys have exhausted my supply of frozen homemade cookies (I usually freeze half of each batch I make so we can dole them out over a longer period of time). I’ve had a request for M&M cookies, but I also have a ton of Hershey’s Kisses leftover from a project in December, so I may look for a “blossom”-type cookie recipe without peanut butter.
And yes, if I could only bake and never cook, I think I would.
My secret baking last week was a special treat for J.’s grandma’s birthday. I wanted to make her a decadent, not-for-everyday dessert that she could stash in her fridge and enjoy over the course of a week or so. Since she is a chocolate lover, I immediately thought to make Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies — hands down, the best special occasion brownie around! They were well received, so I’m glad I spent the time making them. They are a little fussy to make but totally worth it. Since the recipe makes a half sheet pan worth of brownies, I divied up some of the rest into packets for friends and put away a small amount in our freezer for the boys.
This week I’m baking a chocolate chip cookie cake for G.’s Valentine’s Day celebration at school. He has instructed me that we need to decorate the cake with “white frosting all around, and Valentine’s M&Ms, and a big heart in the middle.” OK, can do. He’ll help me with the decorating.
Otherwise, I’m heavy on soup again this week (Black Bean and also Curried Split Pea). It seems to be all I want to eat in this cold, cold weather.
I am excited for a couple of baking projects this week. One is secret… shhh. But the other is not: I was tapped to make the Valentine’s Day cake for my second grader’s class celebration. He decided we should make a chocolate chip cookie cake, which he’ll help me decorate. I do love when he helps me in the kitchen, so I am looking forward to that time together on Wednesday.
Edited to add: I can’t seem to keep my days or weeks straight recently. The cookie cake is for NEXT week, not this one. So I have less baking to do than I thought I would. Darn!
I'm Dara, the Chick in the Kitchen. Living in the suburbs of Manhattan with my two school-aged boys and husband. Feeding my family something more diverse than a different shape of pasta each night. Read more about me and CITK, and keep in touch: