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This week’s winner was Dark Chocolate and Espresso Cookies.  I used one of my own recipes as the base and then winged the rest.  

DARK CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO COOKIES

1 cup softened butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 T instant espresso powder (you can substitute instant coffee but it will suck)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of dark chocolate chips

powdered sugar for dusting

 

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add the white and brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light and creamy.  Stir in vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat for one minute.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add all of dry mixture to sugar mixture and stir until just combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.  Chill the dough for half an hour.  Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.  Use Silpats for best results.  Bake at 350º for ten minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar when they come out of the oven. 

 

And, your FOOd PrON:

 

the batter:

 

 

 

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 the tasty finished product:

 

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Easy Like a Sunday Mornin’…

Happy Sunday, y’all!  I have cooked my wee irish ASS off today.  Bacon waffles for breakfast in honor of the delightful WJAC, our breakfast guest.  Then the shockingly delicious ‘Demand-a-Dish’ winner – dark chocolate espresso cookies.  Then my very awesome sister- and brother-in-law came over for dinner and we had iceberg wedge salads with warm bacon and bleu cheese dressing, roasted red potatoes, and pork chops with a bacon and apple stuffing.  And, of course, the tasty cookies for dessert.  So now I am very full and content and getting ready for another week of the lawyering and politicking.  I will post pics of the cookies and the recipe in a separate post.  For now, enjoy a picture of some beautiful pork…

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Teabaggery

So, another national non-religious holiday is coming up, which means (at least in these parts) another round of the teabaggery.

What a wonderful exercise of at least 2 of the rights protected by the 1st Am. Yes, let’s protest paying income tax and giving up our hard-earned money to “those” people.  Let’s ignore the fact that the ‘I got mine’ crowd didn’t get theirs on hard work alone.  Let’s ignore the fact that we are protesting in a public park, payed for with taxpayer money.  Let’s ignore the fact that we got to where we are by benefitting from public education.  Let’s ignore the fact that 60 years ago, folks were able to become homeowners thanks to government intervention and regulation and that home prices have increased roughly 100% every ten years, while income has most certainly NOT increased as such a rate.  Let’s ignore the fact that the Reagan years removed the ‘shackles’ from our beloved free market so that the credit market could grow like kudzu, creeping into everyone’s lives.  Let’s ignore the fact that the cost of living has increased in leaps and bounds while income increase has lagged further behind every year, making credit a necessary evil for the average consumer to pay for things like groceries, healthcare, education, gas, and utilities.   

And, most importantly, let’s ignore the fact that a large percentage of these people are motivated by fear and anger and that their ignorance and fear and anger is being exploited and manipulated by corporate interests.  

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On Tomorrow’s Menu…

The people have spoken and they have demanded dark chocolate espresso cookies!  Thanks for voting everyone, I will see you in the kitchen.

MMmmmmm...cookies!

It’s Demand-A-Dish Friday!

All right, folks.  Friday is here and it is time to tell me what to make.  Bear in mind that we are playing tonight AND tomorrow night (by ‘we,’ I mean ‘The Bleeding Heart Show,’ formerly ‘The New Originals).  Which isn’t to say go easy on me.  I have all day Sunday, as well.  SO let’s hear it – what do you want to see me make?  To tide you over, here is some food pRon of cake:

Bittersweet Mocha Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

Top Wednesday

YAY!  Top Chef day has arrived!  Teasers are Todd English and a ‘dice roll’ for number of ingredients that the chefs can use.  Hmmmm…  What if you get a 1?  What WOULD you cook if you could only use 1 ingredient?  Are you allowed to season?  If not, I would cook SPAM.   SPAM is nature’s perfect dish.  Seriously, SPAM aside, what is the perfect, stand-alone food?   I would suggest an egg.  Think about it – let me know.  Anyhoodle, I will try to live-twitter Top Chef, but may be slightly behind live, due to babies and whatnot.  Until then, a little food pRon for you:

Pot Pies - the Perfect Dish

Post Town Hall Post

There were only a handful of people protesting outside – one person for reform, and a couple that were opposed to ObamaCare and socialism/communism.  Very peaceful.  I did not see anyone carrying, and unless I am wrong, they couldn’t carry concealed anyway, as this took place on a public school campus (if I am incorrect in this, someone please let me know.  I don’t know the carry laws as well as I used to since I don’t own a gun or have a valid permit anymore).  

Inside, it was crowded – VERY crowded.  The room was large and seated several hundred.  I was conveniently located right behind the “question” mike, thanks to Ash-Lee, who kindly let me sit with her.  Roe spent a fair amount of time running for re-election, which can only be expected from a house rep, and I am not knocking him for that.  I just didn’t particularly enjoy it and couldn’t help but think how very different it would have been if it were my husband up there (well, there would have been a lot more guns, for one).  There was a lot of patting on the conservative back, again, expected.  And a lot of talk about how DC is politics as usual.  Some comments about “clean” coal, about how Roe did not take any special interest money, his pro-life stance, etc.  

It seemed pretty clear to me that Roe knows he is going to face a battle in the primary and that he knows that if he is going to win that primary, he is going to have to spend the next 18 months catering to the tea-party folks and the Davis supporters – notably NOT the people that got him elected this time.  I think he understands that he wrested the nomination away from Davis by somehow convincing democrats that he was a better choice.  You may feel free to disagree with me on this, but I think the voting results very clearly show that if no democrats had crossed party lines to vote for Roe, then Davis would have won.  I am not bitter about this, I get the frustration, but I just don’t believe folks thought this through.  Certainly they should have known that they were just being courted to win the primary, and that as soon as he was elected, Roe would then be forced to spend his time currying favor with the bitter Davis supporters.  An east TN republican might be able to win a primary with some Dem support, but you can’t win a general election that way.  Just ask the Democratic candidates.  At any rate, I hope the Dems are paying attention right now.  Come 2010, it is going to be another battle royale in the Republican primary, reportedly again between Davis and Roe.  So, where is our 2010 candidate?  NOW is the time to get her visible.   It would be very smart for all Dems to get behind a candidate NOW.  Just sayin’…

But I digress – the meeting.  The overwhelming majority of the signs were anti-abortion, though many were apparently anti-grammar, as well.  See supra.  Yes, I judge people when they use poor grammar.  See ‘Things you should know before reading this blog.’   The first questioner has received an unnecessary and undeserved amount of negative attention for being shouty.  She was loud, yes, but she was clearly nervous.  She was not insulting, she was not rude.  She was impassioned and nervous.  And she did NOT start screaming until people started booing her – a lot of very loud booing and rude heckles from the crowd.  And Dr. Roe’s rather rude treatment of her did not help.  There were some good questions, a lot of non-questions, some rambling nervous people, and, as always an American expert or two on ‘how things are done in Europe/Canada.’ Overall, it seemed that there were markedly more pro-reform questions than anti.  

And then there were Roe’s “answers.”  This was rough.  Especially when he insinuated that HR3200 would allow free state on-demand abortions.  And that HR3200 raises valid concerns of ‘death panels.’  Come ON – I know you have to pander, but really?  This seemed especially shameful and unnecessary, especially since every third sentence he spoke was ‘This is not about Democrat or Republican’ and every time there was a pro-reform question he kept insisting that it was not a partisan issue and/or it was the liberals who were making it about parties.   And then the policy stuff.  Particularly listening to him try to sell folks on the HSA farce. You can CONTROL your own care! And by ‘control’ he means ‘pay for.’  So, yep, you can ‘control’ your care, but only if you can afford it.   Kind of like one can “control” their debt by filing bankruptcy.  Or ‘control’ your kids by not having them.  And then to try to sell the uninsured and underinsured on the tax credit and voucher option?  First, if you can’t afford health insurance, how on earth are you going to pay for it, then wait 14 months for a credit on your income tax returns?  If you are among the working poor, this isn’t going to help you anyway.  You need the money and the care; a tax credit doesn’t help people in the lower brackets – if you are low income enough to receive earned income credit, then a “credit” for paid health care does NOTHING for you.  

But none of this matters, apparently, for as Roe made clear, of the 48 million uninsured, 11 million of those are illegals and don’t “deserve” insurance and a “large number” of the rest have all chosen to be uninsured for some reason, probably as a patriotic protest against socialism, I don’t know.  And of course, as I know from watching the interwebs and whatnot, all the rest of the uninsured are lazy drug addicts.  So really, as Dr. Roe’s own handout stated, he is mainly concerned with “Preventing the destruction of a system that works for 80 percent of Americans to extend coverage to the remaining Americans.”   Some People Not Politics.  

 
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I’m With Beth

Check out this video from tonight’s town hall meeting in Johnson City.  You can’t have reform without regulation.

Healthcare – Chicken Soup For Us ALL

So, tonight our House Rep, Dr. Phil Roe, is hosting a local town hall meeting.  I am going, but without my favorite political sidekicks.  Throughout the campaign last year, the whole family – or at least our older child – went along to most events.  It was a great bonding and learning experience for us all and, I hope, instilled in our children the importance of being involved, paying attention, and being a citizen.  I had planned on taking K, our 10 year old and true activist in the family, to the town hall meetings, but in light of the gun show – and the fervor with which people are reacting to the proposed reform – have decided that the kids best be left at home.  This saddens me, but while I hope that I may just be overreacting, as a parent, I don’t think I have any other choice.  Perhaps I will go and find a calm, respectful gun-free gathering of folks.  Let’s hope so.  I will be twittering the event and will blog about it when I return.  ‘Til then, I will leave you with a picture from a child that is now in the Clinton Presidential Library to remind us all that the choices we make affect our children and that they have every much a right to experience the democratic process as do we:

 

From the Clinton Presidential Library

From the Clinton Presidential Library

Adventures in Souffle

 

 

Okay, so the souffles were made last night.  I used the mini chocolate souffle recipe from Sokol’s ‘Professional Baking.’  The only change was that I did not use the cookie crumbs as a topping.  Seemed like overkill to me.  I want a souffle for the texture and the crumby topping seemed wrong.  For me.  Your tastes may differ.  Hell, you may find that cookie crumb topping makes everything exquisite.  If so, more power to you.  But as far as I am concerned, only sour cream and bacon are the only appropriate unnecessary additions to any dish.  SO… the souffles.  Turned out beautifully!

Mis…

 

Mis

Mis

 

Custard Stage

 

Custard Stage

Custard Stage

Batter goes in…

 

Batter

Batter

Souffles come out!

 

Chocolate Souffles

Chocolate Souffles

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