Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cookish:Something Sweet

A friend's birthday is this weekend, so of course I had to make a sweet treat. She's a chocolate-PB fan so I needed to make something along those lines. I went with this recipe from Rachael Ray:
It's in no way healthy, but it was a big hit! I've rewritten it slightly below, because I made it with chocolate chips, so I measured them in cups, not ounces (I don't have a food scale).


1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon butter

1 16 ounce jar  creamy peanut butter*

3 cups crispy rice cereal

3 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Use the microwave to melt half of the chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the microwave; stir in 1 cup peanut butter, then 2 cups rice cereal. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
  2. In the microwave, melt the remaining 2 sticks butter. Remove from the microwave and stir in the remaining peanut butter and the confectioners' sugar. Pour half of the peanut butter mixture over the cereal layer. Top with the remaining 1 cup cereal.
  3. In a small bowl, microwave the remaining chocolate at medium power until melted, 1 1/2 minutes. Stir into the remaining peanut butter mixture. Spread evenly on the cereal-topped peanut butter layer; refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes. Cut into small pieces.
*The jar I bought was actually 16.3 oz. I used it all, minus a spoonful I ate straight from the jar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cookish: What's for dinner?

My boyfriend had the audacity to go to Japan without me a couple years ago
(It was before he met me, but whatever). He still has longing for Japan, so he requested Katsudon for dinner, which I made with chicken rather than pork because I like chicken better. I adapted the recipe from and

2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets

If not using cutlets, cut your breasts in half horizontally and pound slightly. Dust with seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg, and coat  with panko. Heat your oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook each cutlet until golden brown on all sides. Allow to cool slightly and cut into strips

4 cups cooked Japanese sticky rice, white rice, or jasmine rice
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 TBS mirin
1 TBS sugar
several dashes fish sauce or worcestershire
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs

Put stock in a pan on medium heat. Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. To cook 1 serving of katsudon, put one quarter of the liquid in a small skillet. Add one quarter of onion slices and simmer for a few minutes on medium heat. Add 1 serving of chicken pieces in the pan and simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Beat an egg in a bowl. Bring the soup to a boil on medium heat, then pour the egg over chicken and onion. Turn the heat down to low and put on a lid. Turn off the heat and allow to sit on the burner for 1-2 minutes until the egg is set. Serve 1 serving of steamed rice in a large rice bowl, then pour everything on top of the rice. Repeat the process.

This was quite yummy and filling, if salty, which is why I suggest reduced-sodium products where possible Next time I am going to consider adding thinly sliced mushrooms, carrots, and/or peas to the onion. I did add some pre-cooked broccoli and it was pretty good

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cookish: What's for dessert?

I generally make my own desserts on my birthday, because it gives  me an excuse to try something new. This year, I made two treats.

The first was a chocolate and coconut pie by Martha Stewart:

It was good, but I had a couple issues. 1. The coconut in the food processor never formed a ball for me. 2. I used (not great quality) chocolate chips for the chocolate, because that was what I had, and I think that was a mistake.

The second were these salted Pretzel-marshmallow bars, which just sounded so crazy I had to try them:

They were amazing. Highly recommended if you like salty and sweet and blondies. Yum!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bookish Review: Good Night, Mr. Holmes

Good Night, Mr. Holmes weaves a mystery using characters (and some overlapping plotlines) from the Sherlock Holmes books. The story focuses on Irene Adler, with Sherlock and Watson as ancillary characters. As a big fan of the new BBC Sherlock mini-series, I was looking forward to reading this, and I was not disappointed. Irene has her own "Watson" in Nell, who helps her in her cases and chronicles the story. The book uses the plot from the Sherlock story A Scandal in Bohemia, but extends it and includes other mysteries. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I look forward to more from the author.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bookish Review: Advent

I really enjoyed reading Advent. I think they are  promoting it as an adult novel, but the main protagonist is 15, so I think teens would enjoy it too. It is a twist on the legend of Dr. Faustus. As Faust is  trying  to wield all of the magic in the world, his ship sinks and he is buried, powerless.

Hundreds of years later, a young boy sees things that he is told are not real. He is sent by his parents to stay with his aunt, when weird things continue to happen. Soon, Dr. Faustus is unleashed on the world again, magic is back, and ordinary people start to see extraordinary things. A few powerful children willl have to fight Faust as he attempts to control all the magical power in the world--no matter the cost.

This is the start of a trilogy, and was quite a compelling read. Recommended.

Atria Books sent me a free galley copy of this book for review. Their generosity did not affect the content of the above review.