Hi, I'm Sarah. Have we met?
So I figure it's been a year, a month, and a couple of weeks since pão e queijo started, and I'm happy because more readers are joining us (check out my Facebook page here). But I think we need to get a little cozier… this should be interactive, you know?
So maybe you know I have an obsession with apple desserts, hate winter, and lived in Costa Rica for a while (ahem, four and a half years). Wanna know more?
I found a fun questionnaire and decided to answer it for you guys:
- What's your middle name? Elizabeth.
- How big is your bed? Double, although my real bed in CR was a queen.
- What are the last 4 digits in your cellphone number? I don't have one here yet… does that make me a loser? (Used to be 3487).
- What was the last thing you ate? Artichoke and provolone artisan ravioli from the Farmers' market, with our homemade cherry tomato sauce… delicious!
- Last person you hugged? Probably my mom. Or my kitty (if that counts), Mrs. Newt LongJohn Bacon Squeegie.
- Favorite type of food? Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern… um, can't decide?
- Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Andrea on Skype!
- Do you want children? Maybe someday…
- Hair color? Brown
- Do you wear eyeglasses/ contacts? Yes, both. I've got pretty bad vision.
- Favorite holiday? Probably Christmas for the holiday spirit and family traditions.
- Favorite season? Early fall, when the weather is still beautiful but the air and leaves are changing.
- Have you ever cried over a girl/ boy? Stupid question! Of course, probably too many times to remember.
- Last movie you watched? Food, Inc. Watch it- it'll change your life.
- What books are you reading? I just got a bunch of Anthony Bourdain's books out of the library.
- Piercings? One in each ear, normal ones!
- Favorite college football team? I hate football. Let's not even go there.
- Dogs or cats? Usually dogs (big ones), but Mrs. Newt LongJohn Bacon Squeegie is the bomb.
- Favorite flower? Pretty much anything but roses. I love magnolias, bird of paradise, day lilies, tulips…
- Do you like to travel by plane? I used to not mind it, but after a scary turbulence issue back in July, I think I'll pass on flying for a while.
- Right-handed or Left-handed? Right.
- Are you 18? Man, this makes me feel old!
- What do you have handy at your bedside? A Bible, Burt's Bees, eye mask for sleeping, foot cream for putting on before going to bed, Vitamin E for the scars on my knee, a notepad & pen for random ideas!
- What are you afraid of? A lot of bugs, cockroaches, fires, criminals, um… I could go on.
- What's your favorite color? Sea foam green.
- Stuck on a deserted island and could take one thing? An endless supply of brownies.
- Where did you last go on vacation? The one that counts I guess is to different beaches & volcano in Costa Rica with my friend, N.
- What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator? Heavy cream, yummy cheeses, veggies.
- Coffee or tea? Tea.
- What's your favorite movie of all time? Hard one! I have so many… I generally prefer art house, foreign cinema, and drama. No chick flicks for me, thanks!
- Do you prefer to read fiction or nonfiction? I'm gonna surprise myself a little here, but I would have to say nonfiction.
- What was your favorite book as a child? Anything from the Nancy Drew series… poor dad, he read us ALL of them.
- What's your favorite kind of music? I like alternative, ambient, electronica.
- Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds? Be invisible… too cool! Also, I'd want a "shut off" feature on the reading minds thing… I imagine one could become a bit paranoid or overloaded with information.
- Shoe size? 7.
- Eye color? Blue!
- Favorite perfume? Tous Touch or Calvin Klein In2You.
- Last restaurant you ate at? Blue Water Grill.
- What was your first vehicle? Not exactly mine, but a 2-door Honda Civic.
- Have you ever had a surgery? Yep, a few! Most recently a repair of my meniscus.
- Do you believe in karma? No.
- Do you believe that aliens exist? Nope. Maybe other life forms, though…
- Do you believe in soul mates? I think so, at least in kindred spirits.
- If you were an activist what would you protest against? Monsanto, fast food, GMOs, not having the freedom of knowing what's in our food.
- What is your favorite outdoor activity? I like walking, white water rafting, canopy, gardening…
- What is your least favorite mode of transportation? Buses, especially in CR!
- If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Beautiful photography, speak fluent Portuguese, learn the art of French pastry.
- If you won the lottery what's the first thing you would do? Go to Greece (and other Mediterranean places), do culinary travel, eat lots, and then buy myself the perfect and perfectly equipped kitchen.
- If you could choose anyone, who would you choose as your mentor? Dorie Greenspan or Ruth Reichl.
- What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Dusting, it's so tedious.
So… you're now 50 questions closer to knowing me! Anything else you'd like to know?
<3 Yours truly
And now for the amazing brownie cookies, the chewiest around...
Rocky road cookies (AKA brownie cookies with walnuts and marshmallows)
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
Makes about 30 cookies, depending on size. Probably more if you don't eat the cookie dough :D
1 cup All-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
8 oz semisweet chocolate (i used good chocolate chips; if you use a block of chocolate, chop it to about chocolate chip size), divided
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini marshmallows, plus additional for garnish
¾ cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 325F and line a half sheet pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat. (Or more than one if you are planning on baking all the cookies). In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Melt 4 oz of the chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof (glass or metal) bowl set over a pot of simmering water. (I like to use a large measuring cup).
Transfer the chocolate and butter mixture to your stand mixer bowl and add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the speed on low, slowly mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Then fold in the remaining 4 oz of chocolate, the marshmallows, and walnuts.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour, until slightly firm. Using a 1 ½ TBSP cookie scoop, make balls of dough and place them on the lined cookie sheet, leaving a couple of inches of space between each one (I put 12 on a cookie sheet). Bake in the preheated oven about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are still slightly pouffy in the center but crispy around the edges. Carefully pull the cookies out of the oven and quickly stick a few marshmallows, pressing down lightly, in the tops of the cookies. If needed, return to the oven (oven off) for a minute to melt the marshmallows. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes to harden up. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.