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You can call this part two of a three part series of posts.
Yesterday was busy with swimming, BBQing, and relaxing.
Is it too early to start talking about Valentine’s Day? Probably yes, right?
I’ve got a mad case of wanderlust. You’d think that after taking in vistas like this two weekends ago and this just yesterday , I’d be happy just to be here. But even New York City on the stunning brink between a snow-blanketed February and a shiny, breezy March aren’t enough to keep me from dreaming about South America . Northern Italy . India.
Technically, summer is almost over but we seem to be in the peak of it here in Los Angeles.
This rich, buttery toffee is studded with toasted hazelnuts and scented with cinnamon, then topped with semi-sweet chocolate.
Saying that you don’t usually care for brittle because it is, well, awfully brittle is definitely grounds for mockery. But it’s true! I can’t tell you how unappealing I find stained glass-like sheets of amber caramel that you’re supposed to willingly bite into.
You have all of your holiday shopping done, don’t you? I bet everything is wrapped and in gift bags, and that you know how to tie ribbons into bows without cursing. I suspect everyone but me knows how to… fluff? Is that what they call it? I bet everyone knows how to arrange the tissue paper inside the gift bags so that it looks perfectly festive and even a tad enthusiastic.
Granitas have never exactly captured my imagination. Flecks of flavored ice in a bowl seemed rather dull, and their place in the dessert repository was kind of lost on me. Trust me, if I’m hoping you’re going to bust out some salted caramel dark chocolate mousse and you come out of the kitchen with pale icy chips? It’s going to be hard for me to feign enthusiasm. But now I get it. People, granitas are a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine of our kid dreams.
A year ago, I made s’mores from scratch and brought them to the Memorial Day barbecue on my friend Jocelyn’s roof , celebrating the thousands of other hottie uniformed types that had sailed in for Fleet Week . [I just spelled that "Weak." It's all so telling, innit?] We assembled them from Nancy Silverton’s graham crackers from the La Brea Bakery cookbook , as featured on 101 Cookbooks , [which were, incidentally the most accurately-flavored homemade graham crackers I've baked, much closer that the ones I'd attempted a couple years ago from Retro Desserts ] and Thomas Keller’s marshmallows, as featured on Cooking for Engineers , and packed them up with skewers for toasting and giant bars of Hershey’s milk chocolate (exactly what we used in summer camp). Second only to the men in uniform, they were the hit of the party. And then I never told you about them, because I forgot to take pictures of the finished product.
To make the caramel base: Put the sugar and water in a saucepan, and stir to moisten sugar. Boil over med. high heat until the mixture turns a deep caramel color.
Sunday night, I emailed off 497 pages containing 80,392 words to my editor (846 photos had been sent over before the weekend), went to bed at 2 a.m., woke up at 6 a.m. and a few hours later came home to a completely empty apartment and two entire hours to myself — two hours to nap or just stare slack-jawed at the ceiling fan and think about nothing for a while — and decided instead that I’d had enough of this pumpkin-free November I’d been having and went back into the kitchen to make pudding. That’s normal right? That’s what normal people do, right?