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6.21.2012

City Drivers Suck

Just kidding! Well, not really. I mean, probably 3/4 or 2/3 of city drivers suck. Or all of us have a little bit of really crappy city driver in us. I don't know. I've only been on the road for... oh... 3 hours total. But I guess I should give the backstory so you know that I know about really crappy drivers, okay? Okay.

Today was casual. I had the day off and I was deciding that I shouldn't just sit on my ass convincing my friend Justin to get a pinterest. (BUT HE DID. HA. HA.) I decided that I would bake. And not the fake baking you do in video games so you can up your health, but real baking on a stove.

I decided to use my new favorite brownie recipe: Bailey's Irish Brownies (mmmm). The only problem was using an unfamiliar kitchen with no Bailey's around. It's difficult to cook with alcohol when you can't buy any when you've run out.

ANYWAY. In case you're curious, here's the recipe (and I'll cue you in on my changes)


Bailey's Irish Brownies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Heaping 1/3 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and cover with non-stick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.
3. Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-proof bowl and melt in 30 second spurts, stirring in between each interval until completely melted. Set aside to cool a bit. (Alternatively, melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler until melted. Set aside to cool.)
4. Once the chocolate mixture is warm (not hot!), add eggs one at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate. Whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds to incorporate fully. Add sugar, vanilla, and Bailey’s and whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, folding until just combined.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top. Bake at for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool, and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

It's Irish-y, so I put the font in green, clever, yea? Or not... 
Anyway. I didn't have any Baileys to use for this, so I substituted some kind of coffee liquor, I guess? It ended up tasting fine. I also used kosher salt without doubling it, so I didn't add enough of that... Whatever. 

They looked and tasted lovely:

Doesn't that unattached corner make this shot so artsy?


Then Heidi came home and declared it was time for my first driving lesson. And I did learn something right off the bat. People absolutely suck (mostly). We drove to a mostly closed down shopping center so I could drive around the empty parking lot and practice. I do about three laps, then the security guard flags us down.

"Excuse me, but the property owner is here. I need you to leave because he could fire me." 
Grrr. So we drove to the Presidio. The Presidio used to be a military base until 1989 and became a national park in 1994. (Thanks Wikipedia!) It's absolutely gorgeous there, like an entirely new city.

I got in a car and drove around the area. It was quite nice. Speed limit no more than 25 mph and lots of curves. But it was fine until some... person... started to tailgate me. We get to a 15 mph zone because of weird curbs that you have to weave through and the car had the AUDACITY to honk at me. Not once, but THREE TIMES. I kept on concentrating on the road and Heidi's early advice, "Don't even pay them any attention. They're just big meanies." Well, she didn't say "meanies", but you get my drift. So after the third honk, Heidi turns around to... make faces at the car behind and told me to pull off into a cute little cul de sac. 

And then came the time in every driver's life where they must learn to parallel park. So I tried, tried, and tried again. We were a little nervous that the people living on this little street would come out and tell us to shoo, but by golly, we were going to park correctly. I finally did (after the fifth try or so) and we saw a man come out from the house we were parking in front of.

Man: Great job! You've totally got the basics down. I remember my first time trying to parallel park, oh man. It sucked. have a thirteen-year-old daughter so I'm going to be in this situation in a few years. But don't worry, you're doing awesome so far. You're welcome to come back and practice driving here whenever you want!

Heidi and I decided I should try to park one more time before calling it quits. And then the man's wife came out to watch as well. My mind was all "CRAP, AUDIENCES ARE TERRIBLE". But I was able to repeat my performance and the couple applauded and invited us back for driving practice.
So, I guess I'm saying that the only nice drivers I met today were technically pedestrians who understood our lesson plight because of their thirteen-year-old child. What a weird world.

We had an amazing mushroom risotto for dinner, with the aroma of apricot-pluot jam floating around the kitchen. After dinner, I decided to introduce Heidi and Nate to Sherlock (BBC). They enjoyed it. Yessir, they enjoyed it.

It's off to bed after that accomplishment!

Love,
Henna

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