S’mores a la Mode

"Please, sir. I want s'more."

S’mores are my secret shame.

I fancy myself a foodie, but I just can’t resist the gooey, sticky campfire treat.

So I’ve been searching for recipes that re-purpose the flavors, to “elevate” the whimsical s’more.

This most recent version starts with a sweet, chewy blondie packed with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips. It’s topped with toasted marshmallow ice cream and drizzled with hot fudge.

Really, I don’t know why I’m embarrassed by my love of s’mores.

I need to get over it. It’s a dessert, not a sticker collection.

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Apple Cake

This cake broke my heart.

It baked in the oven for a full hour and a half, filling my apartment with the enchanting, homey scent of apples and cinnamon and whiskers on kittens. With such a glorious aroma perfuming my home, I was convinced it would emerge from the oven absolutely perfect. When the timer finally rang, I was horrified to find, well, a mess.

The cake batter bubbled over the sides of the pan and dripped in messy, brown glops down to the cookie sheet underneath (thank goodness for the cookie sheet!). The remaining edges were done when the timer rang, but the center was completely raw.

Still, I have a really hard time calling this dessert a failure. The truth is it was delicious – sweet and moist, with crispy-chewy, golden brown edges. I made it for Handsome Greg’s birthday dinner, and we all loved it. Well, we loved the parts that were baked through. We ate the edges then put the center back in the oven to finish baking it through, about 40 minutes.

And the failure? Is my fault. The original recipe from Smitten Kitchen is perfect. I wanted desperately to follow it as written, but I didn’t have a tube pan, so I used a 9 x 13. And that was my downfall. I read the many reviews that said, “Oh, I made this in a 9 x 13-inch pan, and it came out perfectly.” I’m convinced those bakers have not only raw, runny apple cake, but also pants on fire.

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Roasted Acorn Squash Risotto with Sausage, Pancetta, and Leeks

So much has happened this summer, my dear imaginary friends. I took a little break from posting to work on my show for the MN Fringe Festival, and I ended up taking a bigger break…from having a job. I was laid off from my job at Search Institute just over a month ago.

My mini summer vacation from blogging has left me with a sizable backlog of delightful – and sometimes schmancy – recipes. Once I’ve shared them all with you, I’ll likely turn my culinary focus to cooking on an unemployed lady’s budget. After I run out of surplus recipes, and until I find a new job, you can expect to find an expanding collection of recessipes here in the galley kitchen.

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite risotto recipes. This was the main course of Handsome Greg’s birthday dinner, back in January. The recipe makes a ton, so I had leftovers for days. The fresh sage intensified in the fridge, to the extent that I mostly picked out the leaves when I reheated it. But fresh off the stove, it balanced the sweet squash and salty pork rather gently.

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