Sunday, August 28, 2011

broccoli & chickpea salad with lemon-tahini dressing

so just to get it out of the way early, this is barely a recipe. it's a simple chickpea and broccoli salad with a lemony tahini dressing. it's almost like if you deconstructed broccoli hummus and reconstructed it as a salad. except that i've never seen broccoli hummus (somebody get on that! and give me 50% of your profits!).

the thing is, i have to start working tomorrow. i know that many people work, like, every day and so i'm really not complaining. it's just hard to imagine after a long summer of working at an internship for just 10 hours a week. also, i'm going to have to Dress Up for this job and i've never had to do that in my life, so i'm a little apprehensive. but i'm sure it will be a good experience and i will learn a lot, blah blah blah.

my point is, this whole job thing will be full of firsts. aside from the need for office-appropriate attire, i will have to bring my lunch to work for the first time ever. i know that seems weird, but the other jobs i've had involved either working from home or (sweetly) included the serious perk of having lunch bought for us every day by my boss (of course, that was the same job at which i lacked health insurance, but still. getting lunch brought in from whatever restaurant we chose every day was pretty nice).

so in light of this change, i've been trying to think of good things to bring for lunch. this was sort of a test run, if you will. i wanted something portable and healthy and easy, because i'm bad about procrastinating and i know there will be times when it's 11 pm and i need to scramble to get something ready for the next day (no, unfortunately i can't make things in the morning. i can barely make coffee in the morning).

first i chopped a big head of broccoli into little bits. i use the stem as well as the florets because once you peel the tough outer skin off, it is delicious. i put it on a foil-covered pan and added about a teaspoon of olive oil, a biggish pinch of salt, some pepper and smoked paprika and mixed it around so it all got coated. then i roasted it in the toaster oven at 400 for about 15 minutes. you could do whatever you want to cook it, though - steam it, microwave it, sauté it, etc.

while that's happening, drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. let them sit and dry out a little while you make the dressing. i used about 2 tablespoons (maybe a little less) of tahini, the juice from a whole lemon (this makes it quite lemony - feel free to use somewhat less, if you like), salt, pepper, and more smoked paprika to taste, about half a teaspoon of cumin and the same of sumac (you could definitely leave the sumac out if you don't happen to have any), and a small minced shallot.

then just add the broccoli and chickpeas and stir. if it's too thick for your liking (depends on how dry the chickpeas are), just add a little warm water until the dressing is the right consistency.

you could also add any number of other things to this - a little minced red onion, cut-up hard boiled egg, chicken, baked tofu, other vegetables (roasted cauliflower or brussels sprouts would be fantastic) - the possibilities are virtually endless. although i'm sad that summer is ending, i'm excited about fall's new opportunities and challenges and i'm looking forward to a season of simple work lunches like this one.

(also, it's probably obvious, but this makes a lot of salad. feel free to cut the recipe in half if you don't like eating the same lunch every day. i am boring, so i don't mind it).

1 large head broccoli
1 teaspoon olive oil
smoked paprika

2 tablespoons tahini
juice of one lemon
smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)
1 small minced shallot

2 cans chickpeas

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


wow, it's been more than a month since i featured a cocktail recipe.

lest you be concerned, this in no way relates to the frequency of my cocktail-drinking. that is still going on, but i've been sticking mainly to classics; namely, the gin + tonic. i haven't even been making my own elderflower gin cocktail. what can i say? i don't think g+ts can really be improved upon too much as far as balance and tastiness.

that being said, woman cannot survive august's heat on gin alone. this past weekend, portland's temperature got up past 90 degrees for the first. time. all. summer.

let us (particularly those from warmer climes) pause and marvel at that for a minute. i still can't believe it myself. being from texas, i am used to 90 degree days in march. to pass the bulk of the summer in cooler temperatures is nothing short of a miracle to me.

that being said, i think my blood has thickened or something, because it felt really hot in our house. even the dogs were moping around everywhere searching for somewhere cooler to flop. this drink was a great help in the general cooling-down effort (note: we did not give cocktails to the dogs).

it combines fresh (or you could use frozen) muddled cherries with lime juice, ginger beer, and bourbon. when you sip it, you feel immediately as though you're in jamaica or something. although i've never been to jamaica myself, i assume that's due to the ginger beer and the relaxation that washes over you as you drink up.

cut the cherries in half (maybe 4-5 per drink) and remove the pits (if you don't much care for your guests, leave the pits in for a nice surprise!). add the juice from a quarter of a lime and smash them together with a muddler or a wooden spoon or something like that. add bourbon and ice and fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer. you could use ginger ale instead, but ginger beer is way more gingery and delicious. it makes ginger ale look like sprite in comparison. and sprite is really not what you want for this drink. if you can't find ginger beer, you could use ginger ale and some fresh ginger, muddling the fresh ginger with the cherries.

whatever you do, make this soon. it is extremely refreshing and may just usurp gin + tonics for the all-too-brief bit of summer we have left. i am thinking of calling it "the chillax" - ask for it by name!

4-5 cherries
juice from 1/4 lime
1/2 or so bottle of ginger beer
lots of ice

*after you finish the drink, make sure to eat the gingery bourbon-y cherries - they're perhaps the best part.

Monday, August 22, 2011


do i dare to eat a peach?

turns out, yes.

it was delicious.

(with all apologies to t.s. eliot)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

peppers and zucchini stuffed with rice & beans

i randomly picked up some gorgeous anaheim peppers at the produce market the other day and was at something of a loss as to what to do with them. although i use jalapeños and any-color-but-green bell peppers with some frequency, i rarely branch out in any significant way to other members of the capsicum family.

i don't know if i'd even tasted anaheim peppers before. but look at them - could you have left those dark green beauties sitting on the shelf? i don't think so.

having discovered via the magic of the internet that they're generally not too crazy-hot, i decided to stuff them. we had stuffed peppers not infrequently when i was growing up and while i always liked the filling, the peppers themselves were not my favorite. for one thing, they were almost invariably stupid green bell peppers. for another, i think bell peppers generally are too thick and sturdy to make a really good stuffed pepper. you end up getting too many bites that are all pepper and no filling. because these anaheims are longer and thinner-fleshed, i thought they'd be perfect for stuffing.

i got some smallish zucchini at the same time and decided to stuff them as well. stuffed vegetable party! to prepare the zucchini, i used a knife to cut part of one side off, then used a spoon to scrape out the middle flesh to make it kind of a zucchini-canoe. if you use larger zucchini, you could probably just cut them in half and do the same. make sure to save the parts you scrape out to use in the filling!

the peppers were slightly more complicated. i don't know if you have to do this, but i wanted to roast and peel them before stuffing. i don't like the skin on peppers and i thought they'd be easier to stuff if they were soft already. you can roast them under the broiler in the oven, turning them as the outside blisters and blackens. if you are lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can use a set of tongs to hold the peppers directly over the burner to cook. i decided to use the broil feature on the toaster oven, which worked well. i just put the peppers on the grate and broiled them on high, turning them occasionally until the skin was blistered and blackened in spots and the peppers were soft. then i put them in a bowl and covered it with a plastic bag so that they would steam up - this loosens the skin. after about 10 minutes, i was able to peel the skin off easily.

i decided to make a rice and black bean stuffing with some vaguely mexican flavors - i thought it would work well with the slightly spicy peppers (and zucchini goes with everything, much like gin and the color black).

i started with half an onion, chopped pretty small. i let it cook down for a few minutes, until it was translucent and starting to brown. then i added three large cloves of garlic and half a jalapeño, minced. we are pretty big fans of garlic, though, so you should add whatever you're comfy with. this is the point at which you should add spices as well. i used perhaps a teaspoon of cumin and the same of smoked paprika. i also used some chili powder - maybe 1/2 teaspoon or a little more.

let this cook for maybe 30 seconds to a minute, then add the chopped meat from inside the zucchini. after this cooks down a little (maybe 2 minutes), add a can of drained black beans (clearly you could also make these yourself - i just didn't have any at hand) and maybe a cup or cup and a half of cooked rice. i used white rice, but you can also use brown if you like. i also used like 2/3 of a cup of frozen spinach. it would be totally fine without that, though.

let the filling mixture cool, then add some cheese - i used a couple of ounces of crumbled feta and a couple of ounces of extra sharp cheddar cut into small cubes, but you can use whatever you like. queso fresco would be great, for instance. i let the filling cool before adding the cheese because i wanted it to stay in discrete shapes rather than melting throughout.

then just stuff away! i pulled the stems from the peppers and used my hand to split the side open. you have to be somewhat gentle with them so they don't start splitting all over the place. i used one hand to cradle the pepper and the other to push the stuffing in, then laid them on their sides. for the zucchini, just pile the stuffing into your little boats (press it in firmly) and you're done!

finally, i sprinkled them each with a tablespoon or so of panko breadcrumbs for crunch and baked them in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for about half an hour. you can certainly bake them in a regular oven, of course - just bake until the zucchini are tender when you poke at them with a knife.

this was a really satisfying and healthy vegetarian dinner. it would also be great (and vegan!) without the cheese. the anaheim peppers were great - i will definitely be getting them again. the filling could also be used to stuff any number of things - yellow squash, chayotes, tomatoes, winter squash once the weather changes, etc.

2 anaheim peppers
2 small zucchini

1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeño
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon (+) chili powder
zucchini (from the ones you're stuffing)
1 can black beans
1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2/3 cup frozen spinach (obviously you could also use fresh)
2 ounces feta
2 ounces sharp cheddar
*i should note - this makes a lot of stuffing, so you will probably have extra*

~4 tablespoons panko crumbs (optional)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

summer salad - corn, tomato, zucchini, goat cheese

oh, y'all, this is just the summeriest little salad that ever summered. raw corn, fresh tomatoes, zucchini that you cook just the tiniest bit, lime juice, chevre... it all comes together into a creamylicious Something Tasty that was particularly good with salmon burgers on brioche buns.

of course, pretty much anything is good with salmon burgers on brioche buns, so you may need a little more convincing. first, a goat digression:

goats are awfully clever. or stupid. it's a fine line sometimes.

i was pretty scared of goats when i was younger. there was just something about their rectangular pupils (!), their pushiness and tin can-eating, the fact that one once broke into my neighbor's house and not only smashed a mirror but also gored their son in the stomach.... (why yes, i did grow up in the country. how did you know?)

basically i wanted nothing to do with them or their chalky cheese. but as i grew older and more forgiving of others' foibles, i grew to appreciate and even love goats. i saw our neighbors walking some tiny ones on leashes the other day and just about drove off the road, they were so cute (the goats. the neighbors were, eh, average-looking).

in much the same way, i have done a 180 on the goat cheese issue and now love it in all its iterations. of course, i can rarely never afford the really fancy ones, like humboldt fog and its ilk. luckily, trader joe's and other places have some totally good simple goat cheeses for cheapish, so it's not impossible to indulge.

this salad is a great use for it, because some of it kind of melts into the dressing and makes things all creamy and some stays in larger bits so you get its full flavor.

anyway, long digression aside, corn!

i love eating raw corn in the summer. the crunch, the sweetness, the perfect balance of starch and juiciness.... it all makes for an ideal salad ingredient. i like to cut it off the cob into a bowl as above. i've tried and tried to do it on a cutting board and it always goes everywhere, so bowl it is. just hold it steady by the pointier end and use a sharp knife to cut downward.

much as with cutting up pineapple, you don't want to try to cut off too much at once. i find if i do it in approximately 1 inch swaths it works best. you can start further from the cob than you think might be good and work your way down - it's really something you get the hang of quickly once you try it. here someone has used a bundt cake pan instead of a bowl. that would work well, except that i don't have a bundt pan and don't care for bundt cake.

okay, anyway, just get the kernels off of three ears of corn. then add a small minced shallot, half or less of a jalapeño, three or four sliced scallions and the juice of a whole lime.

then, zucchini. squash in general and summer squashes in particular are another example of things i used to dislike and have now come around to. for some reason, i still really don't like them raw, though. there's something about the raw zucchini that makes my mouth feel weird. it's probably just me.

to get around that and still have zucchini in here, i like to dice it up as above and sauté it for a little minute in a tiny bit of olive oil. this method has the side benefit of allowing you to toast some spices in the oil, adding extra flavor to the zucchini and to the salad as a whole. i used a little less than a teaspoon of ground cumin and the same of smoked paprika and allowed them to heat in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil for perhaps 30 seconds over medium heat before adding the zucchini. this brings out the spices' flavor and makes you cough. sorry.

sauté the zucchini for two minutes or less - you aren't really trying to cook it through entirely, necessarily, just getting the rawness out. while you're doing this, if you aren't coughing too much, you can cut up some tomatoes. i used one medium-large regular one and three romas, because that's what i had. it was probably about 1 1/2 - 2 cups when chopped.

then you can add the zucchini to the rest (i let it sit for a couple of minutes in the pan, off the heat, because i chop tomatoes slowly). i actually also poured the rest of the salad into the pan that the zucchini cooled its heels in, so that everything would get covered in the cumin/smoked paprika mixture and so that i wouldn't have to wash a spatula after scraping the pan out. totally worked.

finally, add the soft chevre (you know, from one of those log things). i like to add it in pieces that are about 1/2 inch in diameter. it will melt into the dressing a little bit and you won't end up with pieces that are too big. but you can of course make your pieces as big as you like. also you'll want salt and pepper to taste and perhaps even a tiny touch (like 1/2 teaspoon) of sugar, depending on how much juice your lime had. a little cilantro would not be out of place here, either.

try to let it sit for a few minutes or hours before eating it so that the flavors meld nicely. it will be hard, but you can do it!

the combination of zucchini, lime, corn, tomato, spices, and goat cheese is really very good. i think this is a great way to accessorize any summer dinner, lunch, or wine-drinking event that needs a little splashing up. also, despite the length of this post, it takes like 10 minutes, tops, to put together.

3 ears fresh corn
3-4 scallions
1 small-medium shallot
1/3 - 1/2 jalapeño
juice from one lime
1 medium-large zucchini (or yellow summer squash)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoonish cumin
1 teaspoon (or less) smoked paprika
2 or 3 tomatoes
2-3 ounces chevre
salt, pepper, perhaps sugar to taste

Saturday, August 13, 2011

blackberry-lime cobbler

finally we are at the height of blackberry season. every day i go outside with a container and come back with it filled to the brim with dark knobbly berries that seem to exude juice when you brush against them or even just look at them sternly.

sadly, the generous and giving nature of the berries themselves is in direct contrast to the malevolence of the vines on which they grow. i know it's silly and that they aren't actually evil, but it sure feels that way when they reach out to grab my wrist or tear my sleeve. i need some of those dorky renaissance faire chain mail gauntlets like they use for falconry or whatever.

until then, the suffering is worth it anyway because the berries are spectacular. as long as i'm careful to get the ones that are truly ripe, they are the sweetest, juiciest blackberries i've ever had. there are so many that it can be daunting to deal with them all, but i've been freezing some and the dogs have discovered them and gobble them off the vines themselves, so that helps (and has the side benefit of being super-cute).

for anyone else lucky enough to have this "problem," this cobbler is a fine way to use a few cups of fruit as well. the rich blackberries combine well with tart lime and the soft biscuit-y topping and the whole thing cries out for some vanilla ice cream to finish it perfectly.

first turn on the oven to 375. then gently gently combine about 4 cups of berries (or other fruit - cherries would be nice in this, too) with 1/2 cup sugar (or less or more, depending on how sweet your fruit is - this made for a not-too-sweet filling, but the berries were extremely ripe), the zest of one lime, juice from 1/2 - 1 lime (start small and add more if you like), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and perhaps 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

you can use more cornstarch if you want the filling to be thicker and more pie filling-y, but i think it makes it sort of gummy sometimes so i tend to err on the side of adding less. also, the juicier the filling is, the more delicious it is when it combines with your melting ice cream and you lick it out of the bowl at the end. um, not that i would ever do that.

after you oh-so-gently prepare the filling (i just do it in the baking dish - fewer things to wash!), mix the cobbler topping. for this i combined 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder, then used my fingers to add in 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter. to do this, just cut the butter into small cubes, then use your thumbs and fingers to kind of rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse crumbs (as in the picture above). i'm sure there's a video or something on this somewhere if that's confusing.

then add 1/2 cup plain yogurt. i didn't use greek yogurt this time, but if that's all you have, i would maybe do part yogurt and part milk so it isn't too thick. mix as little as possible - just until the dry stuff combines with it (you don't want to make it tough). the texture is like a thick muffin batter or a wet bread dough.

then you dollop it onto the filling - i made pretty large dollops, perhaps like 2 1/2 inches in diameter, but they could definitely be smaller if you want. just do whatever looks pretty to you. i also like to sprinkle them with a little coarse raw sugar to make them sparkly and add a little crunch, but this isn't strictly necessary.

put it in your preheated 375 oven and bake until the dough is golden brown and your kitchen smells divine. this took about an hour, but i would check it more regularly after 45 minutes or so.
the topping bakes into something like a cross between dumplings and biscuits - more biscuity on the top and more dumplingy on the bottom where it cooks in the blackberry juices. the blackberries kind of melt into themselves and combine with the lime and vanilla to make this fragrant syrupy concoction that will have you burning your tongue repeatedly as you use a spoon to try to sneak a taste.

as good as the cobbler is by itself, i really think the ice cream part is important here. it doesn't have to be ice cream, though - just something creamy and cold to play off the warm fruit and topping. coconut milk ice cream, for instance, would be lovely. also, although this is still very good the next day, it is really best to eat it when it's still a little warm from the oven.

berry part
4 cups berries
1/2 cup (to taste) sugar
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup yogurt

ice cream

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

maduros (fried sweet plantains)

breakfast for dinner is a family favorite. sometimes it's Mike's Famous Migas, sometimes scrambled eggs with some turkey sausage, sometimes (only once!) the truly disastrous pancakes i made recently.

actually, that ended up being something-else-for-dinner, because they were really inedible. thanks for nothing, adelle davis! your cookbook should be called let's cook it wrong. normally i would blame myself for such a disaster, but this was one of the rare times that i actually followed the recipe, so i am pretty sure it's her fault.

anyway. breakfast for dinner is normally awesome. i got a plantain from the market a little while ago and decided to make cuban breakfast. basically it just involves fried sweet plantains (maduros), black beans, fried eggs, and sour cream (or in our case yogurt). i used to get it all the time at a lovely place on congress in austin called el sol y la luna. here is a picture of the irrepressible michael schaub about to dine there:

he is probably not awaiting a cuban breakfast, though, which is why he doesn't look that excited. maybe he hasn't had coffee yet. or maybe there's just too much thinkin' going on in his head. we did once see a possum there, too, so maybe he's worried about it coming back. i know i was.

possum and coffee concerns aside, here is a plantain. for maduros, you want to get the ones that have lots of brown spots. they are sweeter and less starchy than the ones you use for tostones, which are another style of fried plantain. both types of plantains are more starchy and less sweet than regular bananas.

peel it and cut it on the diagonal into pieces that are about an inch thick.

heat some oil on medium to medium-high heat (i used olive oil, but i think a more neutral one with a higher smoke point would be good, such as maybe grapeseed? i haven't used that, though. use whatever you like! if you use olive oil, though, be prepared for your kitchen to maybe get a teeny bit smokified) until it shimmers, then carefully put the plantain pieces in, ensuring they aren't too close together. if you're making lots of these, you should either do separate batches or use more than one pan.

the oil in the picture below is probably a little more than was necessary, but you want to make sure they don't stick. then just let them cook for a couple of minutes or until they're a nice dark golden brown. let the other side brown, put them on some paper towels or the like to drain off some oil.

then give them a good sprinkle of coarse salt and eat away! their sweetness plays really nicely off the earthy black beans and the richness of the eggs when you eat them in cuban breakfast form, but they'd be good on their own as a snack or maybe with some cuba libres for cocktail hour. i let the ones in the top picture get a little too brown, perhaps, but they were still quite good.

hooray for breakfast for dinner!

Friday, August 5, 2011

tomato magic

sometimes, when tomatoes are perfect, the best thing to do is to not do much.

i like to slice them into thick slabs and pile them on toasted wheat bread with a healthy slather of good mayonnaise underneath. then, after giving the whole thing a generous dusting of freshly ground black pepper and crunchy salt, you stick it in your face.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

brown butter cherry & berry clafoutis

i know. i know. another thing you have to bake.

but! i made this in our toaster oven, so if you have one of those, you are golden. if you don't, you still have to turn on the regular oven like a regular sucker. but i think it will all seem worth it when you are snarfing delicious custardy fruity clafoutis (kind of rhymes with fruity). the toaster oven is very handy, though, and doesn't heat up your house at all. it is a miracle appliance! i got mine on craigslist for cheaps.

clafoutis has lots of eggs relative to flour, so it is more eggy and dense than, say, a cake. it is not too sweet and is tasty with either ice cream for dessert or with yogurt for breakfast. i guess you could have it with ice cream but for breakfast, but i don't roll that way.

regardless, it's a great use for cherries, which are great right now. the other benefit of using cherries in clafoutis is that it's traditional to leave the pits in, which is perfect for lazy people like me. just warn the people eating it so they don't break a tooth or whatever. i may be in law school, but i can't help you with that one. i also used blackberries for this one, since they are doing all sorts of exciting things in my backyard. well, not all sorts. i guess really they are just ripening. still exciting.

although the fruit parts of this clafoutis are great, the star of the whole thing is really the brown butter. see, you have to melt the butter for this anyway, and generally if i am going to go to the trouble of dirtying a pan (omg we don't have a microwave. i don't miss it, except for its milk-heating properties for coffee), i feel like i might as well make brown butter.

butter is undoubtedly good as is. one of my family's little stories is about the time my grandmother came into the kitchen to find my aunt sitting on the table. she was enthusiastically eating butter from the dish and looked up without a hint of contrition, saying "you know what's good? BUTTER!"

if she'd had access to brown butter, who knows if they'd ever have been able to tear her away. it is like butter mixed with caramel mixed with ambrosia. it is nutty and complex and divine. it makes your house smell like betty crocker's apron in heaven.

anyway. all that by way of saying that yes, you could use regular melted butter, but i would think less of you. or rather, you would think less of you. luckily, it is easy: put a stick of butter (1/2 cup) in a pan and make it melt. then just keep it on the heat until the little bits of milk solids sink to the bottom. they will start browning. the main thing is to stir it occasionally and not let the solids totally burn. you want them quite brown, though:

see? so brownedy-delicious! it seriously smells amazing at this point. i like to just carry it around in the cup and smell it for awhile. this is because you don't want it too hot when you add it to the eggs/sugar mixture and also because it smells so good.

you will have to set it down briefly to mix the eggs and sugar, however. i do this with my stand mixer (why yes, i am fancy!), but you could use a hand mixer or a sturdy whisk as well. just take 3 eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar and mix them until they are thicker and lighter and fluffy - like 3 minutes or so? it depends on how fast you are mixing.

then once the butter is cool enough, add it slowly to the eggs. i do this while the mixer is running, but i don't think it will ruin everything to do it and then mix more. then add a cup of flour and mix again. then add a cup of milk, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a couple of tablespoons or less of booze, if desired. i used brandy, but rum or whisky or whiskey would also be good. you could also add a pinch of salt if your butter was unsalted.

then you just pour it over 2 cups-ish of fruit that you've already put in a buttered pan. this pan is 8" in diameter and is 2" tall and it worked great, but there are lots of conversion things if you have a pan of a different stature. bake it at 400 for about 45 minutes. i wasn't sure about the toaster oven, because i haven't had it that long and i don't usually bake in it, but it seemed to work well. i ended up increasing the heat to 425 after half an hour because i was nervous, but i don't think it was necessary. it's never been necessary when i've made clafoutis in a regular oven.

in a regular oven, i would definitely keep it at 400 and start checking it after half an hour or so. you want it mostly solid, but a little jiggliness or softness in the center is okay. again, it isn't really a cakelike texture you're going for.

this is so good and quick and easy. it is definitely worth ovening for, but a toaster oven makes it even easier. by the way, that potholder the pan is sitting on? my moms made it for me. she is good at knitting things. thanks, mom!

1/2 cup butter, melted, browned if smart
3 eggs, beaten with
1/2 cup sugar, add the butter, then
1 cup flour, then
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons or less dark liquor, if desired
pour over
2 cups fruit of your choice, in buttered pan
bake 30-45 minutes