Cocoa Brownies

brownies served on a plate

I use the term Pantry Simple to mean a recipe I don’t normally have to go shopping to make and my Cocoa Brownies are just such a recipe.

See, never have I said to myself, “Hey, Bill, let’s have brownies next Thursday.

No, instead, brownies are always a spur of the moment treat. Usually a sudden-onset craving situation. Often prompted by one of the kids.

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Old-fashioned Buttermilk Pie

buttermilk pie served with a bowl of raspberries

This is a story with a happy ending involving my delight upon discovering buttermilk pie. I never would have believed it, myself, but I swear it’s true. Please… pull up a chair.

A handful of years ago, my wife, Lady Suppertime, and I one day happened upon a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that proclaimed itself more specifically to be a roadside café. Given that it sat on the side of a road, albeit an old downtown street, who was I to argue?

Inside, we then had one of the best and most memorable meals we’ve had in our travels. A kitchen no doubt filled with loving ninja grandmothers wielding legendary cooking chops. (In my head there could be no other explanation for it.)

Would we like some dessert? Perhaps, a slice of buttermilk pie?

I sat there looking (proverbially) dazed and confused. So I’m told.

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Arborio Rice Pudding

arborio rice pudding served in a ramekin

For me, rice pudding is one of those foods that is fantastic when it’s done well (but is terrible when it’s not).

I happened to be reading through a wonderful cookbook — for fun, so just a normal day — and I came across this method of using arborio rice for the pudding. Normally, I save arborio rice for risotto (like this one: Guinness Bacon Mushroom risotto).

Needless to say, I was intrigued. Much to the family’s eventual delight.

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Norman Rockwell’s Oatmeal Cookies

plate of Norman Rockwell's Oatmeal Cookies

So, I wanted to do something special for you for the upcoming Independence Day holiday here in the U.S. Last year I shared a frozen zabaglione with strawberries and blueberries. And there’s certainly no sane reason not to make it again this year. Or every year for that matter.

But as it happens, I was browsing through the cookbook section of our local used bookstore and found a new volume to adopt and bring home, Maida Heatter’s Cookies. She’s been called the “Queen of Cake” with nine baking-focused cookbooks and a James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame award.

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