I have been on a baking rampage. I warned you this would happen. I've been luxuriating in my freedom by cleaning, baking, and reading novels that are strictly unrelated to my studies. I have been outrageously wifely.
So I started with a simple bread. I love making bread, but sometimes one simply does not have the energy for the process. The bread machine is good for this, but I still like to bake it in the oven once in a while. I am a huge fan of the NY Times' recipe for No-Knead Bread. I recommend making it once straight up to see what the consistency is supposed to be like. Then, you can change it around. I have not yet managed to screw it up, no matter what changes I make to the recipe. Substitute wheat, rice, or corn flour, add seeds or herbs, anything goes and it makes a beautiful loaf every time. This time I added anise, caraway, sesame seeds, and golden raisins, and rolled it in oatmeal during its last rise. It is DELISH. With the bread I made a lamb stew in the crock pot, and an apple berry pie, which I took out of the oven too soon. It is really yummy, but the apples aren't soft enough and the juice is thin instead of thick and caramely.
Next day, I went in for brownies and mocha cookies (these last are inaptly named, because there's no chocolate in them, just coffee). Both recipes came from The Cotton Country Collection, which is a Junior League cookbook from Monroe, Louisiana. You should own this cookbook. It is absolutely my favorite - for anything and everything. Alligator meat or lemon fondue, it's all in there, southern style. The brownies are PERFECT. I mean, really really perfect. And the cookies are not too sweet, but melt in your mouth. You can eat a dozen before you've noticed. Let me know if you'd like the recipes.
I feel fulfilled and excellent. Heading by bike to the post office today; must get these goodies out of the house before I eat them all!