Here's hoping that everyone is safe and warm today. We're in the midst of a snowstorm that is leaving drifts and drifts of powdery snow and everything is hushed. It's a great time to get work done - as long as the electricity stays on.
This morning we were pleasantly surprised with a visit from two of our best friends, Pancetta and Poppy Peppersnout. Pancetta works as an atelier mannequin in one of Milan's reknowned fashion houses and Poppy is head gardener at the Berra Botanical Garden. Needless to say we don't see them often and were overjoyed when the appeared on the doorstep. RosiePosie was working on her hats just then and, of course, we had to get a photo of the lovely Pancetta in the newest chapeau. Poppy declared that she had never liked headwear and prefered that we try for a more candid shot. We all spent a lovely time chatting and enjoying milk and some very delicious brownies (the Peppersnouts wanted to indulge in some comfort cuisine.) until it was time for them to catch their flight home.
As for me, I think I will be making more brownies. These turned out ever so well, especially if you prefer a dense, rich, fudgy and moist confection. I don't know where this recipe came from since I first saw the magic potion hastily written on a scrap of kitchen paper when I was about six years old. And that same bit of paper is still stashed away in my very own recipe book!
Here's the secret formula:
1 cup butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 scant cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt, optional
Preheat oven to 325oF. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking dish.
Over a double boiler, combine the butter and chocolate. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until smooth and fully melted. Remove from heat. Stir until well blended. Add the sugar and stir well. Set aside to cool. When almost cool add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add the vanilla; stir again. Add the flour and salt, and stir to fully combine.
Pour into the prepared pan. Bang the pan down onto the countertop to release any air bubbles in the batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until brownies look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Be careful not to overbake! If your going to err it is better to underbake these than to be disappointed by sad dry brownies. Cool completely before cutting.
Tip: I store these in the refrigerator for an even denser brownie experience. Just remove a few minutes before serving to warm a bit.
A new assignment requires some bunny sketching! Could there be a better thing to do on a chilly January afternoon? Oh, I think not! And I don't even have to go outside for I have a model right here in the studio... Benjamin. He's a sweet little soul with a few physical disabilities (birth defects) that prevent him from frolicking with the other rabbits. What a darling he is though and doesn't mind wearing his little diaper at all. He's as black as soot and is incredibly kind and gentle. He even gives kisses! Right now he's stretched out in the afternoon sun streaming through the studio windows. For a fleeting moment life seems perfect!
This wee one was originally for last week's theme - contained - but I think it works for the new topic, pale, as well.
It's also what all the animals did this morning in our -22oF. weather - napped! I, on the other hand, had to go out to the barn extra early so that everyone's tummies were full and warm. It's actually warmed up a bit now... -11oF. I'm not complaining though... it's much warmer than -22! Brrrr. Hope everyone is staying warm wherever you may be!
It's almost mid-January but I'm just starting into the new year. I've finally caught up with all of 2008's obligations and almost recovered from all the holiday get-togethers. They were fun but exhausting, too!
The first thing I have to do here at MouseTales is to apologize to everyone for not delivering my Christmas gift as promised. :0( I am so very sorry; I just hate disappointing anyone. My original plan was to post a RosiePosie Christmas story that I had written and illustrated especially for you but I soon discovered there were some copyright issues that might be compromised if I posted the work. It is under consideration for publication at the moment and although I do control all rights the publisher would not have been able to consider it if it had been previously published to the web. I'm working to come up with something for you to make up for the wait and disappointment!
Secondly, if you have a moment please take a look at my new website RosiePosieStudios and let me know what you think. It's still very much under construction and new things are being added often. In a few days I'll be adding some downloadable colouring pages for the little ones in your families.
And the 100 Hats Project is finally back! Well... if you'll allow me some latitude with the definition of hat! I think a wig could be considered a hat, don't you? Ulla's post triggered some fanciful doodles ala Marie Antoinette and the next thing I knew Posie was sporting an enormous updo. What fun! Be sure to check in with Tollipop and Witchetty's World too for they are back with their 100 Projects and have some charming and exciting new characters to share in 2009!
I wish you all very happy and joyous times in the new year and I thank you very much for sticking with me this far! Happy New Year, everyone! XO