My plan was to cook something that would permeate the house with delicious smells, to celebrate our first big snowstorm. A hearty one-dish chicken curry with rice, served with fresh bread from La Canasta del Pan, and a green salad with roasted vegetables. That's a meal fit for the first real snow of the season.
Then, I chopped up 4 cloves of my favorite garlic, from Ted Wells' Alpenglow Farm over in Victor, Idaho. Two heaping tablespoons should be good. A chopped onion, a few cups of rice, chicken broth, and of course curry powder.
If you have to dust off your jar of curry powder, purchased during the Bush administration, you might want to invest in a fresh lot. Stale curry powder can ruin a dish. Pungent, fresh, complex curry powder with just the right spice blend will make your chicken curry sing.
The only problem was that I needed to go skiing. The sun was starting to peak through the storm, and if it came out in full force it would ruin the snow. The powder would get heavy, and the spell would be broken. I needed to get out there, curry or no curry.
The recipe clearly states that the rice, broth, chicken and onion mixture should be gently simmered for about 1 hour, while stirring it now and then. Not wanting to pause my cooking project, I made the executive decision to dump it all into the Crock Pot, set it to low, and go skiing.
How was the skiing? Let's just say my skis never touched a rock or a log. The powder was light and effortless, "ego snow" as they say. The day was cold but balmy. On my third lap skiing down an unbelievably untracked bowl of powder, the chicken curry did cross my mind. Will the Crock Pot make the rice all gummy, or dry it out? Had I stayed out too long?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
I believe this recipe came from one of those pamphlets sold by the Nestle company, to help you find more uses for Nestle chocolate chips (as if you need help with that!) I have adapted if for high altitude baking. If you live below 5000 feet, reduce the flour by 1/4 cup.
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups mini chocolate chips (Nestle makes these) or regular semisweet chips (sorry Nestle but Guittard is my favorite).
- Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
- Generously grease and flour the pan.
- In one bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
- In another bowl, or a standing mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar until well mixed. Add the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk until everything is blended.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan, and bake for 65-75 minutes. The cake is done when the top is golden brown, and a wooden skewer comes out dry.
- Cool completely, then invert onto a plate. Dust with confectioner's sugar.