Seriously, I want this bread, very much

I walked into the studio this evening for the news recordings and watched two young women deliver the news. A young man did a weather forecast, which he we wrote and produced over in the atmospheric sciences. Another person delivered a tightly written around-the-world segment. They have two co-directors of news, and they each pitched to pre-recorded packages to stories they’ve recently produced. It’s all quite impressive.

The impressive part, to me, though, was one of the young women sitting at the news desk. One has been there a few times and she does a nice job with it. The other, this was her first time anchoring. After, I told her, a not insubstantial part of what we do at the desk is about delivering with confidence and poise, control and power. Her face fell a little bit right then. But, I said, a very interesting thing happened as you went through that show just now, your poise and confidence grew with each story you read through.

She was pleased. Everyone was.

Please enjoy the weekly effort at reducing the number of files I have open in my browser. It seemed a good week to have a theme, so let’s have a theme! The theme is food. Bookmark these links for yourself, but, whatever you don’t, don’t just leave these open in your browser.

This one is a recent discovery. Please don’t share this one with anyone I know, lest they make it and I have to eat it and learn it is, in fact, amazing.

Chocolate peanut butter skillet brownie.


1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips, plus more for topping
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a 10 to 11-inch oven-safe deep saute pan/skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, turn off the heat and whisk in the sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, making sure to quickly combine them so they don’t cook. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder and salt. Add it to the skillet and stir until combined and on lumps remain. Stir in the chocolate chips. Dollop the peanut butter all over the batter then swirl it in with a knife.

Bake the brownie skillet for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is just barely set. You don’t want to overcook it! When it comes out of the oven, you can sprinkle with chocolate chips if you wish.
Let cool slightly then serve topped with vanilla ice cream.

Feel free to copy it from here, saving yourself the postmodern angst of having to scroll through 500 words and a ton of photos to get to the good stuff. Ironic, I know, and you’re welcome.

If you want something more healthy, 10 fruits you should eat every week, according to a dietitian:

Did you know research published in 2018 in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal mSystems shows that eating up to 30 different kinds of plants in a week can positively benefit your gut microbiome? Having a healthy gut can improve heart health, boost immunity and even benefit mental health. Eating more fruit is an easy way to increase the number of plants you’re eating in a week to keep your gut bacteria happy—and these 10 fruits pack in a plethora of health benefits with every bite.

From increasing your fiber count to boosting your body with crucial vitamins and antioxidants, here are the fruits recommended to consume every week, backed by experts and research.

Now if I can get two or three more refrigerators I can keep all of these fruits close at hand.

When we went to Washington in June of 2021 — our first non-family anything since Covid began — we discovered the Cottage Bakery in Long Beach. At that time I wrote:

I discovered the joy of a locally made bread I’ll never be able to try again, one so full of flavor and appeal that I described it as a sommelier does a wine (with a lot of complimentary adjectives). They describe it as “A multigrain bread we developed for that special beach flavor! Sweetened with honey and molasses and full of whole grain taste.”

They’re underselling the bread.

It is called Willapa harvest bread. Sadly, they don’t ship across the country. But this bread, y’all. So I started looking for the recipe. A recipe. Any recipe. I think this might be close to what I’m after. Now I just need to try it. Honey molasses whole-wheat bread:

Tested size: 12 servings; makes one 9-inch loaf

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (regular or low-fat)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to grease the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine the whole-wheat and bread flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, oil, honey, molasses and buttermilk in mixing bowl. Stir for 75 strokes, so all the dry ingredients are moistened, then pour into your loaf pan, spreading the batter evenly.

Bake (middle rack) for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a moist crumb or two.

Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

If you want to sweet talk the nice people at the Cottage Bakery in Washington state and see if they’ll share a few tips with someone a.) not in the bakery business and b.) well removed from their customer base …

Closing those three, I now have 40 tabs open on my phone browser. I seem to be stuck on that number.

It is time for another visit to the Re-Listening project. This is a stroll down memory lane, all of my CDs, in order, in the car. Today we’re somewhere in early 1997. Live’s fourth album came out that February. I liked the third one, everyone did, so I got the fourth one. The first single came out in January and it was immediately a big draw for an early 20-something.

The memory I have with that song is an open road and an odometer needle that points just a hair over toward the right. I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed the string section at the end. It stuck out to me on this listen. It’s a dissonance that doesn’t really work, at least from here.

But back then, that song went to 35 on the US Radio Songs chart, topped the Alternative Airplay chart and made it to number two on the Mainstream Rock chart. This was the most successful single on the record, and that makes sense. When you listen to the whole thing, by the time you get to the 10th track, or May, when this was released, you couldn’t be faulted for thinking this entire record was produced on a dare.

Try as I might, and this is of course a silly thing, I can’t think of a memory of listening in this in the daytime. I did used to make most of my long trips in the darkness, but that’s a weird lack of recollection on my part.

Of the whole record, this is the second, and other, lasting song on the album that captures my attention. It’s a stripped down and live performance of Live, from November, 1997. Or maybe it was April. Some international dating conventions are tricky.

“Secret Samadhi” topped the weekly charts, and the album finished at 42 on the year-end chart. It was certified double platinum in Australia, Canada and the US, but the misses outweigh the hits for me.

These days, after allllll of their internal drama, Live, with nine records in the catalog, is still touring, though the only original member is lead singer Ed Kowalczyk. When is an old band a new band? How long can a band swap out players and use the same name? This is, admittedly, a lame Theseus’ paradox, but it is hard to imagine Live without Kowalczyk.

In our next visit to the Re-Listening project we’ll check out a breakthrough smash from a little band from Gainesville, Florida.

But, for now, I have to go rock out iron a dress shirt for tomorrow.

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