Oh, Rachael Ray…

I had a friend in town last week who really likes brownies. I wanted to do something for her…but I didn’t want to make just any ol‘ brownies, so I was trying to look for something a little more exciting. It’s tricky though because she hates nuts…

Finally I came across a recipe for “fluffernutter brownies” and decided I could just put nuts on half (so that we could still see how the recipe is supposed to turn out…but we’d *also* still have a BB-friendly half).

I had to buy marshmallows for the first time in I don’t even remember how long…and so even though the recipe only called for a cup of marshmallows on top, I decided to throw on a whole bunch more…just because I have no idea when I’m going to use up a whole bag of marshmallows (unless I suddenly start camping a lot and making s’mores ’til the cows come home?).

However, when I tried to remove them from the pan and cut them up into delicate bite-sized pieces, I realized I had *actually* created a horribly sticky mess…and those brownies weren’t budging from the pan.

My friend was very gracious and sampled them…but said they kinda glued her mouth shut!

I also tried my hand at Rachael Ray’s calzones this weekend. She says to cut the dough in half…but the last time I made this recipe, I literally ended up with football-shaped calzones that took about a week to eat (a piece)…so this time I cut the dough into fourths to create more manageable meals. It worked *pretty* well…except that some sorta exploded in the oven (and so there’s spinach-and-cheese guts all over the pan).

I have to give Ms. Ray props for coming up with so many 30-minute meals…but – constructive criticism alert! – I find some of the recipes are a little, well, bland. The pasta I made last weekend seemed like it had so much potential…but it just fell a little flat. (And I kind of felt like I might as well have just bought a bottle of Ragu.) I guess you’re compromising zing for speed. I suppose next time I should be a little braver and try to experiment with the recipes a bit more…or just fall back on epicurious.com.

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