A strange thing happened to me the other night. I was sitting at home, watching the Chicago Bears blow another game, when I heard a knock on the door. I put down my beer, holstered my frustration, and answered to find my upstairs neighbor waiting. Then she handed me a plate of fresh-baked cake and brownies, wished me a happy holidays and walked away. I stood there a minute, baked goods in hand, processing the ritual I had just participated in.
I didn’t realize that the Pillsbury commercials were based on fact – that neighbors really do go out of their way to spread holiday spirit. I don’t have a job, so I figured, if you can’t understand them, why not join them?
I had been wanting to test out this recipe ever since I tried one in London. Guinness is one of my favorite beers (due to the whole living in Ireland and secretly wanting to be Irish thing) and who doesn’t love chocolate? The beer flavor is very subtle but adds to the richness of the chocolate flavor. It also makes them like a cake-brownie hybrid. If you want to get super fancy throw on some Bailey’s or Jameson fronting, and enjoy a super-alcoholic treat.
Allow me to present to you Guinness brownies! Trust me, they were a huge hit with the neighbors. Happy Holidays.
Wow it has been a while, I am sorry readers, but trust me I have a good reason for my absence. Read on and enjoy!
I sat in the lobby of the Tribune Tower for a while before I was called up to the offices of Redeye (which was good because I had just walked at least a mile from the train station, my feet were blistered and I was sweaty). I met with the editor who contacted me about my freelance application, the editor that turned my summer around with one e-mail, the editor who read my samples and liked them enough to call me in for a meeting. I also met with the weekend and entertainment editor of Metromix.
The three of us sat in a drab conference room with white walls, a standard office table and chairs. Someone joked that it looked like a doctors office and I politely chuckled. The interview started as most do: tell us about yourself, explain the work you did here and here, what do you enjoy about our publication, etc. I recited the usual answers, occasionally stumbling over my words. I continued on about my passion for writing, my qualifications as an editor and my appreciation of the Redeye tone. Somewhere in my slurry of wannabe-intelligent responses, I must have said something right.
Before I even sat down for this meeting, I had one of those feelings that my fate was already decided, one of those feeling that you don’t want to admit to yourself for fear of jinxing your opportunity. For once though, I was right and was offered a contract to freelance for Chicago Metromix and Redeye. Along with the contract my editor gave me one of the greatest gifts a writer could ask for: he complimented my creativity! The offer came with one stipulation: I had to live in Chicago.