1. Pesto. Purists, either cover your eyes or walk away now. The grocery store was out of the small bags of pine nuts and I couldn't justify spending 10 bucks for a big bag of them, so I got walnuts instead. Then when I got home, I realized that I had confused the oregano and basil plants in the patio because my basil is some odd breed that has tiny leaves, ranging from about half a pinkie nail size up to paperclip size, and the shape is long and thin, unlike the oregano, which is, well, normal-basil leaf shaped. I harvested almost all of the basil, which took a good two hours, saw that this still wasn't enough, and added a bunch of oregano, which took another half hour or so. P helped with the food processor, adding way more olive oil than the recipe called for, but it turned out to be the perfect amount, whatever it was. We mixed it with penne and chicken and it was delicious. It may have helped that it was 9:30 and I was starving, but I think it would have been pretty tasty even if I hadn't been so hungry.
2. Rosquilhas - from the English language Portuguese cookbook Foods of the Azores Islands that gramma used. I'm not sure what happened to the one she had in Portuguese, but I don't think I'd be able to do much with it even if I did have it - the measurements are different and a lot of words don't translate directly - normally this wouldn't be an issue, but with cooking, I'd probably end up with something completely different from what I remember her making and not be happy with it. Rosquilhas roughly translates to "rings," which are kind of like a less sweet sugar cookie with a lot of lemon rind. I didn't have shortening, so I substituted vegetable oil and a bit more butter, and while they didn't come out the same, they were still pretty yummy. I took about two dozen of them to a Labor Day party, expecting them to not really move at all, because they aren't very sweet and don't look like normal cookies - they're small and ring shaped, and there were plenty of chocolate chip cookies and other sweet breads, but most of them were gone within the first hour, which really surprised me.
3. Brownies from scratch. I'd always made them from a box. They tasted pretty much the same, though a tad smoother, but I accidentally added more cayenne than I normally do, so they were a bit spicy.