Brownie Points!

November 9th, 2009

Randomly I started getting Saveur in the mail… unasked, unsolicited… I wondered why for a little bit but with first year law school stress, I did not have time to ponder the question too deeply… I would flip through them and then put them on the bookshelf.

Well, a couple weeks ago I started reading them from cover to cover and I discovered that I loved them!  The magazine focuses not only on food but on the culture, history and tradition of the food… I take them to gym to read (which does make me hungry but also gives me motivation to keep running).  My only critique is that it focuses a lot on food in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  All very interesting and delicious but I would like to learn more about the rest of the world.

My new found love of Saveur made me start wondering how this magazine started appearing… Could it be Foodbuzz? No, they always tell me when they send free stuff. Could it have been a present? No, wouldn’t someone have told me… but then it dawned on me… Juan…

So, I asked him and I was correct… Juan got me a subscription and forgot to tell me… I remembered wondering why he randomly asked for my address one day… now the reason is clear… Thank you, my love! and you definitely get some brownie points!

I love brownies! They are quite possibly my favorite chocolate dessert. Saveur had an article on them with a few recipes including Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies and  Nick’s “Supernatural” Brownies. I made Nick’s last week.  I liked them but they are not as chocolaty as I typically like.  However, friends at school really liked them because they were not over powering with chocolate… I guess it is really just a matter of preference…

Other recipes I have made from Saveur are the Chocolate Caramel Tart and Spätzle. The Tart was amazing! Be really careful when pouring the whipped cream into the caramel. It bubbles up and almost burnt me. The Spatzle was also delicious served with Goulash.  But it was a lot of work and the leftovers did not heat up well.  My friends and I took shifts pushing the dough through a colander and got a really great arm work out…  we decided that we’ll go to their favorite German restaurant the next time the Spatzle craving hits…

What is a girl to do?

July 29th, 2009

Recently I had the remarkable pleasure to discover chocolate extract. I was excited as I looked at the delicious smelling thick chocolaty elixir. I had to have it and discover all that it has to offer…

Well, I’m having trouble figuring out exactly what to do with it. If you google chocolate extract, you will find that I am not the only one. Essentially, you can put it in baked goods to make it a little chocolateier or you can make a chocolate liqueur… well, I’m not one for fancy chocolate cocktails (I know, shocking isn’t it but I just don’t like sweet drinks), so I have started slowly doing the former… emphasis on the slowly because as Juan said the other day “you are never going to use that, are you?”

I am! I’m just very unsure of when to use it and when not too. A few weeks ago, I did an experiment. I made the family brownie recipe. I added chocolate extract to one batch but not the other. Then I had my friends and co-workers see if they could taste a difference. It was subtle but definitely there.

This past weekend, I helped host a bridal shower and made 72 little mini cupcakes (half chocolate and half vanilla!)… sometimes, I’m a bit insane! I had leftover vanilla buttercream (made with vanilla bean paste), so tonight I made some brownies and used the leftover icing. I tried the Best Cocoa Brownies adding a teaspoon of chocolate extract. Delicious!

Vanilla Buttercream
(from Ginny’s mom)

1 stick butter, softened
1 box confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla (paste)
1/2 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the vanilla and the milk a little at a time until it of spreding consistency.  Enough for two layers, a 9 x13, or 24 cupcakes.

And they all came falling down…

December 13th, 2008

I’m sure I have complained about my kitchen before but I am going to again.  It is so SMALL!!!!  The first batch of these amazing fudgey cookies had a very short life when, trying not to burn myself while closing the oven, I balanced the pan on the stove and it went toppling over.  It is driving me crazy!  One of the reasons, I do not cook as much as I used to is that I do not have the counter space.

Well, the other main reason is I just don’t have the time.  I’m sorry I have been so absent from the food blogging world.  I have been studying away and now am happy to say, I have only one exam left!  The semester has been really busy, stressful and exhausting but also fun, interesting and rewarding.  Although sometimes I wish my brain would stop picking out torts and contracts in my everyday life, I have learned a lot this semester.  I miss cooking though.  I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve been living on grilled cheese, salads, and pasta.  Just a few more days though and I plan to start cooking again!

Now, about these cookies…Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy participated in the blog tour for Anita Chu of Dessert First and her new cookbook “Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable.  Sara made the Pistachio and Chocolate Crinkles Recipe and I have been thinking about those cookies ever since. This morning, I decided it was time to make them. They were great…little cookies of brownie-like goodness!  They were also very easy to make.  To check out the interview with Anita, the blog tour plus the recipe for these amazing cookies jump on over to here.