Every year we alternate. It’s a little tradition from our college dating days. This year it’s his turn to plan Valentine’s Day. Let’s hope I’ve dropped the necessary hints. Such a dangerous statement. Today he told me he was going to make me dinner from scratch. Usually I’d be jumping off the walls excited. However, I bet him a made-from-scratch dinner a month ago. He lost the bet. Smart boy—he thought he’d kill two birds with one stone. Smarter boy—he’ll come to his senses before the 14th. One can only hope. Read more

I had grand plans of posting twice this week. While on vacation. Ha! It’s now Thursday. And only by a Christmas miracle is this post live. I’ve been living it up responsibility-free for two weeks straight. Making these bracelets. And these cowls. Sitting by the fire with the A/C on (only in Texas). Sheer bliss. But it’s going to be a rough adjustment back into real life next Monday. Pray for me. Read more

If there’s one thing I’m known for at work, it’s not for my inability to carry on an intelligent conversation before 9 am, or for my uncanny knack to memorize all the key strokes in Illustrator and InDesign, or for working chaotically on 5 projects simultaneously. No. I’m best known for Christmas in a Bowl. She makes her annual appearance at my work Christmas party. Her birth name is Triple Chocolate Peppermint Trifle. But after one bite, a coworker renamed her Christmas in a Bowl. Rightly so. With layers of white chocolate peppermint mousse topped with fudgy brownies and dark chocolate pudding she tastes like Christmas. She’s rich and dense, however, not the prettiest thing you ever did see. But don’t judge her book by the cover. You wont be able to put her down. And when you’re done, you’ll wish there was more. Read more

Christmas cookie season is alive and well. Speaking of, have you seen the holiday cookie spread in the new Foodie Crush Magazine? While you’re at it, you should start from the top and read it cover to cover. Pages filled with beautiful stories matched with jaw dropping images, not to mention the impeccably set type. (I’m a typography geek at heart.) Some of my favorite food bloggers like Two Peas & Their PodBev Cooks, Turntable Kitchen, and With Style and Grace make the headlines. You can find my (world peace) cookie contribution on page 51. Take my word, this debut magazine is a beauty. Go. Read it now. Read more

When life gives you leftover ganache, you make truffles. Duh!

Earlier this week, I posted on chocolate ganache cupcakes. The original recipe was intended for a cake. But, last minute I decided to convert them into cupcakes. I’m really good at throwing myself for a loop. So I used a lifeline and phoned a friend, aka my sister. (We’re gonna own a bakery together one day; she just doesn’t know it yet.) After consulting with her, we decided it would be best to fill these suckers. Next thing you know, the cupcakes are filled, and I have a ton of ganache leftover. (In case you were worried, I tweaked the recipe for the cupcakes so that you wouldn’t have this same unfortunate problem.) Read more

If there’s one thing I know about food blogging, it’s that people love chocolate. And If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I love chocolate. Rich, dark chocolate. So dark it’s healthy. At least that’s what I tell myself. But somehow, I have yet to post a chocolate cake. Sometimes things get consumed before I get ahold of a camera. And we all know a post without a picture is no bueno. This, however, is bueno. Muy bueno. Read more

I make one brownie recipe. It’s from the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. It’s so good, I haven’t felt the need to try any other recipes out there. These brownies make an appearance in the annual Christmas in a Bowl. They are fudge-y as opposed to cake-y. They are dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate. They are salty as opposed to sweet. Ha! Just kidding. However, they do have a hint of sea salt that makes them taste all the more sweeter. (Did you know that adding salt not only compliments but brings out the sweetness? It’s my favorite ingredient in baking.)

Go ahead. Give it a try. It may end your brownie search. Did I mention, they are super easy to make? One bowl? Quick clean-up. Are you convinced now?

Brownies
recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. all-purpose
1/2 tsp. salt (I use sea salt. If using, you don’t need the full 1/2 tsp.)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dishpan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. (I use 2 sheets of parchment paper, setting them perpendicular to one another in the pan. This makes for nice corners on the brownies.) Set aside.
2. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water. (I use this double boiler. It also serves as my one mixing bowl for this recipe. Totally worth the investment, especially after you start making these all the time.) Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. (I use a spatula. Works better than a whisk with batter this thick, in my opinion.) Gently fold in flour and sea salt.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. (These will be fudge-y!)
5. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

TIPS
• Let the brownies cool for well over an hour—I’d recommend 3 hours. They are really hard to cut right out of the oven because they are so gooey. Be patient. You will be rewarded.  
• You may have to rinse your knife clean midway through cutting. This will make cutting the other half easier. The yummy brownie goo on the knife can make cutting difficult.
• Looking for more chocolate? Add 1/4 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips into batter. Don’t melt. 
• I typically use Ghirardelli chocolate. Use the best you can find or afford. 
• Wondering why they are so gooey? There is no leavener in this recipe, i.e. baking powder or baking soda. That’s the difference between a cake-y brownie and a fudge-y brownie.  

What’s your go-to brownie recipe?