Happy World Nutella Day 2010

I almost forgot about World Nutella Day this year. I’m actually leaving town today for a weekend of fun and have been busy thinking about other things. Yet,  out of a dark little recess of my mind sprang the thought and remembrance of this very special day. Just in time, too. I love my mind sometimes.

I made Nutella Brownies and brought them to work to mark the occasion. Who doesn’t love brownies and who doesn’t love Nutella?

You can find the recipe HERE. The only changes I made to the recipe was to double the amount of Nutella and sprinkle some of the hazelnuts on top prior to baking.

Please check out Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso the founders and hosts of  World Nutella Day.

{sms} made brownies, had a party

Almost 40 people celebrated happiness, freedom, and the new year with me on Saturday. Between the prepping and the cleaning, I was very busy this weekend. The party was a success, with lots of great food and friends.

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection is Black Bottom Brownies and is hosted by Cynthia of Bakingtherapist’s Blog. It’s brownie layer topped with a cheesecake layer sprinkled with chocolate chips.

For the recipe, visit Cynthia’s blog or buy the book!

Brownies and Bouchon!

You can see me in the reflection.

As 2009 draws to a close, blah blah blah. I have nothing inspirational to write or words of wisdom. I’m just glad the year is over. A chapter in my life is done, complete, locked away never to be repeated. One thing I will repeat is a visit to Bouchon. This year I dined at Bouchon FOUR times. Three of those times were in Las Vegas. Yesterday I visited the new Bouchon outlet in Beverly Hills.

Edited to add this picture. I can’t believe I forgot to add it. Why am I the only one wearing color? I realize it’s winter, but we’re at Bouchon!! Oh well, they all look great.

Me, Aaron, Jen, Michelle

The service was outstanding. The waitstaff was very proactive. We had a long leisurely lunch, mostly discussing the chaos  that is my life (I apologize for being a conversation hog: Jen, Michelle, Aaron!). This time  instead of my usual salad and gnocchi, I had the soup du jour (butternut squash) and the croque madame without the HAM.

My friend Michelle wrote a more in-depth description of our experience.  You can read it HERE.

The dark things in the middle are pomegranate seeds

On brioche!

I can't seem to order anything else for dessert!

Even the bathroom is gorgeous.

I went on a baking binge right before Christmas and thanks to  C & H Sugar who sent me a gift card to use  to purchase ingredients, I added a last-minute item of brownie squares to my cookie plate.  I made this recipe, but with out the nuts–because there are some people in my family who do not like nuts. They may be the same people who like HAM.


2010 is going to be AWESOME!!

Bake 2 Share: Brownies

Way back in May, King Arthur Flour offered bakers 2 pounds of all-purpose flour for free if you made something to share with others.  The program was called Bake 2 Share and KAF gave away 5,000 bags in less than 24 hours. I was one of the lucky recipients.

I received the flour in late May and then as you know if you follow my blog, I was out of my house for the next 3 months. Last week I was reunited with the flour (and back in my house, yay!) and the very first thing I baked were these brownies.

I made them for my Mom who volunteers with a local chapter of The Assistance League. Every September, at the start of the school year, The Assistance League runs Operation School Bell which gives away school clothes to children in need. It’s a big undertaking and volunteers work hard all week organizing and finding clothes that fit the children. These brownies were for the volunteers.

The recipe comes from the back of the 5 lb bag of all-purpose KAF. Let me tell you about these brownies. I rarely repeat recipes because there are sooooo many I want to try. I’ve made these brownies 4 times. People love them. Ask for them. Can’t stop eating them they are so good. They are fudgy and chewy with the perfectly crackily top.

You can find the recipe HERE.

Cappuccino Brownies

Another word I’ve learned to spell through food blogging: cappuccino. The minute I saw the recipe for these in the July 2009 issue of bon appétit (there’s another word), I knew I needed to make these.

Cappuccino Brownies are espresso brownies topped with a white chocolate ganache and sprinkled with cinnamon. Need I write more?

You can find the recipe HERE.