Oh Fudge Brownies

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I’m not Catholic, but I’m more than happy to celebrate Fat Tuesday. While I don’t generally break out the beads and party topless Mardi Gras style, I’m more than happy to gorge on my favorite foods.

Speaking of overindulgence, I never really understood why it’s a sin. Aside from the whole health thing, what’s the big deal? I’m fairly certain I can think of worse things I could do with my time than gorge myself into overfed bliss.

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So here is the recipe for my wickedly addictive and delicious “Oh Fudge” brownies. The first time I made them I had to throw them away so I would stop eating them (now that should be some sort of moral offense). Be forewarned. And Happy Fat Tuesday!

(And don’t bother pointing out my hypocrisy because I already know)

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“Oh Fudge” Brownies
serves a party (or one very greedy individual)

Ingredients
2/3 cup Semi-Sweet (or Bittersweet) Chocolate Chips
11 tbsp Butter (about 1 1/2 sticks)
3 Eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Flour
1 tbsp Instant Coffee
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium-sized bowl (either in the microwave or in a double boiler).
3. Cool the chocolate, then mix in the eggs, vanilla and sugar.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, coffee, baking powder/soda and salt.
5. Fold the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.
6. Line a baking dish (about 9×9 or so) with tin foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
7. Empty the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

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A Shot of Love & Hot Chocolate

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Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!

Brooklyn was walloped by the storm yesterday. The morning forecast said “winter warning,” to which my reaction was “shouldn’t it be winter storm warning?” Given the frequency of storms we’ve been having, I no longer think it was a typo.

I suggest seeking refuge from the blistering cold this Valentine’s Day with one of my favs: HOT CHOCOLATE! My shot of love and hot chocolate is super simple, and so chocolatey that it’s probably as hard to shoot as tequila. Sip it, dip some marshmallows and strawberries in it, and have fun!

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A Shot of Love & Hot Chocolate
Serves…a lot (save the rest in the fridge!)

2 cups low-fat milk
3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli’s 60%)
1 tbsp coffee
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp sugar

1. Heat the milk until just before it boils. Stir to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
2. Pour the chocolate into a large cup. When the milk is hot, add it to the chocolate and stir.
3. When the chocolate is fully combined with the milk, add the coffee, vanilla and sugar.
4. Allow to cool slightly (scalding hot liquid and glass don’t always mix).
5. Pour into shot glasses and enjoy!

Hot Coco Shot 3

Mini Frittatas

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#FRITTATAS. Mini frittatas, actually. #MINIFRITTATAS!

My lazy Saturday mornings can’t be spent stressing about keeping a pizza-sized frittata intact. I’m always turned off by the “now flip and voila” step that chefs make look so easy but never actually works the fist time you do it (like when you made pancakes for the first time and accidentally flipped one pancake on top of another and cursed your apparent lack of decent motor skills).

All this to say that I went mini. If one breaks…so what? Who cares? Have a glass of Pinot Grigio and go to bed #JoyBehar.

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Here are my arguments for why you should always go mini:

1. You can have more more MORE!
2. You can make them for a party and it looks like you did so much work…but you didn’t. You Martha Stewart you.
3. Doesn’t it look so fancy!? And cayute!
4. No sharing! #selfish
5. It’s more likely that you have a muffin tin than an oven-proof skillet. (Statement not based on actual facts)

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Ingredients
3 Eggs
1 tbsp Sour Cream
2 tbsp Milk
1/4 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
1/2 small Zucchini, cubed
Cilantro
S&P

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Separate the egg whites and yolks into two medium-sized bowls.
3. Beat the egg whites until frothy.
4. Add the sour cream, milk, cheese, zucchini and cilantro to the egg yolks. Season with a few pinches of salt (I generally do one pinch per egg) and pepper.
5. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
6. Spray 6-8 muffin tins with baking spray and fill them about 3/4 full with the egg mixture.
7. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until they are set.
8. Let them cool, invert the pan to release and enjoy!

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A Sit-down with Pink Teacup owner, Lawence Page

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After months of speculation and anticipation, The Pink Teacup (a southern-style chicken and waffle restaurant and hangout) has finally made its way to Fort Greene. I had a chance to sit down with producer, restaurateur and Pink Teacup Owner Lawrence Page to get a sense of what he has in store for the neighborhood.

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The Pink Teacup

The Pink Teacup is an old brand, established in 1954. It became well known for their chicken and waffles and famous clientele.

In 2010, while in meeting with rapper Mobb Deep at the Pink Teacup, Page found out that the restaurant was going out of business. Afraid to see an institution with so much history burn, he bought it.

After the Flatiron location closed down (rumored to be because of a lost liquor license…a testament to the fact that New Yorkers are just a bunch of drunkards), Paige eventually relocated to Brooklyn.

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Brooklyn, here we come!

Why our humble (not really) borough? New York was changing. Tastemakers were dispersing and Manhattan was no longer the Mecca of kool (yes, with a ‘k’).  The obvious choice was Brooklyn (keyword: obvious!)

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The Man with the plan

Lawrence Paige was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but moved to Long Island when he was in grade school. The southern-style and comfort food dishes are actually inspired by his mother’s recipes.

He sounds passionate about making his mark on the Brooklyn scene. Gentrification is no stranger to New Yorkers, especially Brooklynites. It may be the first gem of city-living knowledge that newcomers become privy to as they seek out an affordable place to stay at night. Coffee shops and restaurants have become the visible signs that the neighborhood is accommodating a new clientele.

The Pink Teacup is doing the same, but the message is different. Page wants to embrace the new economic and racial diversity, but establish a reminder of the culture of “old Brooklyn.” Perhaps it is no coincidence that Pink Teacup is located just a few blocks away from Spike Lee’s studio.

The objective is for Pink Teacup to become a gathering place for the diversity of peoples now drawn to Brooklyn. Page wants it to exude comfort, ease and certainly a kool factor; somewhere where someone can have a piece of fried chicken alongside a nice merlot (metaphor intended). He gave a special shout out to cognac drinkers; yes, you are welcome too. Prefer a mojito? – have it pink.

5 Questions for Lawrence Page:

1. What is your favorite Brooklyn moment?
“The day I met Biggie.” (Jay Z invited him to a video shoot in Brooklyn, where he met Biggie and Lil Kim on the set.)

2. What was your most bizarre moment in Brooklyn?
“I found a stranger sleeping I my manager’s car.” The man honestly thought it was his car, so he got in and fell asleep!

3. What is one thing you would change about Brooklyn?
“Replace the mayor with myself.” (said half jokingly)

4. You jump up at 5am, what are you thinking?
“How can I make someone smile today?”

5. What was your fondest childhood memory?
He led a bike crew with about 20 kids from his neighborhood. They use to take root beer bottles out of the delivery trucks and redistribute them.

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Big A$$ Latkas with Tomato Jam and Herbs

Latkas 5The holidays are upon us!!!

This year boasts the shortest amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, meaning there are the least amount of shopping days. Department stores are FREAKING. OUT. Does Kmart’s layaway program even make sense if you don’t have time to pay off those hot wheels before the holiday?!

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But what about Hannukah!? For the first time since 1861, the first day of Hannukah is on the same day as Thanksgiving. Go figure!

In honor of Hannukah, I made a big a$$ latka. It’s essentially the lazy man’s potato pancake. Instead of making individual patties and frying them one by one, I just dump the whole thing in the pan and eat it pizza style.

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I like to give mine a Mediterranean feel with a sweet, spicy and cinnamonny tomato jam, mint and cilantro leaves, and of course a dollop of daisy (sour cream).  Actually, it was Breakstone’s sour cream because that’s what was on sale. But kudos to the marketing team at Daisy.

If you’re having it for breakfast, try it with some eggs! And top it with some crumbled bacon (but then it’s no longer kosher…so don’t tell your mom!)

Enjoy!

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Big A$$ Latkas with Tomato Jam and Herbs
Makes 2 big a$$ latkas

3 medium russet potatoes
1 medium onion
1 egg
1 tbsp flour
S&P
Tomato Jam
Cilantro
Mint
Sour Cream

  1. Peel and shred the potatoes into a bowl, and squeeze out the liquid.
  2. Shred the onion into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix.
  3. Add the egg and mix well. Finally add the flour and mix well.
  4. Heat a oven-proof skillet on high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to gather half of the potato mixture and drop it into the pan. Flatten and shape it into a circle on one side of the pan. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
  6. Fry on one side until it is browned. Flip and fry the other side.
  7. If you’re not going to eat the latkas right away, put the pan in a 425 F oven and allow them to warm through. If not, continue cooking on the stove-top until they’re cooked through.
  8. Place the latka on a plate. Top with tomato jam, roughly chopped herbs and sour cream.

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