Archive | August, 2013

The Best Homemade Brownies You’ll Ever Have

25 Aug

At the office, one of the colleagues is leaving soon for maternity leave and we went to lunch at Sweet Cheeks (review to come). I wanted to send her off with something sweet. I asked my best friend Joaquin’s mom Cathy for suggestions as she never directs me the wrong way when it comes to baking. She suggested double chocolate brownies.

In looking at this America’s Test Kitchen recipe for Double Chocolate Brownies, it looked pretty simple. It called for certain items which I modified slightly. I wasn’t sure if they’d turn out great, but the fact that they lasted less than 30 minutes (if not less) is a testament to their greatness!

Brownie Ingredients

Ingredients 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips to avoid the cutting {Guittard Semisweet Chips})
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Making Chocolate from Chocolate Chips and ButterFinal Chocolate

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 inch pan with parchment (I used aluminum foil – all I had – and slightly greased it with olive oil) and let it overhang slightly on all sides.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar.
  3. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined.
  4. Whisk in cocoa and salt.
  5. Fold in flour until combined.
  6. Pour batter into pan. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Let cool slightly in the pan, approximately 15 minutes. Life brownies from pan using parchment. Remove parchment and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool.

Double Chocolate Brownies

**Can make ahead. Brownies can be stored at room temperature for 3 days.

 

Barcelona Wine Bar

18 Aug

Barcelona Wine BarWhen I heard there was a new tapas place in town, I knew I had to try it. 4 months later, I was finally there. Barcelona met Brookline and, from my experience, I think it will be a long-lasting relationship.

Even though my zealous passion for Madrid emanates in every conversation I have on Spain, I could not deny my instant attraction to this Barcelona-inspired wine bar. Upon walking in, one enters into a space of rustic-European charm: hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows and a cozy outdoor patio.

European Rustic Charm

I have become a firm believer that Thursday is the new Friday. 8 o’clock sharp, this past Thursday, the place was popping, the crowd was vibing, and we were presented with some samples for the night to come. My first impression was clearly swayed, as the patatas bravas transported my back to my days in cervezerias in Madrid. Further, the sangria was one of the best ones I have had – that was not homemade by me- ever. The fruit included in it was also quite tasty.

Now, for what I actually ordered. Tapas on tapas on tapas. Ok, jokes. I only tried two things, but they made a big impression. Everything was reasonably priced and it was great to see the large array of options they had. While I am quite particular to my empanadas, since Chilean empanadas hit close to home, I gave the spiced beef empanadas a shot and was blown away. While much smaller in nature, the flavor exploded in your mouth. It was dressed in a spicy red pepper sauce that complemented the empanada well. Alongside, were the albondigas. These Spanish meatballs were cooked and seasoned in a zesty tomato sauce.

Albondigas & Spiced Beef Empanadas

If tapas aren’t your thing, they also serve a few paellas. But seriously, who doesn’t like tapas?

Barcelona Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

The Next Chapter

15 Aug

Sometimes you just need a little time to yourself to taking all the moving pieces in your life and see which fit and which don’t. These past few months have been quite puzzling for me, but I finally have begun to piece together the puzzle and can see a next to complete landscape for the remainder of the year.

I am excited for this next chapter in my life, with many amazing things such as Labor Day in Hampton Beach with my family, a much needed visit from my roommate from Madrid, Alexia, thereafter, a trip to China and so so so much more.

I cannot wait to share it all with you!

The Next Chapter

15 Aug

Sometimes you just need a little time to yourself to taking all the moving pieces in your life and see which fit and which don’t. These past few months have been quite puzzling for me, but I finally have begun to piece together the puzzle and can see a next to complete landscape for the remainder of the year.

I am excited for this next chapter in my life, with many amazing things such as Labor Day in Hampton Beach with my family, a much needed visit from my roommate from Madrid, Alexia, thereafter, a trip to China and so so so much more.

I cannot wait to share it all with you!