It’s Brownie O’Clock

Watch out – some decadent brownies coming your way. These Browned Butter and Red Wine Brownies might just be the best you’ll ever see.

One thing I will admit though, is that I still don’t really understand “Browned Butter.” When we melted the butter in a saucepan and let it heat, it never really turned reddish brown like it was supposed to. The milk solids did separate from the fat (I think?), but that was kind of it… if the same thing happens to you, just make a judgment call after 10 minutes or so since our brownies still came out amazingly well.

Some other things to note:

We didn’t use walnuts, but we did use red wine. I didn’t know this before, but red wine apparently enhances the flavor of the chocolate and loses much of its alcohol content when heated (I guess it’s up to you how you feel about that! 🙂 )

We also doubled the proportions here so that our brownies would come out thicker – with our standard pan, following the proportions suggested by the recipe would have yielded very thin brownies. Definitely a fun recipe to try and I can promise you’ll be in for a real treat!

IMG_5408 IMG_5412 IMG_5427 FullSizeRender

Fried is the New Fun

Who ever thought that making funnel cakes at home would actually be easy? Edit: APPLE CIDER funnel cakes. Quite a fall treat.

When I moved into my apartment, I noticed my roommate had bought a red plastic funnel. And I remember wondering when we would actually use it. Well, the day came when K and I decided to experiment and make our carnival dreams a reality using this Dine & Dish recipe.

First hurdle: making a substitute for Allspice. We ground up cinnamon and cloves (didn’t have nutmeg unfortunately) which seemed to work.

Once you’ve got the batter ready and the oil heated comes the fun part: making your funnel cakes. Using the funnel / makeshift funnel, create cool shapes in the pan and flip with tongs. You can make several small cakes or one big one (note that bigger ones are harder to flip). We went all out and probably made over 20 (see the mountain of cakes below). The apple cider and cinnamon added a really nice touch, though the taste isn’t as strong as you’d expect it to be. It’s also recommended that you eat the funnel cakes soon after they’re done so that they’re still hot and don’t become soggy. Topping the cakes with ice cream is also the power move here.

Final tip: Don’t try substituting apple cider for anything else without seeing if it’s been done before…we tried that and let’s just say it didn’t come out so splendid.

This calls for a carnival party, right?

IMG_5410 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender (2) FullSizeRender (3)

The Belly Rules the Mind

It’s been a while…but I’m well, alive, and sharing with you my discovery of shishito peppers!

Sunday morning produce store trip with dad and he suddenly gets really excited about these oversized jalapeno-like peppers…

I watch him as he sautees these peppers for a pre-lunch snack and I’m skeptical – rightfully so, since my dad usually underestimates things like the time it’ll take to get somewhere or how spicy something is.

Well, I didn’t try the peppers that time but I decided to give it a go the next time we made them. And I was amazed. Once they blister, add salt and wait for them to cool before taking a bite. Sweet, but not too sweet, the perfect summertime snack.

Things I’ve since learned about the shisito pepper include:

  1. When allowed to fully ripen on the plant Shishitos will turn a vibrant red and their walls will be thicker fleshed.
  2. Originating in Japan the Shishito pepper is believed to have gotten its name from its tip end which to some resembles the head of a lion or in Japanese, shishi.
  3. They can apparently burst when being cooked so its advised to cut a small hole in each pepper beforehand (didn’t do that but am still fine?)
  4. Approximately 1 in 10 Shishito peppers are spicy, and there’s no way of knowing until you try it

Now I’ve got to find restaurants that serve this…

[On a totally different note, shoutout to my non-believer friend Kevin for the time he’s invested in trying to prove this blog isn’t mine. Sorry K, you might want to just give up now.]

FullSizeRender