Box of Delicious! {Foodie Pen Pal June & Coffee Brownie Recipe}

This month, as a part of the Foodie Pen Pals, I received a box from Heather and sent a box to Dustin.

A few weeks ago, I gave you a peek inside the box I got from Heather. Now it is finally time for the reveal!

Here’s what I got:

In case you can’t read all the labels, it’s Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar-Caramel with Black Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee, Dark Chocolate (filled with) Speculoos Cookie Spread, Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups, Artisana Pecan Butter, Jessica’s Vanilla Maple Granola, Artisana Coconut Butter, and Trader Joe (Jaques) Fleur Del Sel Caramels. (Heather did say she loves Trader Joe’s in her note, which, by the way, is the card with the cherries on it in the background.)

Thanks, Heather for the yumminess and for making me want to visit my local TJ’s! :)

For Dustin, I used some of the coffee from last month’s box to make brownies. I really like the idea of using something from the last box to forward on to the next one. Just a fair warning for the other foodie pen pals reading this right now.

I forgot to include the recipe in Dustin’s box, so I am putting it here:

Adapted from Epicurious: (original recipe)

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 15 tablespoons (2 sticks minus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch metal pan with nonstick spray. Combine sugar, butter, cocoa, ground coffee, and salt in large metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and whisk until butter melts and ingredients are blended (texture will be grainy). Remove bowl from over water; cool mixture to lukewarm if necessary. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Sift flour over and fold in.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool brownies in pan.

Note: the original recipe includes pecans in the brownies and a mocha frosting, but I thought the brownies were good as is.

Photo Friday!

Since I missed this past Wednesday’s What I’m Reading, I am going to add that to the end of this week’s Photo Friday! post. I’ll be back on track next week; sorry!

So, I am getting better at remembering to take pictures; however, I am bad at remembering to take my camera with me everywhere, so I had to take all photos with my phone this week. Therefore, you’ll have to bear with my unedited, poor quality pictures this week.

First up, a blurry picture from trivia on Tuesday night. If you live in SF and want to join our team, we are scouting for members, especially those that know sports and pop culture/movie/music trivia. :)

I was going to take more than one picture of that night, but got caught up in the game and drinking (duh!) and forgot!

So, the next few pics are all from last night, at the Underground Market at Public Works. (Should I really be sharing this in a public space?!)

First thing I ate all night: Biscuit Bender’s with their cheddar gravy. YUM!

The picture really does not do it justice. These were mighty biscuits! They also have sweet options and American Eatery (part of Prather Ranch Meat Co.) in the Ferry Building uses their biscuits for breakfast items on their menu.

Next, a photo of the band Izzy Wise, who rocked out last night. The girl was playing the clarinet and the guy, Izzy, was playing a few different (and strange) instruments.

 

Next up, the truffles I bought from Casa De Chocolates in Berkeley. They are dark chocolate with cocoa powder. Sweet and delicious, but a bit messy from the cocoa powder.

The view from above…they are making mac n’ cheese from Homeroom and cheese plates from Mission Cheese. Mmm….cheese!

The next photo is my view of the crowd last night from my spot upstairs. It was totally packed! Lines for food were bending around corners and up stairs! Crazy!

And…that’s all for the photos of this week! Now, for What I’m Reading!

  1. Blog posts about cookies: peanut butter drizzled chewy milk chocolate chunk, & coconut oatmeal chocolate chip, to be exact.
  2. Recipes with blueberries: lemon blueberry poppy-seed muffins and a grain-free blueberry tart.
  3. A poem about Boysenberry and Plum Cobbler
  4. and, to round it all out, because pies are round (worst pun ever!): Chocolate Espresso Ganache Pie

Popovers. {recipe}

I realized I haven’t shared a recipe on this site in a long time. So, here you go. Popovers. They are really quite simple. No fancy equipment. No special ingredients. Just a bowl, whisk, muffin tin, and a HOT oven. Just flour, eggs, butter, milk, and salt.

I love using old kitchen tools and things. Like these egg beaters and muffin tins. The egg beaters are new to me, but old to someone else, and the muffin tin is my mother’s from many years ago.

This is what they look like in the oven. I was proud that they kinda looked like the picture on The Kitchn, where I got the recipe from. Please excuse the reflection of me in the oven door. Or not. I think it’s artsy, but what do I know?

I squished them a little when taking them out of the pan. I’m blaming it on the oldness of the pan and that they stuck a lot. It’s probably just that I was not being that careful. But whatever. They tasted good, and that’s what counts, right? Right.

There you have it. Popovers. Oh, right, at the top of this post I said I would post the recipe. Okay, here it is, as seen on The Kitchn:

 

How to Make Popovers

Makes 6 large or 12 small popovers
Recipe adapted from the Joy of Cooking

What You Need

Ingredients

1 cup (8 ounces) whole or 2% milk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Equipment

Blender or food processor
OR
Whisk and a bowl

Popover pan
OR
Muffin tin

Instructions

1. Make the Popover Batter: In a food process or blender, or with a whisk and a bowl, blend the milk, eggs, and one tablespoon melted butter until completely combined. Add the flour and the salt. Blend until frothy and bubbly.

2. Heat the Oven: Heat the oven to 450°F. Let the popover batter rest while the oven heats. This gives the flour time to absorb the liquid and gives the popovers a better texture.

3. Pour the Batter into the Pans: Put the popover tin or muffin pan in the oven for 2 minutes to warm. Remove from the oven and divide the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter between the cups. Whiz (or whisk) the batter one more time to froth it up again and then fill each cup halfway.

4. Bake the Popovers for 15 Minutes: Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Do not open the oven door during baking (this causes the popovers to deflate).

5. Reduce the Heat and Continue Baking: Still without opening the oven, reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes. Now you can open the oven door and check the popovers. Finished popovers will be golden-brown, feel dry to the touch, and sound hollow when tapped.

6. Prick with a Knife, Cool, and Eat!: Turn the popovers out onto a drying rack. Pierce the bottoms with a knife to allow steam to escape. Cool just enough so they can be handled and then eat immediately.

Additional Notes:

Making Popovers Ahead: Popovers are the best when they’re fresh from the oven. But if you need to make them ahead, just warm them in a 350°F oven until warm and crispy again, about 5 minutes.

Freezing Popovers: Freeze baked popovers in an airtight bag or container for up to three months. To re-heat, place the popovers directly from the freezer into a 350° oven and bake until warm and crispy, about 8 minutes.

Other Ways to Make Popovers: While you should keep the ratio of milk, eggs, and flour about the same, you can add other flavoring ingredients to the batter. Try a few tablespoons of sugar for sweet popovers or a few teaspoons of herbs and spices for savory ones. Or you can really treat yourself and make cheesy popovers.

Photo Friday!

Okay, so I have learned that I definitely need to take more photos, since, this week, I have exactly 3 photos to share. Since two of them are related to this month’s Foodie Pen Pal, I will have a separate post about that at the reveal day on the 30th. The other, with the popovers, I will tell you about tomorrow. So stayed tuned!

Brownie batter. Good on its own. BUT this time I added something special. Again, you are just going to have to come back and read more about them on the Foodie Pen Pal post for this month.

A peek into the box I received from my Foodie Pen Pal this month. I’ve already said (showed) too much.

I kind of really love this picture of me taking a shot of the popovers in the oven. It seems artsy. Or something. Anyway, more on those popovers soon.

Some other highlights from my week I could have taken pictures of:

  1. I got my haircut. I am trying to grow it out some, so it was just a trim and some layers added.
  2. I’ve been biking a lot lately. There’s this one hill on my way to work that I have yet to master. One day. Also, I love biking through Golden Gate Park. So pretty and peaceful.
  3. Trivia night at Elixir in the Mission. We came in fourth place by one point. But still, fun night.
  4. Wednesday was the summer solstice, which means it was the longest amount of daylight. I bet there would have been a picture in there somewhere.

Maybe next time I will remember to get my camera out and snap away. Have a great week!

 

What I’m Reading Wednesday

This week, I bring you the list of blogs I read that are written by people living in a different country. Just because they might write their recipes with grams instead of ounces and degrees Celsius instead of degrees Fahrenheit, does not mean that these blogs are to be put to shame, but instead, they are to be put in the spotlight. These are also just some of the greatest blogs out there, found on many “best of” lists and in the media and linked to across the Internets.

  1. David Lebovitz. He writes from Paris, about food and everything you might be able to find/be interested to find in Paris.
  2. Eatshowandtell. This is a blog written by five friends in Sydney. They write about the restaurants they visit, and of course, about food.
  3. Like A Strawberry Milk. Fanny is from London and writes about desserts and other sweet things in life.
  4. Baking Obsession. This is another baking blog (as if you didn’t get that from the title). Vera writes from British Colombia.
  5. Jumbo Empanadas. This blogger lives in Toronto, Canada. Another food/travel blog.

I hope you enjoy these international blogs as much (or more!) as I do! Happy reading!

Photo Friday!

This week, I will have lived in San Francisco about 4 years and 11 months! To celebrate this, I will share with you some of my favorite pictures I took of the city by the bay that I love to call home.

Found on the Golden Gate Bridge while walking across from San Francisco to Marin.

My all-time favorite flower. In the botanical gardens in Golden Gate Park.

Cupid’s Span. Giant bow and arrow sculpture on the Embarccadero, down by the Bay bridge.

View of the city skyline from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Crab sculpture at Fisherman’s Wharf. I think this is one of the most iconic images of the wharf.

Windmill at the edge of Golden Gate Park, picture taken from Ocean Beach.

All of these pictures I took during my first year here. I love living in San Francisco and imagine myself living here for many years to come.

What I’m Reading Wednesday

This week, I bring you fellow San Francisco Bay Area Bloggers. I read their blogs way before I knew they lived in the Bay Area or even met some of them at the SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale.

  1. Dessert First. Anita‘s blog was the very first blog I read! If you haven’t guessed by the title, she writes about dessert, and about lots of sweet things. She also wrote one of my favorite cookbooks, The Field Guide To Cookies.
  2. La Vie En Route. This is Annelies‘ blog; she writes about food, poetry, and travel on her site. She was the first blogger I really connected with (like in person, not just online) and made friends with.
  3. Eat The Love. Irvin writes about the sweets he makes and the adventures he has while traveling and in the bay area.
  4. Piece Of Cake. Shauna writes about the sweet things in life; best of all, she wrote a book all about marshmallows!
  5. Shutterbean. Tracy is one of my favorite bloggers who writes about the food she makes, and the life she shares with her husband, Casey, and their son, Cooper. I have not met her yet, but one day I hope to meet her, and maybe we can wear blazers together. (If you want to know about that reference, listen to the podcast she’s a co-host on) She also writes High Straightenence on Homefries.

There are, of course, many other bay area bloggers out there. Maybe you are one of them? Leave a comment with a link to your blog if you are. Check out my blog links page to get a jump start on the other blogs I read. You can also follow me on Pinterest, where I pin blogs I read (among other things).