Photo Friday! {Plus Foodie Pen Pal Reveal}

This week is another “just testing my camera” week because I am dopey and forgot to bring it to the restaurant we went to for dinner last night. Also, since I am writing this right before leaving for the airport, I have not edited any of these. This will truly be a test to see the quality of pictures my camera gives me. Forgive me for the blurriness in advance, won’t you? Next week should be chock-full of great (edited) photos from this weekend because I am going away to New York for Labor Day weekend!

Spaghetti and shrimp and peas for dinner this week. Easy and fast dinner I recommend you make for dinner one night.

I’ll give you one guess what I used these ingredients for. Hint: the title of these treats is on the blue box.

Found a leaf in my hot chocolate at Four Barrel this morning. So pretty!

Wait! Did you say hot chocolate? I don’t see that on the menu. That’s what you are thinking, right?  Well, I know about the “secret menu”. They make their hot chocolate with Dandelion Chocolate, who, by the way, have a new bar! Now you know!


Lastly, it is Foodie Pen Pal reveal time! I got all sorts of goodies this time. According to my pen pal this month, Sandra, they are all locally made. In case you can’t tell what it is I got, it is Tim’s Potato Chips, Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni and Cheese, Moonstruck Milk Chocolate, Propeller Chocolate chip Energy bar Mix, and Cary’s English Toffee. All good things.

Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend and extra day off of work!

What I Am Reading Wednesday

Okay, so I’ve been away for a week. BUT, I do have a lot to share with what I’ve been reading and what I hope to share in the next few weeks!

So, what I’ve been reading:

I think this is great and that supermarkets should be allowed to do this in the U.S., too. I don’t know why farmers would want to hide what they are doing, if they are doing nothing wrong. :)

Speaking of doing nothing wrong, these Americans have been helping out their community.

And, if you are as much of a fan of This American Life & Ira Glass as I am, you would enjoy reading this.

I felt like this article was written just for me; it was just the advice I was looking for. And on a related note: this advice.

Since this is a food blog, I guess, really, I should be posting about food articles I’ve enjoyed recently. Like this one, about what the world eats.

Or, how about this one? For all of you pie-lovers out there. By the way, just a little survey: cake or pie? (Answer in the comments!)

For a more savory treat, (though you could make pie crust with lard) an article about lard making a comeback.

And, since it was recently what would have been Julia Child‘s 100th birthday, let’s all learn to eat the way that she did!

Lastly, great tips on getting your mojo back in the kitchen.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading. As I’ve said before, I have been working on some recipes I’d like to share soon, including some good ol’ American corn. I’ve also been making some things with coffee, and have another foodie pen pal box to pick up from the post office! Of course, I have some test photos I took with my new camera that I’ll share on Friday! Lots of posts coming soon(ish)!

 

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

Two Ways {Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough}

There is almost always two ways of doing things (and sometimes more). This week, I made chocolate chip cookie dough in two different ways and made them into two different things. 1) chocolate chip cookie dough truffles 2) chocolate-dipped chocolate chip cookies

You can try some for yourself if you come to San Francisco tomorrow (Saturday, April 28th) and come to Omnivore Books between 11am-4pm during the SF Food Bloggers Bake Sale! <<one way to entice you to come to the bake sale.

Or, you can come to support Share Our Strength and No Kids Hungry. <<another way to entice you to come to the bake sale.

OR, you can go to Omnivore Books to see Alice Medrich speak about her book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts and come early to get a good seat/snag a goodie from the bake sale. <<yet another way of enticing you to come to the bake sale.

OR, you can come to buy goodies from other bloggers (that are helping to host the sale): Annelies, Anita, Irvin, and Shauna (Thanks for all your hard work putting this together for the third year in a row!) <<yet ANOTHER way to get you to come to the bake sale.

What ever your reason is, I hope to see you tomorrow! :)

Not in SF, you say? Well then, I guess you could try making these at home. They are simple, really. Just make chocolate chip cookies. Then dip them in chocolate. {From another SF blogger, Anita (she happens to be one of the organizers of the bake sale) about chocolate tempering.} Dine on one of your chocolate-dipped cookies. Maybe have another. With some ice cream. Or a glass of milk. See? More than one way of doing something. The truffles are a bit more work; more to come on those soon.

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your weekend! And, if you ARE in SF, come stop by and say “hi”! (I can’t stop! Sorry!) But really, it’s for a good cause. (Okay, now I’m done.)