Let me start off with a few things.
1. I’m sorry for the two month hiatus – I could blame it on the holidays/weather/travel… but the truth is I was just in a blogging funk.
2. Due to the break, my next Month Through My Lens will be epic!
3. While I was away, I experienced some firsts. I celebrated New Years in NYC for the first time which could have been hectic and crazy, but was wonderful and perfect and one of the best New Years to date, and I went to Disneyland for the first time and freakin’ loved it! P.S. get Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve) early in the morning when there is a short line. I think it makes for a good breakfast.
4. Okay, time to get down to business… Valentine’s Day!
Some people are not fond of Valentine’s Day. Even in my early days when most of my friends had boyfriends to buy them cards or flowers or chocolate, I have always liked the holiday. Maybe it’s because my inner craft child gets to emerge and make fun cards for people. I always liked making cards for all the kids in my elementary school class, and then after college, I enjoyed getting together with girlfriends for a crafty day making valentines for whomever (the addition of mimosas or wine also made this craft day more exciting). Even now that I’m married, I still like sending cards to my girlfriends because who doesn’t like getting snail mail!?
Another thing people don’t mind receiving is chocolate. Since chocolate is a common gift on Valentine’s day, I have a recipe that will sure get you some extra lovin’ this Saturday. Skip the chocolate boxes from the drug store and give a box of these fudgy brownies.
Nice and crunchy on the top, dense and chewy on the inside. The walnuts add a nice crunch. If you don’t like nuts in your brownies, you can add chocolate chips, or just go plain.
Inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to make some food to compliment all the Guinness that will be consumed. Bangers and mash are on the menu , but I also wanted to add something sweet. Last weekend friends Allison & Zack came for a visit. Allison brought along a delicious treat for us – some chocolate stout cake she had made earlier in the week. After one bite, I was hooked. This recipe went straight to the top of my “what to make next” list.
I made this in a bundt pan, but you could also make it in two round cake pans. You could try making this as cupcakes, but the cake might not be as moist. I went with a chocolate stout beer made by Rogue Ales. Any kind of stout or porter beer will work. By simmering the two cups of beer down to one cup, you are intensifying the flavors in the beer, so using a chocolate stout will compliment the cocoa powder in the cake. You can also just top this with some powdered sugar and you are good to go.
I made some changes from the original recipe. I used whole wheat white flour for the second cup, but regular whole wheat flour can be used. The original recipe called for plain full fat yogurt. I had some nonfat Greek yogurt on hand, so I used that instead. I added a few chocolate chips as well. Continue reading