Like. Ridiculously, soul-consumingly busy— and actually busy, too. Not the kind of busy you tell your friends when you’re really just re-watching a season of 30Rock for the 18th time with your pants off. We both have new day jobs that we sincerely love for once and they are taking up lots of our attention. We’re also working on two fun, top secret projects that we’ll start talking more about soon.
The downside of our adventures is that we feel like we’re neglecting you. We miss you. We don’t have the time we want to give you to blather enthusiastically or peddle food porn— but we do have time to eat. So, for now, that’s what we’re going to share.
When we get busy like this, there are three things that we want: Dessert, Vegetables, and More Dessert but with Alcohol. Today we’ve got all three.
Brownies‽ are the best brownie that we’ve ever eaten Ever. They were introduced to us by our dear friend Erin Watson, who finally gave Rachel the recipe two Christmases ago in an effort to stop her from refusing to attend parties where this confection isn’t present. Erin is a poet, a damn fine cook, and one of the best humans we know. This recipe is perfectly fudgy, with a light crackly crust, and deeply chocolatey flavor that feels like you can taste it in your ears. We could eat them for effectively every meal.
Brussels Sprouts are our favorite vegetable and are particularly good to us when we’re crazy. They’re quick cooking and packed with magnesium— which lots of studies show is a key nutrient in battling the negative effects of stress. We like them best served in one of two ways: Brussels Sprouts Gratin is a comforting, two-step pile of heaven that is like eating hugs— hugs that are full of cheese. Sprouts with Honey, Sriracha, and Balsamic Vinegar, on the other hand, are spicy and tangy and pretty refreshing. They both make a quick, idiot proof pseudo-meal that you can wolf down over the kitchen sink when you’re too tired to sit down.
Beer Floats are like rootbeer floats but better. They bring the same frosty, slurpy, messy, brainfreeze, but now that you’re an adult, they also get you drunk. They’re perfect for when you need your dessert to put you to sleep— or even for a decent and respectable dinner party in saner times.
adapted from Erin Watson, who thinks she adapted it from her partner’s mother, who thinks she adapted it from King Arthur Flour
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter
- 2 ¼ cups Sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp Coffee
- 1 ¼ cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa— we splurged and used Valrhona and it was just. like. the correct decision.
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 1 ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Chocolate Chips
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a 13x9” pan with foil for easy clean up, or just lightly grease iand dust with extra cocoa powder.
Over medium heat, melt the Butter in a medium sized saucepan. Once melted, add the Sugar, Vanilla, and Coffee. Cook until the mixture is hot, but not bubbling, and a little shiny, but still grainy— about 3 minutes.
Whisk together the Cocoa, Salt, and baking Baking Powder. Add the Eggs to this mixture until you get a kind of weird looking paste. Trust us. Everything will be OK. Quickly and carefully beat in the hot Butter-Sugar mixture and mix until completely smooth.
Fold in the Flour until just combined and barely stir in the Chocolate Chips at the last second. Immediately dump into your prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few desperately clinging crumbs.
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
adapted from Nigel Slater’s Tender
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 scant cup Half and Half
- 1 tbsp Grainy Mustard
- ¼ tsp Salt
- enough black pepper to give everything freckles
- 4oz Blue Cheese, like Roth Buttermilk Blue that we tried at Whole Foods once and cannot shut up about.
Preheat your oven to 450°. Lay the Sprouts out in a single, even layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
In a small casserole dish, whisk together Half and Half, Grainy Mustard, Salt and Pepper. Fold in the cooked Sprouts. Top with crumbles of Blue Cheese. Roast until bubbly and just starting to brown, about 15 minutes. This is not a great candidate for re-heating, but it tastes fucking fantastic cold.
Sprouts with Honey, Sriracha, and Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 squirt Sriracha— to your taste
Preheat your oven to 450°. Lay the Sprouts out in a single, even layer and drizzle with Olive Oil.
Roast until tender and browned on the edges, about 15 minutes.
Whisk the remaining ingredients together. Toss with your roasted Sprouts and immediately start shoving them into your face.
We totally stole this idea from our favorite local pizza joint, The Boiler Room. They’re amazing. Give them your money.
- Good Vanilla Ice Cream
- Good Dark Beer (stout, porter, what have you) with lots of Chocolate, Coffee, and Nutty notes. We often use Revolution Brewing’s Mad Cow Milk Stout or Founder’s Breakfast Stout. If you’re on the west coast, we bet this would be upsettingly delicious with Almanac Brewing’s Biere de Chocolat.
Scoop a few jagged chunks of Ice Cream into a tall pint glass. Top up with Beer, being careful to not let things foam all over the place. Drink with a straw and a spoon.