That’s a Wrap!

grahams

I usually have some sort of sweet every day, but my treat of the moment are these chocolate covered grahams from Russ & Daughters. The chocolate is decadent, the grahams are crunchy…it’s the perfect combination. Needless to say, I’ll be going back for a whole lot more than .27 lbs worth (about 4 grahams). This week involved a lot of catching up on work and sleep due to last week’s major deadlines, and this weekend I look forward to escaping NYC for a short while (follow me here for behind-the-scenes of all things food and film). Until then, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* In honor of the Tribeca Film Festival kicking off on Wednesday (and film festival season starting!), here are 15 travel-worthy film festivals around the world.

Orange is the New Black has (already) been renewed for Season 4!

* Even astronauts need espresso.

* 10 wedding cake trends.

* The state of ramen.

* I love that there’s going to be a Wonder Woman movie. A new director was just announced for the film.

* Ice cream innovations for spring. Yum!

* HBO to Netflix: bring it on. Oh boy.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Photo by Lauren

Flourless Brownie Cupcakes

Flourless 3 - title

I was inspired to try making flourless brownies while standing in the middle of the baking aisle at the grocery store. I was curious as to what flourless brownies would taste like and decided right then and there that I was up for the challenge. Turns out, it’s not so challenging, and these flourless brownies were more delicious and rich than brownies I’ve ever made with flour. This was also my first time using coconut sugar (a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm) and arrowroot powder (a starch that comes from the rhizomes of several tropical plants) – very exciting. The top of the brownies are crispy/crinkly (insert word here for ‘top of brownie perfection’) and the insides are soft and decadent. Chocolate lovers, you won’t regret making these.

I wish I could capture the smell from the oven when these brownies were baking – it was unbelievable (and a good sign that my brownies were turning out alright). Try them for yourselves – they’re a healthy alternative to white sugar-loaded brownies and you’ll feel a little less guilty for eating four or five of them fresh out of the oven.

No butter, no flour, no problem. But – if you are craving brownies with flour, these are a winner.

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Ingredients

6 Tbsp. coconut oil
7 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
A dash of salt

How to Make Flourless Brownie Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your cupcake tin with liners.
2. Over low heat, combine coconut oil and semisweet chocolate chips until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Combine the eggs, vanilla, and sugar for 3 minutes with a handheld mixer.
4. Add the melted chocolate and coconut oil and mix.
5. Add cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, and salt to mixture. Use the handheld mixer to combine all ingredients until the batter is smooth.
6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners until they are each half filled. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let the brownie cupcakes sit in the warm baking pan for a couple more minutes. Remove brownie cupcakes and enjoy warm!

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Flourless 1

Flourless 4

Flourless 2

{Photos by Lauren}

That’s a Wrap!

Pac Man Cookies

This week I finished up the first half of Mad Men Season 7, and now I am even more excited for the second half of the season to air next week. I also went to visit an exhibit that had a couple of sets from the show, as well as many of the characters’ costumes, script notes, and props (more on this next week!). If you haven’t seen Mad Men yet, you’ve got a little over a week to watch all of the episodes on Netflix. Go ahead and binge watch, which would be made infinitely better with these Pac-Man cookies. Until then, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* Every Tom Hanks movie in seven minutes.

* Because even astronauts get cravings in space!

* Where are all of the good meet-cute places in NYC anymore?

* Things you never knew about Pretty Woman.

* Sushi lovers, this is your dream towel.

* This happens to me way too often.

* Amazing women in the director’s chair.

* All I’m craving now are these.

* Don’t forget to follow me for more behind-the-scenes!

Have a great weekend filled with food and film!

{Photo by Lauren}

Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving Desserts

Now that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I can’t wait to spend the morning in the kitchen baking one (or two) of these delicious desserts. When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, you can really have fun with the types of desserts you make. Apple, pumpkin, pear, cranberry…the options are endless!

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Rose Apple Pie with Bourbon Glaze | A Cozy Kitchen

Rosemary Cranberry Sorbet | Country Living

Coconut Pumpkin Pie | Heather Christo

Pear Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | A Dash of Cinema

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Flavor of the Month: Butterscotch

butterscotch fom

1. Cookie Butter Butterscotch Fudge |2.  Boozy Banana Butterscotch Ice Cream | 3. Butterscotch Eclairs |4. White Butterscotch Buddies | 5. Butterscotch Sundaes with Caramel Popcorn

Made primarily of butter and brown sugar, Butterscotch can be used for a variety of treats. The butterscotch eclairs with a plaid design are super creative and would be fantastic as a party snack. Similar to toffee with a honey color, butterscotch can be devoured as a syrup or a hard candy. October is the perfect time to whip up some butterscotch desserts and candies since it’s the designated candy month (okay, maybe that’s every month). But, you won’t go wrong with making butterscotch goodies for trick-or-treaters this coming Halloween.  Make your autumn even more special with this sweet flavor, and since it’s  simple to make as a syrup, you can pair it with pretty much anything. Nothing wrong with a little butterscotch on butterscotch!

Pear Crisp

Pear Crisp and Ice Cream

If you haven’t yet found the perfect autumn dessert, look no further. Upon first taste of this Pear Crisp, you won’t want to eat any other dessert. Or food for that matter. The recipe is quite simple and the only time-consuming part is waiting for the crisp to bake for 30-40 minutes. I used less sugar for the pear portion of the recipe since the pears I picked were already very sweet and ripe. This dish is best served warm, with a generous serving of vanilla bean ice cream.

Ingredients

Filling:

1. 5 pears
2. 1/3 cup of baking sugar
3. A pinch of salt

Topping:

1. 1 & 1/2 cups of All-purpose flour
2. 1/3 cup baking sugar
3. 1/3 cup light brown sugar
4. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
5. 3/4 cup chopped pecans
6. 1 stick of melted butter (zap it in the microwave for about 1-minute)

Recipe

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash and peel the pears.
3. Cut the pears in half (from stem to bottom) and use a spoon to remove the seeds.
4. Dice the pears and place into a large bowl with the 1/3 cup baking sugar and pinch of salt.
5. In a second large bowl, mix together the flour, baking sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. Mix in the melted butter until you have a crumbly texture.
6. In a baking dish, spread the pears around the bottom and layer the crumble mixture on top.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes (40 minutes if you want a more golden brown on the crumble).
8. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream and don’t forget to help yourself to seconds!

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{Photos by Lauren}

Around Town: Cooks County, Los Angeles

aOn the side of a long, busy road in Los Angeles, a small restaurant with a bright blue awning called Cooks County serves some of the best farm-to-table dishes I’ve tasted. The space is small with dark wooden tables and chairs, natural sunlight filtering through the front windows, and an open view of the kitchen. Starting with bread and a vegetable dish (to balance each other out, of course), we followed up our appetizers with salmon and pork chops. Everything was made with careful attention to detail and the dishes were incredibly rich in flavor. Of course, to end an already satisfying meal, we had to try the dessert. The fresh mint ice cream with homemade whipped cream was otherworldly. I hope to make it back to Cooks County soon. It was one of those meals you wish never ended.

P.S. A Farm-to-Table restaurant in New York City.

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{Photos by Lauren}