As it was for most of us, the past year has rough. I lost a beloved uncle to Covid, LA Food Works has moved to a virtual format only and my kids and I said goodbye to both our dogs. In May my sweet, spunky Buster died of cancer (he’s the white scruffy dog on the left) and last month, my beautiful, loving Pumpkin died at the ripe old age of 15. During these times when physical connections are so limited and precious, these two losses were especially poignant. And though our fur babies are never with us long enough, these two will be forever in my heart.
But I have some good news to share too! We have adopted two new pups who are both just about a year old. Carmella (the caramel colored pup on the foreground) showed up in my mom’s front yard in Palm Springs. It was a very hot October morning and Carmella was very pregnant! She gave birth a couple of weeks later to 6 adorable pups while she was being hosted by a foster family. She stayed with them and after weaning her puppies, I formally brought her home on December 29.
Last week, I met and adopted the pup at the back of the picture. I named him Tony because who else is Carmella going to hang out with?!? They get along great and although Tony is on the tiny side (he weighs about 10 pounds), he has an immense amount of love, snuggles, courage and smarts!
Through it all, I have felt so lucky and grateful my children and immediate family are still healthy and safe. I truly hope yours are as well.
As we inch toward a time when we will be able to gather again, please keep LAFW’s virtual events in mind for celebrations or team events. We love getting together, even if it’s via ZOOM and would love to “see” you all soon! Stay safe and well.
This heart is broken but it is not bitter :). It's actually quite sweet and delicious with the generous helping of Nutella in the mix! I used a heart shaped pan for added festivity, but a regular square one will do just fine. If you don't have any instant espresso powder, but would like to balance the sweetness a bit, 1 teaspoon of regular instant coffee will work too. Go ahead... Eat your heart out!
Happy Valentine’s to you all and enjoy some sweetness this weekend!
Fudgy Nutella Brownies
1/2 cup butter, plus more for buttering pan
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup Nutella
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
Combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a heat-safe bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir the mixture occasionally until melted. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 3/4 cup of Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread, sugar and eggs. Mix on medium-high for 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
Add espresso powder and vanilla and mix briefly to combine.
Turn the mixer to low and stream in the chocolate-butter mixture. Mix until well combined, then gently fold in the flour and salt.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread evenly with a knife or offset spatula and spoon several dollops of the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread evenly over the top. Use a toothpick or skewer to swirl the spread and brownie batter a few times, leaving big streaks of the spread on the surface.
Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. A toothpick inserted into the center should pull out some moist crumbs.
Let cool a bit, at least 15 minutes, or completely in pan then remove and transfer to a cutting board and enjoy! (If you are going to decorate, then make sure to cool completely).
Recipe By : Yossy Arefi at cooking.nytimes.com
Makes 16 servings, per serving: 230 Calories; 15g Fat (54.7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 39mg Cholesterol; 148mg Sodium.