John here. And while those aren't my hands you see above (they're Elana's. And yes, those are actually cookies she baked), I did select the tune to accompany it. A power ballad of love if you ask me. It was the only way I could simultaneously compliment and combat Elana's seemingly endless string of mushy Valentine's Day posts; with a little sprinkle of 80's power glory.
And on this unique holiday, let Robert Palmer's "addictive" message - you can't sleep, you can't eat, there's no doubt, you're in deep - apply to not just the obvious, but whatever the heck it is you want it to; your significant other, a certain food or top 40 tune, reality tv, etc.
Just go nuts and enjoy yourself today. And keep reading our blog.
John and Elana
For those of you who are operating under the wire, last minute, and wait....tomorrow's WHAT day? Yeah, you. Here's a recap of suggestions for you:
Stuff to Buy
In Brooklyn try: Mast Brothers or Nunu Chocolates
In Soho try: Kee's Chocolates
In Chelsea try: Cocoa V
In Brooklyn try: Saipua
In Hoboken try: Sobsey's Produce
Intelligentsia Coffee (You can only find this in Chicago and Los Angeles, but you can click here to find locations)
Irving Farm Coffee
Stuff to Make:
Valentine Heart Cookies (also comes with Linzer and Ice Cream Sandwich variations)
French Toast Hearts with Nutella OR Heart Shaped Toasts with Honey Butter
Pizza (hey, it would work for me)
I was able to scamper uptown today for Dorie Greenspan's Pop-Up Cookie Bar and Food Blogger meet 'n' greet. I am extremely glad I did. The little box of cookies I have ("I'll have one of each please!") is now hiding behind one of my monitors so no one in the office spots it...
The Cookie Bar Pop up has popped down for now (the cookies all sold out), but you can check here for future engagements.
So far, I've enjoyed a Jammer, which is a combo of sablés, Sarabeth jam and streusel. It's like a cake in cookie form. I especially loved the streusel topping and the thickly cut bed of cookie on which it was perched. In the cab ride back to the office I started in on a Chocolate Chunker, which is the winner for me. SO moist. Ridiculously so (probably because of the Valrhona Chocolate – cocoa, pure unsweetened, Jivara Milk Chocolate and Extra-Bitter) with whole salted cashews and giant dried cherries. It knocked my socks off. Well, it was either the cookie or the cab driver's inventive traffic maneuvers.
Definitely head over to the Cookie Bar NYC website to stay updated on the next pop-up!
And thanks to Dorie Greenspan for the rad cookies. Yeah, I said the cookies were rad. So?
So, I'm sure you're all planning on making our Heart Shaped Nutella French Toast OR the Heart Shaped Toasts with Honey Butter for your sweetheart (or for yourself - why not?) this Valentine's Day.
But what to do with all those left-over pieces of Brioche after you've cut out the heart shapes? Don't be hasty and throw them away! Remember what haste makes. That's right: waste. And who would waste perfectly good Brioche? Not this girl. I did something with mine. I made French Toast Bread Pudding. Who wouldn't? Here's how:
What You Need:
Your leftover Brioche, torn to pieces and thrown into a 9" pie dish
3/4 cup of cranberries (you can use raisins if you like)
2 large whole eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk (I use milk from Ronnybrook Farm, because it's local, fresh and awesome).
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Confectioner's sugar for dusting and decoration
What To Do:
Place your Brioche pieces in a 9" round pie dish. You can use a rectangular dish if you like as well. Add in your cranberries (or raisins) and toss to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix together with a whisk the milk, eggs and all the other ingredients. Pour this mixture over the bread and berries in the pie dish. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, but overnight works too if you'd like to prepare it ahead of time and forget about it for a while.
When you're ready to bake, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dish and pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes. It should turn golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
Eat it warm, cold, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert....or late night. Leave no Brioche behind!
Hello, everyone! We have a special feature today over at Brooklyn Exposed. John and I run rampant through Brooklyn sampling chocolate from Mast Brothers and Nunu Chocolates. You can read about it here. Also included is a recipe for Spicy Hot Chocolate featuring a Mast Brothers chocolate bar.