Apparently it’s national ‘brownies at brunch’ month. Seriously… I have no idea what this even means or why it’s a thing, aside from the fact that brownies are good ALL THE TIME.
Did you know that the world’s largest brownie was 11feet long and served 1200 people! Before that one, the largest weighed in at 3,000 lbs. and was made with 750 lbs. of chocolate chips, 500 lbs. of butter, 850 lbs of sugar, 500 lbs. of flour and 3,500 eggs! Just gonna put it out there… If each of those 1200 people loved brownies as much as we do, then it probably wouldn’t have served them all :D
Brownies were developed in the United States at the end of the 19th century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the 20th century. These ones didn’t even have all that much chocolate in them, with most of the flavour coming from cocoa powder. This was waaaay before the debate over cakey and crumbly vs dense and fudgy… Talking of which, what’s your favourite? (There is a right answer to that).
In the world of sweet treat brownies are a staple now, but they’re going way beyond the original recipe! We’ve cooked quite a few brownie recipes, but not many are traditional!
There’s chocolate and beetroot brownies, which are somewhere between fudgy and spongy, with a brilliant earthy flavour coming from the beetroot. We’ve also tried adding cheesecake mix into brownies. You should too. Like… right now. That’s all there is to say on that topic.
Then there’s my personal favourite, the Townie. A cross between a tart and a brownie, this one is definitely not for the feint hearted, and I reckon it needs the freshness of the orange that we added.
Finally, we know that everybody loves mug cooking. This might just be the ultimate in mug cooking… Chocolate and Pecan Brownie in a mug. Well done Ben. Well Done.
Whether it’s brunch or not. You should DEFINITELY be celebrating the brownie in some shape or form this month. It’s the perfect excuse to ‘test’ a few recipes! :)
I think I found Laura’s Mess when just browsing through food blogs for inspiration. It caught my eye because the posts aren’t all about the recipe. Although the food is central, there’s always a story around the post. A reason behind the recipe that brings you back to read more, and inspires you to get out and have your own food adventure… However small it may be!
One great example of a non-recipe based post is the ‘Writing Process Blog Tour’. I bet this will interest a lot of people because it’s awesome to get an insight into how a blogger goes through a creative process (I wrote something similar about recipe development a while back too). Seeing how recipes come about can be even more inspirational than the recipes themselves!
Another great post is Laura’s 1 Year Blogiversary, with no recipe and just a short story about a mishap with some roast chestnuts! It’s really good to see what she learned after starting out with very little knowledge. It shows just how good it is to share your cooking experiences with like-minded foodies. It’s exactly what we’re all about!
OK, I think I’ve got across that I really like Laura’s writing style, which is present in every recipe… So how about some food? :) It’s just a good as the writing, and there’s a real mix of good looking sweet and savoury stuff! From the simplest Rosemary, Sea Salt and Macadamia Oil Crackers, to some seriously yummy Maki Sushi and a sweet, sticky Coconut, Banana and Lime Cake with Lime Syrup and Candied Carambola.
In fact Laura’s Mess is another of those blogs where I’m struggling to narrow down the recipes. Slow-Cooked Lamb Ragu with Pappradelle and Gramolata? Sounds divine! Saffron Pear and Dark Chocolate Tart? Yes please. All washed down with a Pomegranate and Star Anise Soda? Sure!
You’ll need to head over to the blog to check out more of both the recipes and the writing. I’m pretty sure you guys are going to love it! Let us know when you cook one of these awesome recipes!
Our favourite recipe: Pavlovas taste great. Fact. But they’ve got to look good too, and this one is stunning!
Top reason to follow Laura: It’s not all about the recipes. Great stories and writing too!
Other stuff to check out: More great photos on Flickr and Instagram
A few weeks ago I jumped on a plane and flew to Sicily for the week.
For those of you who don’t know where this is… you may know it as the football shaped island next to the italian boot, as the home of the infamous sicilian mafia or maybe its giant erupting volcano!!
These three of things have a major influence on one thing… The food!!
Football = Passion
The world recognises the Italians as the most passionate foodies in the world! Every meal we had was served with a sense of achievement at each restaurant, from the kitchen to the front of house everybody was proud of their creation and wanted to celebrate it with us. We were, however, there during the World cup, so sometimes that passion would turn into aggression and I’d end up with a Cannelloni in my face as I celebrated Italy being knocked out of the competition.
Mafia = Family
Sicily is the original home of the God Father and we all know how much food played a role in the lives of the Corleone’s, as “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold”. Food is used throughout Sicily as a way to maintain family tradition with recipes being passed down through generations over hundreds of years and they still taste absolutely incredible! My favourite sicilian dish was the trusty Arancini balls, I think I had at least two a day!! I also had a vibrant green lemon studle, but to this day i don’t really know what it was… any ideas??
Volcano = Fresh
Because of Mt Etna (that was actually glowing with lava at night) everything in sicily is extra fertile… including the locals! HA! This means the food is not only fresh but it’s packed full of nutrients. I had the best olives, lemons, veg, fish, pasta, sex, wine, bread and meat I have ever had!!! Thank you Italy ;)
As holidays go, when it comes to food… Scilly is now top of the list.
But now, I’m worried I may have peaked too early, where would you recommend I try next?!
A traditional afternoon tea was served on the last ever Concorde flight
Who doesn’t love an afternoon tea? I mean… It’s an extra meal! (No, it does NOT replace lunch OR dinner). It’s a separate entity that only happens once every so often, which means you appreciate it more. You savour those crustless sandwiches and the tiny cakes that you must have at least 10 of before you’re remotely full.
Talking of extra meals… Did you know that in the 1840s, people only ate two meals a day, breakfast and dinner? Anna the 7th Duchess of Bedford complained of a ‘sinking feeling’ in the afternoon. She began having a pot of tea and snack in the afternoon then introduced this habit to her friends in London and the trend quickly spread. Thank goodness for Anna! I would definitely feel the same way :D
In 2011, the Cliveden Hotel created the world’s most expensive afternoon tea at £550 per person – containing gold leaf, truffles, caviar and the most expensive coffee in the world (£50 per cup!).
There are also a few different variants of this ‘extra’ treat! There is Royale tea, which is afternoon tea served with champagne at the start and High tea which was taken later in the day and was a more substantial savoury meal, it got it’s name because it was eaten at the dinner table, compared to afternoon tea which was taken in armchairs. I think there’s probably enough time to fit afternoon tea and high tea into a day, right?
Then there’s cream tea, which is just scones and tea. In Devon, scones are topped with cream then jam, in Cornwall they are topped with jam then cream and arguments abound over where the cream tea was originally founded. I wonder what they’d think of our Apple and Blackberry Scones?
The highest afternoon tea can be found in Dubai where you can have an afternoon tea on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
There really is no excuse not to like afternoon tea. It’s popular all over the world and you can tweak it to include all of your favourites, both savoury and sweet. So here’s’ the question: What would you absolutely have to make a part of your afternoon tea?!
We’re highlighting some great food photography today, alongside just a few recipes with the hope of more to come!
Jiajia has quite a following on her Instagram and Tumblr accounts, Dilutedcoke, but we found her through her Sorted Food profile, ngjiajia. She has been posting foodie photos for years, and has always had a love of food, particularly baking! The one thing that she hadn’t done was to post recipes to go with her awesome photos… Until now! It’s amazing to see that the Sorted Food app can provide a platform for her to share her recipes and let other people try them out!
It really is all about the baking here… From awesome looking breakfast waffles to this stunning cake (recipe please!!). We’ve never used adzuki beans or shiro-an in cooking… let alone cake! Would love to taste this one! Oh and another recipe request would be for the Chocolate topped black sesame baked donuts… these sound brilliant!
Right now Jiajia is experimenting with ice cream, using #sixthdayscoops on Instagram. She’s uploaded a couple of recipes to Sorted Food as well, including Cheesecake, Butterscotch and Coffee Caramel flavours. Go check her out, and give her a follow on the Sorted Food app (username: ngjiajia)!
Our favourite recipe: The Cheesy Baked Oatmeal sounds interesting… Anyone else tried this before?
Top reason to follow Jiajia: She’s got so many foodie photos… can’t wait to see all the recipes!
Other stuff to check out: Instagram, full of food that Jiajia has cooked, and Tumblr for even more foodie inspiration.
Note to Self.
This morning you woke up at 6.30am to go to the gym, as usual.
At 6.31am you reset your alarm to 7.00am and went back to sleep. As usual.
You are a worthless puddle of DNA.
I also know you’re thinking… “things are busy at Sorted, there’s food everywhere and by the time I get home I’m too busy/tired to exercise.” Grow a pair. You spend about 4 hours a week watching 24. Jack Bauer isn’t too tired to save Los Angeles and Kim Bauer wouldn’t look twice at you with that gut.
It’s counterproductive for me to keep going on about what a procrastinating little tit you are so I’m going to tell how to sort your life out…
SORT IT OUT.
I actually hate you right now but I’m doing this because you’re better than this,
Your wasted potential (A.K.A Michael Huttlestone)Comments