It’s been 6 months since my last post and over 2 years since I’ve posted regularly.
I’ve received many texts and messages asking when I will return to writing, teaching, and traveling, your encouragement has meant so much.
One of the things I’ve been doing during this long break is refining recipes and honing kitchen skills and I‘m excited to share today, a new Even Better Brownie recipe. Chocolate makes everything better and a big ole batch of these brownies might make sharing, a little easier.
I remember fondly a discussion with Chloe Doutre, one of the world’s most renowned chocolate experts, as we tasted some of her favorite chocolates in Paris. She said, “Chocolate makes everything better, you have an email from your EX, eat a piece of chocolate FIRST…opening the bills, chocolate first; it softens the blow!” While I work hard not to stress eat (who am I kidding?) I eat chocolate every day because I adore it, it makes me happy and brings me joy.
The last 2 years have simply been unprecedented for the whole world. There is not a person or family that has not been touched and endured great loss in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our family has suffered too, loved ones are now gone and mourned daily and I know many of you have experienced these or similar losses.
There has been so much collateral damage. The consequences are like a wave rippling across society. I think about the children and young people, their goals and aspirations. The lost businesses, in some cases financial ruin, and the death of well-made plans and dreams.
It was in 2014 when a sweet cooking class student asked when I would take travelers along on my adventures in France. Many of you know the story, that night I had a dream in vivid color about bringing my love of France and food together and A Taste of Paris culinary adventures was born. My passion for inspiring and sharing all of the best that France has to offer was unleashed and I had the time of my life for the next 6 years.
After the onset of the pandemic, it took 15 months for clarity. Continuing to postpone travel was not going to be an option. Canceling all travel to France was necessary. Since March 2021, this is what I’ve been working on. Canceling reservations, negotiating for refunds, and writing checks to 56 travelers that had been scheduled for trips in 2020 and 2021. These 56 travelers had been caught in this web of uncertainty along with me Their patience and commitment were unmatched and I will always be grateful for that.
For over 10 months, I’ve been busy working behind the scenes to unspool 6 trips to France. Posting up to now was impossible for me as I have been heartbroken over the loss of my business, and the dream that had become such a part of my identity.
While I don’t entirely know what the future holds for me and my business, my passion and love for France and its many gifts remain strong. My mission from the start has always been to share food, to inspire you, and to discover a different view of the world. To compel readers to a life filled with joy and passion.
So a lot remains unchanged and as I write today, I’m eager to share many of the fun and interesting things that I’ve been doing for the last 2 years and of course recipes that I know you will love.
So without further adieu an EVEN BETTER CHOCOLATE BROWNIE!
Even Better Brownies
½ cup butter
6 ounces dark chocolate, 62% cocoa, chopped
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup extra dark cocoa powder
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Melt butter and dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time mixing until each is incorporated. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and mix just until combined. Add pecans, and chocolate chips if desired, mix and spread batter into prepared dish. Bake for 24-28 minutes until edges are beginning to brown.
I’ve missed you all so much! I hope you will comment below so we can get reacquainted!