Monday, September 11, 2017

Dark Chocolate & Black Walnut Brownies | The Beast is an Animal


         I had the opportunity to meet author Peternelle van Arsdale at the NOVA Teen Book Fest earlier this year, and when I asked her what her debut, young adult novel The Beast is an Animal would be if it was a food, she said dark chocolate... and also black walnuts! We brainstormed for a hot second and came up with the idea of rich, dark chocolate brownies with black walnuts mixed in. Boy-o, these things are truly dark and dangerous. :)

Note: This recipe is part of my #IfBlankWasAFood series which you can check out on Instagram! I began asking authors this question a couple of years ago and kept getting so inspired. I decided to start doing photo shoots pairing the books with their food counterparts earlier this year, and have made many of the foods myself. :) Sometimes you'll find recipes for such foods here, or on Instagram. :) ((Past recipes on the blog have been plum cake, peat cake, icey cream, and candied plums.))


Dark Chocolate & Black Walnut Brownies

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Dark Cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 Box (3.56 oz.) Dark Chocolate Instant Pudding (I used Hershey's Special Dark again!)
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Flavoring
4 Eggs, room temperature
1 Cup + 1/2 Cup Black Walnuts, chopped
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Directions:
Grease an 8"x11" pan & pre-heat your oven to 350ºF. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, pudding mix, baking powder, & salt.

Dice one stick of butter & put it in a large glass measuring cup. Pour the sugar in & then dice the second stick of butter & put it on top. Put the glass in the microwave for 1 minute & then stir. Heat for another minute & stir again. Heat for an additional 30 seconds & stir. Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl of the dry ingredients & stir well.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs well & then stir in 1/4 of the egg mixture at a time into the mixing bowl until combined. Fold in 1 cup of the walnuts plus the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan & spread evenly. Top with the rest of the nuts. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven & let cool for a couple of minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to separate the sides of the brownies from the pan. Let cool a little bit longer & then cut & serve. Great with vanilla ice cream!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Asteroid B-612 Smoothie Bowl | The Little Prince

          I've been wanting to post a recipe for The Little Prince for such a long time now, and have actually been sitting on this one for ages! Now that we're heading into full-on Spring, and soon Summer, I thought this would finally be a good time to share it.😊

         I love the simplicity and poignancy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's story; it's so touching and beautiful. The animated film (adaptation? Interpretation?) that was released in the US last year on Netflix was also very moving (I watched it alone at night so I could bawl freely). I especially loved the animation style of the scenes that were directly from the book (the Little Prince and Fox figures in the photos are toys from those scenes in the movie). As a little kid, I watched the Japanese TV series adaptation, "The Adventures of the Little Prince", and it was one of those shows (flashes of its imagery anyway) that always stuck with me. I feel like The Little Prince is the kind of story that yes, is fantastical and can lead to wonderful imaginings and interpretations, but is also haunting and lonely and beautiful. There's such a sadness to it, juxtaposed to the wonder of it. I suppose that's what makes it a classic.😊


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Meaty Rice Balls | Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

          Aahhh! 😊 I got my Switch along with "Breath of the Wild" back at the midnight release and have just been loving it ever since! "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is so incredible and immersive, and there is so much food that Link can make! And I love how cute the animations and cooking tunes are, and how adorable Link's expressions are.
          Many foods have stood out to me as ones I'd love to recreate, but one at the top of the list is the "meaty rice ball", because I love meat! and the look of it is very appealing (okay, I think they're adorable😉).

"The sweet and spicy meat stuffed into these rice balls will keep you full for some time."

—In-game text, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Plum Upside Down Cake | Shadow Magic

        After reading (and loving!) Shadow Magic when it released this time last year, I asked author Joshua Khan what the story would be if it was a food and he replied, "a dark plum. Sweet and bloody." A perfect answer. Not only does it match the amazing cover illustration by Ben Hibon (who also did internal illustrations), but I can totally picture Lilith Shadow chomping on dark dripping plums in Castle Gloom.
          In celebration of the (US) release of Dream Magic (4/11/17), the sequel to Shadow Magic, I'd like to share this recipe for upside down dark plum cake inspired by Mr. Khan's answer! Haha, I can also envision this dense, flavorful cake being served in Castle Gloom, perhaps on silver trays by zombie servants. Maybe it's even a traditional dessert in Gehenna, served on special occasions, who knows?😉

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Black & White Cookies | Voltron: Legendary Defender


          Happy birthday today to Takashi Shirogane, AKA Shiro from "Voltron: Legendary Defender"! Shiro (voiced by Josh Keaton) is actually a Leap Year baby (Feb. 29th), so there's a joke that he's really only 6 years old ;). Before Shiro's birthday was announced, I had in mind to do these "black & white" cookies, but the birthday made the perfect occasion (like the roll cake pops for Hunk's birthday last month)! 

          At first glance, these cookies match Shiro because of his hair; black with the little white tuft in front, the white appearing because of his ordeal at the hands of the Galra (no pun intended). On another level, they represent his name "Shiro" which means "white" in Japanese and the fact that he's the paladin of the black lion. Going deeper still, the duality these cookies present alludes to Shiro's kind, calm, positive, and uplifting personality in juxtaposition to the darkness he experienced during his internment with the Galra, the lasting effects it has had on him (at the end of season 1 we even get a glimpse of a splinter of Shiro's personality brought on by Haggar's magic that fans have dubbed "Kuro" which means "black" in Japanese).

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