New York Inspirations & A Lovely New Apron

We’re back from New York –  with more than just a few souvenirs.

 New York is one of those magical places that has the delicious charm of being exactly as is it appears in the Hollywood movies.

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A city that is rarely portrayed without a nod to it’s grubbiness or ongoing homeless crisis, it nevertheless symbolises the pinnacle of the American Dream. Skyscrapers tower above you from all sides, if you don’t stop marvelling at them you’ll find yourself with a crick in the neck!

I’m so glad we took the time to go away together, even if it was just for the weekend. Harold and I met almost ten years ago; both of us well practised singletons, we had to learn how to allocate time to each other. Now, with both kids demanding our attention and work piling up for both of us, I almost feel like we’re back in the noughties again!

Our main purpose of heading out to New York was to spend some good quality time together.

However, in a city like the Big Apple, shopping was always going to make up a good sized portion of our time there. On top of all the major designers, present in Manhattan’s huge shopping district, there are also a giant slew of independent, vintage stores that have got to be explored.

I found this gorgeous retro apron, which reminded me of a picture I’d seen in one of my Mother’s old baking books and just had to have it. At only $10, it’s safe to say that Harry was more than happy to make a gift of it for me. I’ve found recently that I’m getting more joy from clothes and items that have emotional significance, or a sense of nostalgia, than the most expensive off the shelf items. I must be getting older…

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We had a lovely time, getting to know each other again.

I’ll admit that we perhaps didn’t pack as well as we should – it was so cold out that, on the first night, we ended up staying in bed for most of the day! Still, it’s lovely to be back home with the kids again. It was a little difficult wrestling them away from Mum and Dad, I think they’d got a little used to have them around and slipped back into their past lives as parents again.

Harry and I ate like pigs whilst we were out there, but it wasn’t all for nought! With every meal we gorged, I was (mentally) taking notes and inspiration for something to make the kids when I returned home.

The grandeur and decadence in American cuisine is never more present than in their desserts – these brownies are a reworking of a recipe I’ve been developing for a while now, with some Stateside indulgence thrown in for good measure:

States-sized Chocolate Brownies

[Makes 6 BIG servings or 10 modest portions…]

For the Brownies:fudge-brownies-1235430

200g Dark Chocolate [70% minimum]

160g unsalted butter

125g fine caster sugar

2 big eggs, beaten lightly

60g plain flourbrownies-632963_1920

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 standard sized bar of chocolate [Mars, Snickers or any other is fine]

Serve with:brownie-548591_1280

Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Sauce

Banana

Caramel Sauce

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4 and grease your tin – square or circle is fine.

Melt dark choccy in a bowl above a saucepan, add the butter once it’s melted and stir together.

Grab your bar of chocolate and chop it into small chunks, stir it into the mix and then you’re good to go!

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, there should be cracks all over the top when it’s done.

Leave it to cool before tipping it out on a wire rack to air out.

Serve warm or cool with any of the above suggestions, I love a big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream with a decadent pool of Caramel Sauce.


Definitely not something you (or your kids) should be eating everyday, but a perfect way to top an indulgent meal and a real winter warmer, when you serve it hot!