Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Those of us who cook typically aren’t content to keep it to ourselves. Our communal tradition of food demands some sort of audience—whether it’s coworkers peeling back the foil of a still-warm coffee cake or strangers liking the Instagram shot of your pad thai (#nom). When such sporadic appreciation fails to satisfy our egos, we tend to go big—and go home.

In other words, we throw a dinner party. Continue reading


Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buckeyes


If you’re trying to expand your vocabulary, moving around the country is a good way to do it. (Not particularly cost-effective, mind you, but rich in life experiences. At least that’s what we tell ourselves while looking at our bank account.) Our friend from Wisconsin refers to water fountains as “bubblers.” Jason’s relatives in New Jersey call colorful ice cream toppings “jimmies,” not “sprinkles.” Folks in Ohio have a special phrase (“Beggar’s Night”) for the evening their kids go trick or treating. No one outside the Midwest seems to understand that an “open house” can refer to both an event for house hunters and a graduation party. And it turns out the Texas A&M chant of “Gig ’em, Aggies!” is not short for “Go get them!” but actually refers to the practice of “gigging:” taking flashlights into swamps, shining them in the eyes of frogs, then stabbing the unlucky amphibians with a spear. (Because, Texas.)

Apparently “buckeye” is one such regional word—and I count myself fortunate to have it in my Hoosier vocabulary. Continue reading