Wednesday, November 2, 2011
It's been a while, I know it. But so much has happened in these past 8-9 months and I just got caught up with life. I've started a new site over on Wordpress that will help you understand where we've been. I didn't have a baby or anything like that, but we bought a house and I'm trying to get a new blog to go along with it. New house, new life, new blog. I'll still be talking about the same stuff but in a new format. Come follow me at Next Stop: Our House (nextstopourhouse.com) and I'll try to pick up where I left off. I appreciate your patience and your support, and I look forward to having you guys meet me over there.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I am a garlic whore. Yes, I’ll admit it. I put garlic in just about everything (savory that is,) so much so that Dennis feels like I’m overpowering the food. Overpowering? What? You can never have too much garlic!
I found this recipe on the Food Network while watching it at work during lunch. Yes, my job is that cool.
I knew I had to try it because I love garlic, I love pizza, and since the Mr. always complains about homemade pizza, (“it just doesn’t taste as good!!”) I thought this would be worth a shot.
And, it’s easy. I mean, really easy. Thanks Sandra Lee!!
Quick and Easy White Pizza adapted from Semi Home Cooking with Sandra Lee (click HERE for original recipe)
What I used:
- One package of Crescent Roll biscuits (in the can)
- 1/3 cup garlic Alfredo sauce
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 4 T shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
What I did:
Preheat oven to 400.
- Open the can (wait for the POP! It scares me every time)
- Roll out the dough on a cookie sheet. Press down to make even and stretch out as much as you can without breaking the dough
- Place in oven for about 7 minutes, or until crust starts to brown
Doesn’t this look awesome? I could just eat the dough plain!
- Remove from oven and put on your toppings. Start with the Alfredo sauce, then onions, then garlic, cheese, and seasonings. (that’s how I did it)
- Bake for another 8-10 minutes
It’s not traditional, but it’s quick, easy, and pretty darned tasty. And I love Crescent rolls, so that made everything even better. The buttery, flaky crust mixed with the garlic and cheese…sooo good.
This would be good to take to a party. You can cut it into squares, put some maranara on the side, stick with toothpicks and BAM! Instant appetizer.
And who can say no to pizza?
Monday, March 7, 2011
When I was a kid, my mom and I used to eat New England Clam Chowder out of a can. How shameful.
When we moved to Boston in ‘06, we tried so many different kinds of NE clam chowder. Some were more watery, some were thicker. Some had huge clam chunks, some had smaller ones. We watched specials on the making of the perfect clam chowder, clipped many magazine recipes, and searched high and low online. After all that research, perfection was made.
I like mine chunky; full of potatoes and large pieces of clam. And I also like it creamy. Dennis prefers it served in bread bowl, but we’re not that fancy.
And in case you couldn’t already figure it out, there is nothing healthy about this recipe. You’ve been warned.
New England Clam Chowder
- 4 (6 1/2 oz.) cans minced clams with juice
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 medium baking potatoes, chopped in 1/2" cubes
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup water retained from steaming clams
- 1 cup clam juice
- 1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 T corn starch (or to desired consistency)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- Oyster crackers
- In a large frying pan, cook bacon and potatoes over medium heat for 5-7 minutes
- Add onion and garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes
- Transfer contents of frying pan to a large soup pot. Add chopped clams, clam juice and white wine and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes
- Stir in thyme, salt and pepper
- Reduce heat to low. Add corn starch gradually to milk and stir until thick and smooth.
- Add milk/cornstarch mixture slowly, then the heavy cream, stirring frequently until chowder begins to thicken slightly
- Serve with oyster crackers (or not. I don’t need them)
This was better than any canned recipe could ever be, and it wasn’t that difficult to make. I found a recipe for the CrockPot that I might try next, only because I love my CrockPot.
And you know what else made this chowder so good? I didn’t make it. Dennis did. With a little company.
Do you prefer New England style clam chowder or Manhattan?
I like the NE style for a special treat because it’s so rich and heavy, but since the Manhattan style is tomato based, it’s a lot better for your waistline.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Ok, ok, wipe the drool off your mouth. I know when I found this recipe on Tuesday afternoon that it took everything I had not to dive into the computer and attempt to eat one. Just seeing “Nutella” in a recipe title is enough to keep my attention, so I won’t waste any time.
Nutella Cookies, taken from here
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat sugar with egg first. Add flour. Then add Nutella.
WARNING: Your batter will be crumbly and you will think you made a mistake. I know I did. I added some water to the batter just to make it workable. This batter was much too dry to hold a shape.
Roll them into 1 inch balls and flatten them with the back of a glass. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
The cookies on the left had water added to the batter. The cookies to the right did not. They tasted the same but the drier batter made for more crumbly cookies.
I hate to say it, but I wasn’t ALL that impressed. However, Dennis and my co-workers really liked them. One of my co-workers said he thought it was be a good breakfast cookie because it’s not too sweet and would pair well with coffee.
Don’t be afraid to try these just because I didn’t care for them. I don’t like peanut butter cookies but I love peanut butter, so I’m not a good judge here. If you like Nutella, give these a try. It’s a simple recipe that takes no time at all, and you probably already have everything in your pantry. We always have Nutella on hand, but if you don’t, it’s pretty cheap and available everywhere.
I’m not done working with Nutella though. My mom’s coming into town this weekend…I might have something up my sleeve.
Have you tried baking with Nutella?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
wasted spent the first 25 years being afraid of Indian food. I had never tried it and for some reason, was scared at the thought. Curry, for SURE, is a weird spice that would definitely give me a stomach ache. Cardamom? What is that? Tumeric? What are these strange spices that you want me to consume? (ha! these thoughts coming form a Puerto Rican who grew up eating things that others would find weird too.)
Luckily, one of Dennis’ best friends from college is from Mumbai. He turned him on to his native cooking from the start, and it’s now Dennis’ favorite cuisine. When we first started dating, he insisted on taking me to his favorite Indian restaurant from college up in Rochester NY. I wont lie; I was scurrrd. But 6 years later, it’s now one my favorite cuisines as well.
Tip: If you’re going to try a new cuisine for the first time, go to a lunch buffet. I usually hate buffets, but it’s the only way to try lots of different things, allowing you to figure out what you like.
Since I have half of my 5 pound bag of lentils still sitting in my pantry, I decided to give Daal a shot. I found this recipe from my favorite veggie slowcooker book and went to town.
Slow Cooked Daal with Quinoa
Adapted from Here
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp minced fresh minced ginger (I used ground ginger)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 ground cardamom (I didn’t have any)
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground curry
- 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used pink beans)
- 3 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pour the oil into a 4-quart slow cooker and set it on high
- In a food processor, puree the onion, garlic and ginger and add it to the cooker. Cover and cook to mellow the flavor and remove the raw taste while you assemble the other ingredients. Stir in the spices and cook, Stir for 30 seconds.
- Turn the setting to Low. Add the lentils, beans and water. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Before serving, season with salt and pepper and adjustthe others if necessary.
Most of the time, Indian dishes such as Daal are accompanied with basmati rice. I didn’t have any, so I decided to use Quinoa instead.
What I loved about this recipe is that it’s easy, it’s packed with protein, and my house smelled so good while it was cooking. I mixed it in with the quinoa but it can also be eaten plain and of course, the traditional way with basmati rice. The spices are not overpowering but they’re prevalent.
What’s your take on Indian food? Love it or hate it?
Monday, February 28, 2011
After Friday’s cry about Otto the cat, I started doing a lot of thinking about being a meat eater. Dennis made this awesome ribeye steak marinated in a sweet and spicy type sauce, and as I was eating it, I felt kind of guilty. He asked if I liked it and I said, “yeah, but it’s not as good as it was to me the last time I ate it.”
Wondering what was different, I said, “I think I need to give up meat again.”
I said “again” because when I was 15 I gave up meat. At the time it as mostly because I had very high cholesterol and I thought it would help. The thought of not eating animals did make me feel like I was doing something “good,” but it wasn’t a good enough excuse to get my mother to stop cooking with it. In fact, she was not very supportive about it (not in a mean way - it was more of a ‘You will eat what I make’ type attitude since we didn’t really have a lot of money and she couldn’t afford to cook separate meals.) So after a while, I decided to eat chicken but not beef, pork, or venison. This lasted about 3 years, and then I got lazy. I was in college, and at the time drinking soy milk was still considered weird (I always got picked on for choosing Soy Dream over milk in the cafeteria.) So being vegetarian was much more difficult than I had the desire to deal with.
Truth be told, I really don’t use a lot of meat when I cook anyway, and when Dennis travels for work, I go the entire week without one piece of meat without thinking twice. I don’t miss it. I don’t need it to feel like my meal is complete.
When he asked me why, I said, “Honestly, I get so upset when animals are hurt and abused. I got so upset over Otto last week, but here I am eating a slab of beef. It’s just .. not right.”
So instead of telling me I’m stupid or shrugging off my feelings he suggested making sure our meat is free range and grass fed, and said we’ll have to start paying more attention to the meats we buy. If we get them from local farmers, we’d be helping them stay in business while not supporting corporate slaughterhouses.
“But, you’re still killing the animal.”
I felt like I was a kid trying to understand how the world goes round. You know how kids can be so curious, innocently (and naively) questioning everything? Yeah, that was me yesterday. I almost felt like a hypocrite, and suddenly, it didn’t taste as good to me anymore.
So now what? Do I fall prey to the labeling thing and start going veg again? Or do I keep it open and only eat meat that I believe lived a happy life and was killed in a humane way?
Is there a humane way to kill an animal for our consumption?
I’ve battled with this on and off for years…this is definitely not the first time I’ve felt this way. I don’t, however, want to be labeled as something and the come Thanksgiving, fight with everyone about how I refuse to eat the turkey that was obviously killed anyway. Having it there defeats the purpose, no? What if it was a locally raised turkey and I could be helping a farmer put his kid through college?
Oh, the moral issues of eating meat. How do you feel about it?
Friday, February 25, 2011
View more videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com.
This story broke my heart.
I didn’t even want to watch this news story because I knew it would hurt. But I wanted to give Otto’s owners a chance to prove me wrong. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t stereotyping the owners as being people who just didn’t know how to handle him, or who just have tried so hard with no avail and went to their vet for help.
Alas, I was absolutely right. The family was so frustrated after clearly over feeding and not properly caring for their animal, that they brought precious Otto (short for Ottoman if you didn’t watch it) to be euthanized.
In my eyes, this is a form of animal abuse. It’s avoidable and it shouldn’t be happening.
Everyone picks on us for having the largest cat they’ve ever seen.
Although he’s always been big (he was 10 pounds at 6 months) when he was 2 he hovered just under 20 pounds. Our vet said it was a normal weight for a cat his size, but advised that we be sure he doesn’t gain any more weight.
At his next checkup a year later, he was 24 pounds.
We didn’t know how it happened. Dennis had just started getting really sick with his Crohn’s, and I swear Marley felt sad for him. It was almost like he was suffering too.
We put him on a strict diet, but he hated it. The food was expensive and he refused to it it. He would cause such a racket at night knocking things over and jumping on our bed, meowing at us with such a hunger, that we decided to monitor his eating in a different way. We got him a healthy weight formula food he would actually eat, fed him small amounts throughout the day, and got him a buddy to play with.
We tried running him around the house, we tried luring him to his food…and even after all that, he still gained weight. By the time it was all said and done, he was 26.2 pounds, and our vet told us he was in great danger of disease.
We were devastated. But we were also determined to get him back on track.
I did a lot of reading up on overweight cats and I found out that feeding cats dry food is bad. They are carnivores, meant to eat proteins, so feeding them dry food can be detrimental to their health. They can’t process carbohydrates like people and dogs can, so they gain weight. And a lot of indoor cats don’t get the exercise they need to burn it off.
Both our cats were rescue cats that both came from feral backgrounds. Their instinct is to eat as much as they can at once because, in the wild, you never know when your next meal is coming. Couple that with dry carbs and not enough hunting, and you get a 26.2 pound cat that we love dearly and hate to see unhealthy.
So we did a complete change of their diets. We started giving them more and more wet food and less dry food. We started running Marley up and down the stairs more, and letting him go out on our patio to explore.
(until he starts eating grass….he likes to wait until he gets inside to throw up. so yeah, we have to monitor that too)
One time he actually starting chasing after a squirrel so fast that we thought we lost him. He took out a bird too. But we wanted to give him some of his natural instinct back without actually letting him be an outdoor cat because we thought it would help.
It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes a lot of dedication, but you can get your animals to lose weight and be healthy … as you SHOULD when you take on the responsibility of owning a pet. I feel like people get an animal for fun, but as soon as something goes wrong, they’re quick to abandon them. And as of Wednesday, Marley was down to 22.2 pounds.
The reason I bring this up is not to make you think I’m a crazy cat lady, or that I feel animals are better than humans. We need to wake up.
We are an obese country, not just our people, but our animals too. We need to stop and take a look around…take a minute to take better care of ourselves, our children, and our animals. They depend on us. And they deserve to be treated well too.
Happy Friday everyone, and if you have one, go hug your pet! And hopefully when Otto loses weight, he will be able to find a nice, loving and caring home to go to. Good luck buddy!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Something about store bought frosting scares me. Maybe it’s the crap that’s in it. Have you read the ingredient list? Even before I started becoming more conscience of what I eat, I’ve never been a store bought frosting type of girl. Too sweet, too sticky..I especially dislike buttercream frosting. Anytime anyone orders a bakery cake, it has that crap on it. So whenever I make a cake, I must make the frosting. This annoys Dennis as he loves store bought Vanilla frosting (ugh) so I try to make his extra sweet. Me, I prefer cream cheese frosting. And if you do too, this one will not disappoint. And I’m sure this would work with vanilla, chocolate, any kind of frosting you like.
The BEST frosting EVER. (Cream Cheese Version)
- 1 8oz. package of cream cheese (I used Philly 1/3 less fat)
- 3 T maple syrup, agave nectar, or sweetener of choice (I used raw half coconut nectar, half maple syrup)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 pint real whipping cream
- In a big mixing bowl with an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese, vanilla, and the sweetener of your choice until smooth and creamy. Taste.
- In another bowl, whip your whipping cream until it starts to form peaks and gets thick.
- Fold the whipped cream into your frosting.
The frosting gets extra creamy and the whipped cream gives it almost a lighter texture.
I loved it, but it wasn’t sweet enough for Dennis. Maybe next time I’ll make a separate bowl for him and add more sweetener, and then actually sweeten the whipped cream too.
I’ve actually used this cream cheese in my oatmeal as an after dinner/before bedtime treat. And, I used some of Heather’s 2 Ingredient Fudge, melted it, and mixed it in with the frosting to make a cream cheese fudge frosting. Yeah, it’s that good.
Please, if you try this, let me know what you think! And by IF I mean WHEN because you really need to try this recipe!!!
Monday, February 21, 2011
I’ve been on a bread making kick lately huh? I made one good loaf and now all I want to do is keep making different recipes. This one I found while I was looking for pepperoni rolls (remember those from last week?) This bread recipe was very simple: yeast, water, salt, sugar, flour. Period. (oh, and sesame seeds, since I have them on hand)
I used white whole wheat because I thought it would be a nice transition for someone in this house (ahem Dennis) who refuses to eat wheat bread.
I adapted the recipe from here.
One-loaf standard recipe
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (I always use a thermometer to be sure my water is between 105-110*F)
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour (Again, I used white whole wheat)
- Sesame seeds (optional. I added these myself)
- In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes.
- Stir in flour, a half cup at a time, and mix with a wooden spoon. When you get to the 2 cup mark, it will start to get tougher to mix, and although this can all be done by hand with your wooden spoon, I move the dough into my food processor.
- Process the dough, adding the remaining 1.5 cups of flour slowly, until your dough forms a ball.
- Take the dough out and knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Or, if you’re like me, until you’re sick of kneading and you realize you got some help from the food processor.) Mine never comes out perfect and I always fear it won’t rise, but it will. After a lot of research on bread making, a good rule of thumb is to knead until the dough can be pinched and the consistency is like an earlobe.
- Place in a greased bowl (I use Pam) turning once to grease the whole roll. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot until it doubles (about an hour.)
- Take out the dough, punch down, roll out a few times on a floured surface and place in a greased bread pan (again, I use Pam.)
- Place the towel back on the pan, let rise for another hour. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.***
- The original recipe says to bake for 25 minutes, but it was clearly not enough for me. It’s still very light and not as crispy as I would have hoped. You can always start out at 25 minutes and then check, but I should have trusted my instinct because I didn’t think 25 minutes would be enough.
The texture of this bread was more like a bagel, but I’m OK with that. Next time I will bake it for 35 minutes, and I can’t wait to try this with spelt flour, oat flour, and even regular AP flour to make the boyfriend happy. Overall, I like the ease of this recipe and when I mess with it a little more I’ll be able to properly grade it. Right now though, I still like my honey whole wheat recipe better.
Have you found a food that you can’t help but keep making over and over again until you perfect it?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
We’ve been getting unseasonably warm weather here in the DC metro area, and it’s been hard for me to run inside. Yesterday, I made happy hour plans with some girlfriends, so I decided to run before work to ensure I get my miles in. (Cherry Blossom 10 Miler here I come!)
It’s been getting lighter earlier too, which made this run especially easy for me. One of my favorite things about running in the morning is watching the sun rise. The sky lights up this orangey color, the birds start chirping, and it’s just peaceful to me.
But when you’re out there alone, it can make for a scary run.
(Isn’t that a cool photo? I got it from here)
I live in a pretty densely populated area, so there are always people out and about either driving or waiting for a bus in the morning, so I wasn’t worried about safety … until I got to a park that I love running through. It’s right next to a high school and it’s usually packed with people running and walking. As I came around the corner, I entered the park like usual and started running down the trail – and then it hit me: I’m the only one here.
One thing I DIDN’T do was run with my headphones. I figured I was already putting myself at risk by running in the morning when it was still slightly dark out, so I didn’t need the extra risk of not being tuned into my surroundings. As I ran farther down the trial and saw the glow of the sun peeping through the trees, I realized that I was running further into the woods. An eerie feeling washed over me and without even realizing it, I turned around and started sprinting back to the street.
I don’t know about you, but even though I cut my run short by a mile, I felt much better being safe than sorry. I just have to make that mile up later on this week.
Do you run/walk outside in the morning before the sun comes up? Do you feel it’s safer than at night?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
First off, as you can see I’ve made some changes to my blog. I added an About Me page (finally!) and will be working on a recipes tab as well. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!
Second, I hate Valentine’s Day. I do, however, enjoy an excuse to make something festive. Red Velvet cake? Sure! Chocolate fondue? Why not? I, however, found out that a friend of mine can’t make the Cherry Blossom 10 miler this year and asked if I would be willing to take her bib. (Umm, yes please!) This means that running is a priority since I only have about 6 weeks to prep for this. And since I’ve been doing a lot more Body Pump and spinning than running these past 6 weeks, I need to get my butt in gear pronto.
So instead of going straight home from work to have a nice evening with D, I decided to trek my sore behind to the gym. Why sore? Because Body Pump is kicking my ass, and I just upped my weights in Sunday’s class.
Holy cow did I struggle through this run.
Do you suffer from treadmill envy? I sure do. If I know there are people around me that can see my speed, I turn it up. If I know the person next to me is running faster than I am, I’ll turn it up. It’s stupid. I’m competitive. But yesterday, I was feeling like running at a 12 minute mile pace was perfect for me … and I just couldn’t bring myself to run that slow. My legs were like bricks, my back and legs were sooo soorree…. but God forbid I let anyone see me running with a 5.5 on the treadmill. Helllls no. I’m a runner!! What would they think?? “Oh, well if I was running that slow I’d be able to run too!”
Why do I care?
On to the Pepperoni Bread. (it’s kinda red, no?) And since I was a complete mess after my failed run, I was no good to do anything more than making this for dinner.
You can make the dough part of this ahead of time (which I did) and just add the filling, roll up and bake when you’re ready. It’s pretty easy once the dough is made, and after I tweak things I will come at you with a better recipe. For now, though, this will do.
INGREDIENTS: (makes two loaves)
Source Grandma's little red book
Submitted by Pualani Anzelmo Wagner
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1/4 cup warm water 110*
* 1 cup warm milk 110*
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 cup thinly sliced pepperoni (or Turkey pepperoni .. still just as tasty but without all that grease dripping down your arm)
* 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
* 1 egg and a little water mixed together
* Sesame seeds for sprinkling on top (optional)
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften
Stir in milk, sugar, salt and oil. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix to blend. Stir in 1 1/2 cups more flour
Then add remaining flour in bowl and mix. (I did this with my hands)
Place on a floured flat surface and knead dough until elastic (about 5-6 minutes)
Then cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled about 1 hour
Punch dough down, turn out onto floured surface and divide in half
Grease baking sheet
Flatten dough like a pizza
Add all above mixture on the top of the bread
Roll like a jelly roll, pinch edges
Looks good no? It was very doughy and I was a little disappointed. Dennis loved it though and has already asked me to make it again, so I’m going to have to play around with the dough a little bit.
Have you had a pepperoni roll before? Apparently it’s THE food of West Virginia. I grew up eating them in NY, but whatevs.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I’m telling you, these brownies were ridiculous.
Dennis and I subscribe to Bon Appetit and this month’s issue featured a brownie boasting this headline:
“These are some of the best brownies we've ever had—fudgy in the middle and chewy on the outside with a shiny, crackly top. The browned butter adds a rich, nutty flavor.”
Dennis looked at me, drool and all, and said, “Yeah, you have to make these.”
I’ve never been one to turn down the opportunity to make something that’s claimed to be the best ever. Our hopes were high with these, and I will tell you that they didn’t disappoint.
O Face Brownies
courtesy of Bon Appetit
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, chilled
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup walnut pieces
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F.
Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend.
Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).
Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.
When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended.
Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Look at how rich this batter is!!!
Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes.
Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
It has a crunchy first layer and the middle is so moist and chewy. And the butter? Yeah, the butter makes this recipe. Now clean up your drool and go make them. Now. You will not regret it, I promise.