My sister’s birthday was last Monday, but we didn’t get to celebrate with her until last night. She offered to make dinner as long as I brought her a chocolate birthday cake. Kara loves chocolate, and she loves brownies. So I started by just googling chocolate brownie cake. Well, what I found Kara and I have decided to call Chocolate Butter Brownie instead. Any recipe that calls for butter in terms of pounds rather than tablespoons is a bit scary… and automatically delicious. It really just calls for 1/2 lb, which is 2 sticks, but when you say it in terms of pounds it just sounds like more. Plus, there is an additional stick in the frosting. And a pound of confectioners sugar. And a brick of cream cheese. Wow. The recipe for Chocolate Brownie Cake is from Emeril and is definitely worth a try. It isn’t too hard to make and tastes great. The frosting recipe is a good one to keep on hand, it is a great chocolate buttercream frosting that could be used for anything, not just this cake recipe.
For our main course, Kara made fried black bean cakes which were awesome. Just as great was the cilantro cream sauce she made to go along with them. We also had Mexican pie (not sure what it’s really called, but that is what I call it) which is just layered tortillas, refried beans, salsa and cheese put in a pie plate and baked in the oven. SO good. We were stuffed!
Before dinner, Kara’s boyfriend Mark tested out a theory. He wanted to prove that wine tasted differently after breathing. He set up a pretty high tech tasting where we each got 4 mini glasses of wine, 2 had breathed and 2 hadn’t. We had to match up the 2 that were the same, determine which ones had breathed and determine which ones we liked better. I was surprised at what a difference there was. I wasn’t surprised that I totally messed mine up. I had to taste about 2 million times and eat 48 crackers in between to try to figure it all out. I ended up having them not even matched up, I got so confused, but it was fun and I learned that for even an unsophisticated palate such as mine, there is a definite difference and it does taste much better after breathing. It was fun!
After dinner, we played a new game that Ross’ sister Lara gave us for Christmas. Smartass is the name of the game, and as advertised on the box, you can win even if you are a dumbass! We actually played it twice, and had a ton of fun. Nights with Kara and Mark are always some of our favorites.
As a side note, I must add that one of my many wonderful Christmas gifts this year was a Slanket. A Slanket is a blanket with sleeves. Best. Invention. Ever. I am sitting here typing on my laptop and my entirebody is warm, not just my lower half. I am covered in blanket from neck to toe and all the way down to my wrists. I can play the Wii and stay warm, and I can lay on the couch and read a book, reach for my coffee, the remote or the phone and not have to suffer through that terrible cold breeze that comes when you have to pull your arm out from under the blanket to do any of those things. It’s great! I still have my piles of regular blankets everywhere else in the house that are perfect for sleeping and laying around, but this one is a nice addition to use when you want to be warm, but need to be doing something at the same time!