Authentic Homemade Hot Chocolate

28 Nov

Written and photographed by Rebekah Peppler

Rich, creamy and impossibly decadent, hot chocolate has lived up to its name as a drink fit for gods, warriors and kings for millennium. That is until America (okay, and Britain) got its sticky fingers all over it.While I grew up sipping my fair share instant hot cocoa made popular by brands like Nestlé and Swiss Miss, the distinction between hot cocoa and hot chocolate is much more than one word. It’s a varied history, rife with centuries of sweet, cocoa bean-laden roots.

Making its entrée into civilization around 1000 B.C., cocoa was first harvested by the Olmecs and made into a liquid by their better-known successors the Mayans, who then shared it with the Aztecs. The Aztecs, prodigious people as they were, bestowed it with the title Theobroma or “food of the gods”, spiced it with chili powder, honey and vanilla and served it lukewarm to give strength to their warriors.

When the conquistadors returned to Spain with their plunder of cocoa they replaced the Aztec’s spices with sugar, the warriors with the upper class, served it hot and kept it a secret for nearly a century. After word got out about the potation, hot chocolate spread rapidly amidst the high societies of Europe, picking up a proclivity for milk in Britain and maintaining its elitist status. Continue reading

Comfort Me, Franny’s Restaurant

28 Nov

Written by Anthony Ramos

As much as I love to cook at home I find dining out equally as enjoyable. Sharing food with friends and family at the communal table is comforting and rewarding. Our hip Park Slope friends invited us to meet them at Franny’s on Flatbush Ave for dinner. Continue reading

“Escoffier was a hustler!” ~ Anthony Bourdain

28 Nov

Written by Jason Greenberg

Listening to Anthony Bourdain speak is like running through a field of land mines. Okay maybe just a field of sound bites. He rattles off one-liners in such quick succession that you’re sure he had to have prepared them beforehand. Part journalist (he prefers storyteller), part chef, part writer and part comedian, hehas become not only the face of The Travel Channel, but also one of the most recognizable personalities in the food industry. Continue reading

Spicy, Smokey, Flaky Aleppo Pepper

28 Nov

written by Mei Chin

Aleppo pepper article, Eat Life FCI
I am not a spice lover by nature. My parents don’t stomach hot food terribly well, but it was somewhere in the late 90s when my mother introduced red pepper flakes to our larder. But even from the beginning, it was never enough. Discovery, circa 1997? I love hot pepper enough to make the pizza guy’s eyes bulge out when I order a slice.
But that kind of heat (the red pepper flake kind) is a straight shot, a one-two punch. Aleppo pepper, a fruity, sultry pepper from Syria, is not that kind of pepper. Continue reading

Oh, Hello Apple Pie and Cheddar Brisee

28 Nov

Written and Photographed by Rebekah Peppler

Let’s get this right out in the open. I’m from Wisconsin. Born and raised on brats, beer and cheddar cheese, I can hold my own at a -20˚F Packer game, possess intricate know-how in order to navigate the rowdy aisles of a Brewer’s game without spilling any choice beverages and can boast of growing up witha foam cheese-head and chunk of authentic Lambeau turf in the downstairs freezer.So, when it came time for the first apple pie of the year and I found myself back in my home state, I wanted to honor it in only the best of ways. What are the best of ways for a Wisconsinite? With cheese, cheddar cheese. Continue reading

The French Culinary Institute Restaurant Review, L’Ecole.

28 Nov

Written by Anthony Ramos

With fond memories of my culinary alma matter, I stole away a Friday afternoon to have a cozy lunch at L’Ecole – the restaurant at The French Culinary Institute in SoHo. It was wonderful to be back in the neighborhood, but strange not to head straight to the kitchen, instead being led to a table for two. The restaurant was buzzing with activity as I imagined the kitchen was too. Continue reading

How Coffee Was Discovered from a Bean

28 Nov

Written by Andrea Scalici

I don’t know if it’s my inquisitive nature or my obvious love of food but I often find myself pondering the origins of some of my favorite, can’t live without, treats. Like coffee for example; who would have thought that simply roasting some beans would turn into this amazing black elixir I couldn’t start my day without? And so began my quest to finally uncover such answers… Continue reading

BK Review: Seared Jumbo Scallops, Swordfish Kebabs, Grilled Calamari

28 Nov

Written by Tracey Ceurvels

When you walk through the open doors to this ground-level restaurant you might think you’re somewhere far more exotic than Brooklyn. But with the buses, cars and taxis whizzing down Fulton Street, there is no mistaking that you’re in Fort Greene.Welcome to Aqualis Grill, Continue reading

$25,000 Chocolate, Anyone?

28 Nov

Written by Deepa Chander

When I think about the most expensive chocolate dessert in the world, I picture it sitting proud on a plate, somewhere in the middle of an exotic resort being served by tuxeod clad gentleman, eating it while sipping the perfect champagne.But surprisingly, this is one dessert that I don’t have to travel far to find, just hop on the subway and get to Serendipity 3, right here in New York City. Deemed the world’s most expensive chocolate dessert, this lavish and luxurious item sells at a whopping $25,000. Continue reading

Cherry-Stained Photography & Dessert

28 Nov
Written and photographed by Rebekah Peppler

Is it just me or have the cherries never been better then right here right now? Firm, juicy and sweet as the heavens, these amethyst phenoenons demand a hot summer day, a seat on a concrete curb and a surfeit of garnet-stained hands and lips.  Continue reading