Sempre Dolce in NYC


I just got back  last week two weeks ago from a whirlwind trip to NYC and it was amazing! Let me tell you a little about it:

I went to New York to play in a winners recital (this competition here)  at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall – I wanted to hop over and see Louis Lortie who was playing in Stern Auditorium that same evening) and while I was there tried out some eats, however nothing really worth writing about – like I said, it was a whirlwind trip. However, it is amazing how much of NYC one can see in 24 hours! One place we ate at that is worth writing about however, is Alice’s Tea Cup. It was really good and quite a fun experience as well. Each one of us (my Mom, sister and my cousin, we left my brothers to find some place to eat on their own…) tried something different and of course we each had tea. As mentioned before, it was an enjoyable experience from the way the tea is served (you get your own teapot), to the cute tea cups, to the food itself; this place is definitely worth trying if you are visiting NYC . Another place would be this French bakery my siblings went to without me – I was on a plane. Oh my. The lemon and chocolate tarts were to die for! Another must for a visit. We also made it by the Magnolia bakery and aside from the chocolate cheesecake and lemonade (although it was slightly over sweet, but still good though) there was nothing really worth bragging about. The chocolate cake was good, but nothing that couldn’t be made at home. The flourless chocolate cake was a flourless chocolate cake (I love flourless chocolate cake, but this one just wasn’t anything, again, that couldn’t be made at home) and a little dry at that. I had heard the cupcakes were a close rival to Sprinkles Cupcakes, but truthfully I didn’t quite see that quality in them – don’t get me wrong, they were good and I have had FAR worse cupcakes, but I still like Sprinkles and maybe even Hey Cupcake in Austin better.


Other than eating, one highlight of the trip was Central Park. I know, how touristy can you get, right? I am not a big fan of doing the touristy stuff on vacation (like please, please do not go to Times Square – trust me)  but Central Park is an exception. I must confess it is different than I imagined. I always envisioned a large city park (maybe somewhat like the Boston Commons?), but this was like park meets nature. In the middle of the city. Lots of fun to be found there (if I had more time I would have liked to have tried the row boats :)). Another highlight (if you can call this a highlight, maybe I am easily amused?) was riding around in taxis for the first time. Unlike Boston, where the subway is pretty easy to figure out and for visitors preferable, I found walking or taking a taxi easier and less confusing (although I must confess that I did not even try to take the subway. My brothers did however and they confirmed that fact). But regardless, riding in taxis was fun (other than the fact that they are costly… but it’s New York, right?) as it reminded me of the old classic movies I love to watch so much. By the way, you know you are a big classic movie enthusiast (I am too; I do not often watch movies that were made past the 1950’s) , when you go around NYC thinking of all the movies that take place there and even quoting some lines as well. :)

Anyway, I had a wonderful 24 hours in NYC and can’t wait to go back someday. So with that said, on to other subjects.

I am posting another brownie recipe that I think you will love, but before you kill me for providing yet another brownie recipe, let me give you a little announcement:

I partially chose to post a brownie recipe today because it helps (or maybe a better way to put it would be that posting another brownie recipe is helping) give me an introduction to my new Brownie Of The Week (isn’t that just a brilliant name?) post that I will be doing every other week or twice a month. As you can tell and as I have stated before, brownies really excite me, so the idea of the many combinations that I can and am going to be fooling around with just excites me all the more. I hope you enjoy this venture of mine – I can’t wait to start!

Below are some of my creations thus far.

On this particular brownie recipe:

There is nothing that I did here that is much different from the original recipe except to add another source of chocolate. I added these. I know it’s past Easter and due to my lateness in posting this, you may not even have any left, but it is a good way to use up any extra candy coated chocolate Easter eggs you might have. I used the Hershey ones and they turned out really awesome! I mean, really awesome. So if you do manage to have any extra Hershey (or similar) chocolate candy eggs left or you stocked up when the Easter candy went on sale, then make these. Enough said. Make them, you won’t be disappointed; even my niece who can be a picky eater liked them, they’re that good!

Cottura felice!


~ You want to let the brownies cool before eating but if you want the ultimate chocolatey experience, then I highly recommend eating them while they are still somewhat warm. You won’t regret it!



 Easter Brownies  

For the brownies

1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 bag Hershey candy coated chocolate eggs


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and chocolate eggs.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

 Barely adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies



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