Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread that Italians seem to love spreading on everything, is a food item that our family has deemed strictly off-limits. It’s not because we don’t love slathering a chunk of leftover crusty baguette with a spoonful of the stuff to go with our morning coffee; instead, it’s because we love it too much, and are simply not responsible enough to have it in the house. Like Cheez-It Crackers, marinated mozzarella, and peanut butter granola bars, we just can’t have a jar around without eating it in one sitting, and so we choose to skip it altogether.

Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

But when it’s your birthday, you get to throw good sense and rationality out the window and eat your favorite things, no matter what they are. And that’s what today is: It’s Jillian’s birthday. I wanted to bake her something special, something that combined all of her favorite sweets into one over-the-top cupcake that would make her senses explode and her body start racing furiously to produce extra insulin. The Nutella buttercream was a no-brainer for Jillian’s ideal cupcake, but the real surprise here is inside, where an entire Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolate candy is baked right in. They’re weapons-grade bombs of sugar, fat, and butter, perfect for special occasions or to tell someone you love them. Happy birthday, Jillian.

Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

P.S. Do not keep tasting the buttercream as you work, or by the time the cupcakes are ready, the sugar overload will have made your heart explode.

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On The Rocks: The Protestant Reformation

This cocktail is derived from two classics: The Perfect Manhattan and The Presbyterian. Its name I chose because, as it turns out, Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, generally considered the catalyst for breaking up The Roman Catholic Church’s monopoly on the minds and souls of western civilization, has not come up in my adult life as often as I thought it would when I was studying history and humanities in college. As I was typing this, it occurred to me that I should write a Weird Al-style song to the tune of Jay Z’s 99 Problems about this significant event. Because who doesn’t think it’s cool when a 30-something white mom from Connecticut raps? Everyone. Fortunately it’s already been done by some kids studying for the AP test. It’s totally so nerdy, but I already want to listen to it again. Thanks, internet. So, the drink. A splash of ginger syrup adds just a touch of warmth. I love the pretty orange-sugary rim, which gives it a festive fall holiday touch. I could drink a lot of these. But I won’t. You should, though. Unless you have work or school tomorrow or have kids or are under twenty-one or are on antibiotics or driving. I used Bulleit rye whiskey and orange peel by J.R. Watkins.

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Sirloin Steak Tips Au Poivre

I’d always assumed that so-called “steak tips,” those cut up chunks of beef slowly greying under cellophane at the bargain end of the meat case, were some sort of mystery meat, more in line with hot dogs than with actual beef. I incorrectly assumed that steak tips were a collection of scraps from the butcher, cut form multiple parts of the animal, much like those giant packages labeled “stew meat.”

I couldn’t have been more wrong. As it turns out, steak tips are a bit of a regional specialty, found mostly in New England. At as high as $11 bucks a pound, they can be anything but a cheap cut. Cut from the upper part of the sirloin, they’re a tender cut perfect for stir fries, beef stroganoff, or in this case, rolled in cracked peppercorns, seared, and served with a red wine pan sauce. It’s a quick, easy weeknight meal that you can cook with a baby resting on your hip.

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8 Dishes to Get You in the Thanksgiving Mood

If food bloggers have a Superbowl, it’s Thanksgiving Day. Oh, sure: There’s the giving thanks and the cornucopias and the shoes with big brass buckles and all that. There’s also no other holiday where you are given permission (nay, encouraged), to eat as much as is physically possible, pressing well beyond the point of simple satiation and into a terrifying new zone of stretched stomach lining gluttony and overindulgence. The pressure of preparing a perfect meal and the arrival of long lost friends and family means plenty of midday drinking, and that distinctly guilty feeling you get when you wake up  from an afternoon nap feeling just as fat and full as you were before you slipped unwillingly into slumber like a huge hibernating bear.

Here at From Away Worldwide headquarters, you can count on a November filled with Thanksgiving recipe ideas and tips, as we count down to the big day. Here are a few of our favorites, to help get you in the mood:

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Classics: Fudge Brownies

It’s our very first grown-up Halloween. Our first Halloween with a giant bowl of Kit-Kats and Butterfingers and the porch lights on for trick-or-treaters. Our first year answering the doorbell, admiring all the Batmans, princesses and and witches, then snapping off the lights at eight o’clock, after the last horde of kids were clearly creepy high schoolers, collecting their candy in an empty bag of chips. Our first Halloween with a squirmy baby dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood. Seven years ago we hosted a Halloweenie Soiree for our closest college friends. Nine years ago, we ran around and around Williamsburg like maniacs, in and out of apartments and buildings with people we met that night and never saw again. Twelve years ago in our dormitory, we dressed as characters from The Matrix with materials we bought at Home Depot. We’ve had a lot of wild nights in our life, but this year was the very best ever. I hope you all had a safe and scary and silly night. And if, by chance, you haven’t had enough chocolate yet, here is the recipe for our ultimate, all-time, perfectly gooey fudge brownies. They will blow your mind.

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Sunfire Mexican Grill

The Sunfire Mexican Grill is a warm, sunny dining room occupying a doublewide storefront in Rockland, bustling at noon on a weekday. It feels like a slightly eclectic abuela’s kitchen with homey touches, tasteful Mexican-themed artwork, and light wood accents. We’re lucky that Rockland has a lot of these really sweet little lunch spots. From The Brown Bag to The Brass Compass, Rockland’s Main Street is a great place to grab something good. Casual, cozy eateries where the food is like home cooking, but you don’t have to do the dishes. You can sit and chat for an hour, meet friends, bring your crabby baby, people watch and enjoy being out in the community, a very comfortable activity, especially as the weather starts to cool. For over a year, Malcolm has insisted that the fare at Sunfire far exceeds any expectations you may have about the Mexican food being served in a town more famous for lobster than for lengua. I must admit, I had my doubts, and since it was always closed when we wanted to go, I never had to challenge my assumptions, which is just the way I like it.

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