What can I possibly say about the Big Summer Potluck 2 that hasn’t been said already? Many attendees have expressed their thoughts and opened their hearts in various blog posts. Though it has been two weeks, I’m still processing the inspiration and encouragement that Shauna Ahern (@glutenfreegirl), Penny De Los Santos (@pennydelosantos), Pam Anderson (@threemanycooks) and Justin Schwartz (@justcooknyc) instilled in us.
For people who weren’t at the Potluck, it’s hard to explain the bigger, lasting impact of that weekend. Yes, we had great food. Yes, we had awesome sponsors. Yes, we most certainly had enlightening speakers. The Potluck, though, wasn’t just about the tangible aspects of food blogging where you collect tips that you can later sprinkle on your blog. The heart of those three days had more to do with personal connections and the shared experience of knowing others so passionate in the same pursuit. Interestingly, that blogging endeavor may never have any more reward than as a platform for expressing a love for food, cooking, writing, and/or photography.
So, I tried to capture the essence of that brief but powerful time with these photos.
One tangible item from BSP2 that I can offer is Gluten-Free Mexican Brownies. I brought these chocolaty bites to offer at the Welcome Potluck on July 29. I don’t have any gluten-free baking experience, but I wanted to make something that represents me, my blog, and the spirit of the weekend. Even the reserves disappeared quickly, and many attendees asked for the recipe.
So to all my old and new friends from Big Summer Potluck 2, to all my readers who week after week support my blog, I offer you these brownies with much gratitude.
Here is a list of other attendees’ thoughts on BSP2
Bread and Putter
Diva That Ate New York
Duck And Cake
Healthy Green Kitchen
Tastes Better with Friends
Karma’s When I Feel Like It Blog
My Kitchen Addiction
One Tough Cookie
Simple BitesSavory Sweet Living
Three Many Cooks
Soon after BSP2, all of the feeling of special community was forced out of the colonial stone barn into the harsh light of mortality. We had just spent the weekend with the wonderful Jennifer Perillo and a week later, we received the devastating news about of the untimely passing of her husband. We all felt her pain. Besides the Potluck participants, the whole food-blogging community experienced the gloom that rippled through the Twitterverse. I had only met Jennie a few times, but her warmth, charm, and enthusiasm was infectious. Our community will support her at this difficult time and do what we can to lessen the pain.
She asked everyone to make peanut butter pies—her husband’s favorite dessert–as a tribute to his memory. That’s what the community is doing.
Gluten-free Mexican Brownies
yield about 30 1-1/4 inch squares
1-1/2 stick unsalted butter (12 tablespoons, 6 ounces)
1/2 pound plus 1 cup bittersweet/semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1-1/2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
3 large eggs
1 tablespoons real vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5-1/4 ounces)
1/2 cup Red Mill’s gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1/8 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1. Position baking rack in center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lined a 9×13 baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long side.Butter lining; set aside.
2. Combined butter, 1/2 pound chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate and instant coffee in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, stirring frequently, until completely smooth. Remove bowl from pan and set aside to cool slightly. Add eggs, vanilla and sugar to warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
3. Stir together the flour, xantham gum, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss chocolate chips with remaining 2 tablespoons of flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake. Cool thoroughly, refrigerate for at least 4 hours and cut into squares.