Valentine’s Day II

Disclaimer: Being Argentinean, I grew up barely aware of Valentine’s Day. As a teenager, Hollywood taught me about it, and before I turned 20 it had been added to the “special days” calendar in Argentina. I never though of 2/14 as an interesting day, and even now I don’t find what’s so special about it, but since I’m in the US now, it’s become part of my life, just like Thanksgiving (which I really enjoy) and Fat Tuesday (I don’t like Packzis, sorry).

What is the disclaimer for? I’m not sure. But I feel kind of weird posting about Valentine’s Day, even more so because this is my second post about it (and I haven’t done a great job in my first year as a blogger).

This was my third Valentine’s Day in the US (if we don’t count 2009). I’ve never really celebrated it; I don’t like going out the same day every one goes out. I don’t like having to be romantic. I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, okay? Just live with it. However, all three times I’ve bought candy for my students on 2/14. Why? Well, I like being nice (yes, I probably am a people pleaser), and they always seem really happy when I give them chocolate. They just don’t expect it, and I enjoy seeing their happy faces.

But this year I was extra nice. Why? Maybe I’m trying to convince karma that I shouldn’t be on its black list, or maybe I’m tired of being negative. Anyhow, I decided to “embrace the cheese factor” (yes, I’m quoting JT from CW’s Beauty and The Beast… I watch that show on the elliptical/treadmill every Thursday night). Not only I bought candy for my students (one of them even hugged me! she’s sweet), I also made treats for my labmates! (these were like crack; you can find the instructions here:

When Kelley saw them, she asked "are those from Pinterest?" Of course!

When Kelley saw them, she asked “are those from Pinterest?” Of course!

I even wanted to do something with Nico, but yesterday was quite a crappy day (and I also ate too much chocolate), so our mini Valentine’s Day dinner had to wait till tonight. What am I making? Brownies (Nico’s choice). But not just any brownies. I’m using my friend Mariano’s recipe.

Let me tell you a little about him. Mariano is kind of a rustic man, not the kind of guy that’ll take you out in a fancy dinner or say sweet things to you. But he’s the kind of guy that will be there when you need to have a beer, or share some mates (he makes some of the best mates ever. Seriously, you don’t know what mate is? Google it. Or click here). He also makes the most amazing brownies. You know how you’d expect a gay-ish guy to make good brownies? Not this guy. Seriously, he’s the opposite of the sweet gay guy you’d expect to make brownies. He’s the kind of guy that will have brownies with you while telling you about the hot girl he made out with last night, and not in a gentlemanlike way.  At the same time, he’s the kind of guy that won’t hold a grudge, even if you aren’t very nice to him one day. Yes, I miss having him around, even though some days I just wanted him to shut up and give me mate and brownies. Oh, and he has a huge flaw: he doesn’t like dulce de leche. That is something I will never understand. Seriously. Have I mentioned he also makes great pizzas? And he looks creepy in every picture, like the kind of guy you don’t want to meet on the street at night.

Neon hat guy is Nico. Ultra smiley guy is Mariano.

Neon hat guy is Nico. Ultra smiley guy is Mariano.

So, why am I talking about Mariano in a Valentine’s Day post? There’s more than one reason. First of all, I don’t know how to get in the Valentine’s Day spirit. It’s just not my thing. Second, I can’t just post a recipe without giving some background for it, and to me, Mariano’s brownies are the real thing. Third, I’m always a bit homesick so I like talking about my Argentinean friends. Fourth, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want, right?

Enough of Mariano. Let’s get to the brownies.

Mariano’s Brownies


  • 200 g butter (15 tbsp)
  • 150 g  (1 cup) dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (or all purpose + 1.25 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pecans, almonds or walnuts to taste


1) Preheat oven to ~350 F for 10 minutes

2) Melt chocolate and butter (don’t eat this mixture!)

3) Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add the flour in small portions, without beating. Fold the nuts in.

4) Finally, slowly add the chocolate-butter mixture (no beating!)

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Ideally, you should wait till they cool down, but who can resist a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream?

Like a boss

Like a boss. OK, yes, they crumbled a bit.

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