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What’s new: No bake brownies, summertime drinks

Addie Broyles

Whew! Summer is heating up and feels like it’s slipping away. Here is a round-up of recent food news in the Statesman:

In today’s food section, we have an eggplant recipe from Taj Mahal, Michael Barnes profiles local “nutrition therapist” Alain Braux, and Melissa Martinez, our resident baking expert, tells us about no bake desserts you can make when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. (You’ll find the recipe for the brownies pictured above at the bottom of this post.)

It’s not exactly food related, but yesterday, I had a column alongside our tech writer Omar Gallaga about unplugging on my recent vacation to Florida. (He went to Disney the week before I did and stayed plugged in to both email and social media.) We did a Google Hangout video yesterday to talk about the ups and downs of avoiding technology during a non-work trip.

The newly opened Quickie Pickie and the soon-to-open Mueller H-E-B were part of a weekend story from Gary Dinges about the sharp increase in retailers opening in East Austin.

Emma Janzen has been busy telling us about the best summertime drinks you’ll find in bars and restaurants across the city, as well as the surge of canned craft beer from local brewers. She also reviewed “Somm,” a new movie that’s showing at Violet Crown downtown.

Matthew Odam is rocking his new blog and column, The Feed, with posts about the newly opened Barlata and changes at the popular Chuy’s Panaderia, which is now Mi Tradicion, but he made time last month to embark on a juice cleanse for the latest issue of Real magazine.

No-Bake Triple Chocolate Brownies

1 generous cup graham cracker crumbs, from 8 to 10 whole graham crackers

1/2 cup finely chopped roasted hazelnuts

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

Line an 8-inch square baking dish with two crossed strips of parchment or wax paper, letting the long ends hang over the sides of the dish. Grease lightly with butter or baking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the crackers, hazelnuts, cocoa and salt. Pour in the milk. (If desired, you can set the can in a pan of warm water to make it easier to scrape out and stir in the milk.) Pour in the melted chocolate and stir firmly to thoroughly combine, then scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and press firmly into the pan. Chill for at least 1 hour, until firm enough to cut.

Lift the parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan. Cut the brownies into small squares. They will be fudgy but quite firm. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Makes about 16 small brownies.

— From “Bakeless Sweets” by Faith Durand (Abrams Books, $29.95)