Tag Archives: chocolate

Internet, how I love thee.

30 Jul

I love the internet. I can’t imagine what people did before its advent. I asked my mum the other day, and she told me they mostly played with their pet dinosaurs and dodged incoming meteorites. When I asked how they shared recipes, I got a demonstration on how to chisel on stone tablets. There might have also been some weight lifting exercises tossed in there. I don’t know, it was all a blur.

Just kidding, my mom is not that old. Now, my grandma on the other hand… (Just kidding, Grandma!) As a matter of fact, my mom is pretty young for a mother, I think. And she’s cute. Want to see?

Ickle Mum and Lucas

This was at my older brother’s commissioning ceremony. He’s roughly 6’6″, no joke. Funny story: before I met my college roommate, we were friends on facebook and I had as my profile picture a picture of me and Lucas at my graduation. Now, I’m tall (5’10”), but Lucas is significantly taller (about 8″ taller). My roommate did not know how freakishly tall my older brother is, and assumed he was average guy height. Which meant she thought that I was SUPER short, and was very surprised to see me walk in the room. Especially because not only was I taller than she expected, I was a couple of inches taller than her!

Maybe you had to be there.

The point I’m trying to make is I love my mom. I love my older brother (especially when he buys me stuff). And I love my college roommate, though we had not known each other before rooming together. I also love the internet. You can find anything and anyone. You can connect with people you would have never heard of and you have access to all kinds of resources. The cupcakes I made for this post illustrate that. I was reading through one of the blogs I check daily, and I followed a link from that blog to another, and then another. I don’t remember where I started, but after about 5 blogs and a couple of articles, I stumbled upon Glory’s blog: Glorious Treats. She had made some beautiful hydrangea cupcakes, with a technique where she layered two different colored frostings in one piping bag to add dimension and reality to her cupcakes. I opted for something a little simpler, and used her chocolate cupcake recipe and her AMAZING recipe for cream cheese frosting.

I added 2 Tbs blackberry jelly and 1/2 tsp raspberry extract for the frosting and it was absolutely the best frosting I have ever tasted. Bar none. The jelly dyed the frosting a very pretty purple, but didn’t give it a noticeable flavor. The raspberry extract added just the perfect amount of flavor needed. And the mix between the two berry flavorings produced a wonderful, subtle, complex, and overall stunningly delicious frosting.

I brought some of these cupcakes to work to make them love me. And I gave some away to one of my mom’s friends. She’s the one who gave me the Kitchen Aid, so I like to keep her well supplied with pastries and other baked goods.

Speaking of Kitchen Aids, check this puppy out!

Amazon sells Kitchen Aid decals! They’re made by FlameKA.com and there’s a lot of other decals, such as flames, available. But I’m got my eye on this decal set. I was a history major, after all. Though the more intense history buffs out there mentioned that these decals are slightly off in some aspect or another. But I can’t find it in me to care. After all, I can make my useful, but very bland looking, stand mixer look like a WWII plane! I’m pumped!!

And seriously, where would you have found something like that before the internet?

This is Sarah, over and out.

Chocolate Chipotle Chili

26 Feb

Calm yourselves! I know this is a Friday during Lent. Have no fear, we ate fish today. This recipe is from an earlier dinner and is one of my favorites, so I wanted to share it. Also, fish sticks don’t make for scintillating food blogging, so I had to come up with something else.

Yes, this chili does contain chocolate: unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder both. But have no fear! This is not a sweet, bizarre dish, but is instead a sophisticated comfort food. Put simply, it’s just darn good chili.

I adjusted the recipe, which I got from Our Best Bites, who got it and adjusted it from Cooking Light. Mostly I tried to put fat back into it. Because cooking light? Is not something I believe in.

Chocolate Chipotle Chili

Ingredients:
-1 lb ground meat (I use lean hamburger)
-1 large onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced (I love me some garlic! You can use more or less. Whatevs.)
-1 BIG can diced tomatoes
-2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (My favorite thing to do is get a can dark red kidney beans, and one can light red kidney beans. It makes it more fun looking.)
-1 can beef broth (I’ve used chicken broth before, because that’s what I had in my pantry. And I think the beef broth really adds depth to this dish. The chicken broth makes it taste lighter to me. If I have a craving for chili in the summer, I’d make it with chicken broth.)
-1 small can chipotles in sauce (can find in hispanic section of grocery store)
-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
-2 Tbsp. chili powder
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
-Chipotle sauce (from the can of chipotle chilies)
-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1/2 unsweetened baking cube), chopped (optional; use to taste as needed; be careful, because too much will make your chili bitter)
-3-4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Ingredients

Are you still with me after that odd list of ingredients? It’ll work out in the end, I promise!

Directions:

Cook hamburger until no longer pink. Drain fat. Add onions and saute briefly.

Dump in the spices (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder), tomatoes, beans, and broth. It helps to have the spices already measured and all the cans opened. Add all the chipotle sauce from the small can of chipotle chilis. This gives a nice smokey flavor with just a hint of a bite. If you want spicier chili, chop up one or two of the peppers and add.

Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.

When chili has thickened as desired, it’s time to adjust the richness. Add 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and a small amount of chopped chocolate at a time until desired richness is reached. If necessary, add more red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the chili.

When your desired flavor and richness has been reached, dish it up and top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, or whatever your heart desires! This is a really flexible and forgiving chili, so it’s all about loosely following the directions and ingredients and adjusting to your own personal tastes. You really can’t go wrong. Well, you probably could, but it’s easily fixed. No harm, no foul.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that attractive, but when have you known chili to win any beauty contests? It’s all about the flavor, baby!

Food for the dogs.

29 Jan

Today, I made puppy chow. I got the recipe and idea while scoping out foodgawker.com, basically my favorite website ever. The Savory Sweet Life had posted about it and I bookmarked it to make at a later date. That date has arrived! Puppy chow is chex cereal covered in chocolate chips and peanut butter, covered in powdered sugar. It is super quick and easy to make, and contains only six ingredients!

First you take chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter, and you dump them in a bowl together. So far, so good.

Then you melt them.

Mmmm... Doesn't that look good! Or not.

Then you stir everything together and add vanilla. Everything’s better when you add vanilla. Speaking of which, I’ve got a couple of vanilla beans that some of my brothers gave to me for my birthday. I need to make something with them. But I feel so special having them. Like “Haha, I have vanilla beans and you don’t! Don’t you feel inadequate?!” Maybe when I finish admiring how they look in my cabinet, I’ll make something nice. But in the meantime, I’ll open my spice cabinet a couple of times a day and just stare contentedly at the beans. Life is good.

Or it’s super tame. Man, I need to get out more.

Back to business! You combine all that melty goodness with the chex cereal and you get this:

While this ultimately resulted in deliciousness of the highest order, I think next time I make it, I’m going to either increase the amount of chocolate-y coating stuff, or decrease the amount of cereal. I like my puppy chow with a thick coating of heart-attack inducing fun! None of this light, pansy coating. “Go big or go home,” I always say. And since I’m already home, I guess that just leaves “Go big.”

Still, once it’s coated in powdered sugar and its flaws are hidden to the world, this puppy chow looks mighty tasty!

Huh? Huh? What’d I tell you? I wouldn’t turn up my nose at that!

The recipe is from Savory Sweet Life.

Ingredients:
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
9 cups chex cereal (I used corn chex, and next time I will use less than 9 cups. Maybe 7 or 8 cups.)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1-gallon ziplock bags

Dump the first three ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds and then stir until smooth. Add the vanilla. Dump it all over the chex (which should be in a big bowl at this point). Mix. Divide the chocolate-y chex in between the two bags. Add 3/4 cups powdered sugar to each bag and stir to coat.  It’s that easy!