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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

mousse4

Don’t even bother with the words, “vegan” and “tofu.” Just let “silken chocolate mousse” roll off the tongue. It’s as creamy and delicious as it sounds.

I haven’t been too successful cooking with tofu at home. It’s just not that appealing to me in texture even though I know its benefits as a protein in meatless dishes. In order to make the golden tofu that I enjoy so much in Thai restaurants it takes some skill with corn starch and patience to brown it just right in cooking oil. I haven’t mastered that well enough to do it for the low-level midweek cooking I prefer.

But use silken tofu to make chocolate mousse in a blender? That I can handle.

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salad2

A few weeks ago I received a cookbook to review: “The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook” by Matt Kadey. With summer temperatures in Boston this year especially sultry for days and days on end, tonight seemed like a perfect time to test out one of the recipes.

Flipping through breakfast, starters and sides, main dishes, and desserts, Peach Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette caught my eye. Fresh peaches, prosciutto, mozzarella, mint, dried cherries, and almonds drizzled with a chocolate dressing? What’s not to like? And it was considered a main dish. Chocolate for dinner, hooray!

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Strawberry sugar pop

Remember Pop Rocks and how fun it was to have a little explosion taking over your tongue?

Molecule-R, which makes molecular gastronomy kits for the “amateur chef” to make edible and unusal delights in your own humble kitchen, has packaged popping sugar in 2.8-ounce canisters. I thought popping sugar would be a great treat for the Fourth of July – fireworks in your mouth!

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Frosted brownies

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When the word came that Nemo was heading our direction blowing 65 m.p.h. winds and bringing at least 2 feet of snow, my friends Nathan and Emily, who live a few blocks away, extended the invitation for homemade chicken pot pie. I was in charge of bringing brownies.

I knew immediately that I wanted to bring The Pastry Chef’s Baking Frosted Brownies, since these are so decadent and delicious I definitely did not want to be left in the house alone with a pan. I have very little self-control around chocolate. Bringing them to a group dinner was the perfect solution!

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Matt Armendariz/McNab Publishing, Ltd

Matt Armendariz/McNab Publishing, Ltd

There is a lot of talk about the Mayan calendar rolling over to Dec. 21, 2012 and simply coming to end, which has been translated by some as, that’s it, folks. No more time, no more us. I can’t say that I agree, since I’ve already received my 2013 work calendar and everything there seems to be in order just fine. For a more reasoned, scientific explanation, you might want to check out NPR‘s report, “A Guarantee: The world will not end on Friday.”

My first brush with Mayan culture was when I hopped off a cruise ship in Cozumel in 2006 and explored the Chacchoben Mayan ruins. That’s where I found a rather modest exhibit sign next to one of the many-stepped pyramid temples indicating that the Mayan calendar would finish up in six years. It tried to be reassuring that while some people interpreted this to mean the end of time, it could also be seen as a restart. A clean slate for all of us.

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I’d like to suggest that you give both theories a rest and instead actually learn something about Mayan culture. A good place to start would be with Flavors of Belize: The cookbook created by Tanya McNab and Shelley Bowen Stonesifer. First of all, the Mayans haven’t vanished. There are by some estimates some 7 million Mayans alive and well living throughout Guatemala, southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, El Salvador, and western Honduras. (more…)

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The Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky., falls on May 4-5, 2012. I’m not really swept up in the culture around the Derby, even though my mom lived in Lexington for nearly two decades. In my most cynical moments, I can’t understand the big to-do around a 2 minute race.

But I admit, I cried through “Seabiscuit,” “Secretariat,” and “War Horse.” There is something about these majestic, beautiful, intelligent creatures in motion that stirs the human spirit, no matter how intellectual one becomes about the trappings and heartbreak of betting on a horse.

What I do love without question is a Kentucky Pie That Shall Not Be Named – gooey pecans and chocolate over a buttery crust and smothered in a dollop of fresh whipped cream. With the Derby falling on Cinco de Mayo this year, I got to thinking about the perfect marriage: Mexican chocolate and buttery pecans.

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Forget plastic green grass. Go au naturel with these delightful and easy-to-make Chocolate Easter Baskets. You will need exactly three ingredients: a bag of pretzel sticks, a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (or your favorite chocolate), a bag of mini candy-shelled Cadbury Eggs.

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