Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Wow, my mom really took the wind out of my blog-sails this morning. Leave it to your parents to lift you up high and then in the next second, have you tumbling down low. Ah well, c'est la vie, n'est- ce pas?!
Well, here is your recipe zen for today, which makes a great present to give out for the holidays:
Yields: 1 med. sheet tray of bark
17oz good white chocolate, finely chopped
30 peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (I like the Bob's soft ones)
12oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or in chip form
6 tbsp heavy whipping cream
3/4 tsp of REAL peppermint extract
13x9 sheet tray or cookie pan with sides, aluminum foil, double-boiler or saucepan and metal bowl, off-set or rubber spatula
Inside the sheet tray, spread aluminum foil and cover securely over bottom and sides. Make sure it's smooth or the bottom of your bark with be really rough. Set aside.
Add water to the bottom of the saucepan, just enough so that when you suspend the metal bowl inside the saucepan, it does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Set the saucepan over low heat and let it come to a simmer. Add the white chocolate to the bowl and set over the simmering water. Let the white chocolate begin to melt, it will start to look wet and shiny. DO NOT STIR until almost completely melted! White chocolate is a tricky little bugger and can scorch or burn easily (that's when it becomes a big ol' clump that never melts again.) Once the white chocolate looks shiny and wet, stir a little to mix it up and it should become smooth and liquidy. Remove metal bowl from saucepan and wipe the bottom with a towel (water drops are bad!)
Immediately pour the white chocolate into the foil-lined sheet tray. Fill out the tray by 2 methods: 1- picking up the tray and lightly swirling around and 2-using the spatula to spread smooth. Try to get as even as possible. Taking about 1/3 of the crushed peppermints, sprinkle over the white chocolate while still melted. Chill in the fridge to set; approximately 15 minutes.
Remove water from saucepan and dry with a towel. Place saucepan back over medium-low heat and add the semi-sweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract. Stir occasionally until just melted; because of the cream and extract, this chocolate will not burn as easily as chocolate alone. Remove from heat; cool until just warm, about 3-5 minutes.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the set white chocolate in long lines. Spread out using previous method. Sprinkle the remaining peppermints over the top. Chill in the fridge until completely set, very cold and firm.
Now you can have fun breaking into pieces! Snap with your hands or tap lightly with a hammer; dealer's choice! Sorry no picture today, I haven't made this yet, although I always make it for Brandon once a year because he loves it so much. Let me know what you think!
*Note: White chocolate burns easily, so make sure you watch it and do not let the water get in it. If you do all the things above and it still burns, try again with a lower temp.
I love my mother very much. She is my best friend and I miss her now that I am living across the country. So I issue her an apology for my blog and the harshness of my first post.
With that being said, I'll also say this (which was also my reply to her:) those are my opinions and I stick to them. If I went around trying to gain everyone's approval by not stepping on toes, I wouldn't be myself. Besides, I didn't do it out of malice or to say there is anything wrong with those people, just that I don't want to be made to feel bad about myself if I am not like them.
But still, Mom, thank you for caring about me and caring about my soul even when I don't.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Even though it's cold outside, I thought I would start your dreams of summer and warm days by giving you all this great milkshake recipe. I entered it into a contest but I didn't win, so you guys can have it! Hooray!
Cookie Monster Milkshake
Yield approximately 20 fl oz/2 servings or 10 shots
8 generous scoops of good vanilla ice cream (no low fat/ low taste crap!)
1/4 cup of 2% milk
4 good size chocolate chip cookies*
Broken cookie wedges
Chocolate or regular whipped cream (optional)
Add ice cream, milk, cream, and whole cookies to a blender. Blend until creamy and dreamy. Pour into 2 tall glasses or 10 2oz shot glasses for minis. Garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder (use a small sieve or sifter,) a wedge of broken cookie, and a shot of whipped cream.
Enjoy and think of summertime!
*Note: Homemade are usually best, but if you don't have any or suck at baking, try the soft Pepperidge Farm or your fav local brand.
I admit it. I am NOT one of those people. You know the ones I am talking about. We all have them in our lives. They are the people who you love but you secretly think are more annoying than cats in sweaters and two-year olds at the movies. Every time you look at their Facebook page, they have a gallon of new photos to share of their lastest “AMAZING Weekend Vacay” to some crazy-ass place like a remote hiking trail in the middle of bum-F*#% nowhere that their “super awesome” pal Skinny G from Amsterdam that they met last summer while back-packing in Europe told them about or a secret treasure island near Hawaii where they went parasailing and shark-diving while also helping orphan children learn how to tie their shoes or something like that. I really f-ing hate that.
Look, I love these people too, and I am grateful to have them in my life (usually,) but I am sick of them flaunting their whirlwind, boho, too-cool-for-school life-style in my face every time I talk to you on the phone or you proudly send out a mass email with pics and detailed iterteiry attached of your lasest big adventure. Are you trying to make the rest of us normal humans feel inadequate for not having gone on a unicycle tour of the Andes?!
Yes, we all get it; you’re fun, you’re adventuresome, you’re hipper than Hipsters in your skinny grey man jeggings and thoughtfully-made Toms.
And we all try to pretend like we want to be those people too, with all their silly photo-ops and inside jokes and MILLIONS of friends on every state, country, and land imaginable. We oh and ah and let them ramble on every chance they get.
But I am stating it clear as day; I REFUSE to want to be that person and I am done pretending (/actually) envying you and your ways. I LIKE being at home, I love being quiet and reading a good book at night till I fall asleep, I don’t want to have to try SOOO hard to be cool and fun and hip. I am almost 30, DAMNIT, and I LIKE being boring! I may not spend my vacations in Bora Bora building new mud huts for natives but hey, every time I go to Petsmart, I donate $1 to help animals, and that makes me proud, too!