February 2012

The Things one finds on Etsy

I decided to go along a different tack for this week’s article. I point to crafter site extraordinaire, etsy.  Known for its homemade craft items for sale, many an inventive and creative people sell their wares here where the general buyer is in fact looking for said items. But crafting isn’t limited to artists and clothing makers – a good number of cooks list on etsy as well.

St. Patty's Day Guiness Chocolate Beer Pudding

You can't go wrong with beer and chocolate.

St. Patty's Day is just around the corner and given that fact, I felt that a recipe centered around beer and chocolate is a great way to celebrate all things Irish. Well-known chef, Shane Phillip Coffey, for the Alias restaurant in New York City, designed the famous pudding after inspiration struck him at an Irish pub in Manhattan when he saw a sign displaying the Guinness name. Coffey recommends using dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao, as using good chocolate for the chocolate beer pudding makes it come out creamier. Also, a few of the commenters on epicurious.com recommend skipping or adding less sugar the whipped cream on top for those who do not like their pudding overly sweet tasting.

3 Best Chocolate Fondues From The Melting Pot

*groan*

We went to the Melting Pot for a birthday dinner this week. Can I please go every week? So. Gosh. Darn. Good. If you have a Melting Pot near you, go there now. Tonight. If you do not have one in your state, you have my condolences.

So, the chocolate fondue is everyone’s favorite, right?! At least, everyone reading this blog! Here are the top choices, in no particular order, of chocolate fondues at this yummy little restaurant.

1.    The Flaming Turtle: A hot twist on the classic turtle sundae. This sweet fondue blends both melted chocolate and caramel into a tasty treat. Liquor is added and the whole thing is flambéed tableside and topped with peanuts. Why are more things not flambéed tableside? Seriously, I love this tableside stuff. So much fun!

2.    Chocolate S’mores: In this concoction, melted chocolate is blended with marshmallow cream and topped with broken bits of honey graham crackers. 

Chocolate Glass

Yes, there *is* such thing as a chocolate glass. We have learned chocolate can be: perfumes, dresses, soap bubbles, mixed with food, and alone.  But have you ever tried to make chocolate glasses? It’s one thing to eat chocolate covered berries, or drink chocolate milk but to have the very vessel as edible is on par with gold covered chocolate, or edible items made out of chocolate like the iphone mentioned earlier.

Making a basic vessel (say shot glass sized) isn’t that difficult.

Cheesecake Factory Review and Recommendations

Go for the appetizers and dessert.

The Cheesecake Factory offers a wide selection of food drinks and decadent, artisan cheesecakes. From what I've seen, the Cheesecake Factory builds its restaurants in major cities, often inside a shopping district, such as a mall. In Florida I live somewhat close to Tampa, which has two restaurants that are situated in the International and Brandon Mall. The Orlando Cheesecake Factory is located in the Mall of Millenia off of Interstate 4. The company offers diners an upscale setting for moderate to high prices, depending on what you order.

Easy Fudge Recipe

Do you love fudge but don’t know how to make it?  Well, you are in luck as I have an awesome and easy fudge recipe for you to try! 

3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 can Eagle Brand Condensed milk (you can use the light version if you prefer)

A dash of salt

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup chopped nuts, optional

Melt the chocolate chips and then stir in the Eagle Brand milk, salt, vanilla and nuts.  Spread into a 8 x8 pan which has been lined with wax paper.   Then place it in the fridge for two hours until it is fully chilled and is firm.  Turn onto a cutting board and peel off the waxed paper and cut into squares.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Cookie Pops

I saw this recipe on hershey.com and just had to post it because the chocolate cookie pops look like an easy, low-cost way to celebrate Valentine's Day. The recipe makes 12 cookies and is recommended by Hershey website as suitable for beginners. I couldn't resist the cute toppings that you can add to these super easy cookies.

 

Things You'll Need:

  • 2/3 cup of softened butter or margarine
  • 1 to ¼ cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to ½ cups of flour (all-purpose)
  • ½ cup of Hershey’s Special Dark or regular Hershey's cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 12 ice cream sticks (wooden)
  • White and pink frosting
  • Decorations of your choice (sugar, colored sprinkles)

Chocolate Footballs

After all that football cheer Americans put forth this past Sunday, I bet most of you are still tuckered out. All that beer, all that cheer, and all that food. But I bet you guys aren’t completely over your football fever, so here’s a novel idea during the next super bowl (or sooner) – chocolate foot balls.

Chocolate-Dipped Fortune Cookie For Valentine's Day

Are you looking for a unique gift to give someone this Valentine's Day? Turn to chocolate-dipped Chinese fortune cookies as a way to express your love to your significant other. You can either purchase the cookies online or make your own at home using a full recipe. Another alternative to baking them is to purchase the cookies at a Chinese restaurant or at a store and then dipping them in microwave-melted chocolate at home. Pen your own loving fortune and add it to the cookie for a personalized touch.