This is probably one of the most stunning things I have ever made in my life. Back in the summertime, I made a similar recipe using a yogurt and fruit combo and kept it very healthy. From what I have been reading lately, dark chocolate is now the new yogurt and is considered to be good for you.
Here’s some facts about the health benefits of chocolate that I found very interesting (and if this is true….COME TO MAMA BABY!)
1. Chocolate decreases stroke risk
2. Chocolate reduces the likelihood of a heart attack
3. Chocolate protects against blood inflammation
4. Chocolate helps with math – * I wish I knew this when I was in school because I suck at arithmetic
5. Chocolate may prevent cancer
6. Chocolate reduces the risk of diabetes
7. Chocolate is good for your skin
8. Chocolate can control coughs
9. Chocolate improves blood flow
10. Chocolate strengthens your brain
11. Chocolate makes you live longer – see cool fact below
Jeanne Louise Calment lived to the age of 122—the oldest anyone has ever lived. She ate two and a half pounds of dark chocolate per week. Researchers found that eating chocolate actually adds two years to your life expectancy…..(two pounds of chocolate a week???!! It may help you live longer but what size jeans did this Jeanne Louise Calment wear??)
Okay, so don’t just start binging on chocolate! Most of the chocolate you buy in the grocery store is heavily processed, which means that it has lost many of its healthy chemicals. And some of the research above supporting chocolate’s healthy characteristics was paid for by chocolate manufacturers….well duh. Check out your local organic food stores for the unprocessed kind. Um…if all of the above could remotely be factual, then why not indulge?
The Garden of Eatin’s Chocolate Bark:
16 ounces melted best-quality dark, semi or milk chocolate (2 bars)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
(colored melting chocolates, optional)
2/3 cup mixed toppings such as nuts, coconut, sea salt, cranberries etc. (might as well go wild since you are going to be scarfing down chocolate).
Can we talk about the ins and outs of melting chocolate for a second? I always like to speed things up in the kitchen. Lately I have been melting chocolate in the microwave and although the results are good, there really isn’t anything quite like doing this task in heat proof bowl over slow boiling water.
How to belt out a perfect melt:
Place water in the bottom of the double boiler or a use a pot and a heatproof glass bowl that fits well inside and doesn’t touch the water (leave about a ½ inch space between the water and the bowl). Place the double boiler over low heat. Stir the chocolate constantly until it is melted. The water in the bottom of the double boiler should not come to a high boil while the chocolate is melting. Working with chocolate has to be quick so that it doesn’t harden. Your chocolate should have a beautiful sheen to it and should be a good consistency for spreading. If by chance the phone or doorbell rings in the middle of this project and your chocolate turns to glop, fear not. There is a way to fix it. Just place the bowl over the water again and add a few drops of water to the chocolate, stirring constantly until you regain that smooth sheen and consistency back.
Line a baking pan with wax paper. You can use a small baking sheet OR a 8 inch square pan. I opted for the pan because I wanted a thicker piece of bark to sink my teeth into…OH YA.
Spread your melted chocolate evenly in the pan and dot with melted colored chocolates, if desired. I used the end of a chopstick to make my marble swirlies but this is totally optional. It was fun and pretty to do but let’s face it, if you are making this for yourself you don’t need to fuss. If you are considering this for a gift, which is an awesome idea, the possibilities are endless.
Once your chocolate base is ready top, with any combo of goodies you desire. I used crushed pistachios, sliced almonds and coconut.
Chill until firm and then crack em up with a mallet or just punch the heck outta of it with your fist. I like this idea…don’t you?
See ya next week!
I don’t often give intros to my Aunt Debi’s blog posts which have become a weekly and regular column for us….but I need to just say today…WOW.
This week I made a mini “peachy pink” ombré cake. Why? Because ever since Little Miss Party introduced me to Pinterest I’ve been obsessing over pretty little cakes with multi colors. It’s not normal and yes I know I need to check into an “Over Pinners Anonymous” rehab facility. I also decided to do a gluten and dairy free version because my stomach has been bothering me this week. You needed to know this information right? Now listen to me… I’m not a pastry chef…I just like to bake a lot. Sometimes when I’m in a rush I slap things together without even blinking an eyelash. This was one of those times. The frosting on this cake is far from perfect but then again so am I.
Here’s a quick test for you. Name this cookie:
d. All of the above.
If you answered all of the above you are correct. Here’s some ways to distinguish between a biscotti and a mandelbread or brot.
“Biscotti” is the plural form of biscotto. The word originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning “twice-cooked/baked.” It defined oven baked goods that were baked twice, so they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time.
We have a lot of pumpkins hanging around our house these days. I was inspired by this to make pumpkin pie…
I immediately began dreaming of homemade pie with fresh roasted pumpkin. Carving those suckers up with my little guys, roasting the seeds and baking off the flesh. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? Well guess what? I never found the time! I can hardly find time to eat on a daily basis, let alone cook a homemade pie.
So…I took some help from: A. Whole Foods and B. My incredible babysitter and now as I like to call her Pumpkin Pie stylist, Erin.
Erin who has her hands full with lil man Luke took some help from the store with a frozen pie crust and canned pumpkin puree. The beauty of pumpkin pie is you can make the whole thing off of a recipe on a can. Yes! It’s so easy.
With a few simple ingredients from your pantry you’ll have the yummiest smelling house in no time.
I of course add a large dollop of whip cream…and enjoyed my pie in the sky! Out on my deck on a perfectly crisp, sunny, fall day.
Please brace yourselves…
I have not been giving intros to Aunt Debi’s weekly LMP Columns but I just had to shout it out for this one because really…this is beyond FABULOUS! Easy as it is delicious and absolutely stunning. I know because I got to devour this bad boy at our dinner for Thanksgiving in Toronto last week. ENJOY!
Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means? Oodles and oodles of mini candies laying around the house just begging to be eaten.
Before I tell you how to make an unbelievably easy dessert with all the LEFTOVER candy your kids have collected, let me give you a bit of history on Halloween in my home. When my kids were small, I sent them packing with king size pillow cases door to door to collect the goods. When they returned, the contents inside the pillow case were dumped onto the family room floor for inspection.
Inspection was always conducted by YOURS TRULY to ensure the following criteria:
A. There was nothing sketchy looking inside the bag ( i.e. apples, homemade foods & razor blades)
B. There were no tampered boxes or unwrapped candies floating around in the pile
C. There were enough boxes of Kit Kats & Snickers bars to satisfy MY needs for at least a week
D. There were at least 5 Twizzler packs to ONCE AGAIN satisfy MY needs for at least a week
E. There were at least 6 mini boxes of Smarties with the same rules above