chocolate peanut butter cupcakes + a puppy

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I finished my last final last night. The instant relief is something that I will miss once I graduate, as hard as school is that feeling of summer officially being here is unparalleled. I do indeed, have some explaining to do for the reason of being absent, I tend to go on sabbaticals without any warning. But, schools is my priority, as much as I wish this blog could have my 100% attention.

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healthy alternative nutella

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We all know how I feel about the real Nutella, see here, here, here, here, here. But there is something to be said for a good alternative, using healthy oils, natural sweeteners, and a super simple recipe. My sister (remember this recipe she did for us?) has been working to make this as creamy and Nutella-like as possible. And she finally nailed it. So thanks Jocelyn, keep on making our lives healthier.

Though this really doesn’t contain any hazelnuts, the creaminess and chocolatiness of this spread really is Nutella like. You really should try it, it’s amazing.

(Also, sorry for the lack of posts recently, school has been a bear) Continue reading

chocolate spice cake with gnash & poached pears

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Obviously this dessert was a joy to photograph. I couldn’t stop taking shots of this beaut. Secondly, I am now obsessed with spiced chocolate.

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Third and finally, is this my Valentines Day post? I don’t know, I am not a celebrit of the holiday. I still paint my nils black, and go out to a movie solo –and I like it like that. Will I be posting a fluffy pink dessert with a recommendation of serving it with red wine and gazing into the eyes of your significant other on Thursday? Yeah, probably not. Please. Eat chocolate. And be merry, grab a fork and eat this happily alone.

Also some past pear recipes: swaddled pears, pear and blue cheese salad , pear and hazelnut flatbread.

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chocolate medallions, with fluer de sel & pomegranate

Salted Chocolate Pomegranate Medallions Is everyone feeling sentimental yet? Is the Christmas music and glittering lights making your heart melt a little because of the sentimentality? I know you are, so don’t even try to lie to me. Christmas does that to people, it’s the one time of year where I fell 12 again. We have the tree up, and of course the holiday music blasting 24-7. These are so simple to make, and an explosion of complex flavors. It literally takes a matter of minutes to make a few of these little medallions as I like to call them. I used a semi sweet chocolate, though dark, or even milk chocolate would be fine here. Continue reading

polar express hot chocolate

Polar Express Hot Chocoalte

 

First, note the best mug ever known to man (found at IKEA of all places). And secondly, I am hot chocolate obsessed recently, awesome, and not awesome at the same time. I hope you all have seen the Polar Express, and love the hot chocolate scene as much as I do. The iconic cozy feel good drink is simple to make and an instant mood lifter. The trick to a cup good enough to board the Polar Express is a dash of salt and vanilla, other then that it’s just milk and chocolate. Simple.

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chocolate mint tart

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I look forward to Thanksgiving mostly because I officially get to bust out the Christmas music the day after. And get to say “merry Christmas!!” to everyone I encounter without getting weird looks. So let’s kick off the season with chocolate! And mint! And merriment!

This is one of those deceiving desserts that looks way way harder then it is. The hardest part is making sure you remember to use pie weights when baking the crust, as I did not remember. And I ended up with a sunken deformed crust. Oh well, It’s beautiful in it’s imperfections. You can probably actually make a crust that looks good, don’t rub it in, one day I will do it too.

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skillet cookie

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Think of this. A whole slice  of cookie, and not just any cookie, a cookie that is chewy on the edge, but soft toward the middle. Classic chocolate chip cookie flavor, elevated to the cast iron skillet. The chocolate chips melt down to the bottom almost creating a 100% chocolate crust. The pure butter flavor is mingling with chocolate and vanilla is always a crowd pleaser.

And another AWESOME thing about a skillet cookie: there is non of this stupid scooping out drops of cookie dough onto cookie sheets. I hate that part, normally I make the dough and my mom scoops it onto the sheets. So this fixes that problem.

Anyway, some links:

Bacon Van Gough 

Got Bill Grander’s newest book for my birthday. Love Bill!

A recipe I wrote for The Nourishing Gourmet blog

Newest blog crush: My New Roots

100 rules for dinner (via A Cup of Jo)

Crepe cones (Via Oh Joy!)

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chocolate & almond cake finished with whipped gnash

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I turned 19 on Saturday. And of course, I made my own cake, don’t be silly why wouldn’t I? The recipe if  from Julia, Child, Julia Child that is. My brother gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking a couple of Christmas’ ago. Honestly, I hardly ever cook from it, but every time I use it I wonder why I go so long with out cracking the pages of this marvel of a book.

A life lesson on my 19th birthday: cook from Julia as often as possible.

I would say this is a closer relative to a torte then a cake. Think thick, creamy, cake with a layer of incredibly fluffy frosting that when it’s sliced though, it leaves a layer of chocolate smudge of your fork. I (of course) had a second slice for Sunday afternoon coffee, and it was just as good if not better the second day. The flavors had time to intertwine, and the texture turned to a pudding-cake cross.

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