Friday, August 01, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

We have been making homemade chocolate syrup every week this summer.  I can say with some certainty that it will be a staple in our refrigerator from now on.  We put it into a squeeze bottle for perfect dispensing every time.  It makes the best tasting chocolate milk. :)  This is one the easiest recipes ever and what a reward!  Pure chocolate flavor, all natural, only 5 ingredients!  Cocoa Powder, sugar, vanilla, water, and a pinch of salt.  I have been making homemade mocha ice coffee (picture above) as a mid-morning treat.  Just use a little of the coffee from breakfast, chocolate syrup, milk, and ice.  Delicious!!!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup
slightly adapted from Alice Medrich, Bittersweet, page 295

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I prefer natural, Scharffen Berger Brand)
1 cup sugar (or use less if you prefer)
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan.  Stir in the boiling water to form a smooth paste.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly.  Let the syrup simmer for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool.  Pour into a squeeze bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. 




Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sarah's Spectacular Dip!

Oh, how I love this recipe!!!  People just go crazy when they taste this for the first time.  They can't stop themselves from eating it and can't stop saying "this is so delicious"!  My kids always ask to make this when the weather gets warm.  While you can make this any time of the year, we always serve this at summer parties. I am sure that is why my kids start thinking about it when summer rolls around.  Add as much or as little of any of the ingredients...any combination will work.  A simple, easy, and delicious recipe!
This recipe is from one of my most cherished friends, Sarah.  I remember the first time I ate this at Sarah's house...I just couldn't get enough.  I love the taste, texture, and looks - pretty colors. :)  In the picture above I have the avocado pits in the dip ...a great tip that came from Sarah.  Keeping the pits in helps to keep the avocado from turning brown.  I love learning wonderful tips like that.  I hope you make this for your family.  I know it will become a favorite, just like at our house.  Enjoy. xo

Avocado, Feta, Tomato, & Cilantro Summer Dip

2-4 avocados, diced
2-4 plum tomatoes, seeded & diced
red onion - just a small slice, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, finely minced
6-8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1-2 limes and 1 lemon
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together using a fork to mash some of the avocado but also keeping some chunks. Taste for might want more lime, more cilantro, salt & your liking. :)




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rich Butterscotch Sauce - Super Easy!

The other day my good friend Sally told me that she was really sick of looking at the Baked Falafel.  Ha! I don't blame her.  Right when I thought I was back into my weekly blogging mode I got busy with end-of-school activities.  Oh, you say you know what I am talking about....the crazy race where more activities than one could imagine gets packed into a few short weeks?  Well why don't you just take a moment to relax and treat your family to this delicious Butterscotch Sauce.  It is incredibly easy and fast to make.  I think it is perfect served over vanilla ice cream. Add a slice of Oatmeal Shortbread and you have a special dinner party dessert. Yum!

Rich Butterscotch Sauce
Adapted from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, p.703

1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tablespoons or ¼ pound)
½ cup heavy cream
½  teaspoon vanilla
pinch of kosher salt or sea salt

Combine sugar, butter, and cream in a small saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Allow to cook 5 minutes, stirring a few times but also allowing it to bubble.  Remove and whisk in the vanilla and the salt.
May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Reheat in pan to warm sauce or heat in microwave on high for one minute (or two if needed).