Tag Archives: food

Easy Lovin’ Chocolate Lava Cake for Your Valentine

"All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt".  Charles M. Schultz.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”. Charles M. Schultz.

 

Make these individual chocolate “molten lava” cakes and get laid lots of compliments from your loved one for Valentine’s Day.  Trust me.  Nothing says love like burning the roof of your mouth on the melty chocolate center of these little gems.

006

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Serves 4   (or maybe only 2 – one for your sweetie, 3 for you)

1/2 cup butter

4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, divided

2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks

6 Tablespoons cake flour, sifted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Fresh berries for garnish (optional)

007

In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, melt butter (cut into chunks) and chocolate (broken into pieces) for about 1 minute.  Stir.  If butter is not melted, microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each.

010

When butter is completely melted, add 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar and stir until smooth.

.011

Add egg and yolks and stir until batter is smooth.  Add vanilla extract and sifted flour.  Stir until smooth.  Do not over-mix.

014

Pour batter into 4 ramekins sprayed generously with non-stick baking spray.  Bake cakes for 12 minutes.  The sides will be set but the top will still be soft, but should not be runny.   Let cool 3-5 minutes.  Place inverted serving dish over ramekin, and turn over to release cake onto plate.

016

Lightly sift confectioner’s sugar over cake.

025

Decorate with berries, if desired.  Serve warm.

027

Enjoy…but seriously – don’t burn your mouth on the hot, gooey chocolate center.  It’s very hard to make out with burned lips and tongue.  Or so I’m told.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day all you crazy lovers!

 

Photo credits:  All photos property of k8edid.

Advertisements

28 Comments

Filed under General Mumblings, K8e's Kitchen

Life is Better with a Pint of Vermont’s Finest

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I’m feeling down, dragging bottom
When skies are gray, and my mood is rotten
When my attitude reeks and happiness eludes me
There are a couple of friends I know I must see.

Off to the kitchen, with dinner to make
I spy a near-empty pint of “Strawberry Cheesecake”
The few spoonfuls eaten, starting to feel drunk
I eye a quart of “Triple Caramel Chunk”.

Scrounging in the freezer, starting to shake
Do I want “Phish Food”? or “Red Velvet Cake”?
“Dublin Mudslide”? or “Peach Cobbler”
I’m transforming into a frozen dairy treat gobbler.

I try to resist with all the strength I can muster.
I cave when I see a pint of “What a Cluster”.
When I find a lonely spoonful of “Chunky Monkey”
I shovel it in like some kind of junkie.

“Chubby Hubby” doesn’t stand a chance
During my in-front-of-the-freezer-door dance
“Chocolate Therapy” is exactly just that.
Say, does this “Crème Brulee” make me look fat?

I scrape out the last bite, down my chin it runs.
Then I reach in the back for some “Cinnamon Buns”
A few little bites really won’t matter
So I finish off a pint of “Cake Batter”.

I embrace “Cherry Garcia” –  it counts as a fruit!
My diet is now shot so that point is just moot.
“Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” calls out to me
When my table is called – Pity, Party of three!

Skipping dinner is starting to sound just fine,
As long I can hang out with these friends of mine
Just two Vermont guys who always cheer me up
Whether enjoyed in a cone, a bowl or a cup.

Just three good buddies – Ben & Jerry, and Me.

Triple Caramel Chunk

Triple Caramel Chunk (Photo credit: Shoshanah)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Visit these other blogs for a peek into the lives of bloggers who know a good thing when they see  taste it!

The Blurt Blog: http://wp.me/pr0Rp-3vK
She’s A Maineiac:  http://wp.me/p105lO-1G6
Jacqueline Cangro: http://wp.me/pCBZ0-ZX
The G is Silent:  http://wp.me/p1XBWU-3es
Julie Kingsley: http://wp.me/pVMgR-1aV
Georgette Sullins: http://wp.me/p13O8t-1ct

34 Comments

Filed under Poems, Poetry and Poem-etry, Uncategorized

Cops + Doughnuts = Yumminess

First Note:  This post was scheduled for yesterday, Friday July 20.  When I woke up and saw the news surrounding the tragic events in Colorado, I pulled the piece.  Given the carnage that law enforcement, trauma centers, and families were dealing with, it seemed highly inappropriate.  I’m not sure today is really better, but when I re-read this post, I saw that it celebrated law enforcement, family, and hope  –  so I published it today.  I hope you read it in that spirit.

Second Note:  Please, please, please – if you are a member of the law enforcement community – do not attack me for mentioning your chosen profession and baked goods in the same breath.  I love cops.  I was once madly (and sadly – he was not good for me) in love with a policeman.  He was guilty of felony heartbreak.  I admire and support the brave men and women who serve their communities in that career.   I do love doughnuts (also, sadly – they are not good for me) although our relationship has lasted considerably longer than the one with the cop.  They are always there for me (as in by my side, on my hips, in my arteries).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Michigan, especially in the summer time, is a very lovely place.  While its economy may be struggling, and its population dwindling,  its citizens are resourceful, resilient, and stalwart.  If you need reasons to enjoy a Michigan adventure, check out this post by Pithypants, as well as this post.

On a recent visit to Michigan, I met the lovely Peg-o-Leg.  It was determined during that brief interlude, somehow, that calories consumed in Michigan do not count.  I believe the precise formula is something like this “Expenditures made to support the economy result in the automatic removal of calories and saturated fat”.  Or some such.  I returned from my whirlwind trip over the 4th with a considerably lighter wallet and pants that would barely button.  So perhaps that theory is slightly flawed.  Whatever.

We spent a couple of days with all five grandchildren at our campground.  On the trip to return them (sunburned and bug-bitten) to their parents – we stopped in Clare, Michigan, at the Cops and Doughnuts Bakery.  This magical place is part museum, part bakery, part retail establishment and pure blood-glucose-raising fun.

When the century-old bakery was in within weeks of going under, the Clare police force (all 9 members) pooled their resources and purchased the enterprise.  They opened Cops and Doughnuts Bakery in 2009 and business has been expanding as rapidly as the waistlines of the multitudes of tourists who flock there for the baked goods, but stay for the fun.  Some of their merchandising slogans include”  DWI (Doughnuts Were Involved), Cereal Killer, and Cuffed and Stuffed.

They have their own “Cops Coffee” brand of coffee, merchandise of every kind from coffee mugs to baby clothing, and have even opened the “Traffic Stop Diner” in their third expansion just this year.  Menu items include “Stool Pigeon Sandwich” (chicken salad), “Sticky Situation Sandwich” (peanut butter, shredded carrots, sunflower nuts, raisins and honey), “Misdemeanor Weiner” and “Undercover Misdemeanor Weiner” (coney style), and “Grounds for Investigation Sandwich” (ground bologna) – as well as “Electric Chair Fries” and “Cold Case Slaw”.

The business has been showcased in several national news features.  They were designated one of Michigan’s  “50 Businesses to Watch” in 2011.  They now employ 28 employees (none are family members of the police-owners and in a small town like Clare, that is impressive) and are going to 24/7 operations this year.

The real draw, of the place, though is the bakery.  The aroma hits you from the street – yeasty, cinnamon-y, delightful aroma.  I did not get any good shots of the display rack as there were many, many people lined up its entire length and I was trying to corral 5 grandkids and one testy grandpa with low-blood sugar, but believe me when I say it is a feast for the eyes.  Racks of freshly baked, handmade cinnamon and pecan rolls.  Rows and rows of doughnuts, turnovers, and pastries of every size and shape.  The cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls are roughly the size of a salad plate ($2.79) and are easily the best baked goods I have ever tasted (including my own).

I applaud the Clare Policemen who rescued this gem and their business acumen, as well as their ability to laugh at and with the stereotypes inherent in such a venture.  It is a reminder that law enforcement does much more than lie in wait for me in speed traps serve and protect, they support their communities in a multitude of untold ways.  I wish them continued and rampant success.

As proper grandparents, Sweet-Cheeks and I spoiled them and loaded them up with sugar prior to giving them back to their parents.  I will leave you with these pictures – snapped during the feeding frenzy that punctuated a family adventure that included lots of hugs, a few tears, and sweetly-frosted memories…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

103 Comments

Filed under humor, Photos - Travel and Other, Uncategorized

Gluttony – Post 2

Gluttony, of the seven deadly sins. By Jacob M...

Gluttony, of the seven deadly sins. By Jacob Matham. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All right, kiddos – go fire up the coffee pot and get ready for the next installment of “Gluttony”.

If you want to read about the Deadly Sin Series – Writing contest click here.  To read the post containing the first batch of entries, click here.

All right – got that coffee?  Then enjoy these fabulous entries.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

First up – Sandy from Rest of Our Days

The Deadly Sin of Gluttony and the Happy Meal

I picked up the tray from the counter, piled high with food. This was a lone trip. A quick stop of convenience to refuel from the long drive.

I would need to find a table to check my e-mail—the place now had free Wi-Fi. As I scanned the fast food establishment, a single empty table became my destination. I weaved through the bolted down tables, avoiding the kids running noisily through the aisles, chicken nuggets drenched in dipping sauce in one hand, fries in the other.

I plunked my bum down on the hard seat and sat staring at the mound of cardboard containers in front of me. Carefully opening each package, adding ketchup and salt. Placing the straw in the massive cup of Coke.

Had I really just said yes when asked if I wanted to Large Size my order?

Oh yes, indeed, I had.

I really only wanted a small hamburger and a few fries. Something to sustain me. Fuel me.

But the meal sat untouched. A pile of fries like Everest with salt sticking to each little stick. A massive paper cup, the size of a milk jug, full of sugary Coke. A leaning tower of two all beef patties oozing special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions over the sesame seed bun.

As the ditty played over and over in my head I looked up at the circus surrounding me.

Fat people, skinny people, all ages, all sizes. Men, women and children squirming in their chairs with mounds of food in front of them. Some sitting with excited expressions as mommy placed the Happy Meal in front of them, opened the ketchup pack, put the straw in the drink. Saving the toy until they ate all their food. There was even a full size clown to add to the circus atmosphere over by the Playplace.

Most people were mindlessly chomping. Taking big bites from their large sized orders. Not talking. Just staring in the distance as the noise swirled around them.

As I watched them, it seemed as if each bite they took got bigger and bigger and the food appeared to be inhaled. Bite. Swallow. There didn’t seem to be a lot of chewing going on. From where I sat, I could see the line for the drive-thru window getting longer and longer. The atmosphere of gluttony descended over me. I felt like I was in an alternate universe.

Visions of starving kids in Africa came to mind, dying from lack of food. As my brain transposed the gaunt faces with the faces of the chubby kids in front of me, the soulful, begging eyes remained the same. The same pleas to “help me” were wordlessly conveyed. These kids in front of me were dying from too much food.

I picked up my tray of uneaten food and dumped it in the garbage can conveniently located by the door.

As I pushed through the door to leave, I stepped around a pudgy, teary-eyed little boy holding a broken toy from his Happy Meal.  “It’s ok”, said the mom. “We’ll get another one next time.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next Up:  Darla from She’s A Maineiac

GLUTTONY

I always feel a roar in the pit of my stomach right before it starts. Could be nerves, I suppose. Or just hunger. Maybe it’s because I’ve prepared for weeks, sometimes months for this moment. I do the normal body cleanse, clean out all the pipes, so to speak. Then Ma clicks the stopwatch and it’s GO TIME. I’ve always been good at it. Ma says when I was a baby I would eat three jars of sweet potatoes, one right after the other,  then scream for more. I was always hungry, always crying.

My personal best is 53 hot dogs in ten minutes 56 seconds. The trick is lots of ketchup–helps them dogs slide on down smooth as melted butter. When I start, there’s nothing like it, almost a religious experience. My body takes over and I start inhaling them, sucking them down, filling myself up so fast I could swallow the entire universe if I wanted to.

Sometimes I can feel them staring at me, as much disgusted by me as they are thrilled by me. Let ’em gawk. I don’t give two shits about them anyway. Once the first chunk goes down and my mouth is stuffed, it’s just me against the food. The goddamn food. And I always win. Always. Until the summer of 2005 in Coney Island.

I can pinpoint the exact moment it all when to hell for me. I lost my first contest. Lost to a girl from Japan who was no heavier than a sack of flour–looked like her entire body was nothin more than a pile of bones slapped together with some skin. I knew I was in trouble when she sized me up just before the buzzer went off. Her shifty eyes daring me, taunting me. I had half a mind to stand up right there in front of everybody and swallow her whole. I regret I didn’t get the chance. Not 10.32 minutes later, she had won. Beat me by five whole hot dogs. FIVE. And I was left to sit there like a stuffed pig, still choking. Ma wasn’t happy with me that day. There was big money at stake and she was already three months behind on the mortgage.

Soon Miyu was winning every contest, hamburgers, crabcakes you name the food and she was always at least five to ten ahead of me at the end. But this next contest was it. The prize was $10,000. Enough to keep Ma happy for a bit.

The buzzer went off and I did my thing. For hours at home I had practiced my new move. I could almost get two of them down my throat at once. But it was tricky. For a split second I’d almost stop breathing, like I was drowning in the grease and fat.  But I’d push on through cuz I had to. I had to beat that goddamn girl.

About a minute into the race I glanced down the line at Miyu, she was staring straight ahead, her eyes black and unfeeling, her hands popping the hot dogs in so fast it was a blur. She was in The Zone. I was falling out. In a stupid move I crammed three in my mouth at once and something happened. I knew it was bad. The screams of the crowd faded into this buzzing noise. Things began to get real hazy and I thought  I saw Ma standing over me, crying. I don’t remember standing up, or falling forward, smashing into the table, ketchup and mustard and hot dogs flying every which way. Soon the crowd was all around me and I was looking up at the sky, so clear and blue. So beautiful.

Like I could swallow the entire universe.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

 Finally, this gem from 1 Point Perspective :

Willie Prader, Private Eye – Deadly Sin Series –

“A Glutton For Punishment”

Willie Prader had a bad feeling about this one.  Like maybe he’d bit off more than he could chew.

The leggy blonde named Crystal had sauntered through the door and into his life just a week before.  For someone who made his living being observant, he should have learned by now – trouble was always blonde, and it always sauntered.

The job was simple.  She was convinced that her husband was cheating.  Willie’d been a private dick since Moses was a pup, but still had to wonder what kind of guy cheats on a bombshell like this dame.  She had the face of a starlet, and he couldn’t help but notice how her legs got together and made an ass of themselves.

Prader parked his battered Lincoln at the White Castle across the highway from the Palace Diner and waited.  The guy drove a ’68 Fleetwood, so he’d be hard to miss.  When Mr. Light finally pulled up at the Palace, Prader was amazed to find out just how hard to miss he actually was.  The guy got out of the Caddy and the chassis elevated like one the Impalas the kids drive out in L.A.  Only this car didn’t have complicated hydraulics, it heaved up because the guy who got out of it had to tip the scales at five bills or more.  He leaned down and checked his massive face in the little mirror on the door, then shifted his bulk toward the diner entrance.

Prader chuckled to himself.  He never would’ve guessed that a doll like Crystal would be married to a guy who looked like he was built when meat was cheap.  He leaned back on the Lincoln, lit a Lucky and watched across the lanes of blacktop as the round man somehow crammed himself into a booth.  The waitress was hovering at his table, spending too much time for someone who should be hustling up and down the aisle slinging hash for tips.   She laughed and smiled at him,  touching his arm as he shifted his attention between her and the glossy menu.

Willie decided to get a closer look at this little romance.  He jogged across the highway and stood in the shadows just outside the neon glow of the flickering sign.  He considered his surroundings, making sure he wouldn’t be too conspicuous.  He looked back up to the window and saw the booth was empty.  For a minute, he thought maybe he was looking at the wrong booth.  Just then, he felt the massive ham-hand grip his arm like a vise.  He was pretty sure the pain in his ribs was the business end of a Colt, maybe a Baretta.  The man-mountain pushed him toward the diner door and the barrel of the handgun kept him moving.

Light stared at him across the booth with tired eyes.  The waitress looked at Prader with just a hint of dull surprise after putting three platters down in front of the big man.  She smiled briefly at Light as she left.

“My wife sent you snooping” Light declared.  “She knows I’m cheating,” he continued, “but look at this plate of sausage and eggs with hash browns.  Do you have any idea how many points that meal is?  Sorry pal, but I can’t lose Crystal because of what you or some team of cardiologists tell her.”

Prader swore at himself as he lay bound and gagged in the trunk of the Caddy, probably on his way to a landfill.  If he got out of this alive, he’d need to listen closer to clients, especially the blonde ones.

There is still time to get your entry in – I’ll be collecting “Gluttony” entries until midnight, Friday May 4.

11 Comments

Filed under 7 Deadly Sins Writing Contest, Uncategorized

A Post in Which I Answer the Age Old Question – What Has She Been Smokin?

Warning – this post is rated MLO (Meat Lovers Only). This post may contain images that are disturbing to vegetarians.

(Inhaling and holding my breath) Here, you want some of this? It’s good shit stuff…

Don’t you think it is funny when people inhale and try to talk while holding the smoke in their lungs? I do. Think it’s funny, I mean. I don’t actually inhale anything, but I have friends who do.

Over the years (or months if that’s how long you’ve known me) you have undoubtedly asked yourself this very question “What has that girl been smokin’?” Well, today I intend to answer that question because (cough, cough, cough – exhale) inquiring minds want to know.  This, dear ones, is what I am smoking today.

"Rubbed and Resting"

Yep, that’s right.  Pork butt.  Whole chicken.  Beef roast.  Sausages (as in Jimmy Dean pork sausage rolls).  And it smells heavenly.  As does my hair from tending the little square smoker out on the patio.

Shelby watches over the smoker - drooling at the lovely smell.

Every time I smoke something (food – I mean FOOD, people), my husband asks me if I wrote down the recipe for the rub I used.  So I ask him, “When you make love to a beautiful woman do you need a recipe?”  I see him struggle to come up with the best possible answer for that one, (What would the best answer for that question be, anyway?) So I answer the question for him. “Of course, you do”. 

Then I realize that is not a good analogy, since I don’t have a recipe.  So I try again to answer the question for him.  “No, you go to the store and buy something you know will do the trick!”  Again the analogy is not quite right. 

I’m just kidding, folks.  I don’t send him to the store for a dry rub for my meat, I make my own.  Uh, oh, I can see where your minds are going with that one.

Okay, okay.  So smoking stuff does not make me funnier (or even funny, for that matter).  But my rub recipe goes something like this.  Stand in front of the pantry door that is covered with little racks of spices.  Get a bowl and toss in some brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, dry mustard, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a dash of cayenne, some allspice and a little cumin.  Don’t measure and don’t even guess how much of each ingredient is added, just add according to your own preference for each.

Flatten out (butterfly) a whole chicken.  What?  You don’t know how to flatten out a whole chicken? Watch this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjWtodUmHgw&feature=related

Or, if that link isn’t working (I couldn’t get Word Press to embed the video) – Get your kitchen scissors and cut down both sides of the backbone, pull it out and save it, with the giblets, for making stock.  Then open up the chicken, rinse it off, and dry with a paper towel.  Then rub your special rub all over it,  and all over the pork and beef roasts, as well.  Roll your sausage rolls in the spice rub.  Let them set for an hour or so, basking in their lovely rub, to bring them to room temperature.

Slap everything on the preheated little smoker.  Chicken takes about an hour per pound – keeping the temperature in the smoker between 225 and 250.  So my 5+ pound chicken will be done in about 5 hours.   The roasts will cook a bit longer. The sausages about 3 hours.  I’ll check with a meat thermometer to ensure things are done before I start pulling them off.

Keeping a little fire burning

Sometimes, I have been known to sit on the patio with liquid refreshments because I need to keep track of the smoker, and let’s face it – we all need fluids.  This is work, people.  Serious, hot, smoky work done from my Zero Gravity reclining lawn chair with a drink in my hand.

Margarita cocktail

Image via Wikipedia

Mine is a charcoal smoker, so I add charcoal briquets (without the nasty lighter fuel on it – gack!!), natural charcoal (which is already burned wood – who knew you could buy already burned wood!!), and chunks of hardwood (hickory) throughout the day. 

Supplies needed, in addition to lime juice, tequila, and salt

I check the coals every 1/2 hour or so, and add water to the water bowl as needed.  The water keeps things from drying out.  I keep a pan of water on top of the smoker so it is pretty well heated up when I add it (otherwise, adding cold water lowers the temperature in the smoker box).  There are little vents on the sides of the smoker and every once in awhile I’ll twist one open or closed, depending on how the temperature is holding.  I told you, this is very demanding work…I have to set down my book AND my drink to accomplish all this.

Anyway, if I haven’t passed out from the “refreshments” or managed to give myself a heatstroke from lounging in close proximity to the smoker in the bright Florida sun, I will end up with a delicious array of yumminess like this:

The dark outside is called the "bark" and the pink coloration is the "smoke ring"

Some of which I will serve today with strawberry shortcake for dessert (strawberries I picked yesterday at a friend’s farm).  My beloved husband will do all the clean-up.  And I will not cook for the rest of the week.

So, what have you been smokin’?

54 Comments

Filed under K8e's Kitchen, Uncategorized