Tag Archives: chocolate

Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana (and Chocolate)

You guys are the best!  All day today, I felt like we were all standing around in the kitchen together, chatting about how to pull off a last-minute Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s easy, you reminded me.  Stuff a winter squash, roast some veggies, make a soup or a good salad, put out cheese or olives. Easy is perfect.  And just as perfect were the reminders that it’s not the food that makes a holiday special; it’s the excuse to gather as a family and enjoy each others’ company.

And…that’s good.  Because we arrived to find our rental-with-kitchen unsavory, and decamped to a hotel suite with only a mini-bar fridge instead.  So no kitchen, no Thanksgiving cooking.  We’re going to have our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend instead, back in Seattle.  Which I already have planned now, days in advance—I’m so uncharacteristically organized!  But seriously, thank you–I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful cooks and epicures and readers and writers in this little place called the internet (interwebs?) and I’m thankful to know you all.In celebration of life with a mini-fridge, and especially for those of you on the road this weekend, I’m sharing my favorite hotel-room breakfast today.  Continue reading

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Banana Bread with Bittersweet Chocolate, Whole Wheat, and Olive Oil

I’m not going to disappoint anyone by telling you that banana bread is really cake, right?  And this banana “bread” is no exception.  It has a couple of healthful flourishes, yes–whole wheat flour replaces some of the white flour, and olive oil and yogurt stand in for butter–but it remains a sweet, dense, chocolatey cake.

And to be honest, I like whole grains in sweet baked goods at least as much for their hearty flavor as for any health benefit they confer (I mean, we’re still talking about cake here).  These whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, this rye flour zucchini bread (also a cake, of course)—the whole grains add a layer of flavor and texture that leave more refined baked goods tasting rather insipid in comparison. Continue reading

S’mores, or, In Praise of Not Cooking Sometimes, Too

I love cooking for my family, but it’s nice to have an occasional break everything, even things I love.  Like maybe once a year, when we go to family camp, stay in rustic cabins, and let the nice people there cook and clean up for us.

This is literally the only thing I made all week.  It was a good week. Continue reading

Chocolate Waffles

Oh, friends.  You rightly clamored for the chocolate pancake recipe to accompany that Summer Berry Sauce, but I have a confession: not only did I not make those pancakes, but I was probably still asleep when my mom made them.  (Thanks, Mom!)

But today was the Real Birthday.  I think was a good day on the four-year-old-birthday scale, as evidenced by the fact that the house is covered in glitter.  And that the day started, as requested, with chocolate waffles (and ended with chocolate cake).

I have had my eye on the “waffle brownies” from Tea and Cookies for a while, but in the end I decided that they seemed too decadent.  For breakfast.  For a four-year-old.  Instead I went with the first recipe that came up in my Google search, an Alton Brown recipe that seemed a little more like your standard buttermilk waffles but with some cocoa powder and chocolate chips mixed in.  Ok, a lot of cocoa powder and chocolate chips, and the chocolate chips melted and the waffle edges were crisp and it was a pretty great combination.  And then we served them with whipped cream and strawberries.

Obviously my healthier-waffles logic was not crystal clear here, but the resulting dessert-for-breakfast was just delicious.  I think you’ll forgive me about the pancakes. Continue reading Chocolate Waffles (click for recipe)

Crispy Chocolate-Granola Haystacks

Road tripping ain’t what it used to be, friends.

Gone are our lazy days of puttering down the coast, of long lunches with spectacular views, of starting and stopping and pitching camp where and when we like.

We’re all business now.  It’s I-5 all the way from Seattle to Northern California, aggressive packing of PB&J fixings so we don’t need long lunches, and hardly noticing the view because of the song and dance I’m doing in the back seat to entertain the girls.

That’s right, we packed the whole family into the minivan (which I like to call the “Man Van” now, both to distance myself from it and to convey to J how sexy it is for him to take the kids to swimming lessons).  And we drove all afternoon and night, and much of the next day, and lived to tell the tale.

Here are some of the things that we did in the car to entertain three children aged 1, 3, and 5: made a list of things to do, read books, sang songs, colored, napped, watched a video, ate snacks, played peek-a-boo, and let the baby pull out an entire package of floss.

Here is something we did not do in the car: eat these chocolately granola treats.  We meant to, we really did.  Hannah said they were road food and I’m inclined to agree, but once I made them we had to taste one and then, wow, another, and they were so crispy and chocolately and then it was the next day and J was asking me to please take a photo of the things already so he could keep eating them and just like that…gone, as fast as the miles roll by when you’re having a good time out there on the road.

Continue reading Crispy Chocolate-Granola Haystacks (click for recipe)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate is woefully under-represented on this blog compared to the role it plays in my life.  I’d say I eat chocolate almost every day, sometimes in moderation and sometimes, frankly, not.  But most of the chocolate I eat these days is in pure, unadulterated bar form.  I don’t bake with it much anymore because, in a perplexing twist of fate, I have a child who doesn’t like chocolate.  She spits out a cookie, face twisted in disgust, if she finds an errant chocolate chip in her mouth.  It’s unfathomable to me, but I work with it and mostly bake without chocolate.

So when I make something chocolate, I like to go all-out. These cookies are all-out. Are you still mulling over what nice thing to do for your dad for Fathers Day?  Skip down to the ingredients list and start baking.

The brookies (brownies+cookies=brookies) recipe on this site is one of my favorite chocolate cookie recipes. This is the other.  Those are chewy; these are a decadent, chocolatey, crumbly sable, packed with chunks of chopped bittersweet chocolate.  The recipe comes from French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, Dorie Greenspan published in her book Baking: From My Home to Yours, and I found it via The Splendid Table.  Thank goodness.

The only warning I will offer is this: the dough can be quite crumbly, and if it is too crumbly it will be difficult to slice into cookies.  I have read that using high-quality cocoa powder makes the dough easier to handle, but I used up some decidedly low-quality cocoa powder this time and the cookies came out fine.  If your dough is truly too crumbly to form into logs, stir in a spoonful of milk and the dough will come right together.  You’ll lose a tiny bit of the light, sandy texture, but the cookies will still be delicious. Continue reading Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (click for recipe)

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know how I roll: it’s 10 p.m. and crap, I forgot to make the cookies I promised the PTA I’d bring tomorrow for Teacher Appreciation Week or some such made up holiday.  (Not that I don’t appreciate teachers, because I DO.  Bless them.  Thank you, teachers everywhere.  But do I really have to make cookies at 10 p.m.?) (Don’t answer that.)

This has become my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It’s barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen, a site that I like because I feel confident that Deb cares just as much as I do about food being very, very delicious.  And these cookies fit the bill: they’re classic, chock-full of chocolate, and chewy with a crispy edge.  What more can you ask of a cookie?  Well, I’ll tell you the final way in which they’re perfect: they’re made with melted butter.  If you, like me, never plan ahead to have softened butter waiting on your counter to make cookies, this will mean something to you.  And if it means nothing to you, lucky you, just go ahead and love these cookies for their other charms.

Continue reading Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (click for recipe)