Chocolate, My Heavenly Sin

    

Okay, here’s the deal. If there is no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not interested in going. I adore chocolate. I have never met a chocolate that was not my instant best friend.

The other day I was at a gathering and the subject of chocolate came up. Each lady started talking about their favorite chocolate. It seems like most everyone has a personal reason to eat or drink the stuff. Here are just a few thoughts some have had when it comes to their chocolate …..Chocolate in happy times- A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine– Chocolate in sad times- Nobody know the truffles I’ve seen.- Out of work- Will work for chocolate-Desperate times- Put the chocolate in the bag and nobody gets hurt. When you feel like giving up!- I would give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter. And sexy times ( I’m not touching that one).

Rarely have I met a woman that is not delighted by the mere thought of chocolate in any way, shape, or form. One woman at the gathering piped in and very boldly stated, “I hate chocolate!!!”. We all just looked at her in shock as if to say something like “I don’t think we can be your friend”. When the shock wore off, we all just went on with our chocolate talk, and she became silent, as though she was the only Republican in a room of Democrats. Ahhh, the power of chocolate.

Occasionally I wear a perfume by the name of Angel. And when I wear it, I am often told how wonderful  I smell. Come to find out that the base scent for Angel perfume is …chocolate!

Did you know that there 20 different kinds of cacao trees? But who cares about that? I’ll just get to the stuff you really want to know.

There are six basic chocolate categories:

Dark Chocolate : Lots cocoa solids and very little milk or other liquids. It might have up to 13% milk solids, but not necessarily. This is considered the healthiest of all edible chocolates.

Bittersweet Chocolate: For a chocolate to be called bittersweet it must contain at least 35% cocoa solids. Upper end bittersweet will boast about 60% to 85% cocoa solids. Bittersweet is not just a cleaver name. The lower the sugar content the more intense the chocolate taste. This type of chocolate is most often used in baking.

Sweet, Dark Chocolate: Very similar to semi-sweet chocolate, containing 35-45% cocoa solids. In fact, it is  hard to notice a difference between the two.

Semi-sweet Chocolate: This is the most recognizable of the baking chocolates. After all, this is what was in the very first chocolate chip cookie. Of course, you can make all kinds of baked goods with semi-sweet, or just eat it all by itself. It can be used in the place of sweet dark chocolate. This lovely chocolate has a good, sweet flavor asd contains 40-62% cocoa solids.

Milk Chocolate: A sugary chocolate which normally contains 10-20% cocoa solids (which includes cocoa and cocoa butter) and more than 12% milk solids. It is occasionally used in baking, and is what most candy bars are made of. No real health benefits, except psychologically.

White Chocolate: The main ingredient in white chocolate is cocoa butter (pretty much made from pure fat).  Basically, there is no real chocolate in it. It has a smooth texture and a delicious, mild and pleasant flavor It is used to make fancy desserts like mousse and goumet puddings. Not so good for you, but yum.

With so many types of chocolate, you will never lose interest. You can eat it as candy, bake with it, drink it, and wear it (some have been known to love it that much!). Either way you look at it, chocolate is a girls best friend! Cuz diamonds taste kinda funny ;)…

Try my Chocolate Sin Cookie and join me in Heaven!

 

Chocolate Sin Cookie Serves 36 to 42

 

Some days are just chocolate days. Other days are DARK Chocolate days. On those

days, this cookie is for you!

 

Ingredients

½ cup                        pure olive oil

1½ cups                    granulated sugar

3 large                       eggs, beaten

3 Tablespoons          milk

2 teaspoons              pure vanilla extract

½ cup                       unsweetened cocoa

                                 (Dutch milled is best)

2⅔ cups                    flour

2 teaspoons               baking powder

¾ teaspoon                salt

¾ cups                       granulated sugar

24                               chocolate chunks

                                   (use your favorite)

 

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat large

cookie sheets with olive oil cooking spray.

2. In mixer bowl add olive oil, sugar, eggs, and

milk. Mix until well blended.

3. Add vanilla and cocoa. Blend until smooth.

4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix

until well blended.

5. Drop by teaspoonfuls or by small size cookie

scoop into powdered sugar and roll until

coated. Place 3 per row (these cookies spread).

6. Bake for 7~10 minutes. Remove from oven

and press a chunk of chocolate into the center

of each cookie. Cool on wire

 

 

 

 

Pucker Up

 

When life gives you lemons.....
When life gives you lemons…..

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade right?

 Not so fast missy!

Although I love a nice tall glass of lemonade as much the next guy, there is so much more to lemons (and life) than just plain old lemonade.

 Did you also know that lemons

·     Are the top source of citric acid

·     Packed with vitamin C

·     Act as a natural laxative (the juice of one lemon blended with one egg yolk)

·     Fresh lemon juice has only 4 calories

·     Are a natural therapy for treating fever

·     When heated, creates salicyclic acid, which is a natural pain reliever.

·     Are excellent thirst quencher

·     A natural insect repellent

·     Lighten hair color in the sun

·     Are an natural body detoxifier

·     Keep fruits like apples and pears from going brown

·     Have a delicious and soothing aroma

·     Add incredible flavor to baked goods  

Lemon tips

·     When needing only a few drops of lemon  juice, prick one end with a fork and squeeze the desired amount.

·     Lemon juice can be frozen for up to 6 month and still taste fresh. To freeze, place juice in ice cube trays.

·     When a recipe calls for fresh squeezed lemons, squeeze upside down to avoid seeds from dropping into your recipe.

·     To extend the shelf life of a lemon, keep them in your refrigerator in a clean jar, cover them with cold water and seal the jar well.

A couple of useless facts about lemons

·     There are 18 varieties of lemons worldwide

·     On his second voyage, Christopher Columbus brought the first lemons (and lemon trees) to America.

So, when life gives you lemons, go ahead and make lemonade…….

But, don’t forget the cookies!!

Extreme Lemon Sugar Cookies

 ⅔ cup……………….. pure olive oil

1 cup………………… granulated sugar

1 large………………  egg

2½ teaspoons……. pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons……. lemon zest (one large lemon)

2 tablespoons……. fresh lemon juice

2¼ cups……………. flour (whole wheat pastry flour works well)

1 teaspoon………… baking powder

½ teaspoon……….. baking soda

½ teaspoon……….. salt

½ cup……………….  additional sugar for rolling

½ cup……………….  powdered sugar for dusting.

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat cookie sheets

with olive oil cooking spray.

2. In mixer bowl add olive oil, sugar, egg,

vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend

until smooth.

3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and

salt. Mix until well blended.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls or by small size cookie

scoop into sugar and roll until well coated.

Place on prepared cookie sheets.

5. Bake 8 minutes, cool on wire racks, dust

with powdered sugar. Pucker up, and enjoy!!!