Chocolate

Brigadeiro (Brazilian Truffles) // www.acozykitchen.com

The other day as I was perusing my morning email, I noticed all of these offerings for Father’s Day. Tool kit this, ugly tie that…and lots and lots of golf stuff. Whose dad likes this stuff?! No, my dad doesn’t want an ugly golf tie. He doesn’t even wear ties. No, he doesn’t want a grilling brush…because, well, it’s a grilling brush! I’m sorry but there’s nothing thoughtful and interesting about a brush that’s used to scratch the gross meat-bits off a grill. I think Father’s Day needs a revamp.

While all of these companies try and throw very gender-stereotypical gifts our way, I’d like to share what my dad would really like for Father’s Day.

My dad wants to have lunch with me and hear me talk because even though he’s always told me I talk too much, we don’t see each other enough, and me talking too much is exactly what he now wants. He wants to watch a game of soccer with people who are just as excited about it as he is a.k.a my brother, his father and his brothers.

He wants to run Amelia in the park and teach her new tricks because he loves her almost more than I do. My love for dogs comes from him. And to cap the day off, he’d want dessert. No one loves dessert more than my papa. His first choice would be ice cream. Second would be something chocolate-oriented. Actually, he’s a big fan of putting chocolate things on top of his vanilla ice cream. So this recipe would be the thing that goes on top.

Brigadeiro // www.acozykitchen.com

Most of my dad’s Colombian family now lives in Brazil and has for more than thirty years. So, now most of my family now considers themselves Brazilian. This recipe isn’t a recipe I necessarily learned from them, but it is one that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.

It’s the kind of dessert you’ll most likely see on a buffet table at someone’s house. The preparation is super simple. The ingredients are somewhat minimal and it doesn’t take very long to do. Since I like to put twists on classics, I rolled mine in a variety of things like crushed pretzels, potato chips and finely chopped pistachios and walnuts. The traditional move are the chocolate sprinkles, which I recommend, too.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures out there. I’m so grateful I was raised by a good one.

(P.S. for the full recipe, jump on over to PBS Food!)

Brigadeiro // www.acozykitchen.com

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Sometimes I want to love what everyone else loves…but don’t. Like, harem pants (my thighs don’t need help looking larger – thanks) or frappuchinos (real coffee, please) or sparkly shoe clips  or Mad Men (boring). Peanut butter and chocolate is one of those things that the entire world LOVES.  And I do, too.

It’s the classic of classic combos. And there’s good reason.  Something magical occurs when chocolate and peanut butter come together. The clouds open, the symphony sounds, a Lisa Frank rainbow appears in the sky and smiles appear.

This cookie has chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal and a good amount of salt all mixed into one.

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Have you ever had a psycho boss?

Straight out of college, I got my first big-girl job and was super pumped about being a grown-up with health insurance and a 401-K. What I didn’t plan on, was having a sort of psycho (but very nice!) boss who had trouble managing stress. (Maybe you can relate…?!)

My boss’s stress quickly became my stress (not healthy, btw). To help, we would do something very logical/normal: stress eat chocolate. It would happen pretty much daily, post lunch at around 3pm.

I’m convinced that 3pm is the hardest time of day. It’s right after lunch, lethargic feelings linger, you’re sort of ready for the day to be over…yet you have to push through to get the end of the day. Ugh.

So, we would take a 15 minute break and brew really good green tea and drink it with dark chocolate. Pretty much heaven.

I no longer have a psycho boss, but I still enjoy my late-afternoon breaks. I’ve recently become obsessed with green tea lattes. To make: add about a teaspoon of matcha powder to a saucepan with about 1 cup of milk, and heat until warm. (The green hue is both pretty and scary, eh?!)

I’m so into the combination of this drink with dark chocolate (in this case I ate Ghiradelli’s Intense Dark chocolate which is 86% cacao). Swoon-worthy.

As most of you know, my coffee addition situation is a little scary. I’ve been trying to limit myself to one cup a day, but in times when I’m weak and desperate, I’ll have two cups.

And OMG is coffee amazing with chocolate. It’s a logical pairing. They play off of each other’s flavors so well.

I generally drink my coffee without sugar so I tend to go for a sweeter chocolate and one with nuts. The one pictured is a dark chocolate with hazelnuts throughout called Hazelnut Heaven. The name is very appropriate.

Most nights, especially when I’m tired, I definitely don’t have the energy to make dessert. Maybe it’s a spoonful or two of some ice cream in the freezer. And sometimes it’s a bit of cheese and chocolate. I know some of you might be like, chocolate and cheese?!? Weird! But it’s actually amazing.

This is a gooey cheese similar to brie called D’affinois. It’s creamy, salty and light. With a slightly sweeter dark chocolate (like this Twilight Delight – 72% cacao) its tastes is similar to, say, a chocolate cheesecake.

Add a glass of pinot noir in the mix, give me some trashy TV, and BOOM: end of day relaxation session.

{This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ Chocolate}

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Pretzel Chocolate Pudding Piiii-aaaahh.

Sometimes when I say “pie” in my head, I actually say it in Paula Deen’s voice and say “piiiii-aaaahh.” I have no idea why. Mainly because when I’m all by myself saying things in other accents entertains me more than not. Also, Paula Deen’s voice is kind of hilarious. I used to think she was faking it…that was until I met her a few years ago for a job I was on and it was then when I realized that she’s totally real. Everything. It’s not an act. She’s a woman obsessed with butter and mayonnaise and putting a hamburger in between two doughnuts. I dunno…all I can say is that in real life she’s Paula…which is both relieving and scary all at the same time.

Back to piii-ahhh…I had been dreaming of some sort of pretzel crust for months. I’m obsessed with all things salty at the moment. I have no idea what’s wrong with me. First, there was the giant peanut butter thing with big flakes of sea salt on top; then just a few days ago there were salty vanilla cookie things. Though a little random, I think this recent, little obsession is proving to be delicious.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Holy wow! You lovely people read from all around the globe. I had no idea. How special. How awesome. Thank you thank you! I made you something kind of ridiculous. Think of it sort of like a thank you in form of chocolate and peanut butter. Best kind of thank you!

I’ve had this idea to make a gigantic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for a long time. I don’t eat a lot of candy. I don’t, but OMG do I love peanut butter cups. They’re my weakness when I go to the movies, but I never buy them because it makes me mad that they’re like $4 at the movie theater and $1 at the drug store. WHY? Movie theater prices are like mini-bar prices but less exciting. No turn down service. No housekeeping. LAME.

So, sometimes I sneak them in my purse. Sometimes I might even go to Chipotle before and sneak in a burrito. So what, who cares?!

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OMG coffee, I love you.

Raise your hand if you go to sleep dreaming about the next morning’s cup of coffee…

Raise your hand if you’re sort of a snob about coffee (and you don’t care who knows it)…

Raise your hand if you love coffee in baked goods…

If I were you, my hand would’ve been raised for all 3. What if coffee didn’t exist? What a sad thought. I was never one of those kids that didn’t like coffee. Pretty sure I was born loving it. In Latin culture it’s common to give kids a cup of café con leche early on. I think I had mine before the age of 10…and I loved it. I loved it so much that I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee at all until I was about 16. My parents didn’t want to stunt my growth. Turns their efforts were useless since I’m positive that I was destined to be the 5’1″ that I am. SADFACE!

Whatever. What’s awesome now is that I get to drink it all I want. Yay for being an adult!

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I’m a big fan of layers. This is the very reason why Fall and Winter make me leap for joy.

These seasons give me the ability to wear a tank top, a t-shirt, a button up, and a jacket (and maybe a scarf)…all while not perspiring. Perspiring sucks. So does shivering, I guess; but at least I sorta get an ab workout when I shiver. AM I RIGHT?!

I dig food layers, too. These cupcakes? Crazy food layering going on here. Maybe you can’t see all the food layers yet. It’s okay. I’m gonna outline them for you.

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Real talk. Are you ready?

On Friday…(the one that just passed) I was a huge brat. I woke up extra early to show the day who’s who and by noon I had four failed recipes. Every bowl I owned was in the sink. Flour was all over the floor. There was melted butter in my bangs. Soo…to no surprise, I had major attitude. Like major. So I was like, Cool, I’m gonna sit outside eat two tacos, have an iced tea and I’ll feel better.

Didn’t work. Came home…still had an attitude.

I decided to sit in my mess of a kitchen and open up a new book that just arrived: Christina Tosi’s, Momofuku Milk Bar. Right after the introduction there is a section…and it’s called ‘Real Talk.’

Her Real Talk? Stop complaining. Keep your cool. Baking with no AC totally sweating? Shut up. No really…just shut up. Your mixer broke and you have 100 pounds of cookie dough to mix? Woman-up…roll up your sleeves…time to get busy.

Her hardbody, total attitude of pep talk is what I needed. Sometimes all of us need someone to set us straight. Christina did it. Girl crush? Totally.

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What’s uuuuuuup?!

Oh what am I doing, you ask?

Nothing much…just plugged away this weekend…curing big world problems…like the issue of how to get Rocky Road in your face (sans Rocky Road ice cream). Were you aware this was an issue? It totally WAS. Don’t worry; I figured it out.

First way: this milkshake. Sure you can use rocky road ice cream. I realize this. But then you wouldn’t have toasted marshmallow. And really that’s the whole thing about this milkshake. I was totally in it for the burnt marshmallows.

Then there are these Rocky Road cookies. Chocolate making out with chocolate, walnuts and marshmallows all folded in. Ma-jor.

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Hey! What kind of real life stuff you got going on this weekend?

Are you about to go on adventure? To a new restaurant? To a new town? Maybe with someone that’ll make you laugh… and make the whole thing that much better…

Are you about to watch your little youngin’ figure out how to put one foot in front of the other? Are you on that tip? That’s some beautiful stuff right there.

Are you planning a night out with your best friend to drink pink wine, talk about boys, tell inappropriate jokes and plan all the fall shoes you’re gonna buy?!

Are you about to watch another human eat a peach for the first time in their lives? This is gorgeous.

Or are you figuring out how you’re gonna make your horrid depressing dorm room cute?!

P.S. I went with the “minimalist” look and spent the rest on liquor that I hid in my ceiling. This is true.

I wanna know what’s going on. Mainly because I’m nosy.

Also, because I love real life talk…and we’re in the thick of it.

Can I tell you how to make all this good stuff slightly better?

I mean, I’m weary to promise big things…but this pudding…is super legit.

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