Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Cups of Chocolate Goodness

I have a few rules that I try to live by.

Rule #1: Create a weekly menu when I’m hungry. (It doesn’t go so well if I try to make a menu when I’m stuffed.)

Rule #2: Grocery shop when I’m NOT hungry. (If I shop when I’m hungry I end up buying things like funions. Weird.)


Rule #3: Don’t watch any type of cooking show on an empty stomach. (Otherwise I end up trying out EVERY recipe from the show in the next few days.)

Rule #4: If a food is good when full-sized, then it’s probably even better when tiny-sized.

Don’t believe me on rule #4? Well how about those tiny m&ms? The regular ones are good. The tiny ones are perfectly delicious. Do you need another example? How about your very own small chocolate cake? Ok, ok…. I know you think it might be better to have your own HUGE chocolate cake, but hear me out.

First of all, these little cakes are baked in a buttered & sugared ramekin. Don’t even think about skipping the sugaring step. That granulated sugar creates a lovely crust on the outside of the cake. Now if you had to share this cake with someone else, you wouldn’t get that sugary crust all to yourself.

Secondly, because these are small they can be baked just long enough to be done yet remain gooey inside. That’s hard to do with a full-sized cake.

And finally, this recipe is a small one. It only makes four ramekins. Why is that good you ask? Because sometimes all you need is one serving of cake. Sometimes.

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes (from Everyday Food on PBS)

Some notes on this recipe:

  • These cakes really are best fresh from the oven. The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate but all I had was some semi-sweet so that’s what I used. It was delicious and that’s what I would use again. I’m not sure my kids would appreciate the bittersweet chocolate.
  • Don’t overbake these beauties. The recipe says to “bake until center of a cake is soft but not wet when pressed.” When your timer is running out, keep your eye on the cakes and as soon as the center is not “wet when pressed” pull them from the oven.
  • I skipped the caramel sauce. I’m sure it’s great, but we enjoyed our cakes with just a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Menu No. 111

Monday – grilled pizzas, green salad

Tuesday - grilled chicken, roasted carrots/potatoes/corn

WednesdayLemon Fusilli, bruschetta

Thursday – gyros with tzatziki sauce

Friday – eat out

SaturdayPanzanella & Sweet Corn Puree

SundaySwiss Steak (slow cooker), fruit salad

corn puree

Sweet Corn Puree

Friday, August 20, 2010


I’m here. I’ve just been busy. Some of my time has been taken up with trying to make some changes to my computer. For the past month I feel as if my computer has been non-functioning more than it’s been functioning. All better now though.

I’ve also been caring for and eating from our garden. Honestly, the actual gardening doesn’t take that much time – maybe 15 minutes each day to water and pick. Guess how many weeds I’ve pulled this year…. 7. I’m not exaggerating. Last year it was 2. I’m a huge fan of square foot gardening. In a small space we’ve been able to plant more than enough herbs and vegetables for our family.

Here’s what we’ve been enjoying this year:

corn (planted 18)

cucumbers (1 vine)

jalapenos (1)

onions (20)

peas (12)

tomatoes (early girl & grape)

banana peppers (1)

basil (2 plants. Can’t you just smell it? yum!)

green beans (16 plants, two varieties)

carrots (4 varieties, 128 carrots total)

cilantro (crop #2 – hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy it before the first frost)

green peppers (2)

We also have chives, oregano, thyme, leeks and parsley.

I love love love the foods of summer.


These Balsamic Grilled Vegetables are amazing and really easy. Grill them up while your salmon (or burgers, hot dogs, etc) is on the grill and you’re good to go. We have these at least once a week, sometimes as terriyaki grilled vegetables and occasionally as plain ol’ salt/pepper/olive oil grilled vegetables.