The culinary adventures of a non-foodie foodie yearning to learn more. There are recipes, commentaries and tidbits that our aspiring domestic goddess has come across in her journey.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Christmas I Met My Idol

Last Christmas (2009) I met my idol, Nigella Lawson, at a book signing for her Christmas book, Nigella Christmas.

It was a cold day in December as I trotted over to the William-Sonoma in Chelsea after work.  I bought two books (one for me and one as a gift for my sister) and waited in line with baited breathe to me the Domestic Goddess herself.  All I can say is...she was WONDERFUL!  She was just the person in person that you imagine her to be when you see her on TV.  She offered a kind word, a short conversation (which I stumbled through like a slightly stunned teenager), and two beautifully penned sentiments to my sister and myself.

It was such a great day that I decided it was worth writing about over a year later.  Thank you, Nigella, for that wonderful brief meeting and I look forward to having a TRUE adult brief conversation at our next meeting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slim Dark Hot Chocolate

The temperature has been hitting a high of 25 degrees here in New York City. I know that might be warm weather for some, but in NYC, where we just get wind chill and no snow, it's friggin' cold!

With the cold weather, the first thing I think about is Hot Chocolate. I have tried most of the powders out there. There are some that are good and some that are flavored water, but I still think that the few extra minutes needed to make hot chocolate with milk, cocoa powder and sugar is totally worth it!

Now, with New Year's and a wedding coming very soon, I also move to my slim hot chocolate. It's got all the taste of a deep rich pot du chocolat, but with fewer calories (and a little less thick).

Heidi's Dark Hot Chocolate
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 packet of splenda
1 tsp. good vanilla extract
pinch of salt (you do need it, promise)
1 c skim or low-fat milk

Pour milk into a small pot and set stove-top to medium. pour all the rest of the ingredients in without shame and take a whisk and start to stir. The cocoa powder will resist the bath, but keep whisking, it will be a dark chocolate pool soon. Heat to drinking temp (the temp you want it at) but be careful not to boil the milk. Pour into your favorite warm weather cup and enjoy!

A few favorite additions of my own (all of these are to taste):
  • Peppermint Schnapps - add after so as not to cook off any of the alcohol. For a "virgin" version, use a few drops of peppermint extract.
  • Marshmellows - very few calories and always a fun addition. I love how they melt into gooeyness!
  • Whipped Cream - there are a million versions available for whipped cream for every fat level.
  • Dark Fruit Cordial - Any dark berry cordial (cherry or raspberry, just as examples). Again, you can also use the extracts for any of these flavors.
  • Coconut flavoring - Yummy!!
  • Orange liquor - Contreau or the like. It's a dark chocolate orange!
What ever your flavor preferences, make it your own. There is always a little trial and error in finding your favorite. Hot chocolate is a crowd pleaser and another simple treat that always gets "wows" from those that partake. Come up with something wonderful or maybe a little different and the see how fast it goes!