Whipped. Chocolate. What?!

Two weekends ago, Farmer Ben and I went for our semi-regular Saturday morning coffee date, followed by the farmers’ market.

I ordered my usual-unsweetened iced coffee with cream…Ben went for a froo-froo drink.

Actually, allow me to clarify; I contemplated getting a kicked-up, flavored, slushy, coffee drink, but changed my mind, partially because I got the judging eyes from Ben. Then I ordered my iced coffee and he ordered the drink I had decided against. 

My jaw dropped and I let him know how shocked I was… and then, something amazing happened.  Our barista gave me a brilliant idea.

“You know,” she said,  “Chocolate whipped cream on your iced coffee would make it so much better!”

I had never thought of that! 

“I’ll allow it,”  I replied. 

It was delicious.

I’ve been thinking about chocolate whipped cream ever since. It’s the perfect combination, light and fluffy but with just enough give. Not too sweet, yet full of flavor.  So simple…yet, just the right amount of … extra.

I’ve felt a need to whip some up and last night was the perfect chance. The hubs and I both had the night off so I volunteered to make dinner.

As the weather has been especially hot as of late, I opted for something simple. Lentil patties over a salad with yogurt sauce…and raspberry sorbet for dessert.

Don’t get me wrong, I love raspberry sorbet as is… but last night, I needed that something extra.

So I made chocolate whipped cream. Then I chopped up a dark chocolate espresso bar that had been hanging out in our cupboard and sprinkled some over the top. Suddenly, a simple dessert was taken to the next level of delish.

I apologize for the photo quality but I couldn’t stand it any longer-I had to wolf this down!

And now, without further ado, here’s the recipe! Per my usual M.O., I didn’t really measure, so the best way to make this is to taste. Enjoy!

Chocolate Whipped Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  (1/2 pint) Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 tbsp. Powdered Sugar- do this to taste… I prefer a creamy flavor rather than a super sweet, using less sugar.
  • 1-2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder- again, to taste. I didn’t really measure but 1 or 2 tbsp. is a good amount.
  • A Splash of Vanilla (1-2 tsp.)

Process:

Pour heavy whipping cream into a bowl and beat using an electric mixer.

When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder to taste, continue to beat.

Add in splash of vanilla. 

Beat just until stiff peaks form.

If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Serve over ice cream, fruit, cake or with your favorite coffee. It’s a great life decision.


Crunchy Lovin’

Good morning, good morning!

Okay…I know it’s actually the afternoon, but it’s fine. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling pretty fly today. Also, why does no one say “fly” anymore?. Speaking of flying, where has the last week gone? And why am I so crazy busy?!

Anyway, the reasons I am feeling great? I dragged my butt outta bed at 5:30 am and went for a  quick run with a friend-Shout-out to Tara!!! 

Did I mention that it was 12 degrees out? Yeah, it felt good. But, a nice hot shower felt even better.

And better still, thanks to my amazing hubs, I headed to work with iced coffee in hand (there is currently a half gallon of it in my fridge. Life is good). I also scarfed down some homemade granola and NY yogurt for breakfast. Yummo! I even managed to pack a delicious lunch. And got to work on time..on a Monday.

Top o’ the world, kiddos!

Anyway, this granola is super easy to make.  And it is full of stuff you can buy in bulk. The other good thing? There is no set way to make it, merely guidelines-so mix it up. Also, don’t judge on the surprise ingredient. Just go with it. What can I say? I’m a woman obsessed.

Side Note: This would make an awesome gift for your friends, put it in a cute little bag, with some nice coffee or tea? Perfect. It would also be a perfect brunch item. Paired with a Mimosa…or a spicy Bloody Mary if you’re like me.

Toasted Granola:

Adapted from several recipes

*Makes about 12 generous 3/4 cup servings-582 calories- full of good fats, fiber, potassium, protein, vitamins A, C and iron!) Translation: This stuff will put some pep in your step and keep you fuller loooonger! *

What I used:

5 cups oats (I used steel cut but rolled will also do)

1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)

4 tbsp. sesame seeds-I used white and black

1 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup flax seed meal

A pinch of sea salt

1 to 2 tsp. Smokey Paprika (Just trust me on this.)

1/2 cup olive oil (you could use a different oil, this is just what I had on hand)

1-4 to 1/2 cup agave nectar (or Honey)

1/3 cup dried apple rings, chopped

1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

What to do: 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine your dry ingredients (except the fruit!) into a large bowl and mix until combined.

Heat oil and agave nectar in a saucepan over low heat-you don’t have to heat it up, but I found it made the nectar a lot easier to work with and thins the mixture out. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss until evenly coated.

Spread granola evenly into two rimmed (and lightly greased) baking sheets.

Bake for about 30 minutes until oats are golden brown, pulling both pans out and stirring mixture up occasionally to avoid burning.

Let cool and mix in your dried fruit. Store  in a tightly sealed container. Serve by itself, or with yogurt or milk.

Love and Granola

Note: I am not a huge fan of super fruity/sweet granola, so I started with 1/4 cup agave nectar and gradually added more. I ended up adding 2 tbsp. of honey after taking it out of the oven, mostly for the hubs. I also didn’t add a ton of dried fruit. This made the granola more savory, so adjust this measurement according to your taste. Next time I’ll probably add some pumpkin/sunflower seeds.  Again, this is just a guideline, use your imagination with your ingredients.  And trust me on the smokey paprika-AMAZING! 

Enjoy folks!

Stay tuned for… another post coming soon!!!