Wow.. it sure has been a good bit of time since I last posted anything. Busy living I guess... but now I feel like I owe you an extra long post. I guess I could excuse myself by saying I did spend a long fun-filled weekend in San Jose, CA. It was my first time over to the west coast. Luckily last week I broke my camera trying to prove I can climb a tree in heels (which I totally can).... but the aftermath was not so pretty. So I have to figure all that out. Also, I am down one iPod. It's just not my month when it comes to electronics.
Back in Charleston, it's raining and will be raining until the weekend. I am trapped inside and trying to find things to do. Today I will be baking a loaf of rosemary olive oil bread, going to class, hitting the gym, and doing some separate blogging work for the Art Mag
When it's rainy, there definitely needs to be music when stuck in the house doing chores. Okay well there needs to be music on all the time in my opinion but this is an especially serious circumstance. Don't worry, I have compiled a new rainy day playlist that I give you permission to steal and then claim it as your own. Alone or wrapped up with someone else (preferably, but in my case with my dog....) this list will get you through and smiling despite the clouds.
Crystalised... The Xx
Porcelain... The Red Hot Chili Peppers
This Could Be Beautiful (it is)... Metronomy
Playground Love... Air
How Lucky We Are... Meiko
The Dress Looks Nice on You... Sufjan Stevens
Sunday Morning... k-os
Beautiful Day Without You (Whignomy Remikks)... Royksopp
Gettin' Into You... Andras Fox
Bicycle (Horror's Cosmic Dub)... Memory Tapes
Dynamic Fashion Way... U-Roy
Run Into Flowers (Midnight Jackson Remix)... M83
Chocolate... Paul & Price
The Disconnect... Tycho
To distract you even more.......
Since this is mainly a food blog... I guess I can throw in a recipe or something...
While it's raining, you might want to make a special treat. And it's October... how do you feel about homemade Peanut Butter Cups? I feel pretty good about it. I feel even better about it because I can use dark chocolate and natural peanut butter. Being an advocate for all natural foods, this is like a dream. Speaking of dreams... I had the weirdest trippy acid dream the other night. It must have been because I'm reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. I'll get into that later.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups... adapted from Chow.com
(Basically I changed the chocolate and peanut used.. but still pretty much the same.)
For the filling:
1/3 cup organic graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup natural powdered sugar
3/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (no added sugar)
For the chocolate coating:
1 pound dark chocolate (bars broken or chips.. look for 70% cacao)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Mix on medium speed until filling is well combined, breaks into large chunks, and resembles cookie dough, about 3 minutes.
2. Divide filling into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls, then form into round, compact shapes that will fit in the mini muffin pan wells. (Keep in mind that when the filling is in the wells, there should be enough room to cover it with chocolate.) Set aside.
For the chocolate coating:
1. To temper chocolate, fill a large bowl with 2 inches of cold water, add 3 to 4 ice cubes, and set aside.
2. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over high heat; once simmering, turn off heat. Place 12 ounces of the chocolate in a dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan and stir until chocolate is completely melted and reaches 118°F. (Make sure the chocolate does not come in contact with water or exceed 120°F. If either happens, start over, as the chocolate is no longer usable.)
3. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add remaining 4 ounces chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted and cools to 80°F. To speed the cooling process, after all chocolate has melted place the bowl over the reserved cold-water bath.
4. Return the bowl to the saucepan and stir until chocolate reaches 86°F; immediately remove from heat. Do not remove the thermometer from the bowl; check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 85°F and 87°F. (The chocolate must remain in this temperature range or it will not set up properly.) Keep the saucepan over low heat and use it to reheat the chocolate as necessary.
5. To test if the chocolate is properly tempered, spread a thin layer on parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator for 3 minutes to set. If the chocolate hardens smooth and without streaks, it is properly tempered. (If it is not properly tempered, you need to repeat the process.)
6. Using a small pastry brush (or a small, clean paintbrush), liberally spread tempered chocolate inside each cup of the muffin pan. Try to make your coating as even as possible, aiming for about 1/16 inch thick.
7. Divide filling among chocolate wells. (Don’t push too hard or you’ll crack the coating.) Spoon chocolate over each filling until completely covered. Scrape across the top of the muffin pan with a palette knife or a flat spatula to remove excess chocolate and even out candy tops.
8. Place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to set up. To remove candies, place a towel or a silicone baking mat on a counter and hit one edge of the muffin pan against the counter. If the candies don’t come out easily, freeze them for another 5 minutes and try again. The Peanut Butta Cups will last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer. Let come to room temperature before serving.
For your viewing pleasure... Here is a picture I took on my MacBook at the airport after my red-eye flight was spent sitting next to a very masculine older woman who refused to turned down her headphones (blasting Nas) for the entire overnight flight. It was such a funny concept I couldn't even be mad about it!