In My Kitchen ~ October 2018

Thanks to the International Dateline, it’s October in Australia when it’s still September in Oklahoma. Since October is my favorite month I thought, “Why not revel in it ahead of schedule?” I love having an extra day to play.

In My Kitchen… chocolate covered espresso beans from Nuts.com keep me happy — and peppy. (Limit 2-3 per day.) I often joke that my blood type is “C” for chocolate and caffeine.

In My Kitchen… heartwarming side dishes such as German Potato Salad have begun to grace our table now that the weather has finally turned cooler. The oval baking dish once belonged to my Grandma. Never mind that it’s still in the upper 80’s yet — in Oklahoma, that is cooler weather.

Orange Marmalde Toast

In My Kitchen… this Orange Marmalade from France (discovered at a local grocer’s of all places!) is not too tart, not too sweet. “Juuust right” as Goldilocks once declared. I love it on toast or straight out of the jar — especially with a good cup of coffee.

In My Kitchen… is another Grandma treasure. I brought her antique coffee grinder home with me over two years ago, but it’s been languishing in a cupboard ever since for lack of a sturdy place to mount it. (Such are the joys of living in a house with paper-thin walls…)

The other night while I was at choir rehearsal, The Man Of Few Words decided to surprise me by fashioning an “adapter” for it: a rustic-looking chunk of wood from one of his many projects. Imagine my gratitude — and huge wave of sentimentality — for his thoughtfulness.

Coffee has never tasted so sublime.

In My Kitchen… October is officially here and I’m ready to celebrate every moment… ahead of time.

In My Kitchen is a monthly gathering hostessed by Sherry Mackay of  Sherry’s Pickings, who happens to live in Australia and who cordially invites kitchen-lovers around the world to share their food, frolics, and finds. Click on her website above to access the link-up whether you wish to participate or just take a look-see!

Enjoying slightly cooler weather,

~ Kim

Not Your Average Joe (Two Tone Chocolate Mocha)

After my last post, it rained for two days straight (hallelujah!), and with the rain came a renewed sense of purpose… and a whole lot of coffee drinking.

Bear in mind, I admire folks who can contain themselves to a single cup per day — an early morning jolt, a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or a post-dessert accompaniment.  I also marvel at those who partake of coffee now and then — truly a matter of self-controlled savoring.

As for those who abstain from it altogether, I have nothing but the deepest respect.  Coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. :)  I also believe our differences are what attract us to each other — seeing how the other half lives, eh?  (Cause for celebration, not condemnation!)

As for moi… well, I grew up drinking the stuff.  It’s part of who I am.

After all the years The Man Of Few Words and I spent over-the-road drinking “mud,” we’ve pretty much adapted to the constant influx of caffeine.  Addicts?  No.  Acclimated?  Yes.

So as not to bounce off the walls with our near-IV consumption of java, our “home brew” falls somewhere between strong enough and weak enough.  We’ve also worn out three or four coffeemakers in the course of our eleven year or so marriage.  Who’s counting?

(Coffeemakers or anniversaries.)

So as the recent rain fell, coffee was brewed and cups were refilled.

Again and again.  Ahhhh…

It seemed appropriate to mark the occasion with something out of the ordinary — something more than just cream and sugar (which I enjoy once in a rare while) — or, at least cream and sugar in a different form.  In other words, not your average Joe.

I decided on a variation of my White Chocolate Mocha.  Made with a chocolate ganache base, it settled into an amusing (and quite satisfying) two layers.

(Three, counting the chocolate sludge on the bottom…)  But again, who’s counting?

Not nearly as sweet as the typical coffee-house version (with the addition of unsweetened chocolate), drinking it was rather like a duel between coffee and chocolate in my mouth.  Both of them won.

Two Tone Chocolate Mocha

Freshly brewed black coffee (whatever strength you desire)*

Chocolate Ganache, divided (recipe to follow)

Whipped Chocolate Ganache, for garnish

Chocolate chips, for garnish

For each 6 to 8 ounce cup of coffee, stir in 3 tablespoons of chilled chocolate ganache mixture.

Whip remaining chocolate ganache (see below.)

Top beverage with a dollop of whipped chocolate ganache.

Sprinkle randomly with chocolate chips.

(Note: most of the whipped ganache melted on contact, but that’s okay — I was going to stir it in anyway.  Also, all but one of the chocolate chips sank.  Oh well.)

*If coffee doesn’t tickle your fancy, try preparing this with hot milk for a grown-up Hot Chocolate.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

1/2 oz. (1/2 square) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

In a small saucepan, heat cream just to boiling; remove from heat.

Add chocolate chips and chopped chocolate; let sit for several minutes until softened.

Whisk until combined.  (I was in a hurry; mine had residual chocolate “flecks” — not a bad thing.)

Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled.  (I chilled the beaters at the same time, too.)

Reserve half the ganache mixture for stirring into coffee.  Store “leftovers” — if any — in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Whip remaining ganache with an electric mixer ’til soft peaks form.

Average Joe, meet Empress Josephine… love at first sip.

Technical difficulties aside, this treat did the trick.  I feel right as rain.

Enjoying java in all its glory,

~ Kim

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Coffee or Chocolate?

It’s no secret that my life revolves around two main ingredients… coffee and chocolate.  It’s also no secret that it’s better to give than to receive!

In celebration of my first blog birthday/anniversary/blogiversary, I’m delighted to give something to you.  (Well, at least two of you!)

But first, a word from our sponsor…

Brought to you by… Steel Daffodils Cottage & Garden.

My friend/shop-owner/barista, Tammy, offered to donate a bag of Oklahoma’s finest java to the cause.  (Thank you, Tammy!)  Perhaps you didn’t know Oklahoma is a purveryor of fine coffees?  Yup.  Custom-roasted right here in the Sooner State.

(Excuse me, I got so excited about the coffee, I couldn’t hold my camera straight!)

Or… maybe I need to become a decaffeinated connoisseur? :)  If decaf is your cup of tea (or coffee!) there’s “Homestead Coffee” whose motto is: “It’s good to settle down.”

Whether you choose Statehood, Cattledrive, or Homestead, it’s Oklahoma coffee!

And then there’s the other love of my life… chocolate in any way, shape, or form!

You may remember my birthday cake from this post.

Chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate!  Sigh.

So.. which do you prefer — coffee or chocolate?

(Two giveaway winners will receive one or the other!)

I’m leaning towards both… :)

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment below.  For an extra chance to win, please click “like” on the handy-dandy Facebook widget in my sidebar and say so, or tell me you’ve already “liked” me in your comment — no need to comment twice.  (Basically, one comment per person covers the whole she-bang.)  You may also comment on my Facebook page if you prefer.  Glad to see you at either place!

The winners will be picked out of a hat by The Man Of Few Words.  (Trust me, he’s impartial — and yes, I will write out two slips for every comment with a “like!”)  Winners will be notified the week of April 9th or as soon as humanly possible after the deadline.  Oh yeah, the deadline!  This giveaway ends at midnight CST April 9, 2012.

CONGRATULATIONS to Tina from flourtrader and Missy of Guns, Grub, and Other Goodies on winning the giveaway.  Thanks to all who entered!

That’s pretty much it, except to say thank you for a wonderful year!

Enjoying coffee AND chocolate,

~ Kim

Cream or Sugar?

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” ~ T. S. Eliot

Every once in awhile, a quote will crop up that causes you to consider where you are in the mad dash to the end.

Statisticians will tell you that you’ve spent x amount of days standing in line or so many hours in front of the television, but I prefer to measure my time with coffee.

Looking back over the last half century, it seems I’ve spent a great deal of it with a mug in my hand.

Coffee helps me sort things out, or at least ponder the transitions that have brought me thus far.

Meet my companion, my confidante, and my cohort through it all.

How do you measure your time?  What stands out as being a significant part of it?

Enjoying my morning java,

~ Kim

P.S.  For more coffee-related ruminations (and a revolution), please click here.

Sweet Dreams

It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m thinking about coffee…

Coffee in any way, shape, or form.  Except instant.  Good coffee takes time.  I don’t want to think about time right now.  I want to think about coffee…

But, all I can do is wish… want… wait… for a rich, robust, rakish cup of coffee.  (I like the idea of jaunty java.)  In desperation, I dig out the attempted art shot.

Premeditated coffee consumption does NOT cure insomnia.  I’ll share a recipe instead…

White Chocolate Mocha

2/3 c. heavy cream

3 oz. white chocolate

1/3 c. milk chocolate chips

In a small saucepan or microwave proof bowl, heat cream until hot but not boiling.  Add the chocolates and let sit for 2 minutes; stir until well-mixed.  Store in a tightly covered glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

To prepare one serving of White Chocolate Mocha:  Stir 1/4 cup of the “mix” in 6 to 8 ounces of strong coffee.  If desired, top with a dollop of whipped cream.  Garnish with a dusting of cocoa or a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Add a mountain of chocolate curls if you like.  Turn off your cell phone.  Send the kids (or grandkids) outside to play.  Dispatch the hubby to the hardware store.  Sit back, relax, and ENJOY…

 

I will be dreaming of this when sleep comes… Good night.  Happy Saturday.