31 October 2009

13 Lollapalooza Halloween Posts to Make You Grin!



From Denny: Here's a roundup of all the funny and informative Halloween posts from this week - Dennys Blog Feeds where you can view all the blogs at a glance for description and headlines to recent posts:

5 Crazy Funny Halloween Posts for Recipes, Costumes, Parties

From Denny: I've been writing intensely all day to get out all the funny Halloween related videos I've found and tasty recipes! I'm downright bug-eyed that I'm not sure which end is up - literally by the funny odd photo I found on StumbleUpon.

You will enjoy all these crazy posts as they were great fun to write:

5 Campy Halloween Posts, Costume Ideas and Recipes

Halloween Italian Comfort Food: Halloween Purses, Pumpkin Risotto, Chocolate Pudding Cake, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Nutella Apples

Video: Halloween Campy Cakes - Chocolate Spider Cakes, Ghoulish Ghost Cakes

4 Campy Halloween Drinks for Your Party, Find Out Halloween Trivia



This little kittie is staying indoors come Halloween night... smart move, Oh, Wise One...

From Denny: What is Halloween without something a bit campy and ridiculous? The first post has a recipe and some sophisticated inexpensive decorating ideas. The costume ideas for you and your soon-to-look-ridiculous dog are the funniest. I like the X-Ray Machine costume best.

The second recipe shows you how to easily assemble your own Oreo cookie black Halloween spider cookies which are sure to be a hit with the kids at the door or your friends at your posh Halloween party!

Halloween

Video and Recipe: Halloween Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Pound Cake, Decorating Ideas, Pumpkin Carving Tips, Amusing Costume Ideas for You and Your Pets

Recipe: Fun Halloween Oreo Spider Cookies



OK, these posts are so scary they are funny! (Lame, I know... I just love it when people over-hype their products. It's so outrageous.)

Funny

Lampooning Perfectionists is the latest Cheeky Quote Day! segment over at The Social Poets to get you laughing and thinking about how to improve your life without making it stressful.

Lampooning Perfectionists - Cheeky Quote Day 28 Oct 2009

I went cruising the web looking for more funny chocolate quotes than I already have stashed on Romancing The Chocolate blog and ran into funny Sandra Boynton's site. She has a new movie short just released a couple of days ago. B. B. King sings alongside his famous sidekick Lucille.

Let's all support her as this is her first movie debut. The little documentary that sidekicks it is interesting as to how many people it really takes, all the hoops they have to jump through, just to make a tiny film - and she made it funny too!

5 Funny Chocolate Quotes, Sandra Boyntons B. B. King Video

In case you missed any of these cute little Halloween funnies over at Dennys Funny Quotes, here's a repeat:

(Featured new today) Video: Creepy Hotels for Halloween Getaways

Repeats:

Funny Halloween Quotes, Halloween Cartoon

Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets, Funny Halloween Animation

*** Handmade Unique - lists posts from several blogs around the blogosphere with Halloween posts.

*** Thanks for visiting, everyone, and thanks for your great support! Have a fun and safe Halloween!

*** Editorial political cartoons will be here tomorrow for Sunday's post. Come on, you know that Halloween is so campy and funny that no writer can resist the temptation of writing posts for the silly holiday we enjoy so much. It's just too much fun! You know me; I'm always up for a good grinner! :)

30 October 2009

4 Campy Halloween Drinks for Your Party, Find Out Halloween Trivia

From Denny: What is Halloween but the time of year to get campy and poke fun at death and all other weirdness? There are so many funny and fun Halloween clips I found. The campy Halloween party adult drinks were so funny and tasty I thought you would enjoy them. Also, for trivia buffs there are Halloween facts in the second video. Take a look!



Blood orange harvest cocktail

From: Maureen Petrosky

INGREDIENTS

• 2 ounces Charbay blood orange vodka
• Juice of 1 whole (blood) orange (or 1.5 ounce fresh blood orange juice)
• 1 ounce simple syrup

red food coloring. Drizzle around edge of martini glass to look drippy and oozy.

Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake and strain into an oozy-rimmed martini glass, garnish with a skewer of Halloween candy — see eyeball ideas below.



Eyeball martini

From: Maureen Petrosky

INGREDIENTS

• 2 1/2 ounces vodka
• 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
• 2 radishes, hollowed out to hold an olive, peeled or carved with a paring knife to look like veins
• 2 pimento-stuffed green olives

DIRECTIONS

Peel and hollow out radishes so they can hold an olive. Then drop them into a Crystal Head Vodka martini, which also doubles as a centerpiece.

If you want more radishes and olives to show lots of eyeballs, it's easy to display these in an ice cube tray — you can also freeze this garnish into ice cubes to use in drinks on the rocks.

TIPS

Use a paring knife to peel or carve the radishes. It will help add the appearance of veins.



Halloween punch in a pumpkin

From: Maureen Petrosky

INGREDIENTS

• 1 part Midori melon liqueur
• 1 part dark rum
• 1 part light rum
• 2 parts white cranberry juice
• 1 part unfiltered apple juice
• 1 part simple syrup
• Juice of one lemon

DIRECTIONS

For a punch bowl (32 ounces), use this recipe times 8. Add the liquid ingredients and mix well.

If you'd like, you can top with apple slices, blueberries and melon balls.



Pumpkin pie milkshake

From: Maureen Petrosky

INGREDIENTS

• 1/2 gallon Edy's Slow Churned Limited Edition Pumpkin Ice cream, softened
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 2 to 2 1/2 cups whole milk (depending how thick you like it)
• Whipped cream for garnish
• Cinnamon for garnish
• Straws for serving

DIRECTIONS

Place the ice cream, vanilla, and milk into a blender. Puree until desired thickness. Pour into mini pumpkins, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Sip on devilish Halloween drinks
Oct. 30: Maureen Petrosky, author of “The Wine Club,” shows you how to mix up some festive cocktails for Halloween.



Fun Halloween Trivia



*** Thanks for visiting, everyone!

*** For more Halloween recipes and funny Halloween videos:

Video: Halloween Campy Cakes - Chocolate Spider Cakes, Ghoulish Ghost Cakes

Halloween Italian Comfort Food: Halloween Purses, Pumpkin Risotto, Chocolate Pudding Cake, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Nutella Apples

*** Handmade Unique - lists posts from several blogs with Halloween posts from across the blogosphere. Pay her a visit!

29 October 2009

7 Tasty Posts 4 Halloween AND Funny, What More Do You Want?



This little kittie is staying indoors come Halloween night... smart move, Oh, Wise One...

From Denny: What is Halloween without something a bit campy and ridiculous? The first post has a recipe and some sophisticated inexpensive decorating ideas. The costume ideas for you and your soon-to-look-ridiculous dog are the funniest. I like the X-Ray Machine costume best.

The second recipe shows you how to easily assemble your own Oreo cookie black Halloween spider cookies which are sure to be a hit with the kids at the door or your friends at your posh Halloween party!

Halloween

Video and Recipe: Halloween Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Pound Cake, Decorating Ideas, Pumpkin Carving Tips, Amusing Costume Ideas for You and Your Pets

Recipe: Fun Halloween Oreo Spider Cookies



OK, these posts are so scary they are funny! (Lame, I know... I just love it when people over-hype their products. It's so outrageous.)

Funny

Lampooning Perfectionists is the latest Cheeky Quote Day! segment over at The Social Poets to get you laughing and thinking about how to improve your life without making it stressful.

Lampooning Perfectionists - Cheeky Quote Day 28 Oct 2009

I went cruising the web looking for more funny chocolate quotes than I already have stashed on Romancing The Chocolate blog and ran into funny Sandra Boynton's site. She has a new movie short just released a couple of days ago. B. B. King sings alongside his famous sidekick Lucille.

Let's all support her as this is her first movie debut. The little documentary that sidekicks it is interesting as to how many people it really takes, all the hoops they have to jump through, just to make a tiny film - and she made it funny too!

5 Funny Chocolate Quotes, Sandra Boyntons B. B. King Video

In case you missed any of these cute little Halloween funnies over at Dennys Funny Quotes, here's a repeat:

Video: Creepy Hotels for Halloween Getaways

Repeats:

Funny Halloween Quotes, Halloween Cartoon

Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets, Funny Halloween Animation

28 October 2009

5 Funny Chocolate Quotes, Sandra Boyntons B. B. King Video



Chocolate in fashion, fashion in chocolate - gives new meaning to wearing your food...

From Denny: Researching on the internet is such hard work it ends up as play time. I go looking for chocolate quotes and one thing leads to another and there is this wonderful little musical ditty from B. B. King by a funny lady known for kid's humor and a new chocolate book. Enjoy her quotes and video.

Quotes by Sandra Boynton, children's author and chocolate lover

* As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.

* Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate.

* Carob is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. Some consider carob an adequate substitute for chocolate because it has some similar nutrients (calcium, phosphorus), and because it can, when combined with vegetable fat and sugar, be made to approximate the color and consistency of chocolate. Of course, the same arguments can as persuasively be made in favor of dirt.

* "Chocolate -- The Consuming Passion" was written for the Chocolate Elite -- the select millions who like chocolate in all its infinite variety, using 'like' as in 'I like to breathe.'

* The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and by Shakespeare. Neither knew chocolate. The Swiss are known for nonviolence. They are also known for superb chocolate.

And now, here's B. B. King in a funny musical short from Sandra Boynton:

One Shoe Blues starring B.B. King from Sandra Boynton on Vimeo.



And the thrilling historically significant documentary of the making of One Shoe Blues with B. B. King:

The Making of One Shoe Blues from Sandra Boynton on Vimeo.



*** Thanks for visiting, everyone, come back often!

*** For more funnies over at another of my wild blogs, The Social Poets (after all, poets love to lampoon society and humanity in general): Lampooning Perfectionists - Cheeky Quote Day 28 Oct 2009

27 October 2009

Video and Recipe: Halloween Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Pound Cake, Decorating Ideas, Pumpkin Carving Tips, Amusing Costume Ideas for You and Your Pets

From Denny: Since so many are searching for Halloween recipes I thought I'd put up a few of my favorites recently featured on NBC, enjoy! I never get to actually watch these clips in real time so I'm always cruising the site for what I've missed. These are really cute and were done for the countdown to Halloween series.

Chef Lauren Chattman demos how to make a simple Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Pound Cake:



Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Pound Cake

From: "Cake Keeper Cakes" by Lauren Chattman

Makes: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

• 1 3⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
• pinch nutmeg
• 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1⁄3 cup milk
• 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the inside of a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust it with flour.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin purée and vanilla. Stir in the milk.

5.Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1⁄2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.

TIPS

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, for up to one week.



How to use Halloween candy to decorate your table. Yeah, like that's going to last very long in my house! :) This year's best-selling Halloween candy is still candy corn - and sour watermelon rinds. I really like what she did with the various new flavors of candy corn for a floral decoration. Her ideas are fast and easy too!





Pumpkin Carving Tips and Demos - this is too funny - they now have power tools to gut that pumpkin called, creatively enough, The Pumpkin Gutter:





Creative costume ideas - I still like it best when a 10-year-old girl came to my door on Halloween. I didn't recognize what she was supposed to be since she had all these weird magazines hanging off of her clothes and her wide-brimmed crunched hat was askew, so I asked. Her answer was hilarious. She said, "I'm an attacking tourist!" For families searching for inexpensive non-scary costumes for the whole family these selections are both creative and pretty tame, some amusing.





Creative costumes for your pets! From the DIY guys comes inexpensive funny costumes for your dog like going as a piece of tuna sushi, a Hershey's kiss or a skunk, a unicorn, a camel or the Best of Show: an X-Ray machine...





*** Cute owl blog divider is from Shabby Blogs

*** Thanks for visiting, everyone, and come back often for a good grin along with a yummy chocolate recipe!

25 October 2009

22 Interesting Varied Blog Posts, 23 Oct 2009



Photo from Stripes Photography group on StumbleUpon - wonderful photo - if anyone knows the photographer, please pass it along so they can receive attribution...

From Denny: In case you missed a goodie, here are some of the best from all the blogs this past week, enjoy! Thanks for all your support, everyone, and have a great weekend too! XXOO, Denny

Video: Americas Republicans Losing Support Even in Bad Economy

Video: Restaurant Foods Compost Great Wines

Busy Day at The Social Poets, Posts on Dan Browns Book The Lost Symbol and Obama

Video: 2,700 Year Old Mystery Mummy Surfaces at Miami Museum

Video: Meet the Human Calculator

Video: Noetic Science Examines Consciousness

Video: Pregnant Mother Dies of Swine Flu Misdiagnosis

Cool Video: Prez Obama Honored for Nobel in Sand Sculpture

10 Funny Quotes, Late Night Show Funnies, Spiritual Thought of the Day, Why Obama Deserves Nobel Peace Prize

4 Funny Posts and 4 Yummy Recipes

Chocolate, Pecan and Coconut Cookies

Recipe: Velvet Chocolate Cheesecake

Recipe: Fun Halloween Oreo Spider Cookies

2 Easy Basic Brownie Recipes

2 Easy Cake Recipes: Louisiana Praline Toffee Bundt Cake, Southern Livings Popular Praline Cake

Recipes: Make Your Own Cajun Blackened Seasoning for Fish or Chicken!

3 Recipes: 3-Step Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs, Sweet Tangy Slaw, Sweet Potato Roasted Garlic Turnovers

Do You Remember Your Dreams and Know Why It Is Important?

Haiku Style Imagination Quote and Photo

How Do You Know Your Creativity is Art?

How is the Dream Helpful on Our Life Journey?

Why is Joy Important to Cultivate in Your Life?

24 October 2009

Editorial Cartoons over at The Social Poets 24 Oct 2009



From Denny: Help me celebrate The Social Poets one year blog anniversary by laughing at today's editorial cartoons of the week collected into one post. There is certainly plenty going on in American culture that the cartoonists are not short of issues to lampoon.

Editorial Cartoons This Week 24 Oct 2009 at The Social Poets, go here.

*** Thanks for visiting, everyone, and for all your great support! Certainly never expected so many by the hundreds to show up so quickly; glad you are enjoying what I find and post, thanks again!

23 October 2009

Videos and Recipes: Italy's Chocolate Bread Parfait, Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake, Chocolate Coconut Bread

From Denny: Once you have seen the video, you see how beautiful that bread looks soaked in chocolate to the point you might think it started off as chocolate bread, wow! Another winner of an easy recipe from Lidia!



*** Note: I have the pasta recipes on this video parked over at another food blog: Unusual 2 Tasty, go here.

Chocolate bread parfait (pane di cioccolato al cucchiaio)

Chef shares authentic, regional tastes of Italy in her new cookbook

From: "Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy" by Lidia Bastianich
Makes: 6 servings

This recalls for me the chocolate-and-bread sandwiches that sometimes were my lunch, and always a special treat. And it is another inventive way surplus is used in Umbrian cuisine, with leftover country bread serving as the foundation of an elegant layered dessert. Though it is soaked with chocolate and espresso sauce and buried in whipped cream, the bread doesn’t disintegrate, and provides a pleasing textural contrast in every heavenly spoonful.

INGREDIENTS

• 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 8 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed
• 1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso
• 2 tablespoons dark rum
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
• 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS

Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl set in a pan of hot (not boiling) water. When the chocolate begins to melt, stir until completely smooth. Keep it warm, over the water, off the heat.

Slice the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and lay them flat in one layer, close together, on the tray or baking sheet.

Pour the warm espresso into a spouted measuring cup, stir in the rum and sugar until sugar dissolves, then stir in half the melted chocolate. Pour the sauce all over the bread slices, then flip them over and turn them on the tray, to make sure all the surfaces are coated. Let the bread absorb the sauce for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form, by hand or with an electric mixer.

To assemble the parfaits: Break the bread into 1-inch pieces. Use half the pieces to make the bottom parfait layer in the six serving glasses, dropping an equal amount of chocolatey bread into each. Scrape up some of the unabsorbed chocolate sauce that remains on the baking sheet, and drizzle a bit over the bread layers. Next, drop a layer of whipped cream in the glasses, using up half the cream. Top the cream layer with toasted almonds, using half the nuts.

Repeat the layering sequence: Drop more soaked bread into each glass, drizzle over it the chocolate sauce from the tray and the remaining melted chocolate. Dollop another layer of whipped cream in the glasses, using it all up, and sprinkle the remaining almonds on top of each parfait.

This dessert is best when served immediately while the melted chocolate is still warm and runny.



From Denny: Upside down cakes are so ridiculously easy they are a great introduction for beginner bakers or kids to enjoy success! With autumn here, caramel comes to mind and this is the first recipe I've seen combining the favorite tastes of many into an easy upside down cake. Give it a try in your home this cold weather season!

Chocolate-caramel-banana upside-down cake

From: "Cake Keeper Cakes" by Lauren Chattman
Makes: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

Topping:

• 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 3 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

Cake:

• 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
• 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 2⁄3 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Topping:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch round nonstick pan and dust with flour.

2. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Whisk in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Arrange the banana slices in concentric circles on top of the sugar mixture. Set aside.

Cake:

1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the mixture is light and increased in volume, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.

4. With the mixer on low, stir in 1⁄3 of the flour mixture. Stir in 1⁄2 of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the batter on high speed for 30 seconds.

5. Pour the batter over the bananas, gently spreading it into an even layer.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Holding the pan and a plate together with oven mitts, immediately invert the hot cake onto the plate. If necessary, replace any fruit stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and serve warm, or serve at room temperature.

TIPS

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper, or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.



From Denny: I've always loved to bake bread in the cold winter months. The smell of baking bread wafting through the house is nothing short of heavenly! Surely, Heaven must smell like warm chocolate chip cookies and baking bread... :)

It's a great video but they never put up the recipe online. (Makes you want to growl a perfectly intoned unhappy grrrr...) If you already know how to bake sweet bread, just add the chocolate chunks and fresh shaved coconut. But, hey! The video ends up looking like funny slapstick, unintentionally, as the news crew was getting punchy at the end of their day, so I put it up here. Also, you get a chance to see the finished product and see if you want to purchase the baker's new cookbook with the recipe in it. Either way, it's still informative and entertaining!

22 October 2009

Busy Day at The Social Poets, Posts on Dan Browns Book The Lost Symbol and Obama



From Denny: There's so much going on with the news coverage about Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol. He sure has tapped into the popularity of conspiracy theories and fast-paced mystery thrillers.

The Today Show both interviewed him and did some short news stories as clues for unraveling the mysteries in the book, great fun! Take a look.

Video: Interviewing Novelist Dan Brown on The Lost Symbol, Life as an Author, Masons

Video: Good Stories and Clues 1 to 4 for The Lost Symbol

Video: Dan Browns New Book The Lost Symbol

Video: The Lost Symbol - Secrets of the National Cathedral, Masons on Dollar Bill, Todays Masonic World Power

Video: Obama Talks About Womens Issues

Photo by lepiaf.geo @ flickr

21 October 2009

Cheeky Quote Day! over at The Social Poets



*** Comedians like Jay Leno keep us laughing with a ready quip!

From Denny: In the mood for some hilarious Jay Leno quotes? Hike on over to The Social Poets for this week's Cheeky Quote Day! segment. If ever there is a cheeky guy Jay Leno is rated at the top.

For 35 Jay Leno Quotes, Cheeky Quote Day 21 October 2009, go here.

Here's a trio sampling:

* A Minneapolis company has come out with a credit card size shotgun that fits in your wallet. The inventor says he invented it to give people a sense of security. Oh yeah, what makes you feel more secure than sitting on a shotgun? Now how does this work? What's the first thing a thief steals? Your wallet, oh, now he's got your gun too!

* In California, 50 women protested the impending war with Iraq by lying on the ground naked and spelling out the word 'peace.' Right idea, wrong president. (George Bush was in office, not Bill Clinton.)

* Wait till these Enron guys find out that in prison, the term "Insider trading" has a whole new meaning.

*** Thanks for visiting!

For 35 Jay Leno Quotes, Cheeky Quote Day 21 October 2009, go here.

20 October 2009

Recipe: Easy Chocolate Macaroons



Photo by Kraft Food

From Denny: Killer combination here of white and dark chocolate, coconut and pecans make the perfect cookie! Park this in your holiday recipe file for quick easy crowd pleasers.

From: Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 27 min
Makes: About 2 dozen cookies or 24 servings

Ingredients:

2 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 squares BAKER'S White Chocolate, chopped
2 cups BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut
1 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans (or buy local for freshest)

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Microwave unsweetened chocolate and milk in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

STIR in remaining ingredients. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheets.

BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Size-Wise


Sweets can add enjoyment to a balanced diet, but remember to keep tabs on portions.

Storage Know-How

Store in tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

18 October 2009

Cool Video: Prez Obama Honored for Nobel in Sand Sculpture

From Denny: This is an Oddball segment from Keith Olbermann's Countdown show. Since it's October we get to watch folks in Lincoln County, Maine smash huge pumpkins. They put the several hundred pound pumpkins on a crane high in the air and then drop them onto decommissioned old police cars. Sort of gives you some satisfaction for that speeding or parking ticket you felt you never deserved from whatever decade... :)

What's really cool is the incredible sand sculpture a world renowned sand artist in India did on a local beach in Puri, India recently. The artist is Sudarshan Patanaik and his sculpture is four feet high, depicting President Obama's head embedded in a Nobel Peace Prize medal with an accompanying dove and a message pro Peace. This man is quite the artist! So glad a film crew went out there and recorded it; maybe he will do a painting or print photo to sell as posters? Beautifully done as well as a political statement art.

17 October 2009

Funny Chocolate Quote 17 Oct 2009



Photo from StumbleUpon, no attribution available - from a chocolate fashion show of clothes made from chocolate - wow - how good did that runway smell!

Quote

After eating chocolate you feel godlike, as though you can conquer enemies, lead armies, entice lovers. - Emily Luchetti

16 October 2009

Recipe: Fun Halloween Oreo Spider Cookies



Photo from Kraft Foods

From Denny: This little fun cookie idea for Halloween just got me laughing so hard I had to share this with you! :) It's so very clever AND easy to create! What a treat for the kids at a Halloween party! Sure to be a big hit with the arachnid lovers in your family.

From: Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 6 servings, 1 spider each

Ingredients:


48 pieces (1-1/2 inches each) black shoestring licorice
6 OREO Cookies
12 black jelly beans
1 Tbsp. ready-to-spread chocolate frosting

Directions:

INSERT 8 licorice pieces into cream filling around side of each cookie for "spider's legs," using frosting to secure.

ATTACH 2 jelly beans to each spider with frosting for the "eyes."

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Fun Idea

Top ice cream sundaes or frosted cupcakes with cookie spiders just before serving.

15 October 2009

Todays Funny Chocolate Quote 15 Oct 2009



Photo from Worth1000.com

From Denny: Check out this great chocolate photo that is the perfect pairing with this funny quote!

Quote

Forget love - I'd rather fall in chocolate! - Sandra J. Dykes

14 October 2009

Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets, Funny Halloween Animation



Halloween: the only time of the year we can get away with acting "socially inappropriate," i. e., obnoxious! :)

From Denny: Make sure you get your silly Halloween seasonal laughs today reading Cheeky Quote Day over at The Social Poets!

Thanks for visiting, everyone, really appreciate all the many visits every day and your support! Have a great day!

13 October 2009

Recipe: Velvet Chocolate Cheesecake



Photo from Kraft Foods

From Denny: OK, who's in the mood for chocolate, their favorite chocolate chip cookies AND cheesecake? This clever recipe from Kraft Foods will tantalize your tastebuds while you find it oh, so easy to create, enjoy!

From: Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 4 hr 20 min
Makes: 10 servings

Ingredients:

30 CHIPS AHOY! Cookies, divided (or homemade chocolate chip cookies that are crunchy and about 2.5-inches wide)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or butter, melted
1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
2 eggs
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375°F if using a silver 8-inch springform pan (or to 350°F if using a dark nonstick 8-inch springform pan). Crush 20 of the cookies; mix with margarine. Press firmly onto bottom of pan. Stand remaining 10 cookies around side of pan; set aside.

RESERVE 2 Tbsp. of the sugar. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add remaining sugar, the cocoa and 1 tsp. of the vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust. Cover tops of cookies with strip of foil to prevent overbrowning.

BAKE 50 minutes or until cheesecake is puffed and almost set in center. Remove from oven. Mix reserved 2 Tbsp. sugar, the sour cream and remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla until well blended; spread evenly over cheesecake. Return to oven; bake an additional 10 minutes. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Size-Wise

Looking for a special treat? One serving of this cheesecake is full of chocolatey flavor.

Shortcut

To easily crush cookies into crumbs, process them in a blender or food processor.

Jazz It Up

Garnish with 3/4 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (or real whipped cream) and 10 drained maraschino cherries just before serving.

Funny Halloween Quotes, Halloween Cartoon



This is cute: instead of being known as the black sheep of the family this guy is known as the black sheet - it is Halloween! :)

From Denny: Tomorrow is Cheeky Quote Day! over at The Social Poets. I started researching funny Halloween quotes. Can I tell you there were very few of them? Quite surprising! I did find some great little jokes and funny ghost stories to share. Here's a sampling:

Quotes

* I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. – Charles Swartz

* Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain. - J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

* This Halloween the most popular mask is the Arnold Schwarzenegger mask. And the best part? With a mouth full of candy you will sound just like him. - Conan O'Brien

Thanks for visiting!

09 October 2009

2 Easy Basic Brownie Recipes



From Denny: With all the fancy brownies these days, adorned with several layers of everything but the kitchen sink, sometimes it's good to get back to basics. In my mind, it's all about the chocolate! :)

Brownies are nothing but a simple basic blend of sugar, flour, eggs, chocolate and butter or oil. I've enjoyed every brownie I've ever tasted that was home made and not from a box or commercial - unless it came from a small business bakery and those are usually nothing short of divine!

There are so many textures of brownie to choose: dense and fudge-like because it is undercooked and intensifies the chocolate flavor and then there's the original simple cake-to-cookie-like version but softer. Then there's the argument about whether to include nuts. We like pecans in our house; I like roasted chopped almonds as to my taste it is the perfect combination with anything chocolate. My friends like their brownies with walnuts.

Another variation is to frost your brownie with conventional buttercream frosting like you would adorn a cake or powdered sugar. Cream cheese frosting is a huge hit and the only frosting I prefer when I'm not dusting those delectable brownies with powdered sugar. I just love the look of expresso brown against the bright white of the sugar, very appetizing - and you can even make designs if you like with the sugar.

Brownies really have evolved over the years into culinary monstrosities that are great fun: many have two and three layers, are stuffed full of more nuts than batter, unusual fruit combinations like mango and lychee, coffee, green tea or herbs like peppermint added. Historical Brownie Trivia: The old hippie culture used to make cake brownies with dried marijuana added. That must have been some wild experience!

These two recipes are back to basics, especially good for beginner cooks. Once you know the basic simple recipe it's easy to branch off from there to put your own mark on the recipe. One recipe is set up for a larger batch for those football parties this time of year. They go fast so you might want to make a second large batch to save for you and your family! I'm all for a secret stash of chocolate... :)

Mom’s Chocolate Fudge Brownies

From: “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!” by Corinne Cook @ 2theadvocate.com

Makes: 16 brownies

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3 tbls. cocoa
1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Chocolate-Pecan Frosting (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Prepare pan by lining 8x8-inch baking pan with foil. I let the ends lap over the sides to be able to lift the brownies from the pan for cutting. Spray inside of pan with nonstick coating.

2. Melt butter. (I do this in the microwave.) Set aside.

3. In separate bowl, whisk sugar, cocoa and flour together. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir until blended together. Add the nuts. Stir, then pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate-Pecan Frosting

Ingredients:

1 (1-oz.) square unsweetened chocolate
1 tbl. butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbls. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or some prefer walnuts)

Directions:

1. In heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butter together over low heat. Stir until smooth.

2. Remove from heat and quickly stir in powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and pecans until blended. Spread over top of warm brownies and allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.

***

Big-Batch Brownies

From: Corinne Cook

Makes: about 24-26 pieces

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
6 tbls. cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Ice cream, optional OR dust with sifted powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan by lightly greasing and flouring a 9x13-inch pan, OR line pan with foil and spray with nonstick coating.

2. In large saucepan, melt butter and cocoa together over medium-low heat. When melted, stir in sugar, stir and remove from heat.

3. In separate mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, flour, vanilla, nuts and reserved chocolate/butter mixture. Stir until just well combined. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for about 23-25 minutes. When cooled, cut into 2-inch squares.

5. Serve with small scoop of ice cream or a sifting of powdered sugar.

07 October 2009

Cheeky Quote Day Over at The Social Poets 7 Oct 2009



From Denny: Every Wednesday is Cheeky Quote Day over at The Social Poets blog where I put up whatever crazy funny quotes I find for the week. This week the challenge was to find funny quotes about poetry. Let me tell you, that really turned out to be a challenge! Not too many poets have a great sense of humor! Fortunately, we can always count on funny guys like Oscar Wilde, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman among others.

Here's a sampling of 5 quotes for you to enjoy:

* I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat. - A. E. Housman

* If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the Inquisition might have let him alone. - Thomas Hardy

* Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. - T.S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent, 1919

* Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. - G.K. Chesterton

* There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army. - John Ashbery


To visit Cheeky Quote Day, go here.

06 October 2009

Recipe: Fast Easy Creamy Chocolate Tarts



From Denny: Scouting around on the web, I was looking for something simple, easy and quick to make yet still get that full chocolate flavor. This simple recipe came from Hershey's Chocolate but you could use a better grade of your favorite chocolate if you prefer.

Also, found some other goodies on their site I'll be trying out this weekend when I have time to bake. I've used their recipes for years and have enjoyed every one of them! This recipe really does not involve baking at all and is perfect for a busy parent. You could also enjoy this recipe as a cooking project with your kids!

Hershey's Creamy Chocolate Tarts

Serves:
6

Ingredients:

2/3 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold whipping cream
6 (4 oz. pkg.) single serve graham cracker crumb crusts
Sweetened whipped cream
Sliced fresh fruit or maraschino cherries or chilled cherry pie filling or fresh mint

Directions:

1. Place chocolate chips, milk and sugar in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until milk is hot and chips melt when stirred. With wire whisk or rotary beater, beat until mixture is smooth; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

2. Beat whipping cream until stiff; carefully fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream until blended. Spoon or pipe into crusts. Cover; refrigerate until set. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Garnish as desired.

04 October 2009

How to Combine Photos with Your Poetry: Cool Eye Theme Photos!

From Denny: These are some of the very cool photos I used in my recent poem, Eyeing Think Time over at The Social Poets this week!



Photo by pareeerica @ flickr



Photo by dreamglow @ flickr



Photo by Felipe Morin @ flickr - this one is so very Salvator Dali! :)

To see the other spectacular eye theme photos I chose, and see how to combine with poetry, go here.

03 October 2009

This Weeks Editorial Cartoons 3 October 2009

From Denny:

Usually, I post these cartoons on Saturday at The Social Poets blog - so if you don't see them here just take a hike over there for some weekend grins... Every now and then - like this rainy day - I remember to share the love on all my other blogs, enjoy!

***

Cartoonists have been busy this week! So much in the news to lampoon - G20 meeting and protestors, swine flu fears, new "no texting while driving" law, Iran's empty promises about nuclear weapons, the current status of job seekers in America, trying to marry off Rush with the Truth but he won't have a shotgun wedding and President Obama juggling world affairs, two wars and vying for the 2016 Olympics to come to Chicago (they lost out to Brazil, congrats Brazil! South America has never hosted the Olympics.)

Swine Flu Fears - so powerful you no longer need a handgun in America...



Sad news of recent tragic deaths due to distraction from texting while driving prompted a new federal law to prohibit it:



The latest pastime trend to find meaning in life among jobseekers:



The latest desperation among job seekers to find any or full time employment. These days big companies like Exxon only employ people for up to 32 hours so they don't have to pay them any benefits. Even the U.S. Post Office does the same; only 4% of them are full time employees:



These two cartoons talk about how much the President has on his plate:






This one depicts how the Democrats and the President are beginning to look like they are attempting to take on too much in the field of multi-tasking and starting to look ridiculous.

Well, I guess, someone has to make up the work load that President Bush and Cheney sloughed off because they went to bed early and vacationed for a month at a time on a whim. The government started grinding to a halt so I guess the Dems have to speed things up just to make up lost ground:



Then there's everyone's favorite: Iran. They always seem to have a surprise-in-a-box or so they believe themselves to be that clever.



Loved the Kooky Jar one as it sums up the world belief system about the ruthless crass leaders of Iran. You have 7th century hearts and minds in charge of nuclear energy. Are you kidding? That's like asking a three-year-old to play with matches near a gas jet.



The one of the Secretary of State says it all about how Iran continues to screw over world leaders with deception after deception after lie after lie.



The G20 meeting of world leaders and their protestors, opinion of big banks:





While the world of truth-tellers keep trying to marry off the liars in a shotgun wedding...

02 October 2009

Recipe: Atlantas Pricci Restaurants White Chocolate Panna Cotta



From Denny: How many of you like panna cotta? We enjoy this light but tasty dessert at our house often - and it's so easy to make! We love variety and today's recipe is just the ticket.

You can go whole hog and try your hand at making this dessert trio or you could just make the panna cotta with a crushed favorite cookie for a crust to save time.

"This dessert trio from Pricci, White Chocolate Panna Cotta With Pistachio Biscotti and Blood Orange Gelee, is part of a romantic meal they created for Valentine's Day. It can be made a day or two before serving."

Hands on time: 45 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

FOR PISTACHIO BISCOTTI:

Makes: about 20 cookies
Hands on: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 hours (includes baking and cooling time)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus more for tops of cookies
Pinch salt
1/2 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios
1 cup all-purpose flour

FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA:

Makes: 3 1/2-cup servings
Hands on: 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours (includes chilling time)

1/2 packet gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

FOR BLOOD ORANGE GELEE:

Makes: 6 2-tablespoon servings
Hands on: 10 minutes
Total time: 3 hours (includes chilling time)

1/2 packet gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup blood orange juice (from 2-3 blood oranges)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon limoncello

Instructions:

FOR PISTACHIO BISCOTTI:
(Take care handling these shortbread cookies; they crumble easily.)

In a stand mixer or food processor combine the butter, sugar and salt until creamy. Add the pistachios and flour and mix until just combined. Divide the dough into 2 pieces; shape each into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

Roll a disk of dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness (do not roll too thin, or the cookies will break). Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to cut into shapes slightly larger than the molds you will use for the panna cotta. Cut into desired shape and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle the cookies generously with sugar and bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the parchment. Store in an airtight container.

FOR WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA:

Combine gelatin and water and set aside. In a medium saucepan combine cream, milk and sugar. Heat until steaming but do not boil. Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in gelatin and vanilla. Strain the mixture, then pour it into ramekins or molds. Chill, covered, until set, about 3 hours.

FOR BLOOD ORANGE GELEE:

Combine gelatin and water and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice, lemon juice and sugar to a simmer. Turn off the heat; stir in the gelatin and limoncello. Strain into a small pan or dish. Chill until completely set, then cut into 3/4-inch cubes.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Assemble immediately before serving: Place a Pistachio Biscotti on each of 2 dessert plates. Run a small sharp knife around the inside wall of two of the panna cotta molds and unmold a White Chocolate Panna Cotta onto each of the cookies. Arrange a few cubes of Blood Orange Gelee around each plate.

Note: You will have extra of each dessert. Each element can be made up to 2 days in advance.
Total time includes baking, cooling and chilling time for the three components of the recipe.

Nutrition:
Pistachio Biscotti, per cookie:
90 calories (percent of calories from fat, 60), 1 gram protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 12 milligrams cholesterol, 8 milligrams sodium.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta, per serving: 416 calories (percent of calories from fat, 75), 3 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 36 grams fat (22 grams saturated), 110 milligrams cholesterol, 57 milligrams sodium.

Blood Orange Gelee, per serving: 38 calories (percent of calories from fat, 1), trace protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 7 milligrams sodium.


gelee, biscotti, Valentines Day, pistachio, panna cotta, white chocolate, recipes, Baking and Confections, dessert recipes, Atlanta, Pricci restaurant
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