31 August 2009

When Graphic Artists Get Bored

This is so great! The art of illusion, imagination and "what were they thinking"!

30 August 2009

Funny Ted Kennedy Quote



Ted Kennedy, middle, with brothers Bobby and John photo by BL1961 @ flickr - thanks for releasing this into Creative Commons, much appreciated!

With his usual Irish self-deprecating humor he said to his son and nephew one day as they were serving in Congress with him, making it three Kennedys in national politics: "When I hear someone complain, 'Who does that damn Kennedy think he is?' Well, now I know there's only a one in three chance they are actually talking about me!"

Ah, nothing like the ironic truth spoken with a twinkle in your Irish eye, Ted. God Bless.

29 August 2009

Video: Chef Jacques Torres Shows How to Make Easy Quick Chocolate Lollipops

From Denny: Here's a simple quick recipe that would be great for holiday gift-giving! Famous chef Jacques Torres shows us how to make our very own chocolate lollipops. Listen, kids, move over, the adults will make a stampede into the kitchen for these goodies! :)




food video, chocolate video, Jacques Torres, chocolate candy

28 August 2009

Recipe: Faster Easy Chocolate Dipped Donuts



From Denny: OK, on the weekend (or any day for that matter...) there is nothing like a fresh hot donut dripping and overflowing with chocolate ganache or a simple chocolate icing like she does here. Neither one of you wants to go to the trouble to get dressed, get in the car and go around the corner to the local donut shop. What's your alternative? Paula Deen already thought of that one and has your easy answer. Make them with a good canned biscuit brand! :) (Chocolate makes everything taste better.)

Chocolate-Dippy Doughnuts

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

Peanut oil

1 can store-bought biscuits

1 (4-ounce) bar sweet chocolate (recommended: Baker's German's)

1/2-ounce (1/2 square) unsweetened chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter

3 cups confectioners' sugar

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat fryer with peanut oil to 350 degrees F.

Separate pre-cut biscuits. Make a hole in the middle with your hand and sculpt dough into a doughnut shape. Place doughnuts into fryer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping to fry both sides. Place doughnuts aside onto a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir in the sugar, alternating with the evaporated milk, blending well. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, about 8 minutes. Stir in the vanilla then remove the pan from the heat.

Stick a fork through the doughnut holes and dip the doughnuts immediately into the chocolate mixture before the chocolate starts to cool. Place the doughnuts on a plate and serve when the chocolate on the doughnuts sets, about 5 minutes.

27 August 2009

How Senator Ted Kennedy Affected Your Life in America



From Denny: Did you know that Ted Kennedy passed over 300 bills during his tenure in the Senate? He also co-authored another 550!

“Ted Kennedy changed the circumstances of tens of millions of Americans,” VP Biden.

How did he affect our lives today? How does that translate into your everyday life that this generation may take for granted was always there?

Here are just a few examples that make life easier for so many to live well:

Wheelchair ramps:
wheelchair access in public places; those are thanks to Ted Kennedy.

Minimum wage: you earn more thanks to Kennedy

Children’s Health Insurance: he went to bat for the most vulnerable members of our society – children

Kennedy was the driving force behind COBRA - for people in need of health insurance when just fired from a job.

He developed personal relationships with people like a 6 year old child suffering from diabetes who could have benefited from stem cell research. He didn’t just use her in front of the cameras for politics. She first wrote him a letter asking for his help on pushing for stem cell research; he read that letter on the Senate floor. For years he privately corresponded with Lauren Stanford, thanking her for her help and encouraging her in her fight with juvenile diabetes. The public never knew about that.

Christi Coombs, September 11th widow: Kennedy wrote her every year on the anniversary of her husband’s death. She recognized he truly did know what loss she was feeling as he had experienced so much loss in his life. The public never knew about that either.



Ted Kennedy at the Democratic Convention in 2008 - Photo (Mike Segar / Reuters)

Senator Kennedy, kicks off the Democratic Party's national convention Aug. 25, 2008, his was a performance that galvanized the audience, producing a roaring frenzy. The crowd cheered, then wiped away tears for several minutes, then cheered again. They knew Ted was thhe last living Kennedy brother.

He smiled and declared loudly, "My fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here." He was alluding to news reports hinting his doctors were hesitant to allow him to travel to the Denver convention.

The Senator continued, "Nothing, nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight. I have come here tonight to stand with you, to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama President of the United States."

Take a look at his long list of accomplishments that affect our lives to the postive!

The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Fair Housing Act
No Child Left Behind Act
AMBER Alert Notification Systems Funding
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Meals on Wheels Act (elderly)
The Economic Opportunity Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act
The National Community Health Center Program
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
The Bilingual Education Act
The Older American Community Service Employment Act
The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
Title IX of the Education Amendments (female athletes)
Individuals with Disabilities Education
Civil Rights Commission Act Amendments
Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act
Comprehensive Crime Control Act
1985 Anti-Apartheid Act
Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act
The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act
The Fair Housing Act Amendments
The National Military Child Care Act
The 1980 Refuge Act
The Job Training Partnership Act
The Civil Rights Act of 1991
Summer Jobs for Youth Program
The Mammography Quality Standards Act
The National and Community Service Trust Act (created AmeriCorps)
The School-to-Work Opportunities Act
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Children’s Health Insurance Program
Work Incentives Improvement Act
The Minority Health and Disparities Research and Education Act
2002 Bioterrorism Preparedness Act
The Pediatric Graduate Medical Education Act
Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act
The Project Bioshield Act
The Family Opportunity Act
The Ryan White Care Act (for AIDS patients)
The Higher Education Opportunity Act
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act



In honor of Ted Kennedy, President Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill April 21, 2009.

The bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act strives to open up new service opportunities for millions of Americans, tripling the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years.

"I'm asking you to stand up and play your part," said the president. Kennedy championed the legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Photo (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


Senator "Ted" Kennedy changed history in America. He fought against racism and sexism. He championed the poor for equal opportunities for jobs, homes and being able to go to college.

Too many middle class Republican families who foolishly denounce Ted Kennedy do so without full knowledge of how he has benefited their lives. They have been the direct beneficiaries of his humanity.

Among many fights for the middle class, it was Ted Kennedy who fought hard to provide college grant money to middle income families, not just the poor. This generation owes a lot of their successful lifestyle to his endeavors to make America a better country and a better society. Let not his humanity fall on deaf ears to the next generation...


Barack Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats, diabetes, Politics, September 11th, America

26 August 2009

Video: Learn How to Make Professional Chocolates by Hand

From Denny: Before there were automated machines to make chocolate in factories check out how they still do it by hand for mass production in The Netherlands: impressive and so tasty looking! Good thing they don't have "smell-a-vision" like chef Emeril Lagasse chuckles or we would all be on the first plane to this chocolate factory. They also give lessons to people so they can learn how to do these awesome chocolates as professional as a big company.




how to make chocolates, The Netherlands, food video

25 August 2009

Recipe: Fast Easy Chocolate Truffle Pie



From Denny: Bakers Chocolate of Kraft Foods often posts very easy simple and fast recipes and this one is no exception. This pie would be an awesome addition to the holiday table and it's never too soon to start thinking about and planning ahead for the holidays. Who wants to be stressed at the last minute trying to rack your brain for a new recipe to excite the crowd and you just don't have a lot of time to find the recipe let alone bake it? Recipes like this one are real life savers! :)

Chocolate Truffle Pie

From: Bakers Chocolate

Serves: 10

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 50 min

Ingredients:

1-1/4 package (10 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

1/2 cup whipping cream

4 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (or real whipped cream)

Directions:

HEAT oven to 325°F. Microwave chocolate and cream in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until completely melted. Cool.

WHISK in eggs, sugar and flour. Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.

BAKE 35 min. or until edge of pie is puffed but center is still slightly soft; cool. Top with COOL WHIP.

Kraft Kitchen Tips for this recipe:


Size-Wise

A portion of this special-occasion dessert is all that is needed to provide big chocolate flavor.

Special Extra

To add a decorative powdered sugar garnish, place stencil on top of cooled pie. Use wire mesh sifter to sprinkle powdered sugar evenly over stencil. Carefully remove stencil to reveal the show-stopping garnish on pie.

Make Ahead

Cover cooled pie and freeze up to 1 week. Thaw in refrigerator before serving.

***

Thanks for visiting, everyone! Have a great day!


Kraft Foods, Bakers Chocolate, chocolate pie, truffles, easy recipes, holiday food, holiday recipes, fast recipes, simple recipes, home, baking

24 August 2009

Video: Watch How Chocolate Molds are Created and Chocolates Manufactured

From Denny: I always wondered how those chocolate molds were manufactured and this video from the Discovery channel shows you the quick process. Get a load of those huge chocolate bars that must weigh 20 pounds or more being dropped into the heating vat to melt the chocolate goodness. I wonder if they feed you all those delicious chocolates you saw on the conveyor belt at the end of the factory tour! :) Can't wait for the holidays after watching this yummy video...




how chocolate is made, food video

21 August 2009

Recipe: You Can Have Your Chocolate Mousse AND a Flat Belly Too!



*** Available from My Amazon store, Romancing The Chocolate Store in the banner up above or click on this link here, reduced price for $15.57 that qualifies for free shipping too, go here.

From Denny: Hurricane Bill has been busy in the Atlantic Ocean bringing a deluge of rain to Louisiana this afternoon, delaying my posting. With that much lightning I turn off the computer and wait... and wait... :)

While searching for a great or unusual chocolate recipe I ran across this one from the morning show from NBC called The Today Show. There's a new cookbook out to help you keep or re-acquire, whichever the case may be, that flat belly. But what to do? Give up our beloved chocolate? I don't think so say millions of women worldwide! :)

I once had a really good tofu chocolate mousse as it tasted great and didn't have as much oil to make it as rich as the original recipes do. Now I've run across another version we all just have to try! Take a look as it's simple, fast and easy.

From: Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

Serves: 4

Time: 10 minutes (now that's a winner in my book!)

From the author: As a garnish, pretty chocolate curls turn a humble fruit cup into a restaurant-worthy confection. Making them is as easy as drawing a vegetable peeler along the edge of a bar of chocolate. Use the short wide edge to make small tubular curls; use the longer, narrower edge for thinner, longer shavings.

Ingredients:

• 12 ounces soft silken tofu, drained

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 1\8 teaspoon almond extract

• 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

• 1\2 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt

Directions:

1. Place the tofu, vanilla extract, and almond extract in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate and blend for 1 minute. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and blend for 1 minute longer or until incorporated. Pour into a large bowl.

2. Fold in the yogurt just until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tips:

Note: For chocolate semifreddo, place the mixture in a 9" loaf pan lined with foil. Cover and freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until just set. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving: 271 calories, 11 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 19 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.

*** Available from My Amazon store, Romancing The Chocolate Store in the banner up above or click on this link here, reduced price for $15.57 that qualifies for free shipping too, go here.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for visiting!


chocolate mousse, easy recipes, fast recipes, Flat Belly Diet Cookbook, NBC, The Today Show, tofu, tofu chocolate mousse, Chocolate, Chocolate chip, Tofu, Atlantic Ocean, Cook, Home

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20 August 2009

Just Some Poetry.



Just Some Poetry.

by akeejaho @ HubPages

From Denny: I found this as a wonderful poem expressing a husband's love for his wife. The husband suffers from bipolar depression so he deeply understands how profoundly his wife's love affects him positively and appreciates her. (What every woman wants to hear!)

As a writing exercise this is a delightful take on how to write love poetry from a completely different angle without the usual greeting card mushiness.

Here's the comment I left for the author: "I'm always up for an unconventional take on love poetry and this little gem of a poem takes the prize. Awesome how you contrast inner and outer light, talking on two levels simultaneously, delivered with utter directness and simplicity, well done!"

Photo by AmahRa58 @ flickr


husband and wife, inner light, Light, love poetry, men and women, relationshiops, romance and love, Society and Culture, writing exercise

19 August 2009

Chocolate News: Cadbury Chocolate Bows to Consumer Boycott, Deletes Nasty Palm Oil



From Denny: Thanks to one of my fellow bloggers, Stoneweaver, we have news that the huge chocolate giant, Cadbury, has finally bowed to consumer pressure about the concerns of using palm oil in its chocolate.

I quit buying their product a long time ago because of the extreme oiliness of it as the 2 point type was too small to see it was the palm oil to which I was objecting (or should I say it was my stomach that was objecting). Apparently, the reason so many other people quit buying their product was because of the association of palm tree plantations and the huge destruction of the rain forests.

The company didn't expressly place palm oil on their label but rather only marked it as vegetable oil. Remember, palm oil has a huge level of saturated fat even though it is a vegetable oil.

And the relationship to the destruction of the rain forests you ask? Turns out the palm tree plantations have taken over former rain forest land in places like Borneo and Sumatra to the tune of millions of acres. Of course, once they took over the land to produce palm oil all the former animals went homeless. At least chocolate lovers worldwide have taken a stand about this loss of habitat for our beloved animals. Sometimes, you just have to check your sweet tooth at the door as there are more important things to consider. Talk about kill your interest in a yummy chocolate bar.

Also, Greenpeace contends that 96% of palm oil produced worldwide is not certified sustainable. Well, that only leaves a mere 4% that is and Cadbury certainly isn't part of that small percentage of concerned global citizens.

Greenpeace also informs us that the demand for palm oil is rocketing at a fast pace worldwide and that's why the rush to slash and burn pristine habitats to farm the land for, you guessed it, money!

What products does palm oil go into these days? Margarine is the prime draw. (I knew there was a reason I never liked the stuff. Give me clarified real butter any day as clarifying it gets rid of the cholesterol clogging garbage.) Then chocolate, cream cheese, cosmetics and now biodiesel fuel are the reasons for the uptick in demand. Seventy percent of this palm oil ends up in our food (and we wonder why we are fat in America) and the rest goes to the increasing biofuel industry.

In the rush to keep down fossil fuel emissions globally we are creating another climate change issue by cutting down the lungs of our planet, the rain forest!

So, the next time you purchase a chocolate candy bar, borrow someone's reader glasses at a high magnification and read that tiny tiny print on the wrapper. Check for palm oil. If you find it, then the next thing you do is this: hurl the damn candy bar clear across the store and bounce it off a few walls, hoping it lands in the trashcan. Because that's all it is: trash.

Congrats and kudos go out to all the people who boycotted Cadbury chocolate and wrote news stories about this irresponsible destruction of the rain forests.

18 August 2009

Recipe: Oreo Cookie and Chocolate Ice Cream Calypso Pie

oreosOreo Cookies Image: Ah, childhood pleasures of licking the filling off the cookie and then dunking it in a cold glass of milk... by penguincakes via Flickr

From Denny: This recipe is quite the calorie buster and a definite show-off for the holidays or entertaining! It comes from the Southern Recipe Restoration Project that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is sponsoring. There are a lot of interesting easy recipes you can do with Oreo cookies and this cookie crust for this intriguing special pie is just one of many.

From: Ashley Leckey, a Tallahassee native and University of Georgia graduate who has lived in Atlanta since 2004. This recipe comes from her jack-of-all-trades grandmother, Cele Marcoux, who was an editor at a newspaper, had a line of luxury ties, worked in a dental lab and was even a nurse in the Army. Now that's job experience!

Marcoux often flavored this recipe with her own homemade liqueur and used the sauce recipes supplied below too.

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Serves: 12

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), divided

18 Oreo cookies, crushed

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 quart coffee ice cream (or 1 quart vanilla bean ice cream plus coffee-flavored liqueur to taste; see link below to separate recipe)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:

Melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter. Mix crushed cookies with melted butter; press into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch pie plate and chill.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and salt. Add the evaporated milk gradually, blending well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the shell is chilled and the sauce has cooled, set out the ice cream to soften slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Fill the pie shell with the ice cream. Put the pie in the freezer until ice cream is firm again.

In the meantime, beat the whipping cream until it just holds a peak. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Spread the fudge sauce over the ice cream layer, then mound the top with whipped cream and sprinkle with pecans. Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Remove and let sit a few minutes before slicing.

Nutrition:

Per serving:
482 calories (percent of calories from fat, 63), 5 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 35 grams fat (17 grams saturated), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 261 milligrams sodium.



Coffee-flavored Liqueur

Hands on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: Makes 1 gallon

Ingredients:

4 cups granulated sugar

6 1/2 cups water, divided

1 cup instant coffee

1 (375 milliliter) bottle 190-proof grain alcohol, such as Everclear (some of us might prefer a better quality vodka)

2 vanilla beans

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine sugar and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile, mix instant coffee with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cool. Combine both mixtures; add alcohol and remaining 2 cups water. Pour into four 16-ounce bottles and add 1/2 vanilla bean to each.

Nutrition:

Per ounce: 48 calories (no calories from fat), trace protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.



Copycat Chocolate Fudge Sauce

Hands on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, stir together sugar and cocoa. Add milk and syrup and stir until blended. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil; continue stirring and boiling for 8 minutes. Remove from heat; add chocolate and butter and stir until melted, then add the cream. Return to the heat and boil an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool; store in the refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. To serve, uncover and heat the jar in a saucepan of warm water for a few minutes (or in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds).

Nutrition:

Per tablespoon:
73 calories (percent of calories from fat, 45), trace protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 9 milligrams cholesterol, 21 milligrams sodium.


Thanks for visiting Romancing The Chocolate!



chocolate dessert, coffee liqueur, Copycat Chocolate Fudge Sauce, ice cream pie, oreo cookies, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cook, University of Georgia, baking and confections, home, easy recipes, ice cream

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17 August 2009

Video: 3 Easy Family Favorite Dessert Recipes

From Denny: The Today Show had hundreds of entries for this competition! They were looking for family recipes handed down through the generations and found some good ones that will appeal to a lot of people. These are also fast easy recipes, enjoy! Wait until you see the last one with chocolate, easiest one of all.




desserts, dessert recipes, recipes, chocolate, baking and confections

14 August 2009

Recipe: Easy Cocoa Chocolate Sheet Cake

Texas chocolate sheet cakeImage by Lonnon Foster via Flickr

From Denny: Do you need a simple cake recipe that doesn't require a whole lot of fuss? This easy recipe is the answer! What I like about it is that you don't even have to take it out of the pan to frost it. Better yet, while the cake is still hot, you pour hot frosting on top of it. How easy is that?

The frosted cake stays in the pan and you serve from there or you can "make it and take it" to a family gathering or school function for your kids. Try baking it in a disposable aluminum pan and then you can just throw away the pan after they gobble up this chocolatey goodness! :)

Ingredients:

Yield: 1 9x13-inch sheet cake

1 stick butter or margarine

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup cococa

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Frosting (recipe follows)


Directions:

1. Combine butter, oil, cocoa and water and bring to a boil.

2. Mix sugar and flour together and add boiling cocoa mixture. Mix well. When mixture has cooled down a bit, then add the eggs.

3. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add to mixture. Add vanilla and cinnamon.

4. Spray with nonstick vegetable cooking spray a 9x13-inch sheet pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 30 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and frost immediately.


Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar (granulated)

6 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1/3 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk

1 (1-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup pecans


Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, butter, half-and-half or evaporated milk and chocolate and bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Continue boiling for about 4 minutes until mixture reaches soft ball stage like in candy making. Remove from heat.

3. Sprinkle pecans over cake. Pour hot frosting on top of cake.

Note: Hide all the forks in your house because this cake won't last long! :)


birthday cake, cake and confections, chocolate cake, chocolate sheet cake, sheet cake, Cookware and bakeware, Chocolate, Baking and Confections, Cook, Cake, Home

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13 August 2009

Recipe: Swiss Chocolate Cake

Herbi's Swiss Chocolate CakeImage by norwichnuts via Flickr

From Denny: When this gorgeous photo pulled up for another chocolate recipe I just had to investigate for the recipe. Turns out the recipe is for a special diet when people can't tolerate too much cholesterol or animal products: vegan!

This cake is flourless and eggless. Give this recipe a try if you have diet restrictions or allergies.


From: norwichnuts @ flickr

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

1 cup vegetable margarine, melted

1 1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup water

Egg Replacer for 6 eggs

Garnish of your choice (used Soy Whip and a couple pieces Swiss Chocolate with powdered sugar but some other excellent choices are: whipped kreme, mixed berries and sauce, caramel sauce)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put chocolate in a bowl and add melted margarine. Boil water and 1 cup sugar. Add to chocolate and whip well, stirring until smooth.

Whip the replacer with remaining sugar. Fold in chocolate. Pour into prepared 8 to 9-inch cake pan (line bottom with parchment paper and "grease" sides with margarine).

Place on cookie sheet and add water to cookie sheet to create a bath. Bake 50 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove from pan, garnish and serve.


Cake, Chocolate, chocolate cake, flourless cake, vegan cake, eggless chocolate cake, cakes and confections, Swiss Chocolate Cake, baking, home, cook

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12 August 2009

Funny Chocolate Poster

From Denny: StumbleUpon is an endless source of amusement for us. There are some fellow low-life downright snarky chocophiles lurking over there too and here is one funny I found today and thought I'd share. Try saying this joke with a straight face at your next party! :)

11 August 2009

Recipe: Worlds Prettiest Brownies



From: Meredith Ford Goldman of Atlanta, Georgia, published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Food writer and dining critic Meridith Ford Goldman has perfected a brownie recipe that lives up to all the above adjectives. The dense, fudgy brownie base comes from Marion Cunningham's "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book" (Gramercy, $12.99) -- and the dense, moist squares are made all the more sinful with a topping of silky ganache. The brownies can be made in one bowl or a saucepan, depending on whether the chocolate is melted in the microwave or on the stove.

Hands on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 12 hours
Serves: 16


Ingredients:

4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped fine

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small squares

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

1 cup Dark Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

Gold-colored dragees for garnish, optional (available at cake baking supply stores)

For Dark Chocolate Ganache:

8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream

18 ounces (one 12-ounce bag and one 6-ounce bag) dark (semisweet)
chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour, or spray with cooking spray, an 8-inch square baking pan. Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (If using a microwave, melt the chocolate for 20-second intervals, stirring between each, until lumpy. Add the butter and continue intervals until the mixture is smooth.)

When cool, add the eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt and whisk until combined. Add the flour and mix well, then the nuts, if desired.
Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely clean. Do not overbake.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the brownies out onto a cooling rack covered with a paper towel or parchment paper. Let brownies cool completely, about 2 hours.

Ice the brownies with Dark Chocolate Ganache, using a cake spatula, and place them in the refrigerator to set for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a straight-edged knife that is at least the length of the brownie square, cut the brownies into 16 even squares, cleaning the knife after each cut to make even, clean edges.
Place the finished brownies in cupcake papers. Decorate each square with a gold or colored dragee, if desired.

For Dark Chocolate Ganache:

In a heavy saucepan, place the cream on high heat to boil. When it begins to boil, remove from the heat immediately and whisk in the chocolate chips, a little at a time, until completely melted and smooth (do not vigorously whisk or the ganache will get air bubbles). Add the butter and mix until smooth. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the ganache so a skin doesn't form. Let the ganache rest overnight, unrefrigerated.

Notes:

This recipe calls for 2 hours of cooling time for brownies plus overnight resting time for the ganache.

Nutrition:

Per brownie:
338 calories (percent of calories from fat, 56), 5 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 23 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 51 milligrams cholesterol, 54 milligrams sodium.


worlds prettiest brownies, brownies, Baking and Confections, desserts, baking, Home, cook

10 August 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Black Raspberry Brownies



Photo of 500 pounds of chocolate in a bakery! (since these brownies did not come with a photo this was the next best thing to salivate over in the way of chocolate)

From Denny: It's never too early to start thinking about what you will be cooking for the holidays. Now is a great time to test drive a few dessert recipes that are easy to make and easy to transport if you are asked to bring a sweet to the gathering! Brownies are a crowd pleaser and easy on the home cook who is pressed for time. In the ongoing series on brownies here's the latest yummy and elegant version of our beloved chocolate! :)

From: Diane H. Floyd of Atlanta, Georgia

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
Serves: 20

Ingredients:

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

2 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

10 ounces black raspberry jam, preferably seedless (do not substitute red raspberry or blackberry), at room temperature

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch pan. In the microwave or a double boiler set over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together and stir until the mixture is smooth. By hand, stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour until well-combined. Spread in pan. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until slightly firm when touched lightly. Do not overbake. Let cool at least 15 minutes.

Spread the jam evenly over the brownies. Melt the remaining 2/3 cup chocolate chips with the 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Stir until smooth. Pour melted chocolate over the jam. Using a knife, spread the melted chocolate over the jam in as even a layer as possible. Chill thoroughly and cut into small squares. Serve chilled.

Notes:

Total time for this recipe includes 1 hour of chilling time.

These rich brownies, which are topped with a layer of jam and a thin coating of chocolate, freeze extremely well and can be refrozen.

"You can make them in the mini foil baking cups, resulting in very pretty individual bonbons for parties, " she says. "Just use a scant tablespoon of brownie batter in each cup and sprinkle with a few chocolate chips. A finger is the ideal method of spreading both the jam and chocolate over the little cups of brownie. Just remember not to lick it until you are finished."

She recommends using the microwave when melting the chocolate.

Nutrition:

Per serving:
278 calories (percent of calories from fat, 41), 3 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 14 grams fat, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 85 milligrams sodium.


chocolate raspberry brownies, brownies, baking and confections, desserts, cookies, home, baking

09 August 2009

Recipe: Oreo Brownies



From Denny: Nicknamed chocolate butter bombs by those who love them, try this brownie for your next special occasion!

Make and take: Brownies must be kept chilled. For added lasting power at room temperature, cut into squares and freeze before transporting them.

Hands on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 96

Ingredients:

FOR THE OREO LAYER:

1 (18-ounce) package Oreo cookies

1/2 cup pecans

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

For the chocolate layer:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

5 tablespoons Kahlua

FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

6 ounces white chocolate

6 tablespoons heavy cream

1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

For the chocolate ganache:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

Directions:

To prepare the Oreo layer: Crush Oreos and pecans in blender until smooth. Add melted butter. Press into bottom of a 12-by-8-inch pan. Freeze while you prepare the next layer.

To prepare the chocolate layer: In a double boiler (or in the microwave, in 30-second intervals), melt chocolate with cream, sugar and Kahlua. Stir well. Spread the mixture on the Oreo layer and freeze for 15 minutes.

To prepare the chocolate ganache: In double boiler, melt chocolate in cream and butter. Spread over the white chocolate layer and freeze for 15 minutes or chill in refrigerator until set.

Cut into 1-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator until serving time, or freeze before transporting so the squares are slightly thawed but still cold at serving time.

Notes:

Serve tiny squares of these super-rich treats on a plate with fresh strawberries.

Nutrition:

Per serving:
107 calories (percent of calories from fat, 73), 1 gram protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 9 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 15 milligrams cholesterol, 39 milligrams sodium.


oreo brownies, brownies

08 August 2009

Recipe: Cream Cheese Brownies



From Denny: These are from the Homespun Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia, published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

From the menu of . . . Homespun Cafe
2020 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta, GA
404-352-4120

Q: I would love to have the recipe for the Cream Cheese Brownies at the Homespun Cafe. They are exceptional. - Susan Bowen, Atlanta

A: Neesha and Beena Nana bake a different kind of cake every day at this cheery little cafe owned by their father, Chhotu Nana, who came to Atlanta via Zimbabwe and India. While the double chocolate, strawberry, lemon and other cakes are served only one day a week, the Cream Cheese Brownies are so acclaimed that they have earned a permanent place on the menu.

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Total time:
1 hour and 10 minutes
Serves:
18


Ingredients:

For the cream cheese layer:

1 large egg

1/3 cup granulated sugar

5 1/3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup self-rising flour

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon almond extract

For the chocolate layer:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided

2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

2 large eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2/3 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Grease bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cream cheese layer: In a mixing bowl, combine egg, sugar and 5 1/3 tablespoons melted butter. Stir in flour, cream cheese and almond extract. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

For the chocolate layer: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1 stick butter. Cool slightly. Pour 5 1/2 tablespoons melted butter into a mixing bowl and leave remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons in saucepan. Add chocolate morsels to saucepan and return to low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts.

Into bowl containing melted butter, add eggs and granulated and brown sugars. Stir in flour and vanilla. Pour in melted chocolate/butter mixture and combine well. Spread evenly on top of cream cheese layer. Draw a knife through the pan to swirl batters.
Place in oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until tests done. Cool on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Notes from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Homespun Cafe bakes these extremely moist brownies in large quantities with the cream cheese layer on top. After cutting down the recipe for one pan and trying a couple of batches, our tester said the layers seem to stay together and the brownies cut better when the cream cheese layer is on the bottom.

Nutrition:

Per brownie:
335 calories (percent of calories from fat, 56), 4 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 21 grams fat, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 229 milligrams sodium.


brownies, cream cheese brownies

07 August 2009

Video: How to Make Easy Chocolate Fudge Brownies

From Denny: This video should be a classic as it's great instruction for the beginner and not intimidating at all.






chocolate brownies, chocolate fudge brownies, easy recipes, food video

06 August 2009

Video: Marbled Chocolate Cookie Bark

From Denny: Apologies to everyone looking for yesterday's and today's posts. Yesterday we had a power outage from the severe thunderstorms that came into our area like the heavens opened up and burst forth. It was beginning to look like Noah's Ark would suddenly appear and float by in front of our house for sure...! :)

Anyway, while I'm getting the next brownie recipe ready to post here is an awesome and very simple video on making your own chocolate cookie bark: addicting! Great recipe for the weekend and kids really like snacking on this.




chocolate bark, chocolate cookie bark, food video, peanut butter

05 August 2009

Video: Making a Difference - Fathers Heart Ranch

From Denny: This is a wonderful story full of love to heal abused and abandoned boys in California. A retired professional baseball player turned non-denominational minister took his life savings to begin this endeavor. Heart-warming story from another person who chose to "make a difference" in the lives of others!




abuse, Kids and Teens, Society and Culture, Religion and Spirituality, Making a Difference, NBC

04 August 2009

Recipe: Epicurious Best Cocoa Brownies

Chocolate (Bangor) BrowniesAnother version of brownies called Bangor Brownies from the UK - Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Epicurious is such a great resource online! I've been following them off and on for years now. This is a recipe from 2003 with over 250 reviews.

Second in this week's series on brownie recipes... I'm always looking for easy method recipes that involve chocolate for the beginner cook. Sometimes, I just want fast and easy minus the preservatives when I don't have much time to bake but am craving something wonderfully chocolate; brownies are usually a fast fix. I'm after that intense perfect chocolate taste! :)


Yield: Makes 16 large or 25 smaller brownies

Note from Epicurious: Cocoa brownies have the softest center and chewiest candylike top "crust" of all because all of the fat in the recipe (except for a small amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa) is butter, and all of the sugar is granulated sugar rather than the finely milled sugar used in chocolate. Use the best cocoa you know for these fabulous brownies.

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cold large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Special equipment: An 8-inch square baking pan

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Chocolate note:

Any unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder works well here. Natural cocoa produces brownies with more flavor complexity and lots of tart, fruity notes. I think it's more exciting. Dutch-process cocoa results in a darker brownie with a mellower, old-fashioned chocolate pudding flavor, pleasantly reminiscent of childhood.

From Denny: Here's an interesting twist on baking this reviewer tried: I use epicurious a lot but had to become a member just now for the sole purpose of reviewing this recipe. Three words that may change your life: coarse sea salt. I sprinkled large coarse crystals of sea salt on top of the batter prior to baking. This could also probably be done right when they come out of the oven. Words cannot describe how delicious they are. My boyfriend and I are both currently intoxicated with these brownies.

by gardengnome from Boston, MA on 07/26/09

From a reader in the UK who gives a substitute take on this as well as the equivalent temperature to bake: Will definitely make these again. I agree with another reviewer - the 'crackly' crust really only appeared when the brownies were cut but it did appear a bit, and the brownies were fantastically chewy and chocolatey. Baked for 20 minutes at 160 degrees Centrigrade (the equivalent of the Farenheit temperature listed in the reipce) in a fan oven. Spot on. I had run out of real unsalted butter so I used half 'slightly salted 'spreadable'' butter* (and reduced the salt) and I only had supermarket 'own brand' cocoa, but the brownies were still excellent. I look forward to making them with all real butter and better quality chocolate, but I'm thrilled to find a good chocolatey recipe I can make from a couple of eggs and not much else: Actual chocolate doesn't stay in my storecupboard for long ;-) * in the UK we have 'spreadable' butter which comes in containers like margarine and is butter with a little bit of added oil to make it easy to spread straight from the fridge. The brand I buy is slightly salted.

by justinepow from Edinburgh, Scotland on 07/07/09



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Recipe: Dennys Decadent Brownies

From Denny: This is my personal brownie recipe I developed over the years of trying different kinds. We like more of a cake brownie in this house as opposed to the gooey kind, though you really can just undercook anything to get that consistency.

Unfortunately, any time you undercook flour for that gooey consistency you are creating something that isn't digested well, and, well, goes straight to fat in the body. Who wants to put on fat easily? No one is that answer! But I still love my chocolate and brownies, so a cake brownie is a (somewhat) healthier idea. :)

This recipe is quick and easy, as fast as pulling out a mix with preservatives, so why not control what goes into your chocolate food?

Dennys Decadent Cake Brownies

Yield: 16 (2-inch) squares

Ingredients:

3 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 large AA eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup sour cream

(You can use full fat sour cream or the lite version we use in this recipe that is 50% less fat. Don't use no fat version as you need some of the oil to make the recipe work right.)

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup chopped pecans (or left whole and placed on top instead on in the batter)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. and grease an 8”x8”x2” square pan.

Melt chocolate and butter carefully in a double boiler over simmering hot water. If you are adept at melting in the microwave without burning the chocolate, this is a faster method – just make sure you stop it every 10 seconds or so to stir, otherwise the chocolate will either burn or separate.

Add sugar, then eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, stirring well to incorporate. (Brownie dough is best mixed by hand as it becomes stiff dough.)

Add sour cream and stir just until incorporated; don’t over mix. Add chocolate chips and pecans – unless you want to place pecans, whole or chopped, on top.

Bake at 350° F. for 20 – 23 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the pan. Some people like their brownies under cooked and others more so, your preference.

Frosting

In Louisiana, in lieu of frosting we like to sprinkle powdered sugar over everything: beignets (donuts), cakes, cookies, anything chocolate, especially brownies.

If you prefer a thin easy frosting here is a favorite.

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients:


1 square unsweetened chocolate

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

A few Tablespoons hot water

Directions:

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave, stirring well. When smooth, now remove from the heat and add the sugar, making a thick paste. Add the vanilla. Add hot water a little at a time until you have a spreadable consistency. Keep adding hot water 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired level – thinner works better and spreads on faster. How much hot water you use will depend upon what time of year you are making this frosting because of the humidity in the air. Enjoy!

03 August 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Revel Bars

chocolate chip bar cookiesOur regular chocolate chip cookie recipe made into a bar cookie version - Image by rachel is coconut&lime via Flickr

From Denny: This week is dedicated to brownie recipes! Yay!

Looking through one of my "elderly" cookbook finds from a book fair I was struck by how much cooking and baking has changed in the past 30 years or so. As we learn more about nutrition the recipes change. As new products, good or bad for us, come onto the market, the recipes of that time period reflect it. Usually, I look for timeless recipes where the ingredients will be easy to acquire and simple.

During the 1960's and 1970's making "bar" cookies (a type of brownie in our minds today) was most popular mainly because it saved time from forming the cookie dough, just bake and cut into serving sizes was faster. Women were entering the work force then and needed to speed up their recipes as they only had so much time in a day. (Sound familiar?)

I chose this recipe for today as I'm always thinking of how to use up something out of the pantry, like sweetened condensed milk, that I bought for last Thanksgiving holiday and never got around to using it for anything. Do you suffer from those pantry extras too? Well, this recipe looked like a tasty idea to meet my needs. It might even end up on this Thanksgiving's table! :)

Note: You can substitute half of the butter here for canola oil. If you make it all canola oil it will lose that buttery flavor. Well, at least the oats are a healthy addition! :)

There wasn't a good enough photo provided for this recipe - that's the only thing about older cookbooks, it was before quality digital photography that gives clear photos. Just imagine a triple layer brownie with the oatmeal crust, a layer of dark chocolate goodness and then dots of oatmeal crust on the top, almost like a miniature chocolate pie idea cut into bars!

Chocolate Revel Bars

From: Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Cake & Cookie Recipes, published 1980

Yield: 48 (2-inch) squares

Ingredients:

3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter (can substitute margarine)

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 (14 ounce) can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk

2 Tablespoons butter (can substitute margarine)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 teaspoons vanilla


Directions:

Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. In mixer bowl beat 1 cup butter or margarine on medium speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds.

Add brown sugar and beat till fluffy. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients to to beaten mixture and beat till well blended.

In heavy saucepan heat together chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, 2 Tablespoon butter or margarine and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring till smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and 2 more teaspoons vanilla.

Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into bottom of an ungreased 15"x10"x1" baking pan, saving enough to spread on top too. Spread with chocolate mixture. Dot with remaining oat mixture.

Bake in 350 degree F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, no dough sticking to it. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.


Thanks for visiting! Happy Baking today!



Cookie, Cooking, Chocolate chip, chocolate bars, brownies, Brown sugar, Butter, baking, Home, dessert, baking and confections, chocolate brownie

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02 August 2009

Blogging with Ads and a Blog Store

Whew!Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Whew! I've been blogging for nine months now (on the oldest blog The Social Poets where I started all this craziness) and am just getting into learning about ads. There are so many options and it takes a while to absorb it all. Mostly, I've waited to develop my content on each blog and then see what people find interesting.

You can develop your own aStore with Amazon Associates though it sure takes some time to develop the look you want to best complement your blog in color and design. Of course, I just wear it out trying different combinations so it takes me longer. :) I finally got around to developing this blog's own store.

Amazon is a trusted company for both the customer and the blogger. I prefer an ad company with a good reputation since it's my reputation on the line as well.

Anyway, there are ads for MP3 Music, Gourmet Food, Free Music, Sale Books, Video, Cell phones, and the Romancing The Chocolate Store as choices. Take a look and browse through it all for ideas. If you are like me you just enjoy window shopping! :)

What's fun about some of these ads is they add visual interest to what could be a static blog so I thought I'd try it out and see what appeals to everyone. At least they are tasteful unlike what some companies offer. The ads are placed at the top, sprinkled in the sidebar and above and below the posts area.

Oh, yes, for new bloggers, you definitely want to get Google ads. Why? Forget about making money from them as it's a joke unless you get a million hits. The only sites and blogs that get hits like that are porno and I'm not interested in writing garbage. You only make $1 for every 1,000 hits so it could take you a year or more to make $100.

When you go to join up with Google just make sure you have at least 60 to 90 posts of content. They might turn you down for less. What they are looking for is enough content to analyze to know what ads to place with you. If you post daily it won't take long to develop a theme or trend that Google will find attractive. Once you have been at blogging for a good six months and are not overwhelmed, upgrade for free to Google Analytics. Analytics goes deeper into analyzing how you are doing and what posts are the most popular. They let you know if your traffic is from search engines or direct because people already know about you.

The real reason you want Google ads is because they keep track of your numbers for you to let you know if folks are actually reading your blog. That was the real reason I activated Google ads. I wanted to see if anyone was interested in what I was offering since I was a newbie to blogging. Previously, I always kept private journals and then finally decided to go public. It was a pleasant surprise to learn the level of interest out there in web land! :) Thanks for your support, everyone!

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01 August 2009

Joke: Smart Dog Goes Meat Shopping




Smart Dog

A dog walks into a butcher shop with a purse strapped around his neck. He walks up to the meat case and calmly sits there until it's his turn to be helped. A man, who was already in the butcher shop, finished his purchase and noticed the dog. The butcher leaned over the counter and asked the dog what it wanted today. The dog put its paw on the glass case in front of the ground beef, and the butcher said, "How many pounds?"
The dog barked twice, so the butcher made a package of two pounds ground beef.

He then said, "Anything else?"

The dog pointed to the pork chops, and the butcher said, "How many?"

The dog barked four times, and the butcher made up a package of four pork chops.

The dog then walked around behind the counter, so the butcher could get at the purse. The butcher took out the appropriate amount of money and tied two packages of meat around the dog's neck. The man, who had been watching all of this, decided to follow the dog. It walked for several blocks and then walked up to a house and began to scratch at the door to be let in. As the owner opened the door, the man said to the owner, "That's a really smart dog you have there."

The owner said, "He's not really all that smart. This is the second time this week he forgot his key."


Ground beef, Dogbert, Pork chop, Butcher, Home, Food, Cooking, Meat, Pork, smart dog, jokes, dog, dog joke, Dogbert

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