Chocolate-y Goodness from Marti and Martha

Martha Stewart’s Recipe… Marti’s cooking.   Ahhhhhh, what could be better?  I’m away from home, unable to try recipes and file them away.  So I’ve decided to collect them here online.  It’ll give me a sense of hope to get to go home, successfully, and soon. 

foodblog11I like Martha Stewart’s recipes. 

They’re meticulous, careful, and dependable… in addition to being great.   This recipe is for chocolate-chocolate chipper cookies.  But… since we all know that I’m not a big chocolate fan and think that actually chocolate chip cookies are rather pedestrian, well, let’s just pick up our feet and dance a little faster, huh?

I began with Martha’s recipe for Outrageous Chocolate – Chocolate Chunk Cookies, but… (and wow! look at how chocolatey that is!)  but since I only eat chocolate when I am truly craving it, we’re going to add a little more dark, bitter satisfaction here and there, aren’t we?

Aw, you know it, Baby!  And while we’re putting chocolate in cookies, let’s use 86% chocolate.  Do you know how that stuff tastes as it melts at a much lower temperature on your hot tongue?

Mmmmmm!  let’s get started, shall we?  And don’t come crying to me if you have to have a glass of milk with yours because it’s so rich and gooey-good!

Outrageous Chocolate – Chocolate Chunk Cookies ala Marti

Makes 2 dozen

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 Tb. instant coffee (or postum)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3  4oz dark chocolate bars, 86%, cut into chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Separate out 2 tb. of flour in mortar and pestle.  Crush in coffee or postum granules.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

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I Can Afford to Cook Here: 99 Cents Stores

99 Cents Only Stores

Our Hero: 99 Cents Only Stores

So I’ve decided to take a different turn with my food blog:  the 99 Cents Store is where I’ll be shopping.  At least for ingredients.  At least for awhile.

We’re in a tough economy here and I like to live within my means.  99 Cents Only is within my means, so I’m off and running. 

Besides, I sorta dig the people I see in the stores.  I like variety and diversity of character.  The people I see in the 99 Cents Only Stores are honest, hardworking Americans who know they are cheap.  They know that times are tough and understand the value of a buck.

Fellow Shopper...

Fellow Shopper...

And some of ’em are just plain fun to shop with.  I thought this was a fun picture, so here it is.

Meantime, the stores are interesting.  The challenge is that there’s never the same stuff twice.  Well, unless you go back twice in the same week. 

I bought some raspberries a couple of weeks ago.   The same raspberries were being sold down the street for $2 per basket.  I got them for $1.   I was so excited that I bought an entire flat and made jam.  The jam was so good that I ate a lot more than I usually would, but wow, that’s pretty great, right?

Meantime, today I bought broccoflower: a hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower.   I love vegetables and I got the entire head for $1, so I was off and running to make…

Broccoflower with Garlic and Anchovies: serves 4 as a side dish

1 head of broccoflower (or broccoli or cauliflower)  1 1/2 pounds, cut into 2 inch flowerets

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

2 1/2 teaspoons of anchovies, cut into 1/4 inch bits

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or a shake or two of cayenne)

Start by boiling the flowerets in salted water until just crisply cooked.   Remove from heat and scoop the broccoflower into ice water to stop the cooking.  

In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil.   Add the garlic and saute until translucent.  I don’t it browned; it always tastes burned to me.

When the garlic is “done,” add the anchovies and saute those until they dissolve.   (I bought both the anchovies and the garlic at the 99 Cents Only Store, too.)

Add the cracked red pepper or cayenne.   Drain the broccoflower well, and add to the skillet, turning to coat. 

Keep the heat on medium high, and let the dish cook for a moment to let the sauce cook down.   Don’t walk away or it may burn.  Move from heat and put in bowl immediately.    Serves 4. 

This is an interesting dish.  If you haven’t tried anchovies, you probably won’t do it now.  But I will tell you, it’s not a “fishy” flavor that you’d be getting.  It’s that slightly salty, somewhat indescribable but still crave-able flavor that makes you want to keep eating.

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Triple Rich Chocolate Cake – Don’t Be a Hurrier!

Rich, Decadent, EASY on the Cook and the Budget!

Rich, Decadent, EASY on the Cook and the Budget!

Patience is a difficult thing for me.  It’s not as though life in Southern California will teach you that quality, you know.   You have to set your cruise control at 70mph just to keep up with traffic on the interstates here. 

 And we never have to endure the winters.   This is a place where Thanksgiving is often enjoyed in backyards under palm trees with the latest crop of citrus and persimmons adorning the lawn under our flip-flop clad feet.

I got this recipe from a client, when I was on a catering job several years back.  I’d been thinking about it for some time.  I just never realized how much longer I would have to think about it once I actually set about to make it.  Oh goodness!   Don’t try to make this thing if you’re desperately needing chocolate, because the time from start to finish may make you lose your grip.

So it was with a certain amount of impatience that I put the ingredients into the crockpot on Sunday and drove south to see friends in Orange County.  I figured the Triple Rich Chocolate Cake would be ready by the time I got home.  Actually, it took a little longer, but it was worth every minute.

Triple Rich Chocolate Cake: serves 8-10

18 oz. Devils’ Food Cake mix

4 eggs

1 c. sour cream (you can use light)

3/4 c. vegetable oil

1 cup water

1 (sm. 3 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

To prepare the crockpot, cut a circle of either parchment or waxed paper to fit the bottom of the crockery.   Spray some cooking spray around the sides.  Put the circle in and press it down into the bottom of the pot.

By hand, stir to combine all ingredients in a 2 quart bowl.    A bit smoother than for muffins, but no need to dirty a mixer for this. 

Pour the batter into 3 1/2 to 5 quart crockpot.    Cover, set on “LOW” and cook for 5-7 hours until done in the center.  DO NOT cook on high heat. 

To plate the dessert, run a knife around the outer edges to loosen the cake.  Then put a plate on top of the crockpot and turn it over.  The cake should drop down.   Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate sauce. 

Let me warn you, when I walked in the door after 5 hours, I thought I smelled a whiff of scorched chocolate.  But I persevered.  I was brave.  I resisted the urge to rip the (still cooking) cake apart, looking for signs of BURNT! 

And in the end, I triumphed!  It took all 7 hours and about 6 toothpicks worth of testing to satisfy my impatient self, but this was by far the easiest “ultra-rich” cake imaginable.  It’s rather like a flourless chocolate cake, in its level of richness.

So serve it with ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a big glass of milk.   And enjoy slowly…  as if you actually were something like, um, patient? 

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Hello Diners!

Well, here we are.   My new blog.  Like the name?  Sorta spoke to me. 

Seriously, I’m almost always watching calories and intake.  And when I am wanting something in particular to eat, sometimes I think about it for quite some time before I go out and get it.  I had a roommate in college who always said “The waiting makes the getting better.”  She wasn’t, ahhhhh, talking about food, but I still think that one was a little off.

Anyway, I do like to build anticipation.  I like to think about something, enjoy that thought and let that anticipation grow and grow and grow until I’m wildly craving something.   And then I head to the kitchen.

I love to cook.  I love to share my cooking.  (Consider that an invite.)

I know we all have to eat, but I’m much more interested if it’s something that I’ve been thinking about and imagining enjoying for a good while.   So that’s what I’ll be posting here: things I’ve been wildly craving. 

Have a great weekend.  I’m headed for the store… to see what is to be craved.

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