Sunday, May 23, 2010

Like Flowers for Chocolate

Hi, I am a Culinary chick and I kill plants! Not intentionally of course but I was cursed with the black thumb from elementary school when mine was the only styrofoam cup that didn't sprout the green telltale bud of success. I can make a beautiful and delicious gallantine but in school I cringed when it came time to make aspics because I'm also unable to make jello. Don't ask me why but no matter what I do hours later I wind up with a bowl of Kool-Aid! Miraculously my aspic did form but it was still softer and took longer to set than that of my classmates.

I am however, extremely capable of making pudding which came in handy this weekend when I attended a Plant Swap with some ladies from my gym class at the Y. I told them I didn't do plants so they said I could bring a dessert instead (the lemon cake I'd made at the last luncheon was a huge hit:) I'd thought about making banana bread but the epicurean in me screamed for something more fun. Now, I'm not a baker. I can follow a recipe but would much rather taste and experiment than worry about accidentally swapping baking powder for baking soda (with disastrous results) and with a tightened wallet I was limited in what I could spend. But as I wandered the aisles of the grocery store I was suddenly inspired, I would make a Chocolate Cream Pie!

This was extremely easy and quick to do although you have to remember to leave time for the pie to set. I took two 4oz packets of My T Fine chocolate pudding and followed the pie directions on the label (3 3/4 cups of whole milk although the skim I used worked out fine added to the mix and stirring constantly over medium heat until it comes to a full bubble, then remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes, stirring twice.) If you don't have time to make a graham cracker crust, go ahead and buy the 9" tin with crust included (if you make an 8" pie you only need one packet of pudding and 2 cups of milk) and pour the pudding into the tin. The directions say to let it set in the fridge for 4 hours (3 if using one packet) but I found the pie set in an hour and a half which was a pleasant surprise. In the meantime make sure your Cool Whip is thawing (the package says not to leave it out on the counter to thaw but as I was pressed for time I did it anyway and found most of the container was ready when I needed to use it). Once the pie set I added the Cool Whip (you don't want to bury the pie under half the container... or maybe you do;) and grated some Hershey's Special Dark on top as a garnish. The pie looked beautiful and was a huge hit:) I did end up walking away with some sweet smelling Lillies of the Valley and this other plant that sprouts these pretty pink bell like flowers... that is if they manage to survive! I've got them planted in the garden section of my front yard and will be taking tons of pictures if they end my botanical killing spree (botanicide?).

Anyway, while I was busy playing Betty Crocker I decided to finally act on a candle idea I'd been contemplating. So I bring you the "Smells Like Freedom" Sundae Candle! The name was inspired by my husband who said exactly that while I was waiting for it to set. The scents are Strawberry, Lemon and Blueberry and comes with little handmade American flags for $10 plus shipping. You can also get French flags for Bastille Day upon request! Next week, I hope to unveil a cute new candle that's a perfect gift for your favorite teacher:) Have a great week everyone, chow for now!

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