Wednesday, May 26, 2010

chocolate infused goodness

Yes, yes, I know, it's been forever since I posted. I've been kinda busy, you know with packing and graduating and moving and all. And then trying to find a job and trying to find space in The Boy's closet for my clothes to stay temporarily.

Anyways, today's post is about Co. Co. Sala, a restaurant that specializes in adding chocolate to almost everything on their entire menu (cocktails and hot chocolate are to die for!). L first introduced me to brunch at Co. Co. Sala. And then L and I went again for dinner to introduce the place to L's man friend. And then I had to take my friend there for dinner. And then of course The Boy came out for my graduation so I had to take him there for brunch.  Yep, I ate there four times in the last nine months!  But alas, no more Co. Co. Sala for me because it's only in Washington, DC.  They should totally open up a restaurant in SF.

We started off with drinks - The Boy had an mimosa while I had the mocha french press coffee because the place was freezing inside and I needed the caffeine.

Mocha French Press Coffee

Coffee was yum.

Mocha French Press Coffee

We each ordered from the prix fixe menu, which comes with an appetizer, entree and dessert. This was our appetizer - I don't remember the name of it, but it tasted like warm chocolate cake. Chocolate cake as an appetizer? Bring it on!

Warm chocolate something appetizer

It looks ginormous in these pictures, but it was really just the size of a truffle.

Warm chocolate something appetizer

The Boy's selection from the prix fixe menu was the Bacon, Ham & Egg Flatbread:

Ham, Egg & Bacon Flatbread

This was probably the only thing that didn't have chocolate in it, but it was really tasty nonetheless. This savory dish went well with my chocolate pick. Plus, I think this dish has a lot less calories than my dish.

Savory goodness

I chose the Banana Smores French Toast.

Banana Smores French Toast

Need I say more? This was soooooo sweet and delicious. And it wasn't just a food coma in the making. It was a chocolate induced food coma.

Chocolatey goodness!

And then came dessert. I thought we each were allowed one choice of dessert per person. But the waiter came out with a selection of four different kinds of dessert and said we each could have two. So I asked for all four. =)


Chocolate Ganache Cake - my favorite!

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Strawberry Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

Fruit Tart

Fruit Tart

Chocolate Mousse -- it was good, but won't eat it again.

Chocolate Mousse

And that is all for now, my friends. I must go get my beauty rest. Good night!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

andes chocolate mint cookies

I think I found the homemade version of Girl Scouts Thin Mints - but soft and not crunchy! This was an interesting way to make the cookie dough since you have to mix butter, sugar and chocolate over low heat. I guess that's because you need the chocolate to be melted.

Recipe can be found here or I've reprinted below.

Anyway, it looks like I forgot to take a picture of the cookie dough. But here are pictures from the rest of the process.

Andes mint chocolate
While the dough was chilling, I had to unwrap all the Andes mints. It took a while, mostly because one went on the plate and one went in my mouth...
the pile of wrappers

adding the mint flavor of Andes chocolate
Be careful when spreading the chocolate - you don't want to lick the spoon after each cookie!
melted Andes swirl

chocolatey goodness
These cookies need to sit and cool for at least an hour so the chocolate can set and you can start stacking them.
Andes Mint Chocolate

Andes Mint Chocolate

Andes Mint Chocolate Cookies

* 3/4 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons water
* 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
* 2 large eggs
* 2 1/2 cups AP flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
* Andes mints candies, broken in half

1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Over low heat, combine butter, sugar and water. Heat until melted and add chocolate chips until partly melted. Remove from heat and stir. Pour into large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time on high speed. Reduce mixer to low speed and add flour, salt and baking soda. Beat until well-blended.
4. Chill one hour.
5. Roll into balls, place two inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Place an Andes Mint half on top after taking them out from the oven. Allow to melt slightly and spread with a spoon.
7. Let cool until chocolate sets before storing.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

coconut chocolate chip cookies

I'm in the midst of packing, so I needed to use up most of my baking stuff. I had a lot of chocolate chips left and a half bag of shredded coconut. So that meant coconut chocolate chip cookies!!

For this batch of 4 dozen cookies, I used the recipe printed on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse milk chocolate chip bag and substituted the coconut for the walnuts. I also didn't really measure the coconut and instead just dumped whatever coconut I had left into the batter. Tasted just fine to me!!

coconut chocolate chip cookie dough

a mountain of coconut chocolate chip cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chip

Monday, May 03, 2010


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 stick or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400°, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

cookie dough for snickerdoodles

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add eggs, and beat to combine.  Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.  Chill the dough for at least an hour (or overnight).

on its way to becoming a Snickerdoodle

Once dough has chilled, in a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon.  Use a small cookie scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar.  Place about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about five minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack.


Makes three dozen 3 to 4-inch cookies depending on the size of your scoop.  I used a 2 tbsp scoop and that yielded a few cookies over 3 dozen.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

freaky chocolate math!

I just got this email about chocolate math calculating your age...and amazingly, it's correct each time I tried a different number! Try it out yourself:


Don't tell me your age; you'd probably lie anyway-but the Hershey Man will know! 

This is pretty neat.
 It takes less than a minute ...
 Work this out as you read ...
 Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!  This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.
1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)
2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1760 ...   If you haven't, add 1759.

6... Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
 You should have a three digit number
The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are...
 YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!) 

**There were pictures of various chocolates in the original post, but there were problems loading the pictures, so I had to delete all the chocolate pictures. You just need to know the chocolate math formula anyway.  Okay, here's an image from my own collection.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries & Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

cookie preview

I promised you some new cookie posts and here they are!  I slaved over a hot oven yesterday making three different kinds of cookies that resulted in over nine dozen cookies cooling on the counter and also a slight burn mark on my arm (damn oven!).  Yes, that's right - 9 dozen cookies.  I think it might even be closer to 10 dozen because there might have been a total of 4 dozen of the coconut chocolate chip cookies...  Anyway, I gave most of it away as birthday treats for a friend's birthday get together, and also as a please-help-me-move-my-boxes bribe to the roomie's boyfriend (and his roommates with muscle).

Mountains of Cookies

I'll post the cookie recipes tomorrow, so hopefully these pictures will hold you over until then.

Andes Mint Chocolate (tastes like Girl Scouts Thin Mints!)
Andes Mint Chocolate

fresh out of the oven

Coconut Chocolate Chip
Coconut Chocolate Chip

got crabs?

One more catch-up post...

When T was visiting a few weeks ago, we decided to take a day trip to Baltimore, Maryland for some sightseeing and some major crab feasting. I think we did a pretty good job accomplishing our goals, especially in the crab feasting department.

T's research led us to Obrycki's Crab House. There was just the two of us and T initially wanted to order two dozen crabs - yeah, she wanted 24 crabs to split between the two of us. Fortunately, our waitress was able to convince us that it was better to start with a dozen x-large crabs first, and if we were still hungry after wards, we could order more. Thank goodness for that because we were both completely stuffed at 6 crabs a piece.

The tools for the dinner (we were decked out in a plastic bib too).
Utensils for crab feast.

A dozen x-large male blue crabs boiled in Obrycki's house seasoning.
A dozen x-large male crabs, ready to be devoured.

It probably took us about two hours to eat everything and the crabs were dense and full of sweet, delicious meat.  It was awesome. We were also guzzling water like crazy because of the saltiness and also there was a bit too much pepper in the seasoning.  The other patrons in the restaurant were staring at us in disbelief because there was the two of us vs a dozen crabs. Little do these people know the damage that T and I can do at dinner. =)