Because our weather yesterday afternoon was perfect for drinking hot chocolate, I indulged in an adult version of the favorite childhood treat – a decadently rich, dark version of hot chocolate, with allspice, orange peel, vanilla, and a hint of black pepper.
I’m not sure if I left out a half-cup of liquid, but it came out a little too thick – like drinking molten chocolate – so I thinned it with some boiling water. Later on, in the evening, I indulged in a second mug – this time with the optional shot of spiced rum suggested in the recipe’s variations.
The recipe for The Duke’s Hot Chocolate is available online here, and comes from The Splendid Table, a weekly podcast by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Lynne knows everything about cooking, but her specialty is Italian food, and the duke for whom this hot chocolate was created in 1632 was Bolognese. The duke apparently knew a good thing when he tasted it.
It’s National Pi Day (3/14/15) today, but since we can’t have pie, we’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early with a corned beef dinner. Instead of cabbage – boring – and potatoes –too many carbs – we’re having mustard-glazed Brussels sprouts on the side. We bought some mustard made with Irish stout that we should crack open for this occasion. (The stout, we realized too late, means this mustard – unlike most – is not gluten-free.)When you cut back on carbs, you may start looking for variety in your mustard. (Because you can’t have ketchup or relish.) I found this tasty Chili Stone-Ground Mustard at a local farm store a couple of years ago and have bought it regularly ever since.This type of mustard? I guess we are mustard snobs now. We only keep this on hand for guests who like their mustard yellow, not brown.
You need a good food processor to grind the mustard seeds to make your own mustard.
Speaking of condiments, I attended a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon the other day and sat next to a woman who asked the server for ketchup to have with her corned beef, boiled cabbage, and boiled potato dinner. Ugh! But she wasn’t the only one, as the ketchup was having to be passed from table to table. I didn’t bother to ask the server for mustard, because I am now an official mustard snob and just knew the only mustard would be the yellow squeeze-bottle kind.
And speaking of Pi Day, it looks as though the American Pie Council has decided if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and has cast aside its own National Pie Day on January 23, which no one could ever remember, for Pi Day on March 14, which is nice and easy to remember – if you remember your math, at least.
Weekend Cooking is a weekly feature hosted by Beth Fish Reads, linking up food-related posts. Click here for links to this week’s Weekend Cooking posts on Beth Fish Reads and other blogs.
This week I baked only old stand-bys – banana bread from a yellowed page torn out of an old, discarded edition of Joy of Cooking because it wasn’t in the newer edition that I bought as a replacement – and two batches of brownies – one from a King Arthur Flour recipe and one from a Baker’s Chocolate recipe. So, with no cookbooks to review for Weekend Cooking, I decided to write about some of the other ways I spend time thinking about food without actually preparing any…by reading my email.
I follow food blogs through Feedly, but rarely check it, so Feedly has turned out to be more of a collection of bookmarks or favorites than a feed reader for me. If I get something in my email, I’m more likely to check out the actual post on the blog or the page on a Web site.
Here are my three current favorite free foodie newsletters:
Tasting Table — A daily email featuring food, drink, restaurants, bars, and menus, the Tasting Table newsletter entices you to visit the Web site with subject headings in your in-box such as “Building the Perfect Lobster Roll” (I don’t need this one, because my husband already can do this, but others might find it helpful!); “The Riesling Whisperer” (I’ve been on a Riesling kick for a while now.); “The After-School Snack You’ll Want to Eat All the Time” (Turns out to be Khao Tung Na Tung, a little complicated for an after-school snack, but sounds like something I actually would want to eat all the time); and “It’s Friday–Make the Perfect Margarita” (no explanation needed).
Do you read any of these newsletters? Do you have any others to recommend to me? (Please don’t! I don’t have time for more!)