Posts tagged fast

Quick Baked Hot Chocolate

Baked hot chocolate 1

Want to impress Santa with something besides cookies this year? Tried baked hot chocolate.

I first tried this wanna be lava cake in a cup at Moxie’s, a popular Cleveland restaurant. The enormous mug held a gooey, chocolatey center. I’ve slimmed down their version so you can make it in a teacup–in the microwave. There’s no need to spray the cup beforehand but you should mix it in a bowl before pouring into the mug. If you’re using a regular-sized mug double the ingredients. This recipe is perfect for Santa’s little helpers to make.

Baked hot chocolate 3

Baked Hot Chocolate Mini Microwave Style

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. sugar (1/2 tbsp. more if you like it sweet)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup + ½ tbsp. milk
  • 2 drops extract (peppermint, vanilla or almond)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Hershey’s kiss (or a dollop of Nutella)

 

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl; whisk in the milk and oil.
  2. Pour into mug (it will not be full). Unwrap Hershey’s kiss and push it into the middle of the batter (or use Nutella).
  3. Cook for 90 seconds in the microwave. (Microwaves cook differently; my microwave has low wattage. You may want to start with 60 seconds and cook for 30 seconds more, if needed.)
  4. Cool for 60 seconds. Top liberally with whipped cream.

Baked hot chocolate 2

 

 

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Quick black bean salsa

Black beans and salsa make a tasty combo. The beans give the salsa heft, while the tomatoes, peppers and lime add a punch of flavor to beans that might otherwise go—well, let’s admit it–uneaten. So if you’ve always been reaching for pinto beans or refried beans at the grocery store, go ahead a pick up a can or two of black.

These smaller beans are just slightly harder than pinto. They also have a meatier flavor. Now I could also point out that black beans top pinto in terms of nutritional value and fiber content, but what I really like about them in this dish is the color—the shiny black color pops against the red tomato and the specks of green cilantro. So if you’re family usually shuns beans, this colorful combination might just convince them to give it a try.

Now a word about the chili peppers: First, I run the knife lengthwise across the pepper, then open it up and remove the seeds. Some people wear gloves to do this but I just make sure to wash my hands well after messing with the seeds. The oil from the seeds can sting if it gets in your eyes so be careful. I add the pepper in parts—1/4 at a time. It’s easy to add a little heat and a whole lot harder to take it out if you put in too much. I’d stir all the ingredients together, let it sit for half an hour, then add more if the heat isn’t enough. I save any extras in a small plastic baggy to put into other dishes. Also, while fresh is best, you can use pickled jalapeno peppers.

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 19.75-ounce can black beans (or similar size)

2 medium tomatoes

½ cup cilantro, chopped

2 limes (or one if it’s really juicy)

1 small onion

1 jalapeno or Serrano chili pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Drain the liquid from the black beans place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Chop the tomatoes and onion into small, uniformly sized pieces. Add them to the beans
  3. Remove the seeds from the pepper carefully then add ¼ to the mix. Test the heat level and add more until you reach the desired level.
  4. Squeeze the juice from two limes directly into the salsa.
  5. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper, stir and adjust seasonings, then serve with tortilla chips.
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Fruity animal mini popsicles

After finding each of my kids digging through the freezer looking for the yogurt popsicles I made last week (they’re all gone), I thought I’ve gotta to make more of these. But instead of yogurt I poked around the kitchen for ideas. My inspiration? Yet again leftovers, along with some candy-making molds from a friend.

The fruit. Yes, leftovers inspire me. Whenever I have fruit that goes uneaten or is a little on the squishy side, I chop it up and save it in the freezer. I toss it into sauces (savory and sweet), swirl it into smoothies, make fruit leather, and now use it in popsicles.

The molds. I’ve never used candy molds before, but since I don’t have popsicle makers or ice cube trays, I figure these would do the trick. I did notice the that molds don’t seem to like the cold. Next time, I’d take out the fruitsicles as soon as they became solid instead of letting them sit. The molds cracked a little bit on the edges but not so much that I couldn’t use them again. The molds happened to be of turtles. Why turtles? I have no idea. You could also follow the same technique though from the yogurt popsicles–no candy molds required.

The recipe. Simple, I thawed frozen strawberries and raspberries in the microwave (you could also let them just come to room temperature on their own), added 2 Tablespoons of water per one cup of fruit (you could also use fruit juice) then poured it into the molds. Instead of popsicle sticks, I used little swords (maybe it was the hot temperatures outside but I was feeling silly; paper popsicle sticks are fine too). So here are our turtle pops. My girls liked playing with these as much as eating them.

Looking for more ideas? Check out these for summer fun with a twist. As part of the Motherboard crew I’ve been clicking through for inspiration myself–I’m going to have to try the tweak on picnics by doing an after dinner dessert mixed in with some stargazing.

Your turn–care to share any ideas for summer fun you’re planning on trying out as the temperatures rise?

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