Just add chocolate

Just following up on the comments on my last post: Consider yourself invited for a hike through the woods over at my parents’ ;)! Who said blogger meet-ups could only be held in cities?!

Oh, also: if you need some happiness inspiration you might be interested in having a look at my guest post over at Lucie’s.

Sigh. It was sure to happen. After having a good start with my goal of trying new recipes what I’d hoped to avoid occured: I failed. Yes, I still tried new recipes last week and created one myself, too. But either my standards are too high [cue perfectionsm] or my constant subbing and playing around with others’ recipes just took overhand. Long story short: I found myself seriously lacking [pretty] pictures for today’s What I ate Wednesday post.

My original idea [or intended good habit] for this goal was to share which recipes by other bloggers I’d prepared. As explained above I can’t quite fulfill these expectations [even if they were my own only] but I found a way to make up for itΒ  … First, though: Thanks for hosting our weekly celebration of all things delicious and fall-ish, Jenn!

wiaw fall into good habits button

Let’s start with the good part. While I might not have achieved as much as I wanted in terms of recipe creating there was one dish that turned out really well.

Udon

Pictured above is the result of a longing [for noodles] no longer ignored, being inspired by a recipe for fried rice on another blog and craving broccoli: Vegan ‘egg’-fried Udon. Definitely not seasonal but it hit the spot. I’ll post the recipe on Friday.

… and what do you do when your recipe-trying intentions fail? Make up for them with chocolate, obviously. Running to the store to pick up a bar or a box of truffles isn’t exactly highly involved so that wouldn’t do. But how about homemade chocolate?

Chocqlate

My previous trials at making chocolate from scratch were far from stellar – and that’s still expressing it in a nice way [note: never trust 7th grade chemistry textbooks telling you a mix of cocoa, powdered sugar and butter actually turned out like chocolate. Not.at.all.] This time, however, I was off to a better start. Not only because of being older [and hopefully wiser ;)] but also thanks to the kind people at Chocqlate mailing me one of their chocolate-making sets. Each set consists of five simple ingredients: unroasted cocoa beans, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, agave [instead of refined sugar] and ground vanilla. While the company doesn’t use the standard fair trade and organic labels they make it a point to buy their ingredients from small family farms and know each of their suppliers personally. That’s a point in their company statement that especially spoke to me.

Chocqlate II

And the result? Admittedly, it’s not like the chocolate you can buy in stores. The consistency isn’t as smooth but that likely has to do with both the fact that it’s impossible to mimic the traditional conche used by companies in your kitchen. The flavour is spot on, though. My first thought was Mousse au chocolate – rich, dark and just the right amount of sweetness. I liked being able to play around with toppings and add-ins. And what a bad blogger/nut butter-fiend would I have been not to try homemade almond butter cups :)?!*

*Chocqlate sent me the chocolate set free of charge but I wasn’t otherwise compensated for my review. All opinions stated in this post are my own.

One other blogger’s recipe I tried and liked a lot, though, was this Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto. Unfortunately not truffled because I was missing the key ingredient but it I’ll keep my eyes open for the much coveted oil and give this another go. Or even if I can’t track it down I will. Other than that, though, I didn’t modify Davida’s recipe much other than substituting bok choy for spinach [you wouldn’t believe how hard to find it is!] and adding mixed legumes. So good and the thyme gave this a nice fall-ish flavour.

Cauliflower Risotto

With all the chocolate in this post there isn’t a real need for ending the post on a sweet note, right? So how about a snack I hadn’t has in years and just rediscovered?

Popcorn!

Popcorn!

Sure, I had it in movie theatres sneaking handfuls from friends but homemade? I can’t even remember the last time but it must have been more than … seven [?!] years. Taking a clue from Amanda I prepared it with coconut oil and just added some salt. Good idea, good snack and good way to end a post :).

Happy Wednesday!

Β Happiness inducing today: Getting some advice on the job search front by a former prof. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Which spices and herbs do you associate with which season? Fall – or should I say autumn? – is anything ‘earthy’ like thyme or rosemary for me, cinnamon, mace, …

What would your ideal bar of chocolate look like: add-ins, toppings, fillings, …?

Popcorn: When was the last time you had it? Sweet or savoury?

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32 thoughts on “Just add chocolate

  1. Emily says:

    “Getting some advice on the job search front by a former prof. Keeping my fingers crossed.” <— YAY! Keep me posted. (:

    And your chocolate is 10X better than mine would ever be. Any time I try to work with chocolate I wind up burning it. It's a problem. haha. Happy Wednesday, gorgeous!

  2. Arman @ thebigmansworld says:

    I’m planning on making that cauliflower risotto this weekend too- so excited!

    Hope the job search picks up- its times like these to not be shy and use your connections- ask around, friends, family, schools, etc- if you never ask you’ll never know! You can do it!

    And PS…you live in Germany…even your worst most cheapest chocolate would taste like Australia’s best. πŸ˜‰

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Making good use of ‘Vitamin B’ [= connections] as we call it over here is definitely recommendable when it comes to job searching. I should have asked my prof earlier but I honestly wouldn’t even have dared. Glad she took initiative when hearing about my past experiences. Here’s to waiting what’s to come about.
      Aw, I’d mail you some German chocolate right away. Lacking choices in terms of chocolate is almost as bad as nut butter deprivation.

  3. Eating 4 Balance says:

    Pictures looking as good as ever πŸ™‚

    I haven’t had popcorn in a really long time! My favorite toppings were either kettle corn flavoring (basically sugar πŸ˜› ) or this thing called Molly McButter (which was white cheddar cheesy and the most brilliant thing ever). Coconut oil + salt sounds perfect!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Maybe that’s because I didn’t even post the failed pictures ;). I just … couldn’t.
      I can totally see how popcorn isn’t for everyone. It might turn out to be an occasional snack for when I really feel like it for me, too.

  4. liftsleepeat says:

    All your food still looks great to me! yum. I’ve got a chocolate making kit in the cupboard but haven’t had a go yet! My favourite chocolate bar would definitely be something praline-esque; like a milk chocolate bar filled with hazelnut praline! yum!!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Not sure why it took me so long to rediscover popcorn. Maybe also the fact that I was afraid I might not enjoy it and didn’t want to have a 1 lb bag of kernels sit around. Luckily, a friend agreed to share one of those :).
      Thanks for complimenting my chocolate. I’ll still have to work on my skills but it was lots of fun :).

  5. purpletaylorj says:

    I just found your blog and I love it! Your food looks amazing! Especially that chocolate πŸ™‚ I think my ideal bar of chocolate would be dark chocolate with coconut and cherry.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Aw, thank you, Taylor!
      That’s a great idea for some of my further chocolate experiments. I’d actually thought about adding dried cherries but combining them with coconut takes it up a notch.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It’s worth the process! I hope I’ll be able to pick up some truffle oil soon to try it the real way – and understand why you enjoy all thing truffled so much.
      Okay, okay. Almond butter will make an appearance the next time I have popcorn and I’ll let you know. Why I didn’t come up with the idea myself seeing as I add almond butter to pretty much everything is beyond me :D.

  6. Irina says:

    I love love love making my own chocolate! It’s tough and it doesn’t taste like the ones you buy at the store, but that’s exactly what makes it so special, no? Those chocolate peanut butter cups look phenomenal. You should try to make your own chocolate bars with various add-ins like raisins, cherries, coconut, goji berries, and even certain powders/spices. I promise you won’t regret it!

    And finally, I completely gasped outloud when I saw that you are obsessing over popcorn lately because as of Sunday I am too! I had a sudden craving for it and now I can’t stop snacking…I’m hooked.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Oh, I didn’t show all pictures but I added some cinnamon, banana flakes and a spice mix [dried rose leaves, strawberries, red pepper and various others] to the chocolate ‘coins’ and peppermint extract to the bar.
      Maybe autumn sparks a sudden popcorn craving?! It’s addictive.

  7. alex@vegginout says:

    I STILL have to try cauliflower rice!! I’ve seen so many awesome recipes for it – guacamole cauliflower rice, that risotto… I seriously need to get on this!
    “Just add chocolate” – those are definitely the words of a fellow chocolate addict. πŸ˜‰ I couldn’t agree more that a bit of chocolate makes everything better! Unfortunately no chocolate for me this week as I’m caffeine fasting for my half marathon, but this weekend? I’ll be face planting in a mound of it. πŸ˜‰
    My parents love to pop popcorn in coconut oil! I really need to try it out myself. Geez I’m really slacking in the food trying department! πŸ˜›

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Chocolate addicts united ;). I’m not sure I’d be able to do a caffeine fast if it meant nixing all things chocolate and even cocoa. Kudos to you.
      And yes, definitely try cauliflower rice. It’s so versatile and great for when you want a quick meal and don’t feel like waiting for grains to cook.

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