Well, up until my mom moved in with us in August, we have never had cable. Now I'm sucked in. I've discovered the Food Network. Also, we now have a DVR which is also draining away my life. So now I record the shows I like so I can watch them at night when the girls are asleep. I'm a big fan of Paula and Giada. So I thought I'd comment on a few things I've made of theirs recently or plan to make soon.
First up is Paula (who reminds me so much of my friend Katy's mom). I'm not a health nut, so she's my kind of girl. The other day she had a chocolate show and I tried out a couple of the recipes. First I tried the 'Workaholics Hot Chocolate'. It had a million great reviews, but I thought it was too thick and sweet. As it got a little cooler it thickened more, it was like drinking warm pudding...not so appetizing. Also, it was too much work for hot chocolate. I'm a purist. All you should need for fantastic hot chocolate is a few really good quality ingredients.
This is the hot chocolate recipe I stand by (and have had lots of requests for the recipe, so I guess I'm not the only one who likes it). I got it out of a cookbook called Paris Sweets...
3 C whole milk
1/3 C water
1/3 C sugar
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Heat the milk, water, and sugar until just boiling. Place the chocolate in a blender then pour the milk over the chocolate. Blend for 1 minute. Top with whipped cream.
I've decided that the blender is essential for all hot chocolate. It makes it so smooth and frothy, it's sooo good. If you want to feel like you're really in France, dunk a baguette in it, Jared introduced me to that and it's yummy. We always get extra baguettes from Panera. Just remember that when you're making hot chocolate, you have to really like the kind of chocolate you're using, because that's what it's going to end up tasting like. I like Guittard.
Next up is Paula's Truffle Pie. I made this when we had the missionaries over and it was really good. Though I have to say I prefer my French Silk Pie. It was really easy to make and everyone seemed to like it. Although I wish more of it had been eaten because I ended up eating the last third of the pie for breakfast the next morning. Yikes! That's no way to lose the baby weight! Here's the link... www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/truffle-pie-recipe/index.html
Giada made some Chocolate Orange Rice Pudding a few weeks ago that looked really good. My mom used to make rice pudding growing up. I thought, of course chocolate would improve rice pudding...but I was wrong. I tasted the pudding with the orange in it before I added the chocolate, and it was really good at that stage. So I would just leave it at that. I know, I can hardly believe I'm saying that something was better without chocolate, but this just was. Also, my mom always served it cooled, but I think it's best warm. So here's a yummy rice pudding recipe without chocolate...
3 C half and half
2 C whole milk
2/3 C Arborio Rice
3/4 C sugar
Zest of one orange
1 t vanilla
In saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Serve warm or spoon into bowls and cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating.