The Before…

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Had a great Christmas day with friend and family and ate a new level of Christmas junk food. That’s what I get for letting the kids plan the menu: Christmas taquitos and meatballs for ALL my friends!

before

Enjoy this “before” shot of the tree.

Mmm tomatoes.

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I spent a few hours in the garden this morning. In the pouring rain. It was worth it.

I had let it get verrrry overgrown, and much had to be cut out.

Here’s a pic of the haul today, there are this many green and white tomatoes in the garden. White because they were so deep inside the mass of leaves that they got no light whatsoever.

the haul

Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

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Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes

Originally uploaded by heidimonkey

Today I made 2 1/2 dozen of these. I don’t know why I made so many, I blame my quantity issues on my mother I think. There would have been closer to 3 dozen these 6 are “Texas-sized” and have about a pint of berries in them total.

I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen which I absolutely love. I’ll reprint it below so that you don’t have to link to their site to get it.

Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
From David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris

Please note, I doubled my recipe to get nearly 3 dozen, this recipe is for one dozen only.

Makes 12 cupcake-sized snack cakes

7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or lightly butter the pan.

2. Melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup of the oil in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then in 15 second increments, stirring well between each until smooth. You can also do this in a double boiler on your stovetop.

3. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir lightly a couple times, then add the melted chocolate and stir until just smooth.

5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they feel barely set in the middle and a tester or toothpick comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving with coffee and a nice dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and any berries you can scrounge up in your fridge. Or, you know, as is.

Do ahead: These cakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for four days.

Like I said, I added almost a pint of berries to the last 1/3 of my bowl of batter to make these giant muffins. So good, can’t stop eating them.

Baking Baking Baking

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Today I spent some time in neighbor Lizzie’s atomic kitchen baking for her bday party tomorrow. 2 dozen cupcakes (1 dozen lemon pudding, 1 dozen vanilla pudding) and a beautiful 3 tiered chocolate cake later…we have cake.

dessert

It will be the same that Audrey made for my bday, yum. Buttercream chocolate w/salted caramel. Can I just say again, yum?

Today I also made some duck soup. No Marx brothers included, just duck, carrots, chinese brocoli and broth. Yum.

duck soup

Snowy Days and Cookies

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I’m finally going to do some Christmas baking tonight. I’ve been wanting to make these with the actual Valrhona fèves since I saw the recipe last summer. I have made it several times with regular chocolate chips and it is divine!

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I think these will be for the bf’s family white elephant. Apparently the do some zany food related one every year so I’ll make the chocolate chip cookies and these from not martha.org. The recipe is excerpted from Martha Stewart here, minus a bit of sugar which works out perfectly.

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Note: the images in this post are not mine. The chocolate chip cookies image is from the original recipe in the New York Times and the molasses cookies picture is from the not martha post. I’ve made both before and they’re wonderful!