It Was the Best of Chocolate It Was the Worst of Chocolate

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A close up of paradise.

A close up of paradise.

 

Chocolate. It’s only one word. Yet that one word has power over me. It can make me happy when I‘m eating it, sad when I don’t have it, the smell of it can and often does lift my mood. Certain times of the month chocolate is a life saver. In excessive amounts it can be a life ender, or make me so nauseous I vow to never touch the stuff again. Then a few days later I’m having a Hershey bar.

The silky texture as it melts slowly in my mouth, oh chocolate you sexy piece of work. I have never done this but I know if there was a shortage of chocolate I would be willing to kill. Both strangers and those I hold dear. Okay maybe not those I hold dear, unless it’s really good chocolate. Like Dove.

I love chocolate so much it is one of the main items in my ‘Bug Out Bag’. You know, the bag hanging out by the back door of your house ready to help ensure your survival during an emergency or zombie apocalypse. When I planned my bug out bag I was realistic. I’m a big girl, not in the best of health. Any apocalypse will be the end of me. So if I’m out trolling the mean streets of rural North Carolina and I am soon the meet my end. I will make damn sure my last meal will be chocolate and not some cardboard tasting meal bar. The thought of running out of that glorious melt in your mouth lighten your mood goodness during an end of people event horrifies me. I also have this fear of a zombie outbreak happening during the night, I get bit, turn, and get caught dead wearing a pink nightgown. Oh the horror of people seeing me in pink clothing and not my normal black. Yes I wear a lot of black, but damn it matches my soul.

Look I’ve been rambling, lost focus. Lack of chocolate people! I am currently without chocolate. My brain does not function properly when I’m out. Not that I eat it constantly just knowing I have some in the house (hidden of course) eases my troubled mind.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the latest pin I tried involves CHOCOLATE! At one point this pin began to sink like the Titanic but the candy gods smiled down upon me at the last moment and the pin was saved.

First I must confess I did not use real chocolate for this pin. I used chocolate flavored candy melt. I’m not even sure real chocolate candy would work. Maybe one day when I have an over abundance of chocolate I will try using it. HAHA who am I kidding? There will never be an over abundance of chocolate in my house.

So on to the pin. Chocolate bowls. Oh my goodness. A bowl. Made of chocolate. Chocolate. Made into a bowl. Oh sweet pin, you had me at chocolate. The pin I saw on Pinterest just had photos no link to instructions.

You will need:
Candy melt, almond bark, whatever you use for chocolate dipping/coating.
Several small balloons. (I gave the outside of the balloons a quick wash)
Glass or metal bowl along with a cooking pot for the double boiler method.
Wax paper.
Something awesome like ice cream to fill the chocolate bowl.

Please note, from here on out when I use the word chocolate I am referring to the candy coat. Mainly because I have just began to realize my excessive use of the word chocolate. Now it’s just a challenge to see how many times I can actually use it.

Here is how this bowl of happiness is made. WARNING: There will be scenes of violent acts against chocolate below. Not everything went perfectly. If your heart is fragile like a Hershey bar left out in the sun, look away. Please just look away.

It began easily enough. Blow up several balloons. Not huge balloons. You want to make a dessert bowl not a punch bowl. Melt your chocolate. Dip, swirl, coat the bottom of balloon with chocolate. Sit this on wax paper, hold for a few seconds for the candy coat to set up slightly so your balloon will stand up and not fall over. Dip a few more balloons. DO NOT KEEP DIPPING UNTIL THE CHOCOLATE IS GONE. Make sure you have a good amount of melted chocolate left. Or you will learn the hard way like I did.

Bowls of chocolate setting up on wax paper.

Bowls of chocolate setting up on wax paper.

Here I must tell you what I did and the disaster that followed. I let the bowls set up. With scissors I snipped a tiny hole right below where the balloon was tied off. You want to air to release slowly. So I snipped a hole in just one balloon, stood back and waited for the magic to happen. There was no magic. No jaw dropping angels singing in the background Disney moment. My pin hit an iceberg and was sinking fast. The pictures will tell the story. I cannot find the words to describe the horror I witnessed.

oh the horror

oh the horror

Learn from my chocolate bowl apocalypse. Dip your balloon, let it set up, then dip it again. Dip it, dip it good, dip it real good. I dipped a second time. I also used a spoon to drizzle chocolate over any thin spots I saw. If there is a spot that is thin your bowl will collapse at that spot.

Everything was redipped, the weak spots taken care of. I snipped one of the balloons and this time: MAGIC HAPPENED. Oh happy day. I danced around my kitchen, song burst forth from my vocal chords, birds fluttered around me eventually landing on my shoulder to vocalize with me. Okay here’s what really happened when the pin went right. MAGIC HAPPENED. Oh happy day. I danced around my kitchen singing, badly out of tune. Birds and other animals escaped to far away or died on the spot as my voice reached their ears. Yes my singing is bad. People say every time I sing a musical dies.

SUCCESS !

SUCCESS !

Success. I now have chocolate bowls. Now all that is left to do. Fill a bowl with other sweet goodness, snap some photos then dig in.

Chocolate bowl filled with vanilla ice cream, berries, and caramel.

Chocolate bowl filled with vanilla ice cream, berries, and caramel.

This is not something I will make often. It was easy, it tasted good. But in reality you have to make the bowl so thick with candy coat you can only handle a bite or two. This is really something to make to impress others. Like cooking for your lover or having your boss over for dinner. Or having your lover boss over for dinner. Who am I to judge?

Even if you don’t have any special occasions to make this. Make it once anyway. That way during the zombie apocalypse when you and a small group of survivors are huddled around a fire with everyone telling what survival skills they have to benefit the group, right after the guy who says he can build shelter with a spool of thread and a dull pocket knife you can proudly declare to the group. “I can make a bowl…from chocolate.”

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A Zombie Apocalypse Easter Egg

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Not a big fan of Easter. To me there is something disturbing about a bunny hiding eggs to lure kids behind bushes with the promise of candy. But I have to put away my Easter Grinchness for the kiddos.

I saw a Pin about string Easter eggs. Some just for decoration and some with treats inside for children. One Pin used a fabric stiffener on the string another used a flour/water mixture. I happened to have flour and water so I went with that Pin.

Here’s the plan.
1: Gather the supplies: flour
water
Bowl
Balloon
String (I used embroidery floss/thread)
Wrapped candy
Canning jar lid (this was not in the original pin but you will want to use this)
what it takes egg
2: Mix flour and water.
3: Cram candy into deflated balloon.
4: Blow up balloon to desired size. Go small.
5: Soak a long piece of thread in mixture.

Okay let’s take a moment. The pin looked like after soaking the thread you just start wrapping it around the balloon. Yeah…didn’t work for me. The thread just kept sliding off the balloon causing a chorus of bad language to spew forth from my mouth. So I spot a canning jar from another pin project. A light bulb moment: the lid will make a perfect stand to hold the balloon.

Revised plan:
6: Sit balloon on lid to free up both hands.
7: Take soaked string and just randomly cover balloon. I was only able to do one side at a time this way. Give the wet section a little time to dry before rotating. Remember once you pop the balloon and remove it you will have candy inside so make sure all your holes are small enough to keep the candy from falling out. You might be asking why I glooped (technical word) so much flour paste on the thread. That was the only way I could get certain parts to stay put.
8: Let it dry.
9: Wait forever to let it dry.
10: Watch Resident Evil while you wait for the string egg to dry.

The messy process

The messy process

So I’m watching one of my favorite Zombie movies while the drying process drags on. While watching I think about this past Fall when I planted a Zombie and Halloween night where I became an Umbrella Corp scientist cooking up the dreaded zombie virus. While we wait for the egg outcome I will share these two projects with you.

Planting a Zombie
While on Pinterest I stumbled upon a cute little pin. It was a little flower pot with a zombie hand planted. I said to myself, “Self, you can do this but it needs to be bigger.” I totally agreed with myself.

Here is the Pinterest zombie planter:

Zombie plant from Pinterest

Zombie plant from Pinterest

Here is mine. Yes it is true. Bigger is better.

My Zombie planter.

My Zombie planter.

Unleashing the Virus:
Every Halloween I dress as a zombie. Do my own make-up. Go to work covered it latex pieces I made with itchy blood and make-up on. So I awake at 4 a.m. to apply make-up. Wear make-up until eleven that night, sometimes even later. This Halloween I decided that was more then I wanted to commit to. So If I wasn’t going to be a zombie I was going to be a zombie creator. Off to Amazon I went, a week later my lab coat arrived followed by my Umbrella Corporation patches. A little ironing, some safety glasses and a security pass…Ta-da! I am a scientist that creates the zombie virus that wipes out mankind.

Resident Evil scientist costume

Resident Evil scientist costume

So for the moment you have been waiting for, the Pin outcome.

Getting candy out of a balloon that’s in a string egg is not a fun time. I tried to cut the balloon in half to get the candy out in doing so I managed to cut the wrapper off of one the candies. It seems flour paste was not a great choice. The string was now a dull flour coated mess. The egg is fragile, handle with care. I do not have any photos of the balloon removal process. It was late at night and all my concentration was on not breaking the damn egg. Somehow during this time I fell over the kitchen chair.
The crashing noise woke the husband, he raises his bald head off the pillow and asks, “Is someone attacking you?”
“No.”
“Good cause I wasn’t getting out of this warm bed to come save you.”
That people is true love at its finest.
In his defense if I was being attacked by a person and not an evil chair he would have helped me fight off the attacker…I think.

The eggish thing I made

The eggish thing I made

I used the four/water method because I did not have any fabric stiffener. Going to buy some for just one little project is just insane. Would I do this project again? Sure if I ever have some spare stiffener lying around.

Now I have this pack of balloons looking at me, begging to be used. I have the perfect Pin for those bad boys. So off on another Pinteresting adventure I go. Until next time, may the Pin be with you.

Evil Queen Apple Cobbler

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Evil Queen Apple Cobbler

So this week is zombie apocalypse week at our house. You know after a while your cabinets get overcrowded with canned and boxed foods. When that happens here at the crypt we have zombie apocalypse week. Which means we survive on what we scavenge from the cupboards. Everyone should do this every so often to keep things up to date. Canned food does have an expiration date. You don’t want to be suffering from a terrible cold one day only to discover that the only can of chicken soup you pull out of the cabinet is out of date. Been there, not fun. Not at all.

So for the rest of the week the husband and I will survive on soups, tuna, vegetables and what ever boxed meals are hiding out. Maybe use up some of the frozen meat from the freezer too. We are about to enter the danger zone: the place where too much salt intake is just one can of green beans away. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. You learn to be creative with your meals. Did you know crushed up cheez its make a great topping for pasta salad?

Tonight we dined on canned potatoes, a huge can of green beans with a hearty black bean soup. Not the best meal we have ever had but still better than a fast food burger. Dessert was an awesome apple cobbler I baked. Breakfast tomorrow will be pumpkin banana bread. So today’s tally of pantry items used: two cans of potatoes, one can of green beans, two cans of black bean soup, a can of pumpkin puree, a box of pumpkin bread mix and a half bag of unused cake mix. I’ll explain the cake mix in a minute. I also used up four apples that were on the verge of mutiny and two extremely over ripe bananas. Lunch for work tomorrow: The husband will be taking canned Ravioli and I will take pasta salad. Two more items gone. I have two jars of spaghetti sauce, so tomorrow nights dinner will be meatballs cooked in the sauce. With some canned veggies for side dishes. Followed by a nice big ole blueberry muffin. I have several boxes of those. They were on sale last month, I couldn’t resist.

I am going to share with you a secret about baking a cake from a mix. When you grease and flour you pans…..drum roll…..wait for it….use some dry cake mix instead of flour. You don’t have to worry about your baked cakes having that floury taste along the edges. I just keep a bag of mix in a baggy, using it to flour the pan whenever I’m baking cakes. Tonight’s half bag along with the four need-to-use-soon apples gave birth to this amazing cobbler recipe I’m about to share, called Evil Queen apple cobbler. Why is it called that you ask? Apples make me think of evil queens and their poisonous ways. I just adore evil queens. I think it’s because they wear so much black.
I did not have enough apples to fill up my cake pan or pie dish so I used two small bread pans. The amounts aren’t set in stone.

Evil Queen Apple Cobbler

4 apples, peeled and cut to bite size pieces. I used granny smith apples.
Butter, 8 tbsp-ish (for the filling)
Butter, 2-4 tsp for topping, softened
Cinnamon (to your taste)
2 packets of Truvia (or sugar, 2 tsp)
1 cup of white or yellow cake mix

Since I used aluminum pans I did not butter the pans. If using metal be sure to butter the bottoms of the pans. I peeled and chopped the apples. I put down a layer in each pan. Put two ‘dollops’ of butter down. Sprinkled half a packet of Truvia and sprinkled cinnamon. I like a lot of cinnamon, again use as little or as much as you prefer. Add another layer of apples, butter, Truvia and cinnamon.

Layer 1 and 2

Layer 1 and 2

Now in a bowl combine your cake mix and softened butter. Start off with 2 tsp of butter. You are making a crumble type topping. You don’t want a batter. Add more butter if needed. This should be dry enough where you can apply the topping with your hands.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

I then popped those little pans of happiness in the 350 degree preheated oven on a baking sheet. Since the apples are fresh bake forty to forty-five minutes. Test apples with a fork to see if they are cooked through. If you are using a canned pie filling thirty minutes of cooked time should be enough. I served my cobbler in a dish with ice cream. My husband just ate his out of the pan. Again the amounts are not set in stone. If you want more sauce in your cobbler add more butter between your layers, if you want it sweeter add more Truvia or sugar.

Baked

Baked

Time to eat !

Time to eat !

Once zombie apocalypse week is done and the cabinets are bare or almost I am going to try a pin I saw about slow cooking everyday. The pin is linked to a site where your are given list and instructions to prepare a weeks worth of meals. We shall see how that turns out. I also have a pin I am dying to try out. If it works my husband will worship me till his dying day. So come on back and share in the Pinteresting life of Gotha Stewart.