Tag Archives: chocolate

All Quiet on the Chocolate Front

Sorry for the quietude. I was observing a moment (or two) of silence in Mr. MJ’s memory. Now that he has had his memorial service, that moment is gone. And I am back.

Tonight was somewhat upsie-downsie for me. I’ve been trying to get in shape the “easy” way by eating anything I want and not exercising. So far it hasn’t been too successful. But, as a true scientist, I wouldn’t dream of ending the experiment prematurely just because some stupid video game tells me I have GAINED weight over the past two weeks, am less balanced, and have a “wii fit age” of 32 (I always knew I was mature for my age). Nope, more chocolate and lazing around for me. There is nothing I won’t do for science.

Yoga Fit

So realizing I am raising my BMI was the UPSIE part of the evening. The Downsie part? Monetary.

I use an online tracking service to help my keep track of our expenses and expenditures. Up until this point, I was happily managing our money, content in the denial that the large amount we spend on groceries each month was normal. Then I got a wake-up call. A fellow blogger has issued herself  a challenge: to spend less than $100 on groceries for herself and her husband this month (they’ve attempted and successfully obtained this goal before). Now I am not going to scare any of you with the actual amount I spend on groceries in any given month… but let’s just say… I’ve already spent 100+ this month. And I have been out of town for half of it. SO. It looks like I won’t be attaining that goal this month.

In all areas of my life, it is time to trim the fat.

And, I need your help to do it.

I beseech you, good, faithful, good credit readers: I need your advice. How do you spend less on groceries? Does one shop at Costco? Does one plan meals at the beginning of the week (I fear this is a critical part of the answer… and my procrastinating heart hates it)? Does one clip coupons? Buy more meat, less meat, more frozen meals, less frozen meals?

Yes I may have the wii fit age of a 32 year old, but my spending habits more closely resemble those of a 13 year old (ooh I see gum. Yes, I will buy it! We do need chocolate!)

But I’m not 13. I’m 24. I’m about to become a poor-overworked-bitter graduate student. Help me get my grocery bill in line before I crawl into my lab cave and don’t see the light for 5 years (come to think of it, that sounds dirt cheap! Idea!)

The good news is there is light at the end of the cave tunnel:

1) I get paid  to go to school(although it is closer to indentured servitude than to a job), so at least I’m not in debt

2) There will always be chocolate (it might just be less fancy)

best chocolate ice-cream cone ever

Laughing at clouds

We have spent the past 5 days biking (and sometimes singing) in the (cold and windy) rain. Being the honest person that I am, I will tell it to you straight: I have enjoyed some things more than this in my life.

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But we’re having fun all the same!

And the guides have picked up on my subtle hint that I like chocolate (I said: next time you buy snacks, buy chocolate)

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Chocolate at 9am? Yes please.

They’ve even gotten into the whole chocolate blog thing and offer to take my pictures with (a percentage of) my chocolate conquests

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a different cake

another night, another cake

Needless to say, no amount of biking can counteract this kind of gluttony. But I tried!

CIMG0756And when the rain lifted for just a second, we actually saw nice scenery too.

chamomile fields?Alright, enough lazy blogging, off to a (free!) yoga class before our last gluttonous glorious dinner.

Je vouz aime beaucoup. Happy (almost) 1/2 birthday to me :)

Against all odds, we are not dying

Hello chocolate loving friends.

I am here in the heartland of Charlevoix, Quebec trying my darndest to speak le franch. It is an amusing endeavor.

Yesterday, I had an apparent breakthrew when I ordered lunch and the waitress kept exclaiming about how great my french was (buttering me up for le service? Peut-etre). I was super satisfied with myself. Oh lala I am so french. When the meal came? It was not what I thought I’d ordered.  “C’est la vie.”

The actual biking part of the trip has been harrowing, to put it mildly. Apparentlythis is monsoons season in Canada and it has rained every day all day (ok ok we had some sun today, but not until the last kilometer). Also, it has been particularly grueling. I am the youngest guest on the trip (by 20 years… at LEAST) and I am walking up some of these hills. I think this may say more about my endurance than it does about the trip, but je suis FATIGUE.

The good news, however is that the hardest is over. The other good news is that the countryside is beautiful, and a cool rain feels remarkably heaven sent when you are climbing 16% inclines for kilometers on end (ok, so I actually rode the van on that hill, but vous comprendez, n’est pas?)

The GREAT news is that Canadians follow after my own heart and aiment bien le chocolat. Today I had chocolate cake for after lunch, and then visited 2 chocolateries after biking. So long as there is chocolate, toute va bien.

And now, without further adieu: Voila les photos!

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Rain? Check! Hill? Check! Walking the bike? Check!

Rare cameo by the sun (i.e. my smile)

The sun makes a rare cameo(i.e. my smile)

And now the good stuff”:chocolate cake

chocolate bars

chocolate sculptures!

chocolate sculptures!

Time to go eat dinner and drink d’alcohol!

Je vous aime!

Withdrawl

I’m home for about 35 seconds.

My parents and I are headed to Quebec tomorrow to go on a bicycle trip with VBT (Vermont Bicycle Tours). As my mother kindly pointed out, we haven’t been on a trip just my parents and I since I was 3 and we went to Club Med in Mexico. That was a wonderful trip except that I screamed whenever they left me in daycare (which was all the time, if I recall correctly) and our hotel room had rats who ate holes in our underpants.

That doesn’t bode particularly well for this trip, however we are starting our stay off in a 5 star hotel, so (fingers crossed) at least no rats.

Additionally, as this is an exercised based tour (shudder) one might be concerned about the quantities of chocolate and ice cream provided. However, if past experience is anything to go by, VBT loves to feed you. Here is a picture of my sisters and I during a break on our trip from Prague to Vienna 2 summers ago:

ice creamI think it is safe to say, no one is going to starve.

The same can NOT be said of conditions here in Ann Arbor. I returned home yesterday afternoon to find our house empty of people, full of puppies and devoid of chocolate. Obviously, most concerning was the latter (my parents were at work, they’re very dedicated people. And the doggies belong to us, I was expecting them). Apparently my father has issued a “no-chocolate” embargo (or something) on our house. My mother is about to waste away! Of course my first order of business was to run to Whole Foods and buy some yummy dark chocolate (with pepermint, de-lickyourlips-cious). It was much appreciated upon my mother’s return from work. No Chocolate? Seriously, who ever heard of such a thing?

Anyway, that’s just one more example of my good selfless chocolate-giving nature (although I did make my mom pay me back. Whole foods chocolate is EXPENSIVE).

Alright, it is time for beddybye. I have to wake up early and fly to the francophone city of Quebec. But not to worry: I’ve informed my father how important blogging is to my fans. He’s agreed to bring his computer. Anticipate ACTION SHOTS.

For now I will leave you with puppy shots. Mucho amour.

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puppy sister

back in the pupster days

back in the pupster days

Chocopathology

First off: I know that E and I aren’t the only people who do this, but we’re huge fans of compound word creation. For example, today’s title: chocopathology is a combination of chocolate and psychopathology.  Drizza and Draking stands for drunk pizza and drunk baking. I think you get the point.

Anyway, so I’ve always known I was a chocoholic (it’s genetic), but the rest of my chocopathology has only recently been revealing itself (maybe it is just all the time I spend in a psych department that is making the symptoms more salient). In addition to my addiction, I appear to also be a cocoarder (cocoa-hoarder). I went to the movies this afternoon and stopped by sugar heaven (products–> heaven, their prices–> hell!) for um… chocolate. But the store requires a $10+ purchase to use credit, and I had no cash, so I bought more chocolate!
When I got home, I went to my our pantry to put the chocolate away, but couldn’t find space on my chocolate shelf. Being the good CBT therapist-to-be that I am, I immediately engaged in problem solving. Here are the solutions I generated:

1) Make more room for chocolate in the pantry (by throwing away useless things like tuna, peanut butter, pasta and E’s fruit snacks).

2) Eat lots of chocolate right now to make room for more

3) Stop buying chocolate.

Of all these steps #3 was the least appealing, so I ate some chocolate and forced some other things into corners to make space for my chocostash, but as I snacked and reorganized, it just became to obvious to me how much chocolate we really have. And by obvious I mean ridiculous.

Let me show you what I mean.

here is a sample of  what I found in our pantry

CIMG0519And then just the bars, without the extra candy

chower

If you look closely, you can see that these bars of chocolate are hardly gathering dust.

I munch on them all the time! I just had no idea there were so many.

Organizing my chocolate lifted the veil of denial I had about living a healthy lifestyle.

So, I did some wii fit Yoga to get in shape!Warrior Pose

(I told you I was going to start doing Yoga!)

In other news, I’ve baked a bunch more recipes from my little book including:

1)those A+ cookies for a crowd (the kiddies agreed)

2) A cinnamon-apple bundt cake that I adapted to become a banana cake (A/A+, best banana cake I have ever had, maybe I’ll post the recipe next time)

3) Overnight Pizza Dough from Bon Appetit. E and I usually just use a Betty Crocker mix for home made pizzas, and it comes out ok. But we had company so I made this dough and it was phenomenal! Like way better than most pizza dough from a restaurant. The best part is that the recipe makes 8 servings of dough, so we’ve frozen some away. When we use it, I’ll let you know how well it keeps (and try to take a picture of the pizza before I gobble it up too fast!)

Alright, Enuf boring updates already. Time for So You Think You Can Dance! (I think Randi and Evan will be sent home… we’ll find out soon!)

UPDATE to add: I was totally wrong about Randi and Evan, they weren’t even in the bottom 3 couples. Shows what I know. Still, I had not strong feelings for Max or Ashley, so that’s fine. But I’m predicting it right now: next week we’ll say goodbye to Vitolio and Asuka.

LURVEY!

Keeping Busy

I know how lame this sounds, but the truth is that I get bored on weekends.

I’m sure I’ll miss this boredom come fall when I have to spend every moment not dedicated to research dedicated to studying Child Assessment and Psychopathology (I know, my life is awesome, right?). But anyway, until then… I get bored.

So today, I gave myself a project. I made a recipe book.

I don’t know how well you guys stalk me, but last week I did a guest post on a semi popular blog (thedailybalance.com) about ‘my’ world famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. When I make those cookies I used to use a paper print out of the recipe but it ultimately got destroyed by water and what not. So, when I was making them for the post, I tried to recreate the recipe by memory and um… failed.

Then, this morning, I read this post by Kath on her blog. This post depicts pictures of a recipe book she’s had for years, with little notes on each page about what she thought of each meal.

AHA!

I love craft projects (despite have less than zero artistic talent) so I went into this full force.

I am so excited about this book. It is full of cookie, cake and bread recipes that I have tried and that I want to try. Now, every night when i want to bake something, I just have to ask E to open the book and pick something new.

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That's a blanket in the corner, not a small animal!

Tonight, he picked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

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waiting to go in the oven

This recipe is from Cooking Light, but they aren’t so light. 1 cup white and 1 cup brown sugar?! 1/2 cup peanut butter? Granted, the recipe made 4 dozen cookies, but that’s still 1/24th cup sugar per cookie. I have no idea if that is a lot… But it tastes like a lot. The verdict: These cookies are too sweet and not peanut-buttery enough. Kind of bland really. Also, the recipe only calls for 2/3 cup chocolate chips, I was skeptical of this and upped it to a generous cup, but still not enough!

So what did the man think? In E’s Opinion: they’re not terribly peanut buttery, but good texture and creamy and yummy (I left him with 3 cookies and ran upstairs to grab something. They were all gone when I returned. Good Boy!). So maybe I spoke too soon. They’ll go in the book as a B/B+.

Next time, I think I’ll try a bundt cake. Any recommendations? There are still lots of empty pages in my book!

2 minute timeout

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

I am a BAD CHOCOLATE BLOGGER. bad bad bad!

Today, as is the custom, I ate loads and loads of chocolate in the following forms: pumpkin chocolate chip “muffins” (what I call really big cookies),  in the form of a fudgsicle, a tiny piece of left-over chocolate cake (YES, from over a week ago! It is still delicious though!), and straight from the chocolate chip jar (yes, some people have cookie jars, I have a chocolate chip jar, at this moment it has 3 different kinds of choc chips: hersheys semi-sweet, ghiradelli 70% dark and nestle chunks, YUM)!

That makes me a good chocolate eater, but a bad chocolate blogger because I didn’t take pictures of ANY of it… so now I will take a 2 minute timeout as punishment.

While I am shamed in the corner, take time to enjoy these re-enactment photos.

(as added punishment, I decided to wear an orange sun hat in these photos. All for chocolate!)

Let the punishment fit the crime

"Muffin"

fudgy

Cakey

chippy

SillyHmm, I am beginning to understand why bloggers who photograph EVERY thing they eat lose weight. Just looking at these pictures makes me want to chunder. All the same, I think I’ll blame my photography rather than chocolate. Also, my subject. She hasn’t gotten much sleep and she sat out in the sun today for hours, sweating (w/o sunblock. I’m sorry mother!). Somehow despite all the alleged caffeine in chocolate, I am still ready to fall over backwards into a coma. nighty-nightttt…….