Fall playing and food

Things are going well around here for the most part. Ruby is growing every day and is very sweet, funny, curious, stubborn and a constant reminder of the depravity of man. It's daily that I think, "Wow, we really do need Christ." But I also often think about all the mysteries and miracles that God works and understands each day like how he creates life in the first place and how to grows babies into toddlers and gives them a wonderful thirst for learning and experiencing the world and joy.

I'm also growing (because Enzo is) and looking forward to the holidays. I've been doing a lot of baking and cooking lately and really enjoying entertaining friend. We had an informal cocktail type party last week and really enjoyed it. I love hosting, although I still have a hard time remaining calm and socializing, and plan to host more get-togethers as the weather cools. I have plans or pies (sweet and meat!), fudge, soups, spiced cider and other wonderful fall foods.

One of the dishes that I've been craving with the cooler weather is calico beans. I blogged about it already as it's my favorite food and have discovered recently that it's delightful with sauerkraut. I did quite a bit of reading about the health benefits of fermented foods and while I'm still in the early stages of experimenting I do like the sauerkraut that I made and we of course eat a lot of homemade yogurt.

One of the less healthy but wonderful foods that I've enjoyed lately are a variation of a recipe for "Cocoa Blocks" that I got from a friend. I made them for our party last week and they were a hit (as were the pumpkin muffs with mascarpone frosting but I'll post about those later). I've been wanting to add spice and more depth of flavor to everything lately so I decided I would add chili and cayenne to the recipe. I just added them "to taste" so don't have measurements to give you but here's the original recipe (based on a recipe by King Arthur Flour) if you'd like to give them a try. They're delightful melted in a cup of coffee as well!

Cocoa Blocks

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups milk chocolate (chopped chocolate bars or chips)
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate (chopped chocolate bars or chips)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking chocolate (about 2 1/2 blocks)
  • wooden sticks or toothpicks


1) Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2) Heat the cream and condensed milk over low heat until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; allow it to gently melt.
3) After about 10 minutes, return the chocolate mixture to low heat to completely melt the chocolate. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick and shiny. Add a few drops of flavoring oil if you like; hazelnut, coffee, or vanilla are popular flavors.
4) Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan; shake the pan gently to level. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Set aside overnight to slowly set up.
5) Run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn out onto a clean cutting surface.
6) Slice into 1 ¼" cubes. Heat a knife in hot water and wipe dry before each cut, for smoothest cuts.
7) Stick a wooden stick into the center of each block.
8) Roll in cocoa or crushed peppermint candy, if desired.
9) Wrap in waxed paper, parchment, or plastic wrap to store.
Yield: about 3 dozen blocks.

Recipe summary

Hands-on time: 20-45 mins.
Total time: 12-12 hrs 45 mins.
Yield: 3 dozen blocks


Court November 04, 2009  

I loved the spicy cocoa blocks... sooo good!!

The Rozell Family November 05, 2009  

those look awesome!