willandmegan

"Stuart rose from the ditch, climbed into his car, and started up the road that led toward the north…. As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction." (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)


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Oatie Nib Cookie (Oatmeal and Roasted Cocao Nib Cookies)

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“Oatie Nib Cookies

– 22 Good Sized Crunches of Heaven-

I love oatmeal. I love a sweet treat. And goodness, I love texture. And suddenly, I had a revelation! Why not use our crunchy, unabashedly enticing leftover cocao nibs to add just the right crunch to cookies?! (Note to readers: before editing this blog I realized I accidently wrote ‘add just the right CRUNK to cookies. These are things no one ever knows).

And thus, the oatmeal nib cookie was born! Before we embark on the recipe (and I know, if you’re like me, you’re ignoring these first few paragraph babbles) but I wanted to give a quick blog to Dandelion Chocolate out in California. While working at a local coffee shop I had the pleasure of encountering these little bits of crunchy heaven. They were so good, Will and I ordered a bag and had it sent to us in the mail. I will spare you my pretending-to-be-super-cool-on-wordpress and quote Dandelion directly on the natural flavor attributes of the bean (and boy is there!), “Our Madagascar bar’s crazy fruit notes are present even straight from the bean, but here they show an acidic bite punctuating the nuttier undertones.” So, there ya have it. And it animates these cookies in a way that no amount of walnuts or raisans can!

Ingredients:

The Big Schtuff

2 cups of oatmeal (some say quick oats, some say regular. I used regular)DSC_0909

1/2 cup of Dandelion Chocolate Cocao Nibs

1 cup wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose (variations of this would turn out fine)

1/2 cup ground flax (or not. or more. but it gives you some Omega 3)

1/2 cup butter (that’s a giant stick of fat thrown in a bowl & melted in microwave)

1/4 cup honey (in place of 1/2 cup white sugar)

1 cup raw cane sugar (or brown)DSC_0908

2/4 cup applesauce

1 egg (or eggwhite? haven’t tried that yet)

1 cup peanut butter chips (or whatever you want)

The Not-So-Big Schtuff

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 3/4 teaspoon vanilla (or however much you want it to taste like vanilla)

1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice (which really means some clove or nutmeg or allspice or pumpin or or or)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:DSC_0931

1- Preheat to 375 (I preheat to 389 because my oven hates me)

2- Grease a cookie sheet or use a super cool silpat

3- Big bowl for the dry stuff: oatmeal, flour, baking soda & powder, salt, flax, spices<–StirDSC_0930

4- Not as big bowl for the ‘wet’ stuff: butter, brown sugar, vanilla, honey, egg, applesauce<–Stir

5-Drop wet stuff into dry stuff and mix

6-Drop them on your baking sheet, however big you want (I made 12 1st round, 10 the second)

7-Service with Almond Milk.

8-Eat them all in one day.

Seriously, the best. I’m gonna fatten’ up William Head.

Cheers,

willandmegan


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SHAKE IT UP – Organic Shamrock Shake Recipe

shamrock presentation edit

On Saturday March 9th we spent the day still basking in the pride of a successful homemade wine tasting from the night before. By one o’clock our hunger brought us to Wegmans for food items, mint leaves and coconuts. After the sadness of realizing organic coffee was $11.00 finally subsided, we decided to pass on that purchase. With the fridge stocked heavily Meg and I brushed off the lack of french press and became excited for the preplanned frozen treat that was in store.

Items you will need:

dye. flavor. ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Organic Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Organic Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoonNatural Mint Extract
  • Tru Whip Natural Whipped Topping (optional)
  • 4 drops Green Food Coloring (optional)
  • Alter Eco Mint Chocolate Bar (optional)
  • Mint Leaf Garnish (optional)
  • Organic Cane Sugar (optional for rim of glass)

Directions:

1- Prepare rim of glass ahead of time by dipping in water and then in a bowl of green colored sugar. Wait for milkshake.

2- Mix ice cream, milk, extract, and green food coloring in blender. (1/2 a bar of Alter Ego Dark Mint Chocolate for delicious, crunchy affect).  Mix until creamy.

3- Pour into glass carefully to avoid ruining the rim

4-Place a few dollops of whip cream in the center.

5-Shave off a fair amount of Alter Ego Dark Mint Chocolate on top of the whip cream.

6-Add mint leaf for garnish.

alter eco mint display edit

Cheers,

willandmegan


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Lemon Chili Chocolate Pasta

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The other night, I decided to dig out the pasta I had bought from my trip to Venice two summers ago. It had sat there, not for lack of want or even because it was a novelty, but because I could not figure out what to do with it. I mean, let’s be honest. If you read “Chocolate Pasta” what sauce comes to your mind?! Red sauce, gross. Alfredo, weird? Oil and butter, boring. So…apparently I needed two years to mull it over in my head. And then I just thought… spicy and sour! And it was delicious!

Ingredients

  • .5 pound of chocolate pasta (local stores/online/or use it as an excuse to travel to Venice!)
  • 2-3 tbs Butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Local and organic honey
  • 2 1/2 whole, dried chilis
  • 100% unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I use Scharffen Bergen)
  • Asparagus

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. While water is heating up, start the base for sauce. Begin melting 2-3 tbs of butter in a pan.
  3. Slice 2 slices off of the lemon before using it for juice. Set aside to garnish dish for later.
  4. Combine 2 tbs honey, 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 2-3 tbs of honey.
  5. Warm up and mix. Take 1/2 dried chili and crunch between your fingers. Allow some (but not a lot) of the seeds to drop into the sauce. You will want more of the outside chili.
  6. Add some lemon zest from the squeezed lemon and a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Save some lemon zest to place on top of the dish.
  7. Mix and let sit for another 3 minutes.
  8. When the pasta is finished, place some sauce on the bottom of the plate. Add pasta to dish and sauce on top.
  9. Place 2 slices of lemon and 2 whole dried chilis on the side of the plate for garnish.
  10. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top.
  11. Pair with some lightly steamed asparagus and enjoy!

Will and I decided it tastes like a spicy lemon head! Let us know what you think.

xoxo,

willandmegan

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Give Thanks for Chocolate – Cranberry Chocolate Tasting

Happy Thanksgiving chocolatiers, bloggers and consumers of delicious eats. Yesterday evening Megan and I ventured out into the city of Rochester for an ode to Thanksgiving chocolate tasting.

Shortly after 5pm we strolled into a quaint wine bar by the name of Veritas. Both decked out in our Columbia winter jackets, I carried a plastic bag with mystery goodies and Meg carried her satchel like purse filled with writing utensils and remnants of church notes. Before unwrapping the three trusted brands (all featuring cranberries as an ingredient throughout) we both picked out a glass of wine suited to our personal taste: A hard meaty tasting red for Meg and a floral oily tasting white for myself. Shortly after sipping and conversing about the bars atmosphere I pulled out an awkward arrangement of organic cranberries and spread them across the table top. The results from the image above demonstrate how playing still-life paparazzi in a public wine bar can feel a bit odd.

While each tasting we do aims to be both conclusive and consistent, this time around one of the bars was milk chocolate and the other two were dark. To be honest the list of ingredients we found didn’t seem very compliant to previous standards as well. However, what can be said that is true is the fact that we agreed with flavors and ratings across the board.

1.) DAGOBA (beaucoup berries) – rich dark chocolate, cranberries, cherries & vanilla [74% cacao dark chocolate]

2.) Dan’s Chocolates (Trail Hound) – CRANBERRIES, RAISINS, HAZELNUTS [Milk]

3.) endangered species Chocolate – natural DARK CHOCOLATE WITH CRANBERRIES & ALMONDS [72% cocoa]

Our Top Pick

1. DAGOBA

-> The texture of this bar can be described as the grainy, pulpiness of the cranberries and cherries within it. For a dark bar it is moderately             creamy, but not overwhelming. Some crystallized granules are dispersed throughout.

This bar is bright in flavor with a smooth balance of bitterness and sweetness. Fruit, mild citrus and an overtone of beets can be tasted. The combination of flavors and texture remind Megan of “Fruit by the Foot”.

The aromas are similar to mild caramel and a sweet Belgian ale.

Our Second Pick

2.) endangered species

-> The textures of this bar is characterized by a variety of nut edges, granules and gooey cranberries.

     While we were hoping the cranberry flavor would act as a primary contributor it seems the majority is overpowered by almond. There are              some simple earthy flavors and undertones of coffee as well.

     This bar seems more aromatic. Described like brownies and a hint of leather.

Our Third Pick

3.) Dan’s

-> It should be noted the Dan’s bars are smaller more “fun size”. The texture is characterized by semi-crunchy nuts and fine granules.

     Flavors that stand out are syrup from the crystallized raisins, taffy, creaminess and undertones of cotton candy.

     Much like the taste, aroma is artificial smelling: Between descriptions of holiday fruitcake, the corn syrup they use to make cordial cherries and some questionable tropical fruit drink.

While our previous two choices had a smooth finish or little aftertaste this bar leaves an oily mouth feel. Remaining molasses-like taste, dryness you would experience from consuming too many Christmas cookies or pure frosting.


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Herbaceous Hare Hoagie Recipe (Vegetarian *Spicy*)

This past Saturday Megan and I ventured out into the Western New York woodlands to traipse the trails of Letchworth State Park. We faced three miles of meandering footpaths. Compressed earth twisted and intertwined with gnarled tree roots and bone-dry shale stream beds. After a bit of uncertainty and an access road detour, our path lead to  a luxurious lean-to. To much of our excitement the solitary shanty came adorned with a picnic bench, fire-pit, complementary stashed moonshine (garnished with a dead beetle), and garment hanging nails.

After returning home today with a renewed appreciation for fresh vegetables, gas stoves and running water I threw together this recipe for vegetarians and fans of spicy cuisine.

You will need:  

1/2 large carrot

1/3 green pepper

1/4 large zucchini

2 slices of bread ( I used homemade honey-wheat)

3 leaves of romaine lettuce

2 tbs clover honey

2 tbs hummus

2 tbs habanero salsa (or your favorite)

1 tbs cooking oil or coconut oil etc.

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Step 1: Slice all your veggies into sandwich-size slivers.

Step 2: Coat your pan in a light amount of oil and turn on to medium-high heat.

Step 3: Lay out your veggies and grill evenly on both sides. (Cutting slices of equal width will ensure even cooking)

Step 4: Drizzle honey over veggies and add cracked pepper/any additional seasonings.

Step5: Toast both pieces of bread within the last minutes of grilling.

Step 6: Remove bread from toaster and using a butter knife apply spicy salsa, hummus and lettuce to your bread.

Step 7: Carefully remove all veggies from the pan with a spatula and distribute/stack evenly on bread.

Step 8: Put sandwich on a plate, cover and eat.

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*Note* Almond milk or a cold summer wheat beer goes great with this sandwich as both beverages quell the spice. Enjoy!