I made a nice pot of chicken and dumplings that was terrific. I forgot to take a picture though. :( Next time I will because it's so good and makes a lot and is cheap and low cal. Oh, and it doesn't take long.
After dinner I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the kids and Chuck. I did have one because who can resist a fresh-from-the-oven cookie?! Oh, man. They were so soft in the middle and just crisp on the outside. Absolutely perfect and they don't take long to bake. Check out the recipe in this post.
A couple of days ago I made some absolutely divine chocolate pudding. I'm not talking about getting a box in the store and beating it with some milk until it surrenders. No, this is from scratch. Don't worry. It's not difficult and the results are worth it.
2/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 Tbs. unsweetened, cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups whole or reduced fat milk (not skim), divided
2 Tbs. butter (optional)
4 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semi-sweet chocolate, broken up or coarsely chopped (I used chocolate chips)
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a large heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt until well blended. Add about 3/4 cup of milk, stirring until smoothly incorporated. Gradually stir in the remaining milk and the butter (if using). Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring. Constantly stirring and scraping the pan bottom to prevent scorching, continue cooking until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, 2-2 1/2 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Add the chocolate, stirring until it completely melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Strain the pudding through a medium-fine sieve into individual pudding dishes or a serving bowl. (I skipped the straining and it was just fine.) If you wish to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, lay plastic wrap directly on the pudding. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours. Serve with dollops of whipped cream, if desired.
The pudding will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Variation: Chocolate Pie Filling
Make the recipe exactly like before but use 1/4 cup cornstarch. After adding the vanilla, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a fully baked and cooled 9" pie shell. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours before serving. Serve generously topped with shipped cream.
Cookies are baked, cooled, and put away after some sampling by the family. Dare I see this is the best batch I have made yet?
Chuck and I get a glass of wine and I break out a new book from the library: Cake Wrecks. We were laughing so hard that I finally decided to film Chuck. His laughs are contagious. Watch a clip and enjoy. :)
Chuck laughing at the book Cake Wrecks.
(Pay no attention to the gun on the sofa. It's unloaded. Besides, it's Texas. That's just how we roll. Read a book and drink some wine with a trusty 1911 at your side. Nothing wrong with that.)