Food Thoughts

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world," -J.R.R. Tolkien

"I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food," -Erma Bombeck

"We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly," -Barabara Johnson

I'm a nineteen year old bookworm with a penchant for sharks, Disney, and anything red velvet.

I'm not a chef. I'm not a foodie (that word gets on my nerves). I don't have plans to go to culinary school. But I am, in the words of Erma Bombeck, "an explorer of food." These are my adventures.


Carrot Cake

It's perhaps the most boring of desserts, but it involves a story.

A friend gave me a recipe after I ate it at her house and it is now a favorite in my household.

My grandfather especially liked it.  In the months before he died, he spent long periods of time in the hospital.  I would visit him multiple times a week with my mother two sisters and on Fridays, we ate dinner with him in his little hospital room.  He got tired of hospital food very quickly so we would bring him food from the outside world.  On some days I would bake a carrot cake.

It always took me forever to grate the carrots

And the batter always turns a sickening shade of pale brown interspersed with flecks of vivid orange.

By the time it came out of the oven, it was usually time to leave.  This meant I had to haphazardly spread on frosting that would melt from the warmth of the cake, stick to the tinfoil I covered it with, and ooze out onto my coat as I lugged the pan around the hospital.  Instead of just cutting a few pieces and putting them in a tupperware container, I would just bring the whole cake.

After my grandfather died on an April 21st on which I went to bed with one of the worst headaches of my life and a broken heart, it became our tradition to make carrot cake on every April 21st since then.  This responsibility has fallen to me and on the most recent April 21, I made carrot cake for the second anniversary of his death.

And just like everytime there is a dessert made in my home, we ate it from the middle outward.

Hot Chocolate

This is a topic that's near and dear to my heart.

I strongly believe that it's never too warm for hot chocolate.

I found this recipe from Paula Deen about three years ago and it was love at first sip.  I'd always prefered thicker hot chocolates but had never considered using sweetened condensed milk, which is what her recipe calls for.

I ended up taking the lazy way out and just screenshoted the recipe instead of typing it out.

I made a few small changes.  I use whole milk instead of water and use a little more cocoa powder than a 1/2 cup.

My mother doesn't really like it and compains that it's too chocolatey, but then again, her go to hot chocolate is chocolate syrup and milk heated in the microwave.  My youngest sister on the other hand, likes it a lot.

It's very rich, so I don't make it often.

When I do, you better believe I hunt through the cupboard to find the biggest mug and fill it to the brim.

The two links below are for the recipe, the first is from Food Network (the website the screenshots are from and where I originally found the recipe). The second is from Paula Deen's website.


Red Velvet Mug Cake

I'm not normally one for mug cakes, but I have a red velvet obsession so naturally, I had to try this.

I got the recipe from a blog called Bake With Christina (I put the link to the blog at the bottom).

Her recipe makes two servings, so I cut it in half and used 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon of red velvet cake mix, three tablespoons of vegetable oil, and three tablespoons of water.  She wrote to stir until smooth and microwave for two minutes.

The batter was bright red and sort of resembled blood.

I ended up microwaving the cake for about thirty seconds and then adding some chocolate chips.  I pushed a few down into the middle and left the rest on top.

I then popped the mug back in for another thirty seconds and opened the microwave again to see that it had overflowed.  Melting chocolate chips and dark red batter were oozing down the edges of the mug.  I quickly wiped it up and then put three layers of paper towels underneath the mug.  I microwaved it in 15-20 second increments to try to keep it from overflowing very much more.

As you can see, it obviously still did. (Sorry for the sideways picture.)

Once it was somewhere between halfway and two thirds done, it began to stop overflowing as it became more solid.

Once it was done, I sprinkled chocolate chips on top and let them melt.

The first bite was heaven and was a lot better than I was expecting it to be.

It was sort of hard to finish because it was on the rich side, but it was really good. I would definitely recommend it.

Or just Google "Bake with christina red velvet mug cake"