Monday, February 12, 2007

Winter Storm Warning. Choke. Cough. Give Up.

I sit here writing to the background noise of snow blowers and plows scraping and huffing out on the frosty streets of the hood. I am constantly reminded of why I have so enjoyed being AWAY from Illinois for the past 7 winters. I have lost the ability to enjoy any aspect of Winter's "beauty" at this point. I am bedraggled and a real sourpuss.

So. Referring to the last post... I gave in and both chicken rugs were purchased. It's like getting kittens, you want them to have company and never feel lonely. Two chicken rugs are definitely better than one. I feel good knowing that I will soon be able to dig my bare toes into the plushy surface of my hen rugs. As soon as we reach Georgia. Georgia. Georgia. Georgia. It has become Shangri La in our minds. I don't care if it is laden with mosquitos and pig roasts in Georgia. For me it will be a heady paradise rife with laughter, tears of joy and hopefully huge slices of homemade peach pie.

I have been tinkering in the kitchen this past week or so out of boredom and deep, lustful feelings toward chocolate. The best result were these...

from a recipe found in Vegetarian Times Magazine.


2 oz. coarsely chopped pistachios or hazelnuts (about 1/2 cup)
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 cup puffed whole grain cereal ( I used Kashi Honey Wheat)
1/2 cup dried apricots, cranberries or cherries ( I used apricots)
1 tsp. orange zest, plus julienned zest for garnish

Line a couple of baking sheets with waxed paper.
Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium low heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Let them cool.
Melt 9 oz. of chocolate in a double boiler then stir in the remaining 3 oz. Stir in your dry ingredients.
Drop chocolate mixture in tablespoon sized clumps onto your baking sheets and then garnish with the orange zest.
Pop these in the fridge uncovered for 15 minutes to set. They store great in a container, chilled for up to a month. The magazine also suggests putting these in paper candy cups which would indeed be cute and a great way to display them for a party table.

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