Saturday, December 30, 2006

You'd never guess I'm not a chocolate lover...

First of all, a few more details from previous posts. {Sort of like I'm 'tidying up' around here} I had some comments and questions about my Christmas card and which ribbon was Teagan's. The truth is, I whipped that card up basically to post here and email to my friends/family who didn't get cards in the mail. I didn't intend for one ribbon to be representative of each child. But, if I had to pick, it would probably be the pink-stitching one.
We had Rachael take a last minute family casual shot as Chip and I headed out the door for dinner a couple of nights ago. {Thanks, Rachael!! for the pics and babysitting!!} As I reviewed them and then edited one for posting, it hit me as it does every year since Teagan died. The first thing I notice when I look at my 'family pictures' is the hole in the picture where Teagan's smiling face should be. Everyone else looks at it and sees a big, happy family. I see that too. But only after I imagine what our picture would be like with Teagan in it. Anyway, just thought I'd post my thoughts on cards and pictures...and the fact that it's so true. You never stop missing and loving someone no matter how long they are gone.
Secondly, I didn't fill you in on all the details of my Dad's life yesterday- but some of you were asking about his life after dairy farming. Can't you figure that out on your own just by reading all my posts here?! {Just kidding} He finished Bible College and pastored evangelical churches all the years I was growing up. Yep. I was a "PK"- otherwise known as a "pastor's kid". I know, I know the saying..."they're the worst kind". Well, I was a pretty good PK- ask my friends from youth group. =) Now my dad (and mom) work as clergy/caretakers at a senior 'independent-living' facilty. Somedays they work harder with their senior residents than they ever did all those years milking cows and cleaning the barn! I am proud of their humble service and dedication to each other and those they take care of everyday- around the clock. I don't know that I could do what they do.
Finally the title suggests...a little chocolate love- not for the faint of heart. The number of calories in a slice of this dessert can ruin any good intentions you have for weight-loss and dieting in the New Year. SO, I suggest you eat this before you make any outlandish resolutions...or just forgive yourself now for blowing it when you sink your teeth into this baby.
The recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse's Creole Christmas cookbook. You can find it at too. Our book is special because it was personally signed by Emeril himself. Chip and Teagan stood in line outside a small bookstore in Vero Beach, FL at a booksigning. Teagan was about 18 months old...I don't know how Chip kept her entertained for the more than 2 hours that they stood there- he must have had superpowers or something! Anyway, it's a great memory and a special book to have. Especially when creations such as this come from it. I hope you enjoy it if you make it. I'm truly not a chocolate fanatic...but this one ranks among my top 5 favorite chocolate desserts. ( I think it's more about the spiced cream than anything {wink}!)
Chocolate Bread Pudding with Spiced Cream
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 cups half and half
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, about 1 pound
4 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
8 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed and
cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 recipe of Spiced Cream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 6-cup (9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 2/4-inch) loaf pan with butter.
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the half and half. When the cream comes up to a gentle boil, whisk in 1 cup of the chocolate chips, whisking constantly until the all of chips have melted and are incorporated into the cream, remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and Grand Marnier together in a large mixing bowl until very smooth. Add the egg mixture to the cream mixture and mix well. Add the bread, incorporate thoroughly and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips. Pour the remaining bread mixture over the chocolate chips. Bake until the pudding is set in the center, about 55 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. To serve, cut the pudding into 1-inch thick slices. Top with the spiced cream.

1 quart heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Beat the cream with an electric mixer on high speed in a large mixing bowl for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat again until the mixture thickens and forms stiff peaks, another 1 to 2 minutes. Yield: 4 cups

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious! Thanks! And Happy New Year too.