Monday, March 12, 2007

Gratitude for Coffee and Chocolate and Dreams Coming True

I spoke with my friend Mary Allen today of Coffee By Design fame. She and her husband run the finest coffee roastery in the world (located here in Maine)- in the most socially conscious way. I've used their coffee in everything from my morning brew to the chocolate soup coming in the soup book. Oh! I just found out that Superb Maine Soups will be out on October 15, 2007. Sounds like I had better start planning a party! Let me know if you want to come.
So, Hey, all you people out in the blogosphere...I was just thinking about change. Change has a way of rearing it's ever-morphing head so often that you don't see what's happening until one day you open your eyes again and everything looks completely different. I was just reviewing some writing from three or four years ago and realizing that - Oh My Goodness!- I'm living in a completely different world... or at least a mostly different world. All of a gradual-sudden I'm doing what I have dreamed of doing. I've written a book- it's published- I've finished a second- it's on it's way to being published... I've got several cable stations, PBS, and sponsors ready for my up and coming cooking show... The kids are growing into amazing young adults before my eyes...and I'm Dancing- Yes! Dancing! Swing Dancing! every week... This is a dream come true!
What happened to the little girl who got everything she ever asked for??? She was incredibly grateful and extraordinarily happy!! I'm able to dance when I like, cook when I like, snuggle when I like, and generally be who I want to be. Wow! When you put your mind to actually creating what you want- It Comes True.
I imagined it. I asked for it. I believed it. It's here.
My dreams are certainly evolving- as I'm sure yours are- but as they evolve they come true... every step of the way.
Gratitude. Did I ever tell you that I had a horse when I was in high school. His name was Gratitude.
I have been thankful for a really, really long time.
I am thankful for you- reading this here- I hope that you find things in your life to be thankful for as well. It feels thoroughly wonderful and comfortable to the core to be thankful for you- whoever you are. Knowing that you might make a recipe or two; cook it up for yourself or your family or friends; make them smile. I am happy to share what I know with you so you can give to them. How cool is that?!!
OK. For today's recipe, how about something chocolate. I just had some dark chocolate m&ms for my 11:00 snack. Probably not on the best eating plan ever, but it tasted good melting on my tongue. How about if I share one of my chocolate soup recipes. SSSHHHH... it's coming out in October in Superb Maine Soups. You get the first written preview.
Hope you like it.
Liquid Cinnamon Chocolate with Brown Sugar Espresso Cream
The flavors of chocolate and cinnamon join espresso in this warm, luscious soup. It is designed to be bitter sweet- add more sugar if you have a very sweet tooth.
Serves 4
1 cups espresso made with Coffee by Design's wonderful espresso blend
3 cups light cream
2x 3 to 4 inch cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
6 Tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups chopped dark chocolate
a sprinkle of ground nutmeg
Additional cinnamon sticks
Simmer espresso, cream and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
Whisk in espresso powder and brown sugar and cocoa powder. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Discard cinnamon sticks. Ladle into 4 heatproof bowls. Top with Brown Sugar Espresso Cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Garnish with additional cinnamon sticks, if desired.
Brown Sugar Espresso Cream
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Whisk cream in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in brown sugar, espresso powder and vanilla. Whisk until stiff. Cover and refrigerate whipped cream.

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