Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

Welcome to my world!

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Entries in Chocolate (14)

Tuesday
Apr032012

White Chocolate Pretzel Easter Bark

In case you missed it, we're giving away a box of gourmet candy bars...enter the giveaway now!

We're just a few days away from Easter and I'm basking in this beautiful Spring weather and daydreaming about the long weekend ahead. You know I love any opportunity to make some themed eats and so this weekend I whipped up a little Easter bark to celebrate.

The idea for this came to me on a whim. For some reason Easter and white chocolate always seem to go together and luckily enough, I had a large jar of white chocolate chips just itching to be used. After a little digging through my baking supplies, I also had some sweetened coconut. And so my Easter bark was born!

 

This was so easy to make and the result is nothing short of cute, fun and delicious to boot. It's got that sweet and salty yumminess going on, while the coconut adds just a little bit of extra flavor. Oh and the little Cadbury eggs? How cute are they?! Like little eggs lying in the grass, just waiting to be plucked.

 

White Chocolate Pretzel Easter Bark
4 C pretzels
4 Tbsp+ butter, melted
3 1/2 C white chocolate chips
1 C shredded sweetened coconut
a few drops of green food coloring
5 mini bags Cadbury chocolate mini eggs
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 13x9" pan with two sheets of foil, one sheet laid out each way so that extra droops over the sides. Spray generously with cooking spray.

Finely chop the pretzels in a food processor, or place them in a zip top baggie and smash with a rolling pin.  Mix in the melted butter.*

Spread into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool. Meanwhile, mix the coconut and food coloring until it looks like 'green grass' and set aside. You can also dump the chocolate eggs into a separate bowl and set aside.

Melt half of the white chocolate and very carefully spread over half of the pretzel crust. Now. I didn't use a lot of butter and so my crust wasn't set. I spread it as best I could, quickly and carefully, working to not pull up the pretzel mixture as I went along. Top immediately with half of the coconut and half of the chocolate eggs, lightly pressing it all into the warm chocolate to set.

Repeat with the other half.

Let cool completely in the refrigerator. When cooled, remove from the baking pan using the foil handles.

Carefully cut into pieces of bark while still on the foil. A lot of the pretzel crust will not have stuck to the chocolate. That's ok! Some of it did and that will be enough. Enjoy immediately or freeze for Sunday!

*If you want a crust that will stick together a bit better, use more butter. I wanted to keep butter usage down, so I ended up with not so much a 'crust' as a whole lot of pretzel bits, a lot of which still stuck to the melted chocolate. It's still delicious and doesn't have to be perfect! The pretzels will fall off and they will be messy. But that's what the foil is for!

 

So there you have it. A fun, easy treat for Easter that can be made in advance and one that everyone will love!

I know I had planned to do a little Delirium discussion today, but Easter bark prevailed. Tomorrow we will talk Delirum!

Questions of the Day:

Do you celebrate Easter or Passover?

What are your favorite seasonal eats? I can't wait for a nice Reester egg!

Monday
Apr022012

A Knife-and-Fork Style Candy Bar + a Giveaway!

Hello Monday!

I had a great weekend...but how is it over?! Yesterday I finally saw The Hunger Games! Though some parts of the book were not quite adapted how I had hoped (or left out completely?), overall I really, really loved this film. I thought it was a really great adaptation of a fantastic book. And I adored the cast.

What did you think of the movie?

I'm really excited today because not only am I talking about decadent chocolate candy bars, but I also have a great giveaway! So happy Monday to you!

When the Main Street Bakery & Cafe sent me one of their signature candy bar desserts to sample (along with some other yummy goodies), of course I said a big, fat yes, thank you!

This 'candy bar' is not your average drug store chocolate bar. It's a thick, rich candy bar that is to be eaten with a knife and fork...kind of like the candy bar that Mr. Pitt dawned in an old Seinfeld episode. Remember that one? And you KNOW I love a pop culture food reference! I was smitten before I even opened the package.

In case you didn't know, you may see my Dexter cupcakes, Giants Superbowl cupcakes, and all of my ideas for a True Blood theme party.

Anyhow.

I have to admit that I'm not really a chocolate-eater. Sure I love a good chocolate cake, but typically not totally interested in chocolate candy or anything too 'chocolatey'. But this candy bar? Ooooh my.

 

Layers of chocolate, ganache, caramel, krispies and nuts make this a decadent treat that can't just be eaten by one person. It's so rich that it's the perfect dessert to share.

The buttery, soft caramel is the stuff dreams are made of.

Oh and my absolute favorite part? Some sea salt crystals sprinkled on the top. You know I love a sweet and salty combo. And I loved that the little salty flakes actually crunched when I bit into them. Yum.

Though it's not exactly inexpensive ($4 per bar), I really enjoyed this candy bar, especially since it could easily be shared for two people. Main Street Bakery & Cafe is located in Port Washington, NY but fortunately for all of you not in the area...they are generously offering up a box of 6 candy bars to one lucky TAA reader! Now doesn't that make your Monday just a little better?!

To enter the giveaway do one or all of the following for extra entries:

1. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite candy bar of all time.

2. Like The Avid Appetite on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did (or if you already do!)

3. Follow @theavidappetite on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did (or if you already do!)

4. Head over to The Main Street Bakery's website and leave yet another comment telling me what other goodies strike your fancy.

5. Like Main Street Bakery & Cafe of Port Washington on Faacebook and leave yet another comment telling me you did.

The giveaway is open until Tuesday 4/3 at midnight. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday and have your goodies shipped out to you just in time for Easter...er, you know, in case you are interested in sharing your winnings ;) Sorry, this giveaway is only open to the continental US.

Hope you have some chocolately daydreams today, friends! Have a great week!

Tuesday
Mar272012

Triple Chocolate Banana Milkshakes

Ok you guys...last night I finished the second Delirium book...Pandemonium! I know we have a date to discuss Delirium (the first book) on April 3 (I hope some of you are reading this so we can have a little discussion!). So here's the problem with flying through this awesome series...the third book - Requiem - doesn't come out until 2013! Ahhh! I'm so bummed because it ended on such a cliff hanger. I hate that! Of course, I didn't realize this until I was already partially through the second book. Oh well...still worth reading, even if the wait is a long one!

Oh and remember, if you are on Goodreads, we can be friends!

 

So last night I had a hankering for something sweet after dinner. I'm trying to be better about eating healthfully and so dessert options are often limited. Mostly, I stick to sugar-free, fat-free pudding, but let's face it...it gets old after a while!

Last night I had an idea for a milkshake. I had just frozen a !@#$load of bananas a few nights ago and always keep a handy supply of instant pudding in the cupboard. By using frozen bananas instead of ice cream and some prepared chocolate fudge pudding, I achieved a delicious, creamy, chocolately milkshake that was entirely guilt-free! Only 3 Pts+ per serving.

Seriously.

I'm mildly obsessed. Even Shaun, Mr. No-Sweets, drank his entire shake.

Triple Chocolate Banana Milkshakes
Serves 2; 3 Pts+ per serving
1 1/4 C fat free milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 frozen bananas
1/2 C sugar-free, fat-free chocolate fudge pudding, prepared
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lite or sugar-free chocolate syrup
1/4 C fat-free Cool Whip

Place milk, bananas, pudding, cocoa and vanilla extract in a large glass measuring cup or in a blender. Blend (in blender or in measuring glass with an immersion blender) until smooth and creamy. Line two glasses with a bit of chocolate syrup and distribute milkshakes in said glasses. Top with a Tablespoon or two of Cool Whip and drizzle with a little more chocolate syrup.

Enjoy immediately.

I think half the fun of this shake is the presentation. Just a little extra work like lining the glass with chocolate syrup and using a whimsical, soda shop paper straw for devouring make this a super special treat that I can't wait to make again and again.

And the best part of all? It's 100% guilt-free! Get out your party hats!

Questions of the Day:

Do you have any guilt-free desserts?

Are any of you reading Delirium for our mini-book club discussion next week?!

 

psst..in case you missed The Peach & The Pit this week, here's what's been going down...

I found some Spring things to seriously obsess over

Christine decided on some new hair color(s)

Kimberly had a fabulous weekend in the Hamptons...