Archive for cocoa

Tuesdays with Dorie – Chocolate Pudding Disaster

Posted in baking, food, meme, tuesdays with dorie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2008 by uglydudefood

Last week’s Double Crusted Blueberry Pie was DIFFICULT.  I was so happy to hear that this week’s would be chocolate pudding, a recipe I’ve made dozens of times.

1)  Open packet of pudding mix.

2)  Add milk and/or water.

3)  Shake shake shake shake shake.

Okay, so it’s bound to be more difficult than that, but not much, right?


I didn’t have to buy any new equipment for this recipe, which is nice after last week’s $50 investment.  I picked up some whole milk (I am trying to follow these recipes to the letter at the moment).  Otherwise, the rest are pretty standard pantry items.  I typoed earlier and wrote “panty items,” but I swear it wasn’t Freudian.

I substituted semisweet chocolate chips for the bittersweet chocolate chips, which didn’t seem like it’d be too big of a problem.  It’s better than another emergency run to the grocery store.  Gas ain’t cheap.

What follows is a testament in my ability to ignore instructions totally; make the biggest messes; and have the worst luck in the world.

MISTAKE #1: Dorie Sez:  “Add the dry ingredients.”  I add the pre-mixed dry ingredients (cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, sugar), and then for some reason I also add the chocolate chips and the butter (which come far later in the process).

MISTAKE #2: When adding boiling milk to the food processor through the top hole, be sure to remove the “pusher” from the hole–otherwise the milk will go all over your food processor, counter, floor, pants, etc.

MISTAKE #3: Not so much a mistake as a capper to the whole thing.  I tried to salvage my batch of pudding, and in the step where you pour it BACK into the saucepan, I missed the pan with half of the pudding.

It wasn’t all my fault though.  I was blessed with the leakiest food processor ever.  The end result?


And this:

And this:

That’s right.  That was my end result.  It looked and tasted like chocolate porridge–not entirely unpleasing, but not entirely pudding either.  I was devastated.  I didn’t want to do Tuesdays with Dorie anymore.  I didn’t want to bake.  I didn’t want to blog.  I just wanted to go to sleep.

While I could easily have gone with the “ugly food for an ugly dude” excuse, I had to prevail.  After some cleanup, it was round two.   After chastising myself and rereading the recipe multiple times, I was good to go.  I followed it to the letter.

Success!  It felt so good to actually do something right.  Sure, my food processor is still leaky.  And sure, my floor has reached levels of stickiness as of yet unknown to mankind.  But I HAVE SIX CUPS OF PUDDING.  Tastes pretty good, too.  Far better than that instant pudding, no matter how fun it is to shake it all up.

The rest will go towards the dinner I’m cooking for my girlfriend Rachel tomorrow.  The menu:  baked chicken breasts, corn on the cob, salad, chocolate pudding.  I’ve never cooked anybody a real dinner before, so wish me luck.  If all else fails, I’ll have a lot of extra pudding.

Things I’ve Learned

1.  Read carefully.
2.  If at first you don’t succeed, etc!

For 1/6 of the recipe:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 138.3g
Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat

% Daily Value*
Total Fat

Saturated Fat



Total Carbohydrates

Dietary Fiber



Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 12% Iron 3%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation


Kashi Granola – Mountain Medley

Posted in food, personal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by uglydudefood

Kashi Granola - Mountain Medley

I love Kashi. I can attribute a great deal of my 130-lb. weight loss to their GoLean and GoLean Crunch cereals. They manage to make tasty cereals that are packed with essentials (protein, fiber, whathaveyou). For my three-plus years as a vegetarian, they were one of my favorite protein sources. Additionally, their instant oatmeal is the best instant I’ve ever eaten.

Oooh la la! I received a package in the mail from Kashi recently. I’d like to revel in the fact that I receive free review samples from companies due to my super-popular Internet web site, but really I just signed up for their mailing list a few years ago.

The Package asks: “Ready to get off your rump?”

I reply: “No.”

The paper inside the box confuses things even more: STEP 1: Eat Granola. STEP 2: Get off your rump.

Using this handy chart, it is now possible to see how one can “get off of their rump” the Kashi way!

Using this even-handier chart, it is possible to see how one can “get off of their rump” and cut out that pesky, delicious middle man!

Kashi Granola - Mountain Medley

In the end, though, I did decide to get off my rump. A week later, I took Kashi Mountain Medley Granola where it was destined to be consumed–an overnight on a local stretch of the Appalachian Trail with my friends Brad and Tom.

Kashi Granola - Mountain Medley

Kashi Mountain Medley Granola is okay. Don’t get me wrong–in a lot of cases, granola is granola and that is that. Mountain Medley is a quarter-step above your run-of-the-mill granola. The raisins and c’raisins are plentiful and the grains are as tasty as the rest of Kashi’s oeuvre. I guess maybe I’m just spoiled by the goodness that was Dingeldein Bakery’s homemade granola, which is some of the finest I’ve ever sampled.

According to Kashi’s official web page, there are three other varieties of Kashi granola–Cocoa Beach, Orchard Spice, and Summer Berry. The Orchard Spice (mixed with apples and pecans) sounds exquisite, and I’ll probably pick up a box sometime to taste.

Fresh granola–especially at exorbitant bakeries–comes at a price. Kashi’s is the best off-the-shelf granola I’ve had. If you are looking for a slightly-more-economical substitute in your granola life and you don’t have time to make your own, Kashi Mountain Medley is where it’s at. I’ve got two turn tables and a microphone.

Here are some pictographs of the gorgeous scenery I encountered.

Susquehanna River


Another view

Spoodles the Living Dummy and the Temple of Peeps

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2007 by uglydudefood

A shout-out to my Peeps

Posted in food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2006 by uglydudefood

Yes, that’s right. That’s eight, count ’em, eight packages of virgin Marshmallow Peeps in FIVE DIFFERENT FLAVORS, just ripe for the plucking. Every pack-o’-Peeps has a story, and every story has a beginning. And an end. And creamy, marshmallow innards.

Note that I was originally going to have a charming picture of each Peeps package to go with the stories. However, apparently the only thing that eats AA batteries faster than my digital camera is toddlers, so this will have to do.

MARSHMALLOW PEEPS Christmas Decorating Kit

In the beginning, there was the Christmas Decorating Kit. Don’t get me wrong-o. Everypeep and its crazy uncle were around before the Peeps Decorating Kits hit the shelves. However, this package is what started the whole Peep-hoarding experience. We can all thank the sometimes-saucy but ever-lovely Toni Grogan for this one. Toni Grogan, not to be confused with Tony Almeida (who eats terrorists for breakfast, and poops out Olympic gold medals at brunch), gave this package of scrumptious Peepage as a post-holiday gift. It may have been the single greatest gift I’ve ever received. Six, oversized Tree-shaped Peeps are included, as well as a tube of red Decorating Gel. The Decorating Kits for every season include multiple gel-colors, but even I am not that Peep-crazy. One pack’ll do. Decorate one for holiday fun!

MARSHMALLOW PEEPS Cutouts (Holiday Cookie Flavored)

These Peeps have actually been in my possession longer than the aforementioned Decorating Kit. However, before Toni’s generosity overwhelmed me, I planned on eating these little Gingerbread-Cookie-shaped buggers. Donated to the Peeps Gallery by my mother, they sat in my apartment freezer over the winter break, next to a bag of green-apple Twizzlers and a bag of frozen broccoli. I mention this, because the Peeps package now has the distinct odor of rotten ass. This doesn’t make me want to eat them any less, mind you. I’ve sampled the Cookie-Dough Peep before, and it is nothing short of exquisite. The best Peep ever. Six Peeps are in the package–three men and three women. Makes a great stocking stuffer!

MARSHMALLOW PEEPS Hearts: Strawberry Creme

Score one for the little guy. This is the first independently-sought piece in my collection. I bought these at the Harrisburg K-Mart when I was searching in vain for the new Star Wars action figures. Turns out that Valentine’s Day begins over a month early, and the racks are currently filled with chocolate roses, spermicidal lubricant, and lima-bean panties. It’s no Chewbacca WITH NEW ACTION CHAIN!!!!!!1 but it’ll do. I’ve never had the Strawberry flavor of Peep, but my desire to let all of my Peeps get stale and hard and tasty will prohibit that from happening for some time. Nine pink hearts to a pack, but it only takes one heart to be lonely. Mine. Get it? Because I’m single? Ladies? These hearts are Artificially Flavored, but my heart tastes like blood naturally.

MARSHMALLOW PEEPS Hearts: Vanilla Creme

Immediately after I stopped moping about the last round of Valentine’s treats, this showed up on my bed. More tears of anguish. I’m not sure where this came from, exactly: I’d put money on my mom, who has been trying to fatten me up since the great Anorexia Scare of 2005. Little did she know, SHE MADE ME LONELY! Look! They’re little hearts! They are white! There are sprinkles of red all over them! There are nine in a pack! The Vanilla flavor is probably delicious but I’ll never know because I want them stale! HOW COULD SHE NOT KNOW THIS! Did I mention Marshmallow Peeps are a Fat-Free Candy?


How? How did I come across these two packages of Cocoa Cats when this particular species is over three months out of season? Well, I’ll tell you how. Media Play went out of business, and all of their Halloween goodies were on sale for 90% OFF. They had the Cocoa Cats, which taste exactly like the delicious scum on top of a mug of hot chocolate, and they had another little treat. There are eight cats in a package, and each one has delightful yellow eyes and a mustache. Don’t eat these if you can’t tolerate the lactose, baby! This artificial flavor contains milk!

MARSHMALLOW PEEPS Halloween Decorating Kit

Well, I’m a bit stumped here. There’s hardly a story. I told you about the decorating kits in the first story, and I told you about my Media-Play-gasm in the previous story. Sure, I could tell you that there’s four Mondo-pumpkins in this package, or that you can Decorate One for Spooky Fun! However, I already told you that in the prior sentence. If I were to decorate these Halloween Peeps right now, I would probably make them into the New Kids on the Block. Joey was my favorite. He had dreamy eyes.


There’s nothing special about these hearts. Sure, they are pink and heart-shaped like their more popular sisters the Vanilla-Creme and the Strawberry-Creme. However, unlike their kin, these hearts make me feel good about myself. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE LONELY TOO. They are the kind of Peeps that would have an hour to spend writing about Marshmallow Peeps because they don’t have a lady. I picked them up on a lonely trip to Giant for apples, broccoli, and yogurt. There are only two Hearts in this package, and their arteries are clogged from all of fried chicken they eat to help themselves sleep at night. If you want to go into an elementary school and give these to your crush, there is a “TO:” and “FROM:” label on the back. I’d like to think I would have won some hearts with these.

So now I am on the prowl again, looking for new and exotic Peeps. I believe I am only missing one flavor (Easter Orange Creme), but there are all kinds of variations to hunt down.

Tonight I have to go see something called the Ailey II Dance Company. Music class is for bitches. Eat some marshmallows.