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    Entries in homemade is best (67)


    Dark Chocolate Raspberry Crunch

    Recently, Costco started selling this amazing stuff they call Dark Chocolate Raspberry Chia Thins. Basically, it’s thin pieces of dark chocolate freeze dried raspberries and chia seeds. It is incredibly delicious.

    The only problem is the chia seeds. You see, when chia seeds spend a little time in a wet environment, like your mouth, they become slimy. So although they add a delightful crunch while you’re eating the treat, an hour later, you’re picking little bits of snot out of your teeth.

    This has a way of ruining the whole experience. I had been thinking about making my own with just the raspberries, but I really do like the crunch. I had thought about using chopped almonds, but that’s a different kind of crunch. Then, one morning I was sharing a poppy seed muffin with my mom and I finally had the answer. Poppy seeds could provide the crunchy texture without the subsequent slime problem.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • Dark Chocolate (just over a pound)
    • 1.2 ounces freeze dried raspberries
    • 1 – 2 teaspoons poppy seeds 

    For the chocolate, I absolutely love Trader Joe’s pound plus bars. I used the whole thing minus about 2 Tablespoons of shaved chocolate that wasn’t needed during tempering. And speaking of, the first thing you need to do is temper your chocolate. I have a whole post about how to do that here. Once you’ve done that, you should have something that looks like this.

    I only used 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds, but if you want more crunch, it can certainly support 2.

    Stir those in, and then it’s time for the raspberries. Once again, Trader Joes was where I got mine. They are a really good source for stuff like that.

    Crush any of the whole berries inside the bag and remove the moisture thingy.

    Then pour the raspberries into the chocolate.

    Stir until everything is completely coated and evenly distributed.

    Pour it only a parchment lined sheet pan (13x18 ish), scraping out every last drop, because trust me, you are not going to waste any of this.

    Spread it until it’s about ¼ inch thick. It will probably just about fill the pan.

    Now, as long as your house is not too warm, just walk away. If you’ve successfully tempered your chocolate, it will soon set and turn back into the consistency it was when you bought it.

    Give it a few hours to let all those cocoa butter crystals finish doing their thing, and then just break it apart. I got my hands nice and cold under the tap and then dried them thoroughly and snapped the chocolate into small pieces.

    I just love the bright pops of red! Isn't it beautiful? Prepare to be blown away by how incredibly delicious it is, as well! Costco’s got nothin’ on me!

    It’s possible I’ve started something dangerously addictive. I’ve thought of all sorts of things you could do this with. I might try a white chocolate and mixed berry one next. You could use any variety of chocoate, add chopped coconut chips, any kind of nut… I’m afraid the possibilities are endless! What kinds of things do you think would be yummy?



    7 For 7!!

    Authors Kitchen is 7 years old today! To celebrate, I decided to choose the seven recipes I go back to most. Sounds like an easy enough task, right? Turns out it’s anything but! There are so many recipes that I’ve posted over the years that I continue to refer to time and time again. I did my best to whittle it down to just the very best, though. Here they are: 

    Toffee Popcorn

    This is the probably the recipe I have made more of than anything else. It is also the one people rave about and beg for. This year I made countless batches and gave it as gifts for the holidays. It is fantastic for that!


    Braised Pork and Creamy Polenta

    This is my go to dish when I’m shooting to impress guests. It’s a super easy, long cooking meal, and yet it’s incredibly delicious! As a bonus, you can almost guarantee it’s something they haven’t had before.


    Chocolate Fudge Oatmeal Cake

    When I want a fabulous, rich, chocolate cake, this is what I make. I have yet to find a chocolate cake, including at my favorite bakeries, that is even in the same realm as this cake. Its simplicity belies its amazing, rich chocolate flavor and perfect crumb and texture, all topped off with a fudgy frosting that is to die for!


    Lasagna Rolls

    I’m not sure what it is about making individual rolls of lasagna rather than just laying it out flat in a pan, but it completely changes it… for the better! It’s less sloppy and holds together so much better. It definitely takes a bit more time, but it’s totally worth it. This is another great dish to make if you’re having company. I mean, who doesn’t love lasagna?


    Dinner Rolls

    It sounds like such a boring and basic thing, but the truth is, there’s not much better than really good, homemade rolls. They can even make a regular ol’ sandwich amazing! If you’ve never made them, definitely give them a try. In fact, give them several tries. Bread is one of those things that you just get better and better at with practice. At this point, I know exactly what the dough should feel like for perfect rolls.


    Zucchini Bread with a Twist

    This is one of those recipes that just sort of came together by accident. I love zucchini bread, but I wanted something different. Well, this time, I hit a homerun! Everyone who tastes this recipe is stunned by how good it is. Somehow, the tang of the lime glaze and cranberries, along with the sweetness of the white chocolate and the crunchy nuttiness of the pecans, come together to form an incredible whirlwind for your taste buds.


    Sloppy Joses

    These aren’t your run of the mill sloppy joes. Salsa gives them a wonderful Mexican flare! I would gladly eat these any night of the week, and often do.

    Because I had such a hard time narrowing it down to just 7, here are a few of the runners up.


    Basic Buttercream


    Chocolate Chip Cookies


    Broccoli Soup


    Cinnamon Pecans


    Cinnamon Roll Cookies

    What are your favorite go to recipes you find yourself going back to over and over again?