Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Celebrations

I GOT A JOB! I GOT A JOB! I GOT A JOB!  YAY!  OK, OK, I know I already had a job, went for two days of training, and then quit, but that one sucked.  That was for a fancy schmancy restaurant dealing with uptight coworkers and snooty customers, and made me very unhappy.  This new job, however, is AMAZING.

Three years ago, I worked for Lexington, an organization that supports adult individuals with mental and physical disabilities.  It was by far the most rewarding and fulfilling job I've ever had.  It completely changed how I thought about life and my body and my health.  My new job is doing something similar, working for the Guild for Human Services, which is a school/residential program for youths ages 6-22 with mental health, behavioral issues, and disabilities.  I am beyond excited to be doing something I love again.  And this time it is with kids!!!

A celebration was in order, and since it was me creating the celebration for me, there was only one thing I wanted: chocolate.  Spanish chocolate mousse to be exact.  When I was 17, I spent three weeks in Cardona, Spain, with the family of a girl that stayed with me the summer before (her name is Olga, and both she and her family are wonderful).  Despite my horrible grasp of the Spanish language at the time, her family was extremely patient and kind to me, especially her mother, MercĂ©.  This amazing woman did her best to teach me some of my favorite dishes that she made.  The most important one to me was her chocolate mousse.  This mousse, like other mousses I had while I was in Spain, is very different from mousse here in the states.  Here, chocolate mousse often has a base of heavy cream, half and half, or includes gelatin; it is more like chocolate-flavored whipped cream.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this is just a whole different ball game.  The texture of this mousse is more like the inside of a truffle, only fluffier.  Hello food-gasm.

Spanish Chocolate Mousse
The best adaptation I could manage from the kitchen of Mercé
Yield: Approx 5-6 individual servings

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Milky Way Madness

I was extremely fortunate to magically find a sublet with six wonderful strangers this summer.  I love all of them so much.  The best part, is that everyone in the house has a significant other except one.  (It was two of us, until Jay waltzed into my life two weeks ago).  This means that our house really has more like 11 people in it.  Luckily for me, all of my housemates have equally wonderful SOs, so I've made many new friends my first summer in Boston, without even leaving my house.

One of these awesome significant others is Heather, (Resi's girlfriend).  Heather's birthday is next week, so I collaborated with Resi to make her a cake.  I haven't done a candy-themed cake in a while, and have been itching to do one, so I asked Resi what Heather's favorite candy bar was.  Dark chocolate Milky Way cake it is!

Unfortunately, there was a little miscommunication/misunderstanding on when she wanted the cake.  She said Monday, and I thought she meant this one (the one before her birthday), but she actually meant the next one (after her birthday).  So I made the cakes last night, stuck them in the freezer, and then texted Resi to ask what time they would be home for the cake.  I didn't hear from her, so I figured I'd just go ahead and assemble it anyway.  While I was putting the filling in, Resi texted me back saying she wanted it next week.  Oh well, now they were both surprised, I guess!  Cake is good any day, right?

Dark Chocolate Milky Way Cake
Cake recipe used from Emma's Cake
Yield: 1 two-layer 8" cake

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happiness Cookie Dough

Life has a funny way of taking you by surprise sometimes.  There have been so many positive things happening in my new life in Boston that I am starting to lose track of them individually.  Instead, my life is pretty much one giant ball of happiness cookie dough, and I can no longer separate which particular ingredients are making me so smiley.  I'll try to sort it out a little for you.