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And the winner is….and next weeks host!

I was thrilled to see such a great turn-out for this weeks BSI challenge with chocolate! It was such fun to host and if you would like to host next weeks challenge then please let me know! This was a tough challenge to judge- frankly all I wanted to do was get in the kitchen and make them all! There were so many inventive ideas- but the one that appealed to me the most was Faith’s from Thought 4 Food with her Black Forrest Oats! I couldn’t help it, a girl who suggests chocolate for breakfast, is a girl from my own heart.  Congratulations Faith!  Faith has also agreed to host next weeks challenge head over to Thought 4 Food later today to see what ingredient she has chosen!

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The Pink Apron’s Cocoa-Kissed Beef and Delicata Squash Chili and Brownie bones

Living the Gourmet’s  Chocolate-almond espresso cake and

Dinner at Christina’s  Banana boat’s & Chocolate covered coffee bean ice cream

Life’s a feastChocolate cherry tiramisu

Thought for food’s  Black forrest oats

Chaya’s comfy cook blog’s Flourless chocolate brownies

Working Lunches Holy mole!

Johnstone’s Vin Blanc ‘s Flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies

Biggest Diabetic loser’s Best hot cocoa mix

Eats well with others Chocolate cupcakes with caramel cream cheese frosting

The Blogger Secret Ingredient Is…

Chocolate!

Oh, chocolate. I can’t quite believe the BSI challenge has been going for nearly a year without featuring this most wonderful ingredient. It’s my indulgence, addiction, bad-day-at-work-nothing’s-going-my-way comforter, ultimate luxury vice all rolled into one. It ends up in most of my baking exploits, and can also make for some fabulous savories (Don’s and my favorite NY tapas place serves a fantastic chocolate and chorizo plate).

Thanks to Jessica of the wonderful Johnstones Vin Blanc for picking my oat flapjacks  last week, and for asking me to host this week’s competition.

Now let’s see what you can do with this wonder-stuff! Everyone is very welcome to participate.

Please submit a recipes using any kind of chocolate to me. You may either comment (below) and leave a link to your blog post (your post should link back to this post or to my blog) OR you can e-mail it to: annalhelm@gmail.com

I’ll reply back to your post once I receive it.

Deadline: Please submit recipes before 9:00 PM EST on Sunday, September 13th. There will be a round-up of everyone’s posts on Monday, September 14th. The winner will also be announced on Monday along with next week’s host site.

Give me a tweet too – more entrants = more recipes = more chocolate heaven!!

Ready… Steady… GO!

Here are the hosts of the BSI challenge – be sure to check them out!!

Week 46: Johnstone’s Vin Blanc – Oats

Week 45: Guilty Kitchen – Figs

Week 44: Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet – Peanut Butter

Week 43: The Sophisticated Gourmet – Brown Sugar

Week 42: My Kitchen Addiction – Lime

Week 41: Nutmeg Nanny – Coffee

Week 40: Chaya’s Comfy Cook – Broccoli

Week 39: Healthy Delicious – Plums

Week 38: Zoe – Feta

Week 37: ChezWhat– Potatoes

Week 36: Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice – Blueberries

Week 35: Girlichef -Greens

Week 34: The Ungourmet – Watermelon

Week 33: Bread + Butter – Bell Pepper

Week 32: Burp and Slurp -Corn

Week 31: Say Yes to Salad – Kabocha

Week 30: Thinspired – Bananas

Week 29: To Be The Whole PackageAlmonds

Week 28: Kristas Kravings – Lemon

Week 27: From French Fries To Flax Seeds – Coconut

Week 26: Plentiful Plants – Avocado

Week 25: Training Fuel – Eggs

Week 24: Dinner at Christina’s – Cabbage

Week 23: Hey What’s for Dinner, Mom? – Strawberries

Week 22: One Bite at a Time – Basil

Week 21: Just Sweet Enough – Black Beans

Week 20: What I Ate Yesterday – Kale

Week 19: What’s for Dinner – Orange

Week 18: BranAppetit! –Spinach

Week 17: Tales of Expansion Dates

Week 16: Biggest Diabetic Loser – Zucchini

Week 15: Sweet & Natural –Peppermint

Week 14: bella eats [and runs] – Ginger

Week 13: Coffee Talk – Walnuts

Week 12: For the Love of OatsPumpkin

Week 11: Trying to Heal – Sweet Potatoes

Week 10: The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Eggplant

Week 9: Itzy’s Kitchen – Pears

Week 8: The Fitnessista – Cranberries

Week 7: Tri to Cook – Lentils

Week 6: Rhodey Girl Tests – Polenta

Week 5: Eating Bender – Butternut Squash

Week 4: Care to Eat – Apples

Week 3: On a Lobster PlacematBananas

Week 2: Hangry Pants – Tomatoes

Week 1: sportsnutritionliving – Quinoa

A present for me

I’m sat here with a cup of tea and a slither of cake feeling rather pleased with myself. I’ve just given myself a present. And it’s quite the beauty.

I clicked purchase online three days ago and then today it arrived with the friendly UPS man with a goatee. He makes me feel like I deserve a present, which is much nicer that the old one who’s always raising his eyebrows at the number of Amazon presents I receive.

I grabbed at the box and quickly horded it up to the apartment. A present for me? How exciting! I adore buying presents for myself. No junk, no returns and no handwritten thank you notes. It’s much better this way.

I deserved this present.

Justification number one: I just got married. Number two: I’m embarking on a new career. Number three: I deserved one. It’s like a game for me. Three justifications and I’m eligible to click purchase. Three justifications and I win the game.

Don is not going to be happy when he sees what I bought. I wish I could say that it was some sort of male jealousy thing- scared that I will devote more time to my new toy than him- but 1/ he’s used to that and 2/ he will quickly take note of how he may benefit from my new toy.

No, it’s not jealousy that will bother Don- it’s the amount of space it will take up. He won’t like clutter one bit. Clutter schmutter.

I have a brand new Cuisinart Food processor. It sparkles elegantly in the light,  it’s going to make wonderful pastry for me- and it’s tax deductible!

It knows how wonderful it is too. Otherwise it wouldn’t have made itself so darn heavy. It’s weighs far too much to go to the effort of keeping it in a cupboard in between uses. It will have to live on the counter top next to my Kitchen Aid. It was destined to be there, beside me always ready to help me. Two solid kitchen friends.

Now, I’m searching for three more reasons…….

2008 Kitchen faves

2008 has been a busy year of preparation for me. Planning a wedding, planning a future with my soon-to-be husband, training for a marathon and constantly working on my next blog entry and meal. In lieu of such a year of planning I thought I’d leave you with simply some of my faves from this year past. The only thing you have to plan is when you’ll get around to making them. Happy eating for 2009.

pumpkin mini cakes

Pumpkin Mini Cakes

fennel&lemonrisotto

Fennel & lemon risotto

whole grain tomato tart

Whole grain tomato tart

carrot cake

Carrot cake with citrus icing

vegan chocolate chip cookies

Vegan chocolate chip cookies

tuna with avocado

Marinated tuna with avocado & black sesame seeds

squash,chorizo & feta wonton tartlets

Squash chorizo & feta tartlets

glutenbiscotti

Gluten free biscotti

israelicous3

Sweet & savoury Israeli couscous

nut&seed granola

Nutty granola

CHEF’S TIP: Curly leaf parsley has its day

I don’t like the texture of curly leaf parsley and I really don’t like the way it looks garnishing salad bars and take-aways across the globe but gone are my days of banishing it from my kitchen with this latest tip from Nobu chef, co-author of Nobu Miami the party cookbook and fastest-man-with-a-knife-i’ve-ever-seen, chef Thomas Buckley.

Curly leaf parsley just happens to have the very same ascorbic acid that lemons do. Say what? Ascorbic acid is that clever little acid which stops your prepared artichokes/apples going brown when you cut them open. Back with me? Simply add curly leaf parsley (or lemon juice) to water and drop in your prepared veg/fruit before you need to cook them- because no one can prepare artichokes faster than they go brown. Even speed-demon Thomas Buckley. Clever, eh?

Nobu Miami

1901 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 695-3232

On holiday!

I am off on holiday! Two whole weeks in cold rainy England, and I can’t wait. Will try to post, but I will most likely be working on my tan- and that could take rather a long time!  Back soon- though hopefully it won’t go too quickly.


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