Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Brownies


January is National Oatmeal Month! Are you wondering why? It’s one of the coldest months of the year! More oatmeal is eaten in January than any other month. I’ll be posting a fee recipes during the remainder of the month. Do you have an extraordinary chocolate + oats recipe? Let me know!!

So, What’s so great about oatmeal? Just like our true love, chocolate, oats have loads of healthy benefits.

One half cup of oats has:
-vitamin E (6% of the Daily Value)
-vitamin B1 (26% Daily Value)
-magnesium (21% Daily Value)
-selenium (25% Daily Value)
-3 to 4 grams of fiber (at least one gram of which is soluble fiber

Recent studies suggest eating oats and oatmeal may:
-Reduce the risk for elevated blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and weight gain
-Provide favorable changes physically to LDL particles which would make them less susceptible to oxidation (and therefore less likely to contribute to dhardening of the arteries)
-Supply unique compounds that may lead to reducing early hardening of the arteries.
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SOURCE: webmd.com

Not sure how to celebrate??? Here’s a yummy oatmeal brownie recipe from BettyCrocker.com

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking or regular oats
3/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix oats, 3/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and baking soda. Stir in melted 3/4 cup butter. Reserve 3/4 cup oat mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture in pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, heat chocolate and 2/3 cup butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted; remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs. Stir in 1 1/4 cups flour, the baking powder and salt.

Spread batter over baked base. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake about 30 minutes or until center is set and oat mixture turnes golden brown (do not overbake). Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

For serving ideas, how-to videos, user reviews and more, visit BettyCrocker.com

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Photo courtesy of BettyCrocker.com.

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January 5th is National Whipped Cream Day


Celebrate with this quick and easy recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet

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Chocolate Whipping Cream (Naturally Sweetened)

Ingredients

1 cup of heavy whipping cream, not ultra-pasteurized
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of unrefined salt, optional

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, whip the cream and cocoa powder using a hand mixer or a whisk. When the cream is thickened and starting to form very lose peaks, add the sweetener and vanilla and whisk until the whipping cream forms a soft peak when the whisk or hand mixer is lifted from the bowl. Serve and enjoy (double or triple if needed).

by KIMIHARRIS on JUNE 20, 2011

Happy National Trivia Day! Test Your Chocolate IQ


TEST YOUR CHOCOLATE IQ

Thank you chocolatesource.com!!

QUESTIONS

1. Who first discovered the value of the cocoa plant?
2. Where, when, and by whom were the earliest cocoa plantations established?
3. What is the name of the drink made by the Mayans from cocoa beans?
4. Chocolate has not only historically been enjoyed for its flavor, but also for what purpose?
5. When was chocolate introduced into the United States?
6. By 1810, which country was producing half of the world’s requirements for cocoa?
7. By 1810, which country was consuming one-third of the cocoa being produced in the world?
8. When was the cocoa press invented?
9. In 1875, Thomas Jefferson wrote to whom, making a declaration about chocolate’s superiority over tea or coffee for both health and nourishment?
10. Why is lecithin used in making chocolates?

ANSWERS

1. The Aztecs and the Mayas
2. In 600 AD, in the Yucatan, by the Mayans
3. Legend had it that one could gain wisdom and power from eating the fruit of the cocoa tree.
4. Medicinal
5. In 1765 when cocoa beans were brought from the West Indies to Dorchester, Massachusetts.
6. Venezuela
7. Spain
8. In 1828 by C.J. Van Houten, a Dutch chocolate master. It was used to squeeze cocoa butter out from the beans.
9. John Adams
10. It is used to reduce the viscosity of chocolate, and to lessen the amount of cocoa butter required in the manufacturing process.

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CHOCOLATE FUN FACTS

…Great chocolate manufacturers choose their beans in the same way as a wine-maker chooses his or her grape varieties.

…Years ago, when harvesting was over, a dance was performed on the cocoa seeds which had been put out to dry in the sun. This tradition continues today in certain regions of Central and South America.

…Africa is now the world’s leading producer of cacao , Ghana is a leading producer country.

…In the Chuao Valley, In Venezuela, the cacao bean is still cultivated just as it was at the time of the Aztecs.

…Wicker baskets, filled with cacao beans, were among the gifts which the Aztecs offered to the conquistadors.

…For the Aztecs, cocao chocolate was a luxury and the cocao beans were like gold, a rare commodity that served as both currency and gifts for kinds and gods.

…The Aztecs used to prepare a drink for the gods made up of ground cocao bean paste mixed with spices and corn.

…The Imperial torte, a square chocolate cake with five thin layers of almond paste, was created by a master pastry chef at the court of Emperor Franz Joseph (1830 – 1916).

…In 1900, Queen Victoria sent her New Year’s greetings to the British troops stationed in South Africa during the Boer War in the form of a specially molded chocolate bar.

…The end of the Second World War marked a new era in chocolate advertising and image-making, which henceforth would be based on photography rather than the graphic arts.

…On April 4, 1828, Coenraad Johannes Van Houten took out a patent for his newly invented cocoa press, which extracted the cocoa butter from the chocolate liquor, leaving behind powdered cocoa.

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Celebrate Chocolate Candy Day Today!


Celebrate National Chocolate Candy Day!

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Read more at eatocracy:

We’re milking today for all it’s worth – December 28 is National Chocolate Candy Day!

It’s impossible to have a bad day when chocolate is on the menu, especially melt-in-your-mouth candy that comes in oh so many flavors and forms.

Candy was pretty popular in the 1800s (how could it not be?) and if you had a sugar craving, you could cure it by going to a general store or candy shop and scooping up a giant bag of whatever your heart desired … except for chocolate. Our predecessors were rather attached to it as a beverage or rich dessert. But when the public began to clamor for chocolate candy, the chocolate bar was born.

Fry’s Chocolate Factory is credited with molding the first chocolate bar that actually tasted decent in England, 1847. From chocolate cream bars to chocolate Easter eggs, the company churned out more than 220 products in the decades that followed.

But because packaging cost money and it was cheaper to buy loose candy, it wasn’t until the early 1900s when an enterprising Hershey Company stepped in with the first wrapped chocolate bar. It is still the same bar we know and love today!

And if bars aren’t your fancy, it’s not too early to buy yourself a big box of fondant and cream-filled chocolates in a heart-shaped box, or a big-box-store bag of your favorite chocolate candy. Indulge yourself today, and we’re sure you’ll be melting with chocolate happiness.