Joe just Loves this Chocolate

Do you like unsweetened dark chocolate? Joe does. When we were staying in Manta Joe found this unsweetened chocolate in Super Maxi. I think in the states it’s just called cacao – no sugar OR milk solids/fats added.

img_3206 He would buy several bags and each evening he would sit and have just one of the disks.  It is not for me, unsweetened chocolate – can you say WHAT? That is for making brownies or hot chocolate but eating it straight from the bag?  Not for me!!  But Joe may have something here. All the news you hear about superfoods, chocolate is supposed to lower blood pressure, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Another reason that dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy it has inflammation fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk.  We do not know if that is true or not but Joe loves it and it really helps him from having other snacks after dinner.

img_3208While in Manta last week at the SuperMaxi I found a shelf full, I think I picked up 10 packages.  Joe will just love it and of course he will think I am the greatest for picking it up for him.

Vendor Part 10: Jimmy – Pan Man in the Morning, Sweet Treats Man in the Afternoons

IMG_3016Almost every morning early around 6:30 am Jimmy comes by on his bike carrying this mornings fresh-from-the-oven rolls. 10 cents apiece for a great start to your morning.

Then some afternoons he comes by, today it was around 3:30 pm, with that same basket filled this time with sweet treats.  These are 15 cents.

IMG_3015Some of today’s choices were chocolate sweet rolls, a lovely sandwich cookie with a dulce de leche filling, a corn type muffin, a filled sweet roll with what I think is guayaba (guava) filling.  We have our favorites but honestly any one of them will pacify the sweet tooth in all of us.

 

Vendor Part 9: Torta, Torta, Torta

IMG_2954 Yet another vendor that comes around occasionally, delivers these beautiful chocolate or vanilla cakes.  They are probably a 6″ or 7″ cake for, you will not believe this, $1.50.  It is a really nice cake for $1.50. The chocolate one I purchased had a very thin white icing, it was not too sweet yet it really hit the spot for an afternoon snack. You can see it did not take us long to cut into it.

Cookie Baking – Christmas 2015

It would not seem like Christmas without just a few of our favorites – cookies and a Christmas tree. So last Monday I made all the batters for several types of cookies and Tuesday it was marathon baking.

On Monday I did sneak in a few batches of the bar cookies and baked the Black Bottom Cookie Bar and Triple Layer Cookie Bar.

12.21 (11)I also made something I have never tried before. These are made with vanilla cookies on the bottom, covered in caramel, baked and then topped with chocolate chips sprinkled with chopped nuts.  Fast and easy and the kids will love them. All chocolaty and sweet.

12.21 (10)Then I made Crane House Pumpkin Breads.

12.21 (14)Here are some of the batters chilling in the refrigerator. These are the Cherry Nut Cookies in the foreground and the Italian Cookies in the background.

12.21 (13)Here are the final cookie trays ready to go

12.26.2015It was a very Merry Christmas.

The Heaven That is a Magnum Ice Cream Bar

Oh if you have not had a Magnum Ice Cream Bar you are in for a treat. Joe and I just love the chocolate ice cream with chocolate & almond coating but we would be happy with the vanilla ice cream one as well. They do have a new Gold Magnum but unfortunately neither Joe or I like it as much.

Sorry we bought these on our way home from Viviana’s and the actual ice cream bar was eaten well before we made it to the house.

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There are several ice cream companies in Ecuador, Pinguino, Gino’s and Topsy are the three we are familiar with. We like most of what they all sell, the big exception is the Gold Magnum, actually I don’t get it. What is it??? It is supposed to be caramel, but falls way short. I think what I like least about it is that when we bought them it meant giving up the chocolaty almond goodness that is our regular Magnum.  And at $1.30 now although relatively expensive as things go here, it’s a real culinary bargain! We usually buy them just down the street from our house, and usually on our way home. We sit on the little bench in front of the store watching the traffic go by (mostly foot traffic, occasional bike or motorcycle or cuadron, and less often an actual car or truck……).It’s a tough life, but someone has to live it.

Introducting Luis our Pan-Joven

This is the young man who has started to deliver pan in the mornings and again comes back around 4pm with beautiful dessert rolls and cookies. Yesterdays selection of sweets was coconut covered, jelly topped and some that even looked like cinnamon or chocolate rolls.

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I am not sure what is going to happen when school starts next month because this young man should be on his way to school at the exact time he is delivering to our neighborhood.

He is a very hard-working young person. And we so much appreciate him and his family doing this for San Clemente.

Chocolate Brownies

I was on Facebook yesterday morning when I came across this post by my cousin Steve Kowalczyk. I don’t think Steve likes to cook or bake but I think he likes eating brownies so I decided to try the recipe.

Below is the actual post:

Never buy boxed brownie mix again!   Follow the recipe below and make brownies for approximately .30 a mix!  Be sure to save this by clicking “SHARE”! You will be able to find it on your own timeline later! So simple, so easy. Not just frugal but cuts out the unknown ingredients. 1 Cup Sugar, 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour, 1/3 Cup Cocoa, 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder. At Baking Time Add: 2 Eggs, 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.  OR use the amazing Pampered Chef brownie pan and bake it in much less time – depends on your oven, check after 12-15 minutes of baking and remove when brownies are done! Put mix in plastic bags or mason jars.
LOVE THIS TIP and want to hear more?  Be sure to LIKE my page so get some fabulous recipes, cooking tips and super secret FAN SALES!  Also visit my website at www.pamperedchef.biz/rachaeloSee More
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I was confident that if Steve posted it on his timeline that it must be good and it is. And I made three batches of the dry ingredients and stored two of them in one of my new jars.
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Of course I needed to change the recipe a little so below is my recipe.
Chocolate Brownies
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder

the following can be added with the wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1/4 Cup chocolate buttons or chips or chunks
  • 1/4 Cup desiccated coconut

At Baking Time Add:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Remove when brownies are done!

Put dry mix in plastic bags or mason jars.

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Thanks Steve it is a very easy recipe, it came out moist and chewy and was a hit with Joe and our friends Libby and David.
Extremely delicious!