Monday, October 2, 2023


October is Pumpkin Month! Here's a simple recipe for Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Sea Salt Bark for October 4's National Pumpkin Seed holiday. This bark recipe treats pumpkin seeds in a sweet way--chocolate with a sea salt finish.

Pumpkin seeds like chocolate are heart healthy, immune boosters, and great for brain power, among other health benefits!


Canola oil cooking spray
1-2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds  (raw or toasted-I prefer toasted)
1 tsp sea salt

Coat 9 x12 inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and line with parchment, leaving overhang on ends.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water, stirring.
If chocolate is too thick, add canola oil as needed to thin.
Pour melted chocolate onto baking sheet, and spread in even layer with spatula.
Immediately sprinkle pumpkin seeds then sea salt over chocolate.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Peel off parchment and break bark into pieces.

Sunday, October 1, 2023


October 1 is National Pumpkin Spice Day. Pumpkin Spice is definitely a flavor associated with Fall, and sometimes overused, but this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is an easy and great way to celebrate the day--and the season! Pumpkin spice (sometimes called pumpkin pie spice) is available in the market, but you can also make your own (scroll down for recipe). If you do make your own, remember to use the freshest spices to create your Pumpkin Spice.

The following recipe for Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Chocolate Chip is from the Land O Lakes website. Want to 'spice' up the look of this pumpkin quick bread? Use a NordicWare Pumpkin Loaf Pan.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice**
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Stir in chocolate chips so evenly distributed.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.
Cool completely.

**Make your own Pumpkin Spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Saturday, September 30, 2023


Today is the beginning of Sukkot, one of the most joyful holidays in the Jewish calendar. Sukkot is the Fall harvest festival, a time of giving thanks for abundance. The Hebrew word Sukkot means 'booths' or 'huts.' 
People erect sukkothsmall, temporary booths or huts (open to the sky) in which one entertains, eats, and sometimes sleeps. The holiday lasts 8 days

One of the fall fruits that might be in your sukkah would be apples.  And, since this is a chocolate blog, how about Chocolate Covered Apples? What could be better? Tart apples enrobed in a covering of sweet dark chocolate, and maybe an extra coating of crunchy chopped nuts! Oh yes!

So in celebration of Sukkot (you can also bookmark this recipe for Halloween), here is a recipe for Chocolate Covered Apples. Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Apples

6 firm Gravenstein Apples (or medium sized Fuji or Granny Smith)
6 sturdy lollipop/popsicle sticks
10 ounces Dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup nuts, chopped coursely (optional.. but great for additional crunch and texture)*
Waxed paper

Twist off stems of apples, and insert sticks into apple cores.
Place apples in refrigerator while preparing chocolate.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or saucepan over saucepan (I use a metal bowl over simmering water for this recipe, so it's easy to dip and roll the apple in the same bowl)
Dip apple into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Roll around in chocolate, turning with stick, until entire apple (or 3/4 way up) is coated.
Optional: Put Nuts into separate bowl and roll apple until completely covered in nuts.
Place chocolate/nut coated apples on cookie sheet lined with wax paper, standing upright.
Refrigerate 25 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Friday, September 29, 2023

COFFEE Gâteau: Retro Ad with Recipe for National Coffee and National Mocha Day

Today is National Coffee Day, not to be confused with International Coffee Day on August 29, but it's also National Mocha Day. So here's a great Retro Ad & Recipe from Nescafe for Luscious Coffee Gâteau that includes both coffee and mocha. Coffee is used in the cake, there's Mocha Icing, as well as the Creamy Coffee Filling. See the recipes below. Of course, I would substitute 'real' coffee in the recipes to bring it up to date and improve flavor! BTW, Regulo 5 is equal to 375 degrees.

Nescafe, by the way, is the name of an instant coffee made by Nestle. It comes in different forms. It was first introduced by Nestle in 1938. The name was used in the U.S. until the late 1960s when Nestle introduced a new brand called Taster's Choice.

So grab a cup of coffee while you make this fun Coffee Gâteau!

Cake recipe is aloe the Mocha Icing Recipe.

Coffee Gâteau