Chocolate Coffee

For about the last year, I’ve been adding cocoa powder to my coffee. Only every now and then, for a treat. Instead of adding the cocoa to the hot coffee in my cup, I add it to the grounds. The result is a subtle chocolatey cup of coffee.

Here are the steps I follow:

1. Choose a yummy cocoa powder.  I use this delicious dark cocoa powder that my brother and his wife sent from Switzerland. It turns out I’m not a big fan of dark hot chocolate but love it in coffee.

Chocolate Coffee 1

Chocolate Coffee 2

2. For 4 cups of coffee, I use 1-2 tablespoons of powder.

Chocolate Coffee 3

3. Cover all of the cocoa with the coffee grounds. The powder tends to foam and froth in the boiling water, so you might have an overflowing filter if you don’t cover it all up.

Chocolate Coffee 4

4. Brew coffee and enjoy!

Chocolate Coffee 5

(5. Of course, I add creamer. Vanilla and chocolate taste delicious!)

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Homemade Bread with Chia Seeds

As many of you know, I make my family’s sandwich bread. I bake four loaves a week, two at a time, freezing one and storing the other in a breadbox in our pantry. For a year or so, I had been using an easy bread recipe referred to me by my friend, Kristen, who has a lovely cooking blog.

Then my sister started raving about the bread recipes in the classic, Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. I quickly fell in love with the Cuban bread, which requires no butter or milk, so as long as I have bread flour and yeast on hand, I can make it! I love the beautiful rounds of bread, crispy crust, and soft chewy inside. It also only takes about 2 hours from start to finish, including one quick rise. So what could I add to make an already fabulous recipe even better?

Chia seeds!

I had heard of them a year ago from a friend who mentioned all the nutritional benefits (omega-3’s, increased energy, weight loss, etc…) and didn’t feel very convinced. I also hadn’t thought about adding them to bread. And then I ran across the seeds on the King Arthur Flour website while I was browsing for yummies. So I picked some up and added 1 tablespoon (and 1 tablespoon of wheat germ since I mostly used white flour). I also add about 1/4 cup more water to account for the increase in dry ingredients.

The results have been consistently DELICIOUS!

(Those little flecks of black are the seeds.)

I don’t have to grind the seeds and they even taste good raw. I can’t attest to any of the health benefits since I’m probably not consuming enough at this point to see a difference. But I do add them to other foods–smoothies and quick breads–when I think of it.

So if you’re in the mood to try something new (and maybe grow a Chia pet in your tummy?), add a bit to your next batch of bread or meal.

Resources:
– Here is a copy of the Cuban bread recipe; I too have never used the optional seeds on top.

– For more info on Chia seeds and they’re purported benefits, look here and here.