…who had spontaneously decided on a Tuesday night to go see Captain America (loved it, by the way) and then after the movie, go to one of my favourite local restaurant’s weekly Tapas nights (and so not be eating until well after 9 o’clock), and wanted a snack to tide me over, I would probably have just grabbed a granola bar, or some fruit and a cheese string or something.
But, as we all know by now (or if not, I sure have been doing one heck of a job pretending), I am not normal. So, for a “light snack” before the movie, I made a salad with loads of fresh corn (I had been planning on eating corn on the cob for supper, and so was really craving it), veggies and herbs; ham slices wrapped around some of my homemade dills (I made even MORE…we have a HUGE jar now) and a peach. Not your average “snack,” I know, but it was full of fibre and some protein, so it tided me over so well that, come 9 o’clock, I wasn’t even that hungry.
And the tapas? Also quite delicious. The Belworth House, a local gem of a restaurant, has started offering tapas on Tuesday nights. Now they’re not tapas in the sense that they’re Spanish, more in the sense of small plates for sharing. You get a menu, and highlight the selections that you want, and they’re brought out for you one at a time. You can get 4 for $25 or 6 for $35. My mom and I each got 4, and shared (except for the seafood ones she got, which I do not care for). It’s a fun night out, and I didn’t leave feeling stuffed at all.
Here are my tapas:
(sorry for the bad photos…low lighting). Clockwise from top left: potato bites with goat cheese and bacon, cowboy steak and corn on the cob, sesame chicken with bell peppers and crispy wontons, beets with haloumi cheese. All were REALLY good! The beets/haloumi were quite unique – haloumi is a cheese that you can grill without it melting all over the place, so it had a nice smoky flavour. The cowboy steak was really good too, it had a sweet sauce on it, which I liked.
My mom’s tapas:
hummus with olives, caprese salad with olive vinaigrette, perch frites, scallops. I had some hummus (no olives), Caprese, no perch and a tiny bite of scallops. All around, it was a delicious, fun evening out, and a nice spontaneous Tuesday!
Another case of “if I was a normal person.” If I was a normal person, and going to visit two good friends from university who I hadn’t seen in a while, as I am today, and one of them had recently gotten engaged, and the other bought a house, and I wanted to bring something, a normal person would just grab a bottle of wine for each of them, right? Not this insane-live-in-the-kitchen kinda gal, nope. I bought them each a bottle of wine AND made them homemade s’mores truffles (yesterday was national s’more day, I’d love to say that’s why I made these, but I’d be lying. I really made them because I wanted to bring a chocolate creation, and I wanted a way to use up some hot chocolate mix in my cupboard). These are an original creation, and as they have not yet been eaten, I cannot give you a review…but the bits and bites I *didn’t* eat (wink wink) while I was making them sure tasted good!
- 1 heaping cup hot chocolate mix (this measurement is not exact because I used up what was in the container, but that’s what it came to)
- 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not in the original ingredients shot because I added it later on to thicken up the mixture without getting it too sweet)
- mini marshmallows, as desired (depending on how marshmallowy you want the truffles to be – I used about 1 to 1 1/2 cups, I’d say)
- chocolate to coat (melting wafers are best, if you can’t find them, use what you’ve got)
- vegetable shortening, if necessary, to thin the chocolate
- graham crackers, crushed, for sprinkling (I opted to crush whole graham crackers rather than use crumbs, ‘cause I wanted a chunkier, more homemade look/texture)
In a small to medium bowl, combine icing sugar, cocoa, hot chocolate mix, butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until combined. If the mixture seems a little sticky to you, add more cocoa/icing sugar as needed.
Use a spatula to gently fold in the marshmallows.
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Use a cookie scoop and/or your hands to roll the mixture into balls. I left mine imperfect – it was easier with the lumps or marshmallows and, again, I was going for a homier look. Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours, or refrigerate overnight.
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Use a spoon to dip the balls into the chocolate, one at a time. Tap off any excess chocolate, return balls to waxed paper-lined sheet and immediately sprinkle with crumbled graham crackers. Chill until set, and store in the refrigerator.
We’re all mixed up, how about some marshmallows?
In you go! (if you’re like me, and don’t use marshmallows all that often, chances are they’ve been sitting in your cupboard for longer than you’d care to admit and they might be slightly stuck together. That’s ok, you just need to use your fingers to separate them and help things along a little bit)
The marshmallows you see in the above photo weren’t enough….I added more! But now these guys are ready to play ball, or balls, that is. *Note: your truffle mixture will be quite thick and a little hard to stir, but that’s how it should be.
The truffles are rolled and ready to go into the fridge. And remember, don’t let that stuff in the bowl go to waste!
The “outside” ingredients. If you find whatever chocolate you’re using is a little too thick to coat easily, just add a tiny bit of shortening to thin it out – works like a charm (thanks Bakerella)!
Just wanted to show you guys a close-up of my crushed graham crackers and the coarse texture I was going for.
Let’s take a dip, shall we?
Graham crackers top it all off, and we’re done! Just a quick trip in the fridge and you’re ready for truffle perfection.
Try these! They’re a perfect summer gift for anyone, or great for a party! And since there are fire bans due to the dry summer, this may be the only s’more chance you get (unless you try Tina or Donna’s s’mores on a stick) – so go for it, I say!
*Just to clarify, since tone doesn’t always come through in blog posts, I am not telling you about about all my crazy culinary exploits to brag or say “look how great I am,” I’m just poking fun at myself and my desire to do all this stuff in the kitchen where normal people would go with something simpler – okay?
Where are you not normal/go a little crazy or over the top sometimes?