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Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do I smell chocolate?

Yesterday, I smelled it...right in my mailbox. I was like a pig rooting out truffles. A box of chocolates that I had ordered from my son's friend and now my friend, Josh, had arrived. I had first tasted these rich, dark, silky, spicy organic chocolates at Christian and Resh's during Christmas. Oh Absolutely fabulous!! Then Josh and I became Facebook pals and mailbox became a treasure chest.

So what that it is 9 in the morning!! Like those who say the starting bell of 5:00 for cocktails is always ringing somewhere, same is so for chocolate. Any time is chocolate time...especially when they are Josh's!

Here is the link to order up some yourself. Gee, I'd like to share mine, but...

Order your box of “A Fire In My Belly” Organic Spiced Chocolates today. Each box contains 6 "small cupcake" sized delights!  The perfect Valentine's gift or what the heck..."to me from me" gift! $10 for a box of 6. Order by contacting Josh at

In addition to luscious chocolate, I also I love beans. And cupcakes, too. You do remember that I have a whole cupcake walking tour of NYC, right? Here, at tour needed. Cupcakes on Kavanaugh is the bomb. However, I still have dinner to cook later today and found this fabulous recipe. I read it and couldn't believe it. Had my name all over it. I am so excited that I get to eat this tonight!! No need to guess what dessert is...more chocolate!! And, I may toss some into the beans. Nope..think I will take another bite.

Look at the delicious-ness tucked inside!

Red Velvet Black Beans (adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, another Brooklyn culinary genius)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon anise seeds
5 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 16-ounce can tomatoes
1 cup veggie broth
1/4 cup golden raisins (or regular ones)
1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips (great use for end of the bag crumbs!)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter
2 tablespoons agave nectar, maple syrup or honey
1 24-ounce can of black beans

Saute onion in the olive oil until it is transparent. Add garlic, herbs and spices. Saute for about a minute to "heat activate" the spices. (Come to my Spices 101 cooking classes for more on this!) Add veggie broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add in raisins, tortilla chips, chocolate powder and nut butter. Simmer for 15 minutes. Your kitchen will smell divine! 

Pour contents into a blender (or use an immersion one if you have it) and blend into a sauce. Return to pan, add beans and agave nectar. Heat to warm and let flavors "marry" for at least 15 minutes. Taste again for seasonings, adding "heat" from extra chili powder if you like. Here is a picture of my chocolate-y, chili-y, bean-y wedding...

Serve with rice and something fruity and a little sweet, maybe some mango salsa, grilled pineapple or sauteed plantains. Oh, and of course, one more of Josh's chocolates! Serves 4.

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