Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rich chocolate treat...

Jeff was suppose to fly out to Frederick today for work, but the trip was cancelled... so we will have another Wednesday Treat Day for his former co-workers!

This treat, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Breakfast Muffins, are dark, rich and decadent muffins that could easily be a dessert on its own. The muffins are tender, rose fairly high and have a deep chocolate color. I used Dutch-process cocoa which darkened the color and brought a smooth chocolate flavor - if you only have natural cocoa though, feel free to use it in this recipe. Instead of using chocolate chips, I used raspberry creme filled dark chocolate chunks. They look a little ordinary on the outside, but as you take a bite you find that the chocolate chunks turned into creamy pockets of a mild raspberry flavored surprise. You could take these over the top and spread on a thick fudgy icing turning these into wickedly sinful chocolate cupcakes. You certainly don't have to eat these for breakfast, but oh what a way to start the day.

Tonight's side dish is a pared down potato salad. The recipe, Yukon Gold Potato Salad, called for using only one kind of potatoes, but I used half yukons and half purple potatoes to add some fun color. Besides, we found them at a great price in the market this week! I did leave the peels on, but if that bothers you, feel free to take them off before mixing them with the dressing. The vinegar in the dressing was a little strong, so I might add a dash of sugar next time. There was a good amount of creamy dressing to coat the tender potatoes - we both thought this was excellent for a such a simple dish.

The main dish, Grilled Peaches and Pork, was a little more challenging than I had planned on. The peaches ripened a lot faster than I expected, so trying to pit and peel them was kind of messy. The pork chops are first pounded thin and then marinated in a zesty mixture of Balsamic vinegar, fresh lime juice, thyme, salt and pepper. They are then grilled and sliced into thin strips. The peaches are drizzled with a bit of balsamic and are then placed on the grill. Since mine were pretty soft already, I didn't get a chance to get them distinct grill marks, but I was able to leave them long enough to start and caramelize. I just wish they would have been a little firmer for a better presentation. They had a killer sweet taste though and the balsamic was a great touch. The sprinkling of crunchy turbinato sugar before serving was a fun and different finish to the salad.


  1. I was just wondering where you found those chocolate chips with the raspberry. They sound so good! What brand are they?

  2. Those purple potatoes look awesome!

  3. A friend referred your site...and I've got to say, you've made this vegetarian crave some pork! Wow! I'm definitely coming back to see what else you are cooking up.

  4. Oh my gosh, those muffins are making my mouth water. I am holding myself back from licking the screen.
    And the potatoes look fantastic. Especially the purple ones.

  5. You SAVED a muffin or two for us, rriiigghhtttt? Email me for my address...I'm sure they will arrive fresh and tasty! :)

  6. Danii - Thanks!

    Liz - I found them in our local grocery store in the baking isle! They are made by Hershey's.

    Wheresmymind - I love them, we did purple smashed potatoes for thanksgiving one year!

    Spinsterwitch - Thanks for checking out the site!

    Jenjen - Thank you!

    Acme - They went pretty fast... maybe next time though!

  7. Thanks...I'll be on the lookout for them, because the muffins look great. And by the way, I think this is a great website. I've always been a fan of Cooking Light recipes, so it's great to read your reviews. :)

  8. Wow, Joe and Jeff, your presentation and ingredient combinations look spectacular. I can't wait to try the potatoe salad and pork chops and cherry sauce. Even though the main ingredients are easy to have on hand, the little extras make all the difference on the enjoyment of the meal. yum!

  9. Liz - No problem... they can be somewhat hard to find! Thanks for the nice comments!

    Kath - Thanks! The salad and chops were very good... we had the leftovers for lunch the next day and they held up just fine!

  10. We made your potato salad tonight to go with our hot dog cookout (or washout because of the rain). It was delish!

    And thanks to our gas stove and cast iron grill pan, the hot dogs tasted pretty close to outdoor grilled ones.

  11. Barbara - I can't wait to find a reason to make it again - we really liked it too!