Category Archives: In My Head

The Great Reveal – My new blog

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The wait is over! I’m here to announce to you what my new blog is and how you can find me!

Drum roll please…

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http://www.chocolateandconnie.com/ 

See, I told you the name isn’t creative at all. It DOES sum me up pretty well though. If you know me in real life, then you know how crucial chocolate is to my life. My survival depends on chocolate. Hence the name chocolate + connie 🙂 we are one. Chocolate is my identifier.

Friends, thank you so much for your attention and support for the past 4 years. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now if it weren’t for you. I especially have to thank Brittany and Kayle for always being there for me. They lifted me up when I went through rough times and they empowered me with their strong and bright personalities. They’re smart, humorous and talented women.. and they can make a heck of a dessert! So go drop by and give them some love.

If you would like to keep up with my blog (no pressure!), make sure to subscribe over at the new chocolate + connie site. That way, you get email notifications every time I write a new post. I have a ton of new recipes to share, one of which includes whiskey and caramel. I would love to continue sharing random stories about me and connect with you guys.

I’ll see you over there 🙂

This cookie monster is peacing out!

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Raspberry Chocolate Dutch Baby

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I want to share a personal story with you today. It’s about vulnerability and relationships.

Normally, I avoid talking about debbie-downer stuff on my blog but I feel that I should share the good and bad with you. This blog means a lot to me and I want to give you the chance to know me better. 

To give you some background, I need to take you back to 4 years ago. It was 2010 and I was in my senior year in highschool. I was in great relationship that I thought would never end. I know what you’re thinking, “naive” just popped up in your head, didn’t it? OK, maybe I was being naive, but at the time I felt so much trust in the relationship that I didn’t think we would ever break up. There were no mind games, no jealousy, no pretending to be someone we weren’t. It was pretty easy going and we enjoyed just being in each others company. I guess I also felt really secure because he chose me to share his thoughts and emotions with when he was usually a really reserved guy. 

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As special as that felt, things started to stale. I got sick of always being the one to initiate texts and phone calls so I stopped doing it. A couple days went by and I didn’t hear from him at all. A week went by and we entered the first week of university, still nothing. I packed up my pride and called him. We did a lot of small talk, I crafted numerous ways of asking “how is school and life?” because I was too afraid to bring up what was really plaguing my mind for the last week. He, too, danced masterfully around the topic. After about 3 hours, I bursted it out, “What is happening with us, where are we going?” And to my dismay, he replied, “Nowhere.” 

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When I asked if we could talk about it in person but he said that he was too busy studying for a French quiz. I only wanted 30 minutes of his time, but he couldn’t even give that up to explain things face to face. Afterwards, I sent him an angry text saying that I had the right to hear all of this in person and that he was being a coward. He never responded and we never saw each other ever again, especially since he was so good at darting in the opposite direction every time he saw me around campus. What made me angry the most was the fact that I had to call him to bring it up. If I didn’t call, he probably thought he could just drop everything and leave without an explanation. 

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Long story short, I went through a spectrum of emotions that lasted 2 years. I was heartbroken, then angry, then confused and I held on to the “what if” for a long long time. I finally snapped out of it when one of my bestest friends, P-, spent HOURS talking to me to help me dissect my feelings. She wanted to help me realize why exactly I was holding on, so that I can finally let go. And it worked. 

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After that, I spent 2 more years building walls around me. I told myself I never ever want to feel that heartbroken and vulnerable ever again. And I decided that the only way to prevent that from happening again is to not let anyone get too close and also to be the one who cares less. I got really good at that doing that and slowly I built some indestructible walls around my heart. Don’t know when this next step happened but I went from “self protection mode” to “commitophobe mode”. 

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Recently, a friend has been talking to me a lot about the dynamics of relationships and asked me why I haven’t given dating a serious try again. Then she told me something about vulnerability that I never gave thought to: the strengths of being vulnerable. One point in particular stuck with me and that is being vulnerable means you can feel the good things as intensely as the bad things. “By keeping yourself from feeling and by holding yourself back, you’re also keeping out the good things in life”, she said. To which I responded, “Good point.” 

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This was some very timely advice because I had just met someone. This time, I decided to take a leap of faith instead of looking for exits. The windows in my walls were opening up, making me vulnerable once again. But guess what, he too just walked out on me with no warning and no explanation. Does this remind you of anything? It was like my life just replayed exactly what happened 4 years ago. I’m embarrassed to say this but I was really upset. The first time I decided to put myself out there and feel vulnerable again… and I was greeted with that same awful experience. My windows shut closed and my walls rebuilt faster than ever. I’ll probably spend the next 4 years shutting myself out again. 

For those of you who are also “commitophobes”, what is holding you back?

For those of you who are in relationships, what do you love about it?

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Raspberry Chocolate Dutch Baby

2/3 cup low-fat milk (I didn’t have any fresh milk so I used skim milk made from powder and it worked just fine)
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature
2 tbsp granulated sugar 
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I swear by Nielsen Massey)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
11/4 tsp salt 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degree F.  Place a 10-inch ovenproof skillet in oven to heat.

In a blender, combine milk, eggs and egg whites, sugar, 1 tablespoon of the butter, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste.  Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt and blend for 30 seconds more.

Remove skillet from oven.  Pour the remaining butter into the hot pan and swirl to coat evenly.  Pour in batter.  Bake until Dutch baby is puffed and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.  Best eaten asap!

Recipe from the Pure Vanilla cookbook

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Top 10 of 2013

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a happy holiday! 

I can’t believe how fast the year has gone by! I feel that the more conscious I am of time, the faster it passes. But if I don’t keep track of time, I get nothing done. See my dilemma? 

2013 has been really good to me. I still can’t believe how lucky I have been. This year started off with a bang when I won my first ever kitchenaid mixer . Then I gained a ton of experience through two new jobs that I have never ever done before. I stepped out of my usual hostessing routine and got a job as an event coordinator and another as a project assistant for the student health department at my university. It wasn’t easy, I was challenged everyday to use new skills, think outside of the box, and monitor my own pace to make sure that I was meeting all the deadlines. In May, I fulfilled a long-time goal of mine which was to earn a spot in the dietetics program. It has changed my life and I have never been happier. In October, I made it a priority of mine to hone out my baking skills. So, armed with passion but ZERO formal training, I applied to a couple bakeries in Vancouver and eventually got a job at a cakery! Being surrounded by sugar, butter, chocolate and cake all the time has been quite the dream. Then in November, something totally unexpected happened. I won a second kitchenaid mixer, this time from Simple Bites. Along the way, I’ve met and befriended some fantastic people who are as inspiring as they are talented. The combination of new experiences and meeting new people has helped me to grow into a better person. I feel more self-assured than I ever was, but I’ll admit that I still have a long way to go until I feel self-confident. I have finally kicked the habit of food guilt. I used to hate myself if I ate more than I should have. I extremely hated my body and was always criticising myself while pinching my fat in front of the mirror. Now, I can eat whatever I want whenever I want and not feel the slightest amount of guilt. 500g of chocolate chips at 4am? Sure! Hash browns cooked in bacon fat? Gimme some of that with a side of ham please! Though I have gained some weight from doing this, a load of mental weight has been lifted off my mind.

Thank YOU, for being my readers and friends (if I may). You guys motivate me to find the time to bake no matter how exhausted I am from school and work. Without you guys, this blog would be nothing. I know that I’m not the most consistent, nor adventurous, nor exciting blogger. I’m just a girl in her 20s with a gigantic sweet tooth and a camera. I don’t post pictures of me conquering Mount Everest or setting world records or backpacking through Europe. I only post white unbalanced pictures of the things that I bake in my modest kitchen. Somehow, you guys are still here and have stuck by my side through it all. Thank you again for being the greatest audience of my life.

Without further ado, let’s count down the list of top 10 recipes from 2013!

top recipes 2013

10. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these for C for his 20th birthday and they were a hit! But did we expect anything less from the dynamic duo of PB and chocolate though?

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9. Red Velvet Brownies

And the red velvet reign continues! Seriously, can someone tell me why red velvet is so popular? It tastes like watered down chocolate to me. This is the second appearance of these brownies in the top 10 ranking!

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8. Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

I only posted the recipe for these cupcakes about 2 weeks ago and already they have become a hit!

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7. Ninjago (Orange Creamsicle Cake)

Some of my most creative projects happen when people ask for them! (I, on my own, am not a very creative person). One of my coworkers asked me to bake a cake for her son who is absolutely obsessed with Ninjago. I knew nothing about ninjago nor character cakes, but I agreed to it anyway! When in doubt, always say yes right? You should’ve seen the face on him when I delivered the cake and he realized that it was all his to eat!

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6. Caramel Cream Pastry Cream Cake

“I want to take a straw and drink the pastry cream” is what a friend said to me after he had this cake. 

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5. Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

If you’re a chocolate chip cookie fan, you must try it in skillet form! But please, don’t make my mistake. I forgot to eat it with ice cream. It is still one of my biggest regrets to this day.

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4. Black Magic Cake

My go to chocolate cake. Hershey naaaaailed it.

3. Rainbow Zebra Cake

Just like the red velvet brownies, this is also the second time that rainbow zebra cake has made an appearance in the top 10!

zebra cake baked

2. Tuxedo Truffle Cake 

I made this cake last year when I was going through my chocolate collar addiction phase. You have no idea how much fun I had making the chocolate decor. I’m odd.

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1. Hazelnut Praline Ganache Chocolate Cake

This cake. Bueno. Won by a landslide. In just a couple months, this cake earned the spot of greatest views of all time on my blog! It has 800 views more than the second most popular recipe. I created this recipe by just following my insatiable cravings and tastebuds. Had no idea this would be so well received!

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