Everything Chocolate: Black-and-White Layer Cake

This month brings another delicious recipe from my Year of Chocolate challenge. While Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundaes are my go-to comfort food, this next dish is my ultimate weakness — Black-and-White Layer Cake. Since the start of this chocolate journey, I’ve been waiting in anticipation to make this delectable dish. The reason being? White chocolate, plain and simple. White chocolate is my Kryptonite, but mostly in a good way. Any time I see something containing white chocolate, I have to try it. Whether it be in a yummy Starbucks drink, covered over a cake pop or transformed into mouth-watering fudge, I have a hard time holding back my love obsession for it. While this dessert actually fell under the April selection, I decided to move it back a few months and make it the feature dish of mine and Jacob’s recent engagement party. And I’m glad I did. The cake was a huge hit with all our friends and family, with most comments being, “You made this from scratch?!” Majority rules in the case of this cake — it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

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Everything Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundaes

The chocolate adventure continues this week with my Food Network Magazine Year of Chocolate challenge. Last time, we focused on March’s Double Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. This time around, I’m actually skipping April’s selection and moving straight to May’s Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundaes — the reason being I’m saving April’s for a special occasion you’ll find out about soon enough. So Mexican brownies it is for now! Brownies are actually one of my top favorite chocolate food items. I love the combination of a flaky crust with gooey center (never dry). Combine that with some ice cream, whipped cream and assortment of other goodies and you’re set. So if you’re ready to dive into another indulging chocolate recipe, read ahead and enjoy!

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A Book Written by Someone Under 30

More time has past and another book is under my belt in the 2015 Reading Challenge. I know it’s been a while, but don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten my resolution for this year. While the last book’s A Classic Romance took us into the beloved story of “Pride and Prejudice,” this novel turns to the opposite end of the spectrum. The only slight similarity is a common theme of love . . . and that’s about it. With Peter Stenson’s “Fiend,” it’s all about zombies and drugs. It’s like combining “Walking Dead” with “Breaking Bad” into a drug-fueled, brains-eating, edge of your seat, nail biting story of drug addicts in the apocalypse. Yeah, it’s kind of intense. But the novel also comes with some comedy (I mean they are high most of the time), a romantic connection you find yourself rooting for and the underlying power of just how difficult overcoming addictions can be. Knowing that Stenson comes from a background of past addiction, his description of what goes through the mind of an addict is not only believable but riveting. As someone who only recently got into zombie novel myself, this book may not be for everyone. But if you have a soft spot for bloody guts and end of the world plots, you should definitely give it a try. Continue reading A Book Written by Someone Under 30

Everything Chocolate: Double Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Hello again chocolate lovers! Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you all. Despite it being a little behind, I’m here to bring you what would have been my next Everything Chocolate post for the month of March: Croissant Bread Pudding with Double (that’s right, double) Chocolate. Yes, I realize April and Easter are already upon us, but between having a pretty busy past could of weeks and undergoing Daylight Savings, I’ve lost all track of time. Excuses aside, I must say this month’s (that is March’s, of course) featured dessert has probably been one of the easiest I’ve conquered yet. Not only is there no constant use of a hand blender, the oven essentially does all the work once you combine all the ingredients. There’s also not as much prep work outside of the custard filling. It’s no where near as elaborate as the Blackout Cake with Chocolate Crunch or as time-consuming as Chocolate Mousse with Puff Pastry Hearts. This recipe is literally as easy as it gets, with simple to understand directions and ingredients. With that said (and apologizes for lateness once again) read on and enjoy!

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Putting Away the Pesto

There’s something about walking outside in 60 degree weather after what seems like an endless winter that just makes you sigh with relief. At least that’s how I felt this weekend when I emerged from the warm comforts of our house only to realize the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and there was nothing I wanted more than to stay outside. With the hope of spring in the air, I began what you could call a “mini-cleaning session” of the kitchen freezer and pantry. I went through frozen package after package of fish fillets and a sausage roll from about a year ago. It was at this point that I came across several bags of ice cub frozen pesto shoved into the deepest corners of my freezer. Remember last summer’s slew of tomatoes and basil from my home-grown garden? Well, just as I preserved the tomatoes in jars and containers, I also found a clever way to preserve basil as pesto — I just forgot to share it with all of you. Whether you’re interested in freezing or just making a fresh pesto sauce, here’s a simple recipe anyone can cook.

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Looking Back: Celebrating a Year of Blogging

Attention fellow bloggers, readers and fans — this Just a Little Bit of Clairity post is a significantly special one to me this week. Last year, I made a promise to myself to start a blog focusing on all things food, fiction and furnishings. I set out to share a plethora of recipes, DIY home projects and captivating books. And on March 4, I conquered my resolution of blogging for one year. No worries to my followers out there; I’m not about to lay the computer down and walk away. It’s been an incredible boost to my creative juices, allowing me to try things I would never imagine before. So in honor of this accomplishment, here’s a look back at some of my favorite and popular blog posts of the year.

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