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Happy Holidays with Chocolate Gingerbread And a Little Game…

Let’s play a game. It’s called “Get to Know Your Blogger” and all my blog friends are doing it so I guess I have to do it too. So here goes…ask me any question you want in the comment section and I will answer it in an ensuing post. Any question. You can ask how many different scents of anti-bacterial hand gel I have or how many ounces of chocolate I eat a day.

Yes you can ask it anonymously, if you really want to. Just enter Anonymous as your name and a stupid email so I will never know who you are. I have no idea where this is going to go and whether or not this will lead to the demise of my blogging reputation but I am going to give it a shot.

And the only reason I am doing this is because I am definitely not thinking clearly. I finished the quarter today, I became another year older today, and I am eating way too many chocolates. All this adds up to a great influx of happiness and, consequently, actions like this one.

However…there is something I ought to tell you that I have been putting off till now. I’ll give you a hint…Roman Holiday

(That happens to be my favorite scene of the movie.) And, yes, that something is quite literally a Roman Holiday. I will be going to Italy with my family in two days. We will be visiting Rome, Venice, and Florence. I have never been to the country nor do I know a word of Italian (besides prosciutto, ciao, and delizioso). I do hope the 13 hour flight including the 90 minute transfer period at Paris will be sufficient for me to read up on some Italian.

The most important part of this trip? I will eat lots of food that I may have never heard of, take too many pictures to possibly fit onto one USB drive so I’m bringing two, and I will have Wi-fi in my hotels.


So I will most likely be blogging. And I will post tidbits of my Italian trip, primarily the food, of course, and talk to you about how many red Vespas I counted in a particular day, a really dashing mustache a tour guide was sporting, or just what Vatican City looks like on Christmas Eve. But, before I leave, I want to leave you all with a nice little holiday recipe for your own holiday season.

Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake (Adapted from Dana Treat)

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup of dried cranberries (optional)
2/3 cup of coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Using Crisco, grease a 12-cup bundt pan.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder and make sure pan is even coated.  Dump out excess.  In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, ginger, pumpkin-pie spice, , and baking soda.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, eggs, and sour cream until smooth.  Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix).  Stir in chocolate chips.  Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.

3.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let sit for 15 minutes.  Run a thin knife all around the outside and inside part of the pan that sticks up.  Using your oven mitts, give the cake a firm little toss in the air.  It will become clear what part of the cake is still stuck to the pan so go over that part again with your knife.  Give it another toss.  If it all seems free and clear, carefully turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely.

From the annual holiday display at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas from winter break of last year.

Well, I guess this is it. You know that feeling after you get from a night of packing and your taxi comes and picks you up and suddenly you look back at your home and realize you’re not going to be seeing it for a while? That feeling. It’s growing stronger and stronger even though I’m not even close to being done with packing.

So far, I’ve packed 2 pairs of jeans. Maybe I should be packing more…

But to everyone, I wish you an amazing deliciousness-filled holidays and remember to always get your daily does of chocolate (you have an excuse for it now because of the bag of Lindt truffles and pack of Ferrero Rochers sitting on your desk. If you don’t eat the chocolate, who’s going to eat it, right?)


About Natalie C.

A college graduate in molecular biology eagerly awaiting the commencement of my quest for the luxurious yet completely impractical hood that one receives at a Doctorate graduation ceremony.

9 responses »

  1. You are going to have an amazing time in Italy, as the foodie you are. And, damn girl, this game should be exciting! And it seems very timely considering how many people are now reading your blog yet how little you reveal about yourself.

    My questions. (I can ask more than one right?)
    1. Do you have a boyfriend? If you do, he is one lucky guy. My brother wants to date you. This sounds creepy because we don’t need each other at all, but I am one of your biggest fans.
    2. How many ounces of chocolate do you eat per day? 🙂

  2. Ask any question, you say? Well, senorita, I will ask what must be asked…how do you manage to balance college life with your microbio degree with this blog? You update really regularly!
    You’re one year older today? Happy birthday, blogger!

  3. Easy. What is your favorite recipe of all that you’ve baked?

  4. If you had to date one celebrity…who would it be?

  5. How do you get the inspriation to write a blog?

  6. Very good recipe. I really enjoyed reading this.

  7. What is your favorite cookie recipe? How about favorite cake recipe? Need ideas, thanks!

  8. How do you manage to find time to write a blog if you’re in college and studying microbiology?

  9. Pingback: Inspired by Italy: Biscotti Al Ciocolatto | Seattle Lunchbox

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