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Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY Chocolate Syrup

Tonight we had pizza baked spaghetti made with my homemade spaghetti sauce.  I made a whole box of linguini, poured the whole recipe of spaghetti sauce over it, covered it with 2 cups of cheese and about 25 pepperonis.  I baked it for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees and it turned out just perfect!  Bailey even ate real spaghetti noodles.  She's only eaten them one other time.

For dessert Bailey and I shared a glass of chocolate milk made with my homemade chocolate syrup which is so easy it will make you'll wonder why you never made it before.  The recipe I found calls for half brown sugar and half granulated sugar.  The blogger who posted it said that the brown sugar makes a much richer chocolate syrup.  I accidentally used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder which made it even more rich and I liked it so much I changed the recipe to remember to always use it.

We had a last minute change of plans for tomorrow.  My Nana is sick so we can't go visit her, but my brother invited me to come to Atlanta with him to see Hey Ocean!  I'm excited because I don't get to spend enough time with my brother and this is something that we both love.  If you don't know, Hey Ocean is a band out of Canada.  The lead singer, Ashleigh Ball, is the voice actress who does the voice of Rainbow Dash and Applejack in "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" and the band is really great.  They have a really relaxed and happy feel that I enjoy.

Anyway, Aaron's parents agreed to keep Bailey tomorrow until Aaron gets off work so I can ride down with my brother.  I've spent all day trying to prepare everything to go.  I had to pack up Bailey's bag and a bag of toys for her.  I also had to do a thorough cleaning of the kitchen because a plumber is coming first thing in the morning to fix our sink.  (The pipe that drains from the sink came apart and spilled water all over the floor from the cabinet under the sink.)  I tried to get the living room good and clean while I was at it since my Mom is coming to visit on Wednesday or Thursday, but I didn't quite finish and I haven't even touched the dining room, and I had to run out to the bank for some paperwork today (which ended up being the wrong paperwork and I have to go back on Wednesday) so Bailey and I had to go out in the snow.  Did I mention it snowed like, all day!  It's the first day of Spring Break and it snowed all day!  What is wrong with the weather in Tennessee?

It has been a busy day.  I spent most of the day on the phone on top of it all, trying to talk to an insurance company, Bailey's pediatrician's office, her neurologist, the bank, the plumber, my Mom, etc.  My best friend calls every day on her lunch break between 1:15 and 2:30.  I had at least 10 calls while I was on the phone with her from people calling me back and Aaron calling to check up on us.  A former co-worker of mine called five times today as well.

So in the midst of this busy day I was a bit surprised that I even managed to remember to make dinner, but it did get made.  We did eat and now Bailey is in bed and Aaron has been asleep since just after dinner and I am all alone in the living room wondering if I should try to finish cleaning or try to go to sleep.

Chocolate Syrup

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Whisk the sugars and water together in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, whisking often.  Add the cocoa powder and salt and whisk until smooth.  Continue to cook until the syrup has thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.  Allow to cool on the stove.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.

I like to keep mine in a clean spaghetti sauce jar.  It makes about 2 cups.  I use it in coffee, milkshakes, chocolate milk, over ice cream, and pretty much in anything I would use Hershey chocolate syrup in.

My favorite way to use it is in coffee.  I like to add warmed 2% milk, sugar, and chocolate syrup to a cup of strong coffee.  It tastes like a mocha latte without foam.  Personally I like a lot of sugar and milk in my coffee so it's really more like hot chocolate with a bit of coffee when I make it for myself.

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