Think of Me Gluten-Free

Think of Me Gluten-Free: May 2013

31 May 2013

Colours of Our Dinner

And the sun has finally reemerged from behind a sky filled with clouds, and the warmth heats up the deck for sitting out with a cool glass of lemonade, and its finally warm enough to plan trips out on my friend's boat this weekend. Having lunch up at the cafes seems more of a social event, with walkers and their dogs chatting to each and every person to say their hellos, and the patio fills up with lunchtime guests - all of which who are eager to enjoy as much sun, and as much jovial conversation, as possible.

This week, mum and I have had a little more energy to cook delicious meals for dinner with less early
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21 May 2013

The Comfort of Things

Cozy. Comforting. Words that fill me with the feeling that everything will be alright, that soon, this will pass, and there will be something just around the corner to excite and rejuvenate us. It is human nature to gravitate towards those things which make us comfortable, and it is often during times when we are so close to the end, the end of high school for me, and near the end of living on Bowen for our family, that we need a little reminder of these things to keep us motivated to keep going until that moment of change. In my last post I began by reminding myself of a few things that I love about living on an island, and some of the memories of growing up in a rural, peaceful environment. Here is a list, one that you can easily start for yourself, that helps us all to return to who we are, remember what we love, and importantly, what brings us a love and energy as well as inspiration in our lives.
As always, we should have something to encourage us, to bring us happiness and joy, comfort, peace, and the sense that we have something to fall back on when we need it. This list, and the things I thought of in the process of writing it, has done just that. I got the idea from a blog by Moorea Seal, and just had to make one for myself! Hopefully you can make one too to help you do the same.                      


Walking outside at night under a full moon, the quiet
Hearing the purr of the cat 
Bowen's best Signature hot chocolate
Dipping toes into a soapy hot bath
Having a bright bouquet of flowers in the house
Lying on the deck under the warm sun
When someone brings a cup of tea to you in bed
Feeling sort of proud after a blog post
Finding a perfect dress in a cute boutique
Warm gluten free chocolate chip cookies {my favourite recipe can be found here}
Driving with the music up, and belting out the words
Getting lost in a daydream
Telling someone your secret
Fresh peaches and cherries from the Okanagan
Listening to "A Pocket Full of Sunshine"
Seeing my sister in the airport, coming home
Finding a heart in your latte foam
Driving on my scooter when the wind is warm
Racing my dog down the trails
Photos of mum and dad when they were younger
"Good Morning" texts
Standing by the woodstove in winter
Pulling on fuzzy socks in the morning
The book: The Man Who Listens to Horses
Reading something in French
Riding horses
Mum's Eggplant Parmigiano
Wearing Nana's jewellery
Listening to my sister and dad discuss science
Curling up in a nest of blankets and pillows
Watching people, and creating stories for them
Big open fields
Creating lists
Organizing my closet and room
Roasted root vegetables
Pretending I really can sing
Playing board games
Watching "Easy A" with my sister
Biking on Bowen
Rope swings
Sitting on a beach, the waves against the quiet
The first snowfall
Painting my nails
Snuggling my rabbit
Apples taken and eaten right off the tree
Coffee dates with mum
Gluten free granola for breakfast
Big sunglasses
Chocolate desserts
Laughing with friends over an inside joke
Giving someone a hug when they need it
Picking up blue sea glass from the beach
Feeling salty after swimming in the sea
China tea cups
Remembering funny moments from when we were little 
The feeling of the plane during take-off
Photos of me when I was little
Finishing a novel
Giving someone a handmade gift
Sharing a tub of Haagen Daaz with your best friend
Running through a sprinkler
Spending time with my entire family
Clotted cream tea
Throwing a stick over and over for my dog
Knowing I have a future full of opportunity: travel, friends and exciting new things

...and homemade crème brûlée in the pouring rain.

Classic Vanilla Crème Brûlée

A creamy, rich dessert with the decadent and simple flavour of vanilla is the perfect dessert, but all dessert is perfect. With such a simple and elegant presentation of both texture and taste, you really can't go wrong serving crème brûlée to guests or family. Everyone loves breaking the hard caramel topping of each pot, and diving into the slightly warmed custard underneath. And it gives everyone the chance to feel as if they're little again, digging for the precious treasure, only this time your taste buds will find it.

{Makes three individual crème brûlée pots}


300 mL heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
75 grams brown sugar, or coconut (palm) sugar


Preheat the oven to 300° F.

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, warm the cream. Add in the vanilla to the cream and heat until the cream is just about to begin simmering. Remove from the heat.

Set aside the cream and vanilla to infuse for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs yolks and 25 grams of brown sugar. Pour a small amount of the cream into the egg mixture, stirring well, and then add the rest.

Divide the mixture between three ramekins, and place them in a roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. 

Bake for an hour, or until the crème brûlées are set, with the edges pulling from the edges of the pots and the centre still "wiggly". Remove from the oven and cool slightly, before moving them to the fridge for three hours, or overnight.

Before serving, heat the rest of the brown sugar in a heavy saucepan. It should become darker in colour, and turn to a caramel texture. Remove from the heat quickly, and pour onto a greased baking pan. Be very careful, the caramel is very hot.

Once hardened, peel the cooled caramel from the baking pan, and break the pieces into small chunks into a food processor. Blend finely to small crystals, and sprinkle evenly overtop the set crème brûlées.
Using the broiler setting of the oven, place the crème brûlées with the ground caramel topping under the grill until the crystals melt and turn a light golden colour. Remove from the oven and allow the topping to harden, then serve.

Enjoy! xx S.

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20 May 2013

This West Coast Living

For Dad's birthday: a West Coast feast of Mussels

I've always sort of complained about living on an island and travelling to school everyday: the ferry, and the commute which entails, plus all those missed sailings that leave you waiting, or worse, stranded after the last boat of the day to Bowen disappears around the corner. There's also the effort and planning involved in going to town for the day, or even just to pick something up from a store which would normally only take 10 minutes. (Some might argue that kids from Bowen have an exceptional sense of time and organisation - I'll add that it's necessity rather than choice.) Add in the time for busing and you'll be home at 8 tonight, tell your teacher you can't come before school tomorrow either, unless you want to get up at 5 am. However, that isn't the point of this post. I wanted to take the time to share a moment of appreciation I had today for where I live, and the amazing opportunities I've enjoyed growing up in such a rural, carefree environment. From the moment when we could walk and play, I was outside, exploring the tunnels of trees and ferns that made up our backyard, which seemed to expand across the whole island. It wasn't until I turned seven that I remember realising our backyard only made up one part of a whole neighborhood of houses each with their own backyards. Which meant more trees to explore, more trails to map out, and wearing our exploring hats and holding fake cameras to capture our adventures, we made our way quietly - so as not to disturb the wonders of the trees, we loved to imagine a whole community of fairies hidden away among the branches and beneath the underbrush of the forest - and eventually found the perfect site to set up a wooden fort. Collecting large sticks and fallen branches to build our own camp, each new place became somewhere to play for hours. 

There was also the great big rope swing that was strung between two trees, one that I only ever swung on once before bulldozers moved in, and as quickly as the trees came down, as well as the forts of kids and evidence of their alternate worlds, houses were built up maximising the space that was once an entire planet still being explored to kids. 

It seems there is always a battle between nature and the destruction of machines. Not so literally as science-fiction might suggest, but the great bodies of orange bulldozers are always the first sign of trees to fall, dirt to be picked up and moved by the ton, and a whole new façade for the area. I remember along the Cape Roger Curtis coastline a few years ago, an area which has undergone a huge development, bulldozers were the first to show up, and since then have marked the continuing changes occurring and those to come. Lots have been cordoned off with fences and signs pushing the public out of areas we we've always had free range to explore, and the areas we've had to play camouflage and hide-and-seek on our walks with visiting relatives have now become shadows of the newest house, or somewhere beneath the newly paved road across the bed of what was once a seasonal stream.

And now, as houses are slowly being constructed with optimal views, the path which long-time residents of Bowen have always enjoyed has been squished into a thin and controlled line along the coast, with fenced hedges along either side. It is unclear whether the fences are to protect the plants from hungry deer (the grass and ferns which they once fed on bulldozed into piles of dirt), or to deter people from damaging the hedges in a fight of protest. A sense of distrust between both groups that was established from the onset of the project.

Mum and I walked along this path today, one that has become even more popular as more and more people come to see the changes that have undergone as million dollar lots are purchased, and we noted the slow integration of pieces of construction into each lot, perhaps in hope that the public will fail to notice, and their private dock will pass through council so they can travel to their summer cottage without being forced to ride the ferry, and meet the people who have grown up and seen all the changes that money and a sense of entitlement or power that often goes along with it which has been brought to the island. 
We used to walk down this path as kids, with our parents and their backpacks that held food for a picnic, and if we were planning on making a day out of it, matches and paper for a fire on the beach. Today, people are still trying to claim the beach as a public space, and in the middle of a circle of arranged logs was a fire pit made from rocks set above the high tide line to keep it on the beach until someone, disgruntled by trespassers, dismantled it. This reminded me of days we would spend at the lighthouse of the Cape, paddling in the rock pools looking for starfish and sea snails, and building rock forts for nature dolls that my sister would sometimes make out of mosses and sticks, and for hair, 'old man's beard.' Our parents would always have a large thermos of fruity tea, and passing around the flask we would warm up before dashing out after only just finishing a cheese sandwich. There were days when we would miss the beach completely after getting caught up in games among the trees, spending hours playing hide-and-seek, or running through the ferns and trails so caught up in the excitement. 

It's sad to see the coastline completely changed, transformed from the wilderness I remember from my childhood, and molded into someone else's perfected ideal of how nature can be controlled. Advertisements for the area, videos of the coast and the 'natural beauty' of the properties including wildlife and the untouched landscape, reflect a peaceful coast, but as buyers bring in supplies and ideas for building, that serenity quickly becomes past, and changes to the natural ecosystem as our neighborhood once saw when I was seven, leaves the coast and the area just like any other human settlement. With each additional property, and each new home built, it becomes more and more urbanised, a sterilized version of nature, manicured to banish the 'wild' out of wilderness.

I'd like to share a recipe for a west coast favourite, and along the Cape Roger Curtis rocks, the main ingredient can be found, growing in great expanse, and before the waste of many residents spoils the availability of these, they can be harvested and cooked fairly quickly - a delicious seafood dish. Mussels have always been a favourite of mine, and I suppose with living on an island, or near the sea, I've developed a taste for the salty taste of any seafood. It may as well be one of my favourite's, although we don't usually take mussels straight from the rocks. It can be done, and with enough knowledge about which mussels are good to eat, I bet they'd be delicious. Using store-bought or mussels straight from the sea, or even from a local fisherman who knows the rocks well, seafood feasts are great for weekend dinners, parties, and tasty treats.

Mussels in White Wine and Cream Sauce

{Makes 1lb mussels, which served 3 of us perfectly}


1 lb fresh mussels

2 oz dry, white wine
4oz (118 mL) heavy cream
1 large shallot, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, diced finely
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped


First, wash the mussels in cold running water, doing a quick visual inspection of each mussel. Throw any mussels away that have a cracked or broken shell, feel very light, or are open. Open mussels can be tapped gently on the surface, and fresh ones will close, if they don't, throw them away. Finally, remove any "beards" on the mussels (these are what helps the mussels to hold onto rocks) by pulling up and down to remove. Rinse again, and you're ready to cook!

In a large saucepan with a thick bottom, one that has a tight fitting lid, heat wine, shallots and garlic, and bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, and cover with the lid, lowering the heat to medium-high and cooking for about 5 minutes. At this point the mussels should all be fully open, and should be plump and juicy - careful not to overcook.

Spoon out the mussels into a serving bowl, leaving the liquid in the saucepan. 
Add in the cream and bring to a boil, and then add the parsley before pouring over the mussels.

Serve immediately with freshly baked bread, such as these delicious gluten free Rosemary Garlic Bread Buns which I seem to make every time we have mussels (they're so quick and easy!) and are perfect to dip in the remaining liquid. The shells of eaten mussels can be used as tongs to eat other mussels.

Enjoy! xx S.

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15 May 2013

Can't Control It

Mother's Day was a big cooking and baking day for me: waking up with dad a little earlier than mum to cook breakfast and have a pot of coffee ready to go with a plate of eggs, getting a head start on a rich and freshly flavoured cheesecake for the evening's dessert quickly after breakfast was eaten and cleared, and just before sitting down for a break, and to write, a whole spread of English tea was prepared and served, including Devonshire clotted cream (although we skipped a step and went ahead with buying the store brand).

Since experimenting with gluten free pancakes and crêpes has become sort of a regular occurrence on the weekends (banana pancakes, maple almond pancakes... To name a few, and of those posted), it didn't seem quite special enough of a meal to make for Mother's Day brunch. Plus, mum's favourite has always been a colourful and flavourful plate of freshly cooked eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and you can almost guarantee a good mood out of her (and if you're lucky, a big hug afterwards) by cooking up an array of flavours in complementing herbs and vegetables with one or two softly cooked eggs. So, with the addition of our own flare in the form of steamed kale, roasted asparagus, and freshly sliced avocados, dad and I cooked for mum, which she could enjoy with a large pot of coffee split between the three of us.

We sat underneath the large bouquet of flowers that my sister and I bought for mum together, the bright pinks and purples of roses and tulips, as well as the green of baby ferns, that cast a colourful glow over the table, and made the house look both bright and cheerful - a welcome contrast from outside: overcast and rainy. It also made mum so appreciative, as she loves flowers in the house, and especially loves receiving a stunning bouquet. To show her affection, she fawned over them, placing them in the perfect jar, and cooing at the colours and the shapes of each flowers petals. Later, as we sat down for dinner, she began again, exclaiming how interesting the feathering was on one particular blossom, a perfect complement to the entire arrangement.

"More wine?" I asked, as she continued. It's a mum thing. 

Now we sit as the rain continues, huddled between packed tables with customers similarly scoping out dry ground from the rain. Orders for soups and hot chillis are flying across the counter, as the lineup builds for those who need something to warm up with - we've had our hands heated by chai lattes and London fogs. It seems odd to have everyone back to bright raincoats and dripping brollies, when only last Friday I sat outside this café in shorts and a tank top. Good thing my driving test is in the next hour. I've got the thunder to keep me company; the rain will clean the road for me as well. 

People are using anything for cover from the rain; a man walks along the sidewalk with a chair over his head, the bright colours almost as apparent as the lady ahead's North Face raincoat. I suppose we weren't the only ones caught by surprise in this rain. People beside us exclaim their mixed views on thunderstorms: some eagerly watching the sky with each clap of sound, and others who look back down into steaming mugs, taking a long sip while the sound passes overhead. 

Personally, I love thunderstorms. I love the excitement of the roaring sky and soon after the bright flicker across the clouds, casting eerie shadows for a moment. However, I'm not sure how to take this storm today; there's no telling at the moment whether its a good or bad sign as I sit nervously before my driving exam. Everything has a reason when you're nervous, and everything may or may hold some clues for what's to come. What will happen in the next hour and a half? I guess I'll just have to see what happens, there's no use worrying about it because I can only do what I am able to do, and the rest is in the examiners hands. 

Oh but how I hate leaving things up to someone else's decision. I want to be the one in control, to decide whether I've done all I need to in preparation for this test. I want to skip this nervousness as well, mainly because its of no benefit to me, or the outcome. Butterflies have never left me with a feeling of confidence, and instead keep me away from caffeine which only makes their little wings flutter more excitably. 

Luckily scones can always keep me from lifting off with the wings of butterflies - and I eye the whole wheat scones in this coffee shop enviously. (I should have brought with me the leftovers from yesterday's tea: not too sweet treats for any occasion).

Orange Cranberry Scones

{Print me here}

The refreshing taste of orange, and the tartness of cranberries make the perfect blend of flavours in these scones, baked with almond meal flour for a nutty taste as well. Everybody loves scones, and scones with the sweetness of fresh orange zest make everyone reach for a second helping. And what makes that second helping more enticing: these scones contain no added sugar, oil, or butter. In fact, they're completely dairy-free. For a vegan option, replace the eggs with an egg replacement (1 tablespoon of ground flax and 2 tablespoons of warm water per egg), and use maple or agave syrup instead of honey. Delicious either way, guaranteed!

Served with a topping of fresh jam (we like ginger peach, given to us by friends, or quince jelly - both adding an alternative flavour, one not masked by the overpowering sugary taste often had by store-bought jams and jellies), and freshly whipped clotted cream, scones bring everyone together to the table for an afternoon tea. Even if that means Skyping family members from across the country - conference calls on Skype could bring everyone from England into our home for afternoon tea.

Not just a favourite for special occasions, although the nice china is required for Mother's Day tea, scones are delicious when served with a large pot of steaming black tea.

{Makes 8 scones}


200 grams almond meal flour
115 grams potato flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 eggs
splash of orange extract (it's really not a big deal if you don't have any of this ingredient, instead add another tablespoon of orange zest)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
orange juice as needed


Preheat the oven to 325° Celsius, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well to combine.

Making a well in the centre, add the eggs, orange extract, lemon juice, and honey. Starting in the centre, mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir well.

If the batter won't stick, add in a small amount of orange juice at a time, until the mixture just begins to form a large ball.

Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes - or until cooled.

Forming palm-sized balls, press the scones down onto the palm of your hand, shaping into eight scones, and placing on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, careful not to overcook the scones as there won't be much browning on the tops.

Cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and serve.

Enjoy! xx S

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12 May 2013

May Showers Bring Back Tea Time

It's May still, isn't it? Yep, according to my calendar we're still right in the middle of it, but heading into a series of days clouded by heavy rainfall. Just when I thought summer was finally nearing, and we were pulling out shorts and tank tops from the backs of our dresser drawers. We had already enjoyed a couple of evenings sitting out on the deck, a plate of chicken burgers on the barbecue, and a salad with fresh fruit set on the table. I'd already started taking those days for granted, riding around the island in shorts and a tank top, flip flops hanging off my toes, on my little red and white scooter. Just hoping for a couple more days of sun, especially over this Mother's Day weekend, I bought a pair of shorts to hopefully get a new shade of tan on my legs - and just as I came out the shops the wind picked up in a fluid motion of clouds covering the sun as well.

I guess it's back to long pants, hot drinks, and big umbrellas stacked by the doors and covering the sidewalks where people should be. Remember shopping in the rain? Jumping into a coffee shop after dashing across the street to be welcomed by a throng of the ten or so other customers who had the same idea - a hot latte and the last of the gluten free baking (oh my goodness, one more scone, don't let that guy take... Okay the cookie looks good too), and just because it is such a rainy day all of a sudden, I'll take a newspaper to watch the people passing by hurried and soaking (I won't laugh, at least not out loud).

You know, I've always wanted to just spend time in a coffee shop, working away at something odd in particular, and people watching. We spent a lot of time on Main Street this week, mum and I went shopping for graduation dresses and popped by to check out a store that was closed, and instead grabbed a drink in one of the restaurants, pairing it with jumbo shrimp and potatoes to keep us going. There are some very interesting people around Main, all doing different things and with different styles - and he stores could keep me entertained for hours! 
So in our eagerness to dress shop again at this particular boutique, with dad in tow this time, we entered the store pulling dress after dress off the shelf - each one beautiful and almost perfect in its own way. I got attached to two, very different, and bounced back and forth between them both, trying them on repeatedly and slowly coming to a decision. If you've ever gone dress shopping, no matter the event, you'll know how much goes into finding the perfect one - with the perfect fit and style for both the occasion and you. We were lucky that the store quickly quieted after we came, giving me all the time I needed in the change room, and all the attention of the salesclerk who was so helpful. She helped me come to a decision with my sister as well, who dad had on the phone, and it was so special to have my whole family there while I chose my graduation dress. 

Anyone up for another round of shops... I'm looking for shoes. (However, I might give it a week for my paycheck to be cashed, and a bit of recuperation). 

I felt like a little girl, peeping in at the perfect dress while the shop was closed. I actually picked out the one I ended up getting today on a previous trip, but I suppose something wasn't quite right. We ended up going around other stores and trying on other dresses. However, I needed dad, and my sister, to be there to make the decision. Ha! I should be on one of those reality shows with the emotion and depth I'm describing this "escapade" with. Don't worry, it really didn't take all that long, and a big plate of Egg's Benedict afterwards refueled us all nicely. Shopping is tiring. Especially trying on dresses and walking around in circles in too-big high heels - you have to curl your toes just to keep them on, and let me tell you, they start to cramp up after a couple laps of the store!

Ginger Maple Tea Lattes

To end a rainy day, a long day, or as you sit and watch the activities of other people dashing past rain covered shop windows, and need an alternative to coffee or tea, a ginger maple tea latte is just the rich and flavorful hot drink - refreshing and comforting, the perfect balance between the teeter-tottering of this weather. 

I love ginger maple tea lattes because of the sweetness and spice of two key ingredients: maple and fresh ginger. Although I use almond milk for this recipe, cow's milk, or other milk alternative would work perfectly. What a great replacement for your morning coffee!

{Serves 2}


1 1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, grated or chopped 
3 tablespoons maple syrup 
1 cup almond milk
2 1/2 cups water 


In a saucepan over high heat, bring ginger, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and water to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Divide the almond milk among two cups, and divide the maple syrup among them also. Place both in the microwave, heating for up to a minute. This can also be done in a separate sauce pan, before dividing among the two cups. 
When the ginger mixture has simmered, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for another 5 minutes. (Or pour into a french press for this step).

Pour into the cups of almond milk, and serve.

Enjoy! Xx S 

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07 May 2013

One Sun; Three Pots of Chocolate

May finally brought the good weather, and with it shorts, flip flops, ice creams, and well, lots of kids hanging around on the island with dripping Popsicles in one hand, sunglasses on their heads. The younger kids walk around the Cove in small groups, or ride their bikes up and down the main road for the thrill of speeding down past a whir of dog walkers, stroller-pushers, and cynical drivers turning left across their path. Some of which who raise a glance in shock at the rush of warm air across their face, and some who, so used to Bowen summers and the many people it brings out, need not look to the activity, but just know what occurs. In the midst, are learner drivers enjoying the freedom of riding around on a scooter, giving them the ability to travel across the island to the best beaches, or pick up lunch with friends at one of our favourite cafés.

For me, as my friend drove the two of us down for ice cream after we'd both had enough of laying in the sun smothered grass, I was reminded of the best part of living on an island, when you don't have to battle the ticket salesmen at the ferries, or trouble with cut-off times in order to make it back home in time. On a hot day, the island seems to slow down, and despite having upcoming tests and homework, the day drifts on, and the worries away.

On Sunday, I might have had three upcoming tests, a normal stress for me, but I was enjoying the bright sun and warmth that it brought as I lay across my sunny deck, that I just couldn't bring my mind around to the normal level of anxiety - and instead I could enjoy the entire day. 

The sun was so hot on Sunday that by the time noon rolled around, my friend had messaged me about a trip to the beach, and the thought of a quick cool-off in the ocean seemed like the best idea anyone had had that day, including mum's thoughtfulness at bringing home everyone a delicious hot chocolate before the sun became too hot to think of eating anything over ten degrees.

It must be kind of silly, as I write this describing the 27° Celsius weather as 'so hot' and describing our adventure to escape it by taking a trip to the beach, but we have had such rainy weeks - in fact all of winter it seemed to have rained - so having the doors wide open, the windows pulled back to their widest setting, and all the lights off since it is so bright during the day, has a feeling of 'finally', as if everything, the trees, the flowers, and us especially, are just sighing into a much happier and more relaxed frame of mind, and with it embracing the warmth and life that this warm weather brings. The sun also gives everyone a reason to show a little bit of crazy, to let go of winter coats and scarves that cover everything up, including our enthusiasm, and now, in shorts and tank tops, can run wildly around the sprinkler in the yard, or chase the dog and her ball in the yard.

Love of Chocolate Cheesecake

Although chocolate is not typically served for dessert during the summer, the flavour too rich and luxurious after a light salad, or with a sangria (virgin for me please!), this dessert is served chilled, so steps over the line between winter and summer, and in fact, becomes the perfect spring and fall dessert! 
Everyone needs a chocolate fix every now and then, and this extraordinary dessert: creamy, delicate, and above all, full of real chocolate, will leave guests extremely satisfied even if some beg that they couldn't eat another bite. For an extra twist, serve with vanilla ice cream, or a spoonful of whipped cream, but on its own this cheesecake stands well too. 
Serves 3
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
5.5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces dark chocolate
Melt chocolate chips in top of a double boiler over low heat, or similarly, a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water.  Stir until melted.  
Combine cream cheese and butter in a separate bowl and use an electric mixer until it becomes fluffy and smooth.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat well, scraping down the sides.  
Add in melted chocolate and beat to combine.
In another bowl beat the cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the chocolate cream cheese mixture.  
Spoon mixture into three individual ramekins, or use 2 1/2 inch cookie cutters set on a parchment lined baking sheet (using cookie cutters will allow you to remove the cheesecakes from their molds, to be served on plates. With ramekins I was forced to serve them in those dishes).  
Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.
Just before serving, grate the chocolate finely, and sprinkle over top each cheesecake.

Enjoy! xx S

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