Chocolate! Weddings! Cooking Couples! Taza Chocolate Give Away! And They Cooked Happily Ever After has all this and so much more to share with Local Sprouts today. Kate, one half of And They Cooked Happily Ever After, and Katie, from Local Sprouts, have shared many memories in good ol’ Somerville, with more to come when Meg, from Operation Restoration, gets hitched in 2014. To get the excitement going, Kate has a sweet recipe, some thoughts on local and a very tasty give away.
LS: And They Cooked Happily Ever After, such a cute name! How did this come about?
KATE: About a year ago, I decided that I was going to join the masses and start blogging. My husband and I went to New Zealand for our Honeymoon and blogged about our adventures and we both really enjoyed it. So I thought, “hmmm, what in the world could I blog about that might seem somewhat interesting?”. And then I thought of how much we both love cooking but primarily EATING and alas, And They Cooked Happily Ever After was born – a husband/wife (well, mostly wife) chronicle of newlywed kitchen adventures.
LS: What are some of your favourite local produce/products? Any used in your recipe?
KATE: I’d have to say that my list of favorite local products extends quite a bit, but primarily, the local produce in the summer time is beyond amazing. There’s a little produce/specialty food store about 15 minutes from us called Russo’s, and they are amazing supporters of local products. Everything from produce to artisinal breads and cheeses, all from states within New England. It’s truly a great place to expand your local palette.
In this recipe, I am using Taza Mexican Chocolate. Taza is literally right down the street from Dave and I and has grown to be a powerhouse in the local community. It began when Taza founder Alex Whitmore visited Oaxaca, Mexico and had his first experience with stone ground chocolate. He liked it so much, he decided to start his own factory right here in Somerville. Taza crafts stone ground chocolate from the cocoa bean straight to the bar, with bold and unique flavors that are hard to find anywhere else in the world. If you’re ever in the area, they do tours and tastings all week – it’s definitely worth the trip!
LS: Any tips for how you take advantage of seasonal fruit & veg?
KATE: The summer time is a playground for seasonal produce – a couple great recipes that utilize some of my favorite produce is BCT Salad, a delicious salad made with black beans, corn and tomatoes and Summer Bruschetta with feta cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil. So easy to make, and all really healthy.
LS: What does ‘local’ mean to you?
KATE: Local to me personally means small, hard working groups of people that have a something that they are truly passionate about and want to share with the rest of the world, while still keeping a small and intimate approach to their business model. It could be the mom & pop butcher shop down the street, or the farm stand at the end of the road that’s only open during the summer that sells the best tomatoes you’ve ever tasted in your life. It’s fresh. Delicious. Local.
Mexican Chocolate Fudge made with Taza Chocolate
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 – 2.7 oz Taza Mexican Chocolate Discs, broken up into pieces ( I used 1 cinnamon flavored disc and 70% chocolate flavored disc – so about 5oz mexican chocolate total)
14 large marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1) Prepare an 8×8″ baking pan lined with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2) Place the butter, milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and mexican chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring together until all the sugar dissolves.
3) Let the mixture come to a boil and let it continue to boil, making sure to stir constantly, for 5 minutes.
4) Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the marshmallows and chocolate chips, mixing until they are fully incorporated.
5) Pour into your prepared baking pan and add any toppings you wish – or just leave plain (I can’t get enough sprinkles (hundreds and thousands in Aussie speak) in my life, so I added them to the top for a little crunch – but nuts or chopped candies might work well too!)
6) Place in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour to allow the fudge to set. Once chilled, cut and serve!
Sounds like a perfect way to wrap up this week! **Please not give away is for US Residents only. If you live abroad, keep your eyes here for future give aways!
And They Cooked Happily Ever After