Friday, February 22, 2013
If Chocolate Was a Diet Food...
Things have not been going well for me. First I had the same cold that Kate had. It was awful and I will never again accuse her of being a kvetch. It was, in fact, the worst cold I have ever had. I had a fever. I had a cough. I had body aches. I felt so bad that I actually went to the doctor, where he confirmed that I had a cold. I like to think of it as an upper respiratory infection because it felt far worse than your average, garden variety cold.
In the midst of having the world's worst cold, I drove Kate to tennis because the weather was so awful. It was cold and snowing and I didn't think it was a good idea for her to drive so far. She also likes to get a ride so that we can chat.
But I digress. While Kate was playing tennis, I dragged my congested body to the grocery store. Why not share my cold with everyone in the Giant Eagle? I picked up what we needed and loaded my four bags into the back of my car.
Sounds fine so far, right? Well, this is where it all started to go horribly wrong.
When we got home it was snowing. Kate, who is not a big person, was loaded down with her backpack, her Latin notebook, her gym bag, and her tennis bag. She had no more hands so she headed into the house. I had my purse and the four bags of groceries. Since I am the queen of the multi-taskers, I decided to being all my stuff into the house at once. Besides, I didn't want to go outside again because, after all, I had an upper respiratory infection. This, it turns out, was not a good idea.
As I was heading down the sidewalk, I slipped in the snow/ice and landed flat on my back. I did this in spectacular fashion too. It probably looked like a cartoon, what with the groceries flying, me screaming, and snow everywhere.
So, there I was laying in the snow, crying and calling for Kate. But here's the problem. My house, which is something like 120 years old, is like a fortress and you can't hear anything once you're inside. Kate couldn't hear me. HELP!
I finally dragged myself up from the sidewalk, collected the groceries and schlepped myself inside. I was covered with snow. I put the groceries down and sat down on the couch, where I proceeded to make a puddle as the snow melted.
So, here's the upshot. After days of not being to walk or bend without excruciating pain, I finally went to the orthopedist. X-rays revealed a minor hairline fracture in my back, which was apparently nothing serious. What was more serious, because it was causing so much pain, was one motherf***er of a bone bruise.
Have you every had a bone bruise? I don't recommend it.
Well, it's now been about three weeks and I can finally walk with pain that ranks about a five on a scale of one to ten, and I can bend with maybe a level four pain. Not bad.
But despite it all, I have soldiered on. In fact, I even made a lovely Valentine's Day dinner for the three of us.
I found this recipe for chocolate mouse in the New York Times and had to make it. After all, I think I deserved it. And the best news is, that if chocolate mouse can be low-cal and low fat, this is. The only ingredients are bittersweet chocolate and water. Yes, water. All you do is melt the chocolate in the water and whip it up. The recipe calls for using a whisk, but since I'm injured I used my electric hand mixer which made fast work of the whipping. Sprinkle a little fleur de sel on top, and you have the most decadent, low fat dessert you'll ever eat.
You see, chocolate does cure all ills.
Recipe: Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse with Fleur de Sel
285 grams bittersweet chocolate (about 10 ounces), roughly chopped, more as needed
Fleur de Sel, to taste
Create an ice bath in a large bowl using ice and a little cold water. Nestle a smaller bowl in ice bath.
Place chocolate and 1 cup water in a small pot and heat over medium. Whisk until mixture is melted and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Immediately pour melted chocolate into the bowl in the ice bath. Vigorously whisk chocolate mixture by hand until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. The chocolate should be fluffy and form a mound when dolloped with the whisk (it should generally have the texture and appearance of mousse). If the mixture does not thicken, add a bit more chopped chocolate and remelt over the heat. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with fleur de sel.
YIELD 4 servings