It’s been almost a non-culinary weekend for me. Yesterday, I spent the day shopping with my sister Tina and we started our adventure with dim sum at a little Chinese restaurant in a strip mall in Ellicott City (yes, we will travel for good food). I knew it was going to be a great meal when I saw that the walls were plastered with menus in Chinese– yeah! We sampled all our favorite dishes– steamed pork shumai, wide chow fun noodles with beef, white fluffy steamed buns filled with red roasted pork to name a few– and were amply fortified for the marathon one-way two-story trek around Ikea.
Today, I attended a quilt workshop with my friend Amy. I was worried about the class because I didn’t understand half of what was written on the supply list– and I have made quilts in the past. The idea of “piecing” triangles together was intimidating. No matter, the class was great and although we both made cutting and piecing mistakes, we finally got the hang of it and had a starter set of squares. Mine look very traditional; I picked a fabric with “not enough movement or large design elements:”
however, Amy’s are decidedly dramatic– I love hers! We’re planning a date to help each other lay out the final designs.
I didn’t cook when I got home; we went out for Italian since it was already well into the dinner hour (at least for us). I was pretty much ready to crash when we got home (quilting fatigue and too much pasta). What I didn’t remember was that I promised Ken to make another batch of chocolate syrup…
He loves Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I hate the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in it, so I wanted to make my own. I made a small batch the other day, only to pour it into a glass jar with a hairline crack! I left the jar to cool and 20 minutes later I had a pool of chocolate sauce covering a quarter of my kitchen island. UGH! A waste and a sticky mess– not to mention Ken’s dismay when I told him the bad news! “Mom, you couldn’t save ANY of it?”
So I made another batch this evening. It’s basically a simple sugar syrup (the kind you use to sweeten iced tea and lemonade) with cocoa and other flavorings. I’ve tried different amounts of cocoa and it seems my family likes half as much cocoa as sugar; feel free to experiment to your own tastes!
If you usually let your child have Hershey’s chocolate syrup, then this one is just as good, and it’s made only with sugar, water, cocoa, salt and vanilla. I add some instant espresso powder but if you’re worried about adding caffeine levels, omit it.
Make-Your-Own Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
- 2 c water
- 2 c sugar (granulated, NOT powdered)
- 1 cup cocoa (Hershey’s, of course)
- 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
- big pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Place the water, sugar and cocoa into a non-aluminum pan. I use stainless steel. Whisk until the cocoa has been incorporated into the water (at first, it looks like it will never mix in, but just keep stirring with the whisk):
When the cocoa is blended into the water, add the instant espresso, if using, and the salt:
Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat. Once the mixture boils, watch to make sure it doesn’t overflow (or use a large pot, which I did NOT):
Take the pan off-heat and add the vanilla:
Pour into jar with lid (preferably uncracked) or plastic container (which is what I did after the jar fiasco):
Store in the refrigerator when cooled. I don’t know how long it keeps as we tend to run out on a weekly basis between Kurt and Ken’s chocolate milk and hot cocoa cravings.