|Otherwise known as the "Oh, crap!" entry.|
If you've read the entry below this one, you know that I am slowly in the process of copying everything from the LiveJournal version of A Chocoholic UnAnonymous here to Xanga. Emphasis on the "slowly" part. And if you haven't noticed, that has been just a little slower of recent.
There is a good reason for that.
When I started, I knew that there were some entries that needed to be reworked, cleaned up, whatever you want to call it. I figured that I would get around to the necessary housekeeping on the LJ version eventually.
Guess what? It's eventually.
I'm going to have to do some work on the entries from late 2007 and early 2008 before I can copy anything else over to Xanga. We will return you to your regularly scheduled (quit snickering) entries shortly. (And this entry will be deleted once that happens.)
|STATUS: Currently transferring entries from 2007.|
[Step by step, one by one, higher and higher . . . ]
Hello, and welcome to A Chocoholic UnAnonymous.
My name is Johnny Carruthers, and I am the aforementioned chocoholic.
I have been writing reviews of candy bars and other confectionary goodies for quite a few years. I was already writing articles for a couple of science fiction fanzines (that's where the "scifi" part of my username comes in), when, in a fit of whimsy, I decided to write a review of a candy bar. My editors liked the idea, and they printed it, so I wrote more.
A couple of years ago, though, I had this epiphany. I realized that I had more reviews that I wanted to write than could ever be used in print, even if my editors ran an issue of nothing but my reviews. And I knew that was more than a little unlikely.
Since I didn't have the inclination to publish my own fanzine (for one thing, I didn't think I could do a decent fanzine on a regular basis), I turned to the Internet. The first version of A Chocoholic UnAnonymous was launched on LiveJournal in July 2006. It's still there, by the way. This version isn't a replacement; it's an expansion. An attempt to gain a wider audience, as it were.
Not too long ago, my friend Janus (aka "janusfiles") mentioned that Xanga had finally added a feature where you could adjust the dates of your entries. And after reading (with some amusement) of how he created a mirror site on LiveJournal for his Xanga site, I decided to do the same, only reversing the direction of migration. I seem to have picked up at least a few readers, due in no small part to Janus's telling all of his friends and subscribers about me. For those of you who discovered me this way, I thank you.
And if you discovered me through some other means, I thank you as well.
Somewhere along the line, one of my subscribers here asked why updates weren't appearing in her subscription digest. To the best of my knowledge, it was because I was backdating entries as I posted them. I decided that I needed to change the way I posted things just a bit.
So now, any new entry will have the current date for at least the first 24 hours. After that, the time/date stamp will be changed to match its original posting date. (And the quicker I receive comments on a new entry, the sooner another entry gets posted. Hint, hint.)
This entry will be updated from time to time, and will be deleted once I have copied all of the older entries. And I plan on taking my time copying the entries. From what I saw, Janus was trying to copy everything as quickly as he possibly could. I plan on treating this as a marathon; something that requires patience and endurance. Much easier on the sanity that way.
Once again, welcome, and I hope you enjoy. And if you do enjoy, please leave comments. Lots and lots of comments, thank you very much. It's probably the easiest way I can really tell if someone is reading what I am writing.
Oh, and if you're really curious as to what I might currently reviewing, the original version of A Chocoholic UnAnonymous can be found by clicking on the link below:
I've actually adapted this entry for the Bio on my LJ profile page. As I said, this particular entry will eventually go away once I have finally copied all of the entries from the LJ site here. I thought it was worth keeping the basic information around somewhere. Eventually, the plan is to post new entries to both sites simultaneously. Eventually.
|This entry is a first for A Chocoholic UnAnonymous. This is the first entry that I am posting to both LiveJournal and Xanga at the same time. No, I have not completed migrating all of the entries over to Xanga . . . at least not yet. (Far from it, as a matter of fact.) But this time, I decided that I wanted to share this recipe with both sets of readers right away.|
Yes, I have been doing some experimenting in the kitchen again.
That sound you may be hearing is probably my closest friends screaming in horror.
Okay, now that my friends have finished screaming, let's continue.
This time, the recipe was inspired by Anne Byrn's Chocolate From The Cake Mix Doctor. Great cookbook. In fact, all of her "Cake Mix Doctor" cookbooks are great reading. Byrn shows you how to take your average cake mix, and with just a few additions, turn it into something spectacular.
I had checked out Chocolate From The Cake Mix Doctor from my local library recently, and during the time I had it, I saw one or two things that I wanted to try with brownies. (I'm more of a brownie person than a cake person.) And then I began using my particular talent for putting together a recipe, and completely visualizing it before I ever set foot in the kitchen. (It's a rare occurrence when the final product doesn't match the visualization. There might need to be a little tweaking involved in a subsequent attempt, but I almost never have anything result in a disaster.)
I already had most of the ingredients. I just needed to make one final purchase at Kroger, and I was ready to enter the laboratory . . . er, kitchen.
(I need a better name; maybe someone will suggest one.)
1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Brownie mix
1 tub Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat oven according to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9" baking pan.
2. Prepare the brownie mix according to directions. (This involves the addition of egg, oil, and water, and blending thoroughly.)
3. Add the frosting to the batter, and stir until thoroughly blended.
4. Add the chocolate chips, and blend.
5. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
The brownies came out great -- or at least, I thought they did. And they tasted just the way I thought they would. The bottom of the brownies was still a little on the gooey side, even after adding some additional baking time. My co-worker Nate suggested that I may have been a little too generous with the cooking spray when I greased the pan. I will have to give the pan less of a hit with the spray when I try the recipe again.
But no matter how good I may think the brownies are, I needed some more useful feedback. I had described the brownies to my friend Angel. She thought they sounded good, until I mentioned the coconut pecan frosting in them. It seems she has a bit of a problem with coconut. Actually, I think the words she used were "anaphylactic shock," so she wouldn't be a good test subject.
As I have mentioned before, my friends tend to get just a little twitchy when I ask them to be test subjects. From the way they react, you would think I was handing them a live hand grenade, and pulling the pin just as I walk away. So, I needed a new group of victims . . . er, test subjects.
I decided to use my co-workers, and I took some of the brownies to work with me. I left a note essentially saying, "Help yourself," and asked for feedback. Keeping in mind what Angel had said to me, I said in the note, "If you have a problem with coconut or nuts, you might want to stay away from these. And if you have a problem with chocolate, what the hell are you doing within anywhere near me?"
The co-workers loved them, although I didn't get much in the way of detailed feedback. The best response was from Nate. He told me that he was glad he read the note first, because he has an allergy to coconut. He decided to brave the odds anyway, took a Benadryl, and then tried one of the brownies.
I'm going to have to try another attempt at these soon. I need to see if Nate was right about overgreasing the pan . . .
RUSSELL STOVER STRAWBERRY CREAM PUMPKIN
And here I was, thinking I had run out of pumpkins to review. Well, I was wrong. I found one more offering from Russell Stover.
On the outside, the Strawberry Cream Pumpkin is like all of the other candy pumpkins from Russell Stover -- a vaguely pumpkinish shell of Russell Stover's milk chocolate. Inside that shell is a fluffy strawberry-flavored cream filling.
Well, it's supposed to be strawberry flavored. It's a nice bright pink color, but I really don't detect anything resembling the flavor of strawberry in the center. I really couldn't detect any sort of flavoring in the center, come to think of it. It's sweet, but that is about all I could taste.
Fortunately, the chocolate shell does not disappoint. As always, the chocolate is rich and velvety on the tongue. With this particular candy, the chocolate is the overwhelmingly dominant flavor, because the filling provides almost nothing in the way of contrast.
And since today is Halloween, this may have already disappeared from the shelves of your favorite store. But on the off chance that it hasn't, and you have discovered more than a few still available, I would suggest waiting another 24 hours. The Strawberry Cream Pumpkin is definitely one that can wait until it gets discounted.
|When I designed the business cards for A Chocoholic UnAnonymous, I knew that they would be a great way to tell people about the site. I learned just how good it was last night.|
I was in Kroger, getting something other than chocolate. (Believe it or not, I do eat things other than chocolate.) As I was walking toward the cash register, I paused at a display of candy bars. A couple of young women were at the display, deciding on what if anything they were going to purchase.
One of them was looking at a Reese's Whipps bar, and I told her, "I would definitely recommend that." I used the description I gave in my review of the Whipps bar; that it was like a Snickers bar without the caramel.
The young lady had one question: Did the bar really have a good peanut butter flavor? I assured her that it did. I then added that I write about chocolate, and that I had done quite a bit of research when writing the review. (Both of them started chuckling as they figured out what that research entails.)
I mentioned the site, and it just so happened that I had some of my cards with me. I gave a card to each of them, and both of them seemed to be amused by the whole concept. They said that they would have to check out the site.
I think I may have just found a couple of new readers. I hope I have, anyway.