I’ve been building up a variety of recipes and other food-related thoughts recently, and I decided that it was time to share them here.

Since I knew that my boyfriend was buying or making desserts that contained pecans/pumpkin/lemon for Thanksgiving, I decided to visit the Taste of Home website and search for chocolate-themed desserts.  I finally picked Chocolate Malted Cookies, which were very good, and Chocolate Caramel Cookies, which were EXCELLENT.  Mine weren’t quite as pretty as the ones in the picture — I think that I would need more pecans in even smaller pieces if I were to achieve the look of the ones in the picture — but they looked good and tasted delicious, so that’s what counts.

After Thanksgiving, my boyfriend found this recipe for Jack Quesadillas With Cranberry Salsa, which called for cooked turkey and cranberry sauce.  We didn’t have either, actually, since his parents had the majority of the leftovers (and, come to think of it, there wasn’t any cranberry sauce this year).  So he had to cook some turkey cutlets and had to buy some whole-berry cranberry sauce.  But anyway, the whole meal was REALLY good.  The quesadillas were great on their own, but it was the cranberry salsa that really sealed the deal.  I would have that on its own as a side dish with other recipies.

Yesterday I came in early to weed my collection (I must be doing well with my weeding blitz, because Mr. Atoz looked at my shelves and exclaimed, “What the hell happened to the YA section?” so I feel like I’ve been very productive.)   Anyway, in addition to coming in early I decided to leave early, because a) we were full-staffed and b) I still need to use up my comp time balance.  So I left work at 2:00 and headed over to the Upper West Side to pick up dinner at the Shake Shack location on Columbus Avenue before it got too crowded.  Okay, the Shake Shack is ALWAYS crowded, but I figured that getting there before 3:00 would be a good “off-peak” time, and I was right.  I got a couple of ShackBurgers, a double cheeseburger with everything (for me), a bird dog (for my boyfriend), and some fries (for both of us).  I had my portion when I got home, and then my boyfriend had his when he got home a few hours later.  Which means that the cat had two different opportunities for sharing.  And go figure, he’s a big fan of ShackBurgers.

So this morning I discovered a link to this article about the best Hot Chocolate in New York City through Shelly’s blog.  I’ve actually had hot chocolate from several of these locations, so I can at least give my opinion on those.  This article is also giving me ideas about other varieties for me to try, and I have a few recommendations of my own.

I’ve tried both the regular and the wicked hot chocolate from Jacques Torres, and they were both delicious, although the Wicked Hot Chocolate is really quite spicy so I don’t have that as often (my boyfriend is a big fan of that variety, though).

So now I discover that I should have bought hot chocolate at the Shake Shack yesterday?  And that they have a special seasonal variety called Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate?  *FAINTS*

I’ve been to Eataly, but we spent our time there shopping for other stuff.  Now I know that I need to try their hot chocolate, as well.

The hot chocolate at Pop Bar looks lovely, but I’m curious to know that they also serve … gelato on a stick?????  Woo-Hoo!!!

And while I love visiting the DUMBO neighborhood in Brooklyn, I’ve never been to The Best Chocolate Cake in the World.  Now I have to go!!!

I tried the hot chocolate from Blue Bottle over the summer when we visited San Francisco, and it was both delicious and BEAUTIFUL:

Anyway, I have two more hot chocolates that I would recommend.  I’ve tried several varieties at Lily O’Brien’s (on 40th Street next to Bryant Park), and they were both rich and delicious.  I probably should not have had two of them one right after the other, though.  Urgh.  And I will also recommend the hot chocolate at Egidio’s, on E. 187th Street in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.  With a little whipped cream on top, that hot chocolate is almost a meal!