Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Here’s a little gem I have made for a long time. Way back when, I used to babysit for three young kids and their mother always made this recipe for them. I never knew you could make hot fudge sauce with unsweetened cocoa, primarily because my mom used to just buy jars and cans of chocolate syrup. So, when I first tasted this hot fudge sauce, I was in heaven. Easy to make with unsweetened cocoa – and who doesn’t have unsweetened cocoa sitting on the shelf! – and better than store bought, this cocoa hot fudge sauce is simply a delight all year long.

Ingredients

3/4 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup whole milk or half and half
1/4 Cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa and milk, stirring with a whisk or fork until completely combined and smooth.

Put the saucepan on medium heat and stir continually until the ingredients have come to a boil.

Stir in butter and continue to boil until sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and salt.

Store in container in the refrigerator. Makes about 12-13 ounces, or about one small jar.
To reheat, microwave for approximately 30 seconds.

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Baby Boomers and the Opioid Epidemic – Part 2

In my March 21, 2018, post, I wrote that the opioid epidemic knows no age – that baby boomers are affected as much as younger generations.

Center for Disease Control Statistics

The CDC has published information on just how much the opioid epidemic has affected lives. In its report, the CDC stated that from 1999-2016, more than 200,000 people died in the United States from prescription opioids. Deaths in 2016 were five times higher than in 1999. In 2016, more than 40% of all U.S. opioid deaths involved a prescription opioid. These are stunning numbers and makes you wonder how and when this got so out of hand.

The Dawn of the Opioid Crisis

In the mid 1990’s, the Sackler brothers and their company, Purdue Pharma, made the drug OxyContin and marketed it as a cure-all with no addictive tendencies. In my March post, I wrote about a great article in the New Yorker that went through the history of the Sackler brothers and how they turned OxyContin into a gold mine through their marketing efforts. When confronted with the possibility that OxyContin was addictive, they kept denying its abusive effects, all the while reaping in the cash. Well, the New York Times just published an article showing that Purdue Pharma knew about the abuse in the first few years after OxyContin was on the market and that the company hid the information. The Justice Department investigated Purdue Pharma for four years and recommended charges be brought against company executives. Rather than indict, in 2007, the US Government settled the matter with minor penalties and a big fine. The Justice Department thought that by charging executives and giving Purdue Pharma a hefty fine, that the penalties would deter other drug companies from flooding the market with prescription drugs.

They were wrong. The opioid markets were saturated with pills. And here we are today.

Straight Up Rhubarb Pie Recipe

No strawberries, no blueberries, no pineapple or other fancy fillers to take over the flavor. Just straight rhubarb pie. This recipe is a perfect combination of tart and sweet and gives a good balance of rhubarb and sugar so the filling isn’t soupy.

Ingredients

4 Cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/3 Cups white sugar
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon butter
Pastry for a double crust pie

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the sugar and flour. Line the bottom crust in the pie pan. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the mixture over the bottom crust. Put the rhubarb on top of this mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour mixture. Dot with small pieces of butter and then cover with the top crust. Flute the edges of the pie to seal in the filling. Poke holes in the top crust for venting. As an option, cover the fluted edges of the pie with aluminum foil so the crust edges do not burn and remove the foil about 15 minutes prior to taking the pie out of the oven.

Place pie on the lowest rack in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bank for another 40-45 minutes.