Do you have any kitchen quirks? What about your partner or roommates?
Maybe you are wondering what I mean by a kitchen quirk. Basically it’s anything that drives your significant other batshit crazy.
I’ll offer some examples:
– Always sticking produce stickers on the counter despite your husband’s pleas not to (my long-time readers will get this, if you don’t, see Part 1 and Part 2)
– Loading the dishwasher in a very specific way (spoiler alert)
– Only wanting the cutlery drawer to be perfectly stacked with everything facing the same direction
– Organizing the fridge or pantry in a certain way and insisting that it’s kept in this precise order
– Debating with your partner/roommate about whether certain foods should be refrigerated or not
– Turning cans so that the label always faces the same way, are arranged by alphabet/colour/etc
I like to think of myself as a recipe creating tornado and I frequently drive Eric nuts because he is so much more organized than I am. When you are with someone for almost 15 years you learn every one of their little (and big) quirks. Day by day….by day.
Want to know what Eric’s biggest kitchen quirk is?
Aside from me, it’s the dishwasher.
The guy has a thing for dishwasher organization. It’s his pride and joy. And it’s actually impressive, the dedication that he puts into carefully loading and stacking the dishwasher every day. He has refined his technique over the years too, always improving. Impressive. At first glance, you might think that he’s just a normal guy unloading or loading the dishwasher, but you’d be wrong, very wrong. He is not normal. Eric has been trying to enlighten me with his genius dishwasher short-cuts ever since we got together. I stubbornly refused for years until I recently discovered how amusing it is to see him so proud when I use his “tricks”. He beams with pride.
My sister was over yesterday and after dinner we got talking about how her husband/my brother-in-law insists that the dishwasher is loaded in a certain way. Hmm sounds familiar. So began a hilarious conversation with us and the guys talking about how a dishwasher should be loaded. She said, “Steve will actually UNLOAD the dishes that I have loaded and then reload the machine!” Well, that rings a bell. I hear Eric tinkering away with unloading and reloading my dishes every night. He also has a system of loading my measuring spoons (because I typically use about 20+ on any given day of recipe testing). We have a dishwasher with a narrow top tray for cutlery and he has created this whole system of how to load the measuring spoons and other utensils so that they don’t collect/pool any water…right down to which direction they face for optimum drying. Like I said, not normal…but impressive.
I should also mention that we had a 10+ year ongoing debate about whether ketchup should be refrigerated or not. I said that, yes, ketchup should be refrigerated and he always said it shouldn’t (just a personal preference on his part). One day I pointed out the label which reads “Keep refrigerated” and it’s been in the fridge ever since! Case closed. Mystery solved. He finally gave in (even if it’s perfectly fine at room temperature).
Of course, this story wouldn’t be complete without Eric weighing in on my biggest kitchen quirk.
Without even blinking an eye he said, “chaos.”
Nailed it. Martha would so not approve of my kitchen ways.
Ok, it’s your turn to spill the beans. What are your kitchen quirks? What about your partner or roommates’ quirks?
Crazy Good Coconut Oil "Chocolate" Bark
This homemade chocolate is made with just a few essential ingredients - virgin coconut oil, cocoa or cacao powder, and pure maple syrup. (Feel free to use whichever liquid sweetener you prefer). The virgin coconut oil replaces the cocoa butter found in traditional chocolate so while it needs to be kept in the freezer, it’s a great way to sneak some coconut oil into your day. You can also use any toppings you'd like - dried fruit, nuts, + seeds all work lovely. It melts much faster than regular chocolate, so be sure to keep it chilled until ready to enjoy. I prefer it straight from the freezer.
- 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup large flake dried coconut
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder, sifted if necessary
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon smooth almond butter, optional
- pinch fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a 9" square pan or a small baking sheet with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. Set aside.
- Add hazelnuts and almonds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet and add the coconut flakes and spread out. Continue roasting the nuts and coconut flakes for another 3-4 minutes, or until the coconut is lightly golden. Watch closely to avoid burning - coconut burns fast!
- Place hazelnuts on several sheets of damp paper towel. Wrap the hazelnuts and rub them vigorously with the paper towel until the skins fall off. It’s ok if some skins don’t come off. Discard the skins and roughly chop the hazelnuts and almonds.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa (or cacao) powder, maple syrup, and almond butter (if using) until smooth. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste. Stir in half of the almonds and hazelnuts.
- With a spatula, spoon the chocolate mixture onto the prepared parchment-lined pan or sheet and smooth out until it's about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle on the remaining nuts and all of the coconut flakes. Place into freezer on a flat surface for about 15 minutes, until frozen solid.
- Once frozen, break apart into bark. Store in the freezer until ready to eat. I don't recommend keeping it out on the counter long because it melts fast.
Tip: To make this nut-free, simply omit the almond butter, hazelnuts, and almonds. It will still turn out just fine! You can try adding toasted sunflower seeds on top for a little crunch.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Your Crazy Good Coconut Oil “Chocolate” Bark recipe makes me crave it. I’m really excited to make my own. Perfect alternative to the “regular” candy bar I buy. Nutritious snacks are delicious thanks to these recipes.
My biggest kitchen quirk is probably that, when I’m cooking, I like to spppppppread out all of my ingredients on the kitchen island/counters. So, for maybe one batch of granola, I take over an entire countertop. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until someone else tries to make lunch and I realize they have no space…oops!
Maybe this chocolate bark will be less of a world domination attempt…doubtful, but we’ll see! ;)
Oh, some of these comments are just priceless!
But yes, my quirk is arranging the cups in the cupboard in a stacked arrangement, handles aligned (that’s not weird, they are arranged for optimum stability and easy grabbing!)…..if somebody else does the dishes they always do it all wrong! Terrible! Oh and also, every utensil (mini sieves, scrapers, measuring cups) MUST be in the right place, or I wander around the house going “WHO did THIS? Placed the brownie pan next to the springforms?”
My girlfriend throws waste into the sink when she cooks, which I find super-weird. [She does pick it up and throws it to the bin eventually, but I fail to get why would anyone not throw things to the bin in the first place.]
My quirk- Probably an attempt to use as few dishes as possible, which results in me shopping vegetables in the bowl instead of on a cutting board, for instance.
I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I thought I was alone, I am so glad that are others who live with The Dishwasher Police. I don’t bother even attempting to load the dishwasher anymore. When I have tried, my husband will shake his head, chuckle and say “You are so funny. Good try.” And then unload and reload the whole thing. It has a fancy cutlery compartment. When we bought it, he read the manual and suggested I do the same, so that I could learn the correct slots for spoons, knives and forks. I think life is too short to read dishwasher manuals. He can have the dishwasher and load it his way. Now if we get on the topic of how to properly fold towels, that is another story….
This is so great haha I am cracking up reading everyones comments! I am a clean/organization freak so I understand ALL of these, especially since I live with my carefree boyfriend and his brother and am constantly following them around the house fixing the way they put away or “clean up” anything. We have a MASSIVE tupperware drawer that I keep very organized and the boys mess it up pretty much every other day :|
I made the bark tonight and I can honestly say I think it is much better than all the dark chocolate I have tried and without the heavy milk and dary and processed sugars. So healthy for you and yet so amazingly delicious. Thank you for your recipe!!!
I made the bark tonight and I can honestly say I think it is much better than all the dark chocolate I have tried and without the heavy milk and dairy and processed sugars. So healthy for you and yet so amazingly delicious. Thank you for your recipe!!!
My thing is fridge and cupboard organisation. Everything has its place, and has to be in that place! (In the fridge – dairy at the top, meat at the bottom!) My boyfriend never remembers this and drives me cray cray. I cant let him unpack the food shopping cause its just CHAOS in the cupboards.
I would love to try to make this bark. I have a nut allergy- do you have any suggestions for a substitute? or just keep the coconut? www.sugarpeel.com
I am officially obsessed!
Reading these comments is making me laugh!
I’m a teen, so I still live with my mum. Leaving cupboard doors open is definitely something that drives her mad. She’s even tried to leave notes for me for my cupboard doors :)
But I definitely agree with you Angela- I’m effective and time-saving while I leave the doors open. But…. I have a tendency to leave the doors open AFTER I’ve finished…. whoops.
I finally made this last night — such a big hit with my guests, and so easy! I followed the chocolate recipe as you had it, but used other nuts I had on hand – almonds, pistachios, and coconut. the chopped pistachios gave a lovely colour to the mix. Everyone asked for the recipe!
I’m neurotic about the dishwasher! everything in the right place – large plates go in the front, short plates in the back, tall glasses on one side, shorter glasses and coffee cups on the other. My other quirk is putting things back in the cupboards. All tupperware must be stacked by shape (round together, rectangular together, etc.) in size order. All lids are similarly stacked and placed in a special ‘basket’. Same with pots and pans. And don’t get me started on bagging the grocery shopping. My kids have been trained – all dry goods in one bag, cold goods in another, same for produce. Raw meat never gets mixed with anything other than raw meat. My kids call me ‘Sheldon’ from The Big Bang Theory!
With it being chocolate it looks and sounds naughty but reading what’s init it actually sounds quiet healthy and great to take as pieces to work for a snack or for when you have friends over. Nice to see you have included other alternatives to add in rather than just using nuts.
You have put a tip to make it nut free and that means taking out the almond butter, what would you use then to make the chocolate? Just ordinary butter?
This was a hit with my picky boyfriend!
I just made this and I have to say it’s amazing! I added a tbsp of maca to mine and substituted the hazelnuts for macadamia! Turned out beautifully, I’ll be making it again for sure!
Thanks for sharing your recipe Angela
I just tried making this using cacao nibs blended to a powder with my coffee grinder. The oil and powder separated once I put it on the cookie sheet and now that it is frozen, the oil rose to the top and the cacao powder formed a layer on the bottom. Is this because the cacao nibs weren’t blended fine enough? Or is it because I used 1/2 cup solid coconut oil (would it have been different if I melted then measured?
I accidentally rated this recipe one star! It is definitely a five star recipe, I just have to change my approach.
Loved to read about your husband’s dishwasher habits!!! :)
But I was wondering, for the recipe, is it sweet and mellow tasting enough to be kid friendly? For young kids, I don’t want to give white sugar filled chocolate but a healthy treat is always nice. Or does it have more of a dark chocolate taste “adult-only” taste?
I know I am very late to this conversation, but I had to chime in and say that while I don’t think I’m nuts about technique or anything, my husband is TERRIBLE at loading the dishwasher. He consistently puts things in there that shouldn’t go, he will put plates and such in facing away from where the water comes out, so they can’t/won’t get clean, and he often loads dishes and plates so they clang against each other and get chipped! But he’s even worse about unloading. IF he ever does it (and that’s a big if), he doesn’t look at anything to make sure it’s actually clean before he puts it away. Our dishwasher never seems to clean everything 100%, so there is usually at least one glass or fork that has gross stuff all over it. But he’ll just put it in the cupboard with the others, instead of setting it in the sink to be rewashed. So. Gross.
FYI…..most restaurants don’t refrigerate condiments, they are left overnight on the table! Looking forward to trying your creation.
Yup – made it! Making a double batch as I type – so good!
I am the organizer at my house and everyone else is very disorganized! It’s like trying to eat Oreo’s and brush your teeth at the same time!
I love the flavor coconut oil gives my foods! I am going to use these delicious chocolates as teachers gifts for the holidays this year. Thanks for the great recipe!
I’ve been using Angela’s recipes for cooking and baking things for years from this blog and realized I should probably start commenting! I decided to make this chocolate because everyone at work – myself included – seems quite addicted to low quality candy (like left over Halloween candy) which tends to just leave me feeling kind of gross after a sugar high. Not wanting to break the fun tradition of eating candy at work, but rather to enhance the experience, I made this lovely chocolate to take to work this week. We’ll see how long it lasts! It’s very tasty!
I had no problems, but substituted honey in for maple syrup as I ran out. I think it would be fun to play around with ingredients. Orange pieces or orange zest? Raspberries? Strawberries? Its safe to say I’m addicted to making chocolate after making this. Thanks for the recipe!
This recipe with Virgin Coconut Oil goes to my cookbook.
If you used 80% to100% dark chocolate, instead of cocoa powder, it wouldn’t melt when out of the fridge. The difference would be that you would need to temper it – cool the entire mixture over some ice or a bowl of very cold water (or even a bag of frozen peas) & stirring continuously until it reaches just above room temperature before pouring into bark. Some chocolate companies are making chocolate with maple syrup or coconut sugar now instead of cane sugar (like Zazubean’s 80% chocolate bar), which would be a great alternative.
Great recipe! I will have to try it!
You know what I’d love to see? Pictures of this chaos you create!! :D All the pictures you post are so lovely and clean and perfect and I had an inkling (due to trying it out myself) that the chaos that can’t be seen in the background would be just as interesting to me as the perfectly taken food pics…. :)
(Note: I also realised that though I meticulously clean behind things I want to photograph, it’s the old photos with clutter in the background that cause me to stop and reminisce about a random purse I used to have or what brand of flour my mom used, etc.)
What’s your take on the incidentals that sometimes end up in the background of the photos we mean to take?
Why don’t you respond to a single comment regarding this recipe?!?!?!?!
Funny you should talk about your husband in kitchen in the blog post…I found this recipe because MY husband (RANDOMLY) decided while I was at the gym that he wanted to make homemade chocolate. He barely cooks, and never has looked up a recipe in his life, and I promise I made no mention of wanting sweets or chocolate….but when I came home this beautiful chocolate bark was in my freezer. AND, absolutely NO evidence in the kitchen that he was even there!!! he cleaned up impeccably. So proud. Anyway, it was AMAZING!! Can’t wait to get home from work and eat more.
Small problem- he’s convinced coconut oil is unhealthy for the heart- I try to convince him otherwise but he won’t budge and pulls up some Harvard Drs opinion on it as his argument. aarrgghh
I discovered this website looking for recipes for my cousin who was cutting meat out of her diet. I am always looking for healthier options myself. I saw this recipe and had all the ingredients on hand so I tried it. I absolutely love this. It is delicious. Everyone that has sampled it loves it. It is so rich and such a treat.
Hi Chrissy, I’m so happy to hear you liked the recipe! Thanks for the great comment — if you decide to try anything else from the blog, I hope you enjoy it just as well. :)
How many calories and how much dat are in these? They look amazing!
Hi Heather, I haven’t calculated the nutritional information myself, but a free online tool like NutritionData.com and CalorieCount.com will quickly give you the breakdown you’re looking for. I hope this helps, and that you enjoy the bark if you give it a try!
I have to come clean- I am the dishwasher nazi in my house. And I must say that, as excited as I am about the recipe, I am DYING to know how he loads the dishwasher. I even started to type dishwasher when I meant to say chocolate before. I know this is totally nuts.
But… any chance of a dishwasher demo video? Nerds want to know. :)
Hahaha – now there’s an idea! :)
Hi Angela! I just made this nut free but it seems to not be able to break, just bend. It has been in the freezer for an hour. Any feedback? Thank you!
so I just tried to make this a second time. I say tried because the recipe failed again! I want SO much to love this.
The first time I used honey and it didn’t incorporate into the chocolate and ended up as a sticky blob on the bottom of the pan when I removed it from the freezer.
The second time I used maple syrup and I KNOW it was thoroughly blended, however when I took it out of the freezer the maple syrup had ended up on the bottom separated from the coconut oil chocolate mixture as well. I know its not a consistency issue, as maple syrup is much thinner than honey. It still has a fair flavor but it’s not sweet enough because the sweetener separated from the final mixture.
WHAT am I doing wrong? no one else seems to have run into this issue and I’m not sure why.
Hi Marie, Apologies for my long delay in getting back to you on this, your comment slipped right by me! I haven’t experienced this issue before, and I’m sorry to say I can’t quite think of a reason why it’s happening. My one thought was that it might not be “emulsified/mixed” enough. I would make sure to whisk it vigorously just in case that might be the reason….but it sounds like you did that!
I am having the same issue…I want this to turn out well but the maple syrup ends us at the bottom and the coconut oil dry white on top! why is it separating?
Hey Monica, I’m sorry for the lengthy delay in getting back to you on this. Unfortunately, I haven’t experienced this issue before, and I can’t quite think of a reason why it’s happening! My one thought is that it might not be “emulsified/mixed” enough. I would make sure to whisk it vigorously just in case that might be the reason.
Absolutely amazing chocolate bark!! This recipe is a keeper!! Thank you for sharing.
Happy you enjoyed it, Darla!
I am having the same issue as Monica and Marie with my honey/maple syrup separating and going to the bottom… any ideas why and how to fix it??? :(
Hey Annie, I’m sorry to hear this! I haven’t experienced this issue before, and I can’t quite think of a reason other than it might not be “emulsified/mixed” enough. I would make sure to whisk it vigorously just in case that might be the reason.
I’m wondering why there are 7 pictures of this same bark….Really, just one photo at the top would be very nice, and we wouldn’t need to scroll down for ages to get to the recipe. I find that this is common with blogs. Really, less is more. =)
I am allergic to coconut oil are there any chocolate bark recipes without coconut oil?
Hi Susy, I haven’t tried it before but I wonder if cacao butter might work?
Damn, my live-in boyfriend can’t even rinse a bowl before he leaves it in the sink right next to the dishwasher.
Side note – I need to make chocolate bark this weekend.
I finally tried this today, and it was delicious…but mine, like Hannah’s had the maple syrup like in a separate layer….Does anyone know why that would happen? Thanks! I found this recipe on while I was doing sugar free January–finally made, it lol….March 11th!!
Hey Kim, Oh I’m sorry your separated on you! Was it whisked well in the pot? I think it’s important for combining the ingredients. And a quick question…was your maple syrup room temp or chilled (just wondering if that impacts it at all)? I hope you still enjoyed it regardless! :)
This looks so good! I made it with almonds but it was still so good!, thank you for sharing…
Hi! I might have done a stupid thing and need your advice! I substituted the coconut oil for olive oil. It’s been in the freezer now for at least 45 minutes and still not hard. Toss it and start over with coconut oil? Or is there a way to salvage it? Thanks :)
Wow thank you!!! This recipe is amazing! I love that it’s not too sweet. I added raisins inside. I am going to make this bark to add to my Christmas gifts this year. It was fabulous!
I had a such good laugh about the dishwasher story. My husband is exactly the same way. It’s a bone of contention between us. If I load some dishes, he takes them out and and loads them again..in his words “The right way”. But he does load them with precision and can get many more dishes in the washer than I could. It’s like a puzzle for him. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one without my MBA in loading the dishwasher. This was my laugh for today. Thanks. This is the 2nd time I’m making your bark…so easy and delicious for a little treat.
Oh well, here goes, my quirk is needing to see all my cooking necessities so I can find things. My apartment counters are full of my yard sale acquisition appliances. My saucepan, teapot and carbon steel skillet stay out, sitting on my stove. Cluttered mess is my entire house. It is a seriously flawed and messy quirk.
I’ve made this recipe MANY times and really love it! It’s soo healthy and delicious! I am generous with the nuts and I also add raisins, chopped dried apricots, hemp seeds and chia seeds.