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:
– 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?
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.