Chocolate For Breakfast: Chocolate Granola


Sometimes, a girl just needs chocolate for breakfast.


That’s truth, right? Sometimes, you just need a bit of chocolate in the morning. I’ve had this recipe for Chocolate Granola open in a tab on my computer for a week now. The photography is crave worthy! (and I’m not even pretending to recreate that magic!) But I was missing a couple of ingredients. So, I just kept looking at it. Wishing and then forgetting to buy the items I needed on the inevitable milk runs. 

Yesterday, I finally decided to just “fake” it. And while I’ll probably get the ingredients to make this proper in the near future, I have to say, my version came out just fine. 

For the record, I was missing Coconut Oil. In part, because this is a new ingredient for me and I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with what KIND of coconut oil to buy. Costco has a great deal on it (don’t ask me what kind it is, tho!) and I’ve been tempted. But then I start reading labels and it’s so confusing! Organic or not-organic? That part is probably obvious! But cold- pressed or expeller pressed? Virgin or ex-virgin? I have no clue.  I know I don’t want to buy a huge tub of something that we won’t use — or can’t use. 

So, when you don’t know something — it’s google to the rescue, right? A little searching led me to this amazing blog post on decoding coconut oil labels that really cleared up the labeling confusion on coconut oil for me. I now feel like I can go check labels and make an educated buying decision. 

That being said, it still didn’t put coconut oil in my pantry. So, I made this granola with Saffola. And honestly, it’s amazing! I’m sure the coconut oil will give it a better flavor, but this is worth the effort even if you don’t happen to have coconut oil on hand. 



With milk: though, I’m going to confess here — eating this dry by the handful is a lot of fun!


Chocolate Granola 


  • 4 Cups of rolled oats
  • 1 Cup coconut flakes (I used sweetened coconut because that’s what I had!)
  • 1 Cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 t of salt (I used Black Hawaiian Salt –it’s divine!)
  • 1/2 Cup of cocoa
  • 1/3 cup of Safflower Oil
  • 1 Tb of Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of Agave
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 oz of dark chocolate finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Mix oats, coconut, pecans, and salt in a large bowl
  • Mix oil, vanilla, cocoa, agave, and dark brown sugar in another large bowl
  • Combine your wet and dry ingredients. Mixing slowly until the oat mixture is completely coated.
  • Spread the yummy goo (dare you not to try it!) onto your baking sheet. As evenly as you can. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the granola and bake for another 10 mins. Keep an eye on it, it can scorch. 
  • When done, sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top of your granola. It will melt — so you’ll need to let it cool before placing in an air-tight container. 

A few notes: this granola is more like coated oatmeal — without all the chunks you might expect with granola. This is an upside when eating it with milk… munching it, not so much.

The next time I make this, I think I’ll add 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries. But I think chopped dates would be lovely too! 

And yes, I had a bowl for dessert last night. I just couldn’t wait until the morning to have chocolate for breakfast. 

A Perfect Brownie


It really is a perfect brownie. 


Perfection on so many fronts! I can’t tell you good these things are. So, I’m going to just post the recipe and let you decide for yourself. 

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Dear Brain, Have a Piece of Chocolate

Let’s call this an incentive. 


Like most Americans, weight loss is on my mind this time of year. Losing weight and getting more exercise are the top New Year’s Resolutions in this country. And looking at my expanding waistline, I’m not surprised. However, this is not going to be a whiney post about how much I’ve packed on due to my now sedentary job and extreme lack of sunshine. This is a post about chocolate.

I have a serious love affair with chocolate. Certain times of the month my obsession is downright pathological. I need it almost as much as I need tea. But unlike tea, it’s not exactly sugar free or diet friendly.

And exercise? Um…  I tell myself that I enjoy exercising. Every day. “Self, you love this. Yes, you do.” But my brain knows that I’m a big fat liar. My brain wants proof. Or a distraction. So, I’m giving it an incentive. You want chocolate, then exercise. 

Now, the only way to earn one of those tasty (and only 42 calories of sin,er, goodness) pieces is to put in 20 minutes of high-powered activity. Which is an euphemism for exercise, just don’t tell my brain.

There is some evidence that the brain stops being a part of the decision making process once a habit is formed. And the best way to form a habit is to make whatever it is you’re doing enjoyable. If exercise isn’t: then a reward of chocolate after the fact–might just short-circut my “you swear to tell the whole truth” brain’s say in the process. Eventually, with a habit in place my brain won’t know I’m lying to it. I’m counting on the fact that habits are hard to break and that my brain doesn’t stand a chance.  

If this sounds delusional, well, it’s January.  We’ll talk in June. M’kay? 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Hands down the best chocolate frosting we’ve ever had!


It’s IZ’s birthday.(Happy Birthday, IZ!! And now that we’re the same again again, would you please stop telling people that I robbed the cradle?). Since it is his birthday, I spent the day baking his favorite cake. The frosting is out of this world good. Rich, decadent, addictive. Totally not on the diet plan. But you know, you only turn 42 once, at least officially.

 Heather asked on twitter if I’d put up the recipe so here it is.

I hope y’all have an amazing weekend! I will, amongst other things, be working off cake! Happy Friday! 

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Baby, Let’s Bundt

Who are you calling crummy? Oh, me. Yes, yes I am.


Um, hello. Nothing I love more than chocolate cake. 

No, really, really love. Since I’ve known how to say it, chocolate has been my friend. And I love it most as cake. Soft, crummy, iced perfection. Not too sweet, but with a depth of character that I aspire to… beautiful. I could go on all day talking about chocolate cake.

When I was quite small, turning 5 in fact, my mother was hospitalized on my birthday. Her best friend stepped in and tried to make it better by baking my favorite cake. Chocolate. I was so, so heart broken at being abandoned by my mother on my birthday (I was five, and already irrational) that I could not bring myself to eat it. I was just too distraught. Big tears streaming down my little face, I could only sob when asked what the matter was, “I love Lemon cake best.” 

That was a lie. Though, I do love a good lemon cake. I was just too upset to actually eat the cake and at five, I didn’t really know how to express that properly.  It was the only time in my memory that I’ve ever, ever turned down chocolate cake. I typically eat far more than my fair share, in fact. Standing in the darkness of a 3 am kitchen, silently savoring just one more piece.

It’s not an addiction really, it’s a love affair. Don’t judge us.

Anyhow, I baked an Earl Grey Chocolate cake a few weeks back. I loved the recipe, but I didn’t grease my pan well enough and it would not come out of the bundt pan in one piece. Mounds of crumpled cake is license to sin boldly and start eating, bit by bit. Most of it was gone before dinner. It didn’t even get any icing (though I think IZ did whip up a bit of chocolate fondue the next day. He’s not jealous of my devotion.)

This time I greased the bejezzus out that pan. What’s a few more grams of fat, anyhow? And I also decided that while I like Earl Grey, it was too subtle for me. I probably didn’t steep my tea long enough, just the same I substituted espresso this go around. Chocolate and coffee are amazing together, so much so they have their own couple name: Mocha. With just two full strength shots of the Holy Spirit you get something beyond divine. 

Trust me.

You probably want a recipe? Jump, jump. (below the fold.)

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