Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Crispy Layered Potatoes

I saw this recipe on Pintrest and immediately put into my "Recipes to try" board. I made these the other night and loved how they came out. They are everything you could possibly want in a potato. Soft, almost creamy center with crispy edges and a hint of salt and Parmesan cheese. They take a little effort to prepare but I think it's worth it. I will definitely be making these again soon.

Crispy Layered Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese
Makes 18-24

2 large russet potatoes (or 3 medium size)
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of two regular size muffin tins with olive oil.

2. Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes very thin into rounds.

3. Place one slice of potato in each muffin tin and brush with a little olive oil. Add another slice on top and brush with oil again. Add a tiny pinch of kosher salt or sea salt on every third layer. Add a little grated Parmesan cheese on every fifth layer (it doesnt have to be exact, just make sure to add cheese and salt every couple of layers) Continue to layer the potato slices (making sure to brush with oil every slice) until the potatoes are 3/4 of the way filled.

4. Bake for 35-35 minutes until golden brown and tender through the center when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and carefully run a thin knife around each muffin cup and remove each layered potato to platter. You can also remove them to a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mixed Nut and Mixed Nut Brittle Recipe

I just finished making a recipe for Union Square Cafe's (a restaurant in NYC) mixed nuts, which I happened to see on the show Best Thing I ever Ate. On the show they warned you that these nuts are very addictive, and they were right. This recipe is not for "candied nuts" which are much sweeter, its more of a salty snack with a hint of sweet and spice. I love the combination of flavors and I got to use the last few sprigs of rosemary from the garden. These are perfect for a party or munching on with a cold beer.

I happened to have a few minutes to myself this afternoon, so I decided to keep experimenting and make mixed nut brittle, using the mixed nut recipe below. I always feel like a mad scientist when making candy but I am thankful I decided to try this combination. It made my salty snack into a sweet treat with a hint of salt and spice...absolutely addictive. (Recipe for brittle, below mixed nut recipe)

Mixed Nuts with Rosemary (Recipe comes from Nigella Lawson on

2 1/4 cups assorted unsalted nuts, such as peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and whole almonds
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F

2. Toss the nuts in large bowl to combine and spread them out on baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes

3. In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and melted butter

4. Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm.

Mixed Nut Brittle with Rosemary (Adapted from

1 1/2 tsp plus 3 tbsp butter, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
10 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) mixed nuts (from recipe above)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Butter a baking sheet with 1 1/2 tsp of butter; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 270 degrees F, stirring occasionally.

2. Add in nuts and stir until mixture reaches 300 degrees F. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and remaining butter. Add in baking soda and stir vigorously.

3. Quickly pour onto prepared baking sheet. Spread with a greased/buttered metal spatula to 1/4 inch thickness. Cool before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, January 28, 2013

8 Ways To Use Lemons

I came across these different ways to use lemons and I thought I would share.

1. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to rice or pasta water while cooking to prevent stickiness. 

2. Add to white vegetables, such as potatoes and cauliflower to intensify whiteness. 

3. Instead of salt or butter, try a squeeze of lemon on salads, vegetables, soups and stews.

4. Remove lemon peel with a vegetable peeler. Spread on baking sheet and cook in 170 degree F oven until dry. Put in a peppermill and grind; use as a salt replacement. Or blend with red peppercorns, bay leaves and a little salt for a low-sodium seasoning. 

5. In a spice grinder or food processor, blend dry peels with granulated sugar to a fine powder. Sprinkle over fresh fruit. salads, cocktails or french toast. 

6. For a lemon vinaigrette, combine one part lemon juice and zest with three parts rosemary infused olive oil plus shallot, Dijon mustard and fresh ground pepper. 

7. Drop tiny wedges of fresh lemon into ice cube trays; fill with water and freeze. Use in lemonade or iced tea. 

8. Remove fish, garlic, or onion odor from fingers by rubbing with lemon juice. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am always looking for snack ideas for my 17 month old daughter Layla. As I was walking though the grocery store, I noticed all the cookies/snacks had a lot of artificial ingredients and were full of sugar and preservatives. I want Layla to be able to have a healthy treat now and then, so I decided to forgo the store bought snacks and make some of my own.

I looked through my bazillion cookbooks and found a healthier version of chocolate chip cookies in Ellie Kreiger's cookbook Comfort Food Fix. Cookies in general, are not the healthiest snack but I wanted something special for her today. These cookies are made with whole wheat flour and 1/4 of the butter you would find in a regular batch of cookies. She enjoyed them VERY much, as you can see in the pictures below. I think this is a great recipe for baking cookies on a weekday for no occasion at all. Obviously this recipe isn't only for children, my 22 year old sister enjoyed them very much and I am sure once my husband comes home from work he will too!

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 20 cookies

3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until combined. Add in the oil and egg and mix well. Stir in Vanilla.

3. Combine flours, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well. Gently fold in chocolate.

4. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto prepares baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" to 2" space in between (they will spread) Bake until golden brown; about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. They will crisp as they cool. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 4 days.

*1 cookie has 110 calories and 5 grams of fat

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate Cake: Light, Moist and Gluten Free

I have made this chocolate cake on a few different occasions and I am always very happy with the results. This recipes comes from one of the most beautiful cookbooks La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. What I love most about this book is her use of ingredients. You will find most of her baking recipes to be gluten free, not because it's necessary for her health, but because she uses the combinations of different grains to give you the best overall flavor and textures for each recipe. She says "It's a deliberate choice, not a medical one." She prefers these different types of flours for the health benefits over regular wheat flour. I am very lucky I came across this book, all the recipes are amazing.

This cake is originally made with both buckwheat flour and almond meal. The first time I made this cake, it was on a whim so I used what flour I had on hand. I ended up using the almond meal and sweet sorghum flour, the results were great. Next time I make this cake I will try it with the buckwheat flour, and I will let you know how it comes out. I imagine the taste may change a little but not the overall texture. This cake has a nice light, moist texture without being overly rich or dense like a flourless chocolate cake. Enjoy this cake with fresh whipped cream and berries or some vanilla ice cream.

Almond Chocolate Cake (You will need one 9-inch round cake pan)
Serves 8

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for cake pan
3 1/2 ounces (about 7 tbsp) bittersweet chocolate
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (I used sweet sorghum flour)
1/4 cup almond meal
Confectioner sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a round piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the cake pan. Grease the cake pan with butter (or shortening) and line the bottom with parchment.

2. Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt over a double boiler. (Place 1" water in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer, place bowl over the simmering water, resting on the sauce pan and melt chocolate/butter)

3. In the bowl of a stand mixture, beat the eggs, sugar and sea salt until light and pale in color and the batter has doubled in volume. Gently fold in vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the flour and almond meal over the batter and fold gently to combine.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out dry when inserted into the middle. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then flip gently onto plate and remove parchment paper. It is normal for this cake to look a bit cracked on top and it will fall slightly when cooled.

5. Dust cake with confectioners sugar and serve at room temperature with whipped cream, berries and/or ice cream.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Hostess Snow Balls

I decided to look into a recipe for homemade Hostess Snow balls. I wanted to make these for my Father-in-Law as a special treat (one of his favorites). I came across a few different recipes and decided to try this one. I have to admit that I have never had a real Hostess Snow Ball, I didn't even know what was under all that coconut. I found out that it is chocolate cake, with a cream filling, marshmallow frosting, covered in coconut...sounds delicious to me. When I told my husband that I never tried one before, I also admitted that I have never tried a Twinkie before either. The look on his face was pure disgust. The same look he gave me when I told him I have never had a fast food hamburger before, followed by a "You are not a true American"   Oh well, its too late now, I have to be on a Gluten Free Diet. Which brings me to another point,  I didn't get to try this recipe. I did however, get great feedback and it's definitely a recipe worth making again. I think it would be a GREAT dessert for a children's birthday party. You can make the coconut any color you like, which is really fun for kids. I did get to taste the marshmallow frosting which was addicting :) Now that Hostess has gone out of business, you can have a Snow Ball anytime..enjoy!!!

Homemade Snow Balls (Original recipe comes from
Makes 24 

Ingredients for Cake:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease two 12 cup muffin tins (do not use wrappers)

2. In a large bowl on a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla.

3. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the milk, then finished with remaining flour. Stir well between each addition and mix until no streaks of flour remain.

4. Evenly distribute between muffin cups. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn cupcakes out on a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

5. Once the cupcakes are cooled, prepare them for filling by cutting a circle on the top of the cupcake 1" across by 1" deep. Trim off the pointed end of the cone shaped piece you cut from the cupcake to leave a flat circle of cake. Set them aside for later use.

Ingredients for frosting: (you will need a candy themometer)
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Put the egg whites in a bowl of electric mixer.

2. Combine sugar, cream or tartar and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cool until syrup reaches 242 degrees F. (Use candy thermometer)

3. As syrup cool near correct temperature, begin to beat egg white to soft peaks. Slowly stream in the hot sugar syrup, followed by vanilla extract. Beat for about 10 minutes after everything is incorporated, or until frosting reaches room temperature.

4. Meanwhile, process the coconut in the food processor until very fine. Add a drop or two of food coloring. Pour coconut onto a piece of wax paper or into a shallow dish.

To assemble:

Place 1 cup of frosting into a piping bag and pipe the filling into each hollowed out cupcake. Top each cupcake with reserved flat circle of cake to plug the hole.

Using a butter knife or offset spatula, frost the sides and top of each cupcake, making sure not to leave any exposed cake (except for the bottom) (This can get a bit messy but its worth it) Gently roll the frosted cupcake in coconut and place unfrosted-side down on platter  Repeat for all cupcakes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Soy Ginger Chicken

This recipe came out so delicious, I am looking forward to making this one again. A huge plus, it is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. I love being able to use one pot for the entire meal. The chicken cooks slow for a few hours and becomes tender and falls off the bone. It has Asian flavors without being too over powering which is great for the entire family, especially with picky eaters. Layla, at 17 months old really loved this meal.

After making this recipe, I have a few suggestions. The original recipe calls for bone-in chicken but I found the boneless, skinless thighs came out best. It also safer to feed young children this meal without the risk of bones in the sauce. I also suggest serving this over rice, so it can soak up all the great sauce. To make this recipe gluten free, just use GF soy sauce Hope you enjoy!

Soy-Ginger Chicken (original recipe from Martha Stewart: Everyday Food Light)
Serves 4

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce (I used gluten free soy)
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 garlic cloves-thinly sliced (I decided not to add garlic)
2/3 cup fresh cilantro-chopped, plus leaves for garnish
1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches) peeled and cut into thin strips
5 scallions, sliced thin (use the whites and lighter green parts only), divided
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 chicken drumsticks and 4 thighs, skin removed or 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup plus 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch
Rice for serving -optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a dutch oven or other heavy pot, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, cilantro, ginger, 1/2 cup scallions, vinegar, coriander and pepper. Add in chicken and carrots, toss to coat in sauce. Stir in 1 cup of water. Cover the pot and place in the oven; cook until chicken is tender; about 1 1/2 hours. Using a large spoon, skim off any fat from surface of cooking liquid.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tbsp water. Ladle one cup of the cooking liquid in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and add in cornstarch to thicken; mixing constantly about 1 minute. Add thicken sauce back to pot with chicken and mix together.

4. Serve chicken over rice, if desired. Garnish with cilantro leaves and remaining scallions.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free is my newest baking cookbook. I got this as a gift for Christmas and I am looking forward to trying every single recipe, they all look amazing. I decided to test out these gluten free  buttermilk biscuits because I am having my family over this weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday.

I gave these a test run because I never know what to expect when baking gluten free. I am getting familiar with the ingredients and most recipes come out great (some better than the gluten recipes). These biscuits are one of those recipes that came out better than expected. They were moist, flaky and buttery, just as a biscuit should be. I will definitely be baking these again this weekend for the family. I know everyone will enjoy!

Buttermilk Biscuits (Gluten Free) Recipe from Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free by Karen Morgan
Makes 8 large

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 cup corn starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp guar gum (I used equal parks xanthum gum)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp baking power
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
3 tbsp cold vegetable shortening, diced
1 cup buttermilk
2-3 tbsp water, if needed
Butter, honey, agave nectar or jam for serving

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and stir to blend.

3. Add in diced butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the fats into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles small peas.

4. Stir in buttermilk and lightly mix with wooden spoon or with your hands until it forms a ball. (The less you work the dough, the better the biscuits will come out) If the mixture is too dry, you can add 1 tbsp of water at a time.

5. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth; 3-4 times. Form dough into a 1" thick disk. Using a 3 inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut out 8 biscuits and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sugar Dusted Coconut Macaroons

Here is a simple yet delicious recipe for coconut macaroons. These confections are now one of my husbands favorites. I promised him I would add this to my Christmas cookie traditions along with my grandmothers coconut squares.

This recipe is so easy to prepare and requires very few ingredients. I shaped these macaroon like Christmas trees (as seen in Martha Stewart Living) but you can make them in the traditional round shape during the rest of the year. I hope you get to try this one and enjoy every bite.

I have another coconut macaroon recipe posted under cookies. I love those macaroons too but they require more work and they are not naturally gluten free. These are great for a quick and easy dessert.

Sugar Dusted Coconut Macaroon (recipe from Martha Stewart Living)
Makes 18 cookies

2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
5 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Confectioners sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine coconut, sugar, egg whites, vanilla and salt in a large bowl using your hands or a wooden spoon; mix together well.

3.  Form 2 tablespoons of the mixture into 2 inch tall trees with your hands, using fingertips to make pointed top. Place each tree on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively  place 2 rounded tablespoons of mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet. Space 1" apart. 

4. Bake until edges are golden brown and cookies are firm, 12-14 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack at least 15 minutes. Cookies can be make up to 1 day ahead, dust with confectioners sugar before serving. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Smokey Lentil Soup

This soup is still on my stove top simmering away. I had to share this recipe with you right away because it came out  perfect. It's by far the best lentil soup I have ever made. I also wanted to make sure I wrote this recipe down right away, so I wouldn't forget what I did. I wasn't sure what to expect when I combined all the ingredients, but I am very happy with the results.

What makes this soup special is using the left over ham bone from the holidays. For those of you who are like me and do not love split pea soup, this soup is a great alternative for using a leftover ham bone. Simmering the bone in the soup gave a smoky flavor to the broth and each bite now has bits of the delicious ham.

If you don't have a leftover ham bone, you can still make the soup, it won't have that smokiness but it will still be a great lentil soup. Enjoy!!!

Health Benefits:
Lentils are among the healthiest foods available. One cup of lentils has 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein. It is said that lentils can help lower cholesterol and are famous for protecting your heart. More benefits include unusually high in folacin and vitamin B.

Smokey Lentil Soup 
Serves 6

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion-diced
2 celery stalks-diced
1 baking potato-smal; dice
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade, recipe below)
1/4 cup fresh Basil-chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup green lentils (rinsed and drained)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 leftover ham bone
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add in onions, celery and potatoes and cook 8-10 minutes until softened. Stir frequently to prevent browning.

Add in tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add in tomato sauce and stir to combine. Stir in chopped basil. Season with a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of pepper.

Add in lentils and chicken stock. Nestle ham bone into the soup, partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the bone and cut any meat off the ham bone. Return any meat from bone back into the soup. Discard bone.

Cover and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Tomato Sauce:
In a medium sauce pan, coat with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add in onions and cook until soft;8-10 mins. Add in 1 tbsp tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add in 28 oz can of whole canned tomatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes until sauce is a chunky consistency. Add in 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil. Simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered.

**You can add the chunky sauce to the soup or you can puree in a blender or food processor for other uses.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Veal Chops with Caramelized Shallots

Just yesterday I walked into a local store and all the Christmas decorations were being replaced by red hearts, cupids and boxes of chocolates. Valentine's Day can be a nice time to go out to dinner with your "special someone" or cook a romantic dinner for two.  I remember cooking my first valentines day dinner for a boyfriend in high school. I made heart shaped ravioli..pretty cheesy now that I look back. I also remember my first valentines day dinner with my husband. At the time we just started dating and I cooked stuffed chicken breast and I made chocolate covered strawberries.

Thinking about dinner for two reminded me of a recipe I made recently. It is perfect for two people, it is so delicious and will really impress who ever is lucky enough to eat it. The reason I believe this dish is perfect for two is because veal chops happen to be on the expensive side. However, if you would like to splurge, this recipe is perfect for a dinner party. It is simple to prepare and easily as tasty as any fine dining restaurant dish. I have included a recipe for 4 below, you can easily cut it in half for two or double it for guests.

Veal Chops with Caramelized Shallots (recipe from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof)
Serves 4

15 whole shallots, trimmed with roots ends intact
24 whole garlic cloves (2 heads)
2 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup good sherry vinegar
1/2 cup ruby port wine
1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 (10-14 oz) bone-in rib veal chops, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
3 tbsp good olive oil, plus extra for grilling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add shallots and garlic for 15 seconds. Drain and peel them; blanching makes peeling easier. If any shallots are very large, cut them in half through the root so they stay intact.

3. In a large oven proof saute pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add shallots, garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and saute for 2 minutes over med-high heat.

4. Place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing once, until the shallots and garlic are lightly browned.

5. Place the pan on the stove-top, add in remaining 2 tbsp of butter and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add in vinegar and port, bring to a boil, and simmer for 6 minutes until liquid is reduced. Add in brown sugar and thyme and cook for 1 minute, until syrupy.

6. Meanwhile, place the veal chops on a board and pat dry. Rub all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes while you prepare charcoal fire or heat gas grill to medium heat (or you can use grill pan on stove-top) If you are using charcoal, make only one or two layers of coals.

Grill veal chops for 6-8 minutes per side, until nicely browned and cooked to internal temp. of 145 degrees F. Transfer to a serving platter, cover tightly with foil and let rest 10 mins. Reheat the shallots and garlic and spoon over veal chops, sprinkle with extra thyme and salt, serve hot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year: Double Hot Chocolate

"A walk in the woods provides the perfect opportunity for kicking around some random thoughts along with leaves. Celebrate the moment with a mug of hot chocolate and something sticky and sweet"

A quote from a new cookbook Donna Hay Seasons, which happens to be one of the most beautiful cookbooks I own. 

Here are some inspiring photos I have come across, along with a "real" hot chocolate recipe. I hope you enjoy! 

Double Hot Chocolate: Serves 4 (Recipe from Donna Hay Seasons cookbook)
7 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
7 oz good quality milk chocolate, chopped
4 vanilla beans, split and seed scraped
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk

Divide the chocolate, vanilla beans and seeds between 4 mugs or glasses. Place the cream and milk over low heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Pour over chocolate, stirring until dissolved.