Cold data


Our computers become such security blankets of sorts. Last night everything was going along fine when I left the room, only to return to my Mac blinking at me – white screen with just a file-folder icon blinking away. I tried to repair this but think it’s an internal cable causing the HD to be undetectable/unreadable (at times). Clearly not something I could fix in the middle of the night. Later when I tried to turn it on again, it worked – at least long enough to retrieve all the data I so assiduously promise myself I will back up religiously (every time some near-debacle like this occurs), and then don’t.

As I told someone earlier today – how can I be so fastidious and exacting about so many other things – always following through – but be so sloppy with things like backing up data, especially when this data means so much to me (personally and professionally)?

Perhaps now I must remedy this sheer stupidity, as I have been meaning to do but have not done for so many years. This year I feel like I have finally entered a different space, somehow, where follow-through and perseverance are balanced with more thought and creativity. I have been numb (or semi-numb), going through the motions on so many fronts for such a long time. You would not think that would extend to things like data backups, but in fact it does.

Mocha mousse bars idea and … Kahlua floods


Sitting here wasting hour upon hour, not wanting to do a damn thing. Watching season 8 of How I Met Your Mother after overdosing on two seasons of Scandal. I am a total television junkie. I don’t own a TV but I have five or six computers. That’s good enough for my individual viewing habits. But then I do this every time I have a Christmas break – if I have no plans or guests. Now I am considering making a new recipe. I will report back if I really do it.

Mocha mousse bar recipe

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 9 baking dish with a foil sling. Cut the butter into the flour and powdered sugar and press into the baking dish. Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Set on a wire rack to cool.

6 tablespoons heavy cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (50 or 60% cacao)

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Simmer the cream in a medium saucepan. When the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in until a smooth ganache has formed.You should do this while the shortbread is baking.

Set ganache aside until crust is finished and has cooled for a few minutes, and then pour it over the crust. Place the chocolate covered crust in the fridge to chill until the ganache is set into a firm layer.

Coffee Mousse:
1 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water
4 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons Kahlúa
2 cups well-chilled heavy cream

Prepare a bowl of ice water as an ice bath. Place 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and sprinkle the envelope of gelatin evenly over the top. Let it soften for 2 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and instant espresso powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in the Kahlúa, and then transfer the saucepan to the ice bath. Cool, whisking frequently, until the mixture is cold and thick.

While cooling, whip the chilled heavy cream to stiff peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cold espresso mixture, and then pour this mixture into your remaining whipped cream, folding it in gently. Pour this mixture over your chilled ganache. Chill the entire dessert until it’s set up nicely (it will take a few hours). Lift the bars out of the pan, slice into 9 servings.