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It’s official … the ennui of August has an undeniable hold on me. Though we returned from vacation a week ago, my head is still in relax-eat-travel mode.

Yesterday I fought bravely, and brought in the pumpkins,


made the first harvest of basil,

019took cuttings of the olives, cleaned up weary perennial beds, and even made multiple batches of pesto and tomato sauce for the freezer. (Here’s my favorite pesto recipe, if you’re so inclined.)

I’ve tried sooo hard to be productive in the garden today, but really all I want to do is curl up with my current read, “Mona Lisa; A Life Discovered”.  (By the way, I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves art, Italy, or Italian history, and if you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends .)  Plus, I keep thinking about chocolate.


I top-dressed the newly cut back basil with a hefty helping of sheep ‘fertilizer’, and instead of thinking about Pizza Margherita or Caprese anything (or for that matter,even sheep poo!), I was thinking about chocolate.

I set some water out under the hazelnut tree for the ring-neck doves, and instead of thinking about not letting the blue jays steal the whole tree full of frilly-edged nuts, I started thinking about hazelnuts and chocolate.

I went to the garden shed (soon to be my new greenhouse–hurrah!) with the thought of starting some lettuce and arugula, and maybe even some poppy and sweet-pea seeds, but something distracted me and the next thing I knew, I was staring at Italian Prune tree, day-dreaming about some kind of dense, moist, prune and chocolate studded cake.


I tried to weed a bit, but reading my book and eating something chocolate sounded so much better.

It’s time to admit defeat–I know when I’ve been bested.


Dark Chocolate Cookies

You need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of espresso powder (optional)
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

(you could add 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts too, if the bluejays leave you any)

To do:
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda ina small bowl, and set to the side.
In a large bowl ( I use a stand mixer) cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and espresso powder until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until just blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Place rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cookies are just set. They should still appear soft and moist.  Use care to not over-bake.
Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


And now I’m going to grab the cookie tray plate, pour a glass of cold milk, get my book, and totally surrender to the enjoyment of these last days of summer!


Thanks so much for visiting, and as always, Enjoy!