Editor's Note: Joan Hayes was to be Food Fanatic's newest chocolate fanatic, and we were so excited to have her. What follows was to be her first post for our site. We are devastated to say that it is also her last. She passed away suddenly on October 22nd, 2015.
Today is National Chocolate Day. Joan believed, with gusto, that every single day should include a little chocolate. For if your day includes chocolate, how bad could it be?
Joan, we already miss you so much. Just three short weeks of being your friends made us feel like we have lost a lifetime buddy. So many people adored you, and we are grateful to have had the chance to know you and adore you too.
Follow along with all the scores of people that adored Joan on twitter and facebook with the hashtag #chocolateforJoan.
- Amber, Eric, and the entire Food Fanatic family
As the weather gets cooler, it's time to look for ways to warm up. I'm all about a bulky sweater. While I try to exercise (walk) daily, those sweaters help hide the indulgences I can't help but take. A fire in the fireplace. This is Georgia, so while we are getting chilly, I've got another month before I'll be lighting the match. A soft throw while relaxing on the sofa, with the dogs and a good book. Umm, I do this all year round, I just turn the air down.
Comfort foods. I look forward all year long to making soups and chili. My favorite is this Easy Cheeseburger Soup. There is the obvious choice of hot chocolate. It feels so good to wrap your hands around that warm mug, letting the hot liquid remove the chill from the inside out.
This is also the time of year, I bring out the slow cooker. Pot roasts, sauces, mulled cider. It takes a permanent place on the counter for the next six months. (I actually own four crock pots but only one gets counter status.)
One of my favorite things to make in my crock pot is... dessert! I'll be the first to admit, most things "baked" in a crock pot don't look like much. Almost gross-looking. Yes, I said it. It's what my kids would say. But looks can be deceiving.
Make sure to take your spoon all the way to the bottom of this slow cooker chocolate lava cake, because the best part is down below. Ooey gooey rich liquid heaven.
Even dished up, it still doesn't look attractive.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. As the ice cream melts into the dessert, you'll have hot and cool, rich chocolate and creamy vanilla all melding together.
You'll forget how cold it is outside, at least until you have to go out again.
KitchenAid Slow Cooker
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Le Creuset Revolution Spatula