You may have noticed that I am not Judi Leaming, though my name and face may be familiar to loyal Dover Post readers. I'm Sarah Barban and I'm a news reporter for the Post. I'll be the new writer behind the paper's food column.
I may be known as a newsy in the city of Dover, but amongst my family, friends and loved ones back in my home state of Virginia, I'm known as a foodie.
I've been interested in food for a long time. When I was very young, whenever my mom made biscuits to go with dinner I would beg her to let me take the leftover scraps of dough and make them into something new. This exercise typically ended in my parents graciously agreeing to eat some crazy amalgamation of biscuit dough baked in muffin tins with sprinkles.
I was such a food nerd as a child that I would come home from school, grab a snack and curl up on the couch to watch cooking shows on PBS with my dad.
At 17 I enrolled in culinary arts classes at my high school and I started baking seriously, as in actually following recipes.
By the time I hit college my love had been fueled by the Food Network, bloggers like the Pioneer Woman and family members that were as passionate about food as I was. I decided that I wanted to find a way to combine my two loves − writing and cooking − so I started a food blog. When it first started out I was just testing other people's recipes, but I later decided to reinvent it and began writing my own original recipes, many of which I will be sharing with you.
For a long time I've dreamed about becoming a professional food writer; it's been one of my goals in life really. I had big dreams of one day seeing my name grace the glossy pages of "Bon Appetit." I even toyed with the idea of trying to make it onto a show like "The Next Food Network Star," but journalism is a real passion for me and so I concentrated my efforts in that area. That's why I'm so excited about this column. I'm getting to bring together two of my greatest passions in life.
When I cook for family I like to make comforting dishes that feed a crowd. When I'm cooking for myself I like to keep things affordable and nutritious.
There are several factors that come into play when I'm creating a new dish: it needs to be inexpensive, reasonably healthy and it needs to be a recipe that utilizes ingredients that are not terribly complicated or hard to find.
Page 2 of 2 - My baking style is a bit different. I enjoy taking classic flavors and transforming them into something new. The recipe below is a classic example of taking a dish that everyone knows and turning it on its ear. All of the ingredients that go into s'mores are there, they've just been rearranged into a chocolate candy.
This recipe is extremely easy and makes a great gift for a loved one or friend. Somehow people are always impressed by chocolate bark because in their mind you didn't just melt chocolate, you made candy. So enjoy this simple elegant recipe and the many others that will soon follow.
To contact Sarah, email email@example.com.
S'mores Chocolate Bark
6 ounces dark chocolate chips
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 graham crackers broken into rough pieces
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper over a cookie sheet. Place both types of chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir the chocolate until completely melted. (If you would rather you can place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and gradually melt it.) Microwave the mixture for 45 seconds then stir, repeating this process by decreasing the microwave time to 30 seconds, and again to 15 seconds, and finally to 10 seconds and stir one last time. If the chocolate is not completely melted, continue microwaving it in 10-second intervals until the chocolate is smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate over the parchment paper and spread it into a rectangle. Sprinkle the graham cracker pieces over the chocolate making sure to give each piece a little press. Do the same with the marshmallows and then leave the bark to set for at least two hours. Once the chocolate is set, cut it into squares.