I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for fresh starts and healthy optimism, the idea that building roadmaps for our yearly aspirations can help us become newer/better/ nicer/healthier/(insert desired result here) people.
However, what seems to happen with most of my resolutions is that, despite my best efforts, I often stray from my newly founded ideals and spiral into a cycle of emotional self-punishment for failing to live up to the version of myself that I think I ought to be.
This time around, I couldn’t even make it through one month of the New Year before I reverted back to my old ways of eating ice cream before bed, spending too much money on food, and letting myself stress over the tiniest details of my day.
Even more disappointing is my lack of blog activity so far this year. One of my top resolutions for 2014 was to spend more time cultivating this site, developing my photography and writing skills, and actually establishing some semblance of a regular schedule for posts.
It has been three weeks or so since I’ve done anything blog related, and I’ve allowed less fun things like work and school get in the way of something that makes me happy (which was also one of my resolutions, in case you were wondering).
2014 has already brought with it a roller coaster of unforeseen complexities – some good, some bad, and some that I haven’t yet figured out how to categorize. I’m not really a “go with the flow” type of person, and to tell you the truth, all of the recent unexpectedness has me feeling (slightly) turned upside down.
So, for this first blog post of the crazy New Year, I decided to do what I always do when things don’t go quite as planned and I need some comfort and stability in my life:
Make homemade hot fudge sauce.
Last year, when the weather started turning cold and it became acceptable to start drinking warm beverages, I began craving hot fudge. Thus, I did what any good consumer would do and I purchased some gourmet store-bought version, only to be bitterly disappointed with the results. The brand I purchased tasted more like plastic than chocolate, and the overly-sweet flavor left my Belly Monster feeling queasy and unsatisfied.
“THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY!” I cried dramatically (in my head).
I started wondering how difficult it would be to make my own hot fudge at home. So, I took to the inter-webs and to my surprise, found pages upon pages of homemade fudge recipes, each promising to be lifetimes better than the store bought stuff. Intrigued, I chose the one with the best reviews, doctored it up a little, and in ten minutes or less I had the most incredible hot fudge I’ve ever tasted in my life.
I was floored by how delicious this stuff is – you don’t even need ice cream, really (shhh don’t tell anyone I said that!). On those really bad days, when you’re feeling especially pathetic, just sit there with a spoon and indulge. I’ve done it once or twice…this week.
Instead of doing what I did today, and reflecting on the ways that you failed yourself in the first month of the New Year, why not give yourself an end-of-the-month pat on the back instead? Congratulate yourself on a job well done, and take some time to reflect on the little joys of each day (like fudge!).
Most importantly, reward yourself for being you – because who you are today in this moment is already pretty great :)
I hope you enjoy this warm, chocolate-y version of big bear hug. You deserve it!
Homemade Hot Fudge
Adapted from CenterCutCook.com
2/3 cup heavy cream (half and half works great too!)
½ cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup (scant) white sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or use chips), and divided in half
1 tablespoon butter
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chocolate. Stir frequently over medium heat until all ingredients are combined and mixture just begins to bubble.
- Lower heat to medium-low or low and stir frequently, continuing to cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat, and add the rest of the chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Stir until mixture is smooth and glossy. Allow to cool, then store in a microwave safe container for up to two weeks. To reheat: warm in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirring halfway through. Enjoy over ice cream or brownies, or straight from the jar :)