Chocolate Cake for Breakfast

If you haven't known this particular pleasure, Bill Cosby could enlighten you.  I'm baking for my goddaughter Lauren's birthday party tonight (using that term makes me feel old; she's barely younger than me!)  And honestly, who can bake a chocolate cake without just checking to make sure the batter is okay?

I love to cook, and although I don't have as much time for it as I'd like, nothing relaxes me more.  It's simple, meditative work to chop an onion and saute it, and the wonderfully complex smells and tastes release all kinds of good-mood endorphins that help you back away from whatever stress you're feeling.

A few months ago, a very dear friend was called on to head up the youth group at our church.  A group of parents had been planning meetings and activities since the last youth leader had left, and while they were doing an admirable job, let's face it -- teenagers aren't all that interested in anything planned and executed by their parents.  My friend asked about the structure of the meetings, and was told that they usually had a meal prepared by one of the parents and then took part in a discussion moderated by the parents.  Right away, she decided to change that.  At the first meeting (which she held at my house) she brought bags and bags of groceries and set each kid to work chopping, grating, or cooking something.  They were involved, and they were interested.  After dinner, we assembled favors for our church's upcoming anniversary dinner.  We didn't have a meaningful spiritual discussion that night, but we spent time together, enjoying each other's company, and that was progress.  The kids whose parents had forced them to get out of the car were reluctant to leave after an evening of enjoying the fruits of their labors.

Time to stir the ganache.  Mmmmm.  Ganache.   If you're feeling tempted, here's my recipe.