Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cookbook Contests

The Tony Chachere's Tailgating Recipe Contest (read about that here) started out as a fun way to promote Square Table cookbook for the Arts Council, (where I work if you haven't picked up on that by now), but now I've realized that it's the best kind of free publicity. Square Table ended up have five different spots on the CSS sports channel (that's not including commercials), was on their home page for 5 months, and was posted on all kinds of different web forums! Square Table would absolutely blow up your Google feed on this subject. 

Back to my point, working for a non-profit organization does not leave me with a lot of budget to promote a cookbook. It challenges me to write stories for our local newspaper or come up with give-aways or contests as a chance to promote the cookbook. 

This is where I need your help. 

I'd like to enter a recipe from Square Table in the "Taste of Home" recipe contest. Winners and runners-up get their recipes mentioned IN THE MAGAZINE. How fabulous is that? 

I want you to suggest a recipe to me out of Square Table that you feel is the best. It can be any recipe, dessert, appetizer, main course... you name it. I want you to tell me why it's the best in a sentence or two. Include a picture too, if you have one!

Post your comments below or email me

Why you should help me:
Every Square Table cookbook profit goes towards supporting the arts in Oxford. That means free art classes, dance workshops, the Oxford Art Crawl, sponsorships into local festivals (ex: Film Festival, Music Festival, Double Decker Arts Fest), you name it-- if it's art related, we most likely support it.

If you don't own a copy of Square Table, then you can order one from

And while I've got your attention... tell me which Square Table dessert you think is the best:
Bourbon Chocolate Cake?
Upside-Down Apple Pecan Pie?
Mocha Velvet Torte?
Hoka Cheesecake?

Your feedback is important to me! Let me know! Thanks!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Treat Yourself on V-Day

Hello, lovebirds and single awareness day appreciators. This day of love comes once a year. Some of you will get dolled up and have dinner with your sweetie, some may wallow in your loneliness at home watching Sleepless in Seattle, and the others are either bashing the couples that are in love, or they just don’t care. Either way you see it, I hope you’ll let the people around you enjoy their day together.

Personally, I don’t need a day of love to be thankful for the people I have in my life; love is all the time. That’s why it’s all about the chocolate, babe, or some equally luscious dessert. The rich, smooth, and intense chocolate dessert of my choice comes from Square Table Cookbook. Mocha velvet torte is my ultimate delight. Time stands still when you take your first bite. There’s nothing better than tantalizing your taste buds with a concoction of chocolate, coffee, and Kahlua. Since you’re using Kahlua anyway, you might as well make yourself a white Russian cocktail to wash it down with.

So, if chocolate is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Mocha velvet torte amazing-ness, in my mouth, is the only way I want to remember Valentine’s Day. Cheers.

Mocha Velvet Torte

1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup coffee
½ cup Kahlua
1 and ½ cups sugar
2 and ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 and ½ cups unsalted butter, melted
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache, in a heavy medium saucepan over high heat, bring cream just to a simmer. Turn off heat and add chopped chocolate. When chocolate has melted, whisk to blend. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly.

For torte, preheat oven to 225 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan and line bottom with greased waxed paper. In a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, bring coffee and Kahlua to a simmer. Add sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Set aside. Position metal blade in food processor bowl and add chocolate chips. Process until chocolate is finely chopped. Pour hot coffee mixture through food chute with processor running. Pour melted butter through food chute with processor running. Add eggs through food chute one at a time, pulsing after each until blended. Add vanilla and pulse to blend. Open food processor, scrape down sides and stir mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake until slightly firm, about 2 ½ hours. Cool completely on a wire rack. Run a knife along pan edges, release spring form pan sides, and invert onto an 8-inch cardboard circle.

On a rack over a shallow pan, pour ganache over torte, covering top and sides. Chill 8 hours before serving.

16 servings

My Valentine this year, Mo. He looks pretty awesome in a red bow tie. 

If you like this recipe, tweet to YACoxfordarts and one lucky tweeter will be chosen for a prize from the Arts Council! Maybe even win your very own copy of Square Table Cookbook! 

*Permission to use the Mocha Velvet Torte recipe granted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council; Square Table Cookbook is a community cookbook and a fundraiser for the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and can be ordered on their website