I promise that I will *try* not to let all of my posts become all about the baby, but this post should be subtitled "fussy in the late afternoon and evening + sleep-deprivation (or, the case of the missing chocolate)." First, Charlotte Madeleine was born on Thursday 6/6 at 8:58 in the morning. She weighted in at 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches. This has been the most challenging, but by far the happiest, 3 weeks of my life. She doesn't do much yet except for eat and sleep, but it's been incredible watching her grow and develop.
At the time I thought I was going a bit crazy, but I'm actually really glad I cooked and froze so much stuff before she was born. Charlotte is a great baby but 4:30 to 7:30 is definitely her fussiest time, which has made cooking and eating dinner challenging at best. Most nights, we just pull something out of the freezer and add a salad and dinner is done. The Socca from Vieux Nice was the first thing I actually attempted to cook since she was born. What's great about the recipe was that I was able to put it all together after lunch while she napped, start the baking while she was still in a good mood, and then Paul was able to finish it (and take photos) when she was fussy. Unfortunately, I realized after I made it that it wasn't a great thing to eat since I'm supposed to be avoiding beans, so I was only able to taste it. Last summer we went on a trip which included two day in Genoa, Italy (probably our last big trip for a while). We had carefully researched and planned all of our meals (Paul gets very obsessive about these things), but on our first day it turned out that the lunch place Paul had picked out was closed. We wandered around and walked into a place just based on how it looked--something we almost never do. What caught our attention was these delicious looking farinata in the window. The place was so good that we ended up ignoring our plans and eating lunch there the next day as well. It was fun to realize that the French Socca is actually the same as the Italian Farinata. The Socca I made wasn't as good as the one in Italy (the wood-burning oven definitely gave them an advantage), but we definitely enjoyed it. It's a recipe I'll make again.
I also decided this was a good time to make the quick and easy chocolate mousse that I skipped because I was avoiding raw eggs while I was pregnant. For the recipe I pulled out a block of excellent Callebut bittersweet chocolate that I happened to have in the pantry. I had used it before so it was already split into two pieces. One was about 3 ounces and the other about 5, so I cut a small piece off of the 5 ounce bar and combined it with the 3 ounce piece to make the 3.5 ounces the recipe called for, coarsely chopped the chocolate, and made the recipe. I thought the texture seemed strange when I folded the egg whites into the chocolate, but I've never made mousse before and am not that great at folding, so I figured the problem was with my technique. I finished the mousse (it certainly tasted good), put it into cups, and put it into the fridge, figuring that it would set-up and the texture would improve once it chilled. As I was cleaning the kitchen, I found the bag that I was using to store the chocolate but I couldn't find the extra 5 ounce piece of chocolate. I looked all over the kitchen, including in the trash can, the fridge, and the pantry--the usual places where I find my misplaced kitchen items--and couldn't find the chocolate anywhere. I asked Paul, thinking he would find it somewhere obvious and laugh at me, but he couldn't find it either. It's still possible I'll find it somewhere eventually, but as I think about it I'm guessing that I accidentally chopped up all 8 ounces of chocolate and put it into the mousse. The mousse tastes good, but it's pretty dense--almost like a ganache--so I'm guessing the extra chocolate is the culprit :-) I'm going to blame the sleep deprivation--I never used to do things quite this stupid--and try to enjoy our fudge/ganache. I'll definitely have to try making the mousse again when I'm a little more with it!