Welcome one and all to Liza's happy home.
Jess, come say hi to our guests.
Jess: Hello. Do you have any doggie treats on you?
Liza: No Jess, today we are making treats for our guests.
Jess: What type of treats?
Liza: Do you remember in Worst Week Ever, Carrie makes chocolate turtles? Well, I'm going to share her recipe.
Jess: But those turtles had the narcotic Europa in them.
Liza: It wasn't in the recipe. It was in the dark chocolate from Russia. If you buy semi-sweet drops from a normal store, you'll be fine...well, you wouldn't be fine. Dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate, but humans will be fine.
So here it is:
Carrie Hanson's Grandmother's recipe for Chocolate Turtles.
They come in handy when you need to bribe someone for a password.
This is your objective:
Be warned this will be a big turtle.
Make sure the caramel flows halfway over the legs and head to prevent wandering body parts.
Then cover the top with melted chocolate.
You might want to avoid this particular supply of chocolate because it turned out to belong to a scary Russian mafia chef, who doesn't share nicely.
Now the actual recipe
• A bag of walnuts (shelled)
• A bag of pecans (shelled)
• A bag of brazil nuts (naked)
Buy a big bag of semi-sweet chocolates unless you find rich dark chocolate bar in your pantry and you are fairly certain they don't belong to the Russian mafia.
If you want to make your own caramel:
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 2 cups light corn syrup
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes
1. Prepare a large pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Construct your turtles according to the above diagram.
2. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil.
3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves.
4. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until it reaches 250 degrees.
5. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees.
6. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook until the thermometer reads 244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.
NOTE: You can skip 2-6 and just buy caramel cubes at the store and melt them. But make sure you unwrap them or you'll make a terrible inedible mess.
7. Remove the caramel from the heat and allow it to cool slightly then generously spoon on your turtle structure. Be sure the caramel covers half the pecan legs and half the brazil nut head.
8. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler (or a microwave) then spoon it on top of the caramel
9. Cool your newly formed turtles in the refrigerator if you can find room. If you leave them out on the counter, they will mysteriously disappear.
Disclaimer: Liza makes no promises this will turn out well because she doesn't follow recipes. Nor if you use bars of fine dark chocolate can she promise Ivan the Russian mafia cook won't come after you.
Liza: Hope you have better luck with it than Carrie, because she's still apologizing for her turtles, two books later.
Worst Week Ever
by Liza O'Connor
New Adult, Humorous, Contemporary
What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?
Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever.
Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his drivers refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand'. He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction, that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form. (Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)
And here's an Excerpt featuring Ivan the Cook and the turtles.
Sam hurried to the back entrance where he had to use both a security card and a physical key in a dead bolt. Upon entering, he turned and secured the lock, hearing the click as the security bolt fell into place. However, the click that echoed it sounded all too familiar and had nothing to do with a door.
He slowly raised his hands. “Take my money. I’m not going to fight you over it.”
“I don’t want your money. I want my chocolate bars,” a man with a familiar Russian accent replied.
“Ivan?” He lowered his hands and faced the chef. “Damn man, you scared me half to death!”
“You will be dead if you don’t return my chocolate.”
Sam really didn’t want to die yet, and certainly not for bars of chocolate, but that outcome seemed all too likely. Some serious firepower stared at him down a well-used, battle scarred silencer.
“With your left hand, slowly remove the gun you carry under your left arm.”
“I’m not terribly flexible.”
“Do it or I shoot you in the kneecap.”
Sam twisted his left hand to reach underneath his left armpit and, other than a bit of discomfort, found nothing. He’d left his gun at Dawn’s house. “I forgot my gun. I had a fight with my girlfriend and stormed out of her apartment.”
Ivan didn’t believe him until Sam stripped down naked
Once convinced Sam was truly unarmed, Ivan nudged him with his gun to the main room. Two U.S. army duffle bags, stuffed to the brim, one his, one Mars’, sat on the floor
“Am I going somewhere?” Sam asked.
“No, but they’ll get me through customs and out of the country faster.”
Ivan’s plan to take the duffle bag Sam had earned with four years of hard service in Iraq pissed him off more than threats of death or forced nakedness.
“Mars and I are kind of attached to those bags.”
“Cut the bullshit and tell me where my chocolate bars are.”
Sam decided to play dumb. “I’ve heard of people addicted to chocolate, but Ivan, you’ve gone way overboard, man. You need professional help.”
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