Chocolate Angel

mass prodYes. I’ll admit it. I’m most definitely one of those Valentine’s Day cynics that think it was solely invented for the chocolate and greeting card companies. Actually, I feel about Valentine’s Day the way I feel about Christmas: once a day to be remembered, now corrupted and scewed by humans and selfishness. It’s technically the Feast Day of St. Valentine. Today, its a day that we tell everyone we love them, give candy, flowers, and cards, and overexert ourselves to impress someone else. Today is the day we persecute ourselves if we don’t have a date. But why just today? Shouldn’t we be telling those dear to us how much we love them everyday? Are we really any better or worse, with or without a date? Why just today? Shouldn’t we be performing random acts a kindness everyday, rather than picking one day a year to blow too much money on a dozen roses and a box of gourmet chocolates, that will die in a week and we know we will regret eating, anyway?

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With this lovey-dovey, Hallmark/Russel Stovers-centered week, coming to a close, I did begin to think about what I’d like to find in a partner. I guess you could call it my Match.com ideas:

I think a lot about the future. I know I’m 23. I’m young. I’m still a baby in this world, but my hopes and dreams are that far beyond my age. I want something real. A family man. An honest, hard worker. An animal and music lover, who appreciates black and white pictures and musicals. Who knows who Abbott and Costello, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, and the Rat Pack are. Someone who can dig The Twilight Zone. Someone who lets me cook for them. Someone who supports me, understands me, comforts me, and loves me despite how incredibly screwed up I am. Show me. Show me something real. That we are a team. That we can do anything, achieve anything. Be the people we want to be. Be successful, pay our bills, smile, laugh, cry, dance, sing, never go to be angry, go to Church, visit our families, and so, so much more…

Moving on and stepping off this soapbox, lets get to the goods… every channel I turn on is doing a million specials on chocolate. (Apparently, Valentine’s Day is the only day people consume chocolate.) So, in this chocolate theme, I give you a low calorie chocolate angel food cake and mixed berry compote. Sweet enough to get at those cravings but light enough to eat your feelings on V-Day and not feel guilty.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berry Compote

based off Trisha Yearwood’s recipe.

serves 12

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  • 2/3 cup cake flour (measure after sifting)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Compote

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp granulated Splenda (how sweet do you want it?)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup of Splenda. Set aside.

WP_007683Using an electric mixer, with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites and whip on high until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup Splenda, about 2 tablespoons at a time.

Using a spatula, gradually fold in the flour mix, about 1/4 cup at a time, into the peaked egg whites. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch angel food cake pan and bake about 30 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour. While the cake os cooling, combine all compote ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, continually stirring, for 2-3 minutes. This makes about 1 1/4 cup of compote. Set aside to thicken and cool.

Once cooled, loosen the cake from the sides and center of the pan with a knife and remove cake from the pan. Sift the powdered sugar over the cooled cake. Slice into 12. Top each piece with 2 Tbsp of compote and dig into a light, yet decadent treat sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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The pairing of a slice and the compote comes to about 75 calories! I can dig that. In fact, I think I’ll dig in!

Hallmark Awards Gala

After a brief 15 minute attempt for a power nap, I hopped in the shower, and headed off to the Hallmark Awards Gala!
Phi Theta Kappa operates off a platform based on four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. These awards honor advisors, students, and teams for their hard work.

The Middle States Region walked away with the following awards:WP_001913

  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Team
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer
  • Paragon Award for New Advisor
  • Continued Excellence Advisor
  • 3 Distinguished Honors in Action Projects
  • 2 Distinguished Chapter Awards
  • 5 chapters recognized in the Top 100 Chapters

In addition to the awards win the other night: Distinguished College Project to my chapter and the Regional Milestone Award!
Plus one of my advisors, the former middle states alumni chair, and direct middle states coordinator was honored!

My friend, Jesus, was elected Division I International Vice President! I;m so proud of him!

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In past years, we have done sooooo much better, but like we have discussed all week at this convention: do not look at things as failures, look at them as opportunities to learn, and focus on the things that were done correctly and with passion.

Following the awards gala, is a complementary, catered dinner. I was hoping my stomach was felling better by this time. I was invited to join the prestigous alumni and the Executive Director for dinner to honor my advisor, Pattie.

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Our meal began with a small spring salad with almonds, cherry tomatoes, and mandarin oranges with a raspberry dressing, accompanied by  glass of Cabernet.

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This was followed by chicken over polenta, wish squash, scallions, and broccolini. I wish there were more veggies, but the meal was delicious!

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The meal was completed with chocolate mousse and coffee.

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One of my favorite events of the evening is, of course, the Farewell Dance at the end of the night! Let me tell ya… I can’t boogie ooggie ooggie till I just can’t boogie no more!

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With my crew of friends, its always a great time! I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to, so when we get together, we REALLY live it up! I also love all of the people from all over the world that you meet at these conventions. By the time you’re heading home, you have 30 new friend requests on Facebook.