chocolate dipped chips

Other than popcorn–which is a necessary and always stocked staple–Hal and I don’t really keep snacks in the house. This is a departure from how I grew up, when we almost always had chips and cookies and probably half a bag of peanut M+Ms in the kitchen cupboards. My mother had the kind of willpower that allows a person to eat half a single serving bag of candy and put the rest away (she also had a wonderful habit of having a teeny dish with just one or two dainty little spoonfuls of Breyers chocolate ice cream before bed)…something I did not exactly inherit from her. So, in my own home, I tend to mostly stay away from having snacks hanging around. But sometimes and on some occasions, a really snacky snack is called for. Say, for example, when you’re getting ready to watch the second debate in an increasingly horrifying presidential election, and need comforting treats to get you through. Times like that call for the snacking big guns: chocolate dipped potato chips.


I first had this over the top but oh so perfect combo at a friend’s house. Her then beau had brought over a store-bought bag, and I remember so clearly the way a couple of us just devoured the whole thing, stopping only to say “ohmygod these are GOOD.” They were sweet, salty, crunchy, and totally irresistible. Joy the Baker reminded me of the combo a little over two years ago, and I finally got around to making them myself for Hal and my 2015 Christmas party. To say they were a hit would be a massive understatement. I had also made peppermint crunchies and salted brown butter rice crispy treats, two sweets that I’m used to watching disappear in a blink, and they were most definitely overshadowed by the chocolate dipped chips.


I’ve had them in the back of my mind since then, as a truly fool proof and crowd pleasing treat to pull out as needed. But I hadn’t felt the need until the Sunday I had a few friends over to watch the second presidential debate. I knew I didn’t want to do my usual silliness of spending all day over a dinner menu, especially on a Sunday night before a busy week. I decided to order my favorite pizza, and just make salad and dessert. And since I knew the evening would call for popcorn, I wanted something that would fit happily right alongside my staple snack. The chocolatey chips were the perfect solution to play nicely with the popcorn and to ease our debate watching pain.

img_9368As Joy the Baker said in her original post, this is not something you need a recipe for. You just have to melt chocolate–with her genius addition of coconut oil if you like–dip in your chips, lay them out on a wax paper covered baking sheet, and put them in the fridge for a bit to set. Done. You could use any chips and chocolate you like, but I think this is a “recipe” that calls for good ole fashioned Ruffles–you want something really nice and salty. And for the chocolate, I think classing things up with something really dark is a great call. In just a few meditative minutes of melting and dipping, you have the perfect silly snack. Ideal to ease your election seasons pains, or for any time you want to treat yourself really especially right.


For folks like me who prefer a recipe even when they don’t need one, here’s the original post: chocolate-dipper potato chips, from Joy the Baker

fall by the bowlful: roasted applesauce

We’ve been hung up on pumpkin season for the past few weeks here at butter poached, but we can’t forget that it’s apple season, too. As I’ve written before, apple season is impressive in central Illinois. The farmers market is dominated by tables of multiple apple varieties: Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, Gala, Jonagold, Rome, and Fuji, to name a few. By the time I decide which couple of apples I want to try for the week, I find myself carrying at least a few pounds of loot. If I want to treat myself the next Saturday with even more apples, I have to make fast work of my weekly haul. My latest, greatest way to put apples to an exceptionally tasty use is this roasted applesauce from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.

roasted applesauce

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all pumpkin all the time 

As Laura said a few weeks ago, there’s always room for more pumpkin. Especially when you’ve chosen to spend your life with a person who brings up pumpkin pie all year round, who finds a way to work pumpkin puree into cocktails, and for whom you have a secret Pinterest board called “for H” made up almost entirely of pumpkin recipes. I know that as a culture we’ve reached a mega pumpkin overload, what with our lattes and Cheerios and even potato chips that now come in pumpkin spice flavor. But let’s not let that overkill (seriously, chips. why???) distract us from what a fantastic ingredient real pumpkin really is, in both sweet and savory dishes. My most recent reminder? Pumpkin pasta sauce.


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put a biscuit on it

I am so. ready. for. FALL. It’s felt like a long time coming after such a particularly hot and sticky summer featuring what felt like so many late in the game heatwaves, and I have been dreaming of boots and cozy sweaters and long walks through crunchy leaves. And food, of course. So when things finally started to feel fall-ish last weekend, I decided to jump right in with the first really comfy comfort food of the season for Saturday night dinner with our lovely friends Cristina and Tom. And the comfort food that I chose to celebrate the seasonal shift? Chicken pot pie with cream cheese and chive biscuits.

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sweet and simple pumpkin bread

Yesterday, my mom texted me to say that it was very fall-ish in Portland and that she accidentally-on-purpose bought a pumpkin loaf from New Seasons (a wonderland of a grocery store with an irresistible bakery). I wrote back to say that I had pumpkins on my front stoop, but it was hitting 90° in Springfield this week. Hardly fall-ish. But this morning on my walk, before the sun could crank up the temperature, I caught a faint scent of fallen leaves and noticed that the light was just slightly different than it was a couple of weeks ago. And suddenly I needed to get myself a pumpkin loaf, too.

sweet and simple pumpkin loaf

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keeper shrimp + grits

I’ve talked before about my sister’s ability to find awesome recipes, and about her “keeper” board on Pinterest. I’m always psyched to see a recipe move from her general food board over to “keeper,” because that means she’s tried it and loved it. When I saw a recipe for shrimp and grits make the move I was especially excited, since shrimp and grits is one of my very favorite foods and one that I had never cooked myself. And I was especially especially excited because I knew regular ole shrimps have been a little hard to come by in her Swedish life. Strange, right? She says they’re getting easier to find, but during her first year-ish in Sweden when she went looking for shrimp she mostly found the wee little salad variety–and they are EVERYWHERE, including on top of hot dogs–but had a harder time finding the kind of I can grab so easily in the grocery store. So I knew that if she had found a keeper recipe worth tracking down shrimp for, it was gonna be good.


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four years of favorites

Today, September 6th, is the fourth anniversary of our very first butter poached post. 180 posts later we’re going strong and still loving blogging together. We’re cooking in different kitchens and taking pictures with much better (almost always iPhone) cameras, but so many of our goals are the same as they were when we got our start in 2012: to keep growing and stretching in our cooking, to find as much joy as possible in the quotidian meals that make up our regular eating lives, to try new recipes and build up our collections of faves, and to share it all with each other here. To celebrate our blogiversary we thought we’d update our 2014 lists of recipes we return to again and again with some of our latest favorites. Thanks so much for reading!

laughing and cooking and laughing during jessica's visit to springfield in august

laughing and cooking and laughing during jessica’s visit to springfield in august

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