Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicken 'n Noodles

Nothing is as basic and simple as popping some chicken in a pan and making a skillet meal out of it. So basic in fact that it's hard to make a proper introduction to the meal. Yup. Quick and simple. Right then, let's get to it.

Cleaned chicken breast halves
garlic powder
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper for taste
~2 cups frozen vegetables 
~2 cups egg noodles
Step 1: Coat chicken in a mix of paprika and garlic powder. Place in skillet and brown both sides.
Step 2: Add in broth, basil, salt and pepper, vegetables. I used a frozen fajita mix, but you can also try broccoli, carrots & peas, green beans.
Step 3: Bring to a boil.
Step 4: Stir in noodles. Try to submerge as many as possible.
Step 5: Reduce heat to low. Cover pan and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (until chicken and noodles are cooked)
Step 6: Serve. Claim this meal was more difficult than it was.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meatloaf: A necessary evil

When I brought my meatloaf leftovers into work the other day, I learned that I am not the only one who doesn't go gaga for meatloaf. In some homes meatloaf is a staple of comfort food. In other homes, meatloaf is a quick fix dish for people without the time or energy to make something fancy. This recipe is excellent for those busy nights you want to make something simple with a nice kick to it. Even if it is meatloaf.

Served with steamed green beans and Crash Potatoes.

  • Loaf
  • 1 - 1/2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2  cup milk
  • 1 cup mashed saltines
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp milk

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a meatloaf pan or regular pan.
Step 2: Saute the onions lightly. This isn't necessary but it will bring out the flavor.
Step 3:Mix together ground beef, egg, milk, onion, saltines, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce.
Step 4:Shape meatloaf. If the meat isn't the proper consistency, add more milk (softer) or breadcrumbs (harder).
Step 5: In a new bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and milk. Stir together. Generously spread out the sauce all over the top of the loaf.
Step 6: Bake for one hour.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mexican Helper!

Are you sick and tired of tacos, hamburgers, sloppy joes and basic ingredients for your ground beef? So was I. Don't get me wrong, I love taco night. I just would like to defrost my ground beef without a sense of resignation. As if it wasn't exciting enough, this is also a 1-pot dish. Rejoice! An easy cleanup!

Way tastier than it is photogenic...
~l lb ground beef/turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup corn (frozen, canned, cobbed)
1/2 cup water
1 cup pasta of your choice (I chose shells)
Shredded cheese (I used taco cheese)
for taste:
chili powder
taco seasoning
garlic powder
onion powder

Step 1: On a medium heat, cook the ground beef and onions in a large skillet until meat is browned and the onions are tender. Drain.
Step 2: Add tomatoes, corn, water and spices. Season to your liking. Bring to a boil.
Step 3: Add macaroni. Stir it in so it is all submerged by the mixture.
Step 4: Reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until noodles are cooked.
Step 5: Add cheese on top and let it melt.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Simple Chicken Soup...

When I play the South, they say "y'all" in the South. They take out the "O" and the "U". So when I'm in the South I try to talk like that so people understand me. "Hello, can I have a bowl of chicken noodle s-p? Come on, I'm in the South, you understand. I mean I'm in the S-th, and I want some s-p! -Mitch Hedberg

This long posting pause was brought on by a move from the suburban sprawl of New Jersey to south of the Mason Dixon Line in North Carolina. I can't think of the south without thinking of the quote above, so I think my first southern recipe post will be some good ol' fashioned chicken sp. I mean soup.

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 large box/2 cans chicken broth
1/2 cup water
cooked chicken breast
~1 1/2 cups egg noodles
for taste:
garlic powder

Step 1: In a large pot, melt butter and cook the onion and celery until they are a bit tender (about 8 minutes).
Step 2: Add chicken, broth, noodles, and carrots. Add spices until it is to your liking. Go easy on the oregano, that taste really comes out once the soup is cooked thoroughly.
Step 3: Bring everything to a boil, then lower the light and let everything simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Step 4: Serve. Enjoy. Let people praise you for this dish. Take bad and artsy pictures (see below) that don't look nearly as appetizing as they really are.
I really ought to learn how to make proper
food porn pictures...

An explanation...

I moved! Finally! The last two years really were spent living with someone else, I didn't forget the blog or get lazy. I just didn't have my own kitchen.

I moved in June and have finally settled in enough to reboot this blog. I'm torn between just posting the things I cook or finding a niche. I'm thinking of perhaps only posting super easy recipes and trying to appeal to those who claim they can't cook.

Well, let me post a little bit and we'll see where it goes...

Monday, November 30, 2009

I didn't forget this blog. I moved 800 miles south (to North Carolina) and spent the last few months unemployed and focused on getting a job. I am currently living with family and kitchenless. I shall return eventually!

Don't you hate blogs where more posts apologize for not posting more than having actual content?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Picture issues

I have been doing a lot of cooking lately, as always. Unfortunately, the dishes I've made have been eaten up before I can take a picture! I'll have to make them again.

Fun dishes I have made lately:

Chocolate fudge peanut butter cake (SO decadent)
Monkey Bread (Which was delicious, but a horrible failure in Bundt pans)
Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup (which was so good my mother insisted on taking home all of the leftovers!)
Cheese salad bowls (I have pictures of the process but not of the end result. Expect this to be remade and posted someday!)
Lemon mustard garlic salmon (my first attempt at making fish, which came out beautifully)
Healthy and easy to make chicken nuggets

Life gets in the way of making fancy dinners all the time, and when I do finally get to cook something with more than a handful of ingredients, it's usually for a special occasion and I'm too pressed for time to snap a picture of the finished product.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recent quick recipes

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in here before, but I'm a full time student in addition to working a job and running a home. Time is VERY stretched out. Recently, my partner and I have grown sick of frozen pre-made meals and I've been shopping around for some fresh dinner ideas that won't take an hour to make. Here are three I've made this week.

Homemade Pizza!
Time to make: 20 minutes

Premade dough (I used Pepperidge farm pizza dough)
tomato sauce
pizza cheese
optional toppings

-Preheat oven to 400°
-Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place pizza dough on it. If you want crust, smush up the ends. Viola!
-Add sauce evenly, followed by cheese and toppings.
-Place in the oven for about 16 minutes until baked.
-Let it sit for a few minutes before cutting it. Not because it is hot, because it is still trying to properly take form.

This was easy to make and had only a baking sheet for cleanup. Plus there was a whole half pie leftover for lunches!

Lemon Mustard Grilled Chicken
Time to make: 40 minutes, but mostly unattended

lemon juice
olive oil
1-2 tblspns mustard
2 cloves garlic chopped (or some minced garlic works beautifully)
A pinch of salt & pepper
Chicken breast halves


-You can either spend a lot of time making this on a grill or do what I did, which was cook it on my Foreman grill. If you make it on a real grill, set aside from of your marinate to baste your chicken. If you're using the foreman, it is okay to add it straight from where the chicken marinated as it is being cooked on both sides.

-Combine equal parts lemon juice and olive oil. Add mustard (dijon works best), garlic, salt & pepper.

-Add chicken and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.

-Lightly oil grill. Place chicken on it. Cook 6-8 minutes (depending on the strength of your Foreman) until juices run clear. Occasionally add some more marinate to keep it moist.

(I cheated and served this with a side of canned green beans, microwaved in some marinade I set aside.)

Simple Macaroni and Cheese
Time to make: 40 minutes, mostly unattended

Note: Normally mac&cheese fresh is a hassle. I've gone through many recipes, all delicious but all time consuming and require many ingredients. Breadcrumbs, sour cream, special cheeses...this one wasn't as delectable as one that would take half an hour to make (not counting the cooking time) but I really surprised myself with it since I just whipped it together sans recipe.

boiling water
elbow macaroni
1tbspn butter
shredded cheese of your choice

-Preheat oven to 400°
-Prepare your macaroni. Drain it and throw it back in the pot.
-Add butter and stir until it is melted.
-Put noodles in an oven safe container. Add cheese. The amount you add is really up to you. (I recommend the liberal use of sharp cheddar, though I used mozzarella and it was really tasty!). Stir it up.
-Add some pepper. Stir some more.
-Put a coating of cheese on top.
-Put in oven. Cook until brown (about 30 minutes)

I didn't intend to make a post about these recipes or I would have taken pictures. Expect the next post to have some! Let me know if you try these and share your findings and changes you made!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eclairs gone wrong!

My first official Daring Baker's challenge! This month's challenge was eclairs. The entire recipe is at the bottom. I followed this recipe to a T as it was my first major experiment in baking something that I'd blog about for real. Hopefully in the future I'll be more adventurous!

Thanks to Tony Tahhan
and MeetaK

This was a ton of fun to do and really easy. I only found out after making my eclairs how easily the Pâte à Choux could go wrong. Mine came out amazingly, though deformed.

The first part I made was the pastry cream. I've been thinking of renaming this blog "Neon Pink Mixing Bowl" as that is my tool of choice, inherited from my step-grandmother.

After that step unfortunately, all hell broke loose. I discovered that I had purchased a pastry cloth and not a pastry bag. I decided to improvise with a sandwich sized ziploc. Bad idea. The bag was leaking from every direction and not looking good. Instead of beautiful eclair shaped lines, I was left with pastry blobs. They came out well, deformities aside.

By this point I had realized that as tasty as my eclairs were going to be, they were going to look like deformed monkey turds. Actually, that's how I presented them to my friends. "Want to try some of the delicious monkey turds I baked?" Surprisingly enough they did and didn't regret it! Anyway, when I realized they weren't going to be something to put on a postcard, I neglected making the glaze and just made standalone chocolate sauce.

All in all, this experiment in baking was 100% success in taste and recipe, 100% success in learning from my mistake and 100% success in accidentally making monkey turds with cream filling. I also learned how to properly present my finished product (they were all gone before I could grab one and present it on a plate with glaze and a car show model).

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by
positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with
waxed or parchment paper.

2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.
Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.
Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.
The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the
handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the
oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue
baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking
time should be approximately 20 minutes.

1) The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.

Assembling the éclairs:

• Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)
• Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)

1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the
bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.

2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40
degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of
the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the
bottoms with the pastry cream.

3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms
with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream
and wriggle gently to settle them.

1) If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water,
stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create

2) The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk
• ½ cup (125g) water
• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium
and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very
quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You
need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough
will be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your
handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,
beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.
You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do
not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you
have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it
should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking
sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the
piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by PierreHermé

• 2 cups (500g) whole milk
• 4 large egg yolks
• 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
• 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
• 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.

2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.

4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.

5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

1) The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

2) In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.

3) Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.

Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1 cup or 300g)

• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
• 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate Sauce
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)

• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup (250 g) water
• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
• 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

1) You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.
2) This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Delicious meat roll ups!

Last week my friend was over so I decided to cook something special for her. We ended up making Steak Saltimbocca, which I have taken to affectionately calling meat roll ups.

They were insanely delicious and after I beat the daylights out of the skirt steak, took about 30 seconds to put each one together. It was kind of pricey, but definitely worth the cost. The picture below is after 3 people ate very full servings. In other words, if you are going to make these, you might want to make a little bit less. This isn't a recipe where you need to convert 1/2tsp to 1/8th a tsp, it's the type where you dip chicken into batter. How many pieces do you plan to make? Well buy that many pieces of prosciutto and provolone and you're set.

I wish I had taken a better picture of this. I swear, they weren't nearly as bloody as my poor choice of plates leads you to believe!

We also made cherry raspberry pie which was everyone involved's first attempt at pie making. By we I mean my friend did it all while I beat the ever living daylights out of the skirt steak.

The next post should happen at the end of the month for the Daring Bakers Challenge. Ah! I'm so nervous!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Five Minute Guacamole

I never thought I'd get my favorite guacamole recipe from an elementary school recipe book, but lo and behold I did. Many years back, my brother came home and taught me this recipe. To this day, I have never tasted better guacamole. The only thing that came even remotely close was Chipotle's recipe, but that is still miles away.

Five Minute Guacamole: (Serves 2, Adjust ingredients as necessary.)
1 avocado
A liberal sprinkling of chili powder
Salsa (a ratio of about 1/5th the amount of avocado:salsa)

-Scoop out avocado and mash it into a pulp.
-Add a liberal amount of chili powder. I generally make the center of the bowl a red circle before I stop.
-Stir in salsa. I like to use chunky salsa as it gives the guacamole a different kind of texture, but most kinds work really well.
-Enjoy! That's it!

This dish is best served with chips and in a non-neon orange bowl that was made in the 50's.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A few of my favorite things

Recipes I've made in the past that were HUGE hits with people:

Chinese Lemon Chicken
Review: Out of curiousity, I ordered the dish from a good Chinese food place nearby. This recipe RUINED this as a takeout dish for me. It was absolutely delicious. My gauge was that my S.O. (who is generally a picky eater) asked to take the leftovers in for lunch the next day. 5/5!

Chicken Milano
Review: This one has become a default for dinner. It's insanely easy to make. I use pre-minced garlic (the stuff that comes in a huge jar) so it is just a matter of defrosting the chicken and spicing it. Almost no prep time whatsover. This goes really well with a side of garlic bread. Another 5/5

Chicken Piccata
Review: For some reason this recipe initially scared me. It was almost offensively easy to make. I recommend doubling the sauce and serving it over rice (I actually boiled the sauce and then cooked the rice in only that). If you like lemon, this dish is phenomenal. 4/5.

Review: This was a huge mess to make and back before I had a dishwasher. I STILL don't have a deep fryer, so this was done in a big frying pan with me wearing glasses and a sweater to avoid splattering. The result was absolutely delicious and everyone I shared them with agreed they tasted amazing, but I don't intend to do this again unless/until I get a deep fryer. Oh, if you lack a pastry bag, you can do what I did. I cut a hole at the bottom of a plastic bag and it worked almost as well. 3/5

Cheddar Baked Chicken
Review: I don't make this often as this is one of those dishes that tastes fantastic but leaves you feeling kind of oily for eating this. Once the cheese gets crispy, this is one of the most delicious things ever. I was hesitant to make this as rice crispies seems like such an odd addition to a dinner food. However I've made this for multiple people and all of them love the crispy taste of this meal. If you ever make this, try using different kinds of cheeses. I found that a nice taco blend or something spicy makes this dish into something new! 3.5/5 (points lost for health factor)

Grilled Shrimp Scampi
Review: I discovered after making this that my S.O. doesn't like scampi too much. Oops. It came out well though, and he ate it and enjoyed it, which does say a lot. This recipe makes a TON of food. Either invite a lot of people over or be prepared to eat this for leftovers for the next few days. Which isn't an entirely unpleasant situation to be honest. 4/5

Breaking the blog's cherry with my favorite treat!

Ah, the scent of new blog. Smells like cheesecake currently. That may have something to do with the fact I took it upon myself to complete an old challenge from the Daring Bakers that I found while using stumble upon. Pictures to come when they are complete.

This was a blast to make. Over the past year, I've become a pro at making cheesecake in 20 minutes or less. Were my electric mixer a person, I would potentially consider running away with it for a hot passionate fling. Making the balls was a bit harder as after one or two they would stick to my hands. I solved this by using an ice cream scoop to get an adequate amount of cake
each time, and having a bowl of warm water to wash my hands every so often. Getting the parchment paper into the freezer was also a bit of a challenge which I solved by putting a baking sheet under the paper, moving it to the freezer and taking the sheet away.

This post will be updated with pictures and the rest of the account once I get back from work and get to dip them in chocolate!

Recipe info:
Makes 30–40 pops
5 8-oz pkgs cream cheese
room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
boiling water (as needed)

thirty-forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 lb chocolate, finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable shortening
assorted decorations: chopped nuts, colored sprinkles, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees (optional)

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream. Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight. When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety. Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

Update: Aaaand fail. After going through two bags of chocolate, I finally managed to get the chocolate to melt properly (I really need to get a real double boiler)...and by that point the effects of the freezer had undone themselves. Room temperature cheesecake on a stick =/= successful cheesecake pops. Alas.