Chocolate Cheer Do's and Don'ts Fancy Pantsy

The Five Year Disengagement

I know, I know.

But how do YOU know I wasn’t on a crime-fighting spree, or a long holiday, or in prison because I got caught during an unsanctioned crime-fighting spree? 

We’ve been watching a lot of Daredevil. And I caught the new Batman/Superman epic. So pretty much I’m now convinced I could very easily become the superhero no one really wants, but probably deserves. Sad Shibow: the clunkily-named, oft-depressed baker with astonishingly terrible reflexes, an unhealthy love of [street] justice, and a tendency to totally neglect her blog. 

But YOU try spilling your figurative innards for an online audience! It’s very exhausting, sometimes fun, extremely scary, and mostly I’m over it. That’s right! It is time to dial back the sadsies in favor of coming up with new and interesting ways to take down the corrupt, infuriating, totally useless MTA with my subpar fight methods and devastating verbal takedowns.

Whoops. That’s for a different blog entirely. Anyhoo, let’s really real talk: I completely blanked on the five year anniversary of this blog, which was a week ago. And as much as I hate to admit this, I really would not have remembered it without Facebook Memories, which I think is a function that mostly blows but proved somewhat useful in this case. It lit a fire under my brown tush, a fire it badly needed as it has been unseasonably nippy and my butt is usually the first thing to get cold. This is all relevant, I promise. Maybe not the butt stuff so much, but we can’t very well go back now, can we?

Anyway, a couple of months ago, Something Happened. It’s dumb to be vague, but I’m still working through it. One little baby thread on a very large and poorly made sweater was pulled, and the whole damned POS came undone, pretty quickly, too. I went through a period where I questioned my talents as a writer and wondered if I should just shut this blog down, because it’s exhausting to talk about money probz and why Stamos is still popular (TWO shows?! You give him TWO, cruel world?!), and I wasn’t really baking very much anyway. I also questioned what I do for a living, my hair, my life choices, the way I freaking made eggs, and even–steady yourselves– whether or not Road House was a legitimately good film (I know, you guys, I know. OF COURSE IT IS.) So, yeah, I was totally in a solid place mentally, which is essentially why I avoided writing or baking or doing anything I loved: it felt a little pointless. The big questions were “Do I want to be doing this?” And, more importantly, “Is there room for me in a world that gives John Stamos two shows?” 


This blog is going to be going through a bit of an evolution, because if Daredevil has taught me anything, it’s this: adapt and get yourself a new, badass, almost indestructible superhero suit or die. So, today, to both celebrate the past FIVE wonderful, tumultuous, fun, funny, ridiculous years of this blog and hopefully toast to an equally interesting future, let me catch you up on the past few months, while hoping you’ll all join me for more nonsense in the future:

Choc-o-late Death Stars


And Peep Cakes with ‘staches


uh…Snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes

My special take on some yummy “Ring Dings”


These are a few of my favorite things.



(But he’s pretty rad)

I’m fully aware this song’s totes amazing 

(I know that it sucks. Real bad.)

(Also, look guys! I made babka and Kouign-Amann, and both were very complicated and very buttery and involved a lot of layering and twisting which required more upper body strength than I’d ever expect for something you’re just going to gorge on in your apartment while binge Netflixing. But they’re PRETTY, no?)


And, bakers and non-bakers, this is delightful

Chocolate Cheer Easy Baking Frozen Desserts No-Bake Recipes

Icebox Cake… Because It’s Easy, We’re Lazy and I’m in a Fight With My Oven.

Holy Stink City, Batman*! Did we ever really have a spring in NYC? I mean, it went from monsoon season to one big bikram yoga room. And it smells like a bikram session about half an hour in. Come on New Yorkers…I know you’re well aware of that, um, aroma, that envelops the city come summer. I started whiffing it weeks ago. At first I thought it was just me, but I smell like friendship and butterflies all the time. So there’s no way it’s me.

Anyway, because it’s hot as the Devil’s playground outside, it is EVEN HOTTER inside of my apartment. I’ve basically been living in my bedroom– the only room with an air conditioner– and enduring the stifling heat of the rest of my crib only when absolutely necessary. Know what’s not necessary? An oven. So I’ve been trying to avoid using mine as much as possible. That means lots of made-up stir-fry dishes featuring special guests from my pantry. It also means I need to figure out a new way to get my sweet tooth on.

Enter icebox cakes. Icebox cakes! How awesomely brilliant are these? Well, let me tell you how awesome. They involve your freezer, a bunch of yummy ingredients, and, typically, very little prep time. This cake in particular only calls for four ingredients. Four!

Basically, I was having a weeknight dinner party and needed a dessert that would be easy, delicious and would not require the use of my oven, which I obviously have a beef with right now (A beef. There’s no beef in it, though. I don’t even eat beef. Why am I telling you this?). Enter Martha Stewart (not really, since she wasn’t invited to the party) and the Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake. Behold, fellow lazies!

Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake

– 14 oz of semisweet baking chocolate

– 30 oz of part-skim ricotta cheese

– 3/4 cup of heavy cream

– Pretty much an entire box of Chocolate Teddy Grahams

Ok, so, the Teddy Graham situation. Basically, I couldn’t find chocolate wafers anywhere. Admittedly, I didn’t really scour every market in the whole world (read: Queens) for them, but you’d think they’d be easier to find. I used Teddy Grahams instead, which proved pretty painstaking, but ultimately delicious. Use the wafers if you’re cool enough to find them.

Start with a 9-inch springform pan. Remove the sides and lay a sheet of parchment paper over the bottom. Then lock the sides back in. It’ll look like your pan has a cape. Hehe. Spray the pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

On to the good stuff: the chocolate and ricotta! Melt 12 ounces of the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl at 30-second increments, stirring after each nuke, until it’s smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the ricotta until it’s fluffy and smooth, then stir into the melted chocolate. In another bowl (yes, lots of bowls, I know, still no oven though!), beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the chocolate-ricotta mixture until fully combined.

And now, my favorite part (sarcasm): the crust. Arrange the Teddy Grahams/wafers in the bottom of the pan so that they overlap. If you’re using Teddy Grahams, you now know why you’ll need the whole box. Congratulations and best wishes to you.

Check out my menacing shadow. These grahams don't stand a chance, man.

Once the bottom’s swimming in Teddies, pour half of the ricotta mixture into the pan, smoothing the top. Lay even more chocolate wafers/Grahams over this mixture until it’s completely covered, then finish with the remaining chocolate-ricotta goodness. Smooth the top, and shove this into your freezer for at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight.

Before you serve it, remove the sides of the pan. Then, using a vegetable peeler or a grater, shave the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate that you kept and most certainly did not eat because you thought Shibow had messed up the measurements on this over the top of the cake. When slicing, try to keep a bowl of hot water nearby. Dip your knife into the water after each slice. I did not do this, and because I had also had a heaping glass of chocolate-infused wine, some of my cake ended up on the floor and on my sister’s foot. She said it “felt mighty nice” though. It tasted even better. Oh, also, I don’t have a picture of the finished cake because I was busy drinking wine and dropping pieces of it on the floor. Feel free to check out Martha’s obviously perfect picture though by clicking over to her site.

*I will never stop finding “Holy _____  Batman” phrases entertaining. Sorry, folks.