Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Clipboard Magic

It's been said that some people are born organized and some are not. My sister is a B.O., I'm a not. As a child she truly puzzled me. She would vacuum her room - without being told to! My idea of cleaning my room was shoveling everything on my floor under my bed and hoping my mother wouldn't lift the dust skirt to check.

I once went to a women's group seminar with many options of classes to take. Two that I signed up for were organizing your time, and how to quick-clean your house. The time organization class handed out charts to copy off and fill in daily with to-do's, errands, and appointments, scheduling in chores, breaks, and personal time. What a great idea! Or it would have been if I hadn't put the piece of paper in a stack of other "important" papers and then lost it.

I had high hopes for the quick-clean class. My house was always a disaster area. With two little kids at home my living room was always wall to wall toys, my laundry room looked like a bomb went off in it, and my bedroom was central headquarters for anything without a home. I was lucky to be able to find the bed to crawl in at night.

With anticipation that this woman could solve my pigsty dilemma, I sat with pen and notepad in hand. Instead of rocking my world with the magic words that would clean up my house, she gave tips like, "When company's coming over in 5 minutes and you haven't had a chance to really clean, give the vacuum cleaner a quick run around the floor and go under the chairs. The tracks will look like you've moved furniture to vacuum when you haven't really." Hellooooo - I couldn't find the floor to vacuum it. If company was coming over in 5 minutes, I'd just have to lock the door and pretend we weren't home!

I did eventually learn, with the help of this lady, that even if you're not born organized, you can learn it. And once you've conquered the towering mountain of laundry, tamed the toy monster, and put all the dishes back in the cupboard where they belong, you can invite guests over. Which involves more organization. Enter the clipboard.

My B.O. sister showed me this one when we hosted the 50th anniversary party for our parents. She wrote down the party start time on paper, worked backward for each recipe and wrote down start cooking times, start marinating times, peel shrimp times, etc. Then throughout the day she'd check the clipboard and bark instructions at the appropriate time. Everything went smoothly with very little stress. Sarah has already tagged her aunt to be Clipboard Captain for her wedding.

If you're a B.O., this will seem like, "Yeah, so?" But for a non-B.O., such as myself, it's a lightbulb moment. Get organized, get it on paper, give the paper a place to live (clipboard) so you don't lose the paper, and all you have to do is follow the instructions. Brilliant!

So what does that have to do with today's recipe? It's a fabulous dessert, perfect for pampering your family or impressing guests. You can easily put this together at the last moment, or, if you've taken the time to plan, make it early in the day so you can relax with your company and then pull this showstopper out of the refrigerator after dinner. So whether you're organized or not, you can still have a great dessert with friends.

Mousse in Minutes

1 Cup milk
8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups whipping cream

Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.

Place whipping cream in a separate large bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, chocolate, sugar and cocoa.

While the chocolate is melting, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Don't overbeat, or you could be on your way to making butter.

When the chocolate is melted, pour it over the cream cheese. Beat this well and scrape bottom and sides of mixing bowl a few times to be sure all lumps are dissolved. When the mixture looks like rich chocolate syrup, gently fold in the whipped cream. Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure your mousse is well-blended.

Put it into a clear glass bowl or individual serving dishes. Garnish with your choice of whipped cream, candied violets, chocolate shavings, truffles, or edible flowers. Or you can put it into a chocolate crumb crust for a double chocolate mousse pie. Store it in the freezer, then pull it out an hour before serving time.


Gigi said...

I LOVE it! I'm a B.O. living in a world of non-B.O.'s. I have been using the "clipboard" since high school! I know, I'm really need help but I was born this way:)I really enjoyed this post!

Peabody said...

I am a horrible organizer...with food being the only exception...oh and I love the Fly lady.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I'm definitely a B.O. - once again, such a wonderful, engaging post, Lynn!! and a lovely mousse as well :0)

Anonymous said...

Not a B.O. by nature. Having a a small house makes it a necessity to be tidy. But I don't want housework to rule my life. Love the Fly Lady and will try to pick up a trick or two.
The mousse looks nice. Like the idea of cream cheese in it.

Aimée said...

I don't think I was born organized, but certainly several years of line cooking drilled it into me pretty fast!
This looks delicious and what beautiful photos!

eatme_delicious said...

I'm going to have to save this recipe to make for my boyfriend and give to my mom. Thanks for posting a simple (and I'm sure delicious) recipe. Oh and I just noticed it has cream cheese in it. Okay even though I'm not a huge fan of mousse, I am now very motivated to try it!

Anh said...

Oh Lynn, I was just saying to my friend that I needed some mousse! You read my mind!

Big Boys Oven said...

Wow! so glam...and yet so inviting, just feel like putting my fingers into it!

Kelly-Jane said...

I'm a B.O. as well! Lovely mousse :)

Homemade Heaven said...

This mousse looks lovely - will have to try it soon. Totally with you on the Un-BO thing. Love your postings, always a great way to start my day with a smile. My husband bought me an ice-cream maker yesterday. So excited to start working through your recipes.

thecoffeesnob said...

"If company was coming over in 5 minutes, I'd just have to lock the door and pretend we weren't home!"

That cracked me up.

The mousse looks amazing, i wanna dive right into it :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That was fun. I doubt it'll get me organized to unlock the door in 5 minutes but it may answer a craving for chocolate.

Blue Zebra said...

Mmmmmmmm puddin'! :D I was definitely NOT born with the BO gene in tact! :D In fact for years during college I was apparently on the save-the-sandwich campaign as my mom "claims" she once found a petrified bologne sandwich under my bed! *blush* But I think she speaks with a forked tongue! :D

Love the post hon!!


Jerry said...

Oh my dear Lynn, how lovely this mousse looks, I could swim in it.

Belinda said...

Great post, Lynn...and it has reminded me that I am definitely NOT organized! Oddly enough, my kitchen IS fairly organized, but as to the rest of the house, all bets are off! The mousse looks smooth and chocolatey, and the raspberries add the perfect finishing touch. I love the name "Mousse in Minutes!"

ally said...

I am not a B.O. I have the seven mile high pile of clothes, toys, and kids... oops the kids are not in the pile just living on it...LOL.
I have try for years to get myself's hard!
But when it comes to planning partys or events I am organized!
I just can not do it at home. :-(

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, boy, I have missed these wonderful photos and delicious food, Lynn!
I wish I were more organized, too, sometimes I visit Martha's website trying to find some inspiration. I see lots of ideas and beautiful things, I just have to be more active about it!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I am a BO, and on other days those tendencies inexplicably disappear... This looks delicious, though!

Amy said...

I love chocolate mousse! This looks divine.

My bf is a B.O. but I am not, except for in the kitchen.

Helene said...

I am a complete mix of both tendencies, but I am 100% more organised in the kitchen. Great story! ...and lovely mousse!

Hungry Hamster said...

the photos are so beautiful!!

Eva said...

I've really enjoyed reading this post, although I'll never be able to convert myself into a B.O. - which is really hard cos my boyfriend is one - but one should never give up hope, right?!
PS: This mousse definitely looks price-worthy!