ChocoMom

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  1. No pics today, but I pressure canned some chicken/veggie/rice soup yesterday. It was an experiment, and worked wonderfully! My sister-in-law has to go on that cancer-treatment diet before she does the radio-active iodine treatment, and everything has to be cooked to its limit. Pressure canning seems to do the job, so I was doing a test run in hopes of providing her with some home cooked (super-cooked) meals. Next up is beefy mac....since we got the beef back from the processor. =) Can't wait to carve out enough time for that project.
  2. Food funnies

    spending too much time on Pinterest....and found this:
  3. Flavored Caramels

    @Jim D. While I am only on my second of batch of caramel this year, my original formula called for vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste. So what I was thinking is....if you are going for pineapple flavor, and I am unaware of any type of pineapple "paste", are you okay using an extract/flavoring like LorAnnOils Pineapple Flavor? That stuff is amazingly strong and the flavor is quite true. So, perhaps using a bit of puree, along with a teensy bit of flavoring might eliminate some of the liquid. I wonder if you can reduce pineapple juice like you'd reduce an ale? I did that with a pumpkin ale a couple years ago, and it was marvelous. Couldn't believe how much flavor came through the caramel! So maybe a slow cooked fresh pineapple juice might yield a nice concentrated flavor. Just a few thoughts.
  4. Thank you, Jim! For starters, (and I don't know if it's proper that I did this...but whatever), I added a bit of black cocoa butter to my 72% while it was melting. I wanted a darker backdrop for the white spray...so that seemed to be the most expeditious way to accomplish the goal. I buffed and polished out the mold cavities, then just did a quick spray of the white cocoa butter using the airbrush. The new airbrush is one I found on Amazon, pretty sure it was a Badger Patriot, or the Master brand one. But it delivered a nice, fine spray (AFTER I took the cover off!). If you're using hand-held brush, try trimming off the length of the bristles, and then dip into the melted cocoa butter, flick off excess, and then try splattering the molds. I found that the shorter bristles couldn't hold as much cocoa butter thus eliminated a lot of the blobs and dribbles. It is time consuming though. I didn't like using my fingers for the splattering when I was using the brush, because so much of the butter ended up on my fingertips, so instead I used the end of a knife or wood skewer to do the splattering for me. Not sure how much that might help you, but that was my progression into using an airbrush the first time around. Happy Chocolating!!!
  5. It didn't take long for me to annihilate the new shop. Apparently, I'm a bit rusty after a year's hiatus. I accidentally left the cover on the end of the new airbrush, so when I went to spray the new molds, all the hot pink METALLIC cocoa butter splattered right.in.my.face, and on the walls, ceiling and refrigerator. Guess we could say it was a christening, of sorts. Anyways, I'm still moving things around, developing a workflow...but managed to produce some pieces of Vday. Black and white....Shotts' vanilla/espresso in 72% Gold swirl.....Creamed honey+72% Heart-Paisley.... Key Lime Green/dark....58% + Mint I also did milk and dark SS caramels, and a 72%+raspberry
  6. Inspiration? Low fat low fiber?

    I remember as a kid, my Mom would make "Porcupine Meatballs", where cooked rice was mixed into the ground meat, then formed into meatballs. I'm sure there was some sort of other binder like breadcrumbs and egg, too. And, some dried herbs- basil, oregano, etc. And finely chopped onion. Once all the meatballs were in the pan, a tangy tomato sauce was poured over, and they were baked. Can't remember but they were most likely served with rice. For a low fat option, you could try using ground turkey instead of beef. And, if you make a whole bunch, you can freeze some and just heat up a few as needed. HTH.-Andrea
  7. And....knowing full well that my father in law is the birthday boy tomorrow....and not everyone loves carrot cake like he does, I made a Key Lime Cake, with Key Lime icing to appease the non-carrot cake people. It was supposed to be Ina Garten's lemon cake, but, I'd forgotten which home the lemons were at and when it came time to make the cakes...the lemons were in the wrong place. So, I pulled the limes out of my workshop and improvised. Glad that I did, because that icing is nothing short of addictive, delicious, and did I mention addictive? The sweetness can be overwhelming, so a pinch of tartaric acid took care of that in a jiffy.
  8. When @JohnT sends a delicious carrot cake recipe from across the pond, and @Patrick S posts a brilliant recipe with sour cream in the cream cheese icing..... this is what happens: (The cake was already done when Patrick posted, so I did the icing- because it sounded too good to resist!)
  9. @rarerollingobject What must one do in order to become one of your very lucky, blessed colleagues???!!!!! That is a work of art! (Calories too, but who cares about those silly things, right?)
  10. Well, this isn't even close to being GORGEOUS like @rarerollingobject darling cupcakes/masterpieces, but it is, no less, what I made and baked this afternoon: Rieska aka Slingshot Bread.
  11. This is funny, so I have to post. One of our bathroom vanities came with a 60" Carrera marble countertop. When the plumber and I opened it about 5-6 weeks ago, it was cracked in two places. The replacement one just arrived, and I am left now with the broken one. Hubby just measured, and I can get a 17" by 22" slab for the workshop!!! Time to go fire up the tile saw.
  12. Best dehydrator?

    I have a Nesco/American Harvest Gardenmaster. Bought it at Fleet Farm, but lots of retailers carry them. I picked that one mainly because it was cost effective, but also due to its potential to stack 30 trays high. I have 6 trays, with another 2 tray addition sitting around here somewhere. It also comes with the solid trays that you spread fruit filling on to make fruit rollups. There is a temperature setting, and a guide book as well. There is another model that I believe is a square or rectangular shape, which would be preferable for countertop/space concerns. I was unable to find that when I was out shopping for it though. But, its just another idea for you to consider.
  13. ISO Carrot Cake recipe

    So, Feb. 1 is my Father in Law's 80th birthday, and we're having a party. He LOVES carrot cake. He tends to like it moist- usually with some incorporation of nuts and coconut on the icing. I've always made this from scratch before, but the recipe I used burned in the fire, and I don't recall which book it was in..so, I was wondering if any of you fabulous bakers out there might have a favorite recipe you'd be willing to share? Your help is most appreciated!!! Thank you, Andrea
  14. Made a vat of Uncle Carl's sloppy joe recipe over at the new house. Used a bit for dinner, plus 1 quart for lunches tomorrow. And..pulled out that magical wonder- the pressure canner- then proceeded to can another 6 quarts for later use. This new BlueStar stove is amazing. I ran it on the lowest setting, and it kept the pressure perfectly for 90 minutes.
  15. I guess I'm pretty flexible with chicken salad. For the cracker type applications, I prefer shredded- so long as it is finely shredded, and not stringy like. For roll ups, or sammies, finely diced works well. Over salads, thin slices or larger chunks are perfectly fine. I prefer it with a bit of green onion, finely diced celery, even nuts and diced apple.. The dressing part is typically mayo with a little sour cream or cream cheese. Depends on what is in the fridge, really. The salad I get sometimes from the deli has shredded chicken, sliced almonds, and celery...and is delicious! When I make it at home, it is almost certainly from leftover chicken breasts that have been either baked or cooked in the slow cooker.