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Everything posted by ChocoMom

  1. ChocoMom

    Grilled corn- quick question

    So, I am allergic to corn and almost never buy or cook it. ( I grow some for my chickens, but that's about it.) However, Sunday is Father's day, and it ended up on the menu as my hubby and FIL love it. I decided to grill it, but I don't know if it has to be par-boiled first, or do I just throw it on the flame? And, for about how long does it have to cook? I know this must be amongst the silliest of questions, but I'd like to make it right- and appreciate any direction on this. Thanks in advance. =) Andrea
  2. ChocoMom

    Cake Memories

    I saw this thread, and it made me giggle. My Mom did a fair amount of baking for special occasions. We had the Angel-food coconut bunny cakes on Easter. She'd make whatever cake we wanted for our birthdays. When he was younger Daddy liked the cake from a boxed mix called Butter Brickle - which I can not find, or German Chocolate. My brother liked the super moist yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I briefly got hooked on that cherry-chip cake with the pink frosting. At my 12th birthday party, one of my friends spilled a bottle of Hawaiian punch on the table as my Mom was cutting the cake. The punch saturated cake the making most of it a mushy mess. Couldn't quite get back into liking that cake again. But, every year, no matter how old we were, we'd always go to Bill Knapp's restaurant on Greenfield Road in Dearborn, for two reasons. One, however old you were turning on your birthday- that percent was deducted from your meal; Two, the free chocolate birthday cake! OMG....if there was ever a chocolate cake and frosting I'd love to replicate, its that! Bill Knapp's, back in the day, was known for making everything from scratch- including these cakes. At some point before they closed down, the company sold the recipe/production rights of that cake to Awrey's Bakery. So, you can still buy them at Kroger's. =) We took my Grammie there when she turned 90....got 90% off her meal, and her free chocolate cake too! Another cake, not homemade, but memorably fantastic- was Sander's Bumpy Cake. I think those can still be purchased at Krogers. It's a classic Sander's chocolate cake, with chocolate icing, only there are two massive "bumps" under the icing- filled with a delicious cream. Think: Speed bumps on a cake. The homemade cake- and I can eat a whole one shamelessly, is a Wacky cake. It needs no frosting. One of my college friends taught me how to make it, and said it was an old Quaker recipe passed down for generations in her family. There are no eggs. The dry ingredients included flour, cocoa, baking soda and sugar. Once that was mixed together, it was poured into a square pan, and you'd make three "pools" in the dry ingredients. One for oil, one for water, and one for white vinegar. You'd mix it all together with a fork, and it would bubble like crazy because of the vinegar and soda. Then into the oven. The combination created a sticky, crater-like top to the cake, and it was incredibly moist and delicious. The only other store-bought cake I really get a hankering for once in awhile is the Pepperidge Farms Coconut cake. Mom used to buy these when we'd have company - on short notice. I remembered them as a kid, and LOVED them. Honestly, now I am only after the coconut and chilled icing. Couldn't give a damn about the cake part. But that icing with the coconut.... freaking amazing! Has to be partially frozen though. (These are some of the many reasons my doc put me back on the Whole 30 diet again. )
  3. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Probably should have taken pics, as it was a pretty impressive spread for all that happened today. But, pics did not happen, except for dessert (on the pastry and baking thread). For the Father's day lunch/dinner, I went with their favorites: Slow cooked beef short ribs, basted with Thai chili sauce, mirin, and some BBQ sauce- then baked. Coca-cola baked beans with beef bacon. Potatoe salad: Red potatoes, serrano chili, grilled, sliced shallot, coriander and cumin seed, cilantro- and nice vinegar based dressing. French bread char-grilled corn on the cob. And the lemon curd pastry creme-blueberry Mille-feuille with passionfruit/blueberry sorbet for dessert.
  4. Dessert for Father's day ended up being a lemon curd/ pastry creme and fresh blueberry Mille-feuille, and passionfruit-blueberry sorbet on the side. I took the pic prior to adding the sorbet, but I promise...I did put some on the plate before serving!
  5. ChocoMom

    Grilled corn- quick question

    @robirdstx ... Thank you! When I see it in photos, it looks lovely. Its supposed to be 90F and humid here on Sunday, so boiling anything is the LAST thing I want to do! Thanks again! Andrea
  6. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Pan fried chicken breast stuffed with spinach-shallot puree, over pasta and diced tomatoes. Sprinkled with a little grated parmesan.
  7. ChocoMom

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    @Anna N I had second thoughts about posting that, worried that you all might think I'm crazy. I'm so glad to see I am not the only one who uses hosiery like that!! Thank you!!!!
  8. ChocoMom

    Andrey Dubovic online classes

    At some point in the near future, I'd love to do his class. I've been following all the posts, and the ones about straining cocoa butter caught my eye. @gfron1 and @Jim D. were discussing the issue of straining the cocoa butter. I was very dismayed with the amount of cocoa butter that seemed to get caught up in cheesecloth, coffee filters, etc. So, being the girly-girl I am...my mind traveled in another direction. Pantyhose. I bought a package of the knee high's, washed and dried them, cut them in sections, and I will just say they are marvelous for straining cocoa butter! It catches the tiniest bits, and absorbs almost none of the beautiful colored CB. It's a little weird and unorthodox I guess, but it works. So, I'll just throw that out there if anyone wants to test it out.
  9. ChocoMom

    Breakfast! 2018

    @blue_dolphin I love a runny yolk, but I have a formidable sweet tooth that challenges my doctor's orders and the Whole 30. (Probably part of the reason my BP went up.) Even though it's summertime now- a time for fresh fruits, etc., my mind always wanders back to being a kid this time of year. Driving up to Grayling from Detroit for our 3 week family vacation. Before getting to the cottage, we'd always stop at Goodale's Bakery in town, and load up on salt-rising bread and delicious pastries. For the following few days, Daddy and I would get up early to indulge in the goodies before anyone else... and he'd let me dunk my pastries in his coffee. I know I need to man-up and behave better around sweets and pastries, but it's not easy!
  10. ChocoMom

    Breakfast! 2018

    This breakfast is one of my "Whole 30" favorite concoctions. Normally, I'd be perfectly happy with eclairs, pastry creme, or coffee. But due to a rise in BP, my doctor put me back on the diet yesterday. So today we have a baked sweet potato drizzled with avocado oil and Jane's crazy salt, topped with a poached egg. I love the cascade of runny yolk! It replaces (sort of) that deliciousness of butter. Or so I pretend it does.
  11. ChocoMom

    How green is your kitchen?

    Those green produce bags are wonderful to have, esp. in the summer. When I gather veggies from the garden, I pop them in the washed out bags and store. As for the plastic grocery bags....those things are like gold in this house. They are magical foot warmers for us Yoopers. After putting socks on, we slip the grocery bags over our feet, then put on our boots. I cannot tell you how wonderfully warm those bags keep the tootsies! My kids use them for lunch bags, and deposit trash in them from their cars. My husband takes them fishing, and puts the fresh catch(es) in. They also make wonderful packing -stuffing for fragile type items. The glories of plastic grocery bags! As far as the "I shall never again.....".... let the chickens roam in my garden. I thought, since I wasn't yet finished planting, it wouldn't hurt to let them offer some fertilizer here and there. . No plants with produce are coming up yet. But those little beasts actually dug up and ate my seed potatoes! NEVER have I seen them do that! Grrrr. I need to get the fishing line and do the lower ring around the garden.
  12. This morning, while sipping coffee, I finished off the left over pastry creme from yesterday's eclairs. YUM!
  13. ChocoMom

    Breakfast! 2018

    Wanted some pastries with the coffee this morning, so I made eclairs.
  14. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    I was happily surprised at dinner tonight. I am suffering from allergies and a fever, so my son, the 'king of ketchup', offered to cook steaks for dinner. WOW! I ended up with a perfectly seasoned porterhouse, med-well. Absolutely delicious! Sorry - no pics. I ate it too fast. The child has a new job here at home now.
  15. Given our climate challenges, I am only planting seeds and seedlings now. In addition to the 36 potato hills, I've put yellow beans (Beurre De Rocquencourt), Cantare green beans, New England Sugar Pie pumpkins, Waltham butternut squash, Bush buttercup squash, Spaghetti squash, Baby Blue hubbard, Golden Hubbard, Table King acorn squash, and a little bit of non-gmo sweet corn as a border around part of the garden. I'allergic to corn, so this is for the chickens and turkeys.) There are carrots, beets, tomatoes, and zukes to go.Maybe some other stuff if I can find the energy to do it.
  16. ChocoMom

    Favorite diet soft drinks?

    I don't drink much real pop anymore, but when I do it's usually Faygo: Diet cream soda, rock n rye, root beer or ginger ale. I am kind of a fan of 2 flavors of La Croix fizzy waters ... Key Lime and Mango. The grapefruit isn't awful either, IMHO. One of my kids tried those Sparkling ICE brand diet fruit sodas....and the Pink Grapefruit is addictive. I also liked the Peach/Nectarine and the Lime. I think there are 10 or so flavors- most of which I've not tried. Not sure if it counts or not, but the no-sugar Redbull is quite helpful when coffee is just not enough, and one is in need of a "jump-start".
  17. ChocoMom

    How to cook aubergine / eggplant?

    Sometimes I peel them, sometimes I don't. But, I do sprinkle the slices with salt and let them sit for a while. (I think that process sorts out some of the bitterness.)Then pat them dry, and use them to make eggplant parmesan, or in ratatouille. My kids especially love them. Now, if I could only get the damn things to grow this far north!
  18. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Chicken spinach roulade over asparagus/cheese risotto
  19. It's a med-light caramel. Somewhat pipe-able, if kneaded for a few minutes in the piping bag. I ended up using Q-tips and a soft-tip dental tool to clean out the square molds, but those cotton make-up removal pads work vey well on the dome molds.
  20. @Jim D. Thank you! I was experimenting with green sphene cocoa butter from Chef Rubber, and an alcohol based gold spray I found on Kerekes. (I wanted the Pavoni gold spray, but could not figure out where to get it in the US.) I sprayed the cavities with the green, and while it was still fluid, gave a little shot of the gold spray on top of it, then a little shot of air from the airbrush to make them blend together. I was going for a marble-sort of look. I used it with a turquoise also, which looks pretty cool. I'll have to find a pic to post. Honestly, I wasn't sure it would work. But it wasn't bad for the first try. A little of the gold residue stayed in the cavities. That particular flavor, (the pear PdF and caramel) worked extremely well together. They went out to the taste testers, and the results were unanimous....the pear tastes like pear, and marries well with the caramel.
  21. The chickens are in overdrive right now- we have close to 100 eggs, so I decided to use at least part of them and make a pavlova. The whipped cream is flavored with a bit of cherry, and some vanilla.
  22. No pics at the moment, but I hoed 36 hills in the garden and planted red, yellow, and white (Idaho) potatoes this afternoon. Cooler temps, wind and partial sun made it pleasant to work out there- with minimal bug interference. Always a plus! I'm late in planning where I want to put things- but it will come together eventually. We're about to get stormed upon, so I shall take pics when it is sunny out again. Loving all the turtle pics! We have turtles galore down at the farm, so I will keep a look out when I drive down again.
  23. The first pic is my newly plowed (for the 6th time) garden, complete with electric fencing and a small entrance. Fishing line will go around the lower level to keep my chickens out. The next pics are some of the flowers in the front of the house. The white iris were from my Gran's house. I dug up some tubers after the fire so I could replant them. It worked! The lupines were taken from our farm, and plunked in the front area by my hubby. I did not consent to that location- but they've taken well, so I guess they stay.
  24. Reading about the requests for certain foods while in nursing homes brought back some funny memories. I never felt guilty-not one little bit -for what I did for my Gran. This was my Dad's mother, born in 1898, who taught high school chemistry, physics and math, sharp as a tack right up until the end. She taught me how to make fudge, how to bake bread/cakes/pies/cookies, how to make stock - how to cook pretty much anything. She was amazing, hilarious, brilliant.....and stubborn as a mule. She went into the convalescence center when she was 93. She had broken her hip, and trying to hobble around on a walker was getting dangerous. I used to work at that center, doing clinical work for music therapy, so I knew most of the staff. I visited often, and she'd ask me to sneak in a bag of my chocolate chip cookies for her to nibble on. The food wasn't horrible there, but she wanted some homemade sweets. Right or wrong, I figured at that age- she can have whatever the hell she wants, and I'd bring her the cookies. She was so cute about eating them. As we sat there, chatting, she'd pull the blankets up close to her chin, bite the cookie, smile, wink, and hide it under the blanket so no one else could see. After she finished her "contraband". she would promptly brush her teeth. When she died at age 96 1/2, she still had all her original teeth. And, as heartbroken as I was- losing my best friend, confidant and mentor, I was comforted by the fact that I made her last few years on earth a little happier.
  25. Pistachio -lemon creme in 72%