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Everything posted by ChocoMom

  1. Discovered Bleu Cheese stuffed olives recently. It took awhile to part with $6 for a dinky jar of them, but I was starving and needed a Keto friendly boost of salt and yum. They did not disappoint.
  2. Refrigerator Magnets

    In the main kitchen, we have a non-magnetic stainless steel fridge front, and the sides are magnetic. So, I've got a list of kid's birthdays, a couple pics and drawings on one side, and the other side has my magnetic to-do list. The kids find some of the best note pads..my personal favorite is the one with a beaver munching on a tree, and reads: Dam Important Things to do The chocolate shop fridge only has magnetic sides, as the front is glass and is framed by non-magnetic ss. In there, I only have a to-do list on the accessible side. Its another gem my oldest daughter found, and reads: Chocolate Doesn't Ask Silly Questions. Chocolate Understands.
  3. This is not a complete list, but the most notable items: Marshmallow fluff- eaten with large spoon Hershey Bars with Almonds Raw cake batter- yellow or chocolate. Raw cookie dough: sugar cookie or chocolate chip Sanders Chocolate Fudge topping. Entire jar. Canned Chocolate Fudge frosting spread liberally on graham crackers; eaten as a sandwich. Fudge, esp if its from Frankenmuth. Ice cream- pref pistachio or marble fudge, with Sanders hot fudge, sprinkled with powdered Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix. The crunchy little marshmallows are a delicacy! Pepperidge Farms Coconut cake- the icing with coconut is divine! Pasta, al dente, with butter and garlic salt. After decades of eating these delicacies, I am now banished to a ketogenic diet.
  4. Well, I think I am a little of both. Much depends on how the family "votes". If I find a good recipe, I'll test it out on the gang. If they give a thumbs up, then the recipe gets bookmarked and used again. If its a thumbs down, then, I don't save it. If the kids aren't around, then I'll just ask hubby if its a "make a again" dish, or "lose that recipe" dish. He's quite honest. If its something I like and he doesn't, then I will make it for myself and the kids while he's on business trips. =) The only area where i qualify as a "serious student", is the arena of chocolate. And, really, I cannot think of another type of food to be that serious about.
  5. When its really hot up here, (which isn't very often- maybe a week or two in the summer we hit 90F-100F), we're usually out in the fields making hay. And, hubby will stay on the tractor cutting hay until 10pm if he feels like it. I need to have portable meals I can bring down to the one of the farms. Usually, I will make sub-sandwiches, or, if I have to go to town, I'll get a bag of deli fried chicken and a couple sides, and iced teas. Most times, if he's cutting hay, then I'm typically in the garden working- which means I'm going to be pretty tired too. So, I need easy stuff. Evenings, when its a little cooler out, I will grill lots of chicken, burgers, or steak, saving some to eat the next very hot day(s)- over salads, or in burger form. Other things I've done in late summer, is pull potatoes out of the ground, wash them off and make loaded baked potatoes in the microwave. Since I've started pressure canning meats, I do find it much easier to speed up meal prepping. I'd never have imagined heating up a jar of taco beef or venison, for tacos, burritos or nachos - could be so fast and easy. So I try to can meats in the cooler in the months, and stash a few away for the hot times.
  6. @Fernwood I've not tried it yet, but have read plenty about it. It seems that some folks define the base as being sweet, creamy and caramel-tasting, and note that its not white chocolate- but rather a sugar, milk and vegetable oil base. Not sure where the "creme" term comes from either. There are peanuts and pretzel pieces dispersed throughout the bar, providing little salt bombs that help balance the sweetness. All the reviews I've read give it pretty high ratings. One person stated that it tasted like a Cracker-Jacks or FiddleFaddle. (Cracker Jacks used to be one of my main food groups, so I was rather excited by that particular review.) Personally, I cannot wait to get my hands on one. My Dad started me out eating Hershey bars as a small child- and between the two of us- we probably ate more than the whole neighborhood combined. The combination of peanuts and pretzels in a caramel flavored Hershey bar sounds lovely. It will never beat the Hershey bar with almonds, but sounds wonderful anyway.
  7. I was searching for a relatively light dessert to serve for dinner with hubby's old boss and his wife. Found this baby on Pinterest. French Almond Cream& Poached Pear tart.. I had already sliced into it when I remembered to take a pic, so please pardon the cut.
  8. Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

    If my memory serves me correctly, both my Mom and Grandmas used to make grilled Spam and cheese sandwiches. It was so long ago, but I believe they fried the Spam slices first and the cheese slice would kind of attached to it. Then that brick was slid onto the bread, and fried up like a grilled cheese.
  9. Valentine's Day Plans??

    Decided to have dinner at home tonight...NY Strip (Thanks to our own cattle!), steamed broccoli with butter; Baked potato and hard rolls (for hubby). Then, we are going to venture into town to a local bakery to pick out num nums for desserts. (I was doing well with lo-carb until hubby made that suggestion.)
  10. @Jim D. And @pastrygirl Beautiful work !!! Those all look gorgeous, and sound sinfully delicious!!!!
  11. This was a last minute thing, and I've been working like crazy to get some items done. Got an invite to a Valentine themed craft show/mead tasting thing at a local meadery tomorrow (Sat. Feb10) Completed roughly 1K in product, so I am hoping it goes well. Here is the 6 pc valentine box....flavors are chocolate mint (heart), Key Lime (white chocolate heart) ,Sea Salt caramel, the yellow splatter one is a layer of caramel and a layer of fluffernutter, the funky white and purple is Lavender - Lemon, the orange-yellow one is Mango Lemon.
  12. Our eating schedules vary greatly. Weekdays, I make toast and coffee for hubby and kid #3 at 7:30am. I'll have coffee, but I don't eat until 10-11 most of the time. I'm just not hungry. Lunchtime is always around 12:15 when hubby comes home for work. Again, I fix him lunch - but I usually skip it. Dinner during the late fall and winter is usually 5_30-6pm. During summer, it might not be until 9 or 10pm. Depends on when we finish working at the farm. I think with all the meat-canning I did, its been super-helpful with meal prep on those late nights. After loading hay bales all day long, I really don't feel like cooking at 9pm, so I can open a jar of taco meat, ground beef, or chili and go from there with little to no preparation. Currently, I am on a seven day water-fast, so I may rethink my own eating schedule after my internal clock resets, but my habit has been not to eat early in the morning - for the most part.
  13. Super Bowl 2017: what are you serving?

    Well Gramps is hosting today's festivities. He is picking up multiple pizzas, pop, and a veggie tray. My SIL is bringing 7 layer dip and chips. I am bringing homemade snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies, hot spinach-artichoke dip and crackers, and chipped beef dip and crackers. There will be 14 people there, but my son (aka The Moose) can eat enough for 4 people-thus, I bring more food. Its going to be hard to keep him fed today. He's working a 8 hour shift at the ski hill, and then has to run to his second job to take care of farm animals (feed and water.)
  14. Cardamom would be the spice I'd go for. It lends a kind of sweetness to Nisu, and I suspect it would pair well with persimmons.
  15. @Kim Shook Yes! Those are silver liners. Convenient little touch that I didn't even know I had until it was time to bake. @heidih Oskar is Grandpa's middle name, and he can be a bit grouchy at times- in a rather colorful way. So, it was a good choice. He remembered it was a Sesame Street character, but thankfully he forgot that its the fellow that lives in a garbage can. Whew! I'd never hear the end of it if he knew. Gramps especially enjoyed the eyeballs. Grandma got green frosting on her nose. It was a fun night.
  16. Let's see how well you all know your Sesame Street characters. Cupcakes befitting Grandpa on his birthday, done way too quickly but I ran out of time....
  17. Top Rated US Supermarkets

    Man, I live in the sticks!!! Of all those stores, the ONLY one I've got here is Walmart. In the UP, we have small chain of EconoFoods stores- which are great but not big enough to be ranked in a list like that. There's a few IGA's. And, for the super thrifty shopper....Dollar Tree's frozen section is AMAZING. I'd be grateful for an Aldi's or Trader Joe's.
  18. I've had tremendous success in the past by making and freezing pasties. They're quite hearty, and really are a full meal by themselves. In addition to the meat (beef or beef and pork), there are diced veggies including rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and onion. Salt, pepper and butter are the only seasonings I've ever used. They are traditionally eaten plain, with ketchup or gravy. One of the upsides to the pasty is that they can be altered from the original beef or beef-pork combination. . I've had chicken, broccoli, potato, onion, carrot- and they were fantastic. There's really quite a bit of room for creativity there. You can use practically an veggie-meat combination that strikes you as being tasty when combined together. Another option might be chicken or turkey pot pies. I've done many, with great success. Come to think of it, there were a lot of meals I used to freeze. Years ago, I used to do a thing called "Buddy-cooking" with one of my former neighbors. (I'm not implying that we cook our buddies, btw.) There idea is that two friends would pick 4-5 meals that could be frozen, we buy and split the cost of the ingredients, and together we'd cook a month's worth of freezable meals. So, we did pasties, pot pies, chili, meat sauce for pasta or lasagna, sloppy-joe, and I think we did meatballs in tomato sauce for meatball subs, as well. As far as that weird texture of frozen potatoes....I never had that occur with the pasties. I don't know why, but its never been an issue. Hopefully, there are some ideas in there you can use, @Cronker !
  19. Kitchen photos

    @Okanagancook This is waaaayyyy late, but I just saw your post. I absolutely LOVE the pots and pot rack!!! Gorgeous!!! The charm and beauty of copper pots is timeless.
  20. Breakfast! 2018

    Well, they ate it all before i could snap a pic, but, I did make Finnish pancakes and fruit smoothies for the hubby and kids today. Finnish pancakes are made from a batter similar to pannukakku, and one pancake takes up an entire plate. They are very thin. I learned how to make them from my Finnish father in law. I'm only posting this because preparing large weekday breakfasts are waayyy out of the ordinary for me. I was happy to get my act together early enough to accomplish this, without setting off the fire alarm.
  21. Just finished these for one of our local firemen. It's anniversary gift for his wife...
  22. The Dish Towel

    Before the house fire, I had well over a hundred dishtowels. Some from my grandmothers, some from my Mom, plus my own. My grandmothers used to embroider them. Many were linen, some with lace, and all kinds of flower designs. I had them stashed in a huge bag with my Grandma S's many aprons. One of my friends was going to make quilts from them for me. I had planned on giving them as gifts to my cousins - to have for a memory of Grandma. Bummer they're gone. We used some for packing when we moved up here, and astonishingly, there were a few out in the barn - used as packing material for items we brought up here 15 years ago. A silver lining around the cloud, I suppose. Now, I have maybe 20 between the main kitchen and the chocolate kitchen. They get used constantly. Good thing the laundry room is right around the corner from the kitchen!
  23. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    @suzilightning I have not made those, but it sounds wonderful. Given that we raise grass-fed beef cattle, (and have a pretty decent supply most of the time), I do make beef and peppers, and pile it high on store-bought Kaiser rolls. My Grandma was the one who taught me all about baking bread, cookies, etc, and candy making. I'm very surprised my Grandma never made that for us. Sounds like it would have been right up her ally. Thank you so much for the suggestion!!! Andrea
  24. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Chicken Scampi. I still had plenty of chicken in the freezer from those I butchered this fall. So, I thought 'why not'? Two of those huge chicken breasts went a long way in this dish.
  25. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    I don't bake bread nearly as much as I used to, which is evident by the boring-looking loaves here. But, The Moose (aka my son) had a 9.5 hour shift at the ski hill today, and used up nearly all the bread at home to make sandwiches for "elevensies, luncheon, tea, supper and dinner". So.....Grandma's potato bread was my back-up plan for the rest of the family. I'm going to do two more loaves tonight, because the Moose will finish off a whole loaf tomorrow- by himself.