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ChocoMom

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Everything posted by ChocoMom

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. @Pastrypastmidnight.. Thank you! I used Notter's formula for pear PdF. The tartaric acid helps tremendously in making that pear flavor "pop". On a scale of 1 to 10, my own palate indicates around a 6 or 7+/- on the pear flavor. In contrast with the caramel, it balances well- and you get just a bit of a tang from the pear. I do wish it was a little more tart (like the wild strawberry PdF), but you can definitely tell that it's pear. I hope that helps some. If you want to try it, I suggest cutting the batch either in half, or quarter it. I did only a half batch because I didn't want to end up a whole bunch leftover. I still have to get a couple of them out to my trusty taste-testers for more feedback, but that's what we've got so far.
  6. Pink with white splatter: Strawberry PdF/Strawberry creme in 72% Sphene Green with matte gold: Pear Pdf /Vanilla bean caramel in 38%
  7. My kids and I are all Rice Krispie Treat addicts.. like @kayb- I, too, would eat the whole batch if left alone. (They should call them "cocaine krispies", IMHO.) Side note: some years ago, I recall being all ready to make a batch (or so I thought), and then discovered I was out of Rice Krispies....BUT I had some Fruit Loops... So I swapped cereals. The kids LOVED the Fruit Loop version. I was so amused, I tried it with Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles. I have to say its much easier to eat the Pebbles, than the loops and puffs. But they are all so darn tasty!
  8. Well....today, my daughters limed my garden and hubby just plowed it! YAY! My seeds arrive tomorrow. I can't do anything until June because of the frost...but I can plan! ..... And, it will give this *#!@$%^& knee time to heal. ( I'm in a lot of pain at the moment, and quite angry about this injury.)
  9. Well I am overjoyed! Found out that Meijer's signed a letter of intent to purchase some acreage up here, so inside of 18-24 months, we should have a new grocery store, and Walmart will FINALLY have some competition. And, boy do they need some competition! They've been gradually increasing prices beyond what our locally owned stores charge for same/similar items. Reading on another thread, someone was purchasing Great Value heavy whipping cream for around $3.14 at their Walmart. Same stuff here is $4.28. With as much as I use making ganache, (and in coffee, desserts)- I was upset to see that price difference. I know there is some fluctuation based on location, but that seems a little ridiculous. Boxed.com is still my go-to delivery store for the non-perishables, and their in-house brand, Prince and Spring isn't too bad! In fact, their coconut oil is fabulous and was a terrific price. They now have a rewards program where one can earn points that translate later into dollars. You can build them up and apply them whenever you choose. Still no Aldi's and no Trader Joe's nearby. But at this point, I am happy just knowing we have another option coming.
  10. ChocoMom

    Breakfast! 2018

    My knee is still sore from that tiling incident last week. Just not wanting to stand up and cook this morning, so here we are:
  11. @Avachocolate Absolutely STUNNING work! And, Welcome! Can't wait to see more. Would you mind sharing what the flavors are inside those works of art?
  12. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    I did. He drove to the gas station, bought a bottle, and brought it home. (Face palm.)
  13. Spending too much time on Pinterest sometimes yields a funny....
  14. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    I threw in the towel today. Last night, I made a lovely chicken scampi over angel hair pasta. Despite the yummy parmesan-garlic cream, that doggone kid " Mr. Master-Ketchup-Chef" still squirted a side of Heinz next to it. I give up. So, tonight, I made panko-breaded chicken strips, crinkle cut fries, and pan roasted brussels sprouts with scallions.
  15. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    That would be a little Kono Sauvignon Blanc. I needed a little something after sitting through the elementary school's band concert yesterday.
  16. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    Nothing wildly fancy tonight...Beef -Barley soup and a baguette. There are so many soup bones in the freezer, I try to use a pack per week to open up a bit of freezer space for the upcoming meat chicken storage. I had canned some of my heirloom carrots last fall, so I added those. It hit the spot on a cold, rainy day.
  17. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    I blew my right knee out yesterday while tiling the shower. It slipped off the cushion I had over the threshold, and blew up like an airbag. Barely slept last night, and tried to stay off the knee today. But hubby and kiddos needed dinner, and my son is not back yet from stream fishing- so no rainbows.. Went with the next best (fast) thing...tuna casserole.
  18. @Kerry Beal....I pondered it a bit, and figured 3 pounds (net) for under $20, it would be worth a try. I did find on the manufacturer's website that there is no sugar added, so going with the Boiron formula, I can add 10% and go from there. Should have it next week. =) I shall report back.
  19. With the use of fruit purees in PdF's, I've either made my own or used the Borion purees. Recently, as I was perusing Ebay and Amazon for pricing on Borion, I think Amazon suggested another brand "Vinter's Harvest". Has anyone heard of it, or tried it, in a PdF? There seems to be an enormous variety of purees available. It is not frozen, but canned- which makes me wonder about the flavor and quality. I've not gotten a response from any Amazon buyers yet when I asked about the PdF application. I noticed that the manufacturers said its perfect for use in beer, wine and mead production. It is WAY more cost effective than Borion, but, I am concerned about puree being canned and the quality/flavor. If no one has tried it, I'll 'take one for the team', give it a whirl, and report back. In the meantime, thank you - in advance- for any feedback! Andrea EDIT....I just discovered I can zoom in on the can's label. On the cherry puree label, and it specifically said "For Beer and Winemaking". So perhaps, its application is limited. Phooey.
  20. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    @scubadoo97... If you don't mind sharing, could you share the correct preparation for oxtail? I have some in my freezer, and haven't a clue what to do with it. - Andrea
  21. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    @Okanagancook... I hid the ketchup and made them try dinner without it. My son tasted it, and announced "Mom turned into Gordon Ramsey! Awesome!" So we have butter pan fried Yukon gold wedges, broccoli and butter, and breaded, mushroom--onion-garlic-thyme stuffed haddock fillets, baked, then panfried to crisp them up. Not shown is the baguette that hubby loves having with dinner.
  22. ChocoMom

    Dinner 2018

    The omnivores grabbed the plates before I could take a pic again, and this time it's a double damn, because I actually managed to make beautiful fondant potatoes with my seared steaks. They turned out beautiful, were snatched over to the table, promptly doused with ketchup, and scarfed down. I was baffled to see my 13 year old dipping her steak in creamy Italian dressing because she couldn't find ranch. I need to hide dressings. Who does that???!! Grr. Might as well make chicken nuggets and fries!
  23. Prior to going to college, I'd make everything I could from scratch. My grandmothers both taught me how to cook, bake and make confections. My Mom taught me frugality, picking fruits and veggies, canning and preserving. I did all that I could. Once I hit college, and my life became filled with school, work and activities - I succumbed to Campbell soup, Minute rice, canned fruit cocktail, Crystal light, coffee, and powdered milk. I longed for foods from scratch, but it was not possible in a college dorm, or an apartment - when I was nearly broke with no money for fresh foods. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to make pasta, too. I still want to get a pasta machine. I vividly remember by grandma's neighbor making all the pasta for her oldest daughter's high school graduation. Old school Italian - Bruna Porcari -she was the best!!! Never have I tasted pasta that delicious, and I wish I could do that some day!!! On rare occasions, maybe one time every couple of months, I'd spend an evening with one of my friends and we'd bake cookies from scratch. Neither of us had much free time, so we'd make cookies together, and call it good. After I found a more stable work environment and steady income, and ended 6 years of college, I found more time to bake and cook, and it was such a pleasure. I had missed it so much. After I got married, I went full throttle into working with chocolate. Built a second kitchen in our basement, and went from there. But now, having a home and a farm, plus two kitchens - I am blissfully content with making farm to table meals pretty regularly during the summer/fall. I cook from scratch as much as possible during the winter/spring, but need to buy produce and occasionally meat. The primary thing that gets in the way of cooking completely from scratch is our ridiculous schedules. Secondary reason... There are some things that the hubby and kids like having from the store....bread, buns, lunchmeat, hotdogs, chips, crackers, cheese, some cookies....basically junk food or processed meats. This past weekend was nothing short of insane. With the kids, grandkids, friends and relatives over- somewhere around 30 people, I made all the foods, vs ordering pizzas. The birthday cake was made from boxed mixes- because I find them to be more consistent than me baking from scratch. I did make the buttercream frosting though, and decorate the cake. We had friends over from church on Sunday, and while I did use the purple cabbage/jicama/pineapple coleslaw from the day before, I cooked fresh from scratch chicken breast, risotto, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. I bought the baguettes, and the puff pastry. I made raspberry turnovers with the pastry dough. Had it not been for me being wiped out, and extremely short on time, I would have made a different pastry with homemade dough. But this is the kind of schedule-mania I deal with sometimes. Either I have to plan better, or seek divine intervention for another 3 hours in the day, so I can make it all happen. Doing those two events, back to back, was a little taxing on my patience. (and my feet!) I need to finish tiling the shower now, so I can devote my attention to the kitchens- which is where I would much rather use my time and energy! Shoutout to @Anna N.... Thank you for starting this thread! It helped me to remember the joy I had as a kid, learning and cooking!
  24. In various places throughout EG, I've written about my dear Father in Law, aka Grandpa. We all know he does not come with a filter, but for the life of me, it is damn impossible to predict when he's going to drop one of his lines. Tonight, my daughter's 13th birthday party was one of those nights. Sitting at the adults table, I finally decided to grab a plate of food and rest me feet. Grandpa was talking with his brother's son about gall bladder issues, and his brother Carl. And out of the blue, Gramps went off. To his nephew...."Your Dad did himself in, ya know. He burnt the hell out of his rectum with dat damn chili of his! He made it so damned hot and spicy! My God, the hemorrhoids! He was crazy!" I nearly died. My face went right down into my plate of food, and I could not stop laughing. My side still hurts. Is it just my family, or does anyone else out there have a family member like this??????!!!!
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