Category: Eat Drink

Layered Treats – S’mores and Rice Krispies

There are many layers of history for the ingredients in this  S’mores and Rice Krispies® recipe!

Chocolate has been around for more than 2000 years. Sweetened chocolate didn’t appear until Europeans discovered the Americas and sampled the native chocolate drink, which was bitter. They added sugar, and by the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink.

Marshmallows were originally a plant based product that was used for centuries for medicinal purposes. When the plant sap was replaced by gelatin in the late 1800’s, today’s marshmallow was born. In 1927, the Girl Scouts Handbook came out with a recipe for ‘Some More’ which quickly became ‘Smores’.

Graham crackers are made from Graham flour, which is named after it’s inventor Sylvester Graham who began making them in the 1830’s.

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® debuted in 1927. Their Rice Krispies Marshmallow Treats® recipe was first advertised in 1940. It became a popular food for mailing to service people abroad.

Here is how you put all these things together to make this layered treat! You’ll need:
* 10 oz miniature or regular size marshmallows (2 cups miniature Marshmallows or about 30 large Marshmallows)
* 1/4 cup butter
* 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
* 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 7 oz jar marshmallow creme (To make your own marshmallow cream, melt 30 large marshmallows with 2 tbsp light corn syrup)
* enough chocolate chips or chocolate bars to make the final layer (and to eat while you are cooking).

You’ll preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line a 10X15 pan or tray with parchment paper.
In a pot, combine the marshmallows with the butter. Heat and stir until well blended. Stir in the cereal and graham cracker crumbs.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the marshmallow creme on top with a spatula. Sprinkle the chocolate on top. (By licking all the spoons, spatulas, and pots, you can do your initial quality testing…)

Place the pan in the oven or about two minutes, or until the chocolate melts. Remove from the oven and spread the chocolate. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Starting at one end, carefully roll the layered concoction up like a cinnamon roll. Peel the parchment paper away as you roll. Pinch the seam when you finish rolling.
Place seam side down, and refrigerate for half an hour, or until the chocolate has set. Slice and serve!

My other S’mores recipes are at How to Make S’Mores – Traditional and Super Simple

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Layered

How Local is Local? Test Case – My Carrots

The movement to eat locally grown food can be relatively easy, or impractically hard, depending on how strictly you follow it. Kris Vester, president of Slow Food Calgary, describes a locally grown organic product as one that is grown locally, is free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers and is produced in a way that does not use fossil fuels or any other matter that may affect the environment for future generations.

This definition made me think about the carrots I just harvested from my garden. Geographically, they are as local as you can get. They are free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. I didn’t use fossil fuels to put the seeds into the ground or get the carrots out of the ground.

But what about the seeds themselves? How did the seed company grow and harvest them? How were they transported to the stores where they were sold? I used a fossil fueled vehicle to go buy the seeds and bring them home. The Car Guy used a fossil fueled vehicle to pick up a load of mushroom compost that I dug into the garden (what was in the compost, and how was it made?). I used a fossil fueled mower to cut grass to mulch the garden. I used an electric pump to get the water out of the ground to put on the plants. What kind of fuel was used to manufacture my shovel or garden hose?

There are a whole lot of inputs to consider before you can really claim you have produced an environmentally friendly carrot!
554-carrot-songsIt is always interesting to see what the carrots have been doing under the dark cloak of the earth. While most of the carrots have chosen to grow straight and narrow, there is a surprising variance in length – the long, the short and the tall. Some clearly did it my way, and some will never grow up now.

(Did you catch the song references?  ‘The long and the short and the tall‘ is a war song written by Fred Godfrey in 1917. ‘I did it my way‘ is from a song written by Paul Anka and popularized by Frank Sinatra. ‘I’ll Never Grow Up, Now‘ is a Twisted Sister song. ‘Down the straight and narrow’ is from a song written by Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet.)

How Local is the food in your stores? Do you grow or raise any of your own food?

Carrots are a great thing to eat when you are hungry and want to stay that way.
– Author Unknown –

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Local.

Post 554

Chocolate – Here Today, Gone Today!

In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the dark, and it was better.
– Unknown –

Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”
― Judith Viorst, Love & Guilt & The Meaning Of Life, Etc –

After about 20 years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate.
– Mel Gibson –

Chocolate: Here today …. Gone today!
– Unknown –

For more Quotations about Chocolate, visit this post at The Quippery.

Post 474

Draw Something! How to Make S’Mores – Traditional and Super Simple

TRADITIONAL S’MORES

Ingredients: graham wafers marshmallows chocolate bar or Nutella

Technique: First, the ideal marshmallow cooking stick must be found, and then whittled to the exact right point. The stick has to be brandished like a sword by a child (or someone who is child like) for a few minutes, until some mom says, “Put that stick down before you poke someones eye out!”

In the meantime, someone has to build a fire. Probably a number of someones – the paper bringers, the match finders, the log splitters, the kindling scroungers. Then there is a discussion of how best to stack the paper, wood and kindling. Once the fire is off and running, the ritual of telling stories, adding more wood, and poking the fire with a big stick, has to take place. When mom says, “Put that big stick down before you burn up the forest!” it is time to get out the marshmallows, and find the very pointy sticks again.

Once a marshmallow is skewered, they are slowly browned until they are golden on the ouside, and drippy goo on the inside. Alternately, the marshmallow can be burned to a crisp in just a few seconds. In addition to the Marshmallow Cookers, there is the Keeper of the Graham Wafers and Chocolate. This person will line up the graham wafer squares on a suitable surface. Alternate wafers will have a square of chocolate or a smear of Nutella put on it.

The Marshmallow Cooker presents the cooked marshmallow to the Keeper of the Graham Wafers, who will try to sandwich the marshmallow between two wafers without burning their fingers. (This ‘recipe’ for Traditional S’Mores is dedicated to the 305 families of Hidden Valley, Alberta who lost their community (and all their campfire rings) in the Floods of 2013.)

SUPER SIMPLE S’MORES

There are other simpler ways to make S’mores, of course. If you have a gas stove and a long handled fork, you are half way there! You can cook wieners that way too, though your mom may not like you doing that any more than my mom did when I was a kid.

No gas stove? Well, there is always the Microwave Oven. Put the chocolate on one of the graham wafers and the marshmallow on the other. Pop it in the Microwave Oven for only a few seconds, then check to see if the marshmallow has started to melt. If not, microwave a few seconds more and continue until the marshmallow has expanded to about the size of the graham wafer.

Watch the chocolate too. You don’t want it to melt and run all over the place. Remove and make your chocolate marshmallow sandwich. Let it cool before eating. Each S’more will have about zmfxn calories and nbxz fat, sodium and sugar – but they are worth it.

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
-Erma Bombeck –

What are your S’More memories?

 Post 472

How to Make a Simple Nutella Dessert

There are many Nutella Desserts, but none is simpler than this!

Ingredients: 1 jar Nutella hazelnut spread

Equipment: 2 extraction tools – a spoon and a rubber spatula

Directions:

1. Open the lid of the jar.

2. Use your spoon (size optional) to scoop out the Nutella.

3. Put the spoonful of product directly into your mouth. Enjoy! Repeat until your conscience tells you to quit, or you don’t feel so good any more.

4. Switch to the rubber spatula when the jar is nearly empty.

Nutrition: Nutella has NO artificial colors or preservatives and is a source of Fiber, Calcium and Iron. It does, however contain oodles of sugar and saturated fat.

Conclusion: I really like Nutella, but because foods like this are going to migrate directly to my hips, I agree with the following observation:

Nuts just take up space where chocolate ought to be.
– Author Unknown –

Do you stock Nutella in your pantry? What is your favourite way of eating it?

Post 464

Molson Canadian Beer Fridge – The Beery Best of Canada

Happy Canada Day to Canadians everywhere!

Savage Chickens beer

The website ‘Beer Canada’ mentions these statistics about beer:

Canada has many competitive advantages in making world class beers: proximity to malt barley, large fresh water supply, educated workforce and more than 10 million local beer drinkers.

 

Per capita consumption of Canadian and imported beer was 63.34 litres per person based on total population. At the provincial level, consumption is highest in Newfoundland at 77.32 litres per person. Beer is Canada’s most popular adult beverage and the Canadian beer industry continues to hold an impressive environmental record. On average 99% of beer bottles were returned in 2015.

Post 431

Contemplating Sardines

The Curmudgeon at Large is compiling a Cookbook and one of his first selections is a menu that incorporates the nine food items that will help you to prevent a heart attack. He says that one of the foods is the Sardine.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a tin of Sardines, but the thought of oily fish packed tightly in a tin made me curious about the current status of sardines in the world of the gourmet. Taking that one step further, what would be a sardine-wine pairing?  (Wine is also on the Curmudgeon’s list of heart healthy  foods) . The first web site that addressed this question was on a Chowhound discussion forum – What to drink with four year old sardines?  Apart from the suggestion that it might not be good to eat a tin of sardines of that age, the pairings included Maalox, Pepto-bismol, beer, sherry, and several white and red wines.

From there, I clicked on the link to The Society for the Appreciation of the Lowly Tinned Sardine.  This site artfully combines serious dedication to the fish with not so serious delivery of information.

Some of the great Chefs appear to be fond enough of the sardine to have figured out how to put it into a recipe. Jamie Oliver posts recipes for pizza, spaghetti and potato salad, while also paying tribute to the British favourite, sardines on toast.  Alton Brown kicks it up a notch (though not the way Emeril would)  in  a recipe for  Sherried Sardine Toast.

That is about all I can dredge up on the sardine. If there is anything else to be said about the sardine, I’m sure you will tell me!

It is much better to eat little fish like sardines directly from the ocean, rather than after they have been filtered through a larger predator.
– Deep Sea News –

Post 393

Some Blue Things at my House

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is titled Mine. I don’t have any photos of land mines, or strip mines or mine shafts, so I took a photo of something that I think of as Mine.

This blue glass is mine. I have two others just like it. The fourth one got broke. It is my water glass, and I use it every time I want a glass of water. It makes the water look very blue, and I like that. I used it once for milk, but blue milk is wrong.

There is no known navy-blue food. If there is navy-blue food in the refrigerator, it signifies death.
– Erma Bombeck –

Blue food – there aren’t many things I would eat that are bluish in colour, so when I looked in the fridge recently and saw that the Pickled Garlic had turned blue, I was ready to throw it out. But it wasn’t Mine to throw out, because The Car Guy was the one who pickled it.

I checked on the internet to see if there was any possible way blue garlic could be safe. According to LifeTips, this isn’t an uncommon event and blue garlic is safe to eat as long as it doesn’t exhibit any signs of spoilage.

Raw garlic contains an enzyme that if not inactivated by heat reacts with sulphur and copper, to form copper sulphate. The amount of copper needed for this reaction is very small and is frequently found in normal water supplies, and in some utensils.

Moving from odd colours to odd flavours: I read a post today by a blogger who describes her experience with vomit flavoured Jelly Beans. That reminded me that we have a few small boxes of similarly disgusting Jelly Belly beans.

Notice how there are two different flavours for each coloured Jelly Bean. Pick a black one, and it could be licorice, or it could be skunk spray. A red one could be strawberry jam, or it could be centipede. A brown bean could be chocolate pudding or canned dog food. (I think canned dog food would be a relatively easy flavour to develop, but exactly how did they determine what flavour skunk spray or centipede is, I wonder.)

Back to blue things, the blue jelly beans could either be berry blue or toothpaste and I’m not sure that toothpaste would be all that bad.

If you want to try these Jelly Beans, they are made by Jelly Belly, and they are called ‘Bean Boozled’.

Post 362

How to Lose Weight – The Strawberry Diet

I lost 2 pounds last week. I’m not sure where they went, but I won’t be sending out a search party to find them. How did I do it? I’m going to claim it was because of my Strawberry Diet.

It I had an ounce of Entrepreneurship in me, I would write another book about this diet (I’m not the first person to eat a boatload of strawberries and write about it). But the procedure is so incredibly simple, and I’m all for the free sharing of ideas (and Garage Sale Stuff), so I’m going to tell you my secret.

First, you need a bargain hunting husband like mine who bought a very big container of strawberries from Costco because it was so much cheaper than a small container at the grocery store. Then, you need him to wash and hull and chop them all up for you.  My spouse also came home with one good size watermelon which he also cut into bite size chunks.  Since he doesn’t really like strawberries all that much, he overdosed on the watermelon, leaving me to use up the strawberries.

Day 1 – Breakfast is a good time to start eating the strawberries. A good size bowl full of them and a chopped apple, with granola sprinkled over top, and a big dollop of yogurt – I ate it with enthusiasm. Lunch – more strawberries, more yogurt, and a spoonful of peanut butter on the side for a bit of protein. Afternoon snack – a bowl of strawberries, a banana, and a small spoonful of ice cream. Dinner – a bit of meat and a bunch of vegetables, then dessert – a bowl of strawberries, and a squirt or two of chocolate syrup. (A bit of exercise is good too – I painted a bedroom.)

Day 2, 3 and 4- Pretty much a repeat of Day 1 as far as the strawberries were concerned. I varied the other foods, just to keep it from getting too boring. (Keep up the exercise! I painted the dining room, weeded the flower beds and cleaned the house.)

Day 5 – Coming down the home stretch on the strawberry front – I finished them off by bedtime. I didn’t like strawberries all that much by then. My enthusiasm for painting, cleaning and weeding wasn’t all that high either.

So there it is – The Strawberry Diet. Of course, I should call it the Strawberry, Yogurt, Other Foods, Painting, Weeding and Cleaning Diet, but I don’t think that would sell as well.

Post 337

Macro Photo – A Study in Scarlet Wine Dregs

Don’t be alarmed! This isn’t a photo of blood, but I did think it was interesting that the quotation below discusses scarlet, and in this photo the scarlet ran over a colourless object. No more clues – what is this a photo of?

There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.
– Holmes, in “A Study in Scarlet”, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The photo is a close up look at dried wine in the bottom of a wine glass!

 

Quotes about Wine: The Quippery – From the Vintners Cellar

Post 321

One of These Veggies is Not Like the Others

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong …
– Words and Music by Joe Raposo and Jon Stone –

You will recognize this ‘One of These Things‘ song if you spent any time watching Sesame Street. My photo today is going to demonstrate this song, so go ahead and start humming. First, I’ll explain why I chose these four items – they are roughly cylindrical in shape, and they are all in my kitchen right now.

One of them, however, is clearly different. Have you chosen which one? My pick is the mystery vegetable – the white one that looks a bit like a fat parsnip. But it isn’t a parsnip, and I really don’t know what to do with this newcomer to my kitchen.

There is a disconnect in our house between the food that is purchased and the food that is cooked and served. This is to be expected, I suppose, when the buyer is one person, and the cook is the other.  Most of the time I figure out what to do with the groceries The Car Guy comes home with, but this week he brought home this white root that isn’t a parsnip. Fortunately he remembered  that it is called a Lobok. I’m not sure how well Lobok will fit in with the rest of the food in the kitchen. It is said to be radishy, and that isn’t my favourite flavour.

The banana, however,  could be the thing that isn’t like the others because it is the only one with a sticker on it.  I normally don’t pay any attention to the sticky labels on some fruits, but while I was working with this photo I realized what the label actually says. If I didn’t already like bananas, the sticker would make me feel much more inclined to have a few in a bowl on the counter. Very cheerful.

But what about the spaghetti squash? It is odd man out too, because it is the only one with seeds inside it. I like spaghetti squashes because they are the sort of thing that can sit on the counter for several months and still be as good tasting as the day they were picked. They don’t threaten to expire if they aren’t used within a few days of arriving at my door. The downside to the squash, in my opinion, is that it takes great muscles and a knife the size of a machete to get one open. I have to be feeling particularly brave to tackle a spaghetti squash.

This leaves the carrot. By virtue of the bright orange colour, it could be ‘not like the others’. I’m very fond of a good carrot, particularly because it is very simple to eat. It doesn’t even need to be cooked. Not much waste to it either. Very easy to grow – willing to cosy up to all sorts of other foods without being overbearing, yet willing to stand alone when required.

Now that I’ve spent a bit of time pondering the vegetables and fruits in my kitchen, I’ve come to the conclusion that this Sesame Street song isn’t really very nice. While it is quite appropriate to point out all the wonderful ways that one thing differs from another, it seems very wrong to suggest that these differences mean that something doesn’t belong. I have therefore made a promise to The Car Guy and the Lobok that I will find a way to make this radish wanna-be feel at home until such time as it gets eaten (or dies a natural death in the fridge crisper.)

Post 307

Line Up the Usual Suspects – Gingerbread Men and Pyrogy

We decorated the Gingerbread Men on Boxing Day. In Canada, Boxing Day is December 26th, and at The Red House, it is the day that we normally cook The Wokadoo. And just what is a Wokadoo, you might ask? Many years ago, one of our young nephews was having trouble saying, or perhaps even remembering, the word ‘turkey’. But he was sure, when the bird was still alive, that it made some sort of noise and he was equally sure the sound was ‘cock a doodle doo’. But again, he couldn’t put his finger on that word exactly. The very best he could come up with, was that the bird I had in the oven was a ‘wokadoo’, and that is what I have called a turkey ever since.

It was an Open and Shut Case. The Confectioner had no trouble identifying the culprit who was making off with the Candy Canes…

____________________________

This year, however, we didn’t cook a Wokadoo, opting out for a ham instead. A ham is quick and simple, and compliments the rest of the meal which was prepared by all the guests – pyrogy and holopchi (Ukrainian staples that have many names that can be spelled many ways.)

Our kitchen was a bee hive of activity with no less than 14 people mixing, rolling, stuffing, cooking. 20 pounds of potatoes, a big bag of flour, 2 big cabbages, pounds of bacon, onions, cheddar cheese…

And sinks full of dirty dishes. Bowls, platters, cookie sheets, pots, pans… all were washed over and over again, just to keep up with the pyrogy assembly line.

Once the pyrogy were stuffed, boiled and lined up on cookie sheets, they made their way out to the giant deep freeze, which is the snow bank on the back deck. When they were well chilled, some became dinner that night, while the rest were bagged and sent home with the guests.

Later that night, when the last dish was done, I surveyed the kitchen.  A plate full of Gingerbread Men were on the counter, their candy eyes imploring me to turn out the light and let them get some sleep.

Question: What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?
Answer: A cookie sheet.
– Author Unknown –

Post 271

How To Make Breakfast More Fun

I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time”.  So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
– Steven Wright –

While there are many interpretations of Breakfast, I’ve chosen to photograph the food I eat most mornings!

I start with the exact right bowl. It has to be the correct size – not too big and not to small. More importantly though, it has to have a happy group of animals dancing around the rim. This one has horses, camels and elephants – quite appropriate because I bought these dishes when we lived in the Middle East!

I put some fruit in the bottom of the bowl. I used bananas, but some times I use an apple, or an orange or some berries. This is the dangerous part of making breakfast  because I had to use a sharp knife to cut the bananas into the exact right thickness.  Like the bowl, the bananas can’t be too big or too small.

Next, I added some cereal. I used granola  with whole grains, fruit and nuts. You can use any type of cereal you want, but it has to compliment the fruit, not fight with it.

Last, I added yogurt – plain, low fat, high calcium yogurt. See how carefully  I spooned it on so that it formed a happy face? Two eyes, a nose, and a big grinning mouth.

The last detail is the spoon. Like the bowl, the spoon has to have some character, and it has to be not too big, and not too small. Today I chose a shiny new spoon, but some days I use a spoon from the set of cutlery that were a wedding present almost 42 years ago!

Remember the days when you let your child have some chocolate if he finished his cereal? Now, chocolate is one of the cereals.
– Robert Orben –

When I am done eating, I will have one small square of very dark chocolate…

How about you – how do you make your breakfast fun to eat?

Post 257

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