Thursday, December 7, 2017

Good Day Chocolate

One of the benefit of being a blogger in the Denver/Boulder area is that Sprouts Farmer's Markets hosts events with local businesses, mostly food-related.

Recently, I attended an event at Good Day Chocolate. I said yes, because ... well, chocolate. Even though I wasn't familiar with the company or its products.

Turns out, the chocolate has benefits. Not just the flavor of chocolate or the benefits of chocolate in general, but they add stuff to the chocolate to make it even better.

So ... there's chocolate with added caffeine for an energy boost, chocolate that helps you sleep, chocolate that has calming effects, and chocolate with turmeric.

A new addition to the Good Day roundup is a chocolate with probiotics. And, they pointed out that their probiotics are the ones that actually make it through your stomach acids, so they actually do some good in your gut. Plus, eating a chocolate or three is a lot more pleasant than chugging a weird-tasting grainy drink.

At the event, we had a chance to play with chocolates, like filling molds.

They warned us that this could be messy, but there were no major chocolate disasters. When the company first started, they filled molds like this by hand, and had a lot of rejected chocolates in each batch. But now, it's a lot more sophisticated.

And of course we got to do some sampling. Speaking of samples, we got to take some home, too.

Like this cute holiday gift box. Mmmm. Chocolate gift!

The chocolate comes in little tiny boxes, and they're roundish candy-coated treats that should be eaten sparingly. I mean, there's dosage information on the side of the box. Dosages are probably most important for the caffeine - or at least that's the one I'd be most careful of, since I've cut way back on my coffee intake.

While these have health benefits, they're also very tasty chocolate. But ... they shouldn't go into the candy bowl to be eaten by the handful.

This is one of the most interesting concepts I've seen in a long time. I've tried turmeric smoothies and other ways of ingesting it. While I love a good recipe that uses turmeric (mmm, pickled cauliflower), I'm not all that fond of it in my banana smoothie. In chocolate, however? I couldn't even tell it was in there. Sign me up!

Good Day Chocolate is available at Sprouts (obviously), and I've also seen it at other stores that have a lot of natural/healthy foods. You can also find it on Amazon. Keep in mind that the boxes are small and don't have a lot of chocolates in there, so if you want a week's worth of energy doses, buy enough boxes!

Thanks to Sprouts Farmers Market and Good Day Chocolate for the fun event and the goodies to take home. Mmmmm. Chocolate.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lemon Syllabub from The Hamilton Cookbook

Do you remember the olden days, when Alexander Hamilton was some guy you learned about in history class, but you promptly forgot most of what you learned?

Now, he's everywhere. He's a historic superstar. Or a superstar of history.

The latest Hamilton-themed product is The Hamilton Cookbook by Laura Kumin. If the author's name if familiar, that's because she's the blogger at Mother Would Know.

The Hamilton Cookbook is both cookbook and history lesson. But rather than boring political history, this is food history. Well, okay, there's some political history, but I was more interested in the food. What did the Hamiltons eat, what cooking equipment did they have, and how did they cook it?

Turns out, some of the food from that time was a bit odd compared to today's tastes. Other food was very familiar. This book skips the recipes for lamb's tails and moves right along to foods that make more sense to our tastes, like apple pie, split pea soup, baked fish, and gingerbread cake.

And, to make our lives easier, the recipes are adapted to use modern equipment. That's a good thing, since I'm rather fond of all of my kitchen gadgets.

I picked this recipe to make since it's a good example of what you'll find in this book. And it's pretty darned tasty.

Syllabub is something that might sound vaguely familiar, but I'm pretty sure that most folks haven't made one. It's so simple, and the ingredients aren't difficult, so you can easily whip this up ahead of time and have it hanging out in the fridge, ready to serve. To adults only, of course.

This recipe says it serves 2, but I'd suggest making smaller portions. Perhaps divide by four since the heavy cream makes this pretty rich.

I also suggest tasting this for sweetness, since you've got both lemon juice and sugar, and those are tempering a wine that might be sweet or not.

This is the recipe as it appears in The Hamilton Cookbook:

Lemon Syllabub
Adapted from "To make Lemon Syllabubs a Second Way," Elizabeth Raffald, The Experienced English House-Keeper

Serves 2

This simple whipped syllabub is an elegant drink/dessert. Its creamy froth rises to the top of a glass, leaving a refreshing lemony wine on the bottom. Although it takes only minutes to prepare, allow several hours between preparation and serving so that the froth and liquid have time to separate. Use glasses wide enough to allow a spoon for eating the topping, which is similar to a lemon mousse. Select a white wine variety based on how sweet your want the syllabub to be. (Keep in mind that the topping resembles lemon mousse.) Using a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinto Grigio will make the syllabub a bit tart, while a sweeter white, such as a Chenin Blanc or a Reisling will make the syllabub taste more like a sweet dessert.

1 lemon, cut in half, with rind grated from half and juice from one or both halves for a total of 1/4 cup juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream

  1. Rub the grated lemon rind into the sugar with your fingers until they are well combined. Mix the rind, sugar, lemon juice, and the wine.
  2. Add the cream and whisk the mixture until it froths. Gently pour it into two glasses. Let them stand on a counter for about 2 hours, then refrigerate until serving. As the glasses sit, the froth will rise, leaving the lemony wine on the bottom of the glasses.

I received this book at no cost to me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Acid Trip and Eggs with Vinegar #AbramsDinnerParty

I'm participating in the Abrams Dinner Party, where I get cookbooks (and a little swag) from the publisher. Since I'm a bit of a cookbook hoarder, this is great for me.

Once of the books I got was Acid Trip, which is all about vinegar.

I adore tart foods, so a book about vinegar is right up my alley. I mean, I've even made my own vinegar from wine. There's a jar of it in the pantry right now.

When I first got this book, I bookmarked a whole bunch of recipes to try:

  • Fried Egg with a Spoonful of Vinegar
  • Beurre Noisette Dressing
  • Brown Butter Balsamic Mushrooms with Hazeluts and Sage
  • Seasonal Tomatoes with Raspberry Vinegar
  • Vinegar Pie

Out of that list, I've made a few similar dishes, and wanted to revisit them. In particular, the egg with vinegar was calling to me. I'd made a similar dish, but used red wine vinegar. The flavor was lovely, but the look was ... not great.

The recipe in this book calls for white wine vinegar, which makes a whole lot more sense in terms of presentation. So I just had to do it. Breakfast for dinner just happens to be one of my favorite things ever.

If this sound a little weird, it's really not. The acid helps to cut the richness of the egg yolk, and adds another dimension of flavor. I love eating tomatoes with eggs, but never thought about why - it's that hit of acid. In this case, you can add that acid without needing to have fresh tomatoes on hand.


I think the vinegar pie is next on my list. How about you?

Fried Egg with a Spoonful of Vinegar
Adapted from Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell

1 tablespoon butter
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Chopped herbs

Fry an egg they way you like it, with ample butter. (They suggested cooking on medium-high until the edges are a little brown. I opted for a more gently-cooked basted egg, instead.)

Place the egg on a warm plate and season with salt and pepper.

While the pan is still hot, add the white wine vinegar and allow to reduce by half.

Spoon the reduced vinegar over the egg and garnish with chopped herbs. (They suggested parsley or tarragon, but the only fresh herbs I had on hand were cilantro and chives. I opted for chives.)

Serve immediately. I suggest some toast on the side. Yum.

This post is sponsored by ABRAMS Books, as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party. Look for more posts with the hashtags #AcidTrip and #VinegarCookbook.