Friday, December 22, 2017

It's the Chex Mixiest Time of the Year

I get free samples from General Foods Cereals on a regular basis. Sometimes I use them in recipes.

Growing up, we weren't much of a breakfast family, particularly after I got old enough for school. My dad got up at the crack of dawn, had coffee, and headed to work before anyone else was up.

I got up, didn't have coffee, and headed off to school. Mom was still asleep, but it's a fair bet that she didn't make pancakes for herself.

Because of the general lack of breakfast foods in those formative years, I never developed a fondness for some of the most typical breakfast foods. My cereal preferences are pretty much limited to Cheerios and Chex. And while I don't mind French toast for lunch, the chance of me making it for breakfast is ... slim to none.

On the other hand, I like cereal as a snack. Not with milk, but just as a crunchy treat. When that cereal turns into Chex Mix, I'm a happy camper. I've created my own versions a few times, and I've used other people's recipes as well.

This time, though, I've got something different. I got a Chex Mix kit directly from General Mills, and they included their recipe.

While I haven't made this yet, I've got all the ingredients squirreled away. I'll probably make this right after the New Year, when I've *ahem* disposed of all the candies and cookies that are currently hanging around here.

I received these products at no cost; I was not required to post. Okay, you want the truth? I'm posting this here because it's a good bet I'll lose the recipe card. It's safe here.


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.