Archive for the ‘Candy’ Category
While visiting Chicago for work yesterday, I started thinking about how food can change in a matter of miles. Take Milwaukee for instance, we’re known for our craft beer, brats, cheese and all things deep-fried. Travel just 90 minutes south to Chicago and you get a completely different culinary experience. In this city, it’s all about deep-dish pizza, Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dogs. (For lunch yesterday we had neither. We actually went to a cafe on top of a health food store for baked falafel, spinach soup and vegetable juice.)
This brings to my next point: barbecue.
I don’t think just one region can claim this cuisine. Each area (St. Lousis, Kansas City, Memphis, etc.) has their own BBQ that’s unique to them. So when Pig of the Month BBQ contacted me about reviewing their products, I figured it was necessary in the name of research.
At Pig of the Month, you can buy individual packages of rips, bacon, sausage, sauces and more or you can sign up for a BBQ of the Month Club. This would be a great gift for dads…or the meat lover in your life. Food gifts are one of my favorite things to give because they answer that age-old question, “What do I get for the person who has everything?”
I tried their Bacon Sampler, which included 3 1-pound packages of bacon.
Imagine this with bacon on top. Delectable.
In addition to meat, Pig of the Month BBQ also offers loads of sweets. I tried their White Chocolate Ginger Pistachio Sea Salt Toffee and their Dark Chocolate Cashew Sea Salt Toffee. As a bonafide toffee lover, I was immediately drawn to their unique flavors. Each were rich, sweet and tasted like true, gourmet candy.
Although Father’s Day is still months away, keep this one in your files for a winning gift (or if you just love meat!)
Question: What is your favorite food gift to give or receive?
Disclaimer: Pig of the Month BBQ has given me these products to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.
I am addicted to sugar. As much as I wish this weren’t true, it is what it is. Although I’ve had some success in lessening the habit, there still isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have at least a small piece of candy.
Mmmm, dirt pudding (the light version)
To satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard, I will try making healthier versions of typically fattening desserts by substituting low-fat ingredients. Other times I will make mini versions of the foods I love — like peanut butter and jelly mini cheesecakes.
This leads me to my next point…how to kill a sugar craving. As I researched an article I wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on dried fruits and vegetables, the dietitian I talked to said dried fruits make an excellent substitution for sugary desserts. Although they recommend people eat fresh fruits instead, she did say people usually end up more satisfied after eating dried fruits because the flavors are more concentrated.
Lately I’ve been snacking on dried pineapple and mango at work as an after-lunch treat, and it really helps! Here are some other tips I’ve learned throughout the years to calm my sugar addiction:
- Fix yourself a hot mug of tea with a teaspoon of honey
- Brush your teeth!
- Chew gum or grab a mint
- Put on lipstick, which sounds silly, but you don’t want to mess up your lips :)
This list is obviously a work in progress.
SHARE: What do you do to get your mind off of sugar? Do you have any tricks for giving in but in a healthier way?
Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)
Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.
#12) Coffee Rum Chata
#9) Tamale Pie
#1) Shrimp and Grits
Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!
I have Christmas on the brain, which means my thoughts today are completely scattered and random. Here’s what I am doing/craving/thinking about:
1. I think Oliver is conditioned to sleep during the day. I worked from home today in light of the major storm hitting the Midwest (Snowpocalypse maybe?). I think because we’re usually at work during the day, he reserves his energy for when we get home — which includes him flying around the living room and whining to go outside. But from 8 am – 4 pm, he’s pretty much a vegetable.
2. With only a few weeks until the Icebreaker Marathon Relay, I’m getting more serious about training. For the past few weeks, I’ll jump on the treadmill and run a comfortable 9 minute mile pace. Then I’ll crank up the speed to 8:27 or 8:00 and try to maintain that for a mile. Then I’ll go back go jogging and repeat 2 or 3 times. I’d love to know how my teammate Laurie is tackling this :) Our goal for this race is to have fun, but I still want a good time.
3. I am reading the most amazing book. It’s called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” It’s about a woman from the 1950s who dies of cervical cancer. Her doctor took samples of her tumor which multiplied to be the first immortal human cells, which are still alive today. They’ve been used to create the polio vaccine as well as other medical advancements. I’m less than halfway through, but I am completely transfixed. I love how this novels interweaves science with the story of Henrietta’s actual life.
4. Enstrom Candy Giveaway!
I’ve been munching on the Almond Toffee from Enstrom Candies for the past week. As someone who LOVES candy and often makes her own (I’ve tried my hand at English Toffee and Lollipops), I consider myself an connoisseur.
Enstrom’s toffee is buttery and rich. With chunks of almonds and a milk chocolate coating sprinkled with crushed almonds, this candy is is as gourmet as it comes.
Now here’s where you come in: Enstrom has offered to send one lucky She’s on the Run reader a 1-pound box of Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee! I’ll leave the giveaway open until January 2, 2013. To Enter (Mandatory): Like Enstrom Candies on Facebook AND leave a comment here telling me what you favorite candy is.
And don’t forget! You still have until Christmas to enter my giveaway for a set of William Bounds Salt and Pepper Mills (an $80 value!).
Disclaimer: Enstrom Candies has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.
‘Tis better to give than receive. For cooks getting crafty in the kitchen, this couldn’t be more true. There’s just something about presenting someone with a gift you made yourself that means so much more than buying a gift at the store.
This was the premise behind an article I just wrote for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I made a Homemade Bellini Bar, Cherry Almond Muesli, Peppermint Bark, Beer and Caramel Pretzels, Cowboy Cookie Mix, and Tangerine Curd.
Looking at some of my old recipes during my Blogiversary and Giveaway Post, I decided this would be the perfect topic for a recipe roundup. Here are a few recipes that would make excellent holiday gifts this season:
Other Recipe Roundups:
Question: Do you like giving homemade gifts for the holidays? What types of things do you make?
It’s no secret that I have about 8 jars of peanut butter in my house. But this is a problem I’d gladly have any day of the week (because I know overnight oats in a jar is in my future). I still have a bit of PB Crave left, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to adapt one of their flavors into a recipe.
On Sunday, I met the girls for a Buffy-watching/pizza party. My friend Sun has made Katie Lee’s peanut butter balls many times before, so I knew she’d like this recipe. I used PB Crave’s Coco Bananas to make a banana-infused peanut butter ball. They were so good, I kind of regret leaving them at Jess’s house.
The balls are made with Rice Krispies (hence the holes in the dough). This made them a little airier than typical PB balls.
Coco Banana Peanut Butter Balls
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Makes 25 balls
1/2 cup Coco Bananas PB Crave
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup powdered sugar
6 ounces chocolate Almond Bark
In a bowl, stir together PB Crave and butter. Gradually add cereal and powdered sugar, stirring until combined. Using a small cookie scoop, shape into 1-inch balls. Set on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for one hour.
Break up Almond Bark into a small heatproof bowl. Microwave for about a minute, stirring after 30 seconds, or until melted. Using a fork or dipping tongs, dip balls, one at a time, into coating. Place back on the waxed paper. Once all the balls are dipped, let stand at least 10 minutes. These will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Name a favorite TV show from your past that you’re embarrassed to admit watching. Before soaps were a dying breed, I would have said “All My Children.” My mom watched that show when I was growing up, so I was heartbroken when it went off the air.
If you like to cook, chances are you have a list of things you’d like to make but never seem to get around to.
For me, that list looks like this:
1. English Muffins
2. Marinara Sauce
3. Chocolate Lava Cake
Homemade marshmallows have been on this list for years. If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you know I love cooking with store-bought marshmallows (like in my Oreo Rice Krispie Treats, Sunshine Fruit Salad and Taffy Apple Salad).
I even bought this awesome candy book and a whole box on Knox gelatin.
A few months after buying The Ultimate Candy Book, I finally got around to it. I made one batch of vanilla marshmallows and dusted half with powdered sugar and half with toasted coconut (remember those!?).
All in all, this recipe was pretty easy as far as candy making goes. For the holidays or a party, I’d love to dip one half in chocolate for a fun dessert (or make smores in the summer).
From The Ultimate Candy Book
Makes about 45 marshmallows
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon canola oil
powdered sugar and shredded sweetened coconut
1. Put about a tablespoon of canola oil in a 9×13-inch pan and distribute evenly with a paper towel.
2. In large mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup corn syrup, granulated sugar and 3/4 cup water. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
4. When the mixture comes to a boil, attach a candy thermometer to the side. Cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage). (Note: You don’t have to stir during this step.) Turn off the heat and mix in the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup.
5. If using a stand mixer, place the hot sugar mixture in the mixing bowl. Slowly add the gelatin and whip on high with the wire whisk for 10 minutes or until the mixture triples in size. Beat in the vanilla. (Note: You can use a hand mixer, but it may take a little longer).
6. Spread the mixture in your greased pan. Let sit for 8 to 10 hours.
7. If making regular marshmallows, dust a cutting board with powdered sugar (a good amount, this stuff gets sticky). Run a knife around the pan to get the marshmallows loose and turn over onto the powdered sugar. Dust again and use a pizza cutter dipped in powdered sugar to cut the marshmallows into whatever size you like. Make sure every side is coated. This will keep in an air-covered container for 3 weeks.
For Toasted Coconut Marshmallows: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 4 cups of shredded sweetened coconut on a baking sheet. Place in oven and stir every few minutes until coconut is golden brown. Use this mixture instead of the powdered sugar to coat the marshmallows.
Notes: Because the marshmallows are so gigantic, I’d like to try setting the marshmallow mixture in a large jelly roll pan versus a 9×13-inch pan.
Question: What is your favorite way to eat marshmallows?