In the soups and starters category -- David at Third World County presents a recipe for his favorite chili - all in one place, thank you very much! Joel Fuhrman M.D. shares three disease-proof soup recipes. And Joe Donnachie presents SuperSoup, maximum nutrition in one bowl.
Breads and stuff (to go with the soups of course) -- cehwiedel at Kicking Over My Traces presents a recipe for Oat Bread that sounds really delish.
I've always been a kind of sloppy choco-taster. It's just like with art, I like what I like, and I can't tell you why. But chocolate tasting is more than a matter of the tongue. Recently I watched a show about chocolate on the Travel channel, and I learned (it's very educational watching these shows, even if I do have to keep a drool rag handy) that there are four factors to consider when chocolate tasting. So if you wanna be a choco-connoisseur, here are your criteria:
ONE - What it looks like. Good chocolate will be smooth and shiny. No streaks or dots, no cracks, and full color (not that funny grayish hue chocolate can get when it's old).
TWO - What it smells like. The chocolate should have an odor, and it should be rich and chocolatey, not smokey or burnt or smell like chemicals.
THREE - What it sounds like. When you break a piece of good chocolate, it will have a distinctive sound, what the experts call "snap". It should also break cleanly, not crumble or break into layers. Of course, this test is kind of hard to do on something like a truffle. Heh.
FOUR - What it tastes like. (Finally!) True chocolate taste testing should be done slowly, so you can enjoy the way it melts on your tongue as well as the flavor. In other words, don't just chomp and swallow. Chewing doesn't allow the chocolate to melt and release it's nirvana. It should feel smooth and creamy in your mouth.
I vote for a future where we'll see chocolate tastings held as frequently as wine tastings. In the meantime, I may have to have a chocolate tasting party here. What a great idea!
Ok, ok, I promise this will absotively, posilutely be my LAST pumpkin recipe. For a while anyway. But this week's Carnival of the Recipes (which will be hosted right here, btw) is a Halloweeny theme. So it behooved me to post something appropriate for a Halloween party.
This is a recipe I scavenged from a party I attended, actually. It was such a big hit, this poor lady was inundated with requests for the recipe. It would also be a really great change if you're wanting to do something other than traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It's in the same family as pumpkin pie, but much better, IMO.
I made this last night as a tester, and it's a definite winner. Too bad the hubs doesn't like pumpkin. I guess I'll have to eat it all myself. Heheh.
Pumpkin Spice Dessert
4 eggs, slightly beaten Large (29 oz) can pumpkin (unspiced) 1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar (sweet tooths use 2 cups) 1 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground cloves 2 cups undiluted Carnation evaporated milk 1 cup crunchy cinnamon or vanilla granola
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and evaporated milk and mix well.
Cover the bottom of a large cake pan with granola. Pour pumpkin mixture gently into pan.
Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Melt butter (1 stick wasn't enough for me, I used about 1 1/2 sticks) and drizzle over the top of the cake mix.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped nuts with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 1 hour. NOTE: I had to bake an additional 30 minutes! Be sure to test with a knife inserted into center. It should come out clean.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, although just plain is really delish too.
Just to prove that coffee quips come in all shapes and sizes.
Psychological: Even the stain on the coffee cup seems not coffee but the physical manifestation of one's inner stain, the fatal blot that from the beginning had marked one for ultimate aloneness. Jane Fonda
Anatomical: I could serve coffee using my rear as a ledge. Jennifer Lopez
Intellectual: Science is, on the whole, an informal activity, a life of shirt sleeves and coffee served in beakers. George Porter, British Scientist
Humoresque: If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning. Mae West
Confused: If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. Abraham Lincoln
Really confused: I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon. Ronald Reagan
The 114th edition of the Carnival of the Recipes is up for viewing at NerdFamily. (Heh, I typo'd Nerfamily, and got an instant visual of a tiny blue family.) Check out the recipes for this week, some good stuff!
I'm glad I'm not the only one overloading on pumpkin stuff. Here are a couple more pumpkin people:
Here's a post from Motherload with a whole lotta pumpkin recipes and destructions for making your own puree. I've never heard of pumpkin pasta. Must try that.
ohmigod does this sound good: Marinated Swine Butt, otherwise known as Cider-Soaked Baked Ham With Honey-Rum Glaze, from the Baboon Pirates. Definitely goes on the list for holiday recipes. Maybe I'll volunteer to do the ham this year.
I was so busy today I almost missed Chocolate Friday!
My offering today is a bit of food porn. I took these shots of the cookies I made yesterday.
I have no special recipe to list here, but what my mom did that made these the BEST cookies was to modify the Toll House cookie recipe slightly. Instead of butter, she used crisco. Sometimes she used half margarine and half crisco. And the bake time should be a little less than the standard recipe.
This is a sooper delicious and very moist-ish pumpkin bread recipe I got from a friend many years ago. It's good without any embellishment, but I added the topping because ... well, I'm just that way. It makes it a little sweeter, a little crunchier. And I like it with nuts inside as well. It's so good, I have a hard time sharing. But you might like it just as well sans nuts or topping.
This recipe makes 4 small loaves, and it freezes well. I usually cut the recipe in half and just make 2 loaves unless I'm entertaining.
2 cups sugar 1 cup oil 4 eggs 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 2 dashes allspice 2 dashes ground cloves 3 1/2 cups flour 2 tsp baking soda 2 cups pumpkin puree 2/3 cup water 1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)
Topping: 1/2 - 1 cup sugar 1 stick butter, melted 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup crunchy granola (vanilla) 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat well. Add oil, spices, pumpkin puree and water and mix until creamy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into greased and floured bread pans.
Melt butter and mix in other topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping over batter and bake for 1 hour at 350°.
I just love getting stuff sooner than you expect it. When I ordered a new IngenuiTEA day before yesterday I didn't select two day delivery, but here it is already! And it is indeed, a better design. Some little improvements -
The base is slightly larger - it fits better on a large mug now.
The plastic piece that allows water to flow feels more firmly in place. My old one was a little wobbly.
I'm not sure, but I think the volume is greater on this model.
It's got a sort of ribbed handle so yer fingers fit into it, which I don't really care about, but it does look pretty on the counter. Sort of a regal shape.
Most importantly for me, they've solved the filter issue. It's removable. It pops out from the inside, and they now offer replacement filters so if this one gets moldy or falls apart, I'm not up the creek w/o my cuppa.
I only have one complaint. The tea pours out faster than the old model, and since I couldn't see into the cup as it poured, it overflowed, and a lot quicker than I was prepared for. Hot tea all over the counter. Oh well, the counter needed wiping anyway. And now I have a better idea of how much tea it holds so I'll just be more careful in future.
Ok, maybe this isn't quite a tragedy. But damn, color me disappointed. I went to make a cuppa using my Agadio IngenuiTEA the other day and found the net/infuser/filter had mold on the underside. On the UNDERside, between the filter and the plastic bottom. I was gonna take a picture to show here, but really, it's just too gross.
Now, I know the mold is not Adagio's fault. It's the fault of the dummy - who shall remain nameless even though her name is Christine - who left wet tea leaves in it for ... a really long time.
The problem is, the thing is not dismantle-able. If that's not a real word, it should be. I can't take it apart to clean off the mold which seems to have bonded permanently to the tight mesh of the filter. I ran it through the dishwasher. I tried blasting it with the super-high-power hot water blaster. I tried yelling at it. Nothing works.
The good news is, when I went to Adagio's website to complain about this bad design, I saw that they have a new model. I'm not sure they've solved this particular problem, but I love the thing so much that I went ahead and ordered one. AND a replacement infuser thingee. And of course, I had to order a sample of some of their holiday teas while I was there.
Now comes the hard part. Waiting for it to arrive. Color me disappointed AND impatient.