Cocoa, Stat!

Almost there- midway through February.  While the winter weather still hasn’t broken (we are getting warnings about water lines to homes freezing in the area!- due to extended cold), we can have some hot cocoa to warm ourselves up in the meantime.  But perhaps we can do a little better- or a lot better than Brand X Powdery Cocoa mix, and make it ourselves!  It’s easy to put little twists on cocoa to make it unique- mint, marshmallows, caramel, spice… and so on!

Game Day! (Chicken Wing Dip Recipe)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Football_signed_by_Gerald_R._Ford.jpg

Football

If you are a football fan (or a commercials fan), you might be watching a certain game today.  If you are having/going to a party, it’s not too late to make a tasty snack!  While this one likely won’t win any health awards, we’ve made it several times.  (We received the recipe from a friend.)  It’s quick too: Chicken Wing Dip!  While no actual chicken wings were used in the recipe, it has the flavor.

Chicken Wing Dip

1 cup ranch dressing (or blue cheese dressing)

1 cup Red Buffalo Wing sauce (any wing sauce of your choice will do)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 bricks softened cream cheese

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (chicken breasts work well)

Bag of sturdy chips/crackers for dip (we use pita chips)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Set a pot of water to a roiling boil and boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes.  Break apart so chicken is shredded.

Mix all ingredients and put in a 13×9 pan.  Sprinkle extra cheddar cheese on top.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Use chips/crackers for dipping.  Enjoy!

A Polar Vortex… of Flavor!

As the latest instance of the polar vortex moves away, I am left to re-ponder my understanding of the concept of ‘cold’, as the temperatures now seem almost spring-like in comparison!  But more seriously, the seeming antithesis of everything warm and green has left me increasingly anxious for spring. (I do enjoy living in the Midwest… I do enjoy living in the Midwest…)

We are just leaving soup month, but winter is still staring intently at us for the near future.  So- perhaps we need a de facto extension to soup season!  As I have written before, I love soup.  What a better way to fight off a vortex than with a bowl of hunger-sating warmth?  Chef Fabio has some options for soup, as well.  I just defrosted some eggplant chili and some mixed vegetable soup from this summer.  What’s your favorite soup to beat the cold?

Prelude to Spring

Yes, we’re still in January, but I’m thinking spring.  That’s not just because I can’t wait to enjoy warmer weather!  Hopefully to help you ‘think warm’, I’m sharing some recipes…

Salmon and Potato Salad with Caper Dijon Vinaigrette

Cheesy Pasta Ideas

Spiced Pear Sauce

More to come, now that we have Internet back, and spring gets ever closer!

Winterized…

There has been a lack of new content, but good things are in store for spring!  I will be moving to a new house and new (relatively blank slate) outdoor space.  Look for some additional content before then, but some additional photos on getting things growing as soon as possible!

Food for Thought

pepper plant

Photo by greenwordchef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- As in the ‘Food for Thought’ Lecture Series theme at UW-Whitewater.  Though the lecture series was in the spring, all of the lectures are saved as videos for viewing at any time.

From the description: “Do we eat simply for sustenance or is there more to think about this everyday activity? Food fills our bellies, brings families and cultures together and is the center of many traditions which remind us of our shared past. Food also is a source of power and struggle. The way our food is grown, manufactured and marketed can be controversial. What do we need to know about the food choices we make?”

Start Thinking about Food!

(Vegan) Marshmallows

Dandies Marshmallows

Dandies (Vegan) Marshmallows (Photo from website)

I found these marshmallows not because I am a vegan, but rather, my wife needed to find an option to bring for a church gathering.  We also brought some of these to a party hosted by some of our friends, one of whom is a vegetarian.  My wife did some research online and looked for what was available, since we didn’t really have many ideas about what options were out there.  She looked into recipes (somewhat time consuming, and we didn’t really have the right materials/equipment) as well as options and this stood out as one of the few vegan-friendly options.  We were able to find some at Whole Foods, but weren’t able to find them at our local co-op.

In comparison to typical store-sold marshmallows, they are a little more firm (but not much), but most importantly, they are quite delicious!  My wife also thought they had a nicer (more vanilla) flavor, and they passed the S’mores test at the campfire.  They browned well, paired well with grahams and chocolate, and got melty, though they didn’t puff up quite as much.  Overall, they greatly exceeded what I thought a vegan marshmallow would be and were a welcome equivalent (my wife, I think, liked them even a bit better than ‘regular’ marshmallows!)   Our friends agreed that they were tasty also.   I would certainly get them again and recommend them to anyone looking for a vegan (or non-vegan) marshmallow!