Tag Archives: snacks

Recall of Health Valley Bars announced

23 Feb

The Georgia Agricultural Board announced a recall of several varieties of Health Valley Organic granola bars for possible salmonella contamination.

According to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution (http://www.ajc.com/news), Health Valley Organic Wildberry Chewy, Peanut Crunch and Dutch Apple bars may have possible salmonella exposure from soy grits used in the bars.

No press release has been issued by the makers of the bars at this time.

For SKU and Lot numbers go here

Today is National Devil’s Food cake day!

19 May


Today is National Devil’s Food Cake Day! And what could be wrong with eating a little cake now and again.



Moist and chocolaty, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Check out the Five-Minute Chocolate Cake link on the sidebar, and enjoy.

I sure will

Have you ever tried Poutine?

18 May

A relative informed me of her intent to vacation in Montreal in July.  She asked me if I wanted her to bring me a souvenir and before I could answer, she told me she couldn’t bring me any poutine.

“What is that?” I asked her, She replied that poutine is a version of french fries and gravy. But way better. Way.

photo courtesy of exurbanpedestrian.wordpress.com

photo courtesy of exurbanpedestrian.wordpress.com

Poutine is a dish made with french fries. The french fries are fresh not frozen, and are topped with fresh cheese curds ( ya hear that, Wisconsin?) and topped with a rich brown sauce ( maybe a demi-glace?).   You have to be legally dead not to be intrigued by the prospect of trying this.

I’m not dead. I’m dying to try this out, but I am on a restricted diet so it is up to you guys to try to make this at home.


Normally I wouldn’t advocate using any substitutions in a recipe, but you may have to in this case. I haven’t the foggiest idea where you could buy cheese curds; I used to work a bit with fresh mozzarella curd in restaurants, and apparently it is a regional ingredient. I would generally say if you cannot find fresh cheese curds, use fresh mozzarella cheese.

**If you are a poutine-eater, don’t get mad at my suggestion, suggest a better alternative**

Cut and fry your own fries, and  make a brown gravy to top the dish. If you have a picture of your finished product, send it on in and tell me how it tasted!

Vegan Black Bean Soup

12 May

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Hey Kids!

Here is a great recipe for a Black Bean Soup. This is a soup for a rainy day or it  can be used in making nachos. Add some ground beef or chicken, and you  have a great black bean chili. Use what you want as a garnish. here, I’ve added diced red onion, tomatoes, hummus ( a great non-dairy alternative to sour cream), and fresh basil. You of course, can tart up your black bean soup anyway you choose ( cheese, sour cream, meat, and/ or  Doritos © ).

No animals were used in making this soup, but I did murder a mess of vegetables if that makes the meat lover in you  happy!


2 c. onions, diced

1 c. carrots, diced

1/2  c. celery, diced

1/2  c.  bell peppers, diced

2 T.  chopped fresh garlic ( Less or more if you like)

1/2  c. jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)

1/2  t.  coarse grind black pepper

1/4  c.  olive oil

1 lb. dried black beans*

1 ea. 14-15 oz. can  flavored diced tomatoes ( Rotel brand w/ chilies, or any kind flavored with basil and/or garlic

2 T. tomato paste

3/4  t.  chili powder

3/4  t.  ground cumin

1 t. dried basil

1/2   t.  dried oregano

1/2  t. smoked paprika

2 ea. bay leaves

10 c. vegetable broth

1 cup prepared salsa

salt to taste

Garnish of your choice

Prepare all vegetables,  measure out all spices and liquids; set aside. In a large pot ( 2  1/2 gallon capacity), heat up olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic and saute until onions are clear and aromatic, about 6-10 minutes. Add black beans and stir for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, bay leaves and broth. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer. Skim off any foam that accumulates on top with a slotted spoon. Cook beans on simmer, stirring ocasionally for 2-3 hours or until beans are very tender.

Take 4 cups of the bean soup and puree in a food processor or hand blender until smooth and stir back into the  soup. Add salsa to soup, and serve.

* It is not necessary to soak any beans before using them, but do it if it makes you feel better. Reduce the cooking time if you do so.

A note to carnivores- Start this recipe with your meat of choice. Brown meat in the olive oil, then remove from pot and drain off all but 1/4 cup of fat. Then proceed with the recipe.

Hey, $25 gift card contest extended!!!!

6 May
Hey, win a gift card!

Hey, win a gift card!

Due to the ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING RESPONSE ( zero), I’m extending the contest dates to Midnight, May 24th. You have until then to tell me how you make your meals a gourmet experience in thee hard economic times. There will be two winners, each receiving a $25 Shop-Rite gift card.

Contest Rules:

1) No substitutions will be given in lieu of gift cards.

2) Shop-Rite gift cards can only be used at Shop-Rite stores.

3) Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 24.   The winners  will be announced on May 27, 2009.

4) All posts must be limited to 50 words or less.

5) All entries must have a valid e-mail address

6) Only one entry per valid e-mail address

7) Please refrain from using racist, sexist or pornographic comments. Entries which contain theses elements will be disqualified.

Have Fun!

Win a $25 gift card from Shop-Rite

24 Apr

shopritelogo Culinary Chick and the kind folks from Shop-Rite grocery stores are giving away $25  Shop-Rite gift cards to two lucky readers of this blog. All you have to do is post an answer to this question:

In these lean times, how do you maintain a gourmet touch in the meals you prepare for yourself, or your family?

A gourmet touch could be anything from using a simple garnish like a parsley sprig,  to breaking out that extra virgin olive oil, to splurging on seafood or a special cut of meat. I will choose the  best five entries; and you, the readers will choose the best two.  The two winners will receive the $25 gift card, courtesy of Shop-Rite.

Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 10.  Voting will end on midnight, May 17. The winner will be announced on May 19, 2009.

Contest Rules:

1) No substitutions will be given in lieu of gift cards.

2) Shop-Rite gift cards can only be used at Shop-Rite stores.

3) Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 10.  Voting will end on midnight, May 17. The winner will be announced on May 19, 2009.

4) All posts must be limited to 50 words or less.

5) All entries must have a valid e-mail address

6) Only one entry per valid e-mail address

7) Please refrain from using racist, sexist or pornographic comments. Entries which contain theses elements will be disqualified.

Have Fun!

Gastronomic Monstrosity #10: Marshmallow Peeps

13 Apr

Some people swear by them; of course, I don’t. But; I love creativity and strange food, so in the spirit of the season, I present to you the following blog entries  and photos from around the blogosphere:

Smeeps: S’mores made with peeps by the Curious Domestic,

Deep-fried Peeps from Serious Eats,

P. B.  & Peep sandwich, Peep Mojitos, and Toasted Peeps from Geeks Are Sexy; and my favorite,

2009 Peep Diorama entries from the Washington Post.


The CC

Gastronomic Monstrosity #9: Cadbury Eggs

9 Apr

You know, I am a tolerant and open-minded kind of gal. When I think of Easter candy, I remember my Aunt Gloria. She worked at a Baltimore institution, Naron Candy Factory on South Monroe here in Baltimore. We lived in a duplex, she in the lower half with us upstairs.  My fondest memories of her are her arriving home in her chocolate-stained blue uniform with the white collar, and bringing my sister and I home freshly-made peanut butter eggs.  That was a golden time in my life; one I won’t soon forget.

Fast forward a few years later. I remember sitting in my kitchen as a teenager and seeing this horror on television. Someone had the absolute temerity to invent a candy that looked like a coddled egg inside a chocolate shell.

I almost threw up at the thought. Ugh!



I sat there and imagined the pitch to the R&D department at Cadbury that day. I’ll call the pitchman Ed for conversation’s sake. I am operating on the theory that Ed, like me,  was likely stoned out of his gourd and just may be one of the stupidest guys in history that had a freaky-deaky stroke of luck, or an idiot savant.

Ed at pitch meeting:  Dudes! I was home smoking a bowl and I came up with a crazy idea. I love candy and I love eggs; do you think  we could combine the two?

R&D guys: Ed, you have got to stop coming to work high; that has  to be the most ridiculous idea you have pitched in years.

Ed: Well…what about Candy corn, Boston baked bean candy,  Cotton candy and Marshmallow Peeps???  Explain that!

R&D guys: You’ve got a point there

Ed: All those candies are now classics, so why can’t we come up with something like that?

R&D guys: Hmmmm…..

So, in my marijuana haze, curiosity got the best of me and so I marched around to the Rite-Aid and bought one. After all, it couldn’t look like a soft egg. Right?

I got home and opened up the wrapper. Inside the wrapper emerged a thing of beauty. The  chocolate brown shell was perfect in its dimensions, just like a real egg.  I looked at it for a minute, then decided to cut it open. I grabbed a plate from the drainboard, and reached for a knife.  Placing the egg on the plate, I took the tip of the knife and pierced the shell of the egg. I was not mentally prepared what happened next.

The tip of the knife slid  into the shell, and the egg broke in half. Pieces of chocolate fell in the contents of the egg as the yellow and white mass slowly oozed out from its confines. It sent shivers down my spine as my mind comprehended the horror before me. I couldn’t imagine  who on God’s green earth would eat this, I thought to myself. It skeeved me out so badly that I threw the whole thing out, plate and all.

I still get the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it. You all can have this one;  I can’t do it.

Adventures in Baking 3: My Sister’s bread photos

1 Apr

As you well know, I am making bread now because it has become too expensive for me to buy the multi-grained, healthy kind. I have to pinch pennies where I can, so I’ve set limits for  myself when purchasing groceries. I try to only buy fresh ingredients, only when it is profitable to do so.  As far as the bread is concerned, I’ve always wanted to experiment, so here ya go.

I think I have the Honey-oatmeal bread nailed:

oatmeal-breadI scraped together some change ( read couch cushions), and ordered tinned-steel loaf pans from Kaiserware.com.  They were a steal, and the best investment I’ve made in awhile. The oven spring for this recipe was magnificent! My sis wanted white bread, and I knew how to make oatmeal bread, but not white bread. I went to allrecipes.com for this recipe, and halved it. This is the result:

Amish White bread

Amish White bread

This recipe said this loaf was dense in texture, and it was. It didn’t have much oven spring, but my persnikety sister loved it. It has the texture of Pepperidge Farm bread, and was relatively easy to make (although I cut way back on the required sugar).  My brother-in-law loved his bread, and I think they appreciated the effort.

My goal this year is to continue to experiment with breadmaking, and to acquire additional knowlege about it. Besides, it’s relaxing!

I’m baking bread today

27 Mar

I often write checks my ass can’t cash later. That’s what happens when you talk before thinking.

I’m going to visit my sister and my husband-in-law tomorrow, so I promised them bread. Now, I’m too tired to make it. But I will, ’cause I loves my sis and her lovely husband. Ill take pictures today and post them tomorrow.

Persnickety Alert:   She will only eat white bread (never mind that raisin bread is sort of brown. Only white bread). You know, that’s like liking American cheese, but only eating the yellow kind.

I love you LadyBass, you finicky girl. But tomorrow, your ass is getting Oatmeal bread!

CC ( with all the love my heart can carry)