Saturday, October 27, 2007


Yep. It's that time of year again. Time for a post a day every day in November. Yippee. I'll actually be posting here and at Cooper Chronicles every day. Yikes.

So I have to have a plan. For the cooking blog, I'm going to be doing Christmas cookies. One recipe a day all month long! You see it is a lean year this year and I'm giving home made goodies to everyone. That will be my gift to all my friends and family this year. So I must get started making cookies, freezing those that can be frozen and testing recipes of those that can't.

I can hardly wait!

If you want to join in the NaBloPoMo fun just click on the sidebar link and get started. It will be a fun way to hone your skills and pick up a few new readers!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Lindt Chocolate

Some good news out of Lindt Chocolate today! For the first time ever they have decided to share some chocolate recipes with the public. Lindt has compiled a recipe book for consumers.

Lindt Chocolate Passion is filled with recipes. From the description: "Maîtres Chocolatiers share with you for the first time the personal recipes and techniques they use at home when cooking and entertaining for family and friends. Not only will you learn tips for working with chocolate, you'll find exquisite photographs that illustrate more than sixty chocolate recipes for: Truffles; Bark, Fruit & Fondue; Mousse, Crème and Parfait; Cookies & Brownies; Cakes; Tarts, Cheesecakes and Small Desserts; Chocolate Drinks."

Looks like I've got a new cookbook to purchase!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

PowerDrinks, the new soda pop?

I watch with interest my kids consumption of PowerDrinks. All of my sons-in-law drink them, I have a couple of daughters that I know have been bitten by the bug too. I haven't ever had one. Sure a gatorade or two after a race when I was in track but the stuff tasted do bad I just couldn't get through them.

It seems they have taken the 20 something crowd by storm. They taste good, they are marketed to death and are being chosen for the perceived boost it will give you when you're tired and need to keep going. Got more homework than you can handle? Got a deadline at work? Need to drive across the state for a concert after working all day? These are just some of the reasons being sited for the consumption of power drinks. The sales of them are highest at convenience stores, obviously, but are also beginning to line shelves at grocery stores and are taking up more inches of shelf space than certain sodas. Yes the soda companies are feeling the pinch and many of them are getting in the game.

Will they replace soda pop? Not completely, but they will erode market share and if you're a producer not paying attention, it may be your shelf space they steal.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

An email from Jim, for the BOH

"Just curious..Have any nifty spins off on the beloved Molten Choc. Cake? Any easy alterations to spice it up a smidge or two?"

Oh yes, there are many ways Jim. Let's talk about the wonderful dessert that Hung on Top Chef has suddenly brought back to the forefront: The Molten Chocolate Cake!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

After spending too many hours in the kitchen,

I'm opening it up to you. In the restaurant business there's the front of the house (FOH) and the back of the house (BOH), and n'er the twain shall meet. Until now! I will sneak into the kitchen and share the unknown secrets that lurk back there. You know the place where magic is made and then some FOH gets a tip for it. I'll open up the kitchen and spill some secrets. Keep in mind that I spent most of my time in the pastry section, but don't let that scare you. I did keep an eye on those line chefs too! Email me your questions about kitchen secrets. What are the things professional chefs know that you don't? I'll tell you and then some.

Click on the Back of the House link on the sidebar and ask away!

Recently someone emailed me about the pear tart I made. I answered her question and helped her with a dinner party dessert. I even shared my uber secret recipe for dessert tarts. She emailed me back and said the dessert was a resounding success! You don't know what you're missing! The only way to get the recipe is to email me. Yes, that's right, you have to ask.

Do you have an event in the future you need to take a dessert to? Want to impress a crowd with an entree to die for? What vegetable is best for a first time dinner date at your place? And all kinds of other food secrets will be answered. It's all a simple click away!

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And the winner is....

Commenter #4! Yes, Jim said he wanted to know more about wine and the random number generator took him at his word! So Jim, email me at foodchronicles at yahoo dot com leave your address and that book will be on it's way to you tomorrow! Congratulations Jim!

Thank you all for playing and keep checking back. There will be another give away soon!

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The Tanka Bar

Want to support Native American Soveriegnty but against gambling? Try the Tanks Bar Tanka is a new venture by a group of Sioux Indians that have decided to try making a stake int he natural foods market.

"Tanka Bar is built on our ancestors' knowledge of the Ideal Portable Energy for endurance, top performance and healthful life. Based on traditional wasna and pemmican, we combine high-protein, prairie-fed buffalo and tart-sweet cranberries with our secret, patent-pending herbal-based preservative. Then we slow-smoke it to perfection for 9 hours. At only 70 calories, these bars are perfect for today's nomadic Native always on the go! Take some with you next time you hit the trail."

It looks like the Morongo's have a run for their money in the natural foods market! This bar may be just the answer for a thriving business in Nebraska!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Cooking with Shelburne Farms

Okay, so I told you I'd review another cookbook today. Yes, I am so glad Jessica sent this copy to me. It has been a pleasure to read it and cook from it. Cooking with Shelburne Farms, Food and Stories from Vermont is a delight.

Melissa Pasanen and Rick Gencarelli have a true jewel in the cookbook crown. They have documented years and years of recipe used by Shelburne Farms. Located in Vermont the farm has been serving the community since 1800s.

The cookbook is not just a compilation of recipes however. It is a history of the farms, a novel, and a way to help you understand sustainability and local farming. I enjoyed the recipes, but most of all the dialogue with the authors about the farms. The snippets of letters and archive information included make this a priceless cookbook for me. I have enjoyed reading about the Webb family and their farm, I feel like I'd be able to recognize them on the street.
The book is separated not by typical cookbook separations such as dinners, desserts etc. It is grouped through the use of ingredients. The recipes included game, duck, beef and other items typically found raised on a farm. I wish I had known Mrs. Webb. What a wonderful kitchen full of enticing aromas. I probably would have stayed for a long time.

The recipes are simple farm fare. I have tried several and not had a mishap yet. Pictured about is the roast chicken with sausage and apples. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be a winner. You see, one of my favorite combination is sausage and apples. Add a bit of sage and I 'm in heaven. It is a simple recipe to make. Once you've dressed the bird with salt, lemon and olive oil you roast it in the oven for 30 minutes. While it is roasting slice a few apples, cut your sausage into 2 inch pieces, and slice a shallot or two. At your 30 minute bell add the apples, sausage, shallots and apples, return to the oven for another 45 minutes.

It gives you a recipe for a sauce to make with apple cider once it comes out of the oven. The chicken was succulent and moist. The apples and sausage were the perfect addition. I served it with some haricot vert beans and had a nice meal. The meat was moist and had the infusion of the sage, sausahe and apples. The sauce was lightly flavored. The only change I would make is tusing pippin apples next time. Thr galas recommended lost almost all their flavor.

I recommend this cookbook. It's recipes are clear and concise, and the historical aspect puts it above other cookbook for me. It goes on the use often shelf in my kitchen.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One Lucky Person Will Win!

Yes, you read that right. The wonderful Jessica at Penguin Books, a division of the Pearson Company, forwarded a copy of a cookbook for me to review. I love reviewing cookbooks!

My review will come tomorrow, as every good reviewer knows, you must try something at least three times, whether it be a restaurant, a cookbook or a car, before you decide to publicize an opinion. It's only fair to the chef, author, or car builder. Everyone has a bad day, and with cookbooks that includes the recipe maker - me. So in a couple of days I'll have a review for you.

"So, what are we doing here?" you ask. Well, Jessica also included another book I didn't expect. Yes, a second book! Neat. Thanks to Jessica, I am going to share it with one reader of Food Chronicles. All you have to do is make a comment and on October 7th I will randomly select the recipient with the random number generator. So what book is it?

Yes, Courtney Cochran's "Hip Tastes The Fresh Guide to Wine". Courtney is a certified sommelier and founder of Your Personal Sommelier and Hip Tastes events in San Francisco. This handy guide is everything you need to learn about wine and pairings and flavor combinations. She has her own website to learn more also at Hip Tastes. Go visit there for more info on Ms. Cochran's expertise. It is set to hit the bookstores on October 4th, tomorrow.

What's this you say? I don't drink. I don't drink wine. I don't believe in using alcohol at all. It's against my religion. Yes, I know some of you are thinking that. Pish and tosh I say. One you, you never know, you may be asked to go to a state dinner or make small talk with a visiting dignitary. You may have the opportunity to be part of a group of food lovers. You may be anywhere, anytime and be asked an opionion on something, or somewhere. You never know maybe you'll win a trip to Tuscany. Are you going to turn it down because you don't drink wine? No! Well, knowledge is a good thing. It makes you an interesting person. It helps in uncomfortable situations where you don't know what to say or how to start a conversation. There are a lot of people out there who do enjoy a glass of wine. Does that cut them off from you? It shouldn't. You don't need to drink wine to learn about it, know about the grapes, or how they're grown or what grapes are used for certain types of wine.

Are you getting it? So go ahead. You no you want to enter this contest. Leave me a comment. I don't bite, and I love comments.

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