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With Valentines Day just around the corner I thought I would share my secret candy recipe with you. Up until this point it is only a secret because I have not told it to anyone so now my secret will be out.
If you are a chocolate lover like me then you probably get excited when you hear or read reports about the health benefits of chocolate (cocoa) – right up to the point that they add something like “but all that sugar (and potentially other ingredients) in that candy bar are still bad for you so be sure not to eat too much”. 😦 What a let down!
So I decided to make my own chocolates using what I believed to be better ingredients.
Here’s my recipe:
1/2 cup dark cocoa
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup cold processed coconut oil
Since coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees F (24 C) I put the whole jar in a bowl of hot tap water to melt. I then measure the amount of liquid oil I need and pour it into a bowl. I add the cocoa and honey and stir until they are combined. The mixture will be smooth and as the coconut oil cools it will become firmer. I line a pan or plate with wax paper and drop by teaspoon on the wax paper. I then pop them in the frig or freezer for a while. Once they are set I remove them from the wax paper and store them in a dish with a lid in the frig (because coconut oil melts at 76 degrees room temperature might be too warm for them).
To change it up a bit raisins, dried cranberries, coconut or chopped nut can be mixed in.
I won’t make any claims about these being healthy but if you research the ingredients you can draw your own conclusions. I will tell you that they are rich in flavor and have a creamy texture that melts in your mouth. Yum!!! I also find that just one is enough to give me my chocolate fix.
I haven’t really given them a name but the first time I made them my husband told me they looked like turds so I told him they would be “the best s**t he ever ate”. 🙂
Are you a chocolate lover?
I made a dish very similar to this last year, or perhaps it was even two years ago, when we had an abundance of banana peppers. I remember that we really enjoyed it, I just didn’t remember the exact recipe because I did not write it down. Last week when our neighbors sent over a bunch of banana peppers from their garden I decided to try it again. This time I am writing it down and sharing it with you as well.
I wasn’t sure what to call this and my first thought was stuffed banana peppers. That name reminded me too much of stuffed bell peppers but this really has no similarity. It is much closer to the jalapeno poppers that I love, so I decided to call it banana pepper poppers. Besides that is just fun to say. 🙂
* It is really not necessary to have the exact amount of any ingredient listed – a little more of this or a little less of that will not make a great difference. Feel free to add the word “about” in front of the amount of each ingredient.
Banana Pepper Poppers
8 Fresh Banana Peppers
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 or 3 jalapeno peppers
3 slices of bacon cooked crispy
Slice the banana peppers in half long ways a remove seeds. Remove core and seeds from jalapeno peppers and chop them into small pieces. Chop bacon into small (bacon bit like) pieces. Mix cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, bacon bits and jalapeno peppers. Place banana pepper halves on baking sheet and fill each one with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of each pepper. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to thirty minutes.
Dinner is probably the most common time to eat asparagus and it always goes well as a side dish – lightly steamed, roasted, sautéed, grilled, topped with butter, olive oil, sea salt, hollandaise sauce or cheese – even pickled or raw and tossed in a salad – I’m not sure you can go wrong with fresh asparagus. Last week I shared a recipe for using asparagus at breakfast and today I am going to share with you another way I cooked our freshly picked asparagus this week.
Asparagus – Split Pea Soup
If you already have favorite recipe for split pea soup by all means use it – just cut up a big bunch of asparagus and add it to the pot as the soup cooks. If you don’t have a recipe for pea soup here is how I made it. Disclaimer: I usually don’t use exact measures when cooking – I am a pinch of this, shake of that, taste as you go along type of cook.
1 bag of dried split peas
a good size bunch of asparagus
5 or more carrots
1 pound of beef smoked sausage
several cloves of fresh minced garlic or two about teaspoons of garlic powder.
about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
add salt later if needed – the smoked sausage will add some salt and you don’t want to get to much
I always soak the peas in water over night. The next morning I drain the peas and put them in the crockpot. Add enough water to just cover the peas. I then cut up the asparagus, carrots, onion, and sausage and put them in the crockpot. I add the garlic and black pepper and put the lid on. I start it out on high for at least an hour to build up the heat. Then I turn it to low and let it cook. After a few more hours I check to see if the peas have become mushy. (At this point you can also taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper and add them as needed.) If the peas are still hard I put the lid on tightly and turn it back up to high for another hour or so. Once peas have become mushy I leave the lid partially covering the pot so any excess water can cook off and the soup will thicken. If at any point the soup is too think just add some more water. When the soup is the desired consistency dish yourself up a bowl and enjoy!!! 🙂
I almost forgot – the first time I made this I put it all in a cast iron Dutch oven and cooked over an open fire at the farm. It does make a nice campfire dinner.
I made a new soap yesterday.
When it was all mixed and ready to pour into the mold it very much resembled tomato soup. It is not something to leave unattended in the kitchen for fear that the first person who walks in would grab a bowl, ladle some in, add some crackers and be very disappointed with their lunch. Don’t Eat It!
This soap recipe has six ingredients and all but one of them are included in my diet on a regular basis, they are olive oil, coconut oil, water, yogurt and turmeric. The sixth ingredient is sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, and that is what turns oils and liquids into soap.
This soap will be ready in about six weeks, and I will be sure to let you know how it turns out. I am certain that the yogurt will give it the same bubbly, creamy lather that we have experienced with both Salad Bar and Aloe but I am very curious the see what properties turmeric brings to the
Until next time be well.
I wanted to make a fruity dessert yesterday so I decided on an old family favorite. I remember my mom making this when I was a teenager and then telling me the recipe when I was a young mom. It’s such an easy recipe I don’t know if Mom ever had it written down, but I know I never did.
This has got to be one of the simplest and most delicious desserts you will ever bake so here is the recipe.
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 yellow or white cake mix
1 stick butter melted
Directions – Spread the cherry pie filling in the bottom of a 13×9 inch (33×23 cm) pan. Pour the crushed pineapple evenly over the cherry pie filling. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pie filling and pineapple. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix as evenly as possible. Bake at 350 degrees F (176.7 C) for 30-40 minutes until top starts to brown.
Since I didn’t have any canned pie filling or pineapple on hand, I decided to change the recipe. What I did have was some of our home grown fruits that I had frozen when they were in season. I started with about 4 cups (946.35 grams) of frozen strawberries and 1 1/2 cups (354.88 grams) of frozen rhubarb. I put the strawberries and rhubarb in a sauce pan and added 1 cup (236.58 grams) of sugar and 1/3 cup (78.07 grams) of corn starch. I slowly heated this until it came to a boil and became thick like pie filling. I then poured this into my 13×9 inch (33×23 cm) pan, topped it with a yellow cake mix and melted butter, and baked it just like the recipe above. This dessert can be eaten either warm or chilled. It is delicious either way.
While this may not have been as simple as the original recipe the home grown fruit made it extra delicious.
Note to my friends and readers around the world – I have added metric conversions by using online conversion charts and can only trust their accuracy. I have also rounded the numbers up to the nearest 100th and I am not sure if this gives you a close enough measurement. This recipe does not really need to be exact, but if the measurement does not seem right to you might want to do you own conversion.
Thanks for reading.