Happy Halloween! {Foodie Pen Pal Reveal}

I cannot believe it is the end of October already! This month flew by for me! I have catching up to do, and I will DEFINITELY do an October wrap-up post to cover what I missed; so sorry for not posting almost anything all month long.

So, this month, for the foodie pen pals, Monica, who lives in Florida, sent me a package full of local favorites. This includes the Plantain chips and garlic dipping sauce, yellow rice, popcorn, a chia drink, and Maria’s cookies and locally made honey. She also sent a pumpkin bread and some candy and lollipops over for the fall holiday season.

If you would like to join or know more about Foodie Pen Pals, visit Lindsay’s website; to find out what I sent, go to My Outside Voice.

Hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween!

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I know that it has been, like, FOREVER since I wrote one of these posts, so I will try my best to catch-up on all that I’ve been reading lately.

First up (and if you see when this was written, you will see just how long it really has been) a note about remembering to indulge a bit every once in awhile. Just make it a good one.

An article about what makes a (food) trend a trend. Also, Americans (& Canadians) make some sake.

There are many ways of photo-sharing on the Internet these days, but what about the photos of you that you’ll never see?

And, because it’s Halloween, and I figure I should have something topical on here: a candy hierarchy. And, candy for an adult palate, because, you know, you can’t have bourbon in caramels for the kids.

Some recipes I have made and will talk more about in the near(ish) future: S’more Brownies & Addictive Brussels Sprouts Salad

Happy Halloween! I hope all are safe (from Sandy and other chaos) this year!

Indie Mart: I’m selling my sweets (again)!

I am going to be selling my homemade sweets at this:
INDIE MART JULY 300
I am making chocolate-covered pretzels, pie pops, and cookie sandwiches. Come down to the Mission and get some goodies! :)

Here are all of the details:

July 18th Indie Mart..back with more DIY. more fun. and more antics.
The Indie Mart is hitting the street again Sunday July 18th, from 12-6pm. We got over 90 vendors bringing you the best makers, designers, vintage, handmade unique goodies, art, baked treats and much more. Tons of interactive vendors offering customization or showing you how it’s made. About a third of our vendors are new, keeping to our promise of new vendors from all over Cali & SF.
We also have more DIY! Thanks to all of you who loved up on our woodland creature terrariums. This Indie Mart you can make your own terrarium, make pie in a jar to take home & bake OR you can sew up & create your own Sock Monster with help from WorkshopSF. We also got Broke Ass Crafts with Broke Ass Stuart with all kinds of fun dirt cheap crafts to make. We’re also welcoming Forage SF who host the underground farmers market, who are bringing a few rad vendors with them. San Franpsycho live printing out their badass milktruck. Besides our usual standby’s on stiff drinks, cheap beers & fresh BBQ food from thee Parkside… We got a life size terrarium where you can hang out, drink some beers & kick it with the gnomes, deer and relax. PBR’s forest right next to it, where you can hang out and get some sweet PBR giveaways..did someone say a tallboy sleeping bag?! Puppies & kittens for adoption from WonderDog. Heavy Metal Aerobics pumping at 3pm for all to join in (SF Weekly & 7×7 Best of SF winner). Photobooth. All lady DJ’s outside all day playing hella rock & roll. Bike parking & all kinds of fun!
Bands inside:
Chappo Music from NYC (4:15pm, http://www.chappomusic.com)
The Downer Party (3:30pm, http://www.myspace.com/downerpartytime)
Super Adventure (2:45pm, http://www.myspace.com/superadventureclubmusic)
Microfiche (2pm, http://www.myspace.com/microfichemusic)
DJ’s outside all day: DJ Cherry T, Sassy Mags, Danelle (from Heavy Metal Aerobics) & Resident DJ Rick Moranis (previously Sarahdactyl)
This month’s featured artist: Kelly from Retro Whale. Peep her rad art here!
The Indie-Mart Street Fair
Sunday July 18th, 12-6pm
Thee Parkside- 17th st & all down Wisconsin
Ride your bike, take the 22 Muni Line
Valet bike parking from the SF Bike Coalition
ALL AGES- 21 to booze it up.
$3 to git in!
http://www.indie-mart.com
http://www.twitter.com/indiemart
http://www.facebook.com/people/Indie-Mart/1330994393
JUST GOOD SHOPPING. GOOD FOOD. GOOD MUSIC. GOOD DRINKING. GOOD PEOPLE. GOOD ALL DAY FUN. THE INDIE MART.
http://www.indie-mart.com

…and now we bring you back to our (regularly scheduled) blogging.

Okay, so I hope you like the changes I’ve made so far. If you are new here, take a look around. I just started filing away the recipes I’ve used and featured on this site in a neat page I like to call the “recipes” page. It can be found at the top of this one. I have just slightly changed the look or “theme” of the pages to be more readable. I am also going to have shorter posts, and the recipes will be after the “jump” (just click on the little ” read more” link.) As previously mentioned, you’ll also be able to find the recipes on the new page.

So here is today’s post: peanut butter-peanut brittle and chocolate pudding


I wanted to try out (or really, use) the Silpat (a silicone non-stick mat used on cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans or any other flat surface to create a non-stick surface that is reusable and easy to clean) and the ramekins I/my mother bought me for my birthday. What better way to try these new kitchen items than to make brittle and chocolate pudding? I couldn’t think of anything either. (Yet.)

Both recipes were actually quite similar in method, and both things are easy to make. Quite simply, add things to a heavy-bottomed pot, wait a bit, add some more things, stir them around, and pour them out. Almost sounds like the hokey-pokey. (Just put your right hand in, etc. You don’t hear the similarities? Hmm…maybe that’s just my inner child poking it’s way out. Get it? POKING? Hokey-POKEy? Huh?) Anyway, if you are still interested in finding out about how to make brittle and/or chocolate pudding, just click away, and I’ll see you after the jump. (Just put your whole-self in…)

Continue reading

apples and honey

So, to celebrate the Jewish New Year, it is tradition to eat apples and honey together. Since I am not such a fan of fruit, but more of a fan of everything sweet, I decided to make apple and honey lollipops. They turned out pretty well, and even look good enough to give away to the various homes I will be entering to celebrate the holiday (or Holy Day, as some people might call it.) this weekend. Making candy is pretty easy to do. It just takes some time (doesn’t everything?!) to wait for the sugar to boil to become about 300 degrees. (professional candy makers call this the hard crack stage, but last night we called it “waiting for the crack”.) Since it is so easy, this will probably be my shortest post yet. (But perhaps my sweetest?!)
Lollipops (makes about 20-30 depending on how big you make them and how fast you are with the hot sugar)
1. Spray either a marble slab or counter space (if you are lucky enough to have one…) or a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with some non-stick spray.
2. Measure your ingredients. I did this in a liquid (glass) measuring cup, because if you pour the corn syrup on top of the sugar, it is easier to get out. It is really easy to remember: 1/2 cup of each: sugar, corn syrup, and water. For the apple flavored candy, I used apple juice concentrate, about 2 tablespoons. Do not add the flavor to the sugar mixture yet. You will do this after the sugar reaches the right temperature.
3. Pour the sugar, syrup, and water into a pot and let boil. If you have a candy thermometer (which I do, but did not remember it last night) you can use it to take the temperature of the boiling sugar mixture, and you want to wait till it reaches 293-300 degrees. (I looked at many sites and the temperature for hard crack stage varies from site to site. The Baking and Pastry book from the CIA says 293 degrees.) If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can test the sugar the old fashioned way, by putting some syrup into cold water. If you can form a ball and it is hard to crack, you are all set. Also, 300 degrees is right before sugar starts to caramelize (it starts at around 310 degrees) so, if you notice your sugar starting to turn yellowish/goldish then that is also a good way to know when the sugar is at the right temperature.
4.  Add flavoring (and coloring, but it has to be oil based to work). Mix quickly.
5. Pour the sugar onto the pan, and quickly insert a lollipop stick, and rotate the stick so that you can be sure that it is completely covered in candy. You have to work quickly because the sugar will get thick and start to set up.
6. After the lollipops have cooled some, you can transfer them to wax paper and let them finish cooling before wrapping them.
If you are like me, and want to create two-flavored lollies, you can just pour the second flavor on top of the first.
That’s it. Pretty easy, huh? If you have any questions, of course you can post them as comments, and I will try to help, but I also found this website helpful, too.
Pictures! I like the top one, the pop looks kinda like an apple, I think. :o)