Is This Necessary and Other Random Things I Found While Shopping

Seriously, dumping the package into a pot of water wasn’t easy enough?

This really had me laughing for some reason. Maybe it’s the idea that the company is somehow saying they aren’t as bad as those other companies who have their items made in China or Taiwan. They just buy all the parts and pieces from foreign countries but it is good ol’ American elbow grease that puts it together. “Because we care about the economy a little bit.”

These.
These are just a siren song to gluttony. I thought the unwrapped Starburst were bad but these are just down right wicked. I didn’t buy them mainly because  you can’t hide white chocolate from the children in the glove compartment of the car the way you can hide Starburst because we’re all about being healthy but I will admit that I stopped and just stared at it for a few minutes with a goofy expression of enchantment on my face.

Do you ever pass things in the store and marvel at this age of awesomeness we live in or just sort of scratch your head at our consumer ridiculousness?

Oh, Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

Not that it’s Christmas time or anything.

Nor would I know how to make figgy pudding but I did get to go to a friend’s house on Monday and pick some fresh figs. I don’t remember ever eating figs before but when I plucked one off the tree and bit into it my mind immediately flooded with memories. It was like it was the taste of my childhood in the way that Noxema is a smell of my childhood. (My Mother would slather that stuff all over us after getting sunburned at the beach.)

I tried my hand at making fig preserves yesterday which was something. I’ve only ever done something like that years ago with a friend so I am not really sure how it will taste or keep but I did it. Boiled my jars before and after and everything. I found a recipe on Pinterest (of course!) that called for a little rosemary to be boiled in and removed before canning and since I have an ambitious little bush of rosemary in my backyard decided to give it a try. I figure as long as I am experimenting with the whole process why not get creative?

And also because I am me and it’s what I do I also did a little fig photo shoot before I started cooking. I am a lover of this pinterest board and food photography in general, and the colors of the figs also inspired me. They reminded me of fall with their rich hues.

fresh figs fruit harvest

fresh figs

fresh figs

fresh figs Kim Klassen textures

Now, if the jam tastes as good as the pictures look!

Test Kitchen #59 ~ Product Review ~ Pineapple Corer

Have you ever seen the pineapple corers at the grocery store and wondered if they worked? I have and was hesitant to spend the $6 because six bucks is six bucks and the idea of wasting it on a worthless piece of plastic did not thrill me.

But fresh pineapple does thrill me and I’ve been seeing grilled pineapple popping up on pinterest and I really wanted to try it. Now I know some of you are probably thinking back to an earlier post where I made fun of half sticks of butter and wonder why I don’t just suck it up Butter Cup and cut up the pineapple with a knife.

Well, I’ll tell you why. Slicing your butter stick in half is a whole sight easier than cutting up a pineapple correctly. And not everyone is like my friend Mary who will eat every part of the peeled pineapple including the core. Maybe my knives aren’t sharp enough or I just don’t know what in the world I am doing but it never turns out right.

So, I decided to risk the six dollars and bought the plastic corer in Walmart.

Worth.Every.Penny.

We had a bunch of friends over on Memorial weekend end to cook out and while my beloved was grilling burgers our friend Ryan,  whose wife actually has a youtube video somewhere of them using this corer, gave

us a demonstration on how the thing works.

Simply cut off the top of your pineapple.

Get a firm grip on the fruit and place the serrated edge of the corer in the center of your pineapple and begin to twist.

Stop just before you get to the bottom and pull out the core free evenly sliced deliciousness.

Oh my goodness, was it good!

We did thrown the pineapple slices on the grill for about ten to fifteen minutes. Just long enough for the juice to caramelize a bit.

Such flavor and healthy too! Doesn’t get much better than that.

So, absolutely worth the six dollars and I could see myself actually paying a few dollars more for a metal one if we wear this one out.

Tuesday’s Table

Test Kitchen # 53 ~ No Bake Goodness

My Mother recently shared this recipe with me and I am not really sure where she got it from…one of my aunts or a family friend maybe? Regardless, it meets my three favorite requirements for dessert (the first is negotiable but the last two are most certainly not):

1.) it’s easy
2.) it’s pretty and
3.) it’s quite tasty

The recipe didn’t have a name and was written on a piece of paper that I promptly lost after I had bought the ingredients. Thank you, Google, for having another purpose other than being one giant spellchecker! I typed in all the ingredients and was not disappointed. Turns out that for some unknown reason it’s called Italian Bakeless Cake. I understand the bakeless part obviously, but I couldn’t find anything anywhere that explained why it’s called Italian bakeless cake. (I’m guessing Italy is it’s birth place but if anyone knows for sure I’d be delighted to hear from you.)

No matter where it originated or who shared it with my Mother it is definitely a keeper! It will be the perfect cool summer dessert for those late afternoon bar-b-ques that will be here before we know it.

What you need:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 8ox can crushed pineapple with juice
30 to 40 Nilla wafers
1 8 oz cool whip, thawed
1 to 1/12 cups coconut (The original recipe called for 2 full cups but I thought it was a little much.)
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry
What you’ll do:
Mix together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice,stir in crushed pineapple and set aside.
Line the bottom of a *9×13 pan with Nilla wafers.
Spread the pineapple mixture on top of the cookies.
Add another layer of wafers.
Cover with a layer of cool whip.
Sprinkle with desired amount of coconut.
Top with cherries.
Allow to refrigerate over night (or at least for 4 or more hours) so that the Nilla wafers soak up all that yummy pineapplely goodness.

Such a refreshing and tropical dessert that will surely please your family and friends!

*The original recipe also called for a smaller pan but I prefer a less thick and bulky dessert. It also chills faster spread out.

Tuesday’s Table

Random Food Thoughts

I was planning to share a recipe, honest. But Rob has been out of town all week (comes home today!) and we actually ended up on facebook at the same time. And I sort of forgot I had the cake in the oven and totally overcooked it. I’ll make it again though in the near future and share it. I bet when it isn’t all dried out it’s really good 🙂

But in the spirit of a food related Monday post I have a few random thoughts on food because of something I’ve either heard about or read.

Heard this on the radio last week and it totally blew my mind. How in the world can there be a shortage of Velveeta? Isn’t that manufactured pretend cheese?

Speaking of cheese. Mac and cheese patties? First we put it on a pizza. Now we’re balling it up and frying it. Is there no end to the desecration?

Also, another weird food marriage that should not have happened:
bar-b-que chicken pot stickers
Why must we westernize everything?

I saw both those recipes recently on pinterest, by the way. Apparently pinterest has a dark side.

As I said a few of these random food thoughts and words not my own but ones I was surprised by. Like the fact that the banana is both a fruit and an herb. It’s considered an herb because the trunk of it’s “tree” actually lacks woody tissue. And get this! The banana is also in the berry category since it is the product of a single seed.

Weird, huh? Who knew bananas were so interesting?

The highest calorie food item in the world is a milkshake. A large chocolate shake from White Castle has 1,680 calories. I am not even going to google the peppermint chocolate chip shake from Chick-Fil-A. I don’t even want to know. But it probably a reason to give thanks that they don’t serve it year round. (Total side note…White Castle was the first fast food restaurant in the US. They opened in 1921. McDonald’s didn’t open their doors until 1948.)

Did you know that honey is the only natural unprocessed food that can last forever if it is stored correctly? Honey stored in vats were found in King Tut’s tomb and were determined edible even though they’d been buried for 2,000. I’m just curious as to who stepped up and said, “Sure I’ll try some of that!” to find out.

Queen Elizabeth is credited with the first gingerbread men. Apparently she had them made to match the likeness of visiting dignitaries. Also, the first cookie cutter ever made was in the shape of a gingerbread man.

Not directly related to a random food fact but still very interesting…prohibition is the mother of kids meals. It seems that when alcohol could no longer be sold proprietors needed to generate another form of revenue. Until that time children were rarely in restaurants. Also interesting to note is that there was a school of thought that pies, pastries and other sweets weren’t healthy for children under ten so rarely were desserts given in the kids meals.

There are over 7000 varieties of rice in the world.

Fig Newton’s were the first mass produced cookie. They’re also named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts.

In 2004 Singapore banned chewing gum. Apparently the problem of how people were disposing of their abc (already been chewed) gum really irritated the government. It was being found under tables, elevators, and even in keyholes. The final straw came when vandals began putting their gum on the doors of the cars on their metro system causing them to malfunction. You now need a doctor’s prescription to chew gum.

There you go. I am one step closer to actually being back into the blog routine I had before the holidays. We’ll see what shows up next Monday.