Friday Favorites: Yet More Chocolate

Friday Favorites

Lately I seem to be focusing on chocolate. Who knows why? It could just be simply because I like it!

We follow a modified Paleo diet. Snack bars that fit this food profile are few and far between. Most bars contain grains, peanuts or lots of sugar. All of these are not included in the Paleo lifestyle.

Trying to find even one that comes close to fitting takes a lot of research. I’ve read many, many labels hoping to find just one that comes close. So often one of the first two ingredients automatically eliminates it.

Not to long ago I found one that I think is too close to pass up. The bar is made by Larabar and its called

Uber Dark Chocloate Pecan with Sea Salt Flavor

It’s positive attributes are:

  • It has dark chocolate in it
  • There are only nine ingredients
  • It is Non-GMO
  • It is Gluten Free

I highly recommend adding this bar to your shopping list. Try it! I know you will like the yummy combination of sweet and salty, chocolate and crunch.

Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting

 

Disclaimer:

I do not in any way receive compensation from Larabar. I simply share my experience because I like the product.

 

Friday Favorites: My All-Time Favorite Food

Friday Favorites

There is one food that resides at the very top of my favorite foods list. Studies have been done by numerous people and organizations on this food. Those studies have yielded multiple health benefits derived from consuming it which means I am absolutely thrilled that I can experience positive changes in my health just by eating it.

What is IT?

My all-time favorite food is

CHOCOLATE!

But, not just any chocolate. It has to be dark chocolate with a cacao content of 75% or higher.

My current chocolate bar of choice is:

Alter Eco’s Dark Blackout

with a cacao content of 85%.

Why did I choose it?

  • There are only four ingredients
  • It is on the Fair Trade list
  • Has a minimum of 85% cacao
  • Non GMO
  • Certified Gluten Free
  • Carbon Neutral Product
  • Certified Organic

Now all of these traits are great to boast about but my overwhelming reason for eating this chocolate is the taste. I like rich, dark chocolate. PERIOD!

Buy a bar.

Try it.

If you are not afraid of the dark side I’m confident you will like it!

Enjoy!

Cindy Anderson

 

Disclaimer: I do not in any way receive compensation from Alter Eco. I simply enjoy eating their product.

Friday Favorites: Oh the Aroma of Fresh Baked Cookies!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . .

Welcome to Friday Favorites!

Twenty-Four Ingredients

For as long as I can remember Christmas has always meant baking, baking, baking.  I have vivid memories of assembling piles and piles of flour, butter, chocolate of all shapes and sizes, vanilla, eggs and of course sugar (powdered, granular and brown).  According to a copy of 1989’s holiday cookie ingredient list there were no less than 24 ingredients to shop for.  Now that’s one huge list.

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If you asked me what cookie or sweet was my favorite I don’t think I could instantly provide you with an answer.  We made so many varieties and they all had their delicious qualities.  There were Chocolate Crinkles (two kinds), Nut Wafers, Holly Wreaths, Surprise Tea Cakes, Regular Tea Cakes, Rocky Road, Fudge, Fried Oysters (no seafood used here), Bon Bons and Chocolate Covered Peanuts to name a few.

Assembling just the ingredients was a project all in itself.  A hand-written list sorted by recipe and ingredient was the first and most important step.  I just happen to have copies of two of those lists.  One is dated 1989 and the other was from 1992.  I recently compared the lists side-by-side to see what, if any, changes were made over the four-year period.  The obvious difference was the number of holiday treats slated for construction.  Apparently by 1992 our enthusiasm for baking had drifted slightly.  Our list of prepared cookies and treats had shrunk to six.

Of all the cookies we’ve made throughout the years my all-time favorite is Chocolate Pillows.  Here’s the recipe as it appeared in Pillsbury’s 15th Grand National Edition of 100 New Bake Off Recipes.  The paperback cookbook originally cost 35 cents.  Copyright = unknown since none was provided.

Chocolate Pillows

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

3/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

10 regular sized Nestle Milk Chocolate candy bars, cut into 1″ pieces

Sift together all-purpose flour and salt.

Place butter in separate bowl.  Gradually beat in sugar, creaming well.

To the butter and sugar mixture add unbeaten egg and vanilla.  Beat well.

Stir in dry ingredients.

Load cookie press with jagged toothed die.  Press dough through cookie press onto cookie sheet, making sure dough with jagged edge is against cookie sheet.

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Place 1″ pieces of chocolate, end-to-end lengthwise, 1/4″ apart on top of dough strips.

Press another strip of dough over the candy, covering row entirely.  Make sure jagged edge of dough is facing up.

Fill cookie sheet with rows of dough.  Leave small space between rows.

Using a sharp knife lightly cut between candy bars to pre-form rectangular cookies.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown.

Cut strips of dough into pieces immediately.

Note:  We usually use red and green food coloring to dye our dough.  One half of the dough is dyed red and the remaining half is dyed green.  After removing the cookies from the oven and cutting them into individual pieces, we also add colorful sprinkles on top.  Typically we make a double batch.  We store the cookies in the freezer and remove desired portions as needed.  Any brand of chocolate will work just fine.

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Well, there you have it.  My all-time favorite Christmas cookie.  What’s yours?