Monday, January 19, 2009


Sorry it's been a while - almost two weeks!

I finally finished another chocolate box review for your reading pleasure. In the next few days you can look forward to a post on my New Year's Cocktail Party, plus pictures and descriptions of all the knitting projects I've done over the last couple months.

Hope everyone's getting along well with 2009!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

See's 8oz Truffle Box

Why does everyone put a "Key Lime" in their chocolate boxes these days? Maybe it's just me, but Lime flavoring isn't all that tasty, and it permeates everything.

Now, unlike my last post on chocolates, the Key Lime this time wasn't nearly as bad, but the first truffle I ate did taste faintly of lime, so I removed the Key Lime truffle from the box and allowed the other chocolates to sit before I ate them.

There's one problem with this box - I couldn't for the life of me find anything to tell me which chocolate was which. The first one I ate had a top that looked kind of like it contained coconut, but from what I can tell it was just chocolate-flavored and I have no idea what that stuff on top was. At least it tasted like chocolate, and while it wasn't anything to write home about, I don't really regret eating it. I think it might have been "Dark Chocolate Chip".

Next came one of the ones with a swirly design on top. Of course, pretty much all of these had that kind of design, so it didn't really help with identification. I think it might have been "Cafe Au Lait", but only because I don't think it was "Cafe Hazelnut".

I ate a bite of one that had a white criss-cross pattern on the dark chocolate coating. The filling was white, tart, and not readily identifiable. I think it might have been Raspberry, but again, not sure. I know it was supposed to be some kind of fruit, based solely on the acidity of the filling.

I think I'm giving up on this box. No identifying photos plus unidentifiable flavors equals not a box of chocolates I'm going to eat. I'll mail the rest to one of you if you want to take over, though!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ham and White Bean Leftover Soup

We had an absolutely fabulous New Year party this year; I made tons of canapes and we had a cocktail party. I promise to post about that soon, though I forgot to take pictures of all the food, so the descriptions are taking a bit longer to write up.

In the meantime, how about some more soup? This time, it's a recipe using leftovers from the fridge helped by stuff I keep on hand all the time. From the pantry. I'm like Sandra Lee, but without the sagging boobs and seasoning packets! We had a bunch of leftover ham from one Christmas dinner, chunks of onion and red bell pepper from some fajita beef skewers from New Year's (they had been touched with raw beef so they had to be cooked), the normal mug o'bacon fat from breakfast bacon and half a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that, well, tasted like white grape juice *shudder*.

Here's the ingredient list:
Spoonful of bacon fat (or use your favorite fat)
Approximately 1/2 onion, chopped
Approximately 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and rough chopped
1 carrot, chopped
pinch red pepper flakes
Approximately 1/2 bottle white wine (or use less and supplement with stock)
Around 2 cups water (I didn't have any stock on hand)
Approximately 1/2 lb ham, diced
1 can white beans (I used Cannellini beans)
Pepper (there was enough salt with the beans and ham)
Pinch of dried thyme

I sauteed the onion, garlic, pepper, pepper flakes, and carrot in the bacon fat until soft and just beginning to take on color, then threw in the wine, let it reduce to about half, then added the ham and water. I let this simmer for probably 10 minutes, mostly to get some of the ham flavor into the liquid, since I didn't have any stock. I added the beans, which I only drained of about half their liquid, fresh ground pepper, and the thyme, then let it simmer until the liquid was thickened, about 10 more minutes. We ate it with leftover bread from New Year's, which was already sliced and had been intended for Bruschetta, so it was perfect for sopping up the broth. We also had some leftover olives and Blue Cheese Ball.

It actually turned out pretty well for a last-minute quick soup, so I was happy!