Jan. 1st, 2008

Journal entries - 497 (to date: 3,009)
Comments - Posted: 1761; Received: 2,611 (to date - posted: 10,060; received: 14,496)
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(i tapered off on my LJ addiction this year - there are fewer posts and comments than last year)
Anybody have any requests?

Based on the results of my poll, i'm only going to offer 4 flavors. I've decided on two of them - passion fruit/honey and white chocolate/lime. I have yet to decide if I want to coat the white chocolate lime in white chocolate or dark chocolate. The white will certainly make for a dramatic looking piece, but white chocolate is an incredible pain in the neck to work with. On the other hand, i have 22+ lbs of it, so I should use it. And then there's the flavor balance - the dark chocolate can help balance the sweetness of the white (although that's nicely balanced by the acidity of the lime, which is why i like this center so much). The only real way to tell is going to be to make a mini batch and test it out, so I'll do that soon.

That leaves two flavors up for grabs, thus the call for requests. Could be a flavor i've made before, or a new flavor you'd like to see me try. One flavor will be molded, and the other hand dipped. The hand dipped one is ideal for playing with multiple layers, like the strawberry balsamic I made last year for Valentine's Day, or the peppermint/peppermint marshmallow I made for Christmas. Both will need to be coated in dark chocolate, but centers are more flexible. I already have 50% fruit flavors in the assortment, so I'm biased towards non-fruit options.

Any ideas you give me now will be kept in mind for the upcoming Easter and Mother's Day sales. Easter is right around the corner after Valentine's Day, so i'd love to get a headstart on my decision making for that round.

(For reference purposes - Valentine's Day last year i made passion fruit, strawberry balsalmic, hazelnut praline and salty caramel.)
I suggested macaroni and cheese to Liam for lunch today without looking in the cupboard to see if we had a box. We didn't. Eric said "I'm surprised you don't just make your own. Isn't it just cheese and milk?" I explained to him about white sauce, and the work involved, but by that point I wanted mac and cheese for lunch myself, so I gave it a shot, using just what we had in the house.

Tammy's Clean Out the Fridge Mac and Cheese

4 tbsp butter
1/4 flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 3/4 c skim milk
1/2 c whipping cream
5 colby jack cheese sticks, chopped
2 slices sharp cheddar, chopped
1/2 c shredded (real) parmesan reggiano
1 tsp dijon mustard
8 oz elbow macaroni

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When it's close to boiling, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour, salt and smoked paprika and whisk. Whisk and cook for 1-2 minutes, until it's kind of nutty smelling. Whisk in the milk and cream, whisking well to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer.

Add salt to boiling pasta water. Add macaroni and cook for 6 minutes, or until to your liking of al dente. Drain.

Remove white sauce from heat. Stir in cheese until it's all melted. Add dijon mustard. Stir in drained pasta and serve.

Serves 4-6 for lunch.

Not bad for fridge leftovers, if I do say so myself.
Tonight we ended up inadvertantly tackling a big project. Eric was doing dishes and I was handing him a couple things from the fridge that could be emptied out and washed, and he asked me if I could sort through the assorted bottles of this and that that live in our fridge. So I started doing that, and discovered how disgustingly dirty the fridge was. So between he and I we emptied out the fridge, washed everything and put it back together. It's sparkling clean and organized now, we'll have to see how long it lasts...

In order to wash the fridge shelves, i had to pull a bunch of stuff out of our drawer of randomness in order to get the dishwasher adapter that lets us use just the bottom shelf in the dishwasher. So that led to be tackling the drawers while i was waiting for the fridge shelves. i took everything out, cleaned the drawers, washed the dividers, then put back in the things that we actually use, finding new homes for the random detritus that had accumulated there.




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