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+++Enter At Your Own Risk+++ At the gentle nudging (I said gentle y'all) of a few friends, I have started these blogs in order to share my culinary goings-on and daily misadventures through my own brand of humor (ok, sarcasm). I just write about stuff! At 50, I have learned that living has gotten in the way of life - and I am going to blaze my own personal trail to fun (hopefully)! If it is feminine, great. If it is not, so much the better! Hopefully fun that does not land me in jail............

Friday, June 17, 2016

Takeya ThermoFlask - Insane Review

I realize this isn't a recipe, but it is food/drink related in my book!

So this week several co-workers were drinking out of these huge metal bottles and I poked a little fun them because these bottles were rather large (40 oz.) - looked like little babies drinking out of a bottle!

Then they told me - "these keep cold products cold for up to 24 hours."

And I said "where did you get these?"

"Costco - $35 for a two pack."

I go over to Costco and search the mondo-shelves and found the two pack crate. There were tons of the stainless and green combination. None of us were very impressed with the Green color and I would say, by the number of two packs containing the green, a lot of folks don't like them. I dug around and I think I saw a pack with a white flask - not my thing. I found a stainless/black combo and off I went to checkout to buy my 'big baby bottle 2-pack'...

I reveled in my $35 buy since they are going for $31+ - EACH - online.

I loaded up the black one with ice at 5:30am the next morning, poured tea in, and headed off to work. That was Wednesday this week. It is now Friday morning and there was still a little ice floating.

26 hours after filling with drink and ice
Thursday morning I poured more tea in and headed off to work. This morning, at 6:00am, there was a little ice left. Not enough to matter, but obviously the water in there was cold! So, we are talking 2 full days and nights.  I admit I did not pour new drinks more than 3 times - but still...

The only issue is I still feel like I am drinking from a huge baby bottle. I need to see if they have a huge straw attachment.
The ice is level with my thumb at 26 hours

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Spiced Candied Orange Peel

I am sitting here waiting for citrus peels to simmer and thought I would try to get back into blogging. With a new (100+ year old house), time seems to slip by busy with house stuff. So, one way to get back in is to type less and get to the meat of the deal!

I use orange, and other citrus fruits, for teas, juice, wine and etc. I hated that I had nothing to do with the peels, then I remembered my daughter liked the orange/chocolate combination, so I figured she liked candied orange peel.

She does.

First, Let me just say that this works on Lemon, Lime, and other citrus peels.
I have a batch on with two navel oranges, two tangelos, one lemon and one lime right now.
It is a good way to up-cycle when using citrus in other recipes.
And, just an FYI, cooking these up works nicely to give the house a wonderful smell!


4 Oranges worth of Peel (give or take) - washed
2.5 C sugar for cooking
1 C raw sugar for coating
2 C water
1 Vanilla bean, split down the middle
10 Whole black peppercorns
6 Cardamom pods, smashed
3-4 Cinnamon sticks
3-6 Cloves, whole
3 Allspice, whole

Option: Ginger - a touch
Note: Use simmering spiced sugar water to sweeten anything you wish!

Cut the peels to maybe 1/8" thick and take off as much of the white pith as you can. Cuts down on bitterness.

In a saucepan on the stove, Bring the cut peels, and enough water to cover, to a boil and cut back heat to simmer for 3 minutes and drain the peels (I use a wire colander). Repeat this 2 more times. It helps cut the bitterness.

Let peels drain and wash the pot.

Add the water, sugar and all the above spices to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cut the heat to a simmer and add back the peels. Simmer the peels, stirring every 10-20 minutes, for maybe 1-2, or so, hours. At least until the peels become somewhat transparent.

While the peels are simmering, I use my spice grinder (otherwise known as a cheap coffee grinder by most everyone else in America) to grind down raw sugar for coating - and pour it in a flat storage container with a lid. I like the raw sugar (you can use what you want) for coating the peels. I think it adds a depth to the color and flavor.

I also pull out a rack to drain the peel - and place it on wax paper layer to catch drips. You can use whatever you want - to make clean-up easier.

Once the peels have reached a translucent and softer texture, use tongs to fish them out of the liquid (syrup) and place on the cooling rack to drain. Discard most of the whole spices. I actually take the vanilla bean and place it in my 'vanilla extract bottle" and top it off with vodka to cover. I have a rolling extract system.....

I place a layer of the peel in the container and shake around to coat. Depending on how big the container, you can spread all the peels out and coat and shake around a bit. Clean and dry the rack. Pull the coated peel slices out of the sugar and place back on the rack. Wait an hour or so and re-coat the peel slices. Let them sit in the sugar for maybe 15 minutes.  Pull them out and let them dry on the rack for 2 days if you have time. It helps them be more crispy. If you do not have time - that is ok! Package them up in a smaller container with some of the coating sugar in it.

Normally I have photos, but I cannot seem to get them to post! Boo....

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