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Yummly, What is it?

You may have noticed a button labeled as Yum in orange on the right hand side bar or in the footer if on tablet or mobile or recipe pages on this site. This is integrated with this brilliant App. called Yummly.  If your not familiar with Yummly, using their description:

Search for recipes by ingredient, diet, allergy, nutrition, taste, calories, fat, price, cuisine, time, course and source.

I’d describe it a little differently, it’s a single location to store, manage and find new recipes.  They aggregate hundreds of sources on the web into one beautiful interface that offers a seamless experience going from mobile, tablet to their website!   You can organize recipes by category, either use their defaults or create your own custom categories.  I should also mention, it’s completely free, the app and service.  There are other more advanced functions such as an integrated Grocery List and ability to share recipes easily with other’s.

This app has become a great source of finding new and amazing recipes for me, as well as one of my most used apps on my phone!  Have 5 minutes and blueberries are on sale, look into blueberry recipes.  They show how many people have yummed that recipe so you can get an idea of the recipes credibility before taking a closer look.  That said I’ve found several recipes that have very few Yum’s that are really great.  Like Blueberry Cream Cheese Pastries a bit rustic, but easy to make and talk about a crowd pleaser!  I’ve found other recipes because of the Yum’s of others that I never would have found, like Crispy Roasted Chickpeas, simple, delicious and a nice new snack for my family and I.

So as the widget on the side or bottom of your screen says, Yum Away!

#Chocolategives by Seattle Chocolates

Every now and again we have the opportunity to participate in a real sweet deal, this is one that we’re really excited to share with everyone. Seattle Chocolates, out of, yup you guessed it Seattle, Washington has a brilliant campaign called #Chocolategives. The brilliance is in the simplicity, and the genuine good nature of the promotion, one post of #Chocolategives or purchase between now and the end of December 2014 and it equals one serving to one in need. Read more about it from Seattle Chocolates page #Chocolategives about this incredible offer.

Chocolategives

We have a tasty looking box of goodies that we can’t wait to dive into – look for a review on these chocolates in the coming weeks.  In the mean time, be sure to tweet #chocolategives or make a purchase from Seattle Chocolate and help spread the word – it doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

A little more on Seattle Chocolates, they have Truffle Bars in wide range of flavors from traditional chocolate(s), to toffee, peanut butter to more contemporary offerings like Cake Batter and a Here’s to You bar, which is Dark chocolate with popping candies on it!  They also have more traditional, bite sized truffles in all of the conventional offerings and more curious flavors like Champagne, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Mimosa and Egg Nog.  If you can’t make up your mind, after all who could, they have a great selection of gift baskets and bundles that will make the process of finding your favorite delicious and fun!

Seattle Chocolates

I’m really excited to dive into the back breaking part of this review, the tasting!  Remember #chocolategives or buy a little something sweet this holiday season from Seattle Chocolates.

 

Tribute to John Hickernell

I knew so little about John, but what I knew I truly relish.  I only knew him for 2 years, in fact we never met in real life but I think about him and remember specific things about him often.  We’ve only spoke a few times, most of our communications were via instant message or email.  Nearly 2 years after passing I find myself thinking about him and our friendship often.  What’s funny is our friendship was very situational, meaning we always discussed what was going on, very rarely did we discuss how we arrived where we were at this moment in time.

What little I knew was what impressed me, he wanted to do or at least try nearly everything before ruling it out as a possibility.  I think a small taste of this is evident from this blog, some of his posts were not the sort of glamorous things that most food blogs write about, a great example of this is his Baking Powder Experiment.  Sure I may have been curious about if there really was a difference but there’s no way I would have gone through the testing he did!

I look back to how we met and I have to chuckle, we met through a Craigslist ad that I had run for a business that was a total flop.  John and I kept in touch and kept working on little projects here and there and we happened to create this blog.  I always enjoyed John’s comments and his ambition, he was always looking for the next project or task.  Not the sort of guy who liked to sit still, though I think he made time for that as well.

Thank you for your friendship, contributions to this site and for being a man I’ll cherish knowing for the rest of my life – here’s to you John!

Kernel Season’s Popcorn Spritzer – Review

In a previous post John shared his secret to make Perfect Popped Popcorn, it is a very good method to make a healthy, low cost snack.  For the longest time I didn’t like popcorn, but lately I’ve been a ravenous popcorn addict, sneaking a small pot here and there just to get me by until I could make a big pot.  It has become my favorite snack in a hurry.

I like my popcorn with butter and salt, both of which are not known for being healthy.  Well I think I’ve solved the butter problem.  Enter Kernel Season’s Popcorn Spritzer!  I saw this in the popcorn section of our grocery store when I was gathering kernel’s to feed my addiction but I ignored it, thinking it would taste chemically, artificial or just bad.  In a day of weakness I picked up a bottle to try when my craving was at it’s peak.  Below is the product you are looking for in all of it’s splendor.

kernel seasons popcorn spritzer

I came home and made a small batch just to test this spritzer out, I didn’t know what to expect.  It was FANTASTIC!!!  The flavor is very close to real butter without the fat, calories and cholesterol.  No chemically, funny or otherwise displeasing taste or smell.  It is “lighter” is the best way I can explain it, it doesn’t have the dense feel butter leaves on popcorn.

I really enjoy the aerosol concept of applying it, it just seems like a good idea to me.  However that is one drawback, it seems to have too much propellent and comes out almost violently.  They suggest doing short bursts, which I agree with but I wish it was a gentler misting style discharge than an aggressive mist.  My other complaint would be that it does leave your fingers greasy and I don’t like that.  I’m not entirely sure about if this increases or decreases salt/seasoning adhesion or not.  They claim it does, however I notice a lot of loose salt on the bottom and sides of the bowl.  This could be the seasoning/salt adhering to the overspray on the bowl but it seems fairly loose.  Whatever the case it’s not enough of a short coming for me to have it disuade my usage.

I’ll stress the technique mentioned in John’s post about using fine salt.  We have the Perfex Salt and Pepper Mills which allow the user to control the size of the grind, from powder to whole peppercorns or sea salt crystals falling out as you turn the handle.  While these are expensive, I’ll certainly admit that, they are the last salt and pepper mill you will ever buy.  If you’re purchasing special salt this will pay for itself quickly and you can use it for other cooking as well and who doesn’t love cool cooking toys!  If you have to John’s food processor method is a good substitute, but I prefer sea salt/kosher salt to iodized salt, it has a mellower flavor and is more forgiving.

On the salt/seasoning front I’m going to continue testing the seasonings I find and report back with any findings worth sharing.  I’m also looking into salt substitutes, but so far they all taste “off” but I remain optimistic that I’ll find a way to make this a healthy snack!

Any suggestions of toppings I should try?  Lets take popcorn to the next level!