Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Braised Sausage with Cheddar Cheese Grits

I think I am totally opposite of most people when it comes to their spouse being out of town. When my husband is home alone he goes right for a take out place with cheese dip...always. And most other people I know get take out of some sort, usually something they like that their spouse doesn't. Well, when my husband recently went out of town for a few days, I went right for the kitchen...and lots of ingredients I know he doesn't like.

A month or two ago, I had made some homemade sausages and the remainder were in the freezer, so I thawed out two and sliced them thin. I cooked them in some beef stock with some chopped baby bella mushrooms. Beer would have been great, if I only liked beer. Once the mushrooms and sausages were cooked through, I took them out and left the liquid in the pan. I kneaded together a little butter and flour and added it to the remaining liquid. I cooked the sauce until it thickened nicely and poured it over my sausage and mushrooms.

At the same time, I made myself some cheddar cheese grits. I love to make the grits using half milk and half water, then add a little butter to it to make it that much creamier. Once the grits are thick, I add a handful of cheddar cheese. A wonderful treat, in my opinion (but not my husbands...he would be good with the cheddar, just forget all those grits things!).

To round out my dinner, I steamed some broccoli with garlic, salt and pepper. A quick side dish that often makes an appearance in my home. It is super easy to make, takes only a few minutes and it tastes great.

Christmas Baking...a little late update

Ack!! I just realized that it has been 2 months since I last posted. I guess that is what happens around Christmastime. I was too busy baking that I totally forgot to take pictures of all the wonderful things I made.

For Christmas gifts, I made homemade cheddar crackers, sugar plums, Mississippi Mud cookies, cake truffles (of course), butter rum caramels, pecan pralines, among other things that are slipping my mind at the moment.

I think the sleeper hit was the Mississippi mud cookies, which my mom has declared her new favorite cookie. So much so that I had brought some home with me for Christmas, and she made me make two more batches while I was there. The first because she wanted more and the second so she could watch me and make sure she knew just how to make them.

I got the recipe from Southern Living and these are double chocolate cookies with chopped pecans and topped with mini marshmallows. What could go wrong there? Absolutely nothing. And the best part is that these cookies are unbelievably soft and chewy, just the way I like them. I always prefer chewy cookies over crunchy ones.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

Here is a great gift idea for the holiday season...mini gingerbread houses. These cute houses, made of graham crackers, are held together by royal icing and decorated with peppermints, Kit-Kats, colored sprinkles and cinnamon red hots. Inside the houses lies another surprise, actually several surprises: mini chocolate candies like Crunch Bells and Hersey's candies. Each house is about 5 1/2 inches high, 3 inches wide and 4 inches long. They are $15 each. Call or email if you would like these beautiful houses as gifts this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rum banana pudding

As a second dessert for my husband's office Thanksgiving party, I chose another recipe from my "Southern Living: 1001 Ways to Cook Southern" cookbook: rum banana pudding. Adding a little alcohol to a southern favorite, what could be better?

This recipe starts with a classic homemade vanilla pudding that is enhanced by a little rum. Toasted chopped pecans add some crunch and it is topped with a meringue that is baked until a perfect golden brown.

Courtesy of the Southern Living website, here is the recipe:

Rum Banana Pudding


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons light rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 medium bananas, sliced
  • 30 vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; cook, whisking constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir bananas into pudding mixture.
  • Arrange 15 vanilla wafers in a single layer on bottom of a 1 1/2-quart baking dish; sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans evenly on vanilla wafers. Pour half of pudding mixture on top of pecans in dish. Repeat layers with remaining vanilla wafers, pudding, and ending with pecans.
  • Beat egg whites and 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves (about 1 to 2 minutes). Spread meringue evenly over top of banana mixture, sealing edges.
  • Bake at 400° for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

My husband's office Thanksgiving party is this Thursday and I wanted to contribute. Mostly because my work isn't doing a Thanksgiving party this year and I really want to cook!!!

I came across a recipe for a red velvet cheesecake in my "Southern Living: 1001 Ways to Cook Southern" Cookbook and was intrigued. I know that a lot of my husband's coworkers really like red velvet cake so this twist seemed like a natural choice.

This cheesecake starts with a chocolate graham cracker crust, then the red velvet cheesecake and is topped with a fluffy white sweetened cream cheese topping. I made the crust and cheesecake last night and it chilled overnight. Tonight I will add the topping and take pictures.

This cheesecake is easy enough. The only snag I ran into was with the graham cracker crust. I went to my trusty volume to weight conversion sheet and weighed out the graham cracker crumbs rather than trying to stuff them into measuring cups. Either I looked at the wrong conversion or their conversion was WAAAAAY off. Like three times the amount of crumbs than I needed. I poured them into the springform pan and it practically took up the bottom 1/3 of the entire pan. I immediately knew something was wrong. So I went back and measured out the proper amount and needed to add a little more butter to hold the crumbs together. But the problem was fixed easy enough.

The cheesecake batter is very much a deep red. That is what two 1 ounce bottles of red food color will do. I can't wait to add the topping tonight and take pictures, the dark crust with the red filling and white top should have a beautifully dramatic look to it. I just hope it tastes as good as it looks!

UPDATE: Evidently the cheesecake was a big hit, my husband didn't even get a chance to try it. He said it was gone before lunch even started because some people grabbed their desserts first, hid them in their offices and then went for lunch. Not a bad strategy in my opinion!

Courtesy of Southern Living, here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Cheesecake


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


  • Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
  • Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
  • Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cafe Contest

I recently stumbled across an opportunity like no other: the chance to win a fully equipped cafe space plus $10,000 start up money. I was in shock reading about this contest. The company is giving two people the chance to start up their own businesses, one a sandwich shop/cafe and the other a mini spa. In addition to the space and the start up money, they are offering advertising, a well traveled location and affordable rent.

What could be better than that? To have the location and the resources to get my own business going. Starting up is the hardest part of any business, you need the capital to get the products you need and the money to advertise your business.There are great business ideas that never get off the ground because of undercapitialization. This contest will catapult two people from dream to reality before they know it.

Of course I submitted my entry and am now praying that my concept is just what they are looking for. I know I will work harder than anyone and will put 110% of myself into the business. I am fully aware of the potential positive outcomes of this situation and all I can do now is to keep on hoping and praying. Whatever is meant to happen will happen...I just hope this is the great opportunity that I have been waiting for!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

I mentioned recently about the Canadian cheddar cheese soup I had at the Epcot Wine and Dine festival last month. I made sure to buy a cookbook with various recipes from the festival, double checking that this recipe was among those listed.

Since my husband was such a fan of the soup, this was the first recipe I tried out from the cookbook. I also made sure to make a double batch so there would be plenty to keep in the freezer to last us for a while. I think it really turned out just like the one from the festival. I was a little bit worried since sometimes recipes do not exactly replicate the flavors you remember. But this recipe was spot on!

If I was making this soup for just me, I would decrease the amount of beer added. That is just because I am not a fan of beer in the first place. For those of you that enjoy beer, it is a great complement to the cheese. Everyone that likes beer, evenly mildly, enjoys this soup just the way it is.

In case you wanted the recipe, here it is again, copied from the Disney Wine and Dine Festival Recipes page:

Cheddar Cheese Soup

Makes 6 cups

1/2 pound of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pale ale, room temperature
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish

1. Cook bacon in a 4- or 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onion, celery and butter; sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour and stir constantly for about 4 minutes.
4. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add milk and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Do not boil after adding milk.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Stir in ale. If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with warm milk.
7. Serve hot, garnished with scallions or chives.

Chocolate and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies...Come and Gone before I got a picture!!

This weekend for the GHA Farmers Market, I decided to go with a fall theme, in addition to some classics. I brought all 12 varieties of my cake truffles and some chocolate chip and brown sugar cookies. Those are always a hit!

To get into the fall/Halloween spirit, I made some chocolate whoopie pies with a pumpkin cream cheese filling. The pumpkin gave the filling a beautiful orange color against the springy chocolate cookies. A little cinnamon and cloves gave a nice earthly addition to round out the flavor. They tasted amazing and were a great start to the fall. A few people suggested I make a peanut butter filling in the future, which is a great idea. What could go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?!?!

I also made some layered mint fudge. The top and bottom fudge layers were separated by a white chocolate mint fudge that was dyed green. Another great color combination for Halloween! In the end, all the treats looked great!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GHA Farmers Market

Come visit me at the GHA Farmers Market this Sunday, October 30th from 1-5PM at Gilliland's Heritage Alpaca Farm in Hoschton, GA. I will have some great Halloween and fall-inspired treats.

Stay tuned later this week for pictures of all my sweets you will find there.

Good cooking is all the chemistry

Check this out! Found in the Gwinnett Daily Post Sunday October 23, 2011

LARSON: Good cooking is all in the chemistry

It's a funny thing how memories are triggered. I was strolling through the Lilburn Farmers Market last month when I saw what I thought to be a high school girl selling the most beautiful little truffles, brownies and pies I've ever seen. It made me think of all the times I'd subbed in advanced placement gifted chemistry classes. Invariably a student would ask me, "Are you a real chemistry teacher or are you just a mom?"

"I'm just a mom," I'd reply, "but I'm so glad to be subbing for a class full of such highly intelligent students, because I have a question you might be able to answer. When I bake cookies, I always use the same ingredients, but sometimes they puff up in a mound and sometimes they are flat. Why is that?"

No one could ever give me an answer.

So just to be a wee bit devilish, I asked the young lady how she got her little pastries to come out so perfect each time. She went on to explain in far more detail than I could possibly understand.

It turns out this young lady, Loren Myers, is a research technician at Emory University with a master's degree in biology and chemistry. Her work involves studying the development of the gut in premature infants. Somehow, her side business seemed to connect in a weird sort of way for me, but Myers said that was no so for her co-workers."

"They thought it was strange at first that I would be so interested in cooking, but if you can follow a science experiment, you can follow a recipe. It's all about consistency, quality and keeping good notes," she said.

Myers started baking with her mother as a child and always had a curiosity about the scientific aspects of what happens in the oven or on the stove.

"I made my first cake in fifth grade and the icing didn't look as nice as my mother's. I later realized I had cooked it too long," Myers said.

Over time she became more and more interested not in cookbooks, but in technique books.

"If you know the physics behind baking, you can experiment because you know why things happen."

Myers named her business Sugar Bear Sweetery, after her mother's pet name for her when she was growing up. All her little sweets are scientifically developed in her kitchen and scientifically tested in the lab by her co-workers.

"They all love it when I bring my latest experiments to work and there are a few foodies who give good feedback because they totally analyze things."

If you'd like to learn more about Myers' science projects, visit sugarbearsweetery.blogspot.com. If you'd like to do some scientific research on your own, the Gwinnett Library has several good books on kitchen chemistry.

And I wonder: Do you think we could get Jeff Foxworthy to host a show called "Are you Smarter than an Advanced Placement Gifted Chemistry Student?"

Susan Larson is a writer who lives in Lilburn Email her at susanlarson79@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Potatoes!!!!

I had a small space left in my garden this summer and for some reason though that sweet potatoes would be a good idea to plant. I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the space requirements and as the summer went on, the sweet potato grew..and grew...and grew. Before I knew it, the vines took up almost half my garden, killing off my cucumbers.

I tried a few weeks ago to dig up some sweet potatoes, but no luck. I was really disappointed. I went on vacation and forgot about them. It rained the first few days after I got back, so I didn't go look in my garden. Well, yesterday I finally got a few minutes to really look through my garden. Lo and behold, I saw two sweet potatoes starting to break through the surface. I grabbed my trowel and started digging.

Before I knew it, I had a huge pile of sweet potatoes!!! I was dancing and doing my best Oprah 'sweet potato' impression. Probably a little more excited than I should have been, but it felt like such an accomplishment to harvest my sweet potatoes.

The bowl full of sweet potatoes isn't even all of the potatoes out there. I ran out of room to keep them, so I left the rest in the ground. I probably still have just as many left to harvest. YAYAY!!!!

And as the picture above shows, I also have a watermelon or two in there, too. I should bring them inside, even though they are still a bit small since it looks like it will be getting very cold the next few nights. I have loved my garden and everything I have grown tasted so good. Not only because it was fresh from the garden, but also because I knew that I worked to produce it. The sense of pride and knowing just where my food came from is truly empowering.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

I have started a collection of local cookbooks whenever I travel, so of course I was looking for a Disney related cookbook. There are a few out there and my sister in law bought one that had recipes from the Disney cruise ships. It looked interesting, but I wasn't sure if it was quite right. Then we saw the cookbook for the festival and I knew that was it! It contained recipes from several of the dishes we had tried and also had some of the cocktail recipes. When I was flipping through the book, the first thing I looked for was the Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup...yes! It was there and the book was mine! I can't wait to try it out!

My husband's brother and sister in law kept mentioning this 'beer cheese soup' they wanted. That was the top of their priority list when it came to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, going on now through November 13th. We made it around to the Canadian booth and had to try it. It was a huge hit for my husband!

Even if the book hadn't contained that specific recipe, I could have found a copy on the Festival's website. So I reprinted it here in case you want to try it at home.

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup:

Makes 6 cups

1/2 pound of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pale ale, room temperature
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish

1. Cook bacon in a 4- or 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onion, celery and butter; sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour and stir constantly for about 4 minutes.
4. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add milk and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Do not boil after adding milk.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Stir in ale. If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with warm milk.
7. Serve hot, garnished with scallions or chives.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

I was lucky enough to spend last week in Orlando, experiencing all Disney and Universal Studios has to offer. My husband and I signed up for the Food and Wine Festival Half Marathon Relay. That was the only way he could ever get me to participate in a half marathon. I had to run about 5 miles and his leg was 8. It was an event to kick off Epcot's 2011 Food and Wine Festival and started at 10PM. Yes, PM, not AM. But that meant that the after party in Epcot was filled with lots of food and wine options.

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival is a tapas-type event where 29 different countries/stations offered a few different small plates plus some beer/wine/cocktails that suited their nationality. After the race we only tried a few places, but we also spent an entire day in Epcot eating around the world. It was so much fun and a perfect event for someone like me that enjoys trying lots of different things. To make it even better our parents and my husbands brother and his family were all there. That meant that I didn't need to buy every single thing I wanted to try, we shared a lot of the dishes, which cut down on the price (and just a few of the calories...but hey, it was vacation, they don't count!!).

Here are some of the delicious plates I tasted:
- Mexico: rib eye beef tacos, delicious!!
- China: black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles, pork pot stickers...both were big winners!
- South Korea: lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw, Boolgogi BBq beef with steamed rice and kimchi...I discovered I am not a fan of kimchi. I have always wanted to try it, but now I know it isn't my favorite.
- Germany: goulash suppe, Nuernberger sausage in a pretzel roll
- Italy: Di formaggio all'Emiliana (baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef Bolognese sauce, Parmesan cheese, and melted mozzarella)
- Hops and Barley: Linda Bean's perfect Maine lobster roll. Another dish I have been looking forward to trying, even though I have not been a big lobster fan in the past (I grew up in Maryland...no seafood beats crab in my opinion). I know lots of people really like this dish, but it wasn't as good as it was hyped up to be. I liked it, don't get me wrong, I was glad I tried it, but it won't be making a repeat appearance in the future. My curiosity was satisfied.
- Singapore: beef Randang (coconut-braised beef) with jasmine rice
- Japan: spicy tuna roll...without a doubt a favorite with my husband. How do I know? I only got a tiny taste before it disappeared!
- Morocco: Kefta pocket (ground seasoned beef in a pita pocket), Harissa chicken roll...both very very good.
- Belgium: Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream
- France: Sparkling pomegranate kir, Parisian Cosmo slush (Ciroc vodka, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice)
- Ireland: Cheese assortment (aged Irish cheddar, Dubliner and Ivernia cheeses) with apple chutney, chocolate lava cake with Baileys ganache
- Canada: Canadian cheddar cheese soup (more on this in the next post), chicken chipotle sausage with sweet corn polenta
- Desserts and Champagne booth: white chocolate macadamia mousse with dark chocolate pearls

This festival lasts until November 13th, so if you are in the Orlando area, be sure to check it out! Its a great time with lots of great food and drinks. I bought a cookbook with a bunch of the recipes in it, so I am sure it will be used often!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homemade Beef Franks

I know I haven't posted much recently, I haven't been making new things very often the last few weeks. The summer was crazy with the Lilburn Farmers Market, which was a great experience and I had a wonderful time! It just took me a little bit to recover from all those crazy days. Now I am rejuvenated and ready to attack new projects!

For my next new experience, I decided it was time to make my own sausages. A few weeks ago my husband and I went to the outlets and I finally got the food grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. I had been thinking about it for about a year or so, but just hadn't bought it. One, I was anxious about buying a $50 attachment. I always worry about money and I also worry about whether or not I will really get any use out of it. I didn't want it to be something that ended up just taking up space in my kitchen. That real estate is getting more and more expensive with all my tools/electrics, etc.

Two, I was worried about making the actual sausages. I've never used natural casings before and didn't know how to handle them. Plus, while I am somewhat of an adventurous eater, the idea still kinda creeped me out a bit. It is one of those things where I know I eat sausages often, but I choose to 'forget' or 'ignore' the whole intestines thing. It works better that way for me.

But if I wanted to control the ingredients, I needed to 'man up' and deal with the casings. I watched a demo at Williams Sonoma a while back and looked back at the notes they gave us. Plus I did a little background checking online. Armed with the information and my natural casings from Patton's Meat Market, I was ready to give it a shot.

For my first attempt, I chose an all beef frank. I found a recipe on thespicysausage.com that utilized beef chuck seasoned with cayenne, coriander, garlic, onions and mace. It sounded interesting to me. I just wasn't in the mood for a pork sausage this time and this recipe seemed simple enough and used ingredients I usually have on hand.

In my internet searches, many sites suggested grinding the meat two to three times. So I took my beef chuck, cut it into long strips and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes (another online suggestion), then put it through my brand spankin new grinder with the coarse grinding plate. I combined the extra ingredients and mixed them in with the meat. I changed out the grinding plate to the fine one and ground the meat for a second time.

It was at this point that I realized I didn't have the sausage stuffer attachment. Ugh!!! I don't know why I was thinking it came in the box, and I don't know why it took this long to notice I was missing a vital piece of equipment. After searching online, I found a store 20 minutes away that had one in stock...crisis averted.

I soaked the hog casings in water for 20-30 minutes, then fed a large amount onto the sausage stuffer attachment (which I greased with a little bit of Crisco to prevent it from sticking). There was no turning back now! Onward and upward. I slowly fed the meat into the food hopper and made my sausages. It took a little bit to get used to feeding the hopper with one hand and guiding the sausage with the other, but it worked out well in the end. I kept the meat cold by placing the tray in the fridge while I fed some through the machine. Well, I said I, but I meant my husband, who had to get up every few minutes to get the tray out of the fridge for me. I only have so many hands, you know.

There were a few air bubbles in the sausages, but it wasn't too bad. Nothing a little hole couldn't fix. I sectioned off each link and ended up with about 25 sausages from my initial 4.75 pounds of beef chuck steak. Not too bad. I placed the sausages in the fridge to cure for a few hours before cooking them on the stovetop (the grill was out of gas).

I was really pleased with the final product. I was worried the casing would be a distraction, but everything was very smooth and tasted great. There were a few places where the seasoning was a little bit stronger than others, but that was because the bowl I used was just barely big enough and evidentally I didn't mix it quite as well as I could have. But other than that, it was a great first try. Successful enough that I think there will be more homemade sausages in the future, as well as grinding our own meat for burgers and such.

I froze the remaining sausages to take with us on vacation next week with our families. Hopefully they will enjoy them as much as we do!

Here is the recipe, courtesy of The Spicy Sausage (except I used a hog casing):

5-lb beef chuck, fine ground
3-tbsp coriander
1 1/2-tsp cayenne
1 1/2-tbsp salt
1/2-cup onions, grated
1-cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2-tsp mace
5-garlic cloves, minced
2-tsp sugar
1-cup water

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until very fine
Stuff into lamb or sheep casing

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dal Cuore Market

Come join me (and my s'mores and my cake truffles) at the opening of the Dal Cuore Market in John's Creek TONIGHT!!! This awesome new market is all natural, sustainable and organic. A great addition to the area!

The details:
Tonight, Friday September 9, 2011

Dal Cuore Market
2100 Ray Moss Connector Johns Creek, GA 30022
Johns Creek, GA

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Introducing Two New Cake Truffle Flavors: German Chocolate and Peppermint Patty!!!

German Chocolate: All the elements of the quintessential German Chocolate cake; a mildly sweet chocolate cake studded with chopped pecans and coconut that is dipped in milk chocolate and topped with sweetened coconut.

Peppermint Patty: Peppermint buttercream enhances a fudge cake to taste just like the candy; its dipped in dark chocolate and topped with chopped peppermint patties to give that extra peppermint kick.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Countdown to Crush Fest

We are rapidly approaching this years Crush Fest at Yonah Mountain Vineyards!!!! Take the drive up to beautiful north Georgia for lots of wine stomping, music-listening, sweet-eating fun!!!

Come be a part of Crush Fest this Saturday from 11AM-7PM in Cleveland, Georgia. The address is 1717 Highway 255, Cleveland, GA 30528. There will be wine stomping, bands, wine tasting, great craft and food vendors and horse-drawn carriage rides!

Sugar Bear Sweetery will be there with cake truffles, including the new German Chocolate, fruit pies, cookies and, of course, s'mores!

Also be sure to check out Saucy Spirits and their delicious wine jellies!!! I can't wait to taste all the new flavors.

Everyday Indulgence will also be a part of this festival, so there will certainly be lots of wonderful things to eat!

I am excited for this event and can't wait to spend the day at the gorgeous Yonah Mountain Vineyards!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Final Lilburn Farmers Market Friday 4-8PM

Its been a great season, but it is time for the Lilburn Farmers Market to come to an end. The final market will be this Friday, August 26th from 4PM to 8PM. Come on out to Main Street and enjoy all there is for this wonderful market to offer.

Here is what you need to look forward to at the Sugar Bear Sweetery Booth:

  • Mini Pies: This week there will be peach, veggie pot pie and chicken pot pie. Get a few extra to store in the freezer for those cravings down the road!
  • Cookies: brown sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, M&Ms cookies, oatmeal cream pies.
  • Brownie Bites
  • S'mores!!! Brown sugar cookies + homemade marshmallows + milk or dark chocolate + a creme brulee torch = a great take on the campfire classic!
  • I will also have some of my pimento cheese available for those who have been asking for its return!