Friday, August 30, 2013

Kitchen Gadget of the Month: August edition

It may be August 30th, but it's still August!!  

Today I'll be giving you something for your sweet tooth.  Homemade chocolate candies.  Yes...candy on this blog!  Go figure, eh?

The key point here is HOMEMADE.  Making chocolates with extra virgin coconut oil is a healthy way to satisfy your lusting for something sweet and chocolatey.  Plus, it's just kinda fun.

There are many benefits of coconut oil in your diet.  To quote several sources on the web, Coconut Oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids -- this combination has powerful medicinal properties.  Rich in lauric acid, coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, and help prevent infections.

Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man.  However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless.  Many new (and even older) studies on hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole eating saturated “artery-clogging” fat is a myth based on faulty research.

Coconut oil can also help you lose weight.  Yes, lose weight.  I have read about farmers feeding their cattle coconut oil in an attempt to fatten them up.  But quite the opposite occurred...the cows lost weight.  Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure helping you lose more fat.  It also curbs your appetite so you may end up eating less.

So there.  Eat your coconut oil.  The most fun way is with homemade chocolate candies.  There are tons of recipes for this on the web - a lot of them are called Chocolate Delights.  Too cheesy even for this Wisconsin girl, so I just call them CANDY.  Period.

Make your own today in our Kitchen Gadget of the Month:  Silicon Candy Mold     This mold is super fun to work with...fill them up, freeze the candy, and then just pop them out easy-peasy!


1 cup dry cocoa (I use dark cocoa)
Sweetener to taste (I start with 1/2 cup)
1 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 stick unsalted butter
4 ounces cream cheese 
4 ounces unsweetened peanut butter

Sift cocoa and sweetener together into a sauce pan.  Over medium heat, add coconut oil, butter, cream cheese and peanut butter.  Stir constantly until coconut oil, butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter are melted completely and mixture is velvety smooth.

Place mold(s) on a cookie sheet.  Pour chocolate mixture into molds and freeze until solid.  Pop them out and store in refrigerator.  Candies will melt very quickly because coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees F.  Keep them cool!

You can also pour them into any plastic container.  Once it is solid, you can remove the block of chocolate and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kitchen Gadget of the Month: July Edition

ya.....ya.....ya....I know it's August.  Been super uber busy at work these days - I'm part of an IT staff and we're changing our email program this weekend.  I've been spending most of the month traveling around to our various sites around the state of Wisconsin training employees on how to use the new program.  I'm afraid my blogging was affected. is my gadget for July:  a Mandoline!  No, no, no....not something you play - but something you use to slice up veggies nice and neat and even.

Love this Mandoline.  It comes with it's own storage box and 3 double sided cutting blades for 6 different cutting options. careful!  These blades are SHARP!  I have shed a little blood using this myself, so I know first hand (or is that first finger?).  Follow this link to get your own from my amazon store:  Progressive International Mandoline we have our handy-dandy mandoline....let's make something!  Here is a tasty salmon recipe that is quick and easy - especially with our new gadget!

Teriyaki Salmon with Zucchini

Teriyaki sauce
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Sesame seeds
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
4 scallions (or green onions), chopped
Olive oil
Place salmon in plastic bag with teriyaki sauce - marinate for 20 minutes in refrigerator.  Toast sesame seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until just lightly browned.  Remove and set aside.

Remove salmon from bag and discard marinade.  Add enough oil to coat skillet, add salmon and cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat.  Turn and cook for 5 minutes more.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.  Add 1 tsp olive oil, zucchini and scallions to skillet and saute until lightly browned.  Add 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds.  Remove from heat and serve over salmon.