Infused Simple Syrup

Sonoma Syrup Co. Here’s a company marketing specialty infused syrups. Syrups that can be used for all types of things from cocktails to cakes! And they’re nice syrups–all natural, no weird preservatives added–I’ve tried the lemon and lavender varieties and was very pleased with the results. But people, it’s so easy to make your own infused simple syrup. And I guarantee you that it will cost a lot less than $10.95 for 12.7 ounces.

The ingredients for making simple syrup are simple: water and sugar. Increase or decrease the amount of sugar depending on the desired viscosity and sweetness needed for your particular application. The basic simple syrup is a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. The method: combine in a pot; bring to a boil and turn off the heat. That’s it! it’s really not difficult people. Want orange simple syrup? Substitute orange juice for the water. Want pomegranate? Do the same thing. Lemon…I think you get the idea.

“But what about herb-infused syrups?,” you ask. Same process. Bring your sugar and water to a boil and throw in your desired herb, chopped up a little to release the natural oils. Turn off the heat and let the herb sit in the syrup while it cools. Then strain through a chinois to get the little particles out. If you’re looking for a more potent syrup, turn down the heat after the syrup comes to a boil and let it simmer until it reduces a little bit. Or put more herbage in!

Ultimate Hot Chocolate

hc.jpgIt’s so hard to find really good hot chocolate these days. My ultimate hot chocolate is made with very dark chocolate–a 70% couvature would be lovely–it’s nice and warm, but not hot enough to burn my tongue and not so hot that I have to wait for fifteen minutes before it’s safe to drink. It’s smooth, frothy, flavorful and satisfying; obviously not a hot chocolate made with powder. Just the thought of those little packets with rock hard mini-mallows makes my teeth feel gritty. If you’ve got a craving for the real stuff, try this thick, rich, creamy recipe–especially nice served with a crisp little cookie:

Milk 1 cup
Heavy Cream 1 cup
Sugar 1/8 cup
Chocolate, finely chopped (or chips) 3 oz.
And a dash of vanilla, if you’ve got some on hand

*Note: If you don’t have cream, use some combination of half and half or Vitamin D milk–whatever you have– and it will still be ten times better than the powdered stuff. Be advised this recipe tastes best with at least some dairy with a high fat content.*

1. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla, in a saucepot, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Bring just to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Let sit one minute; whisk to combine. If you’ve got an immersion blender, blend that baby up! If not, whisk vigorously so you get some of that great froth. Yummers.

Weight Training With Cacao

I tried a dessert called “death by Chocolate,” but it only made me stronger.

A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Now, isn’t that handy?


izze.gifHave you tried the new Izze sparkling fruit juices yet? What are you waiting for!? They’re awesome! Seventy percent juice and 30 perecent sparkling water, no added sugar, preservatives or caffeine–they’re every anti-cola drinker’s dream-come-true! Plus, they come in exciting flavors like blackberry, blueberry, clementine and pear. In addition to their nutritious and delicious drinkables, they have an interesting line of miscellaneous productry (i.e. flying discs, anti-odor footwear, visors, and drinkware). Hotness.

Girlfriend Confections

Who’s your girlfriend? Great packaging and six sassy cookie shapes–cell phone, lipstick, tiara, clutch purse, mirror, and nail polish–are the basis of this uber-trendy food company. Confections come in brightly-colored miniature purses–like this mini kiss up. Great marketing idea, but they need to work on product quality. The cookies are impure refuse, I’m afraid. They may be dyed pink, but they taste like stale Save-A-Lot brand “cookies”. Not enjoyable. I haven’t sampled their mints or sour candies, so perhaps those make up for the cookies. Let’s hope so for the hot packages’ sake!

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