Monday, January 24, 2011

Glass Dharma Giveaway!!!

Hello there foodie friends! Today I wanted to tell you about a new product I tried. Glass Dharma glass straws!

My first impression on taking these out of the box?  They're beautiful! I got 4 different types of straws: original straight, original bent, smoothie, and mini. Two of them have these beautiful glass bubbles of color on them. If I had multiple straws the colors would help a group of people tell which straw is theirs, but for now I just admire the color as I'm sipping!

I tried all of these, and I really like the straight original straw. The size is a comfortable fit for my mouth, it fits nicely into our kitchen glasses, and is easy to use. I like the mini straw too, it fits our smaller size of kitchen glasses perfectly! The bent straw has a great appearance, but it doesn't come with the color, and being glass the angle is not adjustable. Still a nice straw though!

My new favorite? The one I won't let anyone touch because it's MINE? The smoothie straw! I love smoothies, but I don't have an expensive blender, so sometimes they are chunky. Using a regular straw was pretty much impossible with my smoothies. The chunks would plug it up, and I just gave up on the whole idea. This new straw from Glass dharma is nice and wide, so no chunks get stuck, and I can just sip away to my hearts content! It also has a great little cleaning brush, so I never end up with grodey bits stuck inside.

Want to know a little more about Glass Dharma straws? They are perfect for everyone who wants to cut down on their plastic use, both for health and environmental reasons. These straws are:
-easy to clean
-suitable for hot and cold drinks
-dishwasher and microwave safe

Still unsure if you want something so fragile in your kitchen for everyday use? Don't be! Glass Dharma offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, AND a lifetime guarantee against breakage! It can't get any better than that!

So, you want some of these babies for yourself? I can help with that! I am offering a $25 Glass Dharma gift certificate to one person! Here's how the giveaway works:
-You must be a follower of Ravenous Rowie
-Go to the Glass Dharma web site, then leave me a comment on this post telling me what you want to get with your gift certificate if you win!
-I will randomly select one winner a week from today, on Monday January 31st!

That's pretty much it! Hope you all have a great week, and good luck with the giveaway! I think I'll go slurp something good through one of these awesome straws now!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chocolate Covered Caramels

Hey there friends! How is your week treating you so far? Not much going on here. I've been working on our property with Ben getting lots of firewood cut and stacked, having bonfires, and clearing brush. Things are slow at the bakery I work at, so not much going on there either.

I do have a great recipe for you today! These chocolate covered caramels are totally delicious, and you get quite a few from one batch. These would look so perfect in little bags with red bows, just right for Valentines gift giving! Your sweetheart , or your sweet tooth , will be happy!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
4 Tbs. butter
1 cup cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Butter a 7x12" baking dish.
Place all the ingredients except the vanilla in a large heavy saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

-Reduce heat to medium, and cook at a slow boil until the misture turns golden and reaches 246* on a candy thermometer, 20-30 minutes.

-Then whisk in the vanilla, remove the pan from the heat, and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

When the mixture has cooled, cut it in 1/2" squares and wrap individually in waxed paper, or dip into tempered chocolate using a fork.

 If you dipped them in chocolate, place them on waxed paper/parchment paper/silpat until they have set. If you don't temper the chocolate, it may bloom.

-The caramels will keep about 2 weeks if stored in an artight container in a cool place.


P.S. check out my etsy shop! You can find some pics, and the link in my sidebar! Sorry about the guiltless self-advertising! O.K., not really ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chocolate Turtles

Hi everybody! So sorry, I know it's been a long while since my last post. It was nice to have a little break though. I've been so busy, plus I've been teaching myself to knit (SO fun!)! I'm feeling the craving for more good food and fun recipes though, so here I am!

Today's recipe is left over from my holiday candy making. These turtles always look so cute, and people are always impressed. Make them now for a sweet treat, or add them to your Valentine's Day "must make" list!

Chocolate Turtles ( by Cathy Burgett)
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup cream
2 oz. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

l lb. pecan halves, lightly toasted and cooled
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, tempered

Place the pecan halves in clusters of 5 (1 for the head, 2 for the arms, 2 for the legs) onto silpats. You should get about 28-30 turtles. I didn't have halves, so I used chopped pecans and just made clumps. They didn't look quite as nice, but they tasted just as good!

Make the caramel: Place the sugars, corn syru, cream and butter in a heavy-based wide pot, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until a candy thermometer reads 248*, or hard ball stage.

-wait for the caramel to cool just a bit, and add the vanilla. Next, you can either put the caramel into a piping bag and squeeze it onto the turtles (more precise method, but more dishes and messier), or you can do what I did and just spoon the caramel onto each clump (takes slightly longer, but it's easier and neater).

-squeeze/spoon quarter-size pools of caramel onto the center of the pecan bodies using a circular motion. The caramel will sink down between the pecans, so a few layers of caramel will be necessary.

-Allow to cool for a few minutes until the circles are firm enough to pick up. Transfer turtles to a parchment-lined work surface.

-Push and adjust the pecans so that no spaces form between them. Allow turtles to cool completely.

To finish turtles: Temper the chocolate.
-Fill a parchment cone with the chocolate and pipe a quarter-sized round of it onto the parchment-lined sheets.
-Gently press the flat side of the cooled turtle into the chocolate.
-Pipe a coating of chocolate on top of the caramel, allowing a small amount of caramel to show around the edges.
-Allow chocolate to set. Store turtles in an airtight container at cool room temperature.

Enjoy, and have a good week!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey everybody! How were your Christmas and New Year celebrations? It snowed and hailed some of the days surrounding the holiday, but we did not end up with a white Christmas.

It was, however cold enough for the dogs to need their sweaters!

Our Christmas was a comfy home affair where none of us really got out of our pajamas all day, we ate tons of yummy snacks throughout the day, (Please disregard the Temptations, they were for the cats, I swear!)

had a big fire in the wood stove, and generally lounged around enjoying ourselves. I made lots of cookies to share with friends, and to snack on throughout the week.

We let the dogs open their own gifts, too. That is always fun to watch. They were certainly enjoying themselves. The cat even joined in!

And this is what it looked like after the gift opening frenzy. We were wading through gift wrap all day!

 I had a wonderful time with family and friends. My mom and sister were visiting from California and we had a great time seeing the Butchart Gardens with all of the Christmas lights,

 lounging around, eating at the pub, and touring around our small island. We also did a day in Victoria where we went to the Empress Hotel for high tea!
It was SO good!
Very snazzy! I'm surprised that I even got out of my chair after all of the tea with cream and sugar, mini sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and an entire plate of desserts, not to mention the champagne! It was such a wonderful experience to share with my family!

We looked at the Empress' Christmas tree collection, wandered the inner harbor, admired parliament,

and went through the Royal BC Museum. There were SO many beautiful sights for us to enjoy! Plus, being reunited with some of  my family for the holidays was a fun treat. I love being a tourist in my own city!

We also had a great little new years celebration with me, Ben, mom and sister. We watched movies, ate lots of chocolate, drank champagne, did sparklers and pulled crackers, and set off a few fireworks from our deck. A very enjoyable night!

Today I cleaned up Christmas in the house. No more tree, decorations, or pine needles coating the floor. Presents are put away too, and things are back to normal. I've been messing around with teaching myself to knit, and I've managed a scarf, a purse and two hats so far. It's so fun learning something new!

I fully intend to get back into sharing tasty recipes with all of you very soon! As life evens out again I will find the time. I also have an awesome giveaway coming up for all of you, so stay tuned!!!

Happy New Year!