Category Archives: Food and Drink

Kedgeree

I’ve been reading about kedgeree in English novels all my life and decided to try it. This is regarded as intensely British food, meaning, they got the smoked fish from Scandahoovia and the curry and the basmati rice from India and … Continue reading

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Boozy chocolate trifle

This dessert is highly alcoholic. And huge: the finished recipe weighs about 8 pounds, not counting the heavy glass trifle bowl, without which it really isn’t worth doing. I developed it after reading, yes, way too many English novels and … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s Boneless Skinless Mackerel in Sunflower Oil

Omega-3 is good for you. That’s what “everybody” says. And by everybody, I mean doctors and other health professionals.  But if you’re like me, you enjoy fish but are too damn lazy to cook it most days of the week. … Continue reading

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Chorizo empanadas

These empanadas are quick’n’dirty. You will like them just as much as my Mexican Casserole, but unlike the casserole, this recipe gives you only four to six spicy empanadas with an irresistable flaky, browned-butter crust and a juicy chorizo center. The finite number … Continue reading

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RJ’s Licorice Choc Twists

On a recent vacation (or “holiday”) trip in New Zealand’s South Island, we were doing some grocery shopping before hitting the road for our next destination. We’d already picked up a couple of bags of Cadbury Jaffas to take home … Continue reading

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Ritter Sport Golden Edition, Milk Chocolate Squares

I have another (huge) bar of chocolate from Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG of Germany, a major chocolatier. This one is the Ritter Sport Golden Edition Milk Chocolate Squares, and when I say “huge”, I mean just that: It’s … Continue reading

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Dark chocolate and lemon brownie cake

Cake: One pouch of your favorite brownie mix 2 eggs, room temperature 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 T vodka 1/3 cup melted butter (5-1/2 T) Zest grated from three lemons Zest sliced from lemons for garnish Preheat your … Continue reading

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Epic’s Bison Uncured Bacon and Cranberry Bar

Mmm, bison.  I love game meat, and I cannot lie.  Throw in some dried cranberries and I’m in heaven.  Epic does me one better with their Bison Bar; they added bacon into the mix.  How can I say no? The … Continue reading

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Mint julep made easy

Some author, I believe it’s Wodehouse, reports that the mint julep is like a baby sister who steals her little hand in yours, and the next thing you know, the judge is telling you to pay five pounds to the bailiff. … Continue reading

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Epic Bites’ Maple Glazed & Smoked Tender Salmon Bites

Mmm, salmon. I never liked fish when I was a kid – blame that on a mother that overcooked every finned creature to sawdust – but when I started cooking for myself I fell in love with salmon. Miso glazed, … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce

I know one thing about Indian food — I love it. I don’t claim any real expertise in that particular cuisine (although I do have an Indian cookbook stashed away around here somewhere), but one of my favorite nice things … Continue reading

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Nidar’s Troika

Troika is one of those candies that comes only in Norwegian — the label is in Norwegian, the web site is in Norwegian, and so on. Nidar is one of three companies that consolidated to form Orkla Confectionary and Snacks … Continue reading

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Russell Stover’s Fine Assorted 2 ounce pack

Little boxes of chocolates.  They look so lovely. And with only four pieces per pack, hiding the evidence of a binge is easy-peasy.  So when I received a wee box of Russell Stover, I couldn’t wait to dig in. Sadly, … Continue reading

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The Prettiest Candy: Albanese World’s Best Mini Gummi Butterflies

Having recently discovered that my favorite gummi bears were possibly made with child labor, I went looking for a substitute recently and picked up a bag of Albanese Mini Gummi Butterflies. Candy is often not pretty, particularly when chocolate is … Continue reading

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Butterfinger Dark

I love dark chocolate. It’s something everyone knows, because I don’t mind saying so. But I think I’ve found something that has me thinking that perhaps dark chocolate has its limits. Because with Butterfinger Dark, these two great tastes don’t … Continue reading

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Alas Poor Ginger, Wherefore Art Thou: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger

I’m very fond of crystallized ginger, and accordingly I am substantially less fond of the Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger, whose ginger to “rich dark chocolate” ratio is weighted in chocolate’s favor to the point that the ginger is … Continue reading

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Solid As a Rock: Sanchis Mira Turron de Alicante

This candy is a Christmas delicacy in Spain, a dense honey and almond brittle with a generous helping of the latter (the label says at least 60% almond.) The company, based in Alicante, Spain, is well-established, having been turning out … Continue reading

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Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel, Victorious B.I.G. Beef Jerky

Westchester PA based company, Righteous Felon crafts a whole lot of jerky.  But I sunk my teeth into their Victorious B.I.G. because I needed to know what beer infused jerky tasted like. This one’s a collaboration with PA’s Victory Brewing … Continue reading

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Justin’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I’m not really into milk chocolate.  And by “not really into”, I mean I avoid it like the plague.  Too many bad memories of dusty tasting mass-produced stuff stuck into my Halloween sack back in the day. Give me good … Continue reading

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Whole Foods Market’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar

The Whole Foods web page for this product provides very little information, except for the essentials: 72% cacao, and the ingredients: organic chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, and organic cocoa butter, with the usual warning that it may contain tree … Continue reading

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Oliver Brewing Company’s Cherry Blossom Cherry Wheat Ale

As a DC gal born and bred, I love cherry blossoms. I think it’s the law of the local land. So when I moved up and away, I longed for those delicate blooms around the Tidal Basin. (Still do.) So … Continue reading

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Mast Sea Salt Chocolate

Lately, sea salt is in everything I adore. Caramels, brittle, toffee, peanut butter cups.  And, of course, chocolate bars. When I was given a bar of Mast, I figured it’d be the same ol’ same ol; a chocolate bar that … Continue reading

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Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar

I’m sure just about everyone has heard of Ghirardelli Chocolate, one of the best-known chocolatiers in the U.S., if not the world. Looking at the history, it appears that the company was not founded so much as it evolved, although … Continue reading

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Dave Eggers’ The Monk of Mokha

Being half-Scandinavian on my mother’s side, I was introduced to the joys of coffee at an early age – by the time I was 5 or 6 years old, I’d say. With more than a dozen years as a coffee … Continue reading

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It’s a Wonderful(ly Sweet) World: Halva Finnish Filled Licorice

There is certainly both a determined sweetness and solidity to this Finnish candy (lakritsi in Finnish). The label tells me this is called “black gold” in Finland but a cursory scan of search engine results failed to corroborate this. It … Continue reading

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Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Almond bar

Ah, Godiva. I remember when I found out about you.  I was in high school, and your golden boxes called out to me. Mmm, those “Dark Lion of Belgium” pieces, with the carmel so soft it oozed out of the … Continue reading

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Lindt’s Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle Eggs

Lindt (more formally Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG) is a Swiss chocolatier founded in 1845 and known for, among other things, its chocolate truffles. If you go to their website, you can find information on a whole range of their … Continue reading

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Chuao Chocolatier’s Chocolate Bars with All the Add-ins

Here in America we like our add-ins, ice cream and candy full of other candy, nuts, random sweets, and sometimes savories. Chuao (pronounced Chew-WOW) has a shelf-load of such, chocolate bars with all the goodies, created by Venezuelan chef Michael … Continue reading

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Stonewall Kitchen Dark Chocolate Chili Cinnamon and Nibs Bar

I’ve never reviewed a chocolate bar before and I will, furthermore, confess a shameful love for plain Hershey’s bars that dates back to the time my grandmother was first left with me unattended and violated my mother’s up-to-that-point successful “no … Continue reading

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Chocolat Frey’s Chocobloc 72% Dark with Honey-Almond Nougat

Chocolat Frey AG was founded in 1887, and is presently the number one chocolate in the Swiss retail market. Like all good chocolatiers these days, Frey is environmentally and socially conscious, which extends not only to its procurement of raw … Continue reading

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Lindt’s Excellence Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt

We are no strangers here to Lindt chocolates, and it’s generally a happy association — on our part, at least. The latest example of Lindt’s chocolates to cross my desk is a new flavor in their “Excellence” line — dark … Continue reading

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Lindt Excellence Roasted Hazelnut Dark

Dark chocolate!  How lovely. Breakfast of champions, some may say.  Well, I say that all the time, so I think that counts.  Toss in some “heart-healthy” hazelnuts, and I’ll live forever, right?  Don’t answer that. But in my quest to … Continue reading

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Taza’s Coconut Almond Chocolate Bar

This is my second encounter with Taza’s stone-ground chocolate, this one a bar with 80% cacao, with coconut and almond. Needless to say, everything is organic. (To refresh your memory, Taza is an American company headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, that … Continue reading

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Contadino Pinot Grigio Vivace

Champagne wishes and  caviar dreams, isn’t that how it goes?  But what if your wallet is more soda and chips?Well, there’s always the wines under a ten-spot.  Or, with this Pino Grigio, a hair under five (I picked mine up … Continue reading

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Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company’s No 3 – Dark Strawberry Champagne Truffle Bar

Champagne and chocolate is definitely a treat.  Add some strawberries, and I’m in heaven.  (Please don’t add chocolate to those strawberries though; inevitably both end up soggy.) So a bar that combines three of my favorite things should be a … Continue reading

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Lovely’s Salted Cashew Chocolate Caramels

Valentine’s Day!  Huzzah!  I don’t so much care for the holiday – I enjoy the romance in the air, but hate the restaurant crowds – but I do love a theme.  And, of course, a chance to eat candies without … Continue reading

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Starbucks’ Cherry Mocha

I’m a sucker for cherry flavored anything. That’s because I’m a bing cherry addict. I’ll get my fix any way I can, from the real deal to back-alley hard candies. I ain’t ashamed. So when Starbucks unveiled their Valentine’s Day … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Tunes

What happens is that the tune happens to you — you don’t happen to it. You can’t help it, because it’s not you, it’s the tune. Night after night, morning after morning, day after day, the tunes live inside your … Continue reading

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Dick Taylor’s Craft Chocolate’s Belize and Toledo single origin bar

Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor are a couple of former boat builders in the Northern California port city of Eureka. They’ve turned their efforts now to crafting high-quality chocolate, and they’re doing an excellent job. They’re making bean-to-bar chocolate bars … Continue reading

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Chocolove’s Three Chocolate Candies

Chocolove is an American company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, that produces chocolate bars and candies using all natural ingredients and following the traditions of European chocolatiers. What came across my desk was three packages of “nut-butter cups” — one the … Continue reading

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Mort Rosenblum’s A Goose in Toulouse

Mort Rosenblum, a longtime reporter based in Paris, used his connections, his considerable interviewing and writing skills, and his passion for good food to create A Goose in Toulouse, a personal odyssey in search of the future of French cuisine. … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles

Trader Joe’s Assortment of Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles seems to be a seasonal item, which is possibly why they’re not listed on the Trader Joe’s website, which in turn is why I’m not able to provide any background information. Trader … Continue reading

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Xocolatl de David

By the register little chocolate squares beckoned. Labeled, somewhat exotically, ‘Xocolatl de David’, there were three sorts, but the one that caught my eye read “72% Ecuadorian Chocolate with Black Truffles and Sea Salt”. Not a chocolate truffle, mind you, … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix

I love books.  I love music.  I absolutely adore beer.  And when the cool breezes start to blow, I need hot chocolate.  It’s a requirement around here. So when I got some “TJ’s” cocoa in the mail, I rushed to … Continue reading

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Taza Chocolate’s Mexican-Style Stone-Ground Super Dark

In spite of the name, Taza is an American company manufacturing, among other things, Mexican-style stone-ground chocolate. Yes, that’s just what it says: the chocolate, from organically grown cacao, is ground between mill stones. Founder Alex Whitmore first ran across … Continue reading

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Alter Eco Dark Blackout 85% Cocoa Chocolate Bar

“I’m sending you some chocolate.” – has there ever been a more wonderful message? “It’s 85% cocoa.” – maybe not so much?  I don’t like dark chocolate over 75%. That’s what I’d tell people. All of the chocolate I’d had over … Continue reading

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Happy Farms Preferred Transylvanian-Romanian Cave Cheese

I love cheese. I love Halloween.  Transylvania is on my travel bucket list. So when my local Aldi unveiled Transylvanian cheese this season, I was all over it. And I’ll be sad when this seasonal treat leaves shelves, because it’s … Continue reading

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Dunkin’ Donuts’ “Spider Donut”

‘Tis the season. When October comes ’round, lots of places get their theme on and go full ghoul. Dunkin’ Donuts is no exception … but their execution of the Halloween spirit looks like actual murder. I bring you: Spider Donut. … Continue reading

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A Kinrowan Estate story: Minding the Stockpot

Even visitors to Kinrowan Hall get put to useful work if someone such as the Kitchen staff needs a hand as Elizabeth, author of such works as The Stratford Man novels of Ink and Steel and Hell and Earth discovered … Continue reading

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Diana Malouf’s Ococoa

Every so often an unexpected, and very welcome, treat shows up in my mailbox, courtesy of Cat, who’s constantly on the lookout for new chocolate-related review opportunities. This time around it was a box of bonbons from Diana Malouf’s Ococoa … Continue reading

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