What the Boss Likes – Random things that have recently made me happy

palm-treeFor a very much needed vacation from the idiocy of the world, here are a few things that have made me happy

Nadia G’s bacon chocolate –  Didn’t use maple cured bacon, or a mold (just scoops on a parchment paper) and only had coarse kosher salt to sprinkle on them.  But they turned out fabulous. We tried the Vosges bar but it wasn’t nearly as full of bacony goodness as this. While I’m on the topic of chocolate, the Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Crushed Coffee is also a very tasty bar as are the bars and mixes from Dagoba (Yoda not included).    

NASA Johnson Style – yet another Gangam parody, but hey, it’s NASA!

Beautiful photos – just a compilation of photos that allow me to remember things can be lovely in this world.

Catfish grabbing pigeons – because the world is weird.  Adaptation at it’s finest.

Villains and Heroes – my youtube playlist with a loose theme of the title. Why yes, I did grow up in the late 70s – 80s. 🙂 

Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter – a good porter with vanilla, not too sweet.  I like most of Leinenkugel’s beers.  This is great for a cold winter night.

Kraken Rum – a dark spiced rum that has a very steampunk label.  I once released the Kraken far too enthusiastically  one evening and oh did I regret it and regret it and regret it.   Drink with caution.  My favorite way?  Add to hot cider, mix in a tablespoon or two of hot buttered rum “batter” – which is nothing more than soft butter mixed with brown sugar, and your choice of sweet spices, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, etc.  The salt in the butter is what makes this extra tasty.  Other good dark rums: Whaler’s Original Dark and Cruzan Blackstrap.

Please feel free to share your happy things.

From the bar and kitchen – Kijafa and chocolate coconut balls

kijafaWith it having a rather retro looking label, one might be a little cautious about trying this fortified wine.  But with my predeliction for retro things, I thought nothing of it.  It strikes me a bit victorian and from what little I’ve found out about this stuff, they probably haven’t changed the label since they started making it around 1841 (appropriate for you steampunk folks out there).  I have found some other reviews of it but considering how they describe this alcohol, I can only come to the assumption that the reviewers never even brought it to their nose.  Oh well, different people, different opinions.

Kijafa is a cherry wine fortified by sugar beet alcohol.  Sugar beet alcohol is how lots of ethanol is made.  It does not look like beet juice or taste like beets. It is essentially vodka.  It is from Denmark.  And yes it’s relatively cheap (Kijafa at the Pennsylvania state stores) and often on the lower shelves.  So what, if it tastes good? 

Now, I am guessing that this alcohol can go bad just like Chambord (so don’t “save” it, rotten Chambord is such a sin 🙂 ) since it is a fruit based product.  That may account for the strange claims of this tasting like beets, etc.  However, the bottle my husband and I have tastes exactly like dark bing cherries with a alcohol kick.  It is sweet, make no mistake about that, but no  sweeter than a port or cream sherry. It has enough of the fruit acid to cut through some of the sweetness.  I really figured it would taste like “cherry” cough syrup, but it does not.

We’ve made a habit of picking up cherry alcohol whenever we can.  I’ve had kirsch, the non-sweet cherry brandy (It was American but can’t recall the name), various cherry wines (Nissley has an excellent pair of sweet and sour (semi-dry) cherry wines, listing toward bottom of their page) and some of the more gawdawful schnapps. We like to pair them with chocolate, be it cake or candy.  Below is a recipe of my mother-in-law’s.  It’s essentially a poor man’s truffle, built on things a farm wife would have.  The cream for the ganache in a truffle would have been left alone to keep up the milkfat content in the milk the farm was selling.  The name “goop” came from it being left in my husband’s locker in high school.  It does get soft at room temperature.    Continue reading “From the bar and kitchen – Kijafa and chocolate coconut balls”