Eat good food and share!

Posts tagged ‘Food’

How To Deal With Cravings

An AWESOME chart I ran across that tells what to eat when you’re craving less-healthy foods. Several are interesting to me. At various times I crave… and I mean literally crave… things like soda pop, sweets or even have the “no I’m not hungry” problem.  This WILL be printed out and posted on my refrigerator!

How to temper chocolate

I just read The Pioneer Woman’s latest blogpost – Chef Lia’s dark chocolate truffles. She does some amazing things with chocolate, but one thing that stuck with me was the necessity of tempering your chocolate. This of course led to a Google search, which led to Youtube.

And so dear readers, here is Jacques Torres explaining how to temper chocolate, all in his wickedly delicious French accent.

Trader Joe’s Giveaway Winner!!

The winner of my first-ever giveaway is… Tiffany Merical! Congratulations Tiffany!

I asked Tiffany what her favorite food is, and she said quiche! I hear Trader Joe’s has some pretty good quiche in their frozen food section… but… (I’ve heard they’re really small. Disappointingly so!). Tiffany has had my quiche… she’s one of the lucky people (or so they say) that has been the recipient of my cooking. So in honor of my first-ever giveaway, and Tiffany’s favorite food, I’ll be posting my quiche recipe here… later today.

The Chestnut Cafe – Earlham

As many of you probably know, I live in a small town. A *real* small town. So when I was at the grocery store yesterday and picked up our local paper, imagine my surprise upon reading that a new cafe had opened up in Earlham (125 S Chestnut Ave.), and had totally flown below my radar!  I not only felt scooped, but pretty oblivious as well. So bright and early this morning, I ventured uptown to check it out. Janet at the grocery store let me know that the hours are 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., and that they served breakfast until 11:00, so I decided to do breakfast.

The outside of The Chestnut Cafe is much the same as other businesses in town. It is housed in a turn-of-the-century building with a brick facade and BIG windows. I stepped inside and was greeted first by a gorgeous interior. Authentic pressed tin ceiling, white plaster walls and black and white photographs of things small town people and farmers like. A lot. Old well pumps, a barbed wire fence and fencepost. Very classy. Like a piece of Court Avenue in Earlham!

The owner of The Chestnut Cafe, Michele Brant, greeted me warmly. I ordered from their breakfast pastry menu… a cinnamon roll and a diet Coke, please. I introduced myself and asked about doing a blogpost. Ms. Brant came over, sat down with me and chatted for a few minutes. I already love this place!

Michele and her mother Beverly Mills run the cafe, as well as taking orders for baked goods (*see below). Bev is known in the Des Moines area for her Bev’s Cakes. A trip to Bev’s website told me that she uses the freshest ingredients possible, and can make any occasion cake… wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation, and any kind of “fun” cake you can imagine! (And they love Elvis!)

A few hours later in the day, I was feeling the need for a little something to eat, so I went back to the cafe for lunch. They have a create-your-own style sandwich menu, along with the soup of the day and several (non-fried) side dishes. My sandwich was very good, as was the camaraderie. I can see The Chestnut Cafe filling a social meeting-place need in Earlham. I ran into several people I knew during breakfast and also lunch. That makes me happy and kind of nostalgic, because the location of the cafe used to be the beauty salon… also a social meeting place (of sorts) back in the day. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

*Baked goods available to order – Muffins, Cinnamon rolls, Scones, Cookies, Bars and Cupcakes

Guest Post – Lisa Orgler!

I am VERY excited to have Lisa Orgler as a guest blogger today! Lisa and I  first became acquainted through Foodbuzz, a website of and for food bloggers. I saw her work and contacted her about designing a banner for my Chef Herman blog. To say that I was pleased with the results is really an understatement. It’s awesome to watch an idea come to life.

My marketing director (my daughter, @njobst on Twitter) told me that it would be a good idea to have occasional guest bloggers. Nicole was the first with her Food Detox post. And since I truly love Lisa’s work (go vote for her at Foodbuzz’ Project Food Blog!) I decided that she should be the first official (non-nepotism) guest blogger! Enjoy her post, her beautiful illustrations and visit her website. It’s a visual treat!

Lisa Orgler
The Lunch Box Project

Top Ten things I like about food
In 2009 I set a goal to draw one food image a day for one year.  I accomplished that feat and today still enjoy whipping up a meal with pen and paintbrush in hand. I’m surprised that boredom hasn’t seeped into my food art world…since I typically want to move onto new subjects after several months. So I asked myself why I love food.

1. It’s fun to draw
Talk about having a source of inspiration daily!  Hmmm, have I ever gone a whole day without eating?  If I’m going to paint every day, why not pick a topic that requires no search?

2. Every food has a story
Every food has its own history and folklore, plus we have our own personal history with certain foods.

3. It’s challenging (at least for me)
I can’t cook (there I said it), at least not very well.  Because I don’t know very much about cooking and baking, I’m quite intrigued with it…and continually want to learn more and more.

4. It’s also simple
Food can be challenging, but thank goodness for me, it’s also simple.  I can enjoy a simple apple, a bowl of chocolate ice cream or just corn-on-the-cob.

5. Everyone has a favorite
Foods are up there with colors…everyone has a favorite.

6. It can be accompanied by pretty things
Food is neat in itself, but it’s even better when paired with your favorite dishes, tablecloth, and napkins.

7. Everyone puts a different spin on it
Whether you are traveling regionally, nationally, or internationally everyone combines and prepares foods differently.  Think of all the different ways you can enjoy a simple tomato.

8. Special events and food go hand in hand
Have you ever heard of a birthday party without a cake or Thanksgiving without a turkey?

9. The same flavor can come in multiple forms
If you love blueberries you can also enjoy blueberry pie, blueberry ice cream, blueberry yogurt, and blueberry pancakes.

10. It makes me happy (most of the time)
I love food and am especially happy after a good meal. If I overeat I want to curse it, but that doesn’t overshadow the mostly happy times.  Quite honestly, it’s my love of food that drove me to overeat in the first place.

Comfort food

Recently I had an irresistible urge for comfort food. However, I didn’t feel like putting much effort into said food, either. So… I decided this would be an ideal time to check out the free items that the people at Mrs. Cubbison’s recently sent me for review.

The meat loaf was super-easy. I purchased approx. 2 1/2 lb. hamburger and mixed it with the meat loaf mix. All you have to do is mix some water into the meat loaf mix, but I was pretty sure I could handle that.

Next, mix ground meat with the wet meat loaf mix… put it into a baking pan and bake! As simple as that! They called for the meat loaf to be baked for one hour, but I usually bake my meat loaf a little longer than most recipes call for. I like the crispy crunchy end pieces! Also, I put (gasp) ketchup on top of the meat loaf before baking. I like it, and it’s not a sin… so… do it!

With meat loaf safely inside the warm oven, I decided to go all-out and make some “instant” stuffing, too. Again, the idea germinated because the box of Mrs. Cubbison’s was sitting on the counter screaming at me to make it. Holy cow. One of the recipes to make the “instant” stuffing called for more butter than anybody should eat in a week! So. Of course I used that version! I did have to chop up onions and celery for the stuffing but hey… the promise of stuffing made with a bucket of butter is a great motivator to chop and dice!

Ingredients –
2 – 6 oz. bags Mrs. C’s Seasoned Dressing
1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 c. broth or water

Combine dressing with butter and vegetables (if desired, you may saute vegetables in butter until transparent prior to combining with the dressing). Stir liquid in gradually, blend lightly and spoon into a 3 qt. greased casserole dish. Bake covered 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer for a crisp top.

That’s it! Eat your warm comfort food and try not to think about all that butter. I dare you.

No more naked salads!!

I just received a package of (free!) food products to review, from the generous people at Mrs. Cubbison’s!  To receive this package I had to enter a comment in the No more Naked Salads giveaway at Foodie Blogroll. Included in my package were:

Mrs. Cubbison’s Restaurant Style Croutons, Mrs. Cubbison’s Classic Seasoned Dressing (stuffing),  Mrs. Cubbison’s Old Fashioned Meatloaf Mix, Casa Fiesta All Natural Taco Shells, Sunsweet Pitted Prunes, Morehouse Pure Prepared Mustard, Volk Enterprises’ Pop Up Disposable Cooking Thermometer AND a cookbook! Recipes of the Stars!

Note: In Iowa, you should be able to find Mrs. Cubbison’s products at the Fareway or Hy-Vee. You can also purchase directly from them at under Market Place which list all products and prices.

I’ll be reviewing the products here at Chef Herman’s. I’ve already reviewed one, and it probably isn’t what you would think I would pick first!

I decided to review Morehouse mustard first, because I’ve been kind of mourning summer and the very first thing I thought of when I saw the mustard was… hot dogs! Now I realize that admitting I like hot dogs is somewhat like Julia Child admitting that she craves fried Spam sandwiches. I decided to take the risk. I don’t have a recipe because let’s face it, I took the redneck way out (hey! I live in Iowa!) and fried my hotdogs in a skillet. My only concession to Julia was that I did fry the hotdogs in a nice, French Mauviel copper frying pan!

I put my hot dog in a nice fresh hot dog bun… topped wit with mustard and ate it! I have to admit, I went into this endeavor thinking, “Mustard is mustard.” But I did notice that Morehouse has a nice mustard-y flavor without the tanginess that I find in some mustards.

But. I have to go now. I have a 3-year-old boy who smells the hot dog scent in the air, and wants one… like five minutes ago!


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