Thursday, January 31, 2008

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. ~Erma Bombeck

If there is one thing that will sustain us through a day when the temperature drops forty degrees, it is dessert. My mother raised me with strict rules about food. The most important of these tenets being that no civilized person would finish a meal without dessert and coffee. For many of my growing years my only motivation to eat at all was the promise of some delectable home made sweet. It is no wonder that my sister is a cake decorator and I make spicy sweet jellies and preserves. If you have been paying attention to the local candy scene you will have had the opportunity to sample Edna's Caramel's, which has a cult like following.

Their caramel's are handmade gourmet caramel's made from the finest natural ingredients. They make a perfect companion to our Real Apple Butter or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, our Apple Pepper Preserve. While caramel and apples are not a new idea, I think that this dessert treat will offer you something unique for your coffee guests or just a cozy evening at home. You can find Edna's Caramels at //

Caramel Apple Explosion

One Sheet Puff Pastry

One jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Apple Pepper Preserve or Real Apple Butter

Six Edna's Caramels
  • Preheat oven according to puff pastry instructions

  • Cut puff pastry into six equal squares

  • Drop one teaspoon of Apple Pepper Preserve or Real Apple Butter in the center of each square.

  • Place one caramel on top of preserve or apple butter

  • Pinch edges of puff pastry together making a pocket, be sure to seal the filling in completely

  • Bake in oven according to puff pastry instructions

  • Take out of oven and allow to cool for a few minuets as the inside goodness will be really hot!

  • Serve warm or refridgerate and serve cool at a later time (lock the fridge as they have a tendency to wander off unexpectedly!)

We enjoy ours warm with a cup of Celtic coffee. Since our trip to Costa Rica, home to some of the warmest people one the planet, as well as some of the most talented coffee growers in the world we recommend using a Fair Trade Costa Rican Coffee.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet” C.S. Lewis

Since I heard in the news about the decision to not label cloned animals, it made me think even more seriously about the need to buy local meat from small farmers who are accountable for the methods that they use for raising our food. One food that I have been reading about lately is eggs. The FDA has stated that there is no difference between eggs that are factory farm raised and free range, however when you look more closley you realize that this has to do with how they have chosen to define free range.
Braucher's Sunshine Harvest Farm located in Webster, MN offers 100% grass fed beef and lamb and pasture raised chicken and eggs. Yes, farm fresh eggs. It is important to note the difference in the terms free range and pasture raised, as free range only requires that chickens have a certain amount of space and access to the outdoors. They still can eat a diet of processed "Grain products, Protein products, Grain by products" ect. Pasture raised chickens reside primarily outside with access to the indoors and eat. . .well like a chicken. They feed on grass, insects, various green plants and insect larva. Frequently this diet is supplemented with organic grains and in Sunshine Harvest Farm's case, flax. Pasture raised chickens produce eggs that can have up to 50% more folic acid and roughly half the cholesterol of factory farm eggs. With Sunshine Harvest Farm's addition of flax, the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids is three times better then the average USDA factory Farm eggs. Fatty acids can not be produced by your body, they have to be absorbed from food. They are important in decreasing cholesterol, lowering hypertension, helping your blood to clot properly and controlling the chemicals in your body that cause inflamation in your joints. Plus and this is a big one if you love food like I do; eggs that come from pasture raised chickens just taste better.
With that in mind I offer you my favorite breakfast in bed recipe. This recipe looks beutiful and feels luxurious, without taking half the morning to prepare. If you are interested in learning more about pasture raised chickens there is a great article at and you can preorder or buy a farm share from Braucher's Sunshine Harvest farm by calling 952-652-1911. You can also look them up on

Breakfast in Bed

1 organic puff pastry shell
1 pasture raised chicken egg
2 slices local farm raised bacon
1 tbs Lucille's Kitchen Garden Apple Pepper Preserve

  • Bake puff pastry shell according to package directions

  • Fry or poach egg according to preference (You can buy fancy cook wear to make sure that the egg remains small enough to fit on the pastry shell, but I just use a metal jar lid ring.)

  • Fry bacon to preference

  • After removing puff pastry from the oven, place bacon slices crosswise on top shell; place egg on top of bacon; finish with a dolop of Apple Pepper preserve and serve. We enjoy a mimosa with crisp fresh squeezed orange juice with our weekend breakfast in bed!