A Fix for Seized Chocolate: Fudge Sauce

(Pennywise Platter is live! Add your thoughts and recipes).

The other day I wasn’t careful. I was melting chocolate (5 ounces in fact) for a project and it seized. Chocolate will seize if it’s exposed to water or any type of liquid while it is melting. I was left with grainy, unattractive and unusable chocolate…..or was I? I did a quick google search and found that you can make your grainy seized chocolate into a smooth chocolate sauce. I thought it was worth a try. It worked! This chocolate fudge sauce is seriously delicious, it really is. Probably one of the best chocolate sauces I’ve ever made. And there wasn’t a trace of graininess to the sauce, it was lusciously smooth.

If you ever have chocolate seize, may I suggest a better solution than throwing it away? Make it into fudge sauce! You can use it with many types of desserts. I hate to waste food (it’s just not frugal), so this was the perfect solution. Since I had my vanilla coconut milk ice cream on hand, I served it generously poured over it. Absolutely, most definitely, delicious. I don’t have a recipe for you since I was eye balling it the entire time. But I will give you the process so that you to can make your own fudge sauce out of seized chocolate.

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Six Tips for Eating Quality Seafood on a Budget

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Pennywise Platter Thursday is tomorrow! Get those recipes and your frugal tips ready. Photo Credit

Several weeks ago a few of you asked how I was able to add seafood into our diets without raising our budget. Good question. We have not always eaten seafood consistently for various reasons (I didn’t realize I liked seafood until recently and because of the cost). But the health benefits of seafood made me realize that I really wanted to be able to fit it in (my next post on seafood will be about those benefits). How to fit it in our budget was the tricky part.

Seafood is one of those foods that’s pretty important not to skimp on quality. No farmed salmon here! Yes, it is a lot cheaper, but they are fed wild fish, overcrowded and diseased, dyed to hide it’s unnatural gray flesh, and antibiotics routinely were used to treat them. They aren’t as nutritious, they aren’t good for the environment and probably are not going to taste as good either. In my next post on seafood, I will go over what to buy, but meanwhile, let me give you six tips on how to eat quality seafood on a budget.

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Canning Tomatoes: Spend Time, Save Money

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Pennywise Platter is tomorrow! Hope you have tips and recipes to share!

Yesterday, I jumped into a canning project for tomatoes. I was very glad to find that one of our local farms, Thompson Farms (who is not certified organic, but doesn’t use any pesticides or fungicides) had lugs of tomatoes for only .49 cents a pound! Last time I had canned tomatoes, their lugs were about .69 cents a pound.  For about 12 dollars I had 24 pounds worth of tomatoes, which made me 9 quarts of tomatoes. (I had been hoping to buy more, but they had run a little low.)

Once we took out the cost of of buying the jars (which I will continue to reuse), each quart of tomatoes I canned (which, by the way is larger than most large cans in the store), was only about $1.75.  That includes the un-reusable lids, lemon juice and tomatoes. And I was paying up to $3.75 for 16 ounces of organic tomatoes, compared to only $1.75 for 32 ounces! Even if you counted in the cost of the reusable jars, I would still be saving quite a bit of money. I could get a little cheaper organic tinned tomatoes, but not only do I not like that “tinny” taste of tomatoes in cans, but there are more toxins from the plastic linning.  When I do have to buy tomatoes, I usually get a brand in glass jars, and it’s a great product.

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Old Fashioned Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

ng_sauerkraut2Tangy, crisp, flavorful sauerkraut is so refreshing on a hot day! It makes the perfect side to many grilled meats. Culinary benefits aside, it’s also healthy for you! In my recipe, I  share a little secret that makes for a no pound sauerkraut. No more pounding your cabbage for 15 minutes in this recipe! It’s so easy.

This is the crock method (read about the different methods here) but I am doing it without the crock as I still haven’t decided what I want to buy. Meanwhile, I can make a mean sauerkraut with a big nonreactive bowl (I use glass) a plate, and something to weigh it down.

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