Friday, February 5, 2010

Make uber crunch, salty-sweet part of your Super Bowl snacking
Doctor Kracker (didn’t he used to play with that Muppet band?) reports that studies show the average American consumes more than 1,200 calories during the Super Bowl — a full days worth.
Doctor Kracker is a brand of “artisan baked nutritious, satisfying and organic flatbreads and crackers.” My tasters have been crazy for the flavors in these beautiful, thick, seed-dusted crackers: Apple Crisps, Cherry Semolina, Fire Roasted Crisps, Hummus Maximus, Klassic 3 Seed, Pumpkin Cheddar, Seeded Spelt, Seedlander and Sunflower Cheddar. Billed as “home of the uber crunch,” they urge you to “ Stick that in your dip and eat it.”

Sweeeet and more
“Salty Sweets: Delectable Desserts and Tempting Treats with a Sublime Kiss of Salt”
By Christie Matheson
Salt — fine or course sea salt, sel gris, fleur de sel or Hawaiian pink — can seriously amp up your sweets, the author recounts in this fun-to-read book. Her treats include salted caramels, perfectly imperfect pecan pralines, dark chocolate and sea salt crostini, coconut rice pudding and cornmeal peach crisp.
I know we’re supposed to watch our sugar and salt intake, but the author points out that a little bit of the good stuff goes a long way and keeps you from mindlessly munching flavorless cookies. Makes sense to me. Now you tell me if these two selections don’t sound fantastic for Mardi Gras hedonism:

Drunken Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and salt and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the rum and vanilla. Serve immediately.

Toffee Sauce
This is for sticky toffee pudding, vanilla or almond ice cream. The author might also add, anything that begs for toffee.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the brown sugar, water and salt. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil; stir occasionally, cooking until the sauce is thickened slightly and reduce to about 2 1/2 cups. Keep the sauce warm over very low heat until ready to use it.

Fiber fan
Here’s an endorsed-by-Darragh snack: Fiber One is introducing Fiber One® 90 Calorie Chewy Bars in chocolate and chocolate peanut butter. It’s a little bit crispy, a little bit sweet, and the chewey-gooey sensation of it all helps keep you satisfied. Love ‘em.

I’m so proud of my husband, who used to shun most things healthy. I nearly wept when he mentioned he hadn’t had brown rice in almost a week. RiceSelect’s new Texmati offerings in the boxy jars have him spoiled. Six newbys are: Vegetable Medley, Pilaf Medley, Mushroom Medley, Original Pearl Couscous, Tri-color Pearl Couscous and Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous. Pearls are fun and take 10 minutes to prepare. Try it with kids in the kitchen.
You will be full; you will feel healthy.

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