Monday, October 25, 2010

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen

As you know, my last two posts have been about our recent camping trip to Blairsville, GA. While there, we took a little trip to Helen, GA, just over a mountain or two from Blairsville. The only other time I have ever been to Helen was the summer of '97. Let me just say that it was a slow day in Helen as we were just about the only people in town that day. This latest visit couldn't have been more different.

You see, Helen is a recreation of an Alpine village. And they have the longest running Oktoberfest in the world, this year's starting on September 9th and ending October 31st. THE
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is only 16-18 days long and ends the first Sunday or Monday of October. Munich's Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a marriage celebration for the prince, (being Royal gets you great parties!) Today it is the largest festival in the world.

My inner anthropologist would love to go to Munich, be immersed in the culture of Bavaria and eat the traditional German foods. However, I don't see a trip to Germany in my near future, so Helen will have to do. But not during Oktoberfest. It was very crowded, still warm in October and the whole celebration of beer is not my cup of tea. Maybe
Christkindlmarkt , (Christmas Market) would be more fun.

Helen, Georgia does have one thing that makes me definitely want to go back and that is Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen. This is the kind of place that you smell before you see. The aroma guides you to the door and up the ramp where you find delicious candies wherever you look.

Owners Dave and Janet Jones have been making candies here in Helen since 1973. Dave wrote the book on making candy. I'm not kidding...

With so many tempting treats, it was hard to decide what to buy. For me anyway, Brian knew exactly what he wanted...

PECAN Brittle!! It's fantastic! It's made with Georgia pecans, (pronounced peh-cahns, not pee-cans, if you ask me.)

I knew I wanted some chocolate, but couldn't commit to one particular confection. So I got this...

A Milk Chocolate Chattahoochee Snapper--The fresh pecans really make this!

A Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker (not pictured)

Dark Chocolate covered Pretzels = Bliss!

Are you salivating yet? Then here's some good news, they ship! Check them out!

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen
8651 Main Street
Helen, GA 30545
8078 South Main Street
Helen, GA 30545
800-524-3008 Toll Free

Anyone been to Christkindlmarkt in Helen? Is it worth a day trip from Chattanooga? Let me know!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Breakfast In A Bag

Remember how I told you we eat well when we're camping? Well, here is another tasty camp meal that you can make at home too! It's an omelet cooked in a Ziploc bag. Crazy right? Maybe, but it couldn't be easier!

First, crack two eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Next, add your diced veggies, about a quarter cup worth, more or less depending on how loaded you want your omelet. We used green bell pepper, tomato and onions here.

Then add your meat, either one sausage patty or 2-3 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled.

Finally, add your cheese. Here we used 1 slice of American cheese torn to pieces but you can use your favorite shredded cheese as well.

Dump your egg mixture into a quart sized freezer bag.

You'll want to mark your bags if cooking more than one at a time. If you use a sharpie, it is important to either write on the white part of the bag used for labeling or make some identifiable mark at the very top of the bag. If you write on the bag down where the eggs are, the sharpie will bleed through the bag and tint your eggs where they touch that part of the bag.
That's why my Dad made these little tags. It's safe to pin to the very top of the bag, so you can adorn your own safety pins in order to identify your omelets.

See, here it is all tagged and ready to go.

You'll need to have some water already boiling. Drop your bags down into the water. Boil for 8 minutes or until the eggs are set to your liking. I don't like a very wet omelet so mine cooked a little longer.

Grab a plate, open your baggie and let the omelet slide right out!

Hey! Did you notice that this recipe doesn't have any butter in it? That's because you don't have to worry about your eggs sticking to the bag! Of course, if you like the flavor butter adds to an omelet, by all means, add a little melted butter before cooking, but honestly it doesn't need it!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and wow your friends with your amazing omelets. This is a fantastic way to cook breakfast for a crowd as you can put these together the night before and store in the fridge. No need to get up too early to slave over a hot stove.

*Ziploc is the brand we used, (no BPA), but I imagine any good freezer bag would work well enough.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dutch Oven Dinner


This weekend we went camping with my family in Blairsville, Georgia. It was Liam's first time camping, (he's only 8 weeks old). Sophie was just 4 months the only other time we've been camping with her, so to her this was a new adventure. Luckily there was a sandy spot in our campsite where she could play and get completely filthy--nature is fun!

Now don't think that when we go camping that we "rough it" too much. We had water and electric hook-ups and we sleep on air beds in our tent with our tiny heater. And most of all, we eat very well. That's because my Dad is the king of the
Dutch Oven.

Dad used the contraption pictured above this weekend. Let me explain what it is. He bought this at an Army Surplus store. It is a cast iron cooking stove made in 1951 for the Korean War. It was originally made to put a burner inside and be used as a stove. It also came with a taller chimney so it could be used inside a tent to cook and for warmth during the cold Korean winters. Dad replaced the tall chimney with this smaller chimney and put a lid over the hole for the burner.

In the bottom of the stove he placed hot coals, then put his dutch oven inside. Saturday morning he baked biscuits, so he put hot coals on the lid of his dutch oven. To make stew, he put the stove lid on and left it for several hours. At night he would rake the coals together in the fire pit and placed the top of the stove over it to contain the smoldering embers.

Not the outdoorsy type? Don't have a dutch oven? Don't worry, you can still make this recipe for Papa's Stew. Papa's Stew, (named after my grandfather and pronounced "Pawpaw") is one of our family favorites. Papa and Nana created this recipe by trying different things until they came up with this perfect stew. Of course, if you want or need to make substitutions, Nana says pretty much any vegetable will work. So please enjoy this recipe. You can cook for a crowd, or just your family and freeze the leftovers. Just make sure you share it with people you love.

Papa's Stew
25-30 servings

Click here for the printable recipe at Tasty Kitchen


5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
1 whole chicken cut up or 3-4 chicken breasts boiled and shredded, (boil for 20 minutes or left all day in you crock pot)
3 15.25 oz. cans English Peas
3 14.5 oz. cans sliced carrots
3 14.5 oz. cans corn kernels
3 14.75 oz. cans cream corn
1 lb black eyed peas, remove debris and rinse well
1 12 oz. bag frozen butter beans, speckled recommended
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup Worcester sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until nearly done. Do not drain. Add all other ingredients except tomatoes and simmer until thickened. Add tomatoes last and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with crackers or cornbread for some true comfort food!

Floyd Markham

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monster Sandwich

I was going to write about something else today, but because of technical difficulties, that will have to wait. Instead, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite books. I was reading another blog today which reminded me to go get this book and read to my daughter. It's a book of poetry...about monsters...and sometimes food.

I love the subtitle to this book:
"And other stories you're sure to like, because they're all about monsters, and some of them are also about food. You like food, don't you? Well, all right then."

You'll love this book, probably more so than your kids. It is so clever! Each story is about a monster that you know and love. Here are just some of the stories you will find in this book.

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
Poor Frankenstein! All he wants is a sandwich. But he has the rudest neighbors, not the kind of people likely to lend a cup of sugar.

The Phantom of the Opera Can't Get "It's a Small World" Out of His Head
Don't tell me you haven't been there!

The Invisible Man Gets a Haircut
That's just asking for trouble!

Count Dracula Doesn't Know He's Been Walking Around All Night With Spinach In His Teeth
"Vhat are you staring at?"

The Yeti Doesn't Appreciate Being Called Bigfoot
Do you really wanna make him mad?

The Lunchsack of Notre Dame
You'd pack a lunch too if Frankenstein was your lunch lady!

I love love love this book, so I'm excited to learn that the author, Adam Rex, has also written this book:

Can't wait to get it!!

P.S. Yeah, yeah, I know Frankenstein is the name of the man who created the monster, but what else are you gonna call the guy?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

They Are To Teach What Is Good

I know a special little boy named Zek who is about to turn one year old. It seems like just yesterday I was throwing a baby shower for his Mommy.

This was a unique shower in that we also had a Bible study. The passage we studied, Titus 2:3-5 says of older women:

"They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. "

With (at that point) just 4 years of marriage under my belt, I knew that I would have very little to offer in such a study. So I asked some of the guests to be prepared to speak on a topic from the passage and to share their experiences in relation to their topics. These ladies spoke about self-control, purity, being a homemaker, kindness and submission to our husbands. This was an inspirational and very moving experience, and I'm so glad these ladies were willing to share such meaningful thoughts.

Of course, we also had food, it was a shower after all. We all chipped in, so don't think that I made all of this. Here's the spread...

Ice cream cake, fruit tray, cookie cake and behind the candles is this...

This my friends, is a cheese ball! Isn't it gorgeous?

I did make the punch. It's delish!
Fruit Punch
Makes about 50 servings--can easily be halved
(Of course, you should always have extra on hand as one cup is not enough)

2 packets of Fruit Punch Kool-Aid
1 c. boiling water
2 qts. warm water
2 1/2 c. sugar
1-46 oz can of pineapple juice
2-2 liter bottle ginger ale, chilled

Dissolve the Kool-Aid in the boiling water. Then in a large pot add the Kool-Aid, water, sugar and pineapple juice. Mix well and divide into two large freezer bags and freeze.

To Serve:
Thaw the punch until it is just starting to slush. Add one bag's contents to a punch bowl and add one bottle of ginger ale. Stir well.

Click here for the Printable Recipe at Tasty Kitchen.


Happy Birthday Zek!!