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Archive | March 13th, 2011

Ever Had a Bacon Lollipop?

Ever Had a Bacon Lollipop?

Das Lolli lollipops

Looking for a candy that’s corn syrup-free yet full of flavor?

Keep an eye our for Das Lolli lollipops, which come in several unique flavors, such as Maple Bacon, Naughty Ginger, Fab-O-Pom and Caramel Me Happy. The flavors mean these treats are more likely to appeal to adults, than youngsters.

Naughty Ginger proved to be quick favorite, if only because the ginger had a strong, cleansing burn that was well-matched with the sweet-tart of added lemon flavor. It’s made with sugar, rice syrup, citric acid, crystallized ginger pieces, citric acid, lemon oil and natural ginger extract, according to Das Food’s website.

Caramel Me Happy promised to be a salty caramel, but it was more sweet than salty, though the caramel flavor was exceedingly rich. Fab-O-Pom is a combination of orange and pomegranate, and it made the mouth pucker in delight. If the Maple Bacon was the least of the four treasures, it was because the flavor was more maple and smoke than anything remotely porky, even though the ingredient list includes both bacon bits and natural bacon flavor.(That’s right, this is not a vegetarian lollipop.)

The lollipops sell for about 50 cents apiece at Central Market.

Sweetriot chocolates

Sweetriot is a chocolate pick-me-up that packs more flavor than you could imagine in each tiny “peace” (the owners are hippies, the company’s website says, so they can spell however they choose). This is, after all, “all-natural, anti-oxidant-rich, dairy-free, kosher, gluten-free cacao with a mission.”

That mission is to give your mouth great flavor while giving your body better health, all in a recyclable container filled with equitably sourced chocolate from Latin America.

That’s all well and good, but how does it taste? Super. I bought the 100 percent dark cacao nibs dunked in 70 percent dark chocolate with espresso, and one or two candy kernels explode in the mouth with a burst of intense chocolate flavor. And the lingering aftertaste means you won’t have to keep popping more in your mouth every few seconds.

No corn syrup here, either. At least I don’t think so. The label says they are made from “cacao mass, sugar, cacao beans, cacao butter, soy lecithin, natural vanilla, natural coffee flavor, glaze and lovin’.” I’ve never seen a harvest of “lovin'” before, so I’m not quite sure how much is needed per tin, and I’ll have to trust them on the glaze.

The candies come in tiny tins that won’t take up much room in pocket or purse. The price is $3.99 a tin at Central Market.

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Ask a Foodie: How Do You Roast Beets?

Ask a Foodie: How Do You Roast Beets?

Roasted Beet and Pistachio Salad

Q. How do you roast beets. Do you cut them up first?

— Bonnie F.

A. It’s easy to roast beets, no matter the style you use.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then clean your beets. Cut off the greens and reserve for another use. Rinse the whole beets and lay them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Cover with a bit of olive oil. About.com recommends a little more if you are going to use the beets in a salad, then using the beet-infused oil in your dressing. You can do this with any type of beet, including the more popular red, orange, white or chiogga (candy-striped).

Fold up the foil into a pouch and slip it into the oven. Bake for an hour at least and test for doneness by pricking one with a fork. If your beets are of different sizes, the smaller ones will cook sooner and you can remove those. Return the remaining beets to the oven and cook until tender.

Once the beets are ready, peel them and chop into the desired sizes.

Here’s a roasted beet salad recipe freely adapted from the new edition of “The Good Housekeeping Cookbook.”

Roasted Beet and Pistachio Salad

6-8 medium-sized beets, roasted
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or beet-infused oil)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 cups field greens and fresh herbs
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, roasted in foil for at least 4 minutes alongside the beets
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Once the beets are roasted, peeled and cooled, cut into chunks. Set aside.

Make a dressing from the balsamic vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Toss some of it with the field greens and line the bottom of your serving dish. Start with a little and toss for about 1 minute to make sure the greens are covered but not drowning.

Then toss some of the dressing on the beets and toss to make sure they are coated but not slick or oily. You may have some dressing left over.

Place the beets on top of the greens. Then sprinkle on the pistachios, the blue cheese and the mint. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Freely adapted from “The Good Housekeeping Cookbook”

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