Okay so I’m going to be honest with you. I had a little bit of an ulterior motive for making this one. It goes a little something like this:
My Bestie: Hey Kim, what did you get hubs for Valentine’s Day?
Kim: I got him Trash. And he totally deserved it!
*waits for the applause*
I’ll be here all week folks!
Okay, okay, I’ve told you before and I’m telling you again, I think Valentine’s Day is total B.S., so excuse me if I have a little fun with it. A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do.
And this gal had to make trash. For Valentine’s Day. For her hubby. For giggles. It’s fun to be me.
Now that we have that out of the way I’d like to welcome you to another edition of Burning Down The Kitchen. It’s a much-loved (by me) series I do twice a month where I get to dive into other foodie’s brains and poke around a little bit. I mean what could be better than that. Well, I also get to steal their recipes with their permission. I know right, I’m brilliant. Okay so I change the recipes up so I don’t infringe on copyright laws. I’m a good blogger people, stealing is seriously wrong. Those of you doing it, STOP IT RIGHT NOW! It pisses us off when people take our photos and recipes. Just linking back is NOT ENOUGH! Put your own spin on the recipe, take your own photos. That is what people want to see. And that is why I started, and love this series. It’s meant to show folks that anyone can cook, bake, drizzle, saute, de-glaze, de-bone, braise and roast. Honestly, it’s oodles of fun to take a bunch of ingredients and have your way with them. I wanted to show people that you can be inspired by recipe A but you can change step 1, 4 and 6. You can swap out ingredient 2 for something else, and cook ingredient 5 this way instead of that way and it all pans out in the end. You just need to get in there, get your hands dirty and have some fun. Be brave, be bold and be ready to dial the pizza place if it fails. More often than not you will succeed. Those times you don’t are not a waste of time, you learned something and can put that knowledge to use the next time you head in the kitchen. I figure have at it and the worst that can happen is you order a pizza. The best thing is you learn, grow and get to eat your test subjects as you go. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
Okay now that I’ve waxed poetic about the joys of cooking let me tell you about my willing victim, er, participant today. Her name is Joan and she blogs at Chocolate, Chocolate and More. Joan is an amazing blogger and a true friend. I am so looking forward to meeting her in person at an upcoming conference. Joan is one of the most supportive fellow bloggers I have ever had the pleasure to know. She really loves what she does and she rallies around those she believes in. She is remarkably down to earth and kind. Her talent in the kitchen is not limited to chocolate, this woman can bake and cook like a champ. I am always so impressed by what she posts. She is also super creative and comes up with ideas to spin recipes on their heads, which you all know I’m a huge fan of. I love when someone can take a recipe and push it pasts its limits and make it fresh and new. Joan can do that, and makes the coolest treats around. If you’re not convinced just check out her recipe index. It will blow your mind.
I have tons of Joan’s recipes bookmarked. Things like Cake Mix Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, Cream Cheese Squares, Cinnamon Churros, Easy Strawberry Sweet Rolls, Spicy Potato Wedges, Zucchini Bites, Sausage Balls, Pepperoni Bread, and Cherry White Chocolate Pudding Cookies. I was thrilled when Joan put her own spin on my Pink Popcorn and made Cherry Cotton Candy Popcorn. Joan guest posted for me while I was on the vacation of doom and made some lovely Fried Dough. I adore this lady and am so pleased to get to peek inside her world. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.
BURNING DOWN THE KITCHEN WITH JOAN OF CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE AND MORE:
1. What inspired you to start a food blog?
It started out as a baking project with my daughters, 2 summers ago we decided we’d bake something new every day. We kept posting everything to FB and finally a friend said, you should share those recipes and start a blog. I didn’t even know what blogging really was until she explained it to me.
2. What is the one thing you love most about it?
Just one thing? Ok, the friends I’ve made. My kids call them my imaginary friends since I’ve never met most of them but they are some of the greatest people I’d like to meet someday.
3. Do you find any downside to it?
The bloggy world is such a time suck. I used to have time to sit around and do my nails, clean my house, and now all I want to do is read everyone else’s blogs and comment and Pin and chat on facebook and then I want to go make most of what I see so we’re eating a lot better these days too.
4. Where does your love of cooking come from?
It actually comes from not having home cooked/baked food growing up. My mom worked so we ate whatever was fast and easy. I was always jealous of my friends and their moms who made meals for them and baked cookies for them after school. I wanted my kids to have that. And they do.
5. What’s your favourite memory from your childhood that revolves around food?
Hmmmm, ok, I had to think about this one. Don’t think me strange but my BFF and I would make scraple and sauteed mushrooms as a snack after school. Both of them were a favorite for both of us. Just one of the reasons she was my BFF. Weird tastes in food.
6. Where do you find inspiration from?
Everywhere, the internet, magazines, old cookbooks, places I eat. I even keep cookbooks in the bathroom for reading!
7. Do you have a kitchen disaster story you would like to share with us?
One of my first baking experiences. I was making oatmeal cookies.My mom kept the powdered sugar in a container just like the flour. You guessed it, I used the powdered sugar thinking it was the flour. I couldn’t figure out why my cookies came out almost melted, so thin, too bad I didn’t realize then I had actually made a form of lace cookies.
8. Tell us about your kitchen?
For size, I love my kitchen, it’s big with lots of counter space though you’d never know it from all the crap that’s on them. I do wish it was lighter. When we moved in, I chose an evergreen color for the walls and I love the color, it just makes everything dark. We have a separate area by the windows for eating and we have dinner there every night as a family.
9. What is your favourite kitchen toy?
Depends on the day but I do love my kitchen aid mixer.
10. Where does the chocolate obsession come from?
I suffer from chocolate ocd too so I can completely relate! I’ve always loved chocolate. Believe it or not I really don’t eat THAT much chocolate or sweets, but it’s like an old friend, always there when needed, never judging. And when I NEED chocolate, it had better be there! The kids know to stay out of my stash, lol.
11. Sweet or savoury for snacking?
For snacking, usually savory, I’m not a big snacker but I will grab some nuts if I need something to tide me over till dinner.
12. Hot or cold drinks during the day while cooking?
I’m a huge water drinker. I don’t know what it is but the minute I turn on the stove or the oven, I get thirsty so I’ve always got a glass of ice water handy.
13. Milk, white or dark chocolate for munching?
I’m a milk chocolate girl.
14. Twix, Aero, Caramilk, Snickers, Milky Way, Mars, or KitKat?
15. Beef, chicken or pork for pulled meat sandwiches?
This is the south, has to be pork with a good BBQ sauce.
16. If you had the opportunity to meet one celebrity chef who would it be and why?
Honestly, other than Julia child, none of them. I don’t watch cooking shows. The only reason I say Julia is I remember her from childhood, she was the only cooking show on and after the movie Julie & Julia, I fell in love with her. I’d much rather meet all my bloggy friends, I know what they do is real and not made for TV.
17. If you had the opportunity to tour one chocolate factory in the whole world which one would it be and why? What would you taste first?
It would have to be the Hershey factory. I grew up just a few hours from there but never went. Taste first? I’d want it all, I’d be the lady in the oversized coat stuffing everything into my pockets to try later.
18. You make family meals a priority at your house, tell us a little about dinner time in your household.
Always served as close to 6 pm as possible. The girls are usually already hovering near by so they get the table ready. I’ll holler out a five minute warning that dinner is almost ready and you’d better be here. My son and the Hubby make sure to show up. The TV is turned off and we don’t answer the phone unless one of the kids is missing from the house. The meals are simple but mostly home cooked. (I have served fish sticks before, don’t judge me.) We spend the time talking about our days and what’s going on tomorrow. We’re not formal, gas has been passed along with the salt on occasion. When the meal is over, everyone helps clean up. The best 30 minutes of my day.
19. Favourite place to shop for foodie stuff?
I’m so limited on my choices. Walmart, Kroger, Publix and our local Freshway are it. The basics. I did get to go to a Trader Joes for the first time just last week, I was in heaven! If we ever have to move away, I’m going to make sure there is a Trader Joes within 20 minutes of our new home.
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a big part of the picture?
It better be. In 5 years, 2 of the kids will be in college with only Grace left in high school. Blogging is part of my life and what makes me who I am outside of being wife and mom.
Dare Portion of BDTK:
Dare Option #1:
Take a photo of yourself in your favourite section of the grocery store!
Dare Option #2:
Show us a photo of your chocolate stash, even better if you’re in the photo!
Dare Option #3:
Take a photo of your kitchen mid baking mess, even better if you’re in the photo!
See why I love this woman. I adore folks who get in the spirit of the dares and just have fun with it. It’s such a riot to see people being silly and having a good time in and out of the kitchen. Joan completely embraced the dares with her whole heart. I dig that. I also think it’s wonderful her daughter got in on the act. Such a cute photo. I practically fell off my chair when I saw it.
I had such a hard time narrowing down what recipe of Joan’s I wanted to make. Honestly the churros were really tugging at my tummy strings. I knew this would go up around Valentine’s Day though so I opted for something that could jive with the holiday. I’ve made lots of popcorns and party mixes, quite a lot of candy. So this trash idea really appealed to me. Basically you take whatever you have on hand, toss it on a cookie sheet and pour candy coating over it. I’m not going to lie, I dig stuff like this. It’s fun to make and young hooligans tend to gobble this kind of thing right up. I had oodles of cherry treats on hand from my trip to Toronto. Somehow I ended up in Walmart and went on a serious cherry candy bender. So I made mine very cherrylicious. You can mix it up and add whatever floats your own boat. I wonder how many people are totally shocked this wasn’t a turtle trash right now?
I would like to thank Joan so much for allowing us to peek into her world today. It was a complete pleasure to work with you, Joan. I hope those of you who do not know her already take a minute to hop on over to her blog, Chocolate, Chocolate and More. You will love Joan’s world, it’s full of delicious goodies that will tempt you to be naughty. And what’s life without a little naughty from time to time. While you’re there be sure to follow Joan on Facebook, Pinterest and G+.
Happy Early Valentine’s Day!
Toodles and Smoochies! xx