Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Entertaining

About a month or so ago I picked up a Fruit Infuser Pitcher at our local Target store:



(I found a cheaper, more simplistic version at Target. I can't find it online or else I'd post the link to that one instead! The one I got was about $8 and works perfectly well.)

I absolutely love this pitcher. It's a fantastic way to "spruce up" regular water, especially when having company over. During a season when we're picking a lot of fresh berries, it's nice to be able to pop these into the infuser and have berry flavored juice. (I use frozen berries in mine as well. This works great - I just have to remember to stick the berries in several hours before I want berry juice-filled water!)

It's tasty and it's fun to come up with different combinations. Highly recommended for the fun and the flavor!

Also, a few months back I picked up this Dark Chocolate Quinoa candy bar (because it was on sale) to try out:



I'm not normally a dark chocolate fan but I thought this tasted delicious! It rather has a Nestle Crunch feel to it. (I love Crunch bars. Haven't had one in years but boy those are yummy!) However, the Alter Eco Midnight Crunch bar itself runs around $4 - which I find to be ridiculously expensive. There is no way I'm going to pay that much for a candy bar. I just cannot bring myself to do that. So, instead, I bought a whole bag of dark chocolate chips for $4 and melted them down with a 1/2 cup of butter. I threw in a dash of cinnamon and about a cup(ish) of quinoa and then spread the mixture out on a pan to harden. I cut my quinoa bites into small squares which look, more or less, like the candy bar I had originally purchased. Only far, far less sophisticated. (Hey! We were going for taste. Not appearance. I'll improve on that part later.)

I store them in the fridge and after meals I've been known to pull out the container and offer a piece to my family. It's a nice, small after dinner treat and the amount I made has lasted us for weeks! We definitely got more bang for the buck this way! (Bonus: since it's not milk chocolate I don't devour it as quickly which is also nice. I am learning to like dark chocolate. It's sort of like learning how to like coffee, only better. I haven't learned to like coffee yet.)

11 comments:

  1. I will have to try both of these! This is probably a stupid question, but did you cook the quinoa?

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    1. Definitely not a stupid question. I did it raw, actually. (I need to figure out how to puff it.) It is a little crunch, but being poured in with the hot chocolate softens it a wee bit so it's not "OW" hard or anything near it.

      But I think I WOULD like it better puffed. There's got to be a recipe online somewhere....

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  2. How fun! I love special little things like these.

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  3. I remember trying the bar and I'm definitely going to try your recipe. I don't think Melissa's question is stupid, because eating raw quinoa seems like eating uncoooked rice. As in it seems like it would be too hard to bite into. I just assumed the stuff in the candy bar was puffed quinoa or something. Not the case?

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    1. I replied under Melissa's comment, but here is the recipe for making it puffed:

      http://www.ehow.com/how_8487456_puff-quinoa.html

      I'm going to do that next time. (It will be even MORE yummy that way, I'm positive.)

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    2. Haha! Of course I comment after the question has already been answered...
      Great! That is going to be very fun!

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  4. Another variation - other than cinnamon, is mint. I was going to get some mint extract of some sort and add that in next time in place of the cinnamon.

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  5. I LOVE dark chocolate, but I haven't learned to like coffee yet... and I'm not really trying that hard!

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  6. I've made something similar with almonds. Rice Krispies would work as well for a "Krackle" candy bar. :)

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  7. I was JUST looking at the fruit infusion pitcher on Amazon before I saw this post! I have been making basil infused lemonade this summer, I have a sweet fifties pitcher that I love. I am quite happy using that although I think the infusion pitcher is a great idea!
    I love dark chocolate (and coffee) and I am intrigued by the thought of adding quinoa to it! I may try that puffed quinoa recipe, thanks for providing!
    Love!

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