Archive for February, 2011

Karen Jean Matsko Hood has done it again: another amazing entry in her popular Cookbook Delight Series that is sure to tempt the tastebuds and lure even reluctant cooks into the kitchen to try out these delicious recipes. Raspberry Delights is a treasure trove of unique ways to use this sweet berry to the fullest. I was particularly impressed by the creative use of raspberries in soups, entrees, and side dishes to create unexpected bright, appealing flavors, and the sheer variety of breads and desserts is tantalizing.

As with all of Hood’s cookbooks, it is the extra touches that really make Raspberry Delights stand out. The recipes alone are worth the price of admission, so to speak, but there is so much more: information on different types of raspberry, medicinal uses of the plant, even tips on growing your own raspberries. I was planning to start a small garden in my backyard this year, and was pleasantly surprised to see this information. The preserving section not only provides wonderful recipes for raspberry jams and jellies, but actual instructions for canning, freezing, and dehydrating the berries as well. I have never seen such thorough, detail-oriented information in a cookbook before.

Since raspberries are not currently in season, I used frozen berries for all of the recipes I tried out. Many of the recipes call for fresh raspberries, but I was not disappointed in how any of them turned out and can only imagine how much more flavorful they will taste with fresh fruit. I am a sucker for a good potato salad and am always looking for new variants, so of course I had to try the Raspberry Potato Salad. The recipe was very simple and the results were nothing short of amazing. This potato salad blows my old favorite away, and I can’t wait to take it to the family barbeque on Independence Day this year–it will knock my in-laws flat! I also tried out the Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken, which turned out very tender and moist with a wonderful tangy glaze. The Raspberry Cornbread was a wonderful twist on the conventional recipe, and it was a bit difficult restraining myself to just one piece. Hood’s recipes continue to be a big hit with my family, most of whom are notoriously picky eaters, and I am very glad that I discovered her Cookbook Delights series.

Order your copy of Raspberry Delights today!

Chocolate Delights: Decadence Beyond Dessert

posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chocolate Delights Volume I may very well be the most incredible cookbook I have ever seen. Every single recipe is enticing and decadent, and many provide new ways to use chocolate or unique flavor combinations that are very exciting. My mother is a chocoholic and owned numerous chocolate cookbooks that I have perused extensively, but I have never seen anything like Karen Hood‘s Chocolate Delights. At over 300 pages, this collection of recipes covers far more than just desserts and sweet treats: there are also appetizers, main dishes, soups, even jams and jellies with chocolate in them–an idea that frankly knocked me off my feet–and much more.

As with other books in the Cookbook Delights series, recipes are laid out in a simple, consistent manner that is easy to understand, and there is a glossary of cooking terms and a measurement chart in the back to aid less experienced cooks. Added to this is a wealth of fascinating history, folklore, and helpful information. Find out the truth about white chocolate, learn about the chocolate festival celebrated by the ancient Mayans, and more. I found these sections very valuable, especially the information about the different types of chocolate. I was not aware how significant of an impact the different types have on the outcome of any recipe, both in taste and nutritional value. Now I have a good reference that will help me select the right kind of chocolate for any cooking situation.

All of the recipes that I read were clear and easy to follow, and the three recipes that I tried out with my family were alot of fun as well. We made the Mexican Coffee, Savory Chili with Pasta, and Orange Oatmeal Cookies. The chili was very quick and easy, and it was praised even by the picky eaters in my family. The cookies were our favorite recipe–simply amazing, crammed with delicious ingredients that I had never thought to put in oatmeal cookies before. The coffee was an excellent after-dinner treat for my husband and I, and we’ll definitely make it often. My entire family is really excited about trying out the rest of the recipes, and we are already eagerly anticipating the second volume of Chocolate Delights.

Order your copy of Chocolate Delights today!


Welcome, Molly & Pepper!

posted by Karen Hood
Monday, February 21, 2011

Molly is on the left.

Meet our new Nubian doeling, Black Mesa Mallow’s Molly! She was born just a few days ago on February 18, and is very active and curious. We purchased her from Black Mesa Ranch in Arizona, and we can’t wait to welcome her home!

Nubian goats are known as excellent dairy goats, producing a large quantity of creamy milk that is higher in butter content than any other breed. They also make good pets, and are gentle and very trainable.

Goat milk is higher in calcium, vitamins, and protein than cow milk. At the same time, it has a lower fat content and is easy to digest, often even for those who are lactose intolerant. We will begin selling fresh goat milk later in the year and quantities will be limited, so be sure to call 509-928-1800 to get on our waiting list. You won’t want to miss out on this delicious, healthy milk!

Pepper in the foreground.

This is Pepper, our fourth fainting goat from Genesis Acres. She is a sweet little doeling and will make a wonderful companion for our buck Hutchapoo, who was purchased from Genesis Acres last September.

Fainting goats, also called myotonic goats, are known for a unique genetic condition (myotonia congenita) that causes their muscles to freeze up for 10 seconds when they are startled. Although painless, this often causes young goats to fall over on their side. Older goats learn to compensate by spreading their legs or leaning against something to maintain their balance.

Fainting goats are meat goats rather than dairy goats, and are smaller and easier to maintain than most breeds raised for their meat. Their intelligence and friendly nature makes them good pets, and some produce large quantities of cashmere during the cold months.

We are very proud of our small but growing herd!