Chocolate Fondue

Here is an elegant and simple dessert that can be pulled together rather quickly.  This is what I served for our Valentines Day dessert, I peeled a couple blood oranges (amazing dipped in chocolate) from my “Citrus Pack”, strawberries and fresh coconut from the “Fondue Pack” and some homemade marshmallows a friend gave us.  Fondue and fruit in under 10 minutes!  Enjoy!

Miranda S.

Chocolate Fondue


  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 4 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate
  • 2 tsp. Dark Rum
  • 1/8 tsp. Grated Orange Zest


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring cream, sugar, cinnamon and butter to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts. Add the rum and stir in the orange zest before serving. Serve with your favorite fruit, brownie bites, pound cake or any other item you would like to cover in chocolate.

Popping Indian Corn

I absolutely love the way Indian corn looks – it’s colorful, shiny kernels make it excellent for decorating during fall nestled with some funky gourds and cute mini pumpkins. Only recently I found out that some of it is food grade (though some is not because it is treated to only be used as decorations). I was eager to pop some with my daughter. We tried it three ways – on the stovetop, in the microwave and in our popcorn popper.
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Lunch in a Jar

A couple that I know just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The key to their success? Well, according to the husband their happy marriage is all because his wife has packed him his lunch every work day for their whole married life. At first, this revelation made me feel really…guilty. I can honestly say that in 13 years of marriage I have never sent my husband off to work with a homemade lunch. Sure, this has meant he has some extra candy machine visits or drive-through stops, but how can I squeeze in making lunch for a man who leaves the house at 5:45 each morning? Already I have a house to clean, meals to cook, four kids to home-school, and sometime in there I have to get a shower (really, won’t he appreciate a clean wife more than lunch?) The old man’s marriage advice was fresh in my mind when I saw pictures of layered, jarred salads on the Bountiful Basket’s Facebook page. These seemed healthy, fresh, and most importantly easy. And so, in an effort to keep our happy marriage happy, and armed with an arsenal of salad-in-a-jar recipes, I have decided to try packing lunches this year.
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A Novice’s Guide to Canning

I love all the amazing produce that I get each week from Bountiful Baskets.  As a site coordinator, I see those big beautiful add-on boxes of fresh fruit and veggies and I WANT them.  But I’ve hesitated to contribute for them because I was worried about waste.  The obvious solution is canning.  Let me tell you though, I was seriously intimidated by the whole process.  In my head, I thought of all the equipment, all the rules, all the work, and I figured I didn’t want anything to do with it.  This season I finally gave it a try.  I was so wrong!  Yes, there is equipment, there are rules, and it is work.  But it is absolutely, without a doubt, worth it!

These are my tips and tricks for any other canning newbies out there.  Hope they convince some of you to try it out!  You won’t regret it, especially once you see your pantry fill up and your preservative intake go down!
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Taking The Fear Out of Roasting Peppers

Hatch Chile peppers ready to roast

In the last few weeks we have received lots of Hatch chile peppers in our baskets as well as the 25 lb. case add on. There have also been red and green bell peppers for those who contributed for the fajita pack add on.  The question I have heard over and over again is, “How do I roast these peppers?”
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Grilled Fajitas

In the 1930’s, cattle ranchers on the vast ranch lands of South and West Texas inadvertently began one of the most popular traditions in Western cuisine. The ranchers would often allow beef to be butchered for the workers during round-ups and drives. Unwanted parts such as the head, hide, and trimmings (including pieces known now as “skirt steak”) were given to the Mexican cowboys. The vacqueros would use these pieces to create many different meals including menudo, barbacoa de cabeza, and what we now know as fajitas. They would slice and marinate the unwanted skirt steak, grill it over an open fire, and fold it up into a tortilla with beans and whatever vegetables they had. Over time, adventurous American cowboys sampled the meal and soon the tradition of using up the skirt steak for fajitas took off. (Only the most adventurous cowboys sampled the menudo and barbequed head and those two meals were left in the dust of comparative obscurity.)
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All-American BBQ

The summer days of my childhood fell into a pretty consistent routine. Mornings were spent splashing and playing in the pool or running through sprinklers attempting to cool off in the hot Las Vegas sun. Each afternoon the heat and bright rays would drive my siblings and me into the house for afternoon siestas. Of course, that didn’t last too long and soon the cool water called to us and we ventured back out to the pool playing until well past dark. Our large pool was often crawling with neighbors, friends, and extended family. And most evenings while we enjoyed the water, my father fired up the grill.
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Lovin’ Lentils

I am a seriously cheap, ad-watching, sale-hunting, clearance-rack scouring mom of four. My motto is “A penny saved is a BAD SALE!”. So, when I can find ground beef that is low in fat, high in fiber and protein, cholesterol free, grain-fed, easy to use, easy to store, and .80 cents a pound I say SCORE! Now, the reality is I have never found that (in meat form). I have learned that I can get all of this benefit through tiny, little legumes known as lentils. I turn to lentils 3-4 times a week and when BB offered a 25 pound bag there was no debate in my mind- I was stocking up. I use lentils in place of ground beef or turkey in almost any recipe including tacos (season just as you would ground meat), and even meatloaf. Lentils are also a perfect ingredient in soups and salads. I love lentils because they need no pre-soaking (in my busy life that means no pre-planning!) and they cook up much faster than regular beans.
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