Tag Archives: mouthfuloffood

All About Raisins…..

12 Sep

As you may already know last week I was on the hunt for muscats. Before last week I had never even heard of a muscat. Learning about them came about when my dad told me his mother used “larger raisins” when making a Blackberry Jam Cake. I did know what he was talking about and because it had been so long since he had one he could not remember what the “larger raisins” were called. He called my aunt and she remembered that they were called something that began with the letter “M”. That’s all I needed to begin my search on the internet.  After a few clicks of the computer mouse some creative google searches I found out what the “M” word was. Muscat or Muscats.

After learning that muscats were not readily available in the grocery stores in our area, we bought some online from California and they arrived quite swiftly. Packaged in bulk, fresh and tasty. Before ordering from the internet, my dad and I were in and out of stores looking for muscats and; in our search I discovered they were several varieties of raisins. Now raisins might not sound overly exciting to read about but they are a great snack and go well in many baked goods, cereals and, salads. I use baking raisins specifically in my soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and traditional raisins in my delicious Coleslaw recipe which you can find here.

Here is a little more info on raisin varieties:

Baking Raisins: These are a must for me when I bake. They are not always available everywhere so stock up if you bake a lot. Baking raisins come in 6 ounce pouches filled with the traditional raisins and small amount of a sweet syrup that I believe partially rehydrates them which will leave your baked goods even tastier.

Dark Seedless: Raisins that are made from Thompson seedless grapes that are dried for several weeks. These raisins are good for almost anything.

Golden Seedless: Also from Thompson seedless grapes treated with sulphur dioxide to prevent darkening. These grapes have a shorter drying time. Use these for cooking and snacking.

Zante: Zante grapes produce tiny, dried currants often used for baking.

Last but not least:

Muscat: Muscat grapes yield large, fat, dark, very sweet raisins. Use muscats for snacking and baking too. Beware of the edible seeds inside the muscats. The seeds may be left in or out when baking but, I would suggest cutting the muscat in half and taking the seeds out one by one.

This concludes today’s lecture on raisin varieties. Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Talking with my Mouthful of Food. 😉

Kim Cherie



Something to make you laugh out loud…

11 Sep

I made the mistake of getting hungry while getting baking supplies tonight. I had already finished up shopping at one grocery store but, I still needed some pecan pieces to finish  out the list. All this shopping getting done tonight was to fill cake orders that are to be ready on Friday morning for delivery. Anyway, my plan was to run inside Meijer and pick up the pecans, another pound of butter and then get right back out of there and head home…… I didn’t think I was hungry or need to eat another meal. I just wanted to get home.

But, when I walked in the door of the Meijer (my favorite grocery store btw), a lady I did not know was walking out the doors with a fat juicy tomato and a receipt in her hand and she was telling the store greeter that she was making BLT’s and she didn’t have a tomato. Why did I have to hear that? Just hearing “BLT” had awaken my taste buds and my belly up and you would’ve sworn I hadn’t ate all day.

And here’s what happened next:

I went to get my 2 bags of pecans and then thought maybe I can just get a Honey Crisp Apple and be satisfied. I grabbed it. And since I was in the produce section and meat department that BLT was sounding better and better. So, I began to talk to myself….  Let’s grab some lettuce. Ok, just get the bacon too….I don’t know if I’m going to want to make one or two ( but it would definitely be two) this late. Well, if you don’t get it you’ll regret it and you will be thinking about it all night. Well, where is the tomato?….Here I am walking around the store no grocery cart, both hands full….. Just let me make it to the line. Thank God the bread is near the registers… Awww shoot, I didn’t get the butter yet. Hmmm, maybe I can just make a grilled cheese? Ok, get Texas Toast and Wheat Bread too…. I’m going to drop my tomato. Please don’t let me drop the tomato… Grabbed the butter. Now on to the bread. Set the tomato down. Pick up the wheat bread. Pick up the tomato. Almost there Kim. Oh, there’s the Texas Toast. Ugh, put the tomato down. Put the wheat bread down. Pick up, both loaves of bread by the tail and grab the tomato!! Now, GET IN LINE!!!!……. There is probably about eight people in the self service line and everybody is has major groceries. This isn’t going to be quick. I run over(walk briskly) over to the greeter and ask for a basket. By then I wasn’t so sure that anything was getting made tonight. Because I would probably be in line for the next 20 minutes. This whole event was way too stressful. Finally when it was my turn to ring myself up I decided PB &J would be suffice. But, those BLT’s will be delicious tomorrow.

Thanks for listening to my eventful night at the grocery store.. I didn’t plan on another grocery store story again so soon.

To show you my appreciation I will try to make you laugh out loud by sharing a joke I read somewhere:

A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.

The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped centimeters from a shop window.

For a second everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said. “Look mate, don’t ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!”

The passenger apologized and said, “I didn’t realize that a little tap would scare you so much.”

The driver replied, “Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver; I’ve be driving a funeral van for the last 25 years”.


Kim Cherie





Favorite Foods For Fall and Winter

10 Sep

Just last week we were running the air conditioner trying to stay cool and, now the last few days have been feeling like the middle of fall here in Flint, Michigan. I was holding off on getting to that Pumpkin Spice Latte’ until it was cold weather season, but this week has me trying to map out my way to drive by Starbucks. Because the weather turned cold so fast the house has gotten really cold and this has gotten me to ponder on all the fall and winter foods I need to get ready for; to keep warm all season long. Actually, some  just won’t keep me warm but, they sure will taste good.

  • Hot Apple Cider: I fell in love with this beverage when Tim Horton’s hopped on the scene here in Flint. This hot cup of  liquid apples and spices smells like something delicious will be coming out the oven at any moment. (Hot Apple Cider is no longer sold at Tim Horton’s.) And, I am very sad about it.
  • Hot Chocolate:  Ok, maybe Hot Chocolate should’ve been before Hot Apple Cider but, I can get Hot Chocolate anywhere so I rank it a little lower on my totem pole. But whenever I get a good one with whipped cream I am set.
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte: I met Pumpkin Spice Latte’ 2 years ago. I was just getting something at Starbucks to be apart of the group and possibly to stay warm at work but, I was so glad I did! I didn’t drink any type of coffee drinks hot or cold until then. I don’t even know what’s in a latte’ and really I don’t care. It just makes me happy. 🙂
  • Apple Pie: Homemade Apple Pie to be specific. And, it just so happens that I can bake them from start to finish; crust and apple filling. This is one thing I really enjoy baking. I love cutting up the apples, mixing in the sugar and spices and the recipe I use for crust is not difficult to make at all. Once you taste a freshly baked made from scratch pie you will never want it any other way.
  • Sweet Potato Pie: Ok, I can’t say Apple Pie and Not mention Sweet Potato Pie. We can have Sweet Potato Pie all year long if we wanted to. But, there is almost nothing better than Sweet Potato Pie made by my Grandma at Thanksgiving at our family gathering. This pie is the appetizer that we devour way before we even know what time dinner will be served. (BTW, I can write a whole post just about this pie.)
  • Caramel Apples: A treat that needs no introduction.
  • Chicken Pot Pies: OMG! I love love love love love love love love love love love love love Chicken Pot Pies. Except, they put peas in every single one I have ever eaten.  I nominate the discarding of anything with peas. And, please make sure it has a double crust. What is a pie with only a top crust? Plain rude, that’s what it is. You can’t just top crust a person. You have to, have to double crust a pot pie.  You can’t call it comfort food if I’m going to be uncomfortable with only one crust.
  • Chilli & Grilled Cheese: Aannnddd, I don’t like beans either, but I let them stay for the sake of argument. I like everything else in the chilli so I’ll just eat around the beans. Grilled Cheese goes with Chilli or Chicken Noodle soup and it just adds more comfort and warmth with every bite. Make sure you use Texas Toast with that melty and cheesy Grilled Cheese.
  • Chicken & Noodles: Some people call it Chicken Noodle Soup but it’s thicker than a traditional Chicken Noodle. It’s a creamy gravy type dish with real egg noodles and lots of chicken. This dish can is easily made in the crockpot. COMFORT ALL THE WAY…
  • Beef Stew and Cornbread: OOOOH… That combo was a favorite of mine when I was a teen. The tender beef and all the veggies that went in the stew finished off with a sweet cornbread. That’s the stuff memories are made of.

Those are just a few of my favorite that keep me warm on cold days. I would love to hear from you what your cold weather favorites are. Is it warm beverages, cider and donuts, soups or casseroles? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to discover something new to me.

Ciao’ for now,

Kim Cherie



My Grocery Shopping Routine… Yes I really do have one!

6 Sep

Actually, it is more like a plan of action. And, it’s usually planned out weekly; mostly on payday when I see how much money I do not have. This is something I have been doing for several years now and has become somewhat of a game to me.

Well first let me preface this post by stating that I enjoy the grocery store probably more than anyone I know. Even though I know where every item is (even the ones I don’t buy) in my favorite store, I still push a grocery cart up and down every aisle to see what is new in grocery food.  My only exception to that rule is probably the frozen isle because, I don’t buy a lot of frozen foods. In addition to knowing exactly where the food items I wish to buy are located. I also know the regular retail price of it (Disclaimer: this is only in my usual choice grocery store).  And that’s where the fun part comes in…..

Every week after I decide how the money will be spent for life bills; I see how much money is left for food and other essential living items. From that left over money, I create a weekly menu that can feed my family for the next 7 days. Even though I get paid bi-weekly now, the weekly thing still works for me because I can only plan for food for the week. My taste buds and cravings cannot be planned out 2 weeks in advance. (REAL LIFE FOODIE HERE!!).. After planning the weekly menu, I make the grocery list based off the menu I have created. Everything on the list will be used to make meals and eat this week. Not next week or next month… Just this week. This is so you only spend what money you have for groceries. As you write your list, write down how much each item cost at regular price.. Add it all up. This is how much you will probably spend at the store unless something is on sale. Which is totally awesome when you can get food on sale!!! Once your grocery list is made, go to through your cabinets, pantry and, refrigerator and freezer to see what you already have on hand. (If you’re the only cook in your household you may already know what’s on hand and can skip the pantry check because, you already know what you have.) What can you cross off of your list? That’s money you don’t have to spend at the grocer. Yay! That’s money you can put in a piggy bank or buy yourself a small treat for staying with your list! Once you are all done shopping and in that check out line, pull those coupons out if you have them. You’re doing great! Watch the cashier ring up your items and see if the prices match your prices you have wrote down already. Does her grand total match your grand total.. Did you get away spending less than YOU have wrote down on you grocery list? If so, YOU WON THE GROCERY GAMES!!! 🙂

Yes, I get excited about things like this. It’s the little things that count. But winning at my grocery budget is totally a big thing with me… Mostly because I spend soooo much money on food and I have to reel myself in when it comes to groceries and/or going on a food adventure.

So, to recap:

  1. Decide how much $ you want to spend on groceries this week. Create your menu for the next 7 days.
  2. Draft a grocery list. Write down the regular retail price also.
  3. Check your cabinets, pantry,  refrigerator and, freezer for items already on hand.
  4. Get shopping! If you have coupons use them!! Bonus points if your items are on sale!
  5. Lastly, go check out…. hopefully with good knowledge of food costs and your grocer you can spend as much cash as you have allotted or less. And, that’s how you win at the Grocery Games!!!

Hmmm, maybe I should’ve title today’s post: Grocery Games. LOL.




What All Fast Food Establishments Need To Do Right Now….

5 Sep

Confession: I love me some fast food. Let me rephrase, I love me some hot & fresh fast food. Oh, but that’s an oxymoron these days huh? There almost no such thing anymore when it comes to fast food. There is almost no such thing as good customer service either at these restaurants. What happened to great food and good service? What happened to showing up to work looking like you care? And where is the person in charge that monitors all of the above? I want them FIRED! YESTERDAY!!!

Recently I decided to stop going to mostly all fast food chains because I was not sure that any of the employees gave a care if the food they served me was hot, fresh and safe to eat. More over, they were not at all happy to see me when I pulled up to the drive-thru window…. I am never greeted with positive salutations to begin with. The voice through the speaker says “go head with your order” (yep you read it right).  When the voice inside the speaker box should be saying “Welcome to ___________! May I take your order?  Nope. Just: Go head and Pull forward for your total… SMH…  And then, when you get up to the window to someone face to face the employee is not pleasant. AT ALL. The face is all frowned up, attitude blazing, no words being spoken but, all I see is how much this person could care less about the products and services they are offering… Why should I be buying or eating this “food”? Finally when you get your food and drink: Wait! Let’s talk about this drink situation…. How hard is it put the drink only on the inside of the cup? I mean, why is there Coke on every piece of surface space on the inside and outside of my cup?…..If I said bad words………. grrrr…… this is where I would insert all of them because I don’t want no drink with drink all over the outside of the cup!!!…. After training the employees to wash their hands after EVERYTHING, they should be training them how to put pop in the cup with a secure top and if some gets on the outside, WIPE IT OFF before giving it to the customer…Can I get this put into law? I just want a drink that is not spilled all over me unless I do it. IJS.

I haven’t even gotten to the food yet…..

But, I’ll get there.

What I need fast food establishments to do right now is throw the whole training manual away because its not working….smh…

Let’s just start with making sure employees come to work neat and clean including uniforms, hair, hands and nails…. I swear… This should be checked daily…I shouldn’t have to wonder if they slept in the uniform or where their hands have last been before touching my food….. People in the fast food industry are asking for $15 per hour. Shouldn’t they look like they deserve $15 an hour?

Next, let’s work on the disposition of the employees…If the employee is too good to say Hello, Good Morning, May I help you, Please and Thank you… You shouldn’t want them as the face of your business…

Lastly can we talk about the food…..Why is it never hot and fresh? Commercial after commercial for most any fast food place boasts about hot fresh food. But, when you get there and receive your order it is everything but… This is the same for almost every fast food place… How can you feel good about giving away bad food? cold fries, cold burgers and, hot pop….Yuck.

Fast food needs to be revised…. I don’t think people mind waiting for good, hot food. And, really it only takes about 5 minutes to fry up a couple of patties and a basket of fries.. So why aren’t we making them when the order is placed in the first place? It works. Just ask Five Guys. Fast food cooked to order…Currently they are my favorite. They probably will remain there just because I can tell they care about me and the food they give me every time I stop by. You can read more about my love affair with Five Guys right here.

In the mean time Fast Food owners, managers and employees… Take a good look at yourselves and the products your pushing… Are you proud of it? My guess is no… Would you take that sloppy pop and cold burger and fries to your mom? Or better yet to your special someone? Would they like it? Again, my guess is no…  The time is now to do better  and to one up your competition. Serve better “food”.


Former Fast Food Fanatic





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