From the monthly archives:

July 2012

Well, I’m not wearing the boots…YET. But I will be soon all thanks to Country Outfitter!

Yes, it’s true this yankee-turned-southern-farm-girl doesn’t own a pair of cowboy boots!  I usually just schlep around in my flip flops when I’m doing farm chores.  Sad, I know!

But here’s the REALLY cool part – I’m getting FREE boots from Country Outfitter!

You’re probably thinking, “La-ti-da, isn’t she special.”

That’s okay though. If I were on the reading end of this I probably would be too!  But I am going to let you in on a little secret! YOU might be able to get a free pair of boots too!

DID YOU HEAR ME?

I said YOU might be able to get a free pair of boots too!  Keep reading!

These are the boots that I am getting:

I decided to go with the pink because I wanted something fun and pink is always fun!  Country Outfitter has SO MANY choices it was really tough to decide.  I really wanted some tall, dressy boots but I have the huge monster calves and can’t wear tall boots.

Wait, I’m supposed to be telling you about the FREE boots aren’t I?  I digress.

I’m part of a pretty cool group called Arkansas Women Bloggers.  We get together, hang out, eat food, drink wine and occassionally learn a thing or two about blogging.  So we have this little conference coming up.  Actually, it’s more than little! It’s going to be pretty amazing! And thanks to our sponsors (such as Country Outfitter) we have some pretty amazing things planned!

So if you are a women blogger you can get not one, but TWO FREE PAIR OF BOOTS by joining us at our Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference on August 24 – 26 in Mountain View, Arkansas.  And NO you do not have to live in Arkansas! (But you do have to be a lady!)  If you register and join us for the conference and follow the directions outlined in this post you can also get TWO FREE PAIR OF BOOTS, one to keep and one to give away on your blog!  You can pick ANY pair of boots that is less than $150 and is listed as “ships within 24 hours.”

Check out their amazing selection of boots!

I really hope you will join us for the conference but if you can’t there is still a chance to get a free pair of boots!  Each conference attendee, myself included, will be giving away a pair of boots on her blog!  Be watching for that giveaway because you will NOT want to miss it!

Thank you Country Outfitter!

Disclaimer: I will be provided with a free pair of boots from County Outfitter in return for my posts.  My opinions are my own!

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Have you ever noticed how powerful scents and smells can be?  Smells can invoke wonderful memories and be completely calming to the soul.  Today I am sharing with you my recipe for Cherry Covers Chocolate Mousse, a recipe inspired by a scent. Keep reading for the recipe!  It is so flavorful, refreshing and it’s the perfect dessert for a hot summer night!

One of my favorite scents in the world is the scent of pine.  Having grown up in Vermont, spending my summers in Maine, the smell of pine trees bathed in the soft, slightly salty sea air can calm me in an instant and bring back a host of childhood memories.  My home is full of pine scented candles and airfresheners ALL year round.

There are other scents that can invoke powerful memories too.  There is nothing that says springtime more then the scent of Honeysuckle and fresh cut grass.  Chlorine and coconut are the smells of summer.  Fall claims the earthy scent of rotting leaves and pumpkin while winter is marked by the scent of fresh baked cookies, roasted turkey and of course…pine!

A spa experience which used to be just a massage now includes an aromatherapy session as well.

The rise in popularity of 3D movies has gotten some theatres around the world implementing a 4D Movie experience which can include smells being pumped into the theatre.

And nothing is more enticing then the smell of fresh coffee and frying bacon to pull you out of bed on a lazy Saturday morning.

Taste and smell go hand in hand.  Food just tastes better because of our ability to smell it before we eat it. (Ever noticed how food just doesn’t taste as good when you have a stuffed nose?)

Renuzit, a company that offers a full line of fragrant home air fresheners, understands that smell is important to making us feel at ease when we are at home.  No one wants their home smelling like a dog, a gym locker, or the trash.

Renuzit will soon be releasing a new line of products called Tempting Indugencenes with scents such as Creme Brulee, Chocolate Covered Cherries and Red Velvet Cake.  Their hope is that these scents will help and inspire you to “Make Everyday  a Little Sweeter” and that they will #TemptYourSenses!  Renunzit, along with Collective Bias, has asked me to experience these scents and to create an original recipe based on one of the scents.

I recieved two scents in the mail, Chocolate Covered Cherries and Creme Brulee.  Let me tell you, opening the box was like walking into a bakery!  The smell of these two fragrance cones is amazing!  They truly smell like the real thing!  The scents are strong enough to fill a room but are not so strong that they are overpowering.  I will probably stick with good ol’ pine scent in my home but I can not wait to place these cones on my desk at work!  I will have the best smelling classroom in the school.

I love Chocolate covered Cherries so I let this scent be my dessert inspiration.  Today I will be making what I call Cherry Covered Chocolate Mousse.  It is an ode to the classic treat of Chocolate Covered Cherries and the Renuzit scent of the same name.

Cherries are just coming into season in the north west corner of the United States.  They are juicy, sweet and flavorful.

The concept of deconstructed food is really popular right now. Deconstructing food is when you take parts of a dish and put the components of the dish to a new use.  With my Cherry Covers Chocolate Mousse I was really trying to build on this idea of a deconstructed version of Chocolate Covered Cherries.  And since the temperature has been topping 100 degrees on a regular basis here in Arkansas I really wansn’t in the mood for baking.  I wanted a recipe that was light, refreshing and cool.  Thus, Cherry Covers Chocolate Mousse was born!

After making a list, Richie and I headed out the our local Walmart to pick up the ingredients I would need for this pretty simple dish: Cherries, whipping cream, coconut milk, cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  You can see photos and read more about our shopping experience by looking at my Google + Album.

I am using two slightly lesser known, but easy to find,  ingredients in today’s recipe:

Coconut Milk – Did you know you can whip coconut milk just like you can whipping cream?  No joke! See below for all the details!

and Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder – I haven’t used the regular cocoa powder in years! I always substitute the Special Dark!

Both ingredients add a certain depth of flavor which really takes this recipe to a whole new level.  Let’s make it!

Cherry Covers Chocolate Mousse

1 cup sweet black cherries (pits and stems removed)
5-7 Tbs. powdered sugar, divided use
2 cans of FULL FAT Coconut Milk (See prep instructions below)
2 Cups of Whipping Cream
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder

12-24 hours in advance, prepare the coconut milk as follows.  Without shaking, open both cans of coconut milk and pour into a medium to large sized mixing bowl.  Cover loosely, if desired, and refrigerate over night.  The coconut milk should thicken considerably.  Once it has thickened use a spoon to carefully transfer the thickened portion to the bowl of your electric mixer.  You should have about 1 to 1 1/2 cups total.  (Don’t worry if that isn’t exact.)  And don’t throw away the watery part!  You can reserve that to use in cocktails (replace the rum in my Coconut Watermelon Margarita with coconut milk for a non-alcoholic treat) or even a curry dish!

Blend the thickened coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar on high until it sets like whipped cream.  If it doesn’t get super thick, don’t fret as it will set more as it sits in the fridge. Store in the fridge while you complete the rest of the recipe.

In the jar of a blender combine the pitted and stemmed cherries and 1 tbs. of powdered sugar.  Pulse until well mixed and the cherries are chopped finely but not pureed.  Set aside.

Using your electric mixer, whip the two cups of cream plus two tablespoons of powdered sugar until you get a very thick whipped cream consistency.  Carefully fold the whipped coconut milk into the whipped cream and divide in half. (Again if it is not real thick, do not worry.)

Into half of the blended mixture add the cherries and fold to combine.

Into the other half of the mixture add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar.  Mix well and give it a go-around in the mixer if you need help to incorporate the cocoa.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a dollop of the Chocolate Mousse into each serving dish.  Then scoop a dollop of the Cherry Mousse to cover the chocolate in each dish.  Garnish with a fresh cherry and a sprig of mint.  Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

Take a minute to follow Renuzit on Facebook and while your there you can follow me, Eggsandherbs!

Next time you are in Walmart or your local supermarket check out the Renuzit cones and keep watch for the Tempting Indulgences which will hit stores soon!

Which of the new Renuzit scents are you looking forward to finding in your local supermarket?

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Renuzit #CBias #SocialFabric My opinions are my own and are not influenced by the fact that I received free product and compensation.

 

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Summer Camp Memories

July 22, 2012

I have an article on Arkansas Women Bloggers today where I reminisce about the summers of my youth spent at summer camp.  Please stop by and read it.  If you are a woman blogger (or wanna-be blogger) in Arkansas or our surrounding area you might want to check out the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference coming up […]

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How to make Cherry Clafoutis and Whiskey Cherries {In the Kitchen}

July 20, 2012

Cherries are in season! And I love cherries! Cherries don’t typically grow here in Arkansas but I recently found some delicious ones from Washington at my local grocery store. I have always liked cherries but grew up on the bright red Maraschino cherries in a jar.  I never really discovered my love for fresh cherries […]

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Water {Drink of the Week}

July 18, 2012

So why is water so special that it is featured as my drink of the week? Well, I think water is something we take for granted in this country. We all expect that when we turn the tap we are at least getting clean water.  If you are lucky you may even live in a […]

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Salmon Cakes with Tzatziki Sauce and Crab and Cheese Grits

July 16, 2012

I mentioned in an earlier post that salmon is a pretty new food for me.  I have found that I love it and we have been enjoying it about once every two to three weeks.  I prefer to cook a whole side of salmon rather than fillets but a side of salmon can weigh anywhere […]

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Panama City Beach 2012

July 14, 2012

Richie and I recently returned from Panama City Beach, Florida.  This was our third visit and, despite the threat of Tropical Storm Debby on Sunday and Monday, it turned out to be one of our best beach vacations yet.  Don’t let the rumors that Panama City Beach is a party town fool you! While this […]

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Blacklisted from the PTA by Lela Davidson {52 Books in a Year}

July 12, 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books! This weeks book is really special because it is written by my online friend and fellow Arkansas Women Blogger, Lela […]

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Sand and Seashells in a Bottle Beach Souvenir TUTORIAL {Arts and Crafts}

July 11, 2012

Every summer we head to the beach.  Every summer I collect a pail full of sand and seashells.  Every summer I don’t know what to do with the sand and shells and they end up being tossed in our driveway.  This is neat in it’s own way because every once and a while I will […]

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Limon Sunrise {Drink of the Week}

July 9, 2012

When Richie and I visited Italy (specifically the island of Capri) several years ago, I was introduced to a wonderful Italian lemon liqueur called Limoncello.  Limoncello on its own is a wonderful drink that is traditionally served chilled, following a meal as a digestivo.  Mainly the Italians believe it would help aide in digestion. Limoncello […]

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