New beginnings & Maple Sugar!

Oh what grandiose ideas she had! Update frequently she said…

Here I am again, new beginnings. I’m going to be dedicated to this page this time. Today is a good day to start, it’s hot – 105°F.  I am not really sure what that means, considering I come from the world of Celcius. Shall I look it up? Ahh. Google. What would I do without you.  It’s 40°C.  That’s hot you know.  Where was I anyway?

Yes, so today is a good day to start. This time, there’ll be recipes. There’ll be ideas. There’ll be more love and devotion.  Whether you read it or not, I’ll be here.

So, lets get to it. My first week of the Farmer’s Market is this week. I have new things! Last year I discovered some people still buy pancake mix from a store. So there it was, the lightbulb.  I’d offer some mixes this year.  My first is a very basic pancake mix but it’s made from Maple Sugar! “What?” you say. “There is Maple SUGAR!” There is indeed! Plus, it’s better for you.  I bet you didn’t expect that!  Maple Sugar has only 11 calories and 3 carbohydrates per tsp compared with white sugar that has 16 calories and 4.2 carbohydrates.  Take THAT white sugar.

Course, you are eating pancakes… aaaannnnd your going to put real butter on them and real maple syrup. Still, every little bit helps right?

What else? I also have a brownie mix, beer bread mix and crisp mix for starters. All easy to make and all my own recipes that I turned into mixes for myself and now for you.  Don’t thank me now.  Thank me when your unexpected guests think you’re the hostess with the most-ess because you whipped up a brownie in moments.

For those of you who enjoyed my monster dip mix last year, it’s coming back and it’s bring friends.

OH! I almost forgot.. my Vanilla Extract is awesome this year. I found new beans and I ♥ them.  You will ♥ them too.  I also just discovered this ♥ symbol and I may or may not over use it.

Okay, Ciao for now.

Rowaida ♥

 

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A Little About Vanilla

Did you know there are different types of Vanilla and that those different types have subtle different flavour notes?

I use two different types of Vanilla in my products.  In my syrups I use a Tahitian Vanilla because it has floral, fruity notes that I think compliments maple syrup really well. Considering that the Vanilla Maple Infusion is the most popular, I’d say you guys agree with me 🙂

For my Vanilla Extract, I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla beans. These have a rich, creamy and very traditional feel about them. To me, it smells and tastes like vanilla is supposed to.

My next experimental bean was the Indian Bean, which is so fat and juicy. I realise how that sounds, but it is a very thick bean with a very full vanilla flavour. As I said though, I experimenting with that one.

And this next bit is controversial. Don’t get mad, but it’s the truth. I don’t like Mexican Vanilla.  The bean is probably fine, albeit not one I prefer, but it’s the Vanilla Extract that’s not great.  Often times it seems almost coconut-ty or just not vanillery enough for me. Something. I don’t like it. I tell you what, you go out and eat a bunch of different baked goods made with Mexican Vanilla Extract and come back and tell me if I’m wrong. I can take it plus I just gave you a really good excuse to eat a bunch of cookies.  It’s in the name of science.

I got off track a little. My point is. Vanilla. It’s more diverse than the name would have you realise.  In the end, I hope you enjoy my vanilla bean choices as much as I do ♥

 

A little about Maple Syrup.

It was breakfast and we were having waffles.  I was excited that we had 100% Maple Syrup.  I have always loved Maple Syrup and I hadn’t had any for years. I poured it on my waffles, it was thinner than I expected.  I tasted it, and it lacked that flavour, that deep, rich, maple flavour.  It was still good, but it was not how I remembered it at all.  So, Google and I investigated (we make a good team, Google and I).

The 100% Maple Syrup you get at the store is almost always Grade A which is lighter in colour and flavour.  It’s still very good, but I prefer a more robust flavour.  I found it.  Deep in colour and rich and robust in that smooth maple-y flavour.  It was perfect and it was formally known as Grade B.  I say “formally” because up until very recently, the grades of Maple Syrup were Grade A variations, Grade B and Grade C.  Now syrups are graded as shown in the below image.

made_the_grade

So, what’s the point?  Simply put, making them all Grade A means they can all be sold retail (Grade C was not available retail) and the new labeling includes colour and taste.  Another plus is that the new labels make redundant the assumption that A is better than B. At the very least, I hope this will encourage people to try the stronger flavoured Maple Syrup.  If you haven’t, you won’t be sorry.

So there you have it.  A little about Maple Syrup.  Ditch that Aunt-so-&-so and pour the proper stuff on your pancakes, it’s Proper Delicious.