Making Better Food

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Making Better Food

When I started cooking at home more, it occurred to me that I didn't really know what I was doing. I was essentially throwing together meals without a lot of thought, and it was really discouraging. My family didn't always love the food either, which made my cooking seem like a waste of time. I wanted to improve my cooking skill set, so I started focusing on making better food for my family. This blog is all about making better dishes and using higher-quality ingredients. You never know, eating better might help you to feel better and keep your family healthy.


A Dessert And A Drink: Two Ways To Use That Jar Of Blackberry Syrup For Your Next Dinner Party

Blackberries are delicious, and blackberry syrup is a wonderful way to get that intense blackberry flavor without having to have fresh blackberries on hand. Because of this, many fans of blackberries keep a jar of blackberry syrup in their cupboard. If you are planning a dinner party, and have a jar of blackberry syrup handy, here are two recipes.

Blackberry Flavored Frozen Margarita

You shouldn't neglect beverages when it comes to recipes using blackberry syrup. A popular variation on the classic margarita is one made with blackberry puree. This is made by mashing blackberries and sugar and then adding this to the blender with the tequila, triple sec and limejuice. You can use the blackberry syrup to make a similar type of juice. The benefit to using blackberry syrup is that the margarita won't have any seeds, which is often a problem that comes when using fresh, mashed blackberry puree.

A margarita is made with a classic 3-2-1 ratio: three parts tequila, two parts triple sec, one part lime juice. You shouldn't add too much blackberry because it should be a subtle flavor, not an overpowering taste. You should add the syrup before you add the ice and blend the drink. Do a test drink with 1/2 the amount of syrup as lime juice to see if you like it, and then adjust accordingly if you desire a stronger blackberry flavor.

Blackberry Flavored Chocolate Ganache

Berries and chocolate are an excellent combination. If you are planning on making a cake for dessert, then you should consider making a chocolate and blackberry ganache. This is simple to do, so even if you're not a great cook you can wow your guests. You can make a plain yellow cake from a box, and then decorate it yourself with a decadent ganache. The way to make the ganache is to get some dark chocolate (avoid milk chocolate as it won't set as hard as dark chocolate) and chop it or shave it into small bits. Then take heavy cream and warm it in a double boiler or microwave. When the cream is hot, add the shaved chocolate and mix until the chocolate has melted and it is a thick, liquid consistency. At this point add in a touch of blackberry syrup. Let the ganache cool down.

You can then place your cake on a cookie sheet. Underneath the cookie sheet place a sheet of tinfoil. Pour the ganache over the cake slowly so that it covers the top and sides of the cake. You can then transfer the cake to a clean plate and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. The foil can be wrapped up and tossed in the garbage. This helps with clean up. If you don't use foil you will have chocolate all over your countertop.