The Return of the Twinkie!

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I heard on NPR the other day that Hostess is bringing back the Twinkie. I googled it and found there are a lot of websites regarding this big event. There are festivals planned,a website with a countdown and various others that I thought I would share….

“The clock is ticking. And when it reads septuple zeros, the greatest treats the world has ever known will triumphantly return. Twinkies®, CupCakes and other American snack icons that the people decided they just couldn’t live without. So join the countdown by entering your email. And share this page with your friends by clicking the buttons below. We’ll send you an official notification the second we’re back in stores.”

EMPORIA(Kansas) — “Twinkies are not just snack cakes in Emporia. They’re something to celebrate, which the city will do with a Twinkies Festival on July 15, the day Hostess Brands plans to return them to store shelves.

The Emporia Gazette reports the event will also honor the company that’s reopening the city’s Hostess bakery after buying the snack cake lines out of bankruptcy.

More than 500 people lost their jobs when Hostess closed the Emporia plant last November following a strike by union bakers.

The new owners, doing business as Hostess Brands LLC, decided to reopen it as their flagship bakery. It’s reopening this summer with an expected 250 employees to start.

The Twinkies Festival at Flinthills Mall will feature such activities as a Twinkie-eating challenge and a Twinkie costume competition.”

and even Wickipedia:

“The Twinkie is an American snack cake, marketed as a “Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling”. It was formerly made and distributed by Hostess Brands and is currently owned by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. Twinkie production in the United States will resume after an absence on American store shelves, becoming available again by July 15, 2013.”

Keep your eyes open for “em!

West Dover, Vermont

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We just went to a wedding in West Dover, Vermont. We got there early, so we went exploring to grab some lunch and found Dot’s which had great salads. While there, we noticed a woodworking store so stopped in to meet Mark Sprague of Far Beyond Woodworking. Mark has created all of the pieces pictured. I got a footstool and a trivet-they are beautiful!
Mark is a self taught woodworker. Shaker and Mission styles have helped to shape his style. Mark uses clean lines, with traditional joinery, with dovetails on all drawers.

Sweet Autumn Farm

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I worked at the Carlisle(MA) Garden Tour on Friday and was placed at this wonderful farm. Sweet Autumn Farm is a small,diversified farm that grows heirloom vegetables,fruit,cut and edible flowers,herbs and seedlings. Their sustainable practices help to encourage a wide variety of flora and fauna through native planting,bird boxes and minimal mowing of the fields.The farm is completely run by power from the solar panels(pictured) on the barn as well as the rain water that is caught. They sell their organic chicken and duck eggs at the Carlisle Farmer’s Market and also supply many restaurants with their produce-they are the sole provider for 80 Thoreau in Concord.
They have 2 new litters of baby goats-I could have watched them all day!

Yummy Gelato

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For me, it takes my daughter to come home from college to find out the latest thing. She introduced me to this wonderful Gelato-if you haven’t tried it yet,please do!
I also wondered what the difference really is between ice cream and gelato and found this piece about it:

“If you’ve ever visited Italy, you probably experienced creamy, delicious gelato. And maybe you assumed that the only reason it seemed richer and more intensely flavored than American ice cream back home was because you were enjoying it on the foot of the Spanish Steps in Rome, rather than on your couch back home.

But there are actually a few main differences between gelato and ice cream. While ice cream legally has a minimum of 10 percent fat, gelato is made with a greater proportion of whole milk to cream, so it contains more like five to seven percent fat.

But don’t expect to be able to get Italian gelateria-style results by making a gelato recipe in your home ice cream machine: gelato is churned at a slower speed than ice cream, so it’s denser because not as much air is whipped into the mixture. (Gelato contains about 25 to 30 percent air, while ice cream can contain as much as 50 percent air) Finally, while ice cream is typically served frozen, gelato is typically stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature, so it’s not quite completely frozen.

As for that amazing, rich flavor- since there’s not as much fat in gelato, it doesn’t coat the mouth in the same way. So the flavors are more intense.

But one thing ice cream and gelato do have in common: you won’t be able to resist just one more scoop!”

Chocolate Bird Nests

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I have this ever-clever friend who made these adorable treats the other night for our Garden Club meeting. She shared with me how you make them:

All you need are the large shredded wheat biscuits, crumbled (I would say 6-8 per pound, you just need to decide how brown you want them), and 2 pounds of chocolate (ie chocolate chips are great).

You melt the chocolate in a double-boiler over med high heat until all just melted, then pour carefully into bowl of shredded wheat (already broken up biscuits). Wait for chocolate to cool (less than a minute) and prepare to get your hands dirty (food-safe gloves recommended)!

Just mix together until it is very, very thick.

Using parchment paper to line the inside of whatever shape you want your nests to be in (cupcake tin, bowl–your choice!), take a large scoop and place on the parchment paper in that container.

You will then press the mixture up against the sides and down against the bottom until it is in desired shape–may need to add more to thicken walls of nest.

Let harden by leaving at room temp, or to speed up, put on cookie sheet and stick in the fridge for an hour or two.

When done, carefully peel of parchment paper, and you have your yummy chocolate nest!!!