Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chocolate Syrup Recipe

I am sure you are feeling bombarded with the food police telling you what is good or bad to eat. But here we go again. I recently read that high fructose corn syrup in certain food items was found to contain high levels of mercury. I did some reading and found out how that happened but I am not a scientist so I'll let you do your own research on that. Unfortunately, several of my favorites products were found to contain high levels of mercury. Another good reason to avoid products that contain high fructose corn syrup. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, which I buy regularly, was one of the products with the highest level of mercury. We all know that no amount of mercury is healthy. I know that people can get mercury poisoning from eating certain types of fish but I NEVER thought that there would be high levels of mercury in something like chocolate syrup. I was extremely upset and disappointed that I never heard anything from Hershey about removing the mercury from their product. There are lots of other products on the list but we only use a few of them at our house. One of the others that I had in my refrigerator was the Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce. I was extremely disappointed about that too. I found out that Jim Beam also makes a barbecue sauce that doesn't contain HFCS. I have to try to find the Jim Beam barbecue sauce or just make my own as I have already done many times. But I NEVER made chocolate syrup like Hershey's before. Tonight, D asked me if we could make chocolate syrup. I looked at him a bit funny but when I did a little "googling" I found a recipe for an imitation syrup similar to Hershey's. We just made a 2 cup batch and D is excited to try it as soon as it cools. Here is the recipe for you to try. If you want to change the serving size go to and plug in the amount you want to make. I imagine that this syrup lasts for a while in the refrigerator. If you don't want to go to the extreme of making your own chocolate syrup, you can buy Nestle's Nesquik Syrup which doesn't contain HFCS but their Nesquik Chocolate Milk does contain HFDS! Yes, it is extremely confusing and that is why I made my own.

Chocolate Syrup

Makes: 2 cups


1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa Powder
1 cup Sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
dash of salt


Combine cocoa, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Add water, and mix until smooth. Bring this mixture to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute, be carefull this does not over boil. Remove from heat, when this cools add the vanilla.

This recipe from CDKitchen for Chocolate Syrup makes 2 cups.

Recipe ID: 16910


The Creative Cook

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Potato Corn Soup

I have been yearning for some potato corn soup ever since D's friend's mom told me she made some in her slow cooker and that was about a month ago. She is having her kitchen remodeled so she was without a stove for quite some time. That's why she made her soup in her slow cooker. I am not (unfortunately) having my kitchen remodeled so I made this soup on the stove. I think it is a Paula Deen recipe but I can't be sure. It definitely comes from the website. The original recipe added shrimp but I found another version with less butter and no shrimp on the website. I (of course) did some of my own adjustments to the recipe. Feel free to use the recipe "as is" or make the changes that I made. I used no sodium chicken bouillon, skim milk and fat free half & half rather than regular bouillon cubes, 1% milk and regular half and half. Even if you used the originally called for ingredients this soup wouldn't be that bad for you. Paula's original recipe called for cooking 6 slices of bacon and crumbling them. I cooked the bacon and chopped it rather than buying bacon bits. I use the oven method when I make bacon because it is less messy and much easier than frying the bacon. I put it in the oven on a cookie sheet that is lined with a grill such as the type you would use to cook a roast or chicken. The bacon comes out great. It will be flat and not all twisted up like when you fry it. I was lucky to have D help me cube the potatoes and chop the carrots. He did a great job even though he had a bruised pinkie finger.
I don't eat seafood so I substituted some diced precooked chicken instead of using shrimp. This addition turned the soup into a meal in a bowl!

Potato Corn Soup
Serves 8-10

1/2 stick butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced about the same size as the onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups 1% milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans whole kernel corn (I used frozen)
crumbled bacon bits, for garnish
grated sharp Cheddar, for garnish

In a 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrots until both are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, milk and dissolved bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and some of them have begun to dissolve into mush. Add the half-and-half, salt, pepper and corn. Return the soup to a boil, then remove from heat. Serve soup sprinkled with bacon bits and grated cheese.

This soup is another new family favorite for us. Please try it and let me know how you like it.

The Creative Cook