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Is there anybody out there?👀 How is everyone in the blogosphere doing in this period of social distancing? We’re ok over here in the mood ring kitchen. Just a little bored. However, boredom can often lead to creativity. 

My cooking style could be described as “use what you got” which blends well with our current situation. For instance, I made some chocolate bark the other day with dried cranberry and crushed pistachio nuts. I threw in some sugar glitter for good measure. We could all use a little extra sparkle in our lives right now, am I right?🙋‍♀️ We will circle back to that in a few.

I also tried my hand at Alabama Fire Crackers. I grew up eating my Mom’s oyster crackers and found this concept to be similar. Plus, Alabama is where I call home so that makes it extra special. I performed a little research and decided to go with Allrecipes version as I’ve found their recipes to be consistently good. These turned out to be a nice, zesty little snack. All you need are saltines, vegetable oil, a ranch seasoning packet and a few spices from the cabinet. You can find the recipe here:

Sweet or savory snacks are just fun!🥳 They give you something to look forward to and are the perfect culinary antidotes to boredom. Couple that with restricted mobility and things can get really interesting. I faced similar challenges in Argentina with limited ingredients and only being able to grocery shop once a week. However, these conditions forced me to reimagine, experiment and ultimately become a better cook. 

I’m also a bit of a cheapskate and hate to waste food. I’m all about the repurpose. 🎶 Reuse, Reduce waste, Recycle 🎶 Seriously though, I enjoy cooking with minimal ingredients when I can. This saves on both time and the pocketbook. I like to scour my cabinet and fridge before grocery shopping to know what ingredients are needed to menu plan. I also use this strategy when researching new recipes that I want to try. Simply delicious would be a good mantra for me.✅

I’m not afraid to try weird ingredients or flavor combos. Chocolate bark is a good avenue for experimentation. You can put just about anything on melted chocolate and it would taste good. You could go with sweet, salty or crunchy ingredients. I chose to do tart, nutty and pretty this time around. 

I had pistachios on hand and thought the green color would really pop against the chocolate. I had some sugar glitter leftover from my daughter’s birthday party.  All I had to buy was dried fruit and almond bark. I debated on blueberry and cherry but ultimately went with cranberry to contrast with the sweetness of the other ingredients. Salt flakes would also be a nice counterbalance but I chose gold and silver sugar for aesthetic purposes. 

Pistachio cranberry bark could not be easier to make. No baking or cooking is required. I cut down the bark into individual squares and placed them in a microwave safe bowl. I nuked for one minute, stirred and repeated the process for two 15 second intervals until smooth. I poured this evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I sprinkled the sugar glitter, crushed pistachio and cranberries on top and allowed it to cool and firm up for about an hour or two before breaking everything up into small pieces. 

S’moredom Squares

My little and I like to snack on graham crackers so those were in the pantry already. I had mini marshmallows leftover from Christmas hot cocoa.🌲☕️🔥 I also had my chocolate bark lying around and then boom! 💥💡Boredom + s’mores= S’moredom!

I skipped the campfire part and simply placed a piece of bark on a graham cracker and then topped that with 7 or 8 mini marshmallows. I melted this in the microwave for about a minute, added the top cracker and presto! Melty, mellowy perfect little squares.🤗🥰😋

Thanks for reading my story.📖 Please share some of your quarantine creations with me in the comments and remember to stay calm and cook on! 💜✌️🍴

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Mood Ring Kitchen

I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.

The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩‍🍳👩‍💻

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