Hopp Diva's Blog


Taste Testers September 3, 2019

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 8:27 pm

Taste Testers, the meaning should be in the words – right?  Welllll………….maybe not.

Some of the women in the picture on my front page volunteered for the job but I am not sure we had the same idea of what that meant.  Lately I have been working on a lot of different Beer Jam recipes and have needed help with the tasting. I need to know if the flavors work well together (Blueberry Pepper IPA, Spicy Plum Stout), is there enough heat, can you taste the fruit?   I wanted them to tell me different ways they have been using the jam, recipes they might be using – not just eating it out of the jar! Seems like it is a pretty easy task but they have been slacking, I mean they are not even returning my jars 🙂

No, seriously they are great women and they do help with some stuff.  One of the jams I made, a  jalapeno IPA,  has gone over well with not only them but everyone who has tried it. I have used the jams on Charcuterie boards with homemade salami, goat cheese along with baguettes.

Unfortunately where I live makes it difficult to get my product out in the public.  The Farmers Markets are pretty small and the people are not exactly opened minded around here.  When I offer samples of the jam or the beer marshmallows I make, the comments are “no I can’t sample because I am driving”. So, I know have to find a different outlet if I want to continue creating my recipes.  I have looked into selling online but the costs are pretty high and I don’t want the product to be so high people are not able to try it but I will keep you informed if things change.

I promised a guy from our brew group I would try and make a Hop Jam. He wants no beer flavor just hops so I am working on that recipe now.  Let’s just say a person will really have to like the flavor of hops to enjoy this jam 🙂  The tough part will be to make sure the flavor is not too bitter and the jam will have a great flavor.

Have a great one and stay tuned for more great hop adventures!


Beer Marshmallows Meet A Fishing Guide April 5, 2019

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 12:04 pm

Oh to be a fly on the wall as you all read that title and give the “say what” look on your face.  Yes, you read the title for today’s blog correctly.  Here is a little in site to the title.  A couple of years ago I met an awesome woman named Heather.  Heather is this mom/entrepreneur/wife who always seems like she had it all together.  I immediately liked Heather and although our paths didn’t cross a great deal, when we did see each other it was just like we had met for coffee last week.  On one of our occasional meets I met Heather’s husband Jay who is a fishing guide and travels all over for his job.  Although Heather and her children had tried my  beer marshmallows before Jay had not but had heard about them.  So one day I dropped off a bag  to Heather so he could try them.  The next day  I received such a wonderful thank you from them and praises about my beer marshmallows.

The day I dropped off the beer marshmallows I also had a plate of some other things for Jay and Heather to try.  I included my beer bundt cakes and some fresh beer doughnuts!  The family literally had a feast with their coffee that day.

The next time I saw Heather I mentioned what a great parting gift a couple of beer marshmallows would be for Jay’s customers!  I saw the light come on in her eyes as she smiled and told me she would definitely talk to Jay about this idea!  I can tell you I am pretty excited!!!!

Now if you are in the area and want a great fishing guide or you want to find out all the places Jay travels to, check out his face book page Jay Allen’s Guided Fly Fishing    https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Business/Jay-Allens-Guided-Fly-Fishing-162669950439604/


Chat with you all later!

Hopp Diva


Garlic Tomato Jam September 9, 2013

Filed under: Gluten Free,Low Fat Diva Blog,Soups & Veggies — Hopp Diva @ 2:59 pm

I have posted a recipe in the past for tomato jam but recently someone sent me a new recipe that had a different twist to it and the jam is delicious!!!!   This recipe is a lot quicker than my original one which is another reason that I like it 😉   Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


Tomato-Garlic Jam
2 medium tomatoes ( I like Roma)
¼ cup sugar
juice of 2 limes
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 small Thai red chili pepper, minced, or ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (this gives it just a bit of a kick)
2 tablespoons fish sauce,

Peel tomatoes by slicing a small X in the base of each tomato. Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds or until skin loosens. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and slip skins off when cool enough to handle. Chop tomatoes.

To make tomato-garlic jam, combine sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic and chili pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until mixture has reduced by about half. Stir in fish sauce (if using) and allow to cool to room temperature.


NOTE:  The longer the jam has to sit the better the flavors blend.  I also like to bring it out of frig so that it’s room temp when I put it on my burger.  Weather you use turkey, beef or a combination of meat for your burger, this jam is great on all of them!!!


tomato jam          tomato jam 2


Adult Ice Cream Sandwiches June 30, 2013

Filed under: Desserts,Low Fat Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 10:14 pm

These treats are so yummy it’s hard to only eat one but if you eat too many, you will be buzzing for hours because of the chocolate covered coffee beans!  I only add a few because even though they are coffee beans they are covered with dark chocolate and well we know what the fat content is like in chocolate 🙂  I also add just a bit of Irish Cream or Kahlua to my frozen yogurt too.   Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Blue Bunny Frozen Vanilla Bean Yogurt

Dark chocolate covered coffee beans  chopped

Low Fat dark chocolate wafers

Caramel topping

Remove frozen yogurt from freezer, scoop out enough for the amount of sandwiches you want to make.  When soft enough to stir in chopped chocolate covered coffee beans.  You can add a tablespoon or so of a thick creamy liquor if you choose.  Mix well and quickly spread on one cookie, top with the another cookie and place on cookie sheet.     Top each one with a chocolate-covered coffee bean.  Place in freezer quickly.  When cookies are firm, take out and wrap in plastic wrap.

Remove each cookie from freezer about 3-5 minutes before you serve or if you are like me just take them out of the freezer and eat one!  Although the pic shows caramel drizzled on them, I choose to eat mine without.  I just didn’t enjoy the sandwich with that extra stuff which was caramel topping mixed with more Irish Cream liquor and I liked being able to eat with my hands not with a fork!

ice cream sandwich



Bacon Popcorn October 18, 2012

Yesterday while at a meeting with the gentlemen from Plumb’s Market (my sponsor), we started talking about some of the latest news on foods being removed from a school.  The food that I”m talking about is Flamin’ Cheetos.  Finally someone looked at the back of the package and noticed there were about 24 grams of fat in one small bag!  Hello….

The news reporter claimed it was not just the fat content that had the school pulling the product off the shelves but also the sodium.  There were also claims the Flamin’ Cheetos were addicting.  Another funny piece to the news report was that the school was not removing the “regular Cheetos” from the school lunch program!  Not sure I understand that rational at all.

When I got back to the Test Kitchen, I started thinking about something I could come up with that would not be too loaded with fat, be a snack and you could consume/bring it to the big parties this weekend for the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry game.  I knew that I had some turkey bacon in the frig (let’s fact it men like bacon) and I had a bit of popcorn kernels left in the pantry.  Hummmm, the creative thoughts were developing.

Last December I purchased a popcorn popper that I used to make lots of the treats for the holidays.  I believe it’s by Orville and is electric.  The base is t-fal  coating, with a stirring mechanism in the bottom.  It took a couple of tries but eventually I made it work and even though I am not a bacon fan this was pretty darn good….addicting?  Probably not but who knows 🙂     Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!     For comments/questions email  ramona@lowfatdivablog.com 

Cut up at least 3 pieces of turkey bacon in small pieces (chopped almost).  Plug in your popcorn popper.  Remove the top piece and once the bottom feels warm to the touch add the bacon pieces.  As the popper heats up, your bacon should start cooking.  About half way through, add about 1 -2 tsp. of olive oil and the amount of corn the popper calls for (1/4 cup – 1/3 cup), quickly place cover over the top.   Gently shake the popper to make sure everything is even on the bottom.  You may have to shake it a couple of times during the popping cycle.

When the  corn appears to be done popping, quickly up plug the popper and invert the popped corn into the top of the popper.  Shake the corn/bacon mixture.  I added Cajun seasoning to the mixture and it was awesome!!!!!  Just keep shaking so you get the seasoning mixed in well.  Delish!  Even for someone who does not like bacon.
NOTE:  You can top off any of the soups/bisque that I have given you recipes for lately with the bacon popcorn!


Adding Flavor To Your Beer July 30, 2012

While I  was talking to Bob, Clay Avenue Cellars, he gave me some great tips on flavoring my beer.  I wanted to share some of these  ideas with you and yes, I have tried one of his suggestions and actually my husband finally used one too.

(Here is the first tip he gave me and I actually tried it with one of the “kits” I  purchased from him). Add specialty malts.  You don’t have to be bre3wing all- grain to experiment with small amounts of specialty grains.  All you have to do is soak the grains in 170 degree water for about 20 minutes – 1 hour (depending on the intensity of the flavor you want) before you brew your main beer.  I followed this advice when I made my recent chocolate, coffee, vanilla porter.  I only soaked my grains for about 15 minutes and then addend that water to my kit ingredients.  I added 1 large vanilla bean when I placed the beer into the primary fermenter and have not decided if I will add more vanilla when I rack it today into the secondary or not.

Another option is to use fruit or spice extracts.  You can brew any basic ale or wheat beer and make it into an Oberon clone or add lime extract for a different flavor.  Flavor extract is not like a cooking extract and you can find these in most beer stores.  You can also add some fruit like an orange but you still need the extract because the fruit will not give enough flavor to make your efforts worthwhile.  My husband has used the zest of an   orange for his orange wheat beer and I kept encouraging him to add some extract too if he really wanted the flavor to pop a bit more.  After about 3 batches, he finally listened 🙂

Yeast is a crucial part of brewing beer and so is having the correct yeast.  Sometimes kits will supply you with some low end yeast but it really does pay to pick up a few different packs of good quality yeast at the brew store of your choosing and keep it on hand.  There is a pretty good shelf life to the yeast as long as it’s stored properly in the frig.  Paying attention to your yeast will be the difference between a good tasting beer and one that has poor character or lacks mouth feel (I know I’m really getting the hang of the brew lingo).

Happy Brewing.  Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


A Beer Slush – Oh Yea! July 12, 2012

Filed under: Diva's Brew-ha,Low Fat Diva Blog — Hopp Diva @ 12:33 am
Tags: , , ,

When I first heard about making a beer slush, I was not sure if I would like it but with all the 95+ weather we have been having in the Mitten, it became a must try.  So I did!  I have to admit this idea might be more of a “chick” thing than a guy thing.  My husband tried it but I could tell it was not something he would ask me to make.

For the first one I made I used my raspberry wheat but also made a second one with a Belgian white beer.  I honestly think a smooth stout would be good too.  So if you are in a heat wave like we have been here in the mitten, try  making a beer slush to cool off.    Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions contact me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Beer Slush

You will basically be makeing the beer into a granita.  Pour 1 beer (lager, flavored stout or flavored wheat – not sure about what IPA would be like but feel free to try it and tell us :)) into a shallow glass baking dish.  Place the dish in the freezer, scraping it every 30 minutes or so with a fork for about 2 hours.  Spoon the granita into a mug or pilsner glass.  Top with a bit of lemonade or limeade concentrate.  Take out spoon and devour slowly!


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