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Food Safety for Travelers and EASY "Frosting Fudge"
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 • Posted December 21, 2011

It’s a time-honored tradition for many people to bring food to gatherings, such as holiday meals. How do you decide who brings what or how to travel with food if you’re asked to bring something?When assigning foods or deciding what to take, consider type of food and distance to travel. Remember the 2-hour rule: Avoid leaving perishable foods at room temperature longer than 2 hours (1 hour in warmer seasons when the temperature is over 90 F). The 2 hours includes preparation time for foods that aren’t cooked or foods that need more preparation steps after cooking.People traveling a long distance might bring non-perishables such as rolls, breads and cookies. Those traveling about a half hour or less can more safely bring perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products or foods containing these items. Nearer relatives also are a better choice for providing salads, relishes and vegetables.When traveling with food, keep HOT foods hot (140 F or higher) by wrapping them in foil, and then in heavy towels. Or, carry them in insulated wrappers or containers designed to keep food hot.Place COLD foods in a cooler with ice or freezer packs or an insulated container with a cold pack so they remain at 40 F or lower, especially if traveling over a half hour.On arrival, place cold foods in the refrigerator. Place hot foods in an oven hot enough to keep the food at an internal temperature of 140 F or above; use a food thermometer to assure the food stays at a safe internal temperature. Plan to serve foods shortly after guests have arrived.Another possibility is to carry all perishable food in an ice chest and come early. Then prepare the food after you arrive.Remember: If you travel with food, take a detour around the “danger zone.” Keep hot foods hot (140 F or higher) and cold foods cold (40 F or lower). EASY Frosting FudgeTake a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips, melt 90 seconds in microwave, take out & stir, add 1 can frosting, (not whipped) stir, microwave another 90 seconds, take out, stir well, pour into a greased pan (8x8 is size I used) chill till set, about 1/2 hour. Perfect every time. Experiment a bit and have fun, use chocolate chips with chocolate frosting, butterscotch chips with vanilla frosting...peanut butter chips with chocolate frosting, chocolate chips with cream cheese frosting...peanut butter chips with white frosting..etc. For a little more “homemade” flavor, add a tiny pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon of vanilla after it is melted. It’s also really good in layers, just make sure the first one is set before you top it with the second! A friend of mine made a yummy layered fudge with chocolate on the bottom and a pink peppermint flavored layer on top. She added some red food coloring and crushed peppermint to a vanilla/vanilla top layer. If you wanted it to be a stronger peppermint flavor you could put a tiny amount of peppermint extract in the top layer, but I thought it was perfect without it. Sprinkles, chopped peppermint, or chocolate curls all make for pretty presentation on the top of the fudge. Another friend served it cut into tiny squares in mini baking cup wrappers (like the ones used for mini muffins). Happy microwaving! This will save you hours on your holiday treats.

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