Saturday, December 13, 2014

I'm baaaaaaaaack! And I'm trying something new.

I was thinking of starting a new blog, but I couldn't be bothered.  I kind of like the name of this one, and I've got my priorities in a different order.

Speaking of priorities, I've come to the conclusion that I want to have more fun with my kids.  What better time of year to start than winter break, which is coming up next weekend? I'm not one for New Year's resolutions because they never work for me.  I always break them and then feel like I've failed.  Anyway, this year, I've decided to try something new.  I'm not going to call it a resolution, I'm just going to try something new.  It will work or it won't work, but I will succeed just because I tried.  Win!

HERE IT IS:  I'm going to try to cook and/or bake something with my kids every weekend as long as I'm in town and we are healthy.  Yes, folks, I am insane.  Yes.  I know they are 12 and 14 and therefore want nothing to do with me on the weekends (unless I can be useful to them).

I told the kids about my idea.  My 12 year old daughter said, "That sounds like fun!  What are we going to make?"  My 14 year old son said, "Hmmmmmm. Could be interesting."  Which is about as close to an enthusiastic yes as I'm gonna get from him so I will declare that victory is mine (at least for the moment).

I am not operating under the illusion that my kids will instantly take a shine to my favorite thing to do just because I'm enthused.  SO....  here's what I hope will be my recipe for success:

  1. Ask the kids to choose our recipes.  If I choose, make sure we use recipes that I know they will want to eat.  
  2. Don't focus on nutritional value.  Focus on fun.  Challenges may come later.
  3. Choose recipes in advance so I can be sure we have the ingredients on hand.  
  4. Ensure the recipes are quick and easy so they can do most, if not all, of the work before losing interest.  To that end, I took out the slow cooker and I'm going to leave it on the counter for a while.  I am contemplating doing the same with the food processor. 
  5. Let them eat what they make.  If we want to make it for someone else, double the recipe. 
Tune in if you like.  I will post recipes and photos as the project unfolds.  

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yer Welcome Very Much!

Now that Grandparents' Day is over, I signed myself up for desserts for our school auction. If I feel like it, I'll get to photos and descriptions of those. I'm not in the mood now, but I will take a moment to brag about my to-die-for Dark Chocolate Kahlua truffles. What more can I say? They were beyond yum.

OK. On to the business at hand.

After I finished helping get the school auction site in shape for attendees, the nice ladies who were insane enough to co-chair the auction presented me with a little thank you giftie.

Here it is. A cute little glass box (probably ~2 cubic inches) with bow details outside and green m&m's inside. The m&m's are imprinted with the phrases "Thank You!" and "You Rock." Here's a close up of it.

Nice. Sweet. Because I need another tchotchke, y'know. And m&m's, well, you shouldn't have!

Honestly, I do feel appreciated. I do. But they really didn't need to do that. They could have just said thanks.

We interrupt this blog post for yet another digression from your sponsor:
I hope the sweet women who gave this to me don't get all offended by this - as you can tell, I am operating under the assumption that almost nobody visits my little corner of Bloglandia. And I'm sure the two people who do (you know who you are Sarah and Jen) won't say anything, so...

OK... got that out of my system and I feel much better.

Back to the auction... I wish I had taken photos of the centerpieces. Oh. My. Gawd.

Somehow, someone at school got the good folks at Fat Belly organic farm to donate bushels and bushels of GORGEOUS organic veggies. And some artistic person from school arranged the stuff into baskets that made incredibly beautiful centerpieces. If I had been at the auction, I would have wanted to bring home one of those to be sure. Yum for the eyes and the tummy!

Healthy edible art! I can make unhealthy stuff look pretty but I've never been able to take an assortment of raw veggies and make them look that elegant. I am in awe. And inspired. If I ever host a healthy food party, I'm going to try that.

Did I say healthy food party? Oh, right. Oh well.

Anyhoo.... after the artistic folks (translation, not yours truly) had finished putting together those gorgeous veggie baskets, there were a few bunches of chard left. I got to take one home. Here's a close-up. As you can see, this gift is also shiny and green.

Now THAT green shiny gift says thank you to me!

And so I say, "Gals, you are more than welcome!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ain't this pretty?

Salmon with fresh fennel:

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The grandparents officially have a royal sweet feast!

And we come now to our final post on the grandparents' day baking bonanza. So what if I didn't follow the menu I thought I'd use?

We end this tale with two delightful cookies:

Almond Macaroons

A Classic: Chocolate Chip Cookies

If they don't like those, they can have the peanut butter/chocolate truffles, baby biscotti, baby butterscotch brownie bites or Mexican wedding cakes. So there.

Or they can have Annie's oatmeal cookies or brownies. Yeah. Whatever. ;)

Anyway, those granparental units sure as hell better enjoy it!

It's a bouncing baby.... biscotti!

Kaycita is pleased to announce the arrival of

Baby Biscotti (42)
March 15, 2010
7:30 p.m.
2 1/2 to 3 inches


Baby Butterscotch Brownie Bites (48)
March 15, 2010
4:54 p.m
1 inch tall

Monday, March 15, 2010

We interrupt your regular programming...

Image by Darwin Bell (flickr)

I'll write more about grandparents' day goodies soon, I promise. I even have some photos (just have to download them from the camera). But I have something else to share for now. And seeing as this is my little corner of bloglandia where I get to make up the rules, I've decided that I don't have to pick up a post where the previous post left off.

Now that we've gotten those pleasantries out of the way, it's time for one of those good news/bad news stories.

The bad news first. Our daughter might have a dairy allergy. We've removed dairy from her diet and her icky rashes seem to have disappeared. So there is good news that something seems to be helping. Bad news is that she loves so many dairy things.

Who doesn't?

Like ice cream.

See. Who doesn't?

I couldn't live without cheese. But I digress from this story about my daughter, which of course is OK in my little corner of bloglandia.

OK. On to more good news. I now have a new culinary challenge - making non dairy yummies for my delicious little girl.

This is in addition to my other current culinary challenge that has arisen from husband's request to eat vegan at home - perhaps I will post on that anon.

My first experiment was chocolate mint ice "cream." I was intrigued by it because it calls for peppermint tea. [Plus, it's vegan. Kills 2 birds with 1 stone.]

Well, it was a smashing success! Even the dairy eaters liked it after eating a big meal.


Here's the recipe (I got found it at this webpage):

Non-Dairy Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

2 teaspoons kosher gelatin
1/4 cup peppermint tea, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
3-1/4 cups chocolate soy milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over apple juice. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until gelatin is dissolved and softened, about 10 minutes.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together honey and 2 cups soy milk. Cook until just hot, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Add softened gelatin to hot milk mixture, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in remaining soy milk and peppermint extract; let cool, cover, and refrigerate until very well-chilled

3. Spoon chilled mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Makes about 1 quart.

V PER 1/2 CUP SERVING: 127 CAL (17% FROM FAT), 4g PROT, 2.4 FAT, 22g CARB, 80mg SOD, 0mg CHOL, 0.6g FIBER.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

So what if it's been a long time?...

I never promised frequent posts. Heck, I think I said they wouldn't be frequent. I've even got a link to prove it. Harrumph.

But I'm back again after yet a long hiatus. And for good reason.

Here's why: I let myself get suckered into making a HUGE amount of desserts. Twist my arm...

I must admit though that when I first told my friend that I'd be delighted to make the desserts for the luncheon for grandparents' day at school, I didn't anticipate that I'd be baking for 110!

On the other hand, a fun challenge.

Here's my menu. Mmmmmmmm.....
  • Handmade peanut butter truffles (photos below)
  • Mexican wedding cakes (photo below)
  • Oatmeal cranberry white chocolate cookies
  • Almond macaroons
  • Mini biscotti
  • Chocolate chip cookies
Photos to be posted as they are available. Here are the first two:

Handmade peanut butter fudge truffles

Step 1: make the fudge (I used Alton Brown's simple recipe)

Step 2: Form the truffles

Step 3: Make them pretty:

See?!??! Pretty!!! :) :) :)

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Don't those just SCREAM grandmother??! "Grandma, eat me! Grandma, eat me! Grandma, eat me!"

Well, I'm going to sign off this post so I can bake and photograph more yummies!