Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Not satisfied with throwing a few Peeps in the kids Easter baskets, Peeps contests started popping up everywhere utilizing the long lost grade school exercise of Diorama Creations. From the Last Supper to the March of the Penguin Peeps, hopefuls spend countless hours carefully crafting their small scale Peep worlds. It wasn't long before the madness spread outside the cramped confines of the diorama box. There was art to be made.
But really, it's marketing genius. Because when it comes down to it, when you cut into a Peep, it's still just a marshmallow.
Just how many uses can you think of for the lowly marshmallow? Toasted on a stick while camping, melted into a s'more, plopped down into a steamy cup of hot chocolate, used as the sticky glue that holds Rice Krispy Treats together and the hideous topping to a sweet potato dish that seems to arise only at the winter holidays. How to get more people to purchase more Peeps? Offer some cheap prize and 15 minutes of fame and watch your Peep Profit grow. God Bless America!
There is some hope though. Peeps, while popular, have not reached the level of fame that has their fans tattooing their image into their skin. When you reach The Golden Girls tattoo level of fame, then you are more than Golden.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Today's Dim Sum Kid's Choice is letting the young chefs have some fun in the kitchen. Our Main Course is brought to us by Elizabeth of Gardening under the Florida Sun. Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs.
Today we turned Elizabeth loose in the kitchen, with an added twist of whatever she cooked, Shamu had to cook too. Great twist Shamy!
She started out by chopping up some basil for the sauce.
Adding a little olive oil.
Couple cans of diced tomatoes, and the sauce was ready to simmer on the stove for about an hour.
On to the meatballs...Grinding up some pepper to add to the milk, egg, breadcrumbs, and sweet sausage.
Mix, mix, mix.
She had a blast rolling out the meatballs!
Which really surprised me, I thought she'd ask either John or me to do this part, but she was in there with both hands.
Way to go Elizabeth! You made us a fabulous dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.
Photographer's Note: Not going back to ground beef meatball ever again. These sausage meatballs are so good and juicy.
MS and The Sweeties of Making Space decided that making cookies was the perfect activity for wiggly, energetic kids. Lots of stirring, mixing, pouring and cookie formation.
Today’s theme was really exceptional. Kids’ Choice works differently than any other Dim Sum in which I’ve participated, though I just jumped into the fray recently so it may have been done before. Here’s the explanatory post, complete with frightening photos of disaster looming. LOL Now, here’s how it worked around here: I decided what my children and I would make together (they’re young enough that I am not up for leaving them in the kitchen alone – see above under “disaster looming”). I then let Shamy know what our Kids’ Choice was (oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!!); she then made her own version.
I picked cookies because I recently bought cookie sheets and parchment paper; and the children and I have made cookies from mixes before, but not from scratch. Chocolate chip cookies seemed like a no-brainer, and the oatmeal seemed to hint at something that might possibly be marginally healthy (don’t laugh too hard). I asked around for tried-and-true recipes, since I was looking for a classic that I could appropriate into my own cookie-baking repertoire. A friend who bakes all the time suggested Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Allrecipes.com She said when she takes these to potlucks they fly away. This seemed like a good recommendation. Here’s the recipe, just copied and pasted from the site.
- 1 cup butter
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Beat butter or margarine, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt, mix well.
- Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to mixture. Stir in rolled oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
- Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes. Don't over cook.
We made it exactly as the recipe recommended, and well, may I just say that when you put two sticks of butter together with a bag of chocolate chips and throw in some sugar, flour and oatmeal, you just really really can’t possibly go wrong. Haha
This turned out to be a great recipe to do with young children. No eggs, so feel free to eat the batter. The batter is really easy to stir, even for small hands and arms. The many different sizes and shapes of cookies all cooked evenly at the same time. A most excellent recipe for a distracted mom who hasn’t made a chocolate chip cookie in thirty years, supervising young children who – well, who REALLY REALLY REALLY want to cook. And talk. And sing. And dance. All at the same time. And of course each one MUST have my full attention. So yeah. This is a household that needs a cookie recipe that’s not especially high maintenance. We’ve found it. Holy moly we have FOUND it. (Special note to those who know my family a bit more than I’ve revealed here: on my blog I ask that commenters not refer to the number, ages, names, or genders of my children. You can call them The Sweeties if you want a handy nickname. Thanks!)
Photographer's note: Normally I'm an oatmeal raisin girl...but these cookies just might turn my head.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I'm lucky enough to live in a city that boasts a large and varied immigrant population which translates into some amazing places to shop for all sorts of ingredients. One being big, beautiful heads-on shrimp. How best to showcase these beauties? The Culinary Godmother was consulted and a plan of action was set in place. Again, simplicity wins the day.
Deep fry the shrimp in some peanut oil, maybe 25 to 30 seconds a side but really until the shrimp just reach that pink shade of deliciousness. Quickly remove the shrimp from the oil and while they are still hot, sprinkle with your favorite spice seasoning. If you want you can shell your shrimp but I eat them shells and all. Make sure you suck the heads for all their tasty goodness. Simple prep, amazing, decadent goodness.Now...it wasn't all perfection. I did attempt to make from scratch lemony mayonnaise. Where's the picture of that you asked? When there's not a picture it can only mean one thing - FAIL. Yes my virginal attempt at mayo making was a disaster and a waste of good eggs, oil and lemons. I won't give up on successfully making from scratch mayo but just not while I've got those luscious shrimp waiting. Trust me if you can find shrimp with their heads, try them just once. You won't be sorry.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Yeah, I'm not impressed either. "Sweet on Sweet" is how one judge described it leaving me to believe that Asshat is still pretty much all ass and not much else going on with his palate or imagination. He didn't even attempt a dessert. I won't go into details because all you need to know is that Chef Symon SMOKED Spike right out of Kitchen Stadium.Sadder still was that score came from 3 unknown, first timer judges. As a casual observer of Iron Chef America I know that scoring is usually close, a spread of maybe two or three points. At the most maybe 5. But TEN? The only thing that would have made this moment even more warm and fuzzy (and watchable) for me was if Jeffrey Steingarten had been judging. If anyone could put an Asshat in his place, it would be Jeffrey. But maybe it's all right, maybe the Food Network is where Spike belongs...perhaps helping Paula Deen massage two pounds of butter into every crack and crevice of every dish she makes...or maybe assisting Sandra Lee with her tablescapes. While the title Top Chef or Iron Chef may never grace Spike's culinary resume, he will always be able to fly his Asshat flag proudly where ever he goes. Just let it be on a channel not in my cable package.