Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Love The Swiss Chards!

So, tonight I cooked up come of our recent farm-collected greens (rainbow chard, totsoi and some red mustard) with a little turkey kielbasa for dinner (washed, chopped and sauteed in a little olive oil and butter 1 tbs. each, crushed garlic, lemon pepper, sliced light kielbasa and a little low-sodium chicken stock to simmer). M was interested in the "salami," but eyed the greens suspiciously. When I tasted mine and deemed them delicious, she looked over at a box on the edge of the table and pointed to some words on the side, "Mama, it said right here that I should not put that stuff in my mouth." Oh, yeah, really? I replied. Well, it's delicious, you should try it. "I don't like it." says M. How do you know, huh? Sam I Am, Green Eggs and Ham - it might be your new favorite thing. Try one bite. And, so she did. "Wow! I love it! It tastes salty. Yum!" (she loves salty things and the kielbasa did indeed make it taste salty). When Joel came home she said, "Papa, I LOVE the Swiss Chards! They are salty and buttery and delicious in my rumble tummy!"
E tasted a bite, but after that was quite clever about avoiding any greens completely, including flicking them off his fingers. Ah, well. I'll just have to chop the next batch up and bake it into some quiche... Bwahahahaaha!!

And, in other news... M ate our first golden raspberry today. There are a lot more on the canes ready to ripen. Come on sun!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Better Than Birthday Cake

Cherries and Cream and Lest Zest roses from Jamie and John for my birthday in May... they're blooming beautifully now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Waffles In A Can

So, when I saw this new product on the shelf near the eggs, I was intrigued. And, reading the ingredients, it really is just stuff that you'd put in batter yourself. So, why not give it a try? It's in a spray can like ReddiWhip whipped cream, and you just plug in your waffle iron, shake up the can, and spray on the iron. Cook as usual. Rinse off the top and put the can back in the fridge. It was three breakfasts for the four of us (we only do one waffle a piece though, the kids have 1/2 each).

Anyway, how was it you ask? Pretty decent. This isn't going to be my preferred method for waffles, but if you were going camping, or wanted something fast and easy for fresh (vs. frozen) waffles on weekday mornings, this is pretty good. I mean, add some good syrup, and your golden, right?

The down side was that they were not very "fluffy" — or rather they turned out pretty flat. Spraying the iron each time made them pretty crisp on the outside and they stayed that way for awhile, but if not, they got soft quickly as they cooled. So, the verdict: I missed the wonderful flavor of something more (vanilla, malted waffles, etc.) and the loft of really good homemade waffles, but for what this is... waffles in a can... it was good. And, the convenience factor was high just before and after our vacation. I'd buy it again, if it was on sale.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy (Early) Father's Day!!

We did an early Dad's Day celebration dinner this evening at our house. Among other things, my dad will be in Japan next weekend.

Madeline helped me try this recipe from my 1968 Betty Crocker Boys & Girls Cookbook. We discovered that you need to fridge the batter before scooping onto the nuts on the cookie sheet (otherwise they spread out too much while baking). They're pretty tasty. And cute.

Brownie Slowpokes

Pecan halves
Brownie batter (from your favorite recipe or box)
Chocolate frosting (your fave recipe or the kind in the tub)

Arrange three pecan halves (for each slowpoke) in a "Y" shape on a greased cookie sheet. Do the entire sheet, then scoop chilled brownie batter into the center of each poke (with about a teaspoon of batter). Bake at 350-degrees F until done (I didn't really time them... oops). Cool. Pipe frosting on or just frost with a knife. Enjoy!

Lunch Time!!

A good friend recently asked a group of her mom friends for lunch ideas for kids. I'm always looking for new ways to introduce new foods and flavors to the kids, so here are some things that work well for our lunch bunch.

Short cuts
When I'm pressed for time, the grocery deli and sushi bar are great. The kids love:
  • Cous cous salad (with dried fruit, etc.)
  • Pesto pasta salad with peas (I also make this quickly by using either pesto in a jar, or a Knorr pesto sauce packet.)
  • California, Shrimp, Avocado, Cucumber or Veggie rolls
  • Sliced salami, ham, turkey, havarti, etc.
  • Rotisserie chicken
And, the sneakiest way ever to fit in more servings of veggies...
  • Kagome, RW Knudsen, Bolthouse, V8 Fusion, or Vruit brands of juice — primarily vegetable juices, sweetened up with blends of fruit juice. 100% juice, no added anything. One 8 oz. glass of most is 1 full adult serving of veggies AND fruit for the day. And, if you start giving it to your kids early... they think that's what juice tastes like (real juice, not corn syrup).
New and old faves:
  • Cocktail bread (especially rye) spread with Philadelphia Smoked Salmon cream cheese (new fave - Gavino, Solomon, and Madeline loved this. E like the bread plain.)
  • PB&J or almond butter & jelly, or lunch meat and cheese rolled up in flour tortillas and sliced like pinwheels.
  • Any sandwich made on King's Hawaiian rolls (soft and sweet, and they do have Whole Wheat now too) — Light tuna with dill mixed in is one occasional fave.
  • Sliced fruit and yogurt "dip"
  • Baby carrots, snap peas or broccoli with salad dressing dip
  • Breakfast for lunch — mini pancakes or waffle pieces with syrup to dip in, or sprinkled with pwdr sugar. Scrambled eggs (they even eat them cold — I keep leftovers in the fridge), and Morningstar veggie patty "sausage".
  • "Psgetti" or any sort of Asian noodle dish
  • Soup in a cup, especially creamy tomato with crackers and cheese
  • English muffin mini pizzas (even M, who does not like pizza, likes these)
  • Stouffers (or homemade) spinach souffle
  • Leftovers of dinner food (lasagna, etc.)
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedges, or Baby Bell minis
  • "Pickies" small pieces of whatever we have on hand — cut up meat, cheese, veggies, fruit, etc. that they can eat with their fingers (like a Bento lunch)
Things they love with their lunch, or for snacks
  • Any sort of cut up fresh fruit (especially cool things like Star Fruit) or dried fruit
  • Berries (in a category of their own)
  • Canned Mandarin Oranges
  • Cherry tomatoes or halved mini plum tomatoes
  • Organic raisins (also known as "gummies" in our house Bwahahahaha!)
  • Sesame sticks
  • Pretzel crackers
  • Pirates Booty or Veggie Booty
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Frozen yogurt in "tubes" — Stonyfield Farm brand
  • Cheese slices (Tillamook Medium Cheddar) or cheese sticks
  • Whole cooked pinto or black beans
  • Banana bread
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Leaves with dip (Lettuce or fresh spinach)
  • Applesauce
  • Rice crackers


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