Monday, June 28, 2010

Singapore Sling

Jamie mixed us up some Singapore Slings last night while we were all prepping dinner... they were dangerously delicious!
Jamie's Singapore Sling
(makes 2)
2 shots cherry brandy
1 shot triple sec
2 shots Cascade Mountain gin
2 shots pineapple juice
1 shot lime juice
1 shot grenadine
And, Club Soda to fill the shaker...
serve over ice, and beware!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pepita Fig Berry Nut Granola

I love the kids' cookbook, Salad People by Mollie Katzen (of Moosewood Restaurant fame). I've gifted the book to a few kids in the last couple years, although our copy here is from the library. Today, after school, we decided to make the granola, which we (of course) adapted. Neither of our kids like to eat oatmeal, so there's a method to my madness here... I hope it works!

I love that Salad People has really clear steps, for kids to follow along...

Madeline loved measuring things in to the bowl,
and mixing the dry ingredients with her hands

Erik loved snipping the figs with kid scissors
And, in the end, we got some delicious and beautiful granola!

I must admit though, I did adapt this recipe according to Deb's granola recipe from Smitten Kitchen (so less oil, some cinnamon, watching the baking time...) — her recipe is right here.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes... Mmm...

Happy Father's Day to Joel... Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from Big Red Kitchen were a hit (although I used my own recipe for pancakes, and added maple extract to the cream cheese icing).
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Inspired by Sesame Street...

We have a scratch-and-sniff book about Sesame Street characters figuring out how to eat all their favorite fruit at the same time, hence, a rainbow fruit salad! Madeline named off things we needed to pick up at the grocery on Tuesday, and then Wednesday morning, she was ready to assemble. Strawberries, peaches, bananas (although pineapple next time!), kiwi, blueberries and purple grapes! Divine... I especially love that making it was her idea/request, and that she was so very proud of her creation. She even dished up a hefty portion for me on a dinner plate, complete with a fork and a spoon. Why a spoon? "Oh, Mama, you need the spoon to get those grapes. Otherwise, they just slip away from you — they are just foolish!"

Friday, June 11, 2010

Guava Brigadeiros

I spotted these Brazilian candies on The Cookie Shop blog the other day, and they were a fun little project for the kids and their buddies today. I used guava jelly instead of strawberry jam because that's what I had, and yes, that's just the kind of gal I am. I also had Vietnamese coffee in the pantry the other day when I ran out of my standard Joe's Dark Roast from TJs ($2.99/lb. can't beat that). Clockwise from the top left are: Madeline's, Erik's, Aura's and Rowan's. The ones in the middle were mine.

Last Lunch

M's final packed lunch for a year — half day Kindergartners don't take lunch, and neither do summer camp kids. So no school lunches until first grade...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Frozen Buttercream Transfer

Aura and Rowan were having a combined birthday party this year, and they both love Transformers. So, ever the pesky friend, I told Miki about this fabulous new thing I'd learned about... the frozen buttercream transfer (FBCT). And, then I found a handy little graphic to use for tracing that included everyone's favorite Autobot, Optimus Prime, and a female Autobot, Elita One. But, since I'm just crazy enough to think that this sort of thing is fun, I went to Miki's last Friday to help her try this new technique.So, armed with a print-out of the image, we prepared buttercream, tinted it the appropriate colors, taped the image to a sturdy plastic cutting board, covered it with plastic wrap, then started tracing.
First, you do the black outline of all the detail, and then you fill in with the colored frosting, filling the image in from front to back. Then, you push the frosting down with a off-set spatula, and even it out, and pop it into the freezer.

When you are ready to use it, you just lay it on top of your frosted cake, and peel the plastic wrap off. Miki did Happy Birthday Aura & Rowan too, and you have to remember to reverse images and text since the image is flipped. There are some great videos on You Tube that demonstrate how to do the FBCT.

Miki did chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, grouped them into a "cake" and frosted with vanilla buttercream, then popped the transfers on (we added colored frosting as background to the letters so they'd be easier to manage). It's a technique I'll be using in the future for sure. I can just see a cake covered in Madeline and Erik's transferred artwork... now that would be cool!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Very Merry Year: June

So, instead of going crazy with holiday baking last year, I decided that it would be much more fun to spread the joy out over the year and gift someone each month with something lovely from my kitchen.June is all about thank yous — we have several overdue TY's, and what better way to deliver them than customized fortune cookies?! These were relatively easy, quite tasty, and very fun. The kids were pretty impressed. So, who are they for? Well, you'll just have to wait and see if you get a delivery of them!

Fortune Cookies (adapted from
24 assorted fortunes or other messages printed on 1/2-inch x 4-inch strips of paper (I adjusted the margins on a Word doc and printed them out).
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. vanilla (I used vanilla powder, plus 1/4 tsp. almond extract)
1 dash salt
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat sheet (trust me, greasing the pan is WAY more trouble - I managed this time, but will take a different approach in the future). Whisk the egg whites and vanilla until foamy, but not stiff (I hand whisked). Then, mix in the flour, sugar and salt. Put one teaspoon (measuring spoon) of batter on cookie sheet for each cookie and spread it into a mostly circular shape, approximately 3-inches in diameter. Put three on a sheet (max) at a time and bake for 4-5 minutes, until outer edges are golden and center is pale ivory. While one sheet is baking, prep the second.

Remove from oven and quickly place one cookie on a wooden cutting board, upside-down. Place fortune in the center of the cookie and fold in half, then place the folded edge over the rim of a coffee mug, and pull the pointed edges down, one on each side of the cup. Repeat with other cookies. If the cookie gets too hard to maneuver, put back in the oven to warm up again. Put cookies in muffin tins to cool so they keep their shape.


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