Monday, December 31, 2012

Hot Fudge Sauce

                My son loves chocolate.  We found that out on a trip to Disney World.  He was 2 years old at the time.  We were at a restaurant and it was time for dessert.  We ordered the kids "do it yourself sundae".  Basically it was vanilla ice cream with 3 different toppings, one of which was hot fudge.  I poured some of it over the ice cream and left the rest in the little cup.  As soon as he put the fudge in his mouth you could see his pupils dilating.  He licked up that hot fudge like he would never get a chance to ever eat it again.  It was all over his face, and I remember his little baseball outfit got a bit of a taste of that fudge.  I ignored the stains because just seeing the joy in his eyes made me melt.  It's amazing how the seemingly simplest things in life can make us happy.  It's those simple moments that put life in perspective.  I try and soak up those moments because I know that one day my kids will not be underfoot all of the time. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cauliflower Quiche with Mashed Potato Crust

            I  wanted to make something different today for dinner, as well as rather quick.  I wanted to use simple ingredients I had on hand in the house because it was a school day as well as an after school activity day, which at this point is 4 days a week, whew!  It was also vegetarian night, so it was going to be a veggie dish.  I had cauliflower and potatoes.  I had previously posted a Cauliflower and Onion Tart.  I wanted to make something different though.  I decided on using potatoes as the crust for a quiche. 

             I used a mashed potato for the crust but think that a shredded potato might work pretty well also.  I might try that another time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

                      My husband was sick today so I thought it might be a good day to make a chicken soup.  Nothing seems to make you feel better quicker than some warm chicken soup.  At the last minute I decided to try a chicken and dumpling recipe.  It ends up being kind of a chicken stew because the dumplings soak up a lot of the liquid.  It is a little more satisfying than just a soup.

                      I ended up modifying a recipe from epicurious.  I was really pleased with the results, as was my husband.  Whether or not it will make his cold go away quicker, only time will tell. 

                      If you want more liquid and less dumplings, either cut the dumpling ingredients in half or add more broth.  The dumplings filled up my pot.  There were no complaints though on the amount of dumplings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spaetzle with Paprika Sauce

                           We finished our study on Germany so I wanted to make something that I remembered eating at a German restaurant that was near my home as a kid.  It was spaetzle.  It was served instead of potatoes.  It's kind of a noodle, and kind of a dumpling.  It tastes great just with butter, or with a sauce ladled on it.

                           When it came to how I was going to serve them, I decided I would use a sauce.  I was going for one based on a Jaeger Schnitzel sauce, which has mushrooms in it.  Those of you who have read my blog, know I don't like mushrooms.  I think if you like mushrooms you can put them in though.  I served the spaetzle with schnitzel made with chicken breasts(otherwise known as a chicken cutlet), and poured the sauce over both.  It was really yummy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mango Lime Chicken Fajitas

               My husband recently bought a Nutribullet blender.  He bought it to mix up protein shakes for after he exercises.  Then he started mixing up smoothies for the kids.  I had to play with it as well of course.  Now I didn't mix smoothies, but made salad dressings with it.  It was amazing how thick they became.  Okay, but I am not a commercial for the product so let me get back to the purpose of this post.

             The tropical flavors of the smoothies my husband was making gave me the idea of coming up with a tropical chicken dish.  It was going to be in the form of a fajita.  I had no tortillas so I thought it would be neat to make homemade tortillas.  I am not going to post a recipe for the tortillas because although they tasted fine, making them was a disaster.  The recipe I used had way too much liquid and not enough flour.  The dough was a gloppy mess that I had to keep adjusting to get any
semblance of a dough.  I will keep trying to make a great tortilla that doesn't leave a floury mess everywhere, and when I do, I will post it.  For now, here is my recipe for Mango Lime Chicken Fajitas which came out so good you will think you are hearing kettle drums in the background.

Friday, December 14, 2012


             This is a picture of my first batch of crumpets that I have ever made.  My 11 year old made the request during school.  We had recently finished studying The UK, and crumpets had apparently been on her mind ever since.

             Crumpets kind of look like English muffins in that they are both round, but that is pretty much where the similarities end.  First of all English Muffins are an American invention created by a British immigrant to the US, Samuel Bath Thomas.     Where English Muffins had nooks and crannies on the inside, crumpets have there's on the outside, and crumpets are a little thinner as well.  There is a lot less liquid required for English muffins as well.  Crumpets are made with more of a batter rather than a dough.  Now my crumpets while tasting scrumptious to be sure, did not possess many of those nooks and crannies on the outside.  My guess would be that I may have put too much batter in the rings, so that when I turned them the batter on top wasn't cooked enough, thus leading to the flatter look.  If any of you crumpet specialists have any suggestions after reading my whole recipe on how to keep those nooks on top, please let me know.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Garlic Knots

                   It can be so hard to get some kids to eat vegetables.  My oldest loves pretty much anything that grows in a garden.  She saw me preparing brussels sprouts the other day and said "hurray, we're having brussels sprouts".  My 5 year old willingly eats some.  My 24 month old is just at the "yuck" stage with pretty much anything you put in front of her.  My 9 year old son is the biggest problem with vegetables.  He has to be tricked into eating his veggies.  One way I do this is by making soups.  He loves tomato based soups.  I will just throw some extra vegetables in a tomato soup and he doesn't suspect a thing.  I will ask him later how he enjoyed his red peppers, or squash, and he'll give me the "huh?" look. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Roasted Pepper Soup

                  It's soup day today.  This means that I have some open jars or cans or vegetables needing cooking before an unwanted science project begins.  Today for example, I had an open can of tomato paste in the fridge, as well as a jar of opened roasted peppers.  So, it wasn't hard for me to figure out what would be finding its way into the pot.

                  My 5 year old will only eat soup that is red.  I don't why, but that is how it is right now.  This soup will therefore have the right color for her.  So when she asks "what color is the soup?".  I can say "it's red."  Then she will say "yay, I want a bowl of soup", instead of "I don't like that color", to which I will just roll my eyes and shake my head in frustration.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

                   Following up from my Peppermint Ice Cream post, here is a recipe that includes peppermint with chocolate.  This is a pretty cookie, and should make a great cookie gift. 

                   I used a sugar cookie recipe from Epicurious.  If you are pressed for time, you can always buy pre-made sugar cookie dough.  The topping comes together rather quickly so once the cookies are baked, working time is pretty minimal.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Peppermint Ice Cream

                 Close to the coming of the holiday season, a certain ice cream company comes out with their Peppermint Ice Cream.  My husband's one request of me during a shopping trip would be to buy a gallon of it.  I decided this year, that since I am trying to cook most of my family's food so I know what is in it, that I would try and make it.

                  I found peppermint extract at Target in the summer, and I knew exactly what I would do with it when the time came, which was today.

                  This is so easy and quick to make that it is worth taking the ice cream maker out for.  I can't complain though, mine weighs just a couple of pounds once the freezer container is in it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meatball Bourguignon

               I had traveled to France with my parents many years ago.  I remember the many castles, the beautiful countrysides, and the food of course.  It was so good.  I especially loved the fresh breads. The tastiest thing that I remember was a simple French Baguette that was filled with just some vegetables and a spread.  I could have had that everyday and been happy.  I do remember not being able to find skim milk very easily though.  Milk is not something the French give to their kids too much apparently. 

               In our homeschool, we were starting to learn about France so we needed a dish to go along with it.  It also needed to be made by things I already had on hand.  I came across a Meatball Borguignon recipe on  I thought it sounded like a great way to use ground beef, or boeuf in a French inspired way.