"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Grocery Store Rant

While I'm ranting, I might as well add this one. The grocery store set-up in our town is crap. There are plenty of grocery stores. We live very near to quite a few of them. But they are all super hard to get in and out of.

Both stores only have one door, (not unusual) but they only have two curb cutouts for carts to leave the store and neither is near the exit. One store has a little iron gate all the way around the front of the store so you have to walk 200 feet along the front of the store to get out into the parking lot, and then there are no parking spots near there.

At the one store, I've twice gotten a cart that has a broken front wheel. It pushes along fine and then all of a sudden comes to a complete, very abrupt and jolting stop slamming me (and usually a kid holding onto the cart) into the cart, and jostling Baby X in the cart. Argh. Then it goes along fine, then stop. And it takes a minute to get it moving again and I'm usually in someone's way. Grocery shopping with three kids is already super annoying, I don't need it to be more so.

The grocery store nearest our house has a billion self-checkout lanes and one or two lanes with a clerk. Sort of cool, except when I'm buying $80 in groceries and only two lanes have a clerk and they both have super long lines. Plus, Princess Sparkley and Buddy aren't the best baggers (which is what happens when I use the self-checkout lane). One of the clerk manned lanes is a "family friendly lane" with no candy and no magazines (since PS keeps telling me she can't stop herself from reading the magazines at the grocery checkout lane, this would be nice). But the line is always monstrous since it's one of two clerk run lanes. Argh!!!

Library Rant

It feels wrong to me to complain about libraries... but our library leaves something to desire. It has almost no movies (kid or adult), few TV shows on dvd, all the chapter books are grouped together instead of having early reader chapter books separate from chapter books for preteens. AND... they stick this little red card in every book's (so checking out 30+ books for my family takes FOREVER) little checkout card pocket. But all the card says is info on the library's webpage or else it's blank. And my kids just pull them out and lose them. I asked the librarian once why they have to do it and she informed me it's so they know which books they've checked out already as they are checking books out. Umm... you have a super state of the art bar code reading computer thingy that has a screen that lists all the books you've already scanned. AND, if you scan it a second time, it's going to tell you. Then the librarian whispered, "and they make us do it." Funny. If I wasn't so annoyed that checking out is taking 20 minutes while she stuffs all these little red cards in. She also informed me that when my kids pull them out, I can just bring them back to the library whenever or shove them all in one book, etc. Apparently, the head library people have informed her that these little red cardstock cards are expensive and they don't want to lose them. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dog Books



At our library story time in Kansas I loved when this book* came up in the librarian's rotation. I don't remember if the librarian told this story with a flannel board set-up... but I remember we visually worked our way through all the spots the dog acquired throughout the day. Very fun.





At a recent trip to our (sub par**) Virginia library we picked up this book by the same author. Also very cute about a girl who describes all the types of funny dogs she doesn't want and that she just wants a dog she "can call MY DOG!"


Here are some other dog books we love in our house (since we all love the idea of dogs and the kids desperately want one tomorrow). And Buddy and Baby X are fairly obsessed at the time with dogs.



Doggies by Sandra Boynton has been a favorite board book among all our babies.





I'm sure you've all read, or at least heard of Harry the Dirty Dog.





And my childhood favorite: Part-Time Dog. (I'm fairly certain that the above and linked to version of this book are updated versions of the one I read as a kid.)





And you can't forget the McDuff series by Rosemary Wells. I LOVE these books.


*I usually use book images from Amazon.com and link you to the book page at Amazon so I don't get in trouble for using their images. But also because I buy probably 90% of my books from Amazon. Books are usually 30% off online, and if I spend $25 (which isn't hard for my family to spend on books) there is free shipping.
Otherwise, I am a member (free membership) of Borders Rewards and I print out their coupons that get emailed to me and purchase the books at Borders.

**Library rant.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Breakfast??



Do you think this could count as breakfast??*

It's called an Oatmeal Bar... which totally sounds healthy.

This coming from someone who likes to consider oatmeal raisin cookies breakfast.

Plus, they even make "breakfast cookies" these days that you can buy next to granola bars at the grocery store. And they sell granola bars that have candy in them. This should definitely count as breakfast.


*This seems very similar to this recipe that I love. Except my recipe doesn't require unwrapping 48 caramel candies.

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Look

Well... the backgrounds on all of my blogs have gone haywire. Until I find a new background or something, you get to enjoy this plain, whiteness. Good thing we finished tagging all the people in our Picasa photo albums. I guess marking the locations of all our pictures will have to wait.


***Later in the day.... Okay, it's looking cute again. We'll see if I like it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Obsessed

I read this post on Natalie's blog about the new features on Picasa. Jed and I are obsessed. We've spent all of our recent free time (and time that shouldn't be free) tagging people in the thousands of photos we have on our computer. Check it out. Right now, I still have almost 3,000 unnamed people to tag. But it's pretty cool how it automatically figures out groups of people that it thinks are the same person. I'm finding it especially difficult to tell apart baby Buddy and Baby X, but the computer has been doing a pretty good job of it. Very fun. But don't get started if you don't want to become obsessed.

Plus, it's a great way for your kids to really measure fairness when they see that you have over 2,000 pictures of their sibling, and only 1,500 of them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Creme Brulee

For Bake and Blog Contest Winner: Mormon Scientist

Creme Brulee (original recipe from here)
I thirded the recipe and made 4 small creme brulees rather than 8 medium-ish ones.

The ingredients

1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cups sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla
4-8 tsp brown sugar


I used Pampered Chef Prep Bowl Set bowls. You should use ramekins since every recipe I read called for ramekins.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the cream, egg yolks and white sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir.
I started with a whisk, but when I poured it into the little dishes, a lot was clumped into the edge of the pan, so I would suggest a spatula that can handle high heat.



When it reaches 160 degrees (I used a candy thermometer that I got awhile ago at Walmart for under $5) or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, remove from heat and add vanilla.



Transfer to your bowls/ramekins. Ramekins are shallower than my bowls, so, I only filled these 8 oz. bowls about half full. Place the little bowls in a 9x13 casserole dish, then fill the casserole dish with 1 inch of boiling water. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until centers are set (mixture will still jiggle).


i
Remove from water bath and cool for 10 minutes before covering and refrigerating for at least 4 hours.



Remove from fridge. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp on top of each cup.



Place on pan in broiler for 2-4 minutes, just until brown sugar on top is carmelized.



Remove from broiler and cool slightly before returning to the fridge for 1-2 hours.
If you were to use a torch rather than a broiler, you could probably eat it at this point. But when the entire thing is heated, the cream part became runny.



Ta da!

Reactions:
The kids loved poking their spoon through the hard, sugar layer, but didn't care much for the creme brulee.
Jed and I have never actually had creme brulee before, it's not really our kind of dessert. So, we're probably not the best judges. It tasted yummy, but I don't know that I'm going to make this again, or order it at a restaurant in the future. Although, maybe I will order it at a restaurant so I can compare it to this one I made.


Fun fact:
Creme Brulee is a cousin to Flan, also known as Creme Caramel.


Hints:
A friend told me to make a regular instant vanilla pudding recipe, and add extra vanilla, vanilla bean seeds, or use scraped vanilla pods. Cover it with brown sugar and torch the sugar.


Recipes I looked at:
This recipe/site was helpful.
As was this one.

Wet Floor



If you have a little boy at your house, this is a great purchase. Buddy has always loved trucks, tractors, trains, etc. He loves driving past road construction and he loves traffic signs. For his 4th birthday (17 months ago) and again for Christmas, we got him a set of these traffic cones you can find in the sporting goods section of Target or Walmart (a pack of 4 cones is only $3.99 or so). They were among the last toys he let me pack up for our move. He loves them. He uses them all the time. He informed me the other day on a "feelings" booklet we were making as part of our health lesson, that he "feel[s] happy when I shut down roads with my cones." This particular cone is shutting down a section of carpet where Baby X peed. See, very useful.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Creme Brulee Delay

I've promised Mormon Scientist aka Matt a Creme Brulee. Here's the delay:

All the recipes I can find call for the use of ramekins and a torch. I own neither and don't plan to buy them.

I rarely use a broiler. Most of the ovens I've used have a heat setting that says "broiler," that I would sometimes use for cheesey garlic bread, or melting cheese on hard rolls for BBQ beef sandwiches. But my new oven has a little drawer underneath it that is the broiler. I'm a bit nervous to use it. And if I don't have a torch, the other way to get the carmelized sugar on top of Creme Brulee is to put it in the broiler for a bit.

While I don't own ramekins, I do own the Pampered Chef Prep Bowl Set. Not quite the same, but I think it'll work. I was about to start making the Creme Brulee tonight when I thought tha I should make sure the Prep Bowls can go in the broiler. They can't. BUT, the recipe only calls for them to be in the broiler for under 5 minutes... do you think that would be okay?

I thought about using a shallow pie plate or oval Pampered Chef stoneware baking dish that I have, but they both recommend against use in the broiler as well.

But I'm working on it and I've bought all the ingredients. So... someday, before my heavy whipping cream reaches its sell by date, there will be Creme Brulees.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Kitchen Mishap Story



This is probably my best kitchen mishap story. When I was in college, single and living in the basement of the Arch House with nine other girls, I had about ten recipes I could make well. Most were, of course, desserts.

For a group activity, I had volunteered to bring the treats and decided to make my mom's hot fudge squares. This was a big deal back then, I was still new to cooking and baking. I made the brownies and they were cooling on the coils of the stove (since we didn't have much counter space in our tiny kitchen). You can see where this is going, can't you?

At the last minute, I decided I needed to buy a gallon of milk for everyone to drink with this chocolatey dessert. When I returned, I was greeted by a roommate who informed me that my sheet cake pan caught on fire, setting off the smoke detectors, filling the basement with smoke, etc. Yep. One of my roommates had left a burner on. Somehow I didn't notice this. It actually burnt a hole through the aluminum sheet cake pan, ruining my nice pan and my yummy dessert. I have a picture. I'd hunt it down for you, but all of my photo albums are in our Harry Potter closet under the stairs, and I'm pretty sure that's where all the house centipedes hide out.


Something similar happened to me a few years ago. Again, I was making my mom's hot fudge squares. (Maybe I should shy away from that recipe.) This was in Kansas. Still a tiny kitchen. I was making dinner for my family, hot fudge squares for a birthday cake for one of the girls I taught at church, and something else... I don't remember what. This time it was a square Pyrex glass casserole dish, empty, that was sitting on a stove burner that had mistakenly been left on. When I realized this I grabbed the dish to move it and it exploded. Let me tell you that a 9x9 casserole dish has A LOT of glass in it. It shot glass all over, burnt parts of the floor. PS (only three or four) was standing in the kitchen with me. Amazingly, I only got a couple of cuts on my arm. PS burnt her toe pretty badly on a piece of glass that flew at her feet, but was mostly just scared. It sounded like a bomb exploded. I think that was the scariest part.

Let this be a lesson to you... don't let stuff cool on your stove. And if you have to, make sure all the burners are off.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baking Craziness

While at the grocery store today, Princess Sparkley informed me that I must have ice cream fever since I was buying more ice cream and we already had so much in our freezer from our last grocery store trip. What PS doesn't realize is that while she's in bed at night, Jed and I scarf down bowls of ice cream while we watch Arrested Development.

PS told me tonight that I must have baking or treats fever as well because tonight I baked cinnamon rolls (just the Pillsbury in a tube kind) for the kids for dessert. Then I baked a cake. Then I made cookies. Also on the agenda was creme brulee (it's coming soon) and homemade rolls that rise in the refrigerator over night.

Craziness, I know. But here's the deal... I made this Cafe Rio knock off pork salad earlier in the week and needed to use up my extra buttermilk from the salad dressing recipe (which, by the way, is SO YUMMY). So I made Aebleskivers the other night for dinner, using up some, but not all, of the buttermilk. The only other buttermilk recipe I knew I had without putting too much thought into it was my mom's hot fudge square recipe. But that makes a sheet cake worth of dessert. Since I've recently organized my recipes, I remembered one or two that called for buttermilk. And I had enough buttermilk for this Vanilla Ring Cake* AND half of this recipe (which you can only view if you subscribe to Taste of Home, sorry). I figured my family could slowly make their way through this cake over the next few days (we don't go through cakes quite as quickly as we go through cookies, brownies, or ice cream). And the cookies I was going to give away when I go visiting teaching tomorrow.

The cookies turned out to be a disaster. Yummy, but a disaster. In halving the recipe, I messed up the consistency of it all. It seemed fine until about 5 minutes into baking I smelled something burning. Looking in the oven revealed the cookies melting off of my baking stone onto the bottom of the oven. So, to the rest of the dough in the bowl, I added more flour. The rest of the cookies turned out okay, but not really lovely looking. And lovely looking cookies are what I'd like to give away to strangers. Not crazy blobs of yumminess.

So the cooking fiasco convinced me that I should save the creme brulee, which I'm a bit nervous about making, for another night that is mishap free. And I ran out of shortening, so the rolls will have to wait as well.

What are your crazy kitchen mishaps?


*The cake smells yummy. I haven't iced it yet. I tried a piece that broke off in my bundt pan and it just tasted like cake. Nothing special. But then, I'm not a huge fan of cakes in general, so maybe it'll turn out suberb once it's iced or someone else is eating it.

Cookie Dough Eater Poll Results



The results are in and I feel a little bit better about my tendency to eat a lot of cookie dough. So, you ten who voted yes... if I get E. coli, I'm blaming it on you. :) Just kidding. Even if you all said you don't eat cookie dough, I don't think I could stop myself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Homemade Frozen Treats

I'm in denial about summer ending. I love the crispness of fall weather, but I dread autumn because it means that winter is next. I am not fond of winter.

My kids have been living off of popsicles and ice cream these past few months. And when I was recently going through all of my cooking magazines, saving the recipes I wanted and throwing the rest away, I came across these three recipes that I'm excited to try.



Cookies and Creme Pudding Pops (and substitute vanilla for chocolate and you have a different treat)
Healthier version Cookie and Creme Pudding Pops



Frozen Fruit Pops



Oreo Split

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Report: I Capture the Castle


buy it here


I've been constantly reading but it has sort of slipped my mind that I should be writing up book reports for my blog. Or maybe I just haven't been reading any books that have seemed worth writing up. Or maybe I keep remembering in the back of my head how my fifth grade teacher told me I wrote terrible book reports because I tended to summarize the entire book, but book-lengthed. Jed can attest to this. He often complains that it takes me just as long to recap a half hour sitcom as it would take him to just watch it.

I recently read Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle. I'm not sure when I first came across this book, but it's been on my "to read" list for awhile. I can tell you what attracted me to it... the title. Isn't this a great title?!? And I love name Dodie. If I was named Dorothy I would make everyone call me Dot or Dodie.

When I finally got around to reading I Capture the Castle, I was surprised by two facts. One, Dodie Smith also wrote what became Disney's 101 Dalmatians based on her own dalmatian, Pongo. And two, this book was first published in 1948. It seems like it has been recently buzzing around reading groups, so I was surprised to find out it was an older book. What brought it back? Was it in Oprah book club book?

I really enjoyed this book. It was sort of a happier, not R-rated version of Jeanette Walls's The Glass Castle. Both deal with families struggling in self-inflicted poverty, but Smith's story, set in England, has the luck of a rich American bachelor who comes to the family's rescue. There's even a hint of Bronte or Austen in this story.

Smith's story, set in the 1930s, is told through the journals of aspiring writer, and second oldest daughter in the Mortmain family, Cassandra. Her father wrote a famous book several years before, was briefly imprisoned for attempting to attack someone with a cake knife, and has been struck with writer's block ever since. Due to this, the family has been forced to sell of furniture and other possessions in order to buy food. Cassandra's older sister, Rose, desperately wants to be rescued out of this poverty and becomes lucky when a wealthy bachelor falls in love with her. This is the story of the Mortmain family, the crumbling castle they call home, the American family that enters and improves their lives. It is the story of both Cassandra and Rose falling in love and very much a story of Cassandra's coming of age.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Apple Muffins

With our move to Virginia we left the comfort of a school district virtual school with set curriculum provided and joined a northern Virginia Yahoo! group for LDS homeschoolers. This group had it's Not Back to School Picnic this past week. I signed up to bring muffins thinking I'd bring these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal muffins I love. Then I started worrying about kids with peanut allergies. It seems that in a homeschooling group, your chances of having a kid with a peanut allergy goes up. I don't really have a back-up muffin recipe. The only other muffins I ever make from scratch are just banana bread. Then I remembered that last week, when I was trying to organize all the recipes I've clipped from magazines or printed off the internet over the past several years, I came across some yummy bread recipes in Family Fun magazine. I turned this Double Apple Walnut Bread recipe into Double Apple Muffins (without the walnuts because I personally hate walnuts).

I baked them in standard muffin liners for about 18-20 minutes and checked them with a toothpick. Yum. They were a big hit at the picnic (and with the wasps). And since it's apple season... get baking.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Raw Cookie Dough

I don't lick the beaters when I make brownies or cake. I don't eat raw cookie dough that I've bought from the store. I do eat cookie dough ice cream. I do eat my homemade cookie dough as I'm making it. And I freeze some to make into cookies later and some of that ends up getting eaten while still frozen. Yum. I'm adding a poll to the right hand side of this page.

Do you, or do you not eat raw cookie (or whatever) dough?

Just because I'm curious. After the Nestle cookie dough recall (the "new batch" is now available in stores) I read an article about a woman who is in a coma as a result of E. coli contamination from the Nestle product.

I have some relatives who are super careful and never ever let their kids have raw cookie dough, etc. My kids don't eat nearly the amount of raw cookie dough that I do. They get a little pinch here and there... not even every time I make cookies. But I love cookie dough. Mmmm.

September 11


image from freefoto.com

Eight years ago today Jed and I were newlyweds living in an apartment in California when our phone woke us up early that morning. It was my mom, she told me about the planes and the buildings and I hung up. Jed and I turned on the TV and watched the news for the next several hours, days, weeks, months.

At the time we had no children. I remember hearing news reports about how to talk to your children about what had happened. I didn't pay attention.

Eight years later I have three kids, among them a seven year old and a five year old. We don't live in New York City. We've never been to New York City. Yet what happened on September 11th has come up a number of times in our home. Mainly it comes up while looking at skyscraper books and firefighter books that Buddy has checked out from the library. Or it comes up explaining why flags are flying on the top of work cranes at construction sites, or on freeway overpasses. I'm glad that what brings up September 11 isn't more reasons to be afraid, but because America is still remembering, still flying flags, still being patriotic.

But I'm still wondering how to really explain September 11th to my kids. The gist of what we've told the kids is that some airplanes crashed into two really tall buildings in New York and the buildings fell down and a lot of people died. We haven't told them the airplanes flew into the buildings on purpose. Or that it was terrorists. They just know that it somehow happened and that it's very sad and we need to remember those people who died. For those of you who have older kids, what have you told your children? When are they old enough to know it all?

I came across this at Scholastic.com. And this article was helpful saying that as a parent, you should wait for your kids to ask questions, and then ask them questions too so you know what their current understanding of it all is. And this article really helped me see how I could put it into kid terms without making them afraid. And that's what I want. I want my kids to understand what an enormous thing this was. How sad it was. How it brought our country together. But I don't want them to be afraid. At all.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I see a new sewing project in my future


This is Buddy at about two and a half years (9/2006) old holding one of his blankeys.

These "blankeys" are actually burp cloths I sewed for him and he grew attached. He still demands sleeping with them, but they can be lost in his bed forever without him noticing. Actually, one ("good blankey") is at his aunt's house right now, we accidentally left it there on our drive to Virginia. He's not too concerned these days. It used to be he had to have both burp cloth blankets in order to sleep. He's growing up.

About a year a a half ago when we were trying to potty train this boy, I promised him that when he was all the way potty trained, I'd sew him a new blanket (since these are tiny, odd shaped burp cloths, after all). He picked out some race car fabric and requested it be slightly bigger than these burp cloths, but still not a blanket size. I made him one that's about two feet by two feet. I had extra fabric so I made Baby X some burp cloths that are about one foot by two feet. Two of them. These turned out to be the burp cloths that Baby X has become attached to. (What's with my kids and burp cloths?) And he's since stolen Buddy's new blanket, assuming it's one of his burp cloths. Luckily, he doesn't demand both burp cloths and the blanket like Buddy. With Buddy, he had to have two burp cloth blankets at all times. With Baby X, I can sneak two away and wash them. I actually try to keep them separate at all times so he doesn't catch on to the fact that there is more than one "blankey." Buddy seemed okay with Baby X stealing his blanket since he wasn't particularly attached to this new blanket either. Really, he just loves fabric. The kid loves fabric as much as I love fabric. Some of his biggest tantrums have been in the fabric store because he wants to buy it all. Me too kid, me too.


Baby X, one year old, (2/2009) with Buddy's blanket that he's claimed as his.

Then Buddy drew this picture:

I'm not sure how clear this will show up since Buddy drew it with PS's pink pen and the paper has since been crumpled. In the bottom right corner is a crossed out Baby X holding Buddy's blanket. The large person in the middle is Buddy. I believe the circle with the plaid square in it is Buddy imagining his blanket.



So Buddy and I went to the fabric store the other day to pick out some new fabric to sew him a new, Baby X free, blanket. I mentioned this kid loves fabric, right. He couldn't decide on just two fabrics. Some how we ended up with 6. He's challenging my sewing abilities. I think I'll attempt something like this, but minus the pockets that make it a weighted picnic blanket.

And a bonus, it only cost me 53 cents. The lady running the register used a $10 off coupon she had. Yea!

*Finished.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Civil War Battlefields



Last Saturday we decided to visit one of the Civil War Battlefields that is kind of close to our home. Here we experienced a new aspect of living in the South. A little girl near us asked her dad who won the war. He said that "we won this battle. But we lost the war." We?? This was a concept Jed and I (being mainly from the west coast) were unfamiliar with. I always just think that the South lost (and rightfully so). Which I guess means I side with the North, thinking we won. But I think of it as ALL of America winning. I guess not down here. Not to mention most of the memorials at this battlefield are for Confederate soldiers, generals, etc.

Zucchini Fritters

for Wendys (Bake and Blog Contest Winner)

When I was about 12 years old, my brother was finishing up a mission for our church in Japan. This was his third trip to Japan. He'd gone as an exchange student the summer between his junior and senior years of high school and loved it so much that he visited on his own the next summer. He was lucky enough to be called to serve as a missionary in Japan, to the same area he'd already visited twice. When his mission ended, my parents decided we should go as a family to pick him up, so my mom, dad, older sister and I got to spend two weeks in Japan... the most humid place I'd ever been (until Kansas, and now Virginia).

Now, I was 12 at the time. And I have a horrible memory as it is. This was 1990. So nearly 20 years ago (ACH!). But I remember that we visited a restaurant where the seating was such that we were sitting at an island or bar type table with a griddle built into the middle. And we ate the yummiest, vegetable cake/pancake/patty I have ever had. I don't know what it was. Or where it was. I just remember that it was delicious. And that I had to pee in a hole in the ground in the restaurant's bathroom. And me and a bunch of other kids caught tiny little bright green frogs in a ditch by the restaurant parking lot. But I remember those vegetable patties. These, while not the same, remind me a bit of that dish.

Plus!!! It's the end of the summer, and all of your backyard farmers probably have zucchini coming out of your ears.




Zucchini Fritters *


Ingredients:
4 normal sized zucchini (grated)
1 tsp paprika
5-6 green onions (chopped finely)
1 cup flour
9 oz. feta cheese
small bunch of parsley (chopped)
3 eggs (beaten)
small bunch fresh mint (chopped)
1 TBSP dried mint
olive oil for cooking
limes

Directions:
Coarsely grate the zucchini. Lay on paper towels for 20 minutes to drain of excess water.
Place chopped green onions in a bowl and crumble feta. Stir in chopped parsley and mint along with dried mint and paprika. Add the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Slowly add beaten eggs and mix well. Stir in zucchini. The batter will be lumpy. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan (over medium flame). Drop batter by tablespoons full onto hot oil. Flatten the little cakes with the back of the spoon. Cook these little patties for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle cooked fritters with more chopped mint and spritz with lime juice. Eat them hot or cold. Eat them as your main, vegetarian dish with a nice salad on the side. Or eat them as a nice summer side dish to BBQ chicken or something of that sort.


*I saw Nigella Lawson make these several years ago on TV. I'm sure if you did a google search, you'd find much nicer looking fritters than mine.

Friday, September 04, 2009

I Want This*

I love milkshakes and smoothies. I hate blenders. I always figured there wasn't a blender out there that actually blended well since even at specialty smoothie shops, the employees are always banging on the side of the blender to make it get unstuck and blend well. Then I saw this Blendtec blender thanks to Marie at MakeandTakes.



Check out more videos here or here.

If only it wasn't $399.95. Any of my rich blog friends want to buy be one as a late birthday present? Blendtec... product placement??



*Said in the voice of that lady in Napoleon Dynamite who really wants the ship in a bottle she could earn with the purchase of a tupperware set.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bake and Blog Contest Winner(s)!

The 31st came and went and I have yet to draw a name. You guys didn't give me much to work with here. I got very few comments (two from my husband that were most unhelpful). And I'm neither a fan of Creme Brulee or Zucchini Bread. And Wendys's husband was just disappointed in what my blog was not. I even tried to cheat and emailed my bestest friend Ang to make sure she entered the contest. But she and her husband both picked recipes that I've made before and blogged about. Mormon Scientist, Ang has had my Snickerdoodles, they are divine. Never underestimate the Snickerdoodle.


For Ang: Snickerdoodles
For Adam: Scones (I'll try to make these again soon too so I can add some pictures to this post)


So, I won't cheat. And I will make two recipes. One for Mormon Scientist and one for Wendys. You are all stretching my cooking/baking abilities. But here we go...

For Mormon Scientist: a Creme Brulee (which I will not be sending to you) and depends on my ability to find a recipe that does not require me to go buy Ramekins or a torch.

For Wendys: Zucchini Fritters
(as soon as I find the recipe I have filed away somewhere and go grocery shopping)
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