Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lemonade on the Rocks!

Here's another Lemonade recipe...

The kids'll love this one!

Alright, you started it! Here's Dani Thorne's lemonade. It ROCKS!

1 lemon, cut into quarters
2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of water
1 mason jar filled halfway with ice

Cut and squeeze juice from lemon into mason jar and ice. After squeezing, put one of the lemon quarters into the jar. Add two to three tablespoons of sugar. Fill jar with 6 to 8 oz of water (the ice should raise it to about 3/4 to the top of the jar). Put the lid on and shake for two minutes.

Drink immediately!


Southern Style Homemade Lemonade!

Here is a truly southern way to make the best lemonade ever. I reduce the sugar a bit as we like it just a tad tart.

Perfect Lemonade

Perfect Lemonade Recipe


  • 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)


1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Serve with ice, sliced lemons.
Serves 6.
Thanks to my friend, Dixie (and what's more southern than that!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gnocchi and Pie

Tonight's special request was pie. Berry Pie to be specific. Its super easy, but still, I had 45 minutes to get dinner ready and two toddlers who wanted to help. So I opted for Trader Joes Gorgonzola Gnocchi that takes just 7 minutes to make. Of course, I had to embellish.

Gorgonzola Gnocchi with Spinach and Crimini Mushrooms
One bag Trader Joes Gorgonzola Gnocchi
One package of Brown Crimini Mushrooms washed and cut in half
Half a bag of baby spinach

Saute the mushrooms in olive oil - they can be chopped up more than in half if you prefer but I was holding a baby at the time so in half was a good as it was going to get. When they are cooked, add the package of Gorgonzola Gnocchi. I didn't bother adding the tablespoon of oil that they said to add because I figured that between the moisture from the mushrooms and the oil I had already put it, we were clear. Once the gnocchi looks finished (all of the clumps of frozen cream sauce are melted) add the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Takes about 15 minutes.

Three Berry Pie (or Google Berry Pie in honor of Noddy)
1 package of frozen pie crust from Trader Joes
1 1/2 packages of Very Berry frozen berry mix from Trader Joes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch

Defrost the pie crust (be sure to take them out of the box) and the berries for about a half an hour. Or if you're not that together, stick the pie crust on top of the stove while you preheat the oven to 375 and defrost the berries for 2 minutes on 6 in the microwave. This plan works well for me. Combine the berries, sugar and corn starch. Line the bottom of your pie plate with one of the pieces of the pie crust. Fill with berry mixture. Cover with other pie crust, crimp and poke. This is a fun one to do with a three year old but a one year old really can't manage to do more than make a terrible mess and fall off the stool. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes with the edges covered with foil or until it looks bubbly.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tiny Potatoes

Do we really need another potato recipe? Probably not. This was a special request from Ken because he loved tonight's potatoes.

Small Creamer Potatoes cut into tiny chunks (like 1/4-1/2 inch pieces)
olive oil
sea salt
garlic powder
smoked paprika

Combine everything in a bowl - use lots of olive oil and sea salt, a little garlic powder and a little smoked paprika. Cook in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes (just about the same amount of time that it takes to cook the fish sticks from Trader Joes - Yum!)

Corned Beef Part Deux - Mac and Cheese Mish Mosh

Today for lunch I made Kraft mac and cheese. Of course I can't just serve it as it comes out of the box. Its just not in my nature. For goodness sake, I was adding mushrooms and broccoli to my Ramen in college!

I had some cooked peas, so of course those went in and I was about to zap a couple of hot dogs and chop them up when I saw the left over corned beef from earlier this week. Hey! Its almost hot dog flavored! It was a hit. So much so that Kate, who refused to eat it at first because she had already decided she wanted to have cereal for lunch, actually asked for some after she "finished" her cereal! (By finished I mean she drank all of the milk out of the bowl with a straw and then took about three bites of the actual cereal - the rest is sitting in the refrigerator for when she asks for a snack. We'll see how that goes).

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Mac and Cheese with Corned Beef and Peas
The most important thing to remember with this recipe is to ignore the instructions on the box of mac and cheese. It always comes out so watery and slimy. Most of this recipe is according to taste and look. If it looks good, its going to taste good!

One box of Kraft Mac and Cheese (or whatever works for you)
1/2 to 1 cup of cooked peas (I love trader joes organic frozen peas - they are sweet and tender and big and crunchy all at the same time!)
1/2 to 1 cup of chopped corned beef (cut up into little pea sized cubes)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Cook the noodles until they are tender. Drain. Add a pat of butter, the bag of cheese and stir over low heat until combined. Add milk until it looks creamy. Add the peas and corned beef. Keep stirring and heating. Add more milk if it starts to look to sticky. When it seems hot enough for you to serve, but too hot for the kids to eat, add the shredded cheese and stir. You'll probably add more milk again to make it creamier and to help the cheese combine so this will cool it down again.

P.S. This goes great with a bottle of beer. I happened to have Michelob ultra left over from previous visitors, but I don't think it matters. Is it bad that I'm drinking at lunch?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ok - I know. How weird that nice a jewish boy from BH and an original valley girl living just outside of weho with their two little girls would opt for corned beef and cabbage for dinner in early June. Here's the thing. We were at Costco on Friday (Ken's birthday treat since he loves Costco way more than any normal person should) and they were sampling Corned Beef. The girls LOVED it - they asked for more! So of course we had to buy some.

Here's the low down on our menu for tonight:

Bill Bailey's Corned Beef Brisket (in the refrigerator section)
Cook it for 7 minutes in the microwave - straight from the freezer. Directions are on the box. Couldn't be easier.

Sauteed Cabbage
Here's the recipe - We cheated and got a bag of shredded cabbage. Evidently its actually good for you!

Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Some nice small potatoes like Yukon Gold or creamers are good, but any will do. Boil them Mash them. Add some cooked peas, milk to make them as creamy as you like, butter and salt to taste.

Seriously, everyone ate well, and we didn't even starve them all day!!!

P.S. I don't know what wine would go well with this because the BV Signet Collection Cabernet I had open really didn't work - it did go nicely with the dark chocolate I used to sedate myself with before bath time though.