Thursday, October 8, 2009

Halloween Treats!

Or, as I like to say, the knee bone's connected to the thigh bone... the thigh bone's connected to the hip bone...

AND in honor of our little "Naughty Skeleton" I'd like to share this yummy halloween treat -- Funny Bones! Please visit Epicurious for all the info... but basically, here's what you'll need:
  • 1 package white chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • Pretzel sticks
  • mini-marshmallows (about 1 cup) -- the really teeny tiny ones...
1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

2. Place the chips in a double boiler over just-simmering water and melt, stirring frequently. I suck at melting chocolate, anyone will tell you. I also don't own a double boiler. I use 2 pans, one over a larger one, and do my darndest not to singe my arm hair in the process. This'll be fun with the kids. I think an equally fun thing would be to use the fondue pot, but I don't have one of those right now either. Come to think of it, I haven't had a fondue pot since Wendy & Ken's fondue party about 12 or 13 years ago. Wendy?? Where's my fondue pot??? (kidding).

3. Stick marshmallows onto both ends of the pretzels, with the marshmallows’ flat sides parallel to the pretzel. (This will be the kid's thing to do. What's the over/under on the kids eating all the marshmallows, sucking off the chocolate, and leaving me with slobbery stumps of salt-free pretzels? 20 minutes?

4. Dip each pretzel in the chocolate and lift out with a fork, letting the excess drip back in the bowl. (See note above. And, if we survive 20 minutes, I ask you. WITH A FORK??? Hands in chocolate, chocolate on clothes, on floor, in hair...hmmm maybe this recipe isn't the best idea...)

Lay the bones on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to harden the chocolate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at a cool room temperature.

Yes, Epicurious. We will store the leftovers. I however don't think there will be any. Erp. Will post the results after we make this later today... Off to fetch kiddos and go to Walmart to buy supplies. And material for Rachel's Ghost Cape and Ellie's Naughty Skeleton costume.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Homemade "ice cream" in 30 minutes flat

How to manage the perpetual request for sugary treats... every mother's constant struggle - right? Well mine at least. In a fit of creative inspiration, I concocted this "ice cream" recipe that I can feel good about serving as an afternoon snack. Its a great recipe for the kids to participate in too.

2 bananas
2 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Mash bananas and mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into ice cream maker and wait to freeze (about 20 minutes depending on your ice cream maker). Serve. Smile when they say "I Love Ice Cream" knowing that its good for them too. I guess if you don't want to keep plain yogurt on hand (I do because I love it with trader joes lemon curd and frozen blueberries) you can sub the yogurt, honey and vanilla for vanilla yogurt. Also, I used whole milk yogurt which I'm sure helps the creaminess of it.

Mama's Makin Meatloaf!

Well, last night we had meatloaf. I love meatloaf. It's my ultimate comfort food--thoughts of mom in the kitchen, scrunching it together, chopping onions, letting me help by adding the "secret ingredient"... (read cheddar cheese!)


But, I have daughters who view this sort of meal with disdain. So, what's a mama to do?

Fun it up!

I prepared the meatloaf as usual...
Preheat oven to 350

In Kitchenaid mixer (or large stainless bowl) add:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • Press 2/3 of ground beef mixture into foil lined loaf pan, and create depression in center
  • Fill with generous amounts of shredded cheddar cheese
  • "Top" with remaining beef mixture
  • Cover top with barbecue sauce (It's delicious, I promise)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
When 13 minutes to done... fill a pan with pilsbury ready-made buttermilk biscuits
Turn up heat to 375 and finish cooking.

They should be golden brown by the time the timer goes DING!

And, we use instant mashed potatoes, but if you feel the need to boil them and mash them yourself, have at it. Crash Hot Potatoes would also work well here, but are harder to FUN UP.

I diced the meatloaf, gave each kid a biscuit, and created "mashed potato men" with a baby carrot nose, and eyes, and broccoli arms.

I should have done ghosts, I thought afterward, but my daughter insisted the "mashed potato men" were great.

There was laughter. There was harmony. No one argued. Everyone ate. Including their dad. AND, we made it to cheer leading practice on time. Overall, this one was a slam-dunk. Adding to the Fall Arsenal!