Tuesday, November 27, 2012


With the holidays nearly here I am getting a wee bit excited.  I love the holidays and everything that it means to me; time with my family and friends, great food, gift giving, and traditions.  I am a big believer in tradition.  Now don’t get me wrong change is a necessary, but when it comes to holidays, traditions are the things I look forward to.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I hate potlucks. I have hated potlucks for as long as I can remember. There are always a few standout dishes among the cold flavorless and mushy casseroles. I think that the real problem lies in what I eat at potlucks. I always try to find something remotely healthy which leads me to eating frozen veggies mixed with hamburger that all tastes freezer burnt. I need to take a hint from my husband and just go with the tried and true. Meat like ham or sloppy joes and starches like mac and cheese and chips. And then gorge myself at the desert table.

Last week I went to a potluck at my kid’s daycare. Again I picked the wrong things. This was a multicultural themed potluck and by the time I got to the ham and cheese crepes (that looked delicious) my plate was filed with uninspiring casseroles.  After a painful dinner with the kids, where neither of them ate and were not allowed to have desert, my eyes wandered upon these.

Acorns! So cute and fall like. I snuck two while my kids weren't looking.  So yummy!

I decided that I would make and enjoy these with my kids on a night where they actually ate dinner.  I brought all the ingredients home and a few days later we got to making them.  The only difference with these and the ones that I had was that instead of butterscotch chips I used peanut butter.  Both are good, peanut butter is better.

I sat down with Olivia and we had knocked out about 80 in around 30 minutes.  It could have gone faster without a 3 year old helping, but she was enjoying it and only licked about 6 of them. And yes I mean licked the cookies . . . they had chocolate drips and she had to clean them up.

1 bag Hershey’s kisses
1 bag mini Nutter Butter cookies
1 oz baking chocolate
1 Cup peanut butter chips

This is a simple assembly project
Melt the ounce of baker’s chocolate to use as glue.
Take one cookie and smear a little bit of melted chocolate on one side.
Press one kiss on the chocolate side of the cookie and lay is on the top to dry.

Once all 80 kisses are adhered to all 80 Nutter Butters start of phase 2

Smear a peanut butter chip with some chocolate and press it on the cookie side of your
Lay the acorns on their side and allow them to dry for 10-20 minutes.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Lacking Motivation

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So it has been a while since I have posted anything on this blog.  It has been a busy summer.  Not to mention I have felt uninspired.  Even as the summer went on I didn’t feel like cooking or creating.  The couple of things I did make were mediocre. I didn’t grill much or have any cookouts, I ate out a lot.  I think it is because I am stressed.  When I am stressed cooking feels like a chore instead of a release.  Lately it has been a requirement of life instead of something that inspires me.  And so here we are in November and I haven’t posted in 6 months.  Now I am more stressed than I was 6 months ago.  I don’t know how I think it is going to be any better this fall with even fewer fresh foods and inspiring colors.  But I think I need to start cooking again.  When I succeed it is a stress reliever.  It makes me feel good to be creating something, but I have to find my motivation. 

So here it is.  My posts may not be inspired.  My posts might not be perfect.  My posts might be embarrassing.  My posts are going to start coming regularly again.  My posts might not all be food related.  So wish me luck in finding my motivation, I am going to need it. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Responsible Eating

Nothing better than fresh picked raspberries!

I recently read a blog post from Bethany over at Rinse Repeat, and it got me thinking. Her question was this “How do you incorporate cleaner, safer food without busting the bank?” It’s a really good question. Do we know where our food is coming from? Do we care? Does organic really matter or mean anything?

My family has been struggling with this for the better part of 5 years. Where do you draw the line? Organic generally costs a LOT more. How do I justify the increased expenditure? My grocery bill is already way more than what I consider to be within reason. According to the USDA at home food prices rose an average of 2.8% yearly. However it also notes that while processed goods stay relatively stagnant in price (due to high labor to food cost ratio) raw goods are rising at an astronomical rate. Beef was more than 8% more expensive year over year. We are being punished for eating whole foods, cooking at home, and trying to be at least relatively healthy. On top of that when we try to be responsible, sustainable, or healthy it gets even worse. Organic labels are often times questionable, and priced well above the non organic counterpart.

So how do we do it? I could cut out meat; it is generally very expensive to buy organic, grass fed meat. But my husband might boycott at home dinners. I could only eat organic and cut back on other things in our life, but I don’t subscribe to the notion that organic is always healthier. The big question I always come back to is where does it come from?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Caramel Muffins

There is only one thing to do with old mushy bananas right?  That's right make some sort of banana bread.  This week I wasn't really feeling it.  In fact not really feeling much.  I have had a major case of the hum drums.  But because of the yucky black-spotted bananas I forced myself to enlist the help of a super 2 year old helper and get in the kitchen.  The result was a slight spin on my normal go to banana bread, a tasty treat. Oatmeal Banana Caramel muffins.  My husband hates muffins and even choked a couple down, so I think that we had success.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


So today I have started a new adventure, growing my own mushrooms.  A few weeks back there was a grow your own oyster mushroom kit on woot.com so I had to give it a try.  It came in the mail yesterday and today I am trying to wait patiently.  Seems pretty idiot proof, but I have been wrong before.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Banana Cream Pie

     When we were in San Francisco a few weeks ago, we had lunch at the praised bakery/cafĂ© Tartine.  Overall the food was good, not mind blowing as Bon Appetite might have you think, but good.  For desert I shared with my daughter one of my favorite spring time pies, banana cream, in tart form.  What made this expensive little tart unique was the little morsel of caramel and the thin chocolate shell under the cream filling.  The filling was perfect, bananas firm but not unripe, and the whip cream light.  Unfortunately the crust was bad.  It was thick and tough.  So I decided, since I would be making a banana cream pie for Easter anyway, I would share with you my version of this special little treat.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sillk dyed Easter Eggs

Easter is almost here.  Easter is my Favorite holiday!!  Easter in my family always comes with the best meal, biggest pie buffet, and an amazing Easter egg hunt.  Having kids has made the festivities that much more fun.  But before Easter can come you have to prepare for the festivities.  In the coming week I will share a few awesome Easter recipes, but not today.  This morning my daughter and I prepared by getting a little bit crafty.  Using the tutorial found on Our Best Bites,  we made silk dyed Easter Eggs.  The tutorial was really nicely done, super easy to follow, and had good pictures.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Is here! Smoked Fish Pastries

I don't know that you will find many people that are as excited about spring as I am, except maybe my daughter.  She knows what spring is all about, walks in the stroller and jumping in puddles.  This weekend after my husband took the kids shopping, Olivia showed up at home with a new outfit.  The result was an amazing puddle jumping wonder woman photo shoot.  The boots were from Target and I believe the shirt was from Spencer's. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ginger and Almond Salmon

My dad just sent two packages of coho salmon from lake superior.  One was smoked and one was fresh.  The smoked is siting in the fridge waiting to be devoured, but the fresh needed to be served right away.  Fresh water coho salmon is a really delicate fish and a treat.  I have been having a lack of inspiration as of late, which means I cook a lot of the same things on repeat.  Being in Wisconsin I don't get fresh fish often, and when I do it just isn't that fresh.  However, when my dad sends fish it is always pristine. Normally I would broil this fish with lemon and butter, however my oven is broken.  Instead I chose to prepare the fish with a light breading of almonds, ginger, garlic, and panko breadcrumbs.  This was a nice "I wish it was spring" meal.

I served the fish with sauteed broccoli, locally grown oyster mushrooms, and sticky rice. 

Monday, March 5, 2012


I LOVE butter,  and no I am not talking about the "I can't believe it's not butter"  or "hydrogenated soybean oil" butter substitute variety.  I am talking salted sweet cream butter.  On everything.  In everything.  There are very few things in life that wouldn't be better with a healthy serving of butter.  Some days I don't know that I could live without the comfort of butter. Butter is my BFF.  Probably why I am a little rounder than I would like, but that is for a different day.

My husband has on more than one occasion made fun of me for stock piling butter when it is on sale.  I always have at least 2 pounds back up in the freezer, but I have never attempted to make it myself.  After doing a little research, it didn't look to hard, so I decided to give it a go.

To preface this I should say that I am the world's worst perfectionist.  To clarify, I want things to be perfect, expect them to be perfect, get mad and disappointed when things are not perfect, however I do not and will not spend the time to make things perfect.  Needless to say I had some lofty expectations of what my butter should be like.  In my head (which I spend a lot of time in) the butter was going to be creamy like it is in Europe with subtle flavors. Sometimes I think that I need to be more of a realist when it comes to food.  I am the worst type of food idealist.  Everything is always better in my head and I am often left disappointed and wanting.