Friday, June 29, 2012

It's My Birthday! Meatloaf Cupcakes

I'm a firm believer in living life to the fullest, which for me includes celebrating everything as much as possible.

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved my birthday. As a little girl, I used to perpetually plan my birthday parties. I had numerous types of birthday parties: swimming, hula, cheerleading, treasure hunt, and even a party where I kidnapped my friends and took them to breakfast.

For many years, I went to sleep away camp and would be there on my birthday, that was the best! I remember waiting for the stroke of midnight so I could run outside my cabin, down the hill and scream "it's my birthday!" even if it entailed getting in big trouble.

Nowadays, I like to have week long celebrations filled with lunches and dinners. This year my birthday falls on Shabbat, so what better way to celebrate than with a Shabbat dinner?One of my dear friends, who is coming tonight, is making me a birthday cake because she insisted I don't make my own. So that's when I decided to make Meatloaf Cupcakes! They are adorable and delicious.

Here's the recipe:

Meatloaf Cupcakes

2 lbs. Ground beef
2 Eggs
1 C. Bread crumbs
1 small Onion, grated
1 t. Garlic powder
1/4 C. Seltzer
2 swigs parve Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. Salt, use more for non kosher meat
1/4 t. Pepper

2 T. Mustard
2 T. Brown Sugar
1/3 C. Ketchup

Mashed potato "icing"

4 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 T. Margarine
1/4 C. Non dairy creamer or plain unsweetened soy milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non stick spray.

Make the meat filling by mixing together the ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, garlic powder, seltzer, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Divide evenly among the cupcake pan. Mix together the mustard , brown sugar, and ketchup. Spread this glaze on the tops. Bake for 45 minutes.

While baking, prepare the mashed potatoes. Boil them until fork tender, drain most of the water (saving it in a seperate bowl), add the margarine, soy milk, salt and pepper. Use an electric mixer and whip until fluffy, add some of the reserved water if the mixture seems too dry, be careful not to overmix it, or they will get gluey. Place some of the potatoes in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Squeeze the mashed potatoes over the top by making a large circle and then piping around to create a peak. If you don't have a pastry bag and tip, you could just spread the icing on top. Sprinkle the tops with paprika, if desired.

Heat the broiler and place the pan back in the oven until the potatoes get slightly browned.


Here's my table all set and ready to go:

Celebrate life!

Have a good shabbat and weekend! Pin It

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I wasn't supposed to cook dinner tonight because my parents had invited us over to swim and eat. I was looking forward to enjoying a home cooked meal that I didn't make.

So, I was inside tending to baby Hock, while my mom (Cece) swam with the boys. The men weren't home from work yet.

Next thing I know,  sopping Cece busts inside, with two dripping boys in tow. She says, "either you have to cook the dinner or they have to get out "(so she could cook). To which they both pleaded to swim more.

I say "ok, alright what am I supposed to make?" Then, Cece hastily leads me into her kitchen and shows me the ropes. Pop some chicken nuggets and fries into the oven for the boys, easy. She had already prepared a spinach artichoke casserole, which I had to bake, check. All I really needed to cook was some kind of chicken and prepare a salad. I asked her what kind of chicken she had in mind, and she told me that she had planned to make some sort of lemon chicken. That's when I came up with this yummy recipe for Lemon Garlic Chicken.

Nice plan to not cook dinner CECE, it worked. I'm not too upset though because I created a new delish chicken recipe, and it's no secret I love to cook anytime anywhere.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Oh gosh, I can't wait to make this again! Would be good over pasta, or served with pasta with marinara sauce on it, add a salad and you got yourself a great meal.

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 C. Flour (I actually used oat flour because Cece eats gluten free)
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
1/2 t. Garlic powder
1/2 t. Onion powder
2 T. Olive oil
2 T. Margarine
1 T. Fresh minced Garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/4 C. Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 C. Chicken or vegetable broth
2 T. Capers with 1 t. Juice
1/4 C. Cold water
1 T. Cornstarch

Pound the chicken with a meat mallet between two sheets of plastic wrap, you want it thin and even.

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder on a large plate. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess.

Heat a very large skillet on medium heat with the olive oil. Add the
chicken and cook until golden brown on each side and cooked through about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

Add the margarine to the skillet, and melt. Add the minced garlic, and cook over medium heat, lower heat if the garlic starts to brown, you just want to sweat it. Use a spatula to stir the garlic while it sweats, and scrape up the brown bits left from the chicken. Next, stir in the lemon juice, chicken broth, and capers. Bring this sauce to a boil.

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water. Add to the boiling sauce and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened and is smooth. Place the chicken back into the skillet and cover in the sauce. Simmer until the center of the chicken is no longer pink.


Have a good night.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baked Vanilla Donuts with Chocolate Glaze

Remember my post on National Doughnut Day a few weeks ago?

Yeah, well, that has now turned into National Doughnut EVERYday. If I don't eat at least one doughnut every single day, I feel off balance. I've become addicted. I've made a pumpkin donut recipe, which was pretty good, but my favorite is a plain vanilla one with chocolate glaze.

I like to eat one with my eggs in the morning, or for a morning snack with my coffee, or an afternoon snack with a glass of cold milk. I need to figure out a healthier version of these so my addiction won't cause me to grow horizontally, but seriously they are so good just the way they are, not sure I want to mess with that. I do think they are healthier than the kind you get from a doughnut shop since they aren't fried, that counts for something.

Baked Vanilla Donuts with Chocolate Glaze

I've also made these parve (dairy free) by substituting margarine and soymilk.

5 T. butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 C. white sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray your donut pan with non stick spray.

Beat together the butter and sugar, add the egg and vanilla. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a seperate bowl and add to the butter mixture. Add the milk, and stir togehter until all combined. Fill the donut cavity 3/4 full, bake for 13-16 minutes until the doughnuts are a bit golden.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Dip the tops of the doughnuts in the glaze and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles or jimmies of your choice.

Chocolate Glaze

5 T. powdered sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
pinch salt
1-2 T. water

Mix together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and water until it is a desirable consistency.


Now go make these donuts and stuff your face, and tell me all about it.

Have a good evening! Pin It

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jay F's Fabulous Burgers

I'll start by saying that I must profusely thank my friend Jay F for sharing his fabulous burger recipe with me, these burgers changed my life in a good way.

Jay F and his wife brought us a meal after Prince Hock #3 was born. Part of the meal was these burgers, which King Hock and I both fell in love with, and each ate 3, yes 3 hamburgers each.

Promise me you will make this recipe the next time you make burgers, and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Jay F's Fabulous Burgers

1- 1.5 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
3-4 T. bread crumbs
2 T. onion soup mix

Mix the above ingredients thoroughly, and form into patties. Cook on a heated grill to your liking. We put tofutti cheese slices on ours for "Cheeseburgers".


Hope you had a nice weekend!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Shabbat Shalom

What a week.

Prince Hock #1 had a special late night at camp, where he stayed until 7, can't believe he made it, he was a little tired. Also, he has a new obsession with tank tops, not sure what I think about boys wearing tank tops.

Prince Hock #2 watched the same 2 Backyardigans episodes at least 20 times. "What do you do with scurvy pirate, make him walk the plank!" "Can't stop, can't stop the cops." These songs are stuck in my head like a broken record.

Prince Hock #3 slept from 8-4, you go baby!

My housekeeper has been bringing her 9 year old daughter to work with her. She is scared of our dog, Charlie, yet she loves to play with him. She devised a special toy that she brought from home, which consisted of a stuffed animal tied to a stick with a jumprope. She holds the stick and swings the stuffed animal to play with him, and it's just perfect because she doesn't have to get too close.  Hilarious.

King Hock gave me my birthday present, a Bosch mixer, I've been wanting it for 6 years now. Finally!
The Rebbetzin gave me a lesson today on how to make Challah with the mixer. I was going to wait until next Friday to Christen it (that sounds wrong), but I couldn't stand it. Best. Challah. Ever!

Have a Shabbat Shalom!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crusty Mac-n-Cheese, and lots more!

Why does food always taste better at other people's houses? I've been dealing with this issue my whole life.

As a kid, I used to come home from friend's houses with new food requests for my mom. Here are some that stick out in mind along with the name of the person's house I had it at:

Spaghetti with the pasta broken in small pieces and a very sweet meat sauce- Morgan N.
Turkey Sandwiches with sweet pickles, cheese, and mustard (before I kept kosher)- Courtney M.
Frozen grapes, Raspberry Snow Cones- Alexandra S.
Ramen noodles, May Dragon, Campisi's, artichokes- Samantha Y.
Orange Pillsbury sweet rolls- Paige D.
Eatzi's coconut chicken- Vanessa K.
Spinach Casserole, Cheesecake- my grandma Nonnie

Well, as you can imagine I could go on and on and on, when it comes to food, I have the memory of an elephant.

I had dinner at my sister's house tonight, and my mouth is still watering, it was quite the schmorgishborg. She is an awesome cook. She made Risha's Salmon with Horseradish Aioli (recipe below), Sauteed Brocolli, Ginger Salad, and my Nonnie's Cheesecake. I made Crusty Mac-n-Cheese. Best. Dinner.

Risha's Salmon

My sister's friend, Risha, made this salmon once, and my sis couldn't stop raving about it afterwards. Now I know why. Sorry there is no picture, you will just have to make it to see for yourself.

1 slab salmon
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. white wine
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 t. grated fresh ginger
2 T. fresh miced garlic
dried dill

Place the soy sauce, white wine, maple syrup, ginger, and garlic in a large ziploc bag. Add the salmon and marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place on a sheet pan covered in parchment. Wipe off the sauce, and sprinkle generously with dried dill. Bake covered for 30-35 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Then, uncover and cook until it has a nice color, or you could run it under the broiler for a few minutes. Serve warm or cold with Horseradish Aioli.

Horseradish Aioli

1 C. low fat mayo
1/4 C. bottle horseradish
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the above ingredients together, and add salt and pepper to your liking.

Nonnie's Cheesecake

I have always loved cheesecake, this is my grandmother Nonnie's fabulous recipe with my sister's adaptations.

8 graham cracker boards
7 T. butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 8 or 9 inch springform pan with foil, and spray with nonstick spray.
Crush the graham crackers in a food processor, and then mix with the melted butter. Place this mixture in the pan and use your fingertips to form a crust in the bottom and going up the sides. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.

3- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 1/4 C. sugar
2 T. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream together the cream cheese, eggs, and sugar in an electric mixer. Mix for 20 minutes, it should be smooth. After 15 minutes, add the vanilla. Pour into the prepared baked crust. Bake for 75-95 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the center is set. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Crusty Mac-n-Cheese

Heaven on earth.

1/2 lb. (8 oz.) whole wheat elbow macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions for al dente
4 T. butter
1/4 C. flour
2 C. milk, warmed in the microwave or on the stove
1 1/2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
pinch black pepper
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. panko bread crumbs
1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 7x11 baking dish or pyrex with non stick spray.

Cook the macaroni according to the package. Drain into a colander. Pour the cooked macaroni in the prepared dish.

Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the flour and stir constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the milk and continually stir with a whisk for 3 more minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and is smooth. Add the cheddar and mozzarella, pepper, and salt. Stir together. Once the sauce is complete, pour over the macaroni, and stir a bit.

In a small bowl, combine the panko and seasoned bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni covering it evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes.


Have a good night! Pin It

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mud Hen Bars

Everyone has their crazies. I'm not ashamed to admit mine.

First, anyone who knows me, knows what a germ phob I am. I Purell and wash my hands a hundred times a day. I would never eat or drink after anyone, including my own children. Plus, having a newborn kicks my germ phobia into high gear.

Bees make me crazy as well. I carry an Epi-pen, although I am not 100% sure I would have an anaphylactic reaction if stung. Whenever I remind King Hock that I have an Epi-pen, and he might have to give it to me if I were to get stung, he always jokingly says, "I'm supposed stick it in your heart, right?" My husband is awesome.

Another crazy I have, is that I can be obsessive compulsive at times. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, especially when has to do with cooking. Yesterday, on Pinterest I saw this recipe called Mud Hen Bars, and I couldn't stop obsessing over making them. Today, I compulsed and made them, and O. M. G., you must make them, they are so ooey gooey.

Mud Hen Bars

If you like the taste of toasted marshmallows, this recipe is for you! I adapted this recipe to my liking, the original one is from Sunday Baker Blog.

1 stick margarine
1 C. white sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 C. chocolate chips
1 C. marshmallows
1 C. brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan or pyrex with non stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the margarine and white sugar together until fluffy. Add 1 whole egg, and 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for later). Add the vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, use a fork and slightly mix together these dry ingredients on top of the margarine mixture (alternatively do this in a seperate bowl before adding, I just hate using so many bowls). Mix together the flour mixture and the margarine mixture and until thoroughly combined.

Spread into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, it may help to slightly wet your hands to press down evenly. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, and the marshmallows.

In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer and whip the 2 whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in the brown sugar. And spread this over the chocolate chips and marshmallows.


Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is cooked through, and the tops are a deep golden brown.
(you can check that they are completely cooked by cutting into the center with a knife, it shouldn't look raw.) Cool in the pan for at least an hour, and then cut into squares to serve. Note- if the top gets too dark, you can  move it to the lowest shelf in the oven, or cover with foil.

Tip: Do not let the Marshmallow Monster eat all of the marshmallows!


I'm off to find my next recipe to obsess and be crazy over.

Have a good night!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Massaged Kale Salad

Quiz: Would you rather give a massage or receive a massage?

I'm pretty sure you answered receive, who wouldn't?

Well, here is one instance where you will want to give a massage because this Massaged Kale Salad is exquisitely delicious, not to mention so so so good for you.

Massaged Kale Salad

by Aarti from Food Network

1 bunch kale, stalks removed and discarded
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 C. olive oil
salt, I used kosher salt
2 t. honey
freshly ground black pepper
1 diced mango, or 1 C. watermelon
1 handful pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Make sure to thouroughly wash the kale. Slice it into thin strips and place in a large salad bowl. Add half of the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften about 2-3 minutes

Make the dressing, whisk together the other half of the lemon juice with 1/4 C. olive, honey, and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Pour over the kale and toss to combine. Taste to check if it needs more salt. Add the mango or watermelon and pepitas. Toss and serve.


Have a good day!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Carrot Ginger Brown Rice- Amazing!

King Hock is back at boot camp. He was sidelined for the last several months because of his knee surgeries.

I don't know how he survives doing bootcamp, he works out like a maniac to the point of becoming almost ill. Maybe in my next life I will enjoy working out, haha.

With all of this exercise comes a bigger appetite. I went to the store yesterday to get him some healthy high protein snacks: Greek Yogurt, Protein Granola, Low Fat Cheese, Almonds, and Protein Bars (I'm addicted to the Nature Valley Peanut Butter Chocolate ones).

I'm also trying to make our dinners healthier. Last night, I made the most delicious rice, and I used brown rice instead of white. Here's the recipe.

Carrot Ginger Brown Rice

This would go well with grilled teriyaki chicken or salmon and steamed broccoli, or baked kale.

It has a Thai or Vietnamese flavor with the ginger, chopped peanuts, and cilantro.
1 C. brown rice, cooked according to package directions to make 2-3 C. cooked rice
1/4 C. roasted peanuts, I used cocktail peanuts
3/4 C. grated carrots
1 t. fresh ginger, minced
1 onion sliced
1 T. margarine
salt to taste
dash cayenne pepper, optional if you like it spicy, to taste
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Cook the rice according to the package directions, you could use white rice if you want.

Grind the peanuts with a food processor or blender. What I did was use a Cuisinart and ground the peanuts, and removed them to a bowl, then I added the shredder attachment, and shredded the carrots and ginger.

Melt the margarine in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook on medium low until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the grated carrots and minced ginger, stir until combined, and cover the skillet with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Stir in the ground peanuts, and cayenne pepper if you are using. Add the cooked rice to this mixture and stir together. Add salt to taste, I used about 1/2 t.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


Talk to you tomorrow!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Israeli Burgers, Quinoa Tabbouleh, Spicy Baked Steak Fries

For me, being in the kitchen, cooking dinner is ecstasy. Not today.

Rough afternoon over here at the Hock casa. It started when I picked Prince Hock #1 up from the camp bus stop. Today was the first day of camp, and since he is going into kindergarten he gets to go to big boy camp that goes from 9-4. It's a huge adjustment for him to go for such a long day.

 He stepped off the bus with a smile on his face, but that didn't last for long. Immediately, he started crying that he was thirsty. The hysterics got worse when we got in the car, and he showed me the splinter he got on the playground.

For the next few hours the crying was incessant. All the while, I was trying to cook dinner, give baths, breastfeeding, etc. I wasn't sure what to do about the splinter, so I called King Hock.

Shortly thereafter, Doc Hock (not his dad who really is a doctor and goes by that name) walks in to save the day. He performed a little surgery, which I was not privy to watch.  All I could hear was screams, that made me want to throw up. Ughhhhh.

Thank g-d our little Prince seems to be doing better now with his Scooby Doo bandaid and all.

Good way to start camp. It can only get better.

I managed cook dinner through all of that, and it was delish. We had Israeli Burgers, Quinoa Tabbouleh, and Spicy Baked Steak Fries.

Israeli Burgers

Definitely give this burger recipe a try, it's very tasty. Adapted from the Shiksa blog.

1- 1.5 lbs. ground beef, I used 90/10
1 slice white bread, crust removed, I used Bimbo Wheat
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 T. fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 T. onion, minced
1 egg
1 1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Heat your grill. Place the bread slice in a bowl and pour on the olive oil. Let the bread soak up the oil, flipping over once. Use your fingers and tear the bread in small pieces. Add the ground beef to the bowl with the cilantro, parsley, onion, egg, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Form 6 patties. Grill to your liking.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quiona is pronounced KEEN-WAH, not KAH-NOA, not QWI-NOA. GET IT STRAIGHT! OK?
This salad is healthy, fresh, and a perfect summer side dish.
Adapted from

1 C. quinoa, rinsed until water runs clear
2 C. water
pinch of salt
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 C. fresh parsley, minced

Cook the quinoa according to the package's directions. My package called to place the quinoa and water in a pot. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots, and parsley. Pour on the olive oil lemon mixture, and mix together.

Chill until ready to serve.

Spicy Baked Steak Fries

You can't have a burger without fries.

1 very large baking potato, cut into 32 wedges
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the wedges with the olive oil and spices. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crisp.


Well, I'm feeling a little bit better now because I just got off the phone with my sister, and she told me her son, who also went to camp today, also had an all afternoon meltdown. Yay, we are not the only ones.

Have a good night!

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Man Pleasing Chicken

If you want to please your man, then you must make Man Pleasing Chicken.

You too will be pleased, as it is quick and simple to prepare.

Here is our Shabbat menu for tonight:

Green Salad with Spicy Pecans and White French Dressing
Sesame Noodles
Breaded Gefilte Fish with horseradish and beets
Man Pleasing Chicken, see recipe below
Loaded Baked Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli
Cupcakes and Fruit

Man Pleasing Chicken

Adapted from the blog Witty in the City

1 8 piece chicken, cut up
salt and pepper
1/3 C. dijon mustard
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 T. rice wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken in a baking dish, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl mix together the dijon mustard, maple syrup, and rice wine vinegar. Pour over the chicken. Bake for 1- 1.5 hours, until the chicken is carmelized and a thermometer when inserted in the center reads 165 degrees.

Optionally, you can garnish with fresh rosemary, parsley, or chopped green onions


Have a great weekend! Pin It

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cedar Plank Salmon

I've had so much going on the past couple of days, I haven't had a chance to blog my delish dinner from 2 nights ago.

My oldest JR, graduated from preschool yesterday, and will be going into Kindergarten. I've been emotional about this, on one hand I am beaming with pride and joy, and on the other, I can't get over how fast time is flying by.

Yesterday was the last day of school, and camp already starts next Monday. Summer is here.

With summer comes backyard barbecues, King Hock's favorite.

2 nights ago, I used the grill and made Cedar Plank Salmon with Garlic Herb Butter, I also made Breadcrumb Pasta, and Roasted Peas, Mushrooms, and Cherry Tomatoes.

Cedar Plank Salmon

This salmon has a delicious smoky cedar flavor from the cedar plank and the smoked paprika. Definitely give it a try with the garlic herb butter, which is placed in a small scoop on top of the hot salmon and it melts over it.

Cedar Plank, large size- soaked in water or wine for at least 1 hour

1 salmon fillet, with skin on
Olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
smoked paprika
1 T. brown sugar

Heat the grill. Lay the salmon on the cedar plank, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, lemon zest, smoked paprika, and brown sugar. Then squeeze the lemon over the salmon.

Place the plank on the grill and cook for 20 minutes. Heat the broiler in the oven. Place the salmon under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is crisp.

Serve with a small scoop of garlic herb butter and lots of lemon wedges.

Garlic Herb Butter

This is delicious on hot bread or rolls too!

1/2 C. butter, salted
1/4 t. dried oregano, dried basil, dried dill
1-2 cloves fresh garlic

Use an electric mixer to mix the above ingredients until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Breadcrumb Pasta

A light side dish that goes well with fish, or chicken.

1 lb. spaghetti noodles
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. bread crumbs, I used panko
1 lemon juiced, could use less, but I like it lemony
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
pinch dried parsley

Cook the spaghetti to al dente, or according to the package's directions. Drain in a colander. Then return to the pot and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Roasted Peas, Mushrooms, and Cherry Tomatoes

A friend of mine brought us a meal with this side dish, after I had Prince Hock #3. I was not a huge pea eater before I tried this recipe, if you are the same, you will change your mind, try it!

1 bag frozen peas
1 small carton mushrooms, cut in half and then sliced
handful cherry tomatoes, large ones cut in half
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the frozen peas on a sheet pan with the mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Drizzle with the olive oil and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes or until fragrant, the tomatoes and peas should be a bit shriveled.


Have a good day! Pin It

Monday, June 4, 2012

Delish Tomato Soup

Watch out, I think I'm going to start a new blog and name it "Ugly Clothes My Kids Wear".  Lately, my boys' choices in fashion have fallen off the deep end.

I used to be able to finagle them into wearing collared shirts with khaki shorts, those days are long gone. I can't complain too much because they get themselves dressed, but every morning they appear in their mesh gym shorts and graphic tees (the uglier, the better).

JR is into layers, the other day he came downstairs in no joke 6 shirts and 7 pairs of underwear. We made a compromise and he was allowed to wear 2 shirts and 2 pairs of underwear. Seven pairs of underwear must of been pretty uncomfortable.

JR also loves the sweat band he is currently wearing on his wrist. Whoever put those in their kid's party favors are on my black list now.

I guess I'm over it, it's partly my fault because I am the one that buys them all of the hideous clothes they desire. I want to extend a special thank you to my brother Blake, he took them to Wal Mart to pick out some birthday gifts and they returned with super hero t-shirts, and now those are their favorite ones.

What does this rant have to do with tomato soup? Nothing...I just had to get that off my chest to prevent myself from really starting another blog.

Tomato Soup

Grilled cheese is the perfect accompaniment. Recipe is from Cook's Illustrated.

2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, packed in juice
1 1/2 T. dark brown sugar
4 T. butter or margarine
2/3 C. minced shallots
1 T. tomato paste
pinch ground allspice
2 T. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 C. veggie or chicken broth
1/2 C. heavy cream, or non dairy creamer, or plain unsweetened soy milk
2 T. sherry

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open the cans of whole tomatoes and drain them in a colander, catching the juice in a large bowl — set the bowl with the juice aside. Using your hands, squeeze the tomatoes gently to remove any excess juice and seeds (which you should discard) and place the seeded tomatoes in another bowl. Reserve 3 cups of the tomato juice you caught when draining the tomatoes and set aside.

Place the seeded tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle them evenly with the brown sugar. Roast for 15-30 minutes, until they’re starting to color.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan until it starts to foam, then add the shallot, tomato paste, and allspice. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot softens, about 7 minutes. Add the flour and stir until it’s blended in, then gradually whisk in the veggie or chicken stock.

Next, add the reserved 3 cups tomato juice and the roasted tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let this mixture simmer about 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the cream and sherry. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.


Have a good night!

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Southern Biscuits

(With a Southern Accent)

Aw honey, let me tell you about these biscuits I just made. They are heavenly, oh my lordy lord.

I am currently reading a book called The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith, and it's a love story that takes place in North Carolina. Biscuits are mentioned over and over again. The baker of these famous biscuits, is named Delta, and she gets joy from feeding people's souls (which I relate to!)

I couldn't stand it any longer, I had to make me some biscuits.

Southern Biscuits

This recipe is from Alton Brown.

2 C. flour
4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
2 T. butter, chilled
2 T. shortening, chilled
1 C. buttermilk, chilled

2 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a pastry cutter, and cut in the 2 T. chilled butter and 2 T.shortening until crumbly. Stir in the buttermilk, just until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky. Turn out onto a floured counter top, and fold over a couple of times. Pat into a rectangle that is 1.5 inches high. Cut into 12 square biscuits.

Place the biscuits on the sheet pan, just touching each other. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and use a pastry brush to brush the tops with melted butter.

Serve with honey. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.



P.S. You could make these parve by substituting the butter for margarine, and the buttermilk for unsweetened plain soy milk mixed with 1 T. white vinegar.

My favorite soymilk right now is Pacific Ultra Soy, Plain. It is extra thick, and perfect for baking.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

National Doughnut Day

My boys are constantly going through different phases of obsessions. It started with Prince Hock #1, when he was about 10 months, he became obsessed with Yo Gabba (he called it Baboo). Thankfully, I still know all the words to just about every episode, I wake up in the middle of the night singing "Don't bite your friends".  Since then, we have had many phases like the Toy Story phase, the Cars phase, the Pirate phase, and the Superhero phase.

We are now onto the Police phase. The boys live, eat, and breathe police. They walk around pretending in their police costumes all day. JR loves when I arrest him which includes me tackling him, pulling his arms behind his back, and then handcuffing him and saying the whole "you have a right to remain silent..."

I keep imagining the day I get pulled over, and how much it would suck, but how excited the boys would be.

JR loves to create makeshift jails. A few weeks ago he was at school and he was sitting with his teacher drawing a picture of a jail. She asked him what went inside the jail, he promptly told her a bed, a toilet, etc. She jokingly said, "JR, how do you know what is inside a jail, have you ever been to jail?" He replied, "no, but Daddy has."

She told me this story and I was hysterically laughing, and explaining that King Hock has never been to jail (which she already could guess). I'm still laughing.

Anyways, what goes together better than police and doughnuts? Did you know today is National Doughnut Day? In honor of this special day, I made Zucchini Doughnuts, they were unbelievably delicious.

Here is the recipe:

Zucchini Doughnuts

Don't let the zucchini scare you off, these are great! You will need a doughnut pan to make them. You can make the leftover batter into cupcakes.

1 1/3 C. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. soy milk, or any other type of milk, could even use orange juice
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. almond extract
2 1/2 C. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 1/2 C. shredded zucchini

1 C. powdered sugar
2 T. hot water
1/2 t. almond extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the doughnut pan with nonstick spray.

Mix together the sugar, eggs, oil, soy milk, lemon juice, and almond extract. Once thoroughly mixed, add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and shredded zucchini. Mix until all combined. Fill the doughnut pan 3/4 full and bake for 10-15 minutes until done.

While the doughnuts are baking, make the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar, water, and almond extract.

Remove from the oven, and remove doughnut from the pan once cool enough to handle. Spread the glaze on the tops of the doughnuts and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles, the glaze will dry quickly.

You can bake the leftover batter in batches to make all doughnuts, or you can bake the batter in a cupcake pan with liners. The baking time for the cupcakes is around 25 minutes.


Happy Doughnut Day!

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