The other day, my friend Shannon and I were sitting at her table in her lovely home eating a panzanella salad made mostly of things from her garden. Her tomatoes were perfect, in all different colors and varieties, and I started to wish the whole salad were just the croutons and tomatoes and basil.
She said she liked the croutons the best too, and I thought it would be good to make my next panzanella with mostly those ingredients, like a caprese salad. All I did was take away the peppers and cucumbers, and added in some fresh mozzarella. It’s the best two salads all in one. I hope you enjoy it, too.
So if you haven’t already figured out, I’m pretty big into things being all natural. I suppose I don’t have enough money or enough time to fuss over whether things are organic usually, but I do put my foot down with things like flavoring, butter, unbleached flour, etc.
I put off making these cupcakes, actually, because I knew they had to be pink, and I didn’t want to use fake coloring. Furthermore, I knew the all natural coloring is really expensive, and I had this big debate over whether or not I should buy it.
As I prepared my ingredients, I thought, Oh whatever! I’ll just buy it already (it was $12.00 for just one little bottle of red!). I took it home, started making my cupcakes, added the all natural fancy coloring, and . . . it was brown. But not even a dark brown, and it didn’t even really color the batter (Thank goodness!). I even noticed later as I cleaned up, that it had turned green! It reminded me of an awful henna hair dye fiasco I had with my son when he wanted to be Harry Potter for Halloween, but that’s another story.
Needless to say, I broke down and used the artificial stuff. And I think we’ll all be okay.
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, has been a big hit at our house since we bought it at a Scholastic book fair last year. My daughter likes to read it over and over, so we did a little interview about it together.
me: What happens in the book?
ser: A girl turns pink.
me: How does she turn pink?
ser: She ate too much cupcakes.
me: What color were the cupcakes, were they green?
ser (smiling): Pink!
me: Is it a bad thing that she turns pink?
ser: Because Dr. Wink said.
me: Who is Dr. Wink?
At a family reunion, my sister-in-law told me I was cutting onions wrong and told me how her chef friend had told her a much better way.
Her way creates uniform pieces. You can use this method to dice or mince, simply by changing the width of the cuts (I usually make 1/2 inch cuts for a dice, and 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch cuts for a mince).
Here is that method, and the best way to explain it is to use pictures (Actually, video would work better, but I’m not quite ready to be on camera yet). If it doesn’t make sense, let me know, and I’ll fix it as I come up with better ideas.
Well, I know it’s sad, but bake sale week has come to an end. What will we do?
An apple cake recipe caught my eye in a recent Donna Hay Magazine, and I decided to let it be my inspiration for a bake sale cupcake.
As I tried to decide what to fill it with (as I now believe that all good cupcakes MUST be filled with some sort of gooey surprise), I could not believe it took me so long to come up with caramel. What could be more obvious?
Anyway, these are very fall-ish, very moist, and very apple-y. I thought they really delivered.
I know this seems like a bit of a cop out, seeing as last year I made those lime bars, but the name of these just makes you want one, doesn’t it? It’s like one last throw back to the summertime captured in a cookie.
If food can be a sin, then these cookies are shamefully immoral. Not only do they have a pound of peanut butter in them (which for some people is actually lethal*), but they have enough sugar and butter to make a small village in a developing country happy for a week.
I first tried them at Whole Foods. They were so delicious, I thought I’d go back and read the ingredients. The first three ingredients were sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Only after the fifth or sixth ingredient did they mention grain of any kind. Last week, I was telling my friend about them, and she said, “Oh, monster cookies. My mom used to make them.” The ones she was raised on were not nearly as glycemic coma inducing, so I fiddled with her recipe and tried to bring them a little closer to what Whole Foods had.
Brace yourselves: these are not for the faint of heart, but they’ll make some kid at a bake sale really happy.
*If you are planning on making these for a school bake sale, be sure to check with the school that there are no peanut allergies that would make these too dangerous to have in the building.
I had this roommate in college named Amie. Once I watched her make zucchini bread, while she increased the recipe by seven times. I tell you, she was amazing. She could septuple fractions like 1 3/4 cups all in her head (Yes, “septuple” is, in fact, a word. Like quadruple, only with seven.) Anyway, it was impressive. Whenever I make zucchini bread now, I think of her.
It seems every kitchen I enter lately has a big zucchini sitting on the counter. I know zucchini bread is a bit overdone, but that’s why it’s perfect for a bake sale.
I call zucchini bread “zucchini cake” at my house. I think it increases the chances of my daughter eating it. This recipe adds a few things extra to actually put it over into the cake category, like glaze, and butter, and cinnamon and sugar. If you’re more in the mood for making banana bread because you don’t have a garden, or don’t have friends with gardens who bring over zucchinis to your house the size of zeppelins (and I can’t leave out Shannon’s reason: because her chickens ate them), you may want to do banana bread for a bake sale. My recipe for that can be found by clicking here.
Last year, I started on the first Monday in September, and posted a recipe everyday that week that would be fun for a back to school bake sale (Click here for that post).
These peach cobbler bars were quite delicious, I must say. But I have a long week to go with all these recipes. I hope I don’t gain 5 pounds.
She entered so many times, that if she didn’t win, I was going to cry. Congratulations, Abigail!!!!
Have your mom email me with your address so I can get you that gift card. Would you prefer Borders or Barnes and Noble?
And to all of the rest of you, way to go with all your reading, thank you for the recommendations, and have a wonderful last few weeks of summer!