Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter Break: Day II & III

Winter Break Day II (Christmas Day):
Hub told me he had to work, and I almost exclaimed "but it's Christmas!" and then realized that we don't celebrate Christmas. It's just so infectious that Christmas spirit! So it was me and les kides plus one (playdate)- baking project was definitely in order. We made 'smores bars with marshmallows, golden grahams, semisweet choc chips. And continued to trash the house. For dinner I made a hearty mid-winter roast.-fa lala la chaim.

'Smores Bars
Melt 1/2 c. butter in a saucepan, add 1 bag of marshmallows to butter and stir vigotously until marshmallows pretty much melt. Pour marshmallows into large pyrex bowl and mix in 5 c. golden grahams cereal and then 1/2 c. of semi-sweet chocolate. Mix well, chocolate will melt and be incorporated in with the marshmallow and golden grahams.

Day III: Not so good, my patience is starting to wear thin, although we did play at least 20 games of Connect Four. Had a minor eruption today- not at the kids, but still... Must work on being more centered "ommmmmmygod"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter Break: Day I

Day one of Winter Break and so far so good. With the assistance of TV, caffeine, an absorbing craft here and there, a daily baking project, and a well-placed play date this should be a snap, of my sanity. Being with kids indoors all day long requires lots of patience and a little creativity, and only a moderate amount of meds. All hilarity aside, I'm going to have to try and pull out my A game for the next week, until mother dear arrives and saves me just in the nick of time (New Year Eve).
Todays cooking/baking project will be tonight's dinner- Pizza. I got premade dough, and they can roll that out. Maybe I'll mix up some sauce, they can help me stir and measure. We can make pizza art with the leftover craft supplies from my kiddie cooking class- I have cardboard circles, red, orange, yellow tissue paper cut into squares, sequins, buttons, glitter glue. A mmm mmm good mixed media pizza.

Pizza Sauce
Sautee 2 -3 chopped garlic cloves in 2 tbsp. olive oil, when garlic become fragrant and slightly golden in tone, dump a can of fire roasred diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce, 2 tbsp. of tomato paste. Stir for a while until it gets saucy. Add 1 tsp. oregano, a couple grinds of black pepper. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or more.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season is turning out to be quite picturesque. A robust and engulfing snow storm that began late saturday afternoon and continued to bluster through the night, made this sunday morning bright and white. And now that I am pretty much done with all my holiday commitments, I'm feeling as light and giddy as a snowflake. I just took the last of the brownie batches from the oven. I'm giving my neighbors, and the many people who make our life easier, a cookie tin piled full with brownies and a gift card to Starbucks to go along (coffee + brownies = a snatch of heaven).
Last week I leaped from the Hanukkah cooking and craftfest to the last of my chocolate orders to my last kiddie cooking class- which deserves a brief mention: Ice cream cone cupcakes. It was my chance to release my inner Willy Wonkette and let the sugar reign. Throughout the 10 week program I emphasized sensible eating and moderation, but in honor of my favorite chef quote: Moderation in everything, even moderation (Jacques Pepin), I let them have it!
Rachel, why are we baking cupcakes in ice cream cones? All the easier to lick the frosting and sprinkles off my dearies. I set up a milk bar for them and gave them a choice of chocolate, caramel, and strawberry syrup. I threw in a marshmallow dreidel project for good measure. And with a bag o' gelt and a kiddie baking set (whisk, rolling pin, and cookie cutters)I set them on their way.
And as a bright ending to our eight days of Hanukkah, we had company on friday night. It was a crispy finale- beginning with fried cod cakes and a bed of greens doused in a simple vinaigrette. Continuing on with a batch of extra golden crispy latkes among other olive oil inspired delicities.
And now I am done. Free to sit back and enjoy the holiday season, specatacle, and let's not forget-sales. I am planning an evening of holiday lights drive by shooting, me and my camera and the best and brightest my neighborhood has to offer. I really love this time of year! Kiddles are off as of thursday and there are a whole lot of things I want to do with them. Excited about the absence of schedules, just shoving the I-gotta-do-this/need-to-do-that's, and hanging out in our PJ's for a day or two. Yay!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I love the first snow of the season. I love the cold stillness of the morning after a snowfall. And I was lucky this year that I got to take a few breaths and enjoy this first snow, while it is still pristine, fluffy and perfect. Over the past couple of weeks I've had my nose down, back hunched, and hands atwitter working on a few holiday chocolate orders,and other assorted commitments. Last night was book group which is always a fun time. We read Astrid and Veronika which was worthwhile, the writing was so descriptive and detailed. The story is really touching and thought-provoking. Thumbs up from me. I made an eggnog cheesecake with a gingerbread crust which was OK, but not as good as last year's. I think I got a little too merry with the rum, and I don't care what anyone says- you could taste freezer in it.
Tomorrow night is the first night of Hanukkah...fa la la la la. Friday night dinner will have the fried food quotient of the holiday that makes fried potatoes into a quasi-religious icon- now that's something I believe in: the glory and wonder of a perfectly fried potato. It'll be pot roast and latkes, followed by jelly-filled donuts- and the first light of Hanukkah. The first night of Hanukkah is a lot like the first snow, exciting, new, fun. By the fifth night you're over it.
On sunday, when Hanukkah is still in it's early days I'm doing a family holiday cooking and craft project at the JCC. I figure I'll use this month's article as a template. We'll make jelly donut muffins, which seem to be very popular this season. Marshamallow dreidels dipped in chocolate would also be fun. To break up all the cooking activity they can make Hanukkah decorations with popsicle sticks and sparkles. I'll play Mama Doni's groovey Hanukkah disco CD (Hanukkah Fever). A fun time will be had by all.

Peel and grate 5 medium sized potatoes- squeezed of liquid, mix in 2 beaten eggs or 1/4 c. egg braters, 1 envelope onion soup mix. Drop by the small scoops in a skillet of sizzling hot vegetable oil. Fry on both sides until a warm and toasty shade of amber. Enjoy while hot.