Friday, June 29, 2012

Dueling Potato Pancakes- Sweet vs Savory

Since my failed attempt to make sweet potato latkes for Bubba, I have been wanting to give it another try. My brother Tim, suggested that I try making them the way he makes potato pancakes, or "potato poofs". He uses left over mashed potatoes mixed with milk, flour and a little butter. There is another food blogger event hosted  by Tickling Palates called Let's Cook and this month is is a kid's special theme. Any thing that a kid would like to eat, on one condition, it must be vegetarian. Bubba is a meat eater but one thing he loves more than anything is fried potatoes. Especially fried sweet potatoes.
Now Tim and I both don't really like sweet potatoes, so I made some regular potato pancakes too.

For the Sweet Potato Pancakes:
1 sweet potato
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 slice of butter (a little less than a tablespoon)

Nuke the potato in the microwave for about 5 minutes then cut in half and let it cool.

Scoop out the inside and mash it up.

Add the milk and butter.

Add the flour slowly. You are looking to get it almost like a thick pancake batter.

Now the regular potatoes:
2 small potatoes (russet)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup of flour

Nuke the potatoes for about 5-8 minutes (depending on size) Then cut in half and let cool.

Scoop them out, mash them and add the milk and baking powder.

Like with the sweet potatoes add the flour slowly, we needed a little less than 1/4 cup.

There all set up for frying!

Put a heaping spoon onto a well oiled skillet heated to medium high. 

Flip when golden brown.

Same with the regular potatoes. Heaping spoon...  ect.

Flip when golden brown.

Here we go, sweet and regular potato pancakes sharing a plate (but not touching, we don't want those sweet potatoes to contaminate our regular potato pancakes!)

Bubba of course was very happy with his sweet potato pancakes!

*Special thanks to Uncle Tim for his recipe help, and for entertaining Bubba while I did the frying :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mango Margaritas

I've gone food blogger event crazy! I just discovered these blogger events the past week or so and since it is the end of the  month a lot of them are ending in a day or two. I decided I could squeeze two in that I really wanted to do. One of these events is The Only Mango event at Anu's Healthy Kitchen  who is actually guest hosting this month for another blog called Foodelicious. I enlisted the help of my brother Tim to help me come up with recipes at such short notice.

First we thought of Mango salsa or chutney, but then we would have to make something to go with it. And it is just too hot for that today. It is 100 degrees out, and no one wants to go use the grill on the patio in that heat. Then an epiphany! Mango Margaritas! I happen to have a very large tequila collection (Thanks to my dad's many business trips to Mexico several years ago) and even though he said not to make margaritas with it, maybe one time won't hurt. It is pretty good tequila and to not use it would be a waste, right?

The collection!

We decided on the one in this lovely blue bottle.

Here's what you'll need:
2 ripe mangoes, chopped and slightly frozen
6 oz of tequila
4 oz triple sec
4 oz margarita mix
8 ice cubes
1/3 cup of ginger sugar (we get ginger sugar left over when we make candied ginger)
(makes 4-6 drinks)

Start with your two mangoes, 

Peel and chop them the stick them in the freezer for about an hour.

Mix everything in the blender til it is nice and smooth.

Perfect on a hot day like today!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Banana Peach Frozen Yogurt- Without an Icecream Maker!

There is a summer cold going around the house. It started with my husband, then my mom looked like she might get it, but recovered quickly, then I got it. Now it looks as though Bubba may get his first cold. He has started coughing a little in his sleep and his nose sounded  a little stuffy, but so far he is in good spirits. Having had this cold myself, I know it starts with a scratchy, sore throat, so I decided to make Bubba a frozen treat. 

First you'll need:
2 peaches
1/2 banana
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup yogurt (I used Bubba's favorite, Chobani Greek Yogurt- Vanilla flavor)

(These amounts make about 2 small adult servings, I'd probably double or triple amounts if I was making it for the rest of us, not just Bubba)


Peal the peaches and chop them up with the banana.

Add the oj and yogurt.

Blend with the "boat motor" blender. (I have to get one of these for my kitchen once we move!)

Blend till thoroughly mixed.

Pour into a freezer safe container.

About every 20-30 minutes take it out of the freezer and stir it around to break up the ice crystals, and keep it creamy.

After 2 hrs

After 3 hrs

After 4 hrs

After 5 hrs

We gave Bubba some at the 4 1/2 hour point cause that is when he woke up from nap. It got a little soupy toward the end but he loved it anyway. (He gets baby brain freeze if you give him stuff that is too cold because he shoves huge spoonfuls in his mouth). 
We let the rest sit in the freezer overnight and it was a little hard the next day, so it is probably best to eat it all when you make it. (Oh, what a shame!)

Update: I decided to enter this post into this month's Blogger's Scream for Icecream event hosted at Kavey Eats. A couple of food blogs I read have monthly events where a theme is selected and bloggers are challenged to create a recipe that fits in the theme. Then they are all collected and posted on the host blogs site. This will be my first time entering one of these events, I posted this recipe this afternoon and found the challenge tonight and my recipe fits with the "fruit" theme for June so it must be fate.

Here is the link to the round up at Kavey Eats where you can see the other featured recipes for this event.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Sunshine Award

The other day I got a message from another blogger, Abby, from Things for Boys . She was letting me know that she nominated me for The Sunshine Award! Abby was one of the first people who I didn't actually know in real life to comment on my blog, and she pops in every now and then with nice supportive comments. Abby has an amazing archive of creative projects for the home, the kids, and even a couple of things for us moms. She is also another Baby Led Weaning mom so there are tons of tasty recipes as well. The Sunshine Award is given from bloggers to bloggers. It is for someone "who positively and creatively inspires others in the blogosphere." Thank you Abby, for thinking of me!

Here's how the award works:
First, use your lovely manners and thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. 
Next, answer the following questions about yourself. 
Then, choose up to 10 of your favorite bloggers and link their blogs to your post.  Be sure to let them know that you are nominating them for the award. 
Last, be sure to copy and paste the award to your blog! 

The questions:
1.  Favorite color - Green. It is so nice and springy. Especially a nice peridot green.

2.  Favorite animal - Cats. Some people think they can be stand-offish but, I think, it depends on the cat. We have quite a few cats that are huge people cats. We even have "Uncle Tim" stay with them to babysit if it is for more than one night so they won't be alone.

3.  Favorite number - 11. Can't say why, it seems so nice and even, though it is an odd number.

4.  Favorite Drink - I do really like those blue margaritas. I don't know why they are so much better than the regular ones, but they are. And no salt! Ew. 

5.  Facebook or Twitter - Facebook. Twitter confuses me. Why limit yourself? I did make a Twitter account way back but only to follow S#$t My Dad Says before they got a facebook page.

6.  Good book or good movie - I used to like a really good movie, at home, not in the theater. (I'm a grouch, I hate crowded theaters, especially ones with teenagers) but now since Bubba, I think books are just easier, because I can put them down and come back a hundred times without making my poor husband wait. It can take me 6 hours to watch a movie at night or days in a row during nap time (if I  told my husband " Go on with out me, it is one of those nights, I'll watch the rest tomorrow afternoon", HA!) 'cause Bubba always knows.  (As we speak, I am actually 50 minutes into In Time which started today at nap time.)

8.  Giving or getting gifts - I think everyone like to get gifts, but I really like finding "the perfect gift" for someone. I have bought things in March for the following Christmas for some family members, if I think I have found that perfect thing and I don't think they will go out and buy it. The past several years my family has done a no shopping Christmas (except for things for Bubba of course). My mom and aunt started doing it years ago and then the rest of the adults joined in. We just have dinner and hang out. It is so much more relaxing that trying to find things with all of the holiday madness, and then if you do find something special you can get it for their birthday, or just because.

7.  My passion - This is tricky because I can get caught up in new hobbies for a bit and drop the old ones. Before Bubba it was metalworking, and jewelry making and now I have moved to softer crafts  that don't involve fire or sharp tools (like making stuffed animals out of jeans, my new post with the giraffe jean animal is still in the works. In hindsight hand sewing all those spots may not have been the best idea, but so far it looks so cute, it is probably worth it.) I'm sure I will be back to being a "pyromaniac with an outlet" once he is older.

9.  Favorite day - Friday. Even though I don't go to work anymore, it is always nice to know the weekend is coming. So full of possibilities. 

10.  Favorite flower - I love how lilacs smell, but I like the color and look of sunflowers. Back in high school I stenciled a border around the wall in my room and growing up, I even named one of our cats Sunflower, though she did end up going by her nickname "Bunny".

My 10 Nominations:
Here are my top ten favorite blogs to read. They are a mix of parenting humor, crafts, and of course cooking.

Play at Home Mom All of the projects here focus on play based learning, and look like so much fun! There are so many things here that I cannot wait until Bubba is old enough to try. They have a lot of ideas for infants too, but a lot of the ones I really want to try are for bigger kids like this colored sand project.

Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures I first discovered this blog right after Bubba was born and remember laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face as I went through her archives. My particular favorite is The Phenomenon of Parenting and Pet Annoyance. Every week I look forward to a reading about a new wacky adventure.

How to be a Dad This is such a creative blog written by two dads. From their hilarious "My wife just said..." quotes to the instructional baby diagrams these guys crack me up, which is exactly what I need on some of those tough days.

Kirbie's Cravings This blog is THE place for mug cake recipes. I originally found it playing around on pinterest when I first discovered these magical treats. I still am obsessed with the nutella and peanut butter mug cakes and haven't managed to make any of the others yet, since they are so fabulous.

The Baby Sucks Wonderfully done cartoons with a great sense of humor. The breastfeeding related posts are my particular favorites, like her Lava Boobs post, but all of them are cute and really funny. 

Crick Tricks This blog is so well written. I love Suzie's stories about growing up and about her family now. Her posts are very honest and it makes you feel like you really know her. This one is one of my favorites, about dealing with difficult preschooler tantrums. I love the video link in there. She has a sense of humor when dealing them. Hopefully I'll remember it when Bubba gets to that stage.

Cupcake Project From sweet to savory cupcakes this blog has it all! Every new post I end up adding the recipe to my "to do" list. A very dangerous blog to read for some one with a recipe collecting addiction like me. At the top of my list are the Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes, they look fabulous!

Baby Rabies I love her sense of humor. One of my favorite posts was her How To Earn A Cupcake. I can really relate to the "hiding" treats since Bubba has just started noticing if I eat something different than what he has, so if I want a cookie, I have to save it until bedtime like she does, or duck behind the counter and eat it when he isn't looking.

EmmylouBeeDoo! I discovered this blog while I was looking for something to do with some of Bubba's onesies that were too small, but to cute to give up. She had posted this tutorial on making a onesie into a shirt. The styles were a bit frilly for Bubba, but she makes things for her adorable little girl. There are so many great sewing ideas on here and if we ever have a girl, millions of cute little girl clothes patterns.

The Yummy Life So, so many yummy recipes here that I am dying to try. Especially this one: Fancy Chocolate covered Strawberries. They almost look too pretty to eat. Relax, I said almost. They'd be gone in two seconds if they were here in the room with me.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bubba says....

I was thinking...

A cheerio in your bib pocket...

Is worth two on your high chair tray... Ha ha! What a comedian.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ginger Beer

The grocery store had a sale on ginger root again and I couldn't help myself.
The large root I had last time was only enough to make the candied ginger, but not for the rest of my ginger experimental recipes. So I bought 2 pretty big pieces, completely forgetting that we were moving to my parents soon and I did not have any time for ginger experiments. Now that we are here, I do. And I have a side kick. My brother Tim. And even better, they have a pretty large ginger root here already so now we have 3!

The ginger beer recipe I found calls for 1/2 cup of chopped ginger so we are still deciding what to do with the rest. Will it be Pickled Ginger, more Candied Ginger or "Ginger Taffy Part 2- The quest for more gingery tasting taffy that does not melt after being out of the fridge for 5 minutes" ? (See Ginger Taffy Part 1) I imagine the latter since the title sounds so catchy.

Any who, Ginger beer. Here's what you'll need:

1 Clean 2 liter soda bottle
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup finely ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon bakers yeast (not brewers yeast)

In a medium saucepan, combine 6 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons each of lemon juice and lime juice, and a half cup of finely chopped ginger. 

Bring these ingredients to a boil and gently simmer for 30 min. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Mix 3/4 cup warm water with 1/4 teaspoon  bakers yeast (not brewers yeast) in a small bowl and set aside. 

Pour 2 1/2 cups of cold water into the second large saucepan.
Add the yeast water and stir. Use a strainer to add in the mixture from the first saucepan. Stir well. After straining them, we put the ginger chunks aside and made candied ginger .

Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a clean bottle, leaving at least 1 inch from the top. 
(Note be careful to pour slowly! Our funnel drained too slow and we had an accident, so we decided to use a ladle to pour it through the funnel.)

Seal tightly and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours to ferment. 

We decided to leave my husband a note to make sure he knew we stole his Mt. Dew bottle to make our ginger beer.

After 24 hours transfer it to the refrigerator. It's ready to serve when it's completely chilled.


It was not too bad. Very crisp and refreshing, a little less fizz than ginger beer from the store. Nice citrus flavor with a strong ginger kick. We may try a few adjustments in the future batches but I don't think this batch will last too long around here with all of the ginger fanatics.