Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I've had it in my mind for quite some time to make my little lamb a godzilla costume for Halloween. This year seemed right. She even makes little monster noises all on her own.

Here's some pics of the finished costume.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little Lambs Personal Pumpkin Patch

The other day we re-visited the lovely Circle S Farm here in central Ohio. Even though our daughter was young the first time we took her, she was still able to find enjoyment in the activities there were. We try never to underestimate what she may or may not be able to absorb.

Obviously this year she was able to "absorb" and enjoy even more than she was last year. We like to end our day with a hay ride into the Circle S pumpkin patch. Because one of my brother-in-laws had already grown quite a lot of pumpkins, our little lamb also found herself having quite a few pumpkins. I had planned to let her pick a pumpkin anyway but my husband decided against it.

All went very well into the pumkin patch until we got back onto the hay ride and she noticed she was the only one without a pumpkin. We assured the concerned parents that she had pumpkins at home and that we had taken her into the patch for the joy of running around in it.

She stayed pretty upset with us. Even in the car she was sure to express her displeasure and feelings of being slighted. And then she passed out for a nap.

When we got home, we snuck her into her crib and I set to work in the living room setting up her own personal pumpkin patch to remind her that she did indeed, have pumpkins.

I set her Disney fairys tent at the end of the hallway with the intention of her having to use it to get into the living room.

Where she would come upon her own, personal, blanketed, pumpkin patch.

Perhaps she was too groggy when we coaxed her into the pumpkin patch but the idea never seemed to land with her. The idea was worth a go and I may try something similar in the future, but I thought I'd throw it out there for those of you who have children who may give you the reaction I expected.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grilled Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Proscuitto, And Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich

When I see fresh mozzarella my mind almost immediately goes to prosciutto. Prosciutto and scamootz (smoked mozzarella) sandwiches and subs were something I didn't discover until my very early 20's when I lived in south Philly in the Italian neighborhood (Marconi district, Saint Monica's parish for any of you who are interested in the specifics.)

On my most recent trip to the grocery store I saw some and was unable to resist. I picked up the mozzarella and on my way over to the prosciutto I saw bread that screamed, "I'm perfect for sandwiches!" Awesome sauce.

My prizes.

I still had a little caramelized onion and mushroom left from a few days before and had no desire for it to go to waste.

Having just cleaned the George Foreman grill, everything was pretty much ready to go.

I buttered my bread like I did with the last sandwich I posted about.

Layered onion and mushroom


and fresh mozzarella slices.

Then I closed the grill and waited for it to cook. Cook however long it takes for your sandwich to toast in the way you most prefer.

Slice the sandwich in half if you like.

Don't forget to pop a wet paper, or in my case, UnPaper towel onto your grill to clean it before you feel too lazy.

Then enjoy your sandwich!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pintesting In The Kitchen - Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

The other night around . . .1AM I (for whatever reason) mentioned cookies. I didn't particularly want them right then. After perusing Pintrest for things I thought might be cute for my little lamb I mentioned baking cookies with her one day. My husband immediately perked up and said he wanted cookies and would I go bake some right now? NO! But I told him if I could find the time the next day I would make some. And if not the next day I promised I would make them that week. I managed to find the time.

Our weekend plans included helping one of my brother-in-laws with his (now yearly) haunted trail. With fall activities upon us it seemed like the perfect tome for pumpkin butterscotch cookies.

Today's pin comes to us via this pin, which was not as easy to follow as the usually are. First I had to click the original pin which took me here. Then you need to search "pumpkin butterscotch cookies." Then choose a link.

With all that finally behind me I assembled the majority of the necessary ingredients, turned on some Sesame Street to help me distract my little lamb. And got down to work. You may notice I have cinnamon sugar instead of cinnamon. We are out of cinnamon, I didn't feel like running to the store, or asking the neighbor.

Of course afterward I found our cinnamon sticks that I forgot we had. We hide them on top of the fridge right now because our little lamb started digging through the spice drawer one day and developed a taste for them.

Everything looked pretty wonderful once it was all mixed together.

I used our ice cream scoop to portion the cookies. And I even cooked one tray at a time for sixteen minutes exactly. Being decidedly anal about this I used the stop watch on my smart phone to time the cook time.

The delicious scent of pumpkin and butterscotch filled the house. When I took the first batch out of the oven I was surprised at how light and fluffy the cookies were.

When my husband came home his immediate reaction to the cookies was, "Whoa those are some huge cookies."

The taste was a lot less sweet than my husband anticipated but that didn't stop him from eating quite a few cookies before the night was over. I thought the very, very subtle sweetness made them perfect to take on a play date when you don't want the children in attendance too pumped full of sugar.

 The cookies managed to survive the weekend. I learned that these cookies are quite moist so I recommend that if you intent to store these in a closed container you do so with some rice or a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cleaning My George Forman Grill

I adore my George Foreman Grill, but I go stretches of time where I nearly forget we even own it. Once I remember I usually find use for it a few days in a row at a time or even for a few days a week for weeks at a time. The cause of my putting my grill away and forgetting about it is just about always the same - I hate to clean it.

I could have sworn that you were supposed to be able to take out the inner grill pieces and wash them in the dish washer but I haven't seen any follow up evidence to prove said thought.

How does one best take care of the pain that is cleaning a George Foreman grill? The internet said (via many sources) that the answer was simple - paper towels. For this test I will be using, surprise surprise, my UnPaper towels.

Plug in your grill and let it begin to warm up.

Wet your UnPaper towels really well, wringing them out to the point where they just stopped being dripping wet. But still keep them very wet.

I decided to use two towels back to back in an attempt to get an even better, more thorough clean.

Place them in the grill with the "cleaning sides" facing the section of grill you want them to clean (ie. wrong side to wrong side so that both "terry" sides are on the dirty portion of the grill.)

Close the grill with the UnPaper towels in it.

Let your grill work up a good steam.

Despite warning to let things cool before removing the towels I did it anyway and gave the grill a quick wipe with a dry towel.

Seeing that amount of yuck still left I opted to flip the towels to their now clean side and close the grill again. Unplug the grill because you don't really need a lot more "cooking" at this point - or at least I didn't.

Remove the towels, wipe down your grill with a dry cloth, and enjoy your now clean George Foreman grill!

Two of my favorite sources while I was figuring out how to clean this beast:
Judith's Mama
Hub Pages

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pintesting In The Kitchen - Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables

This was another one of those pins that when I saw it I felt like I just had to have it as soon as humanly possible. The recipe for these beautiful pickled vegetables can be found here.

On grocery day the first place I went for vegetables didn't have daikon, but absolutely insistant on pickled vegetables, I bought some parsnips just in absolute case I didn't find any.

Parsnips and daikon are not the same thing, but I was just feeling obsessed with getting some delicious pickled vegetables into my tummy.

Thankfully I was able to find daikon at another store.

I worked pretty slowly on this whole thing. In fact I started this while I was making that caramelized onion, mushroom, prosciutto, and  fresh mozzarella sandwich I made the other day. While I waited for my sandwich to cook I cleaned, peeled, julienned, and placed the daikon into a container for later.

When I came back I did the same to my carrots.

Some time during the cleaning and cutting of my cucumber I realized that I wasn't still back in culinary school and there wouldn't be a chef to come around and check my trimmings and julienned veggies to see if they were done to an exact standard.

I used actual paper towels to pat the cucumber dry. I'd like to point out that I did not purchase these paper towels. They were left at my house by a maintenance worker.

I also patted the previously refrigerated daikon dry. The carrots really didn't seem like they needed it to me.

Then I put together the mixure of sea salt, sugar, water, and rice vinegar. I strirred the mixture until the sugar had dissolved.

By the time I poured the liquid over the vegetables I was already salivating just a bit.

Now I have to wait five whole days!

Pintesting In The Kitchen - Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Brie Grilled Cheese

Sometimes you come across a pin you need to make ASAP. That's how I felt when I saw this picture attached to this pin.

Oooooooooooh cheese-its yes!!! Just looking at this picture makes me want to make another.

The original recipe (which I strayed ever so slightly from) can be found here.

This bread screamed badass sammich so I had to have it.

The pieces of bread aren't quite nearly as frighteningly massive as they appear. This is actually 4 pieces of bread.

Thankfully grocery day was only a few days away and that evening I scurried into the kitchen to get to work. I assembled the majority of the necessary ingredients.

Thinly sliced my beautiful sweet yellow onion.

Seriously buttered up my large pan and added the onions and then dusted them with garlic powder.

Once the onions began to nearly get caramalized, I added my mushrooms as well as some more butter.

Things were coming together beautifully. Once the onions and mushrooms were reaching the point that the onions were finished caramelizing and the mushrooms were nearly tender I added beef stock. It's really up to you how much you add. Then I dusted it with some flour and mixed everything together to form a bit of a gravy.

Meanwhile I set to work prepping my bread in a way similar to how I had to when I worked at a small gourmet sandwich shop.

Cut your bread using a serrated blade.

Butter what would typically be considered the inside of your sandwich and then dust it with a little garlic powder (the garlic powder is all me, the place I worked just put the bread together this way to make their panninis.)

Fire up your George Forman grill or pannini press - whichever you may have. Place one slice butter side down onto the grill and build your sandwich from there. When you've finished putting all you desire to be the inside of your sandwich onto that slice of bread, place the last slice of bread butter side up on top.

In the case of this particular sandwich my first layer was onion, followed by mushroom, followed by brie.

Then cook inside your press until it's reached the point you consider done. Remove it from the press. Place it on a plate and enjoy!

How was the sandwich? Needed a little salt. But otherwise pretty darn tasty and it went fast.