Friday, April 29, 2011

Super Simple Meal for a Very Busy Night

As some of you know, I'm a journalist. A journalist based in Birmingham, Alabama. Which means this week I've been "in the field" 12-14 hours a day covering the destructive tornadoes that flattened much of our region.

For international readers who haven't followed the story, this is the tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa, just 60 miles southwest of Birmingham (warning: the people who recorded this video are crazy. Seriously, people, what were you thinking?!?)

And here is video of that same twister skirting just north of downtown Birmingham (I was huddled under my desk on the southside of downtown, filing stories for NPR when the tornado passed.)

To get an idea of the destruction and hear from some of the survivors you can listen to the feature story I produced for my local station (and NPR national).

All this to say that just when I was getting back into the kitchen after two weeks of being sick, I was suddenly thrust into the field reporting a devastating story that is such a huge reminder to hold dear all we have.

And by "have" I don't mean houses, clothes, or cars. It seems obvious, but a reminder like this really drives it home. As one survivor told me, "You can replace the stuff. But your family and friends? You can't replace them. Hold them close to your heart every day and thank God they're here."

That's what I'm doing this week. I hope you'll take a moment to do the same.

And when you're done hugging, do what you can fill their bellies with something yummy. Maybe something super simple like my friend Helen Todd's Make-It-Up-As-You-Go Pasta.


  • Pasta (we used linguine)
  • bacon
  • green onions (chopped)
  • mushrooms (quartered)
  • spinach
  • brie

Helen's version doesn't call for tomatoes, but remember -- it's "make it up as you go", and I like tomatoes, so I added some (the cherry version).


Boil pasta according to directions

Meanwhile, cook the bacon.

When it's done, pour off the grease, add the onions and mushrooms and saute.

Once onions/mushrooms/tomatoes are tender, add the spinach.

Drain pasta, add to veggie mixture, stir in brie and serve over pasta.

Quick, simple and delicious. A way to honor your loved ones without spending all of your time in the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What to do with ALL THIS HAM!?!

If you're like us, you've got a ton of ham left over in your fridge. Jason's mother gifted us a school fundraiser ham last week and it seems like we've been eating ham, ham and more ham! OINK!

Day One: Straight Up Ham...

Day Two: Ham Sandwiches...

Day Three: Ham Scramble...

Day Four: ay, ay, ay! What to eat on Day Four?!?

Answer: Mexican Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup


1 can black beans
2 cups chopped ham
4 cups water
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon Adobo spice
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Dump it all in a crockpot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

There are more suggestions for dealing with leftover ham on our Facebook Page. Check it out and join the conversation!

(Photo Credits: Straight Up Ham, Ham Sandwich, Ham Scramble, and Crockpot.

Martha's Peanut Chicken & Michael's Tzimmis

Finally... I'm back in the land of the living, for realz this time (unlike this time and this time).

And that means back into the kitchen, full boar (or is it bore?). Tonight's menu comes to us courtesy Garden & Gun Magazine (yes, there really is such a thing... only in the south, right?!?) and my friend Michael Krall.

Martha Hall Foose's Peanut Chicken

Garden & Gun bills her as "the other Martha", but gotta tell you this one speaks to my soul a bit more than that other Martha. I mean, c'mon -- she's got a super simple yet elegant phyllo-tomato appetizer...

and who wouldn't feel right at home here?

Oh yeah, and Martha Hall Foose is also 2009 Winner of the James Beard Award for American Cooking and the Southern Independent Booksellers Award.

So. On to the chicken.


  • 5 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 3 green onions, white & green parts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 3-to-4 pound chicken (we used a Springer Mountain chicken -- semi-local and humanely raised)
  • 1 one-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • handful of fresh cilantro (we used cilantro paste, since we haven't yet planted the cilantro)


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the necks and innards from your chicken ... yes, that instruction is for you chicken virgins ;-)

2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1/2 of the green onions, the soy sauce, vinegar and cayenne.

3. Gently loosen the skin of the chicken and spread half of the paste between the skin and the meat.

(If you're a germ-phobe who refuses to touch raw chicken -- like I used to be -- just get over it because this step is really crucial to getting a flavorful bird.)

4. Rub the rest of the paste all over the outside of the chicken. Put the remaining green onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro into the chicken cavity.

5. Roast the chicken, breast side down, in a roasting pan for about 20 minutes. (Don't know which side is the breast? If the wing tips are facing down, you've got your chicken breast side down)

6. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and flip the chicken to breast side up (wings at attention) and baste with any juices that have accumulated in the pan. Roast for another 30 - 40 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 160 degrees and juices run clear.

7. Let your birdie rest for 10 minutes before carving. This step seals in the juices.

Michael's Tzimmis

How do you say it? I'm still not sure, but boy is it good!


  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 5-6 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


1. Peel and chop carrots into small pieces.

Chop, chop, chop some more because this is the most labor-intensive part of the process.

2. Put carrots in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, peel and dice up the sweet potatoes. Add to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

4. Drain cooked veggies, empty into a very large mixing bowl, and mash. Put into a lightly oiled baking dish.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Whisk together orange juice, honey, salt and cinnamon. Pour mixture over veggies in baking dish. Allow a few minutes for some liquid to absorb into the dish. (There will be some liquid on top. That's okay)

7. Drizzle no more than a tablespoon of canola oil on top of the veggies. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.


Chef Tanya -- The chicken was good. Slightly peanuty, but not too much. I don't think we let it cook long enough to crisp up. Consequently, the skin pulled off the chicken when we were cutting it. I would have liked it more were it crispier. The tzimmis is really good: flavorful, but not too sweet. A nice alternative to the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes of Thanksgivings past.

Jason -- It was good. The chicken wasn't as peanuty as I expected, which is fine by me. The potatoes had a good flavor.

Miranda -- (ate dinner earlier with a friend, so wasn't hungry.)

Olivia -- The chicken was okay. I didn't really like the potatoes. I like them with marshmallows on top, like at Thanksgiving.

Hannah -- (no response, but basically a "meh" expression. She ate up the chicken, but didn't touch the veggies)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Crazy day?!? Little time to cook? Try this simple, customizable recipe that won't break the bank.

  • 1 pound chicken (we use boneless, skinless breast)
  • 16 ounces pasta (try corkscrew. it's fun!)
  • sliced & diced veggies (we've used green onions, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, carrots)
  • 1.5 cups of Caesar Salad dressing
  • croutons
  • grated parmesan cheese


1. Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size bits. Saute in olive oil over medium-high heat until cooked through.

3. Combine drained pasta, chicken, veggies in large bowl. Mix in dressing. Put in fridge to cool.

4. Top with croutons and grated parmesan cheese.

5. Enjoy!

Photo Credit

Same Kind of Different As Me

Seems appropriate that our 100th post on this blog would belong not to a recipe, but to a story that feeds the soul. I just finished reading one of the best books I've ever picked up: Same Kind of Different As Me.

I'll let this video speak for the book:

Highly, highly recommended!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Still in a Holding Pattern....

Well, turns out we were wrong. Those stuffed up heads, sore throats and runny noses weren't allergies afterall.

I got home from work Thursday completely wasted after another day of fund-raising. I passed out on the couch, woke up two hours later, felt terrible, took my temp. 103 freakin' degrees! Houston, we have a problem!

So Miranda (who was also feverish) and I loaded into the car and started looking for a Doc-in-the-Box that was open past 6 p.m. We finally found one and burst through their doors at 7:55 (five minutes before closing). They were very sweet, worked us in, and eventually diagnosed a severe sinus infection (me) and strep throat (M). Ugh!

A steroid shot and heavy duty antibiotics seemed to do the trick. Of course, getting on an airplane to Tampa on Friday delayed my recovery a bit. But all's well and we're both on the mend.

All this to say, we still don't have any new recipes to share. Can't wait to get back in the kitchen, now that I don't get all dizzy every time I stand up for more than 30 minutes!

I had some really good South Indian food last night in Tampa:


That's not me... but this girl Sarah looks like she's enjoying it so much I couldn't resist this picture!

I've never made Dosa at home, but I found this video and think I might give it a try some time.

We followed up the Dosas with paneer palak (which I already won't go over well with Olivia, my least picky eater), aloo gobi (yum, yum!), and a couple other dishes we shared family style.

Good eats! It's got me craving more, but before we go Indian we've got to finally get to Olivia's night of Ethiopian food, which we've now put off nearly two weeks because of crazy schedules and illness. She'll be borrowing very heavily from Global Table Adventure (Sasha - you're such a great culinary guide!) and making Ethiopian Lamb Beef and Onion Stew (just can't bring ourselves to eat lamb... sorry!) and Berbere Stew (Ethiopian Lentil Stew -- it's vegan and gluten-free) served over injera (kind of a spongey pancake).

Woody over at FinerGrind Coffee Roasters set us up with some newly roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee that he describes as "Chocolaty lemony-lavender peachy-rose out of the Chemex.

Olivia's particularly excited about this, now that she's discovered she likes coffee. Ethiopian's love their coffee and put a lot of care into its making. Check out the play-by-play of Sasha's Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. I don't think we'll go that all-out, but props to you Sasha! (and to Mr. Picky for being such a good sport!)

Okay, all this talk of yummy food and coffee has my stomach rumbling. It's 7:30 a.m. and I'm still waiting for my flight out of Tampa. Starbucks, you're no Ethiopia ... but banana walnut bread and a caffe mocha will have to do.

Teanastellen! (I'll just have to trust that this means what they say it means!)

Photo Credit: Dosa

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We're Baaackkk (sorta)

Sorry we've been kinda MIA lately. After the Hacker incident and the soul searching about whether I should have posted her comments verbatim (is a direct message on Facebook really private? Am I a journalist? A blogger? A journalist who blogs? Are the rules different for each?!?), I was pretty spent.

Add in this:

which resulted in this:

No, that's not me... but it's totally how I've felt the last few days! But I couldn't just pull the covers over my head and hide because it's a really big week at work and I have to give a workshop in Florida this weekend.

All this to say, we haven't been doing much cooking or blogging or anything else this week! But, we hope to be back in commission soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy this mid-week culinary flight of photo fancy.

Over at Global Table Adventure, Sasha and her crew just "visited" the country of Gabon.

Miss Ava gives the french omelet a thumbs up.

Bunny Victorious is dreaming about an Ice Cream Parlor reception for her wedding...

And I'm starting to think about our kitchen renovation... Love the light and bright of this one...

I'll get right on that reno as soon as we've all recovered from the great Pollen Storm of 2011 (and saved a bit more $$!).

Photo Credits: Pollen and Sick Dude.

Friday, April 8, 2011

You Make It How?!?

A friend forwarded this article from a small town Louisiana newspaper. It brought back all kinds of memories of personal essays and "Happenings" type of columns I remember reading at my grandmother's house. Do you know the kind? The so-and-so had a baby and received visits from this person and that person. Or the "first grade class took a field trip to the museum and learned all about birds" type of reporting. Kind of charming, really.

The author of this column details her sister-in-law's surgery (tumor the size of a fist) and the author's own unfortunate accident that resulted in a black eye and dislocated shoulder. She says that once the drugs wore off enough all she wanted to cook was this classic comfort food: Beef Stroganoff.

Now kudos to her for even cooking after such a bad accident. But as a Beef Stroganoff connoiseur (it was my birthday meal of choice all the way from elementary school to college), I have to say I think she does it wrong!

Here's her recipe:

3 Tbsp. cooking oil (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 lb. tenderized round steak, cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1-2 cups water
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Sprinkle of dry basil (optional)
1/2pint sour cream
Cooked noodles

Brown steak in hot oil; add onions and mushrooms and continue to cook until they are tender. Add remaining ingredients except sour cream. Simmer approximately 1 hour or until meat is tender. Turn heat down and gradually blend in sour cream so it does not curdle; continue to cook until heated through. Serve over cooked noodles.

I make mine with Cream of Mushroom soup, not tomato sauce. What camp are you in? Tomatoes? Cream?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Family, Faith and Hackers....

If you're expecting tips on making a Pretty Darn Perfect Pot Roast or Couponing Like a Queen, you're not going to find it today. My mind has been so focused on another issue that tonight for dinner I served the kids a $5 Little Caesar's Pizza. Yup -- not healthy, not tasty, but it's all I could muster.

I hope you'll allow a lengthy, but hopefully worthwhile digression from talk of food for a conversation about family, faith and hackers.

Yes, hackers.

Yesterday Miranda was the victim of a cyber assault. She got a text from a friend asking about a weird message she'd sent on Facebook. The message was vulgar -- really vulgar. And while I'm known to occasionally curse like a sailor, I won't regale you with my vocabulary today, dear reader. Suffice to say, the message spoke of things Miranda would never write. Not to her friend. Not to anyone.

Freaked, she logged on to Facebook to see what was up.


Someone had hacked her account and changed her password so she couldn't get in. They'd also changed her profile picture (adding a rude comment) and sent many (many) vulgar messages to her friends via chat.

We reported the problem to Facebook, then toodled over to Yahoo to check her email for instructions on what to do.


The hackers also cracked her email account and changed her password. We couldn't get in.

It was war... but I bet they didn't know they were messing with a Mama who knows a bit about computers! For two hours we went head-to-head with the hackers, grabbing accounts, changing passwords, fixing the stuff they mussed, logging out, logging in...


Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Finally. we. won.

But that's when the other battle started. A battle for souls. A battle for sanity. A battle that kept me up late last night and distracted me through much of today.

Miranda received this message from the mother of a girl who'd received one of the vulgar chats. Miranda and this girl used to be friends, but have lost touch in recent years.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 6:31

Are you a Christian? Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? How would you feel if you were taken from this world and seated at his glorious feet? Would you be proud of the way you have lived your life? I am praying for his mercy and grace in your life, Miranda."

Miranda and I were both shaken, but not surprised. We live in the buckle of the Bible Belt. A place where one of the first questions someone asks when they meet you is "What church do y'all attend?" A place where people kill their resale value brick crosses into their fireplace chimneys and kick off PTA meetings and sports events with prayers (and not the non-denominational kind).

Miranda immediately sent the mother a message apologizing... explaining the hacking... apologizing again.

And I sent my own reply:

"Hi {},

I'm Miranda's mom. We've met on a couple of occasions. I wanted to follow up with you about the message you sent to Miranda.

First, let me say I'm very sorry for whatever message your daughter received from Miranda's Facebook account. As Miranda explained to you, her account was hacked this afternoon. Her email account was also hacked. I've spent the last two hours emailing Facebook and Yahoo, changing passwords, and trying to get everything back under our control. I think we finally have it under control - hopefully.

But the reason I'm writing you is to share with you how disturbed I am by your message to Miranda. I can understand that you were upset by whatever the hacker sent your daughter. But your message is completely out of line.

First, it assumes that Miranda would send a vulgar message. Does that seem like something she would do? Does she have a history of being abusive to your daughter? I don't believe she does. You yourself told her that it surprised you because she 'comes from such a good family'. (aside: how she knows this I don't know. I've talked to the mother all of 3 minutes in my life. I like to think we're a 'good family', but seriously, talk about making assumptions.)

Secondly, your message to Miranda implies that A) if she were a Christian she would not send such a thing and/or B) if she wasn't a Christian that might explain why she sent such a message.

For the record - Miranda is a Christian. And for the record - many members of her family are not. All of them are kind, ethical, gracious people who would never send a vulgar message to someone and who would never make broad assumptions about someone based on their religion."

I spent a fitful night obsessing over this incident, then woke up this morning to this reply:


I apologize if I offended you or Miranda in any way. Yes, the message sent was vulgar. I just wanted to provoke a thought about how Christianity and behavior connect. I read several articles about bullying and how to handle it, etc. Your response is expected. I have many family members that are not Christians and I use the same logic in dealing with them.

Just so you know Miranda's message was only one of several my daughter has received from a group of girls with the same tone. Basically, the same message just worded slightly different. All girls from the high school, all friends, etc. I thought about how to handle this, I have the messages in print. Instead of going to the school I decided to reach out instead. I thought it was the better choice. Don't want to get anyone in trouble, just wanted to get them to think about what they were doing. Yes, I assumed because it was in print and Miranda was just one of many with the same message. Every girl that has sent her these messages are girls that I would not expect it from. [note: I deleted one sentence to protect the girl & her mother's identity] Vulnerable and hurt already, I can see how she could be targeted for bulllying. Maybe everyone has had this same problem, I do not know. Again, I am sorry I offended with my reference to Christianity."

To which I replied:

"Thanks for the message. I am very sorry to hear that your daughter is being bullied. Bullying (especially cyber bullying) is a huge problem these days - I know - and can be very, very hard on a child and her family. I am also sorry about your loss. I did not know.

I am not offended by references to Christianity. I grew up Christian, was very active in church youth group, was president of my church choir and a Sunday School teacher. I have many family members and friends who are Christian (from conservative evangelicals to more liberal protestant denominations to Catholic). I also have friends and family who are Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, agnostic and Atheist. I myself am a Unitarian Universalist.

What frustrated me about your initial response, and quite honestly many of the interactions I have with some people who live here, is the assumption that if someone is not Christian he/she is not an ethical, moral person. I have experienced this talk first hand. I used to teach for Crown Financial Ministries. Some of the language used in that curriculum clearly states that followers should only do business with Christians because they 'know the Lord' and are trustworthy.

I have also watched several children be bullied by Christians who tell them they're going to hell because they or their parents don't have a personal relationship with Jesus. I have one close friend whose elementary-aged daughter was told she was doomed because she's Hindu. I know another young girl who received a long note at school telling her the same thing because one of her parents in Jewish.

All this to say, I know bullying too. It's a different kind of bully, certainly less vulgar than what your daughter experienced ... and often this bullying comes from a "good place" in that the Christian child thinks he's doing something positive for the other child, offering him/her a chance at eternity. But it's bullying nonetheless. And it's hurtful.

This is why I felt compelled to write you about your message to Miranda. Not to be defensive, not to start an argument. In fact, I'm glad you responded so calmly and that we can have this conversation without the histrionics that often accompany conversations about religion, especially when a child is hurting.

I wish you and your daughter the best..."

Why do I share this? Not to suddenly enter the ranks of confessional bloggers (not my style). And not to get a pat on the back for being diplomatic (though, thanks to my Facebook friends for the kind words!).

I share it because it speaks to the mindful living part of "Necessary Pleasures: Adventures in Mindful Living".

What is mindfulness? I like this explanation: “awareness without judgment of what is, via direct and immediate experience”. It's being "in the moment", fully-engaged, aware of your surroundings, your feelings, your thoughts, your actions, your words. Being aware of them, but not controlled by them.

Mindfulness isn't exclusive to one religion or philosophy. Of course the Buddhists nail it with the Eightfold Path; but elements of mindfulness are also found in the Golden Rule (which, by the way, pre-dates Jesus and is a tenet of Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and other world religions) and secular humanism.

And here's where this whole long tale actually does tie back to the kitchen ... and food.

As a kid my family would make an annual summer trek to visit my grandparents.

Bill and Leanore Ross led fascinating lives. He was from a large farm family that valued hard work and education. It still amazes me that every child (including the girls) attended college. It was, afterall, the 1920's. She was from a smaller, splintered family that often scrambled to make ends meet.

They met, fell in love, married, had my mother, built a notable career in the Navy (he) and nursing (she), and ended up in D.C. (rocket science, how cool is that?!?). They traveled the world. Experienced all kinds of cultures. (Even spent some time in a Russian jail.)

But back at home, around the dinner table, we had lively discussions about philosophy, religion and public policy (an aside: I remember staunchly defending college coed housing. I was a 17 year old girl. Go figure!).

I'm sure my mother was uncomfortable with these conversations (though she's certainly hosted many a thoughtful debate around her own kitchen table).

I can push and needle and challenge. Not in an aggressive way... but a curious way. Grandma debated from emotion and feeling and passion. Grandpa debated from logic and fact and strategy. I would listen not only to their opinions, but how they expressed them. Why did they think the way they thought? How could they examine the same set of facts and come up with wildly different conclusions from each other... and from me?

I'd put myself in their shoes. I'd put myself in their shoes putting themselves in my shoes. It was a game of intellectual marksmanship that I think led naturally to my becoming a journalist. A professional people watcher. I picker-aparter.

And a mindful person (when I'm at my best).

I "get" why that mother wrote Miranda. I "get" why some people feel the need to think their way is the one and only way. But what I don't "get" is why more people don't routinely put themselves in other people's shoes. Why they don't examine what they think and why they think it; what they do; what they say. Why do they find more comfort in #1 than #2.

Maybe it's because they never had dinner at my grandparents' house!

(Photo Credits: Hacker Head, Cyber War, Mindfulness)

Monday, April 4, 2011

hello.. नमस्ते .. czesc .. merhaba!

So far this week we've had readers from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, India, Australia, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg (hi heather!), Malaysia, Poland and Turkey ... and now:

Welcome, dear reader from Malta! We hope you'll share some of your favorite recipes!

Salmon with Fennel

If you've been reading for any time you know about our affection for the Contessa. No, not this one...

This one...

And despite her recent troubles, she's still our go-to girl for reliable recipes. We rarely find a stinker in the mix.

Sunday night we tried her Salmon with Fennel (Jason's new favorite vegetable).

Ingredients (feeds 10-15 people, so scale down to your needs)

  • 1 (10 pound) fresh salmon (or, if you're like us and the thought of buying a whole fish with head and tail kinda creeps you out, just get a nice, long, thin salmon fillet)
  • 5 cups sliced yellow onions, 1/4-inch thick (3 pounds)
  • 5 cups sliced fennel bulbs, 1/4-inch thick (3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil (haha, that makes me laugh. as if you'd use "bad" olive oil!)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Have the fishmonger cut the head and tail off the salmon and butterfly it, removing all the bones. (eww! ... see note above)You should have about 7 pounds of salmon.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Saute the onions and fennel in the olive oil for 10 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme leaves, fennel fronds, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and pepper and saute for 5 more minutes, until the onions and fennel are tender. Taste for salt and pepper.

Lay the salmon, skin side down, on a cutting board and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper. Spread the fennel filling over half of the salmon. Pull the other half up and over the filling, enclosing it. Tie the salmon every 2 inches with kitchen string to secure the stuffing. (if you're using a regular fillet, just cut it in half, load up with filling, then place 2nd half on top)

Place a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in the oven for 5 minutes to heat it. Carefully transfer the salmon to the hot sheet pan and bake it for exactly 30 minutes (10 minutes for each 1-inch of thickness). Do not overbake! (note: we thought FOR SURE that at 15 minutes our salmon was done. looked done. smelled done. onions were smoking. took it out, cut into it, and ... yes, you guessed it. not done. it really does take about 30 minutes, even at such a high temperature.)

Allow to cool slightly, then remove the strings. To serve, cut into thick slices with a very sharp knife. This salmon is delicious hot or at room temperature.

And delicious served with a side of fresh strawberries, steamed broccoli, and Olivia's Ethiopian Spiced Honey Bread (recipe coming soon).

Reviews: nom, nom, nom all the way around!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day Food Fun

Disney's Family Fun has some great ideas to "tickle your kid's funny bone - and, in some cases, sweet tooth!"

Here's a tiny breakfast that's actually a dessert

And how about this Fauxberry Pie (hint: it's actually a Shepherd's Pie, full of veggies and meat)

You may recall that we wrote about starting a worm farm ... well, check out this Compost Cake. How cool!

It reminds me of Olivia's 5th birthday party. It was an Archaeology. We wrapped up like mummies, painted hieroglyphics on pots, and ate a dirt cake like this one.

And just like LecaUnplugged's experience, half of the kids at the party refused to eat it. Gross!, they cried. And by they, I mean the boys. The girls ate it up! Go figure?!?

What's the best April Fool's joke you've played (or been a victim of!)?