It was another busy month at our house so let’s just jump right in. I was home alone two weekends when the guys all went camping with the Cub Scouts. While the quiet was certainly enjoyable, all the cleaning and organizing wasn’t as fun. It needed to be done though and there was time to play as well.
One of those weekends I tackled our mountain of blood oranges. I zested most of them and made a large batch of arancello. It should be ready just in time for Mother’s Day! I then juiced the oranges and made a blood orange sangria. There was enough juice left to make some mocktails for the boys. The last of the blood oranges were made into a curd.
It’s a new year, wow! Where did the time ever go?! I look at the boys and they are getting HUGE, I know time has passed but it still surprises me sometimes. December was a busy month as I’m sure it was for most of you. Here’s a peek in our kitchen during that madness….
Between various holiday school parties, teacher gifts and a teacher luncheon there was a lot of action in the kitchen. Here’s a collage sampling of what happened in our kitchen.
The big picture is Sean and Ewan “decorating” their own pizza on a family pizza night, always a favorite dinner night! Then from the top right around we have: Jack decorating some World Peace Cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s Dorie’s Cookies, the decorated World Peace Cookies, a rum cake soaking in the pan overnight for a teacher holiday luncheon, Jack posing with all the teacher gifts the boys took to school and desserts for the teacher luncheon, a veggie plate for Jack’s class holiday party, Jack making eggnog and Ewan rolling gingerbread cookies in sugar. Wow, that was all done in just two days!!
Last week we shared some big news with the boys….we’re going to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. That’s right, watch out Europe, the boys are coming! Josh took the day off work (already planned for other reasons) and he went to the German Meat Market here in town. Among the sausages bought he also got some authentic Bavarian pretzels. We gave the boys pretzels for their snack when they got home from school and had them make the connection to figure out where they were going.
The rest of the weekend was spent eating other German food, practicing German vocabulary and talking about travel in general. Jack is my worrier so he wasn’t thrilled at first, fearing the plane could crash over the ocean. After more talk about all the food they could eat he is warming up to it!
Sunday morning after having weisswurst for breakfast the guys were all outside. Josh was working in his garage and the boys were playing in the yard. I took advantage of the quiet and poured myself some prosecco with pear liqueur. After all, we had breakfast and not brunch so I didn’t get my morning bubbly yet!
Spring is nearly here, can you feel it? We survived February and I’m quite looking forward to a new month. I wasn’t feeling up to full strength much of the month due to a cold that wouldn’t go away. Add in digestive issues and it just wasn’t a fun food month. It was survival mode for a while, keep the boys fed and don’t fall asleep during the day! I’m finally feeling close to 100% and looking forward to another In My Kitchen roundup with our lovely hostess Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef.
In my kitchen, before I got sick Valentine’s weekend, I managed to whip up some gingerbread love shacks. We didn’t get around to making gingerbread houses for Christmas so I figured some love shacks for Valentine’s Day would be perfect. They were great, just the right size. It’s a new cookie cutter, nice and small. Each house is pretty much a single serving, the boys were thrilled with these.
Let me just say that I was not one of those children that grew up on pudding. We didn’t have pudding for dessert every night. I didn’t have a pudding cup packed in my lunch. Heck, I didn’t even pack a lunch. I went to a school that was grades K4-8 all in one building and about 90% of us walked home for lunch. In the snow and rain, not uphill.
I digress. The boys eat lunch at school and see lots of foods I won’t let them have. Pudding cups are one of them. I’ve made several different puddings for them and it’s been popular. They don’t get it often at all, so when they do it is a real treat.
Is the first month of the year really over already? In some ways it flew by and in others it dragged a little. I suppose that means it’s time for another In My Kitchen post. Thanks again to Maureen for hosting this wonderful monthly get together. As always it has been rather busy in our kitchen. This time around I’m not starting off with new kitchen items or food, but with my two budding sous chefs.
All three boys have always been by my side in the kitchen. They help, they eat while I try to cook….they are a constant in my kitchen. To help them along with their cooking skills I decided to let each of them have their own brunch. They would get to plan it and help cook.
Jack was first. For his meal he picked cauliflower crusted quiche (bacon, cheddar and broccoli) and a fruit crisp with crushed snickerdoodles on top (thanks Celia for the idea). Let’s just say it was pretty popular and Jack did well helping prepare the meal. He also enjoyed bossing his brothers around since he was the head child chef! The lesson on opening a bottle of bubbly was also a hit, especially when the cork hit the light fixture.
This past Sunday Jack planned and helped cook brunch. He has always been very curious in the kitchen and really wants to start doing more. At eight years old he is now old enough to take on more tasks so it was his turn to shine.
It started with the planning. He really wanted to make quiche, not a big surprise since all three boys LOVE quiche. Jack, however, doesn’t care for a pastry crust. I asked him which crust he wanted (pastry, shredded potato or quinoa) and he said he wanted something different. I suggested we could try a cauliflower crust and he was very excited about that. He also decided he wanted his quiche to have bacon, sharp cheddar and broccoli.
Jack then announced he wanted scrambled eggs with the quiche. This is when Mama had to push him in another direction. I let him know we didn’t really need two egg dishes in one meal! He decided it was time to plan the dessert. His first choice was a fruit tart. That would be his favorite brunch sweet treat. Once again I pushed him in another direction. As his instructor I didn’t really want to go over teaching him to make pastry and custard, plus the quiche. Continue reading →