Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

While Little Girl was around for Halloween last year, and I did make her a costume, she was a little too young to go trick-or-treating. So this year was going to be a big one - our first Halloween in our new house, and Little Girl's first time going out in costume! (Ok, she is still a little young for it, but oh well!)

Hubby and I have decided that Little Girl can be anything she wants to for Halloween, but the deal is we will make her costume, not buy it. This works out great for Hubby, as I am the one who does the making...! But it is fun for me, and was really my thought to begin with, so no complaints! This year, as she is still a little too young to choose for herself, I chose to make a costume based on one of Little Girl's favorite characters. I made her into Tinker Bell! Working with wings from the dollar store and a shirt from the clearance rack, I made a no-sew costume that wound up looking great!! And she really had a blast, loving running around with her wings on! Hubby is already excited for next year!!

And, despite the fact that she can't eat the majority of it, Little Girl wound up with a pretty good haul for a one year old!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daring to do it: Doughnuts

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

This was a great challenge. A lot of fun, allowing for a TON of creativity...! But it has also been a VERY busy month in our family. We are (still) in the process of moving into our new home, and things have been a little nutty. So, while I did completer the challenge, and enjoyed it greatly, I did not have the chance to be nearly as creative as my fellow Daring Bakers. PLEASE check out their amazing work here! So this post is going to be text-light and picture heavy...

To sum up the process - I used the Alton Brown yeast dough recipe provided and let it rise overnight. Little Girl was a great help mixing the batter together. The dough was stickier than I has expected, given the comments of of some of my "cohorts," but it worked well. I do not have a doughnut cutter, nor do I have biscuit cutters. So I used a drinking glass to cut the doughnuts, and the back of a piping tip to cut the holes. I shallow-fried everything, and dipped some in cinnamon-sugar while coating the rest in a vanilla glaze. The doughnut holes were dangerously good - it was way too easy to just pop one in my mouth as I passed by!

And, finally, the finished products!!

Lori, this was so much fun. I can not wait until Hanukkah when I can use this recipe again to make my sufganiyot!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daring to do it: Stuffed Grape Leaves

Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

This was an intriguing challenge for me. I am not usually a fan of stuffed grape leaves. But I decided to give them a shot, to see if making my own might produce a product I liked better. Lori's one main requirement was that our leaves be stuffed with a rice-based filling. I chose to use brown rice, as I find it more flavorful and, honestly, it is what I keep around! I also added some chickpeas, sauteed onions and garlic and "spices."

Unfortunately, though, I encountered a bit of a snafu... My rolls unrolled themselves. I got a couple that stayed together, and got a photo, but most of them unraveled themselves. So we had un-stuffed grape leaves for dinner!

To accompany my Mediterranean feast I made some home made hummus (ok, chick pea spread... I didn't have tahini...) and some home made pita using the recipe from the Daring Cooks' mezze challenge. (I was not yet a Daring Cook then, but I hear great things about the recipe and decided it was worth a shot!)

Dinner was pretty good. I liked the stuffing, and we loved the pita and hummus. The grape leaves themselves? Not such a huge fan... But it was worth the attempt, and I am glad that I had the opportunity to try something which I otherwise never would have.

Thank you, Lori, for helping us learn something so new! It was a lot of fun! To see what my fellow Daring Cooks came up with, please look here!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Little Cook

The other day I was getting ready to make a nice, easy lunch of scrambled eggs and toast. I took the eggs out of the carton and took slices of bread out of the bag, and I left them to warm up to room temperature. As I was getting the frying pan out, I was holding Little Girl, who was in a bit of a clingy mood. When I turned to look at what she was reaching for I saw she had one of the (uncooked) eggs in her hand. I realized I had a choice... I could tell her no, that eggs are fragile and take it away, or I could remind her to be gentle and see what she would do. I decided to let her explore a bit.
Well, it seems that Little Girl has been watching her mommy in the kitchen! She carefully put each of the eggs and the slices of bread into the pan so that she could make lunch for us!!!

(I swear, I didn't touch these... this is how she set them!)

I was amazed, excited, impressed, overjoyed and undeniably thrilled to see her work. It is so amazing to see what children will do when given the opportunity, and also so see how much they pick up when they are with us. I really am the luckiest mommy in the world!!