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Mall Food

You know those food courts that are in the mall? They are often filled with restaurants full of bad things for you. Fried food, high sodium, grease, trans fats, sugar, etc. etc. I will be the first to admit that mall food isn't my favorite thing in the world. I often cringe when I find myself at the mall with my kids and it is meal time. They start begging for something to eat... something in the "not so good for you" category. Food courts are convienent, but not always the best place for healthy options.I will also be the first to admit that I do have some mall favorites. Growing up, a big old slab of Sbarro's pepperoni pizza was my answer when someone would ask me what my favorite food was. When I was pregnant with my first child, I became addicted to the Kung Pao Chicken at Panda Express. When I was pregnant with Ella, my third baby, the pretzel bites at Pretzel Time were a favorite and because I had two other kids, they quickly became a favorite of theirs as well.We're snowed in today. Another lovely snow day in Kansas City. You all know how that makes me feel. I knew I was in trouble when shortly after waking up, Kelly started begging for pretzel bites. Jacob soon got on the bandwagon and started hounding me about going to the mall to get pretzel bites. As good as they sounded, there was no way I was going out in this weather simply to satisfy a food craving.I have made homemade pretzels before and they were pretty good. I decided to give them a try for lunch … [Continue reading]

Malt Ball Cake

 I was so excited when I opened the March 2007 issue of Food and Wine magazine. The first reason I was excited is because a letter I wrote to the editor about undertaking the Food and Wine 100 Tastes to Try in 2007 was published. The second, even more exciting reason, is that right after my published letter to the editor, there was a letter from Neil Penick in San Francisco. The letter expressed disappointment in the fact that Food and Wine magazine listed one of their must try tastes as a Malt Ball cake, but didn't provide a recipe for the cake. Well, the editor came through and published the recipe, straight from the staff at Brooklyn's Baked. Anxious with anticipation of trying this cake out, I decided to make it today. It was cold and rainy outside and I needed some chocolate. I had all the ingredients on hand and decided to go for it. The recipe calls for 3 8 inch cake pans, but I decided to use 2 10 inch pans instead. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. The result? A very, very moist and tender cake with a frosting so rich that licking the spatula after making the cake will give you a bit of a tummy ache. (Yes... I admit it... I'm a spatula licker!) I really enjoyed this cake, but I know that I wouldn't be able to eat an entire slice without feeling ill from the richness. (The frosting has cream, 1 pound of butter, Chocolate, and corn syrup...get the drift on how rich it is?) This is definitely the kind of cake you want from a restaurant. Rich, … [Continue reading]

One in a Zillion

I take a zillion pictures of my kids in a week. A zillion...that's right. I'm  not exaggerating. I take a zillion pictures in the hopes of getting one good picture. A good picture where all eyes are on the camera. A good picture where my 5 year old isn't doing his fake/goofy smile. A good picture where my 3 year old is showing her true beauty, not trying to show all of her teeth gritted together tightly. A good picture where my 8 month old doesn't lose interest by the time the flash actually finishes going off. Of those zillion pictures I take a week, it is very, very common for every picture I take to include at least one of the above traits I mentioned. I've given up trying to get pictures of all three of them together. That's just a pipe dream that I know is probably never going to happen. The other day, Jacob and Ella were playing on the floor. Ella is crawling like crazy now, and she was trying to climb over Jacob. I grabbed my nearby camera to capture the moment. Guess what I captured instead? A picture of both of the kids looking at the camera with normal looks on their faces! Yay! Success!For the fairness factor, I had to go snap a picture of Kelly too and actually was able to get a good picture of her as well! 1 in a zillion ain't bad!  … [Continue reading]


I have officially become domesticated. There have been little signs along the way that this transition was taking place, but I believe it is now official. When I bought my first hostess apron from Etsy, that was a sign. When Fly Lady and Recipezaar took over Entertainment websites on my list of favorites, that was a sign. When I traded in my Nissan Maxima for a minivan, that was yet another sign. The final nail in the coffin of domestication came this weekend when I was in charge of coordinating our church bake sale. Yep...what says getting older, mom and domestication better than a church bake sale?The theme for our bake sale was "Give a Little Love". The ladies in our parish were encouraged to make up treats that would fit the "Give a Little Love" theme. We had frosted heart shape cookies, heart shaped cakes, heart shaped brownies, and a whole slew of heart sprinkled goodies.I decided to make Red Velvet Cupcakes for my contribution. What says love like a nice, moist, red cupcake topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting?  Sounds like love to me!Here's the recipe from Recipezaar if you'd like to share the love too.Red Velvet Cupcakes by Lorraine of AZ 12 cupcakes 40 min 20 min prep 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 … [Continue reading]

A Little Me Time

For so many people, cooking dinner is just another chore added to their long list of to-do's during the day. I enjoy cooking dinner. Let me rephrase that... I enjoy cooking dinner if I don't have three children under my feet bugging me to do things for them while I am trying to navigate the kitchen to cook something all 5 of us will like. On my best nights, my husband comes home from work and sweeps the kids away for awhile so I can make dinner in peace. Cooking dinner under those circumstances is my "me" time. It's the time where I can be in my element. Where I can think about my day without the distraction of the children interrupting my thoughts. It's great, but I know my husband has his limitations. He's usually been at work for 10 hours and would probably like some "me" time as well. On nights like those, I feel a little oomph of success when I can have my "me" time in the kitchen and it takes roughly 30 minutes from start to finish to create a nice meal.Last night was one of those nights. I tried a new recipe from one of those free Kraft Food and Family magazines that shows up in our mail on occasion. The recipe was for Fiesta Chicken Pasta. I used all of the light versions of the ingredients and it came out great. The entire family, including the baby, really enjoyed this dish. My 5 year old son had three "loads", which is his terminology for servings. If you are a parent that dreads making dinner each night, give this quick, … [Continue reading]