Thursday, August 27, 2009


locally grown sweet corn
mayonnaise and cayenne pepper

This is my favorite way to eat corn. I think it was made even more popular by the movie Nacho Libre which we happen to love as well. One of the characters, Esqueleto is always eating elote.

We usually grill it inside the husks and then pull the husks back when they are charred and use the husk as a handle. It's just as good boiled though. I found two recipes online. I've tried them both and they are good.

Here's a recipe from all recipes

My way is much easier I must say. Even the cooking the corn part. Here's what you need:
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon or more to taste of cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime
  • freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  1. Remove husks and silk from ears of corn. Rinse.
  2. In a large pot, filled 3/4 with water, bring to boil a boil on high heat. (some people put sugar in their water to boil, but we never do because our local corn is fresh and sweet).
  3. Once the water is boiling, lower cobs into the water. Boil rapidly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. While corn is cooling down, mix mayo with cayenne. (must use mayonnaise. No miracle whip, or reduced fat recipes. It is best withplain ol' mayonnaise.
  4. Place corn holders on each end of your cob and then slather mayonnaise mixture evenly over cob. Sprinkle or roll in the parmesan cheese (cotija cheese is the most commonly used cheese for elote, but I like it a little more mild. That's why I use pamesan. I also leave out the butter, salt, and garlic. It doesn't need it!).
  5. Serve with lime wedges. I usually squeeze the lime evenly over cob and then dig in!
This is so good! At least I think so. But here's what our kids did when we tried to get them to eat it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

bento #4

This is a bento box that stacks two high. Maybe i'll get a picture of it sometime so you can see the whole look. It is really tiny, but I am surprised at really how much food I can fit in there.

The top box has Oatmeal Squares cereal, grape tomatoes from our garden, and cucumbers cut with flower cutter (also from our garden).

The bottom box has sliced strawberries, the little container has 1-2 teaspoons of homemade ranch dressing for his veggies, and bowtie pasta with butter and parmesan.


My mother makes a delicious candy every Christmas called a Caramel Pecan Log, a recipe that's been in the family for a very long time. Inside this caramel pecan log, is a fondant. It's made with white sugar. I discovered that Pinoche is essentially this very fondant, but it's made with brown sugar instead. There are a number of ways to make this, and is also called a variety of names, such as brown sugar fudge. This was very sweet, rich, and in my opinion, too much. I felt the sugar rush go straight to my brain. It was good, but I could only eat one little square. I think it's the sweet brown sugar. I would rather eat the fondant by itself from the Caramel Pecan Log recipe. I would also rather just make fudge. But some people adore pinoche. And maybe there's a better recipe out there, but here's a basic.

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugars, milk, and butter. Cook, stirring occasionally to soft ball stage. Take off of heat, and add vanilla. Let sit until lukewarm. Beat with a wooden spoon (this is a major pain!) until it loses its gloss. Pour into a buttered 8x8 dish. Cool until firm and then cut into small pieces.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

bentos #2 and #3 for daisy

Ugly picture, but this bento is PB and J sandwiches cut into squares. I "heart" you cut out of mango fruit leather, edamame on toothpicks, and cantaloupe in star and flower shapes. The lid has a small space for another item. I put a small package of cookies in it the first day.

cantaloupe, deli turkey rolled up, carrots, edamame, and squares of cheese

Monday, August 24, 2009

creamy chicken noodle soup

I know. It's too hot for soup. But it's been raining here, and I was craving it. For this recipe, I took a basic chicken noodle soup and made it creamy.

First, I bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco. When I brought it home, I took all the meat off the bones, and put it in the refrigerator. Next, I placed the bones, and whatever was left of the chicken and placed it in a stock pot. Then I covered it with about 6-8 cups of water or until the chicken was covered with water about an inch. You can also throw in carrots, celery, onions, parsley, and dill at this point. I brought it to a boil and boiled it on low for a few hours. Then I removed all the bones and even found more meat that I could use. I threw away the bones and pushed all the remaining bits through a sieve, including vegetables. I threw away the excess and then refrigerated the stock. The next day, I skimmed the fat layer off the top of the soup base and then brought my chicken stock to a boil. I added an extra bouillon to the stock. Once it was boiling, I added my onion, carrots, and noodles. I boiled until the carrots and noodles were soft. Then I added peas, the pulled chicken and a little dill and parsley. You can use whatever you have on hand. It's hard to ruin this soup.

To make it creamy: melt a cube of unsalted butter in a small saucepan on medium low heat. Once it is melted, add 1/2 cup of flour. Stir until thickened and starting to get bubbly then add 1/2 cup of milk. Stir until mixed thoroughly and then add to your pot of soup. This will make your soup creamy, and thicker. Everyone gobbled this up. HF said it tasted like a chicken pot pie without the crust. I guess that's good if you like chicken pot pie.

Serve with crusty bread.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

about bento

Daisy's first school bento. They totally aren't as cute as the bento blogs I read, but I was using what we had, and trying to keep it simple. I would love to create the over the top ones that look just stunningly perfect, but I'm not that crafty. But she loved getting these her first week of school. And just about everything was eaten!

There's a nice arm shadow in the photo for you. This is what I put in there. Meatballs (the little pink container in the middle has BBQ sauce in it for dipping), a hard boiled egg, corn, a half banana, french bread pieces with a little butter, cheddar cheese cut into star shapes, and the lid contained 2 mini chocolate candies and I gave her a juice box as well. Those are pink and red silicone muffin cups by Wilton. They work perfectly for bento boxes. I have links to some bento blogs and places on the right. My sister is in Seattle this week and is getting a bunch of bento supplies from Daiso for me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chocolate Éclair Dessert

Not a very good picture, but I wanted to show how shiny and smooth my chocolate layer is.

Enough vegetables, let's have some dessert! I labeled this dessert as a kids recipe as well, because it's something that kids can help make, and it really is more of a kid's dessert in my opinion. Many people know this recipe from their childhoods. It's known by many names, and can be made a number of ways. Even though this is an easy recipe to make, and the ingredients are few, you have to make this a day in advance of when you plan on serving it. It should be refrigerated at least 24 hours before serving.

Chocolate Éclair Dessert

3 cups milk

2 small packages of French Vanilla instant pudding

8 oz carton of cool whip (Polysorbate 60 freaks me out, so I make my own and it works! But you have to beat it for a while-you can even search online for homemade cool whip recipes)

2 sleeves of Graham crackers

chocolate glaze (recipe follows)

  • Make the pudding with the milk and cool whip
  • In a 9x13 casserole dish, lay down a layer of whole graham crackers
  • Spread half of the pudding/cool whip mixture over the layer of crackers
  • Lay another layer of whole graham crackers over the pudding
  • Spread the remaining half of the pudding/cool whip mix on top
  • Lay another layer of whole graham crackers
  • Spread the chocolate glaze over the top layer of graham crackers

You can use whatever chocolate glaze recipe you want as long as it spreads easily over entire top layer of graham crackers. Some people buy the small tubs of frosting and microwave it until easily spreadable. I like to make it with as few ingredients as possible from scratch.

Chocolate Glaze

3 TBLS soft (room temperature) butter

3 TBLS cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup powder sugar

3 TBLS hot water (does not need to be boiling – just hot from the tap)

Mix until smooth

  • IMPORTANT: Chill 24 hours – if not, at least overnight. It will not turn out as intended if not refrigerated this long.