“Tomato”

Since we missed all of the tomato holidays for a while, we decided to have our own Tomato Weekend. There was a lot of food involved, of course. We decided to make stuffed bell peppers that had a very tomato-y rice creation inside. While I didn’t help too much with that, I gladly helped devour some chili that was made the next day. I’m not a very big tomato fan to begin with, so when we attempted fried red tomatoes I was beyond concerned. I don’t think I have ever made a face about food like what I did when I tried one. To make up for the bizarre tomatoes, we made tomato soup cake. It’s more of a spice cake than anything else and the tomato soup is basically to serve as the cake’s liquid. It was very good and made me a little bit less reluctant to try other tomatoes.

We had to get our tomatoes somehow, so we went up to Kenosha to a farmer’s market. There was a lot of stuff there. Besides getting our tomatoes, I talked my parents into getting me lemonade and they got breakfast egg rolls (which I didn’t know there was such a thing). AND because it was our tomato weekend, we had to watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It’s definitely… weird. It’s better that I watched it now instead of when I was little so I understood more of the pop culture stuff. My favorite part was in the library and the guy just says “Tomato.” It never fails to make me laugh.

Chocolate and Video Games

July 7th was Chocolate Day, so we decided to have a chocolate-themed weekend to extend the chocolate fun. We decided to be daring by trying some savory chocolate foods.

On Friday, we made chocolate cornbread and chili with a bit of cocoa powder. The chili was good, but there is a reason chocolate corn doesn’t exist. We saved the cornbread on Saturday by turning it into chocolate cornbread bread pudding, which was really good with ice cream. In addition to this, we went to the Chocolate Sanctuary and had very chocolaty food. I found out that I evidently like cocoa barbecue sauce when I had it on chicken wings for the first time. I have also never had Chicken Mascarpone and Savory Cocoa Fettuccine until Saturday–it was interesting, but I don’t think I would do it again. We also had salad with a chocolate vinaigrette, pork sliders with more chocolate barbecue sauce, cocoa-spiced butternut squash soup, a turkey flatbread sandwich with cocoa-candied bacon, and then truffles for dessert! Overall, most of the savory stuff was okay. The barbecue sauce was really good. The truffles were great!

On Sunday, we made chocolate pancakes for dinner. I kind of put in a bit too much vinegar, but we fixed it with some baking soda. Saturday was also Video Games Day, but we thought it was Sunday so we celebrated a day later. Time to get past a couple of dungeons!

PUMPKINS!!!

Pumpkins are one of my favourite things about autumn. There is pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, jack’o’lantern pumpkins, eyeball pumpkins, twine pumpkins, fake pumpkins, virtual pumpkins, the Pumpkin King, the Great Pumpkin, and the list goes on and on! We like to carve our pumpkin and keep the seeds. I don’t know what our pumpkin will look like this year, but we have been getting more adventurous each year.

Miscellaneous Pumpkins

Skyward Sword: Pumpkin Landing/Lumpy Pumpkin

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Twilight Princess: Pumpkin Patch at Ordon

 

 

 

 

When I say virtual pumpkins, I really mean virtual pumpkins. In Legend of Zelda (LoZ), pumpkins show up in a few games. In Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, both of which I have played, pumpkins contain hearts and rupees (the LoZ currency). In Skyward Sword, there is a pumpkin diner of sorts. In Twilight Princess, there is even Pumpkin Soup in one of the dungeons/temples! You can do a lot with pumpkins in real life, too, but I doubt you’ll find a heart or money in them.

Food Stuff With Pumpkins

I have a recipe of sorts that we use for baking pumpkin seeds. First, make sure that your pumpkin seeds are rinsed/cleaned well and dry. Lay them out on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. Sprinkle brown sugar on them as evenly as possible and as much as you would like. Bake them between 350-400 until they are crispy, but not too terribly crispy. They taste really good when they are done.

We have also madepumpkin-funnelcake pumpkin funnel cakes and pumpkin-cookiespumpkin cookies. With the pumpkin cookies, we followed the recipe on the link, but we added some maple syrup with the glaze to make a maple-vanilla cream glaze. They were delicious, but now they are gone! In our pumpkin funnel cakes, we didn’t really change anything. They pretty much tasted like normal funnel cakes, but with a little bit more spice than normal ones. They were still good, but I think I’d rather make the cookies again.

Having an “H” of Time with Food

We watch two cooking challenge shows: Chopped and Guy’s Grocery Games. In Chopped, contestants have to make an appetizer, entree and dessert using bizarre ingredients from mystery baskets. Guy’s Grocery Games has different events that limit the competitors, one being “ABC” where the competitors can only use food items that start with a certain letter. They can also use basic ingredients found in their pantry, like flour, salt, sugar, milk, etc. We decided to mash-up the two shows by doing an appetizer, entree and dessert using just one letter. We drew the letter “H.”

WP_20150823_11_33_19_Pro[1]We did our appetizer for lunch and made sliders. We hard-boiled eggs and used the yolks to make a spread by mixing in hummus and herb blends. It was delicious! We divided some hamburger patties and put them on Hawaiian sweet rolls to form mini burger sliders with our yummy egg mix on top. It could’ve used some crunch, but it still was really good.

WP_20150823_17_04_17_Pro[1]For dinner, we made a hamburger and hash brown casserole with Havarti cheese on top. We seasoned the meat with some more herb blends, and I made a gravy using flour and milk from our pantry. We used our slow cooker thingy to cook it, and the hash browns were crispy for once!

WP_20150823_17_35_27_Pro[1]We had honey and hot cocoa mix to make a dessert with, so we created a chocolaty microwave honey cake, partially following a recipe (everything else we made was done from scratch). We put in estimates of raw and mesquite honey and hot chocolate mix. It was more of a chocolate honey sponge cake, but it was still REALLY good with a little bit of milk poured over it (my parents substituted ice cream in for the milk–which was kind of cheating). Overall, I think it was a successful “H” centered food day. I’m very glad we didn’t draw an “X.”

National Milk Chocolate Day!!!

July 28 is National Milk Chocolate Day. To celebrate, my mom’s work held a bake sale for charity, and there were a LOT of chocolate creations. Our whole family LOVES chocolate, so we all got involved. My grandma made delicious chocolate-raspberry cookies. My grandpa and I made his family-famous fudge. It’s really good, and it melts in your mouth. My mom and I made chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes. I thought they were good, but my mom thought they were “gummy,” maybe because of the humidity. We brought our treats in to my mom’s work early Tuesday morning, and by lunch there were tons of cookies, cupcakes and other chocolate goodies, plus some yummy creations donated by a local French pastry school. We donated money so we could try some of everything. It was all really good.
chocolate1 chocolate2I think chocolate is really cool. You could do a lot with it. You can melt it, make cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and even mix it with milk to make drinking chocolate. You, of course, can also eat chocolate as chocolate (but I prefer to make chocolate foods with chocolate). Making drinking chocolate is easy. You have to melt chocolate chips in a microwave, then slowly add milk and heat it some more. I like to add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to it once I’m almost done adding the milk. It’s basically making chocolate milk, but it tastes more chocolaty.

I also like to make chocolate pudding in the microwave and microwave cupcakes. There are tons of microwave cupcake recipes online. It’s nice to be able to make treats quickly without heating up the house. I can’t wait until the next chocolate holiday (maybe I can make up my own)!

Easter Weekend/Spring Break

bird at Prairie Wolf This weekend was sort of my spring break, only kind of windy and egg-y. I say egg-y because it was Easter, and eggs were our theme for the weekend. We went for a walk at the preserve that was right next to the little store and restaurant area, where we ended up eating. There was this one bird that was at the beginning of the trail and at the end of it, too. I don’t know if it had any eggs, but it loved having its photo taken.

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Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March first is Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day. This is one of my favorite holidays because I LOVE peanut butter! So, we made a lot of peanut butter-y food! My mom did Nutella on her foods instead of peanut butter because she can’t stand peanuts/peanut butter and may have an intolerance.

For breakfast, we did pocket pies. We [somewhat] followed a recipe from Woman’s Day Magazine. We cut rounds out of store-bought pie crust dough and spread the peanut butter/Nutella over some fruit. Continue reading

Cheese, Cheese, Cheese!

The 20th of January was National Cheese Lovers Day (some of my friends will really like that day) and we’ve been making cheese. Our first attempt at mozzarella wasn’t all that great. We ended up making “Mozzicota,” mozzarella that turned into ricotta. It was yummy, but not the right texture. Our second attempt was a lot better. It was stretchy (which was really fun to stretch the cheese), shiny, perfect mozzarella. The taste wasn’t quite salty enough, but it’s our best texture yet. It is kind of hard to create cheese; you have to heat the milk to a certain degree and mix it just enough, but not too much or it’ll turn out wrong. Eh, as long as we don’t create “Rizella” next time, I’ll be fine.

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