Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vodka Gummy Bears


There's really nothing else to say other than these are oh so great and always a party hit. You should make them. Now. And I totally give credit to Wendy, my most favorite Guatemalan on the planet, for introducing these to me. I don't think my life would have ever been complete without them, or her for that matter.

You'll Need

1 glass bowl with airtight lid.
Gummy Bears - how much is up to you.
Bottle of Vodka.
Fruit Punch.

DAY 1:  

You can use as many bags of gummy bears as you'd like. In this case, I used two. It later proved not to be enough.. they are so addictive! And don't skimp on the bears.. buy the good stuff like Haribo, not the cheapo bargain bin kind. Blech.

Bears in the bowl, then drown those babies with vodka. You'll want to pour the vodka in to just above the surface of the bears.
Stir, stir, stir, put the lid on and stick it in the fridge.
This ends Day 1.

DAY 2:

Its now the next morning and you'll want to check in on your little bears. By now some of the vodka has been absorbed by the bears. They had themselves a little party!  Stir them up and top them off with a little more vodka, and stir again.  Put the lid back and and stick them back in the fridge.

At the end of your day, you'll want to stir them again.

DAYS 3 thru 5 (or 6):

Repeat the AM and PM stirring every day. Its preferable for your entire bear soaking process to run a full week.. but if you are short a day or so, its not the end of the world.  

The night before your big day, you'll want to top the bears off with some fruit punch. Don't forget to stir, cover and place back in the fridge.  The next morning you'll stir and by evening you'll get to enjoy the yummy beary goodness.  There will likely be liquid still in the bowl.  Drain the bears out and drink it damn it!

 Mmmmm behold, bears drowned in vodka.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hobak Jeon ~ Korean Zucchini Pancakes

By NO means do I claim to
know what the heck i'm doing here with this recipe but I decided I'd give it a shot and well, it all turned out A-OK.  Probably totally laughable by an expert.....or even semi-expert, but it was tasty and thats really all I care about.  I had grabbed this bag of Korean pancake mix from the Korean market awhile back because the picture looked so yummy and the instructions looked easy enough.  I could have done all of this from scratch, but half the recipe was in a bag.... I'm lazy.

You Will Need:
1 large zucchini.
2-3 large carrots.
1 large onion.
1 bag of pancake mix - 500g (easily found in the Korean grocery).
3 3/4 cups of water.
2 tsp salt.

Step 1:
Chop the zucchini into matchstick sized pieces.

Step 2:
Place the matchsticks in a strainer and sprinkle with some salt and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  The zucchini will get soft, the liquid will drain out. 

Step 3:
Grate the carrots and onion.  You may be shocked to know I never grated an onion a day in my life before this.  Grating is pretty cool really. Go ahead and laugh, but I was excited.
Shut up.

Step 4:
Mix the water with the entire contents of the bag. Stir until all lumps are gone.

Step 5:
Now you get to add everything to the mix and stir. We're getting closer to the final product! I'm so hungry.

Step 6:
Heat a pan on medium heat and add some oil.  When oil is hot, pour about a cup full of batter into the pan. Add more if needed to fill the pan. Spread everything around evenly.

You'll want to cook until the bottom is brown and then flip it over and brown the other side. The entire bag of mix made more than enough to feed four people with lots of left overs.  You can reheat the leftovers by re-frying or use the lazy method like me - microwave. Its just as tasty I think.


Step 7: Dipping Sauce
You gotta make dipping sauce, because well, you gotta. It completes the dish really.

I just mixed soy sauce and rice vinegar together.  The amount depends on how much you'd like to make.
Whatever that is, rice vinegar should be about half of the soy sauce.  So 4tbs soy sauce to 2tbs rice vinegar.
And if you'd like to spice it up, you can add some chili.

And as an accompaniment, I fried up some dumplings. Store bought. Same dipping sauce.  Deeeelishus.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy Homemade Pop Tarts

Who doesn’t like PopTarts? This household does and so I decided I’m going to be fancy non fancy and make some because then I can say Ohh Ahh I made PopTarts.  I looked at a couple recipes online and they all looked pretty simple; I’m figuring, I got this!  Well I’d like to say that after my attempt, I’ll probably maybe perhaps never make them again.   I can't claim that they look amazing as I had hoped, but they tasted oh so good. I might even venture to say better than the real PopTarts.  Maybe I’ll make them once more. And maybe the next time it’ll go much smoother.

So my first feeble attempt was quite messy. I don’t know how these other people do it but I’d like to see their behind the scenes. I toggled between two recipes on Bake Me More's site and Smitten Kitchen's.  In the end, I was starting to feel real lazy and semi defeated that I gave up on the idea of making the fancy filling with the cornstarch (a la Smitten Kitchen) and just went straight for the easy squeeze bottle in the fridge and nothing more.  I honestly found it to be just fine and delicious.  So for those of you who plan on trying this, I think there’s no need for the added step of mixing in the cornstarch bla bla bla. But what do I know, maybe it makes the filling that much better. I didn’t even attempt the other filling options.

Here goes, the simplest way I found:


1 package of refrigerated pie crust
Jelly – I used the standard Grape Smuckers.
Butter – few spoons will do.
Glaze, Icing, Sprinkles – whatever you want to top it with.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

There will be 2 pie crusts in the package. It’ll help to let the open package sit for a bit to room temperature. Impatient me didn’t wait THAT long...but I did let the dough soften up some. Dust your workspace with flour and unroll one of the pie crusts out into a rectangular shape. You should have it rolled out enough to cut a 9x13 piece.  I used a baking pan to measure it out and a pizza cutter to cut it.
Repeat with the 2nd roll.

Next you’ll want to cut the big pieces into several smaller, even rectangles (your Pop Tarts), again using the pizza cutter. I managed a total of 16 smaller pieces.
Now many will say to use the cut off edges to make more or to make other treats.  This is about the point where I was getting annoyed because I couldn’t get it even enough. NOTE: a ruler would help. BUT, I didn’t have a ruler and after a couple attempts to make it look fancy and even, I say forget it... cut what I could cut..tossed the excess. Oooh, so wasteful!

Once you get all your pieces cut you’ll want to melt your butter.  I just tossed a couple spoons in a bowl and nuked it for 20 seconds in the microwave. Brush the butter along the edges of each rectangle. This will help seal your yummy packages.
Now place about 1 tsp of jelly (or whatever you opt for as your filling) in the center of each rectangle and then top it with another piece.  Press down on the four sides lightly to seal, then take a fork and crimp the edges all the way around. You’ll then want to poke small holes on the top of the pop tart so it puffs right when it bakes.

Baking time was about 8 minutes, give or take.  The jelly may ooze out (mine did) but that’s ok. It kind of hardens like a fruit roll up. I just peeled it off and ate it because I was feeling hungry and greedy.
While they are cooling on a rack, you can create your topping.

I did attempt this and semi- failed because I can never seem to get this mix right...

You will need:
1 cup of powdered sugar
Milk to thin.

Place the powder in a bowl and slowly pour milk in until it’s a thick syrup.  I swear I did this... but my results proved otherwise.
It never glazed over in that white tone that I wanted, more so rather an opaque. It still worked and held the sprinkles and tasted fine. Make sure your pop tarts are cooled first before pouring it on. I was impatient and threw them in the freezer.

Of course you can make your own or be non fancy lazy like me and buy a squeeze pouch and have the kiddos squeeze it on. Fun times for all.

Sprinkles makes even the non fancy, fancy.
Now comes the time where you can step back and be amazed by your creation. Even my horrible cutting skills were saved by the icing and sprinkles. Likely you can do a better job than me, but nobody in my house complained and the plate was empty before the day was over. 

Mini Bread Bowls

How freaking cool are bread bowls? I came across this recipe for a customizable bread bowl breakfast using mini rolls via Tasty Kitchen and immediately knew I had to make these.  Honestly I didn't even read the recipe to start with, I just saw the delicious pictures and was sold.  A brief glance at the ingredients and the fact that they had photos of a 5 year old making one told me this has got to be easy enough for me to do. 

One of the best things about this recipe was that I could use really anything in the fridge for the filling. The next best thing was that it would only take about 20-25 minutes in the oven. And third, or maybe this should be first (??) is that its all awesomely in this teeny little roll bowl!

Lets get started!


* Mini Bread Rolls - as many as you plan on having! I used 3.
* 2 Tbs butter, melted.
* Salt and Pepper
* Eggs - one per roll
* Fillings - up to you! 

                ~ I used   pepperoni (cut into small pieces)
                                leftover roasted chicken (cut into small pieces)
                                shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese
                                roasted red peppers
                                spaghetti sauce (1 tsp)
                                fresh and dried herbs


Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Next thing you'll want to do is cut off the tops of the rolls and scoop out the insides.  Press the insides in some along the walls of the rolls, making yourself a bowl. This, is fancy, for the non fancy like me.  

Next you'll want to melt that butter and brush it (I used a spoon) along the inside of the bread.  I opted to follow with some pesto, because pesto is so good, I don't know why I haven't been eating it my entire life.  You know how you can get the jar of it at the grocery store and it its in that oil? I'm pretty sure too you could omit the butter part and just do the pesto/oil. 
Then sprinkle in some salt/pepper.

Continue adding your fillings as you see fit. I went with shredded cheese next, then chicken and pepperoni, followed by the herbs, sauce, and more cheese.

Last, you crack an egg in each of those suckers and you are ready to pop them into the oven.  I decided I'd make one with a beaten egg to see how that would turn out (more so too because I was afraid my 5 year old wouldn't be down with a runny egg). Both ways turned out amazing!  Oh and I cut up the red peppers and poked them into the yolk. Makes it look a little pretty in the end.

25 minutes later, you have these ridiculously cool bowls of yummy goodness that I just know i'll make again and again.

How you eat them is up to you. For my 5 year old, I cut his in half. Because he had the one with the beaten egg, everything held together fine.  The other two were cut in half causing the yolk to run out... but in a good way.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Broccoli and Cheese Bites

(original recipe from

If you're looking for a way to get your kids to eat vegetables, this is an absolutely perfect broccoli in disguise of a nugget recipe.  I actually don't have any problems getting my son to eat vegetables, he really loves them, but I can say he gobbled these up faster than fast. 

What You'll Need:

1 16oz package of frozen broccoli - cooked, drained, thawed and chopped. You can use fresh as well.
1 1/2  cups shredded cheese.
3 large eggs.
1 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs.
Pepper - few shakes.
Garlic Salt - few shakes.


Pre-heat oven at 375.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and form small bite sized nuggets.

Place them on a baking sheet - you can either lightly spray it with olive oil or line it with parchment paper (no oil).

Bake for 15 mins turn them over and bake another 10.

I ate mine up with ranch dressing. BBQ wasn't too bad either. And little man of course dunked his in ketchup.

Apples and Peanut Butter

I use to hate apples. Then as I got older, the only way I'd eat them or any fruit was if someone cut them up for me. Now that I'm a mom, I'm kind of the one stuck having to do the cutting.  Apples have since totally grown on me, my preferred ones being the green ones. 

Here's a simple and tasty idea.... you really can't get a bad snack out of apples, peanut butter, granola and raisins.

Turn the apple on its side and slice even pieces.
Cut the core out (this apple barely had much to cut), and then spreading peanut butter on each slice. Follow it with granola (I used Kashi Cereal) and raisins.  Yum!

Let me not even pretend that it stayed put in this leaning tower pose. It was the most non-cooperative apple ever and the whole thing toppled over a second after this photo was shot. And no it didn't topple over like you see here.  That would be too fancy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuna and Corn Cakes

In my mind I think I'm really not a fan of tuna, but thats purely some kind of mental glitch because I actually do enjoy it every time I've eaten it. But for whatever reason it is that I think I don't like it, it results in me rarely making, buying, or eating it.  I should change this...and this sandwich may be the key!  Again the photo does the dish no justice, but take my word its really good, its good for you, and especially tasty with the added Thai sweet chili sauce!

What You Need:
1- 2 cans of tuna in spring water (425g can approx).  Drain out all the water.
3 eggs, beaten
1 can of sweet corn
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 onion - diced
2 - 3 scallions - thinly sliced.
Salt and Pepper


In a bowl, mix together the tuna, onion, scallion, corn, salt and pepper. 

Next, add the beaten egg and breadcrumbs and continue to mix until its all blended.

Form patties in whatever size you want. I opted for burger sized ones.  

Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and slowly place the patties in the pan. 

The patties may start to fall apart, so handle with care and resist the urge to move them or flip them for awhile until the first side starts to cook.

Fry until both sides are a golden.

Put it on a bun, pour some Thai sweet chili sauce on it, add some mozzarella, lettuce and tomato and you've got yourself a tuna burger!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cookies. Ice Cream. Sprinkles. Three things that go well together.
I don't have a big sweet tooth, but everyone in this house does and I enjoy making these things. So here we have a quick and easy ice-cream sandwich.

You will need:

Cookies!  - I used store bought oatmeal and chocolate chip.
Ice Cream - I used vanilla

Its as easy as spreading the ice cream between two cookies, dipping the edges in sprinkles, freezing it for a bit to harden and eating.

I will say that I thought I could use frozen yogurt the first go around, but between the heat outside and the heat in my kitchen that turned into an instant melted pile of disaster.  I'm not kidding when I say instant either.  

Never fear though, that cookie yogurty mess was saved with sprinkles, cinnamon powder and a cherry on top. I crumbled the cookies up in the melted mess, added a little more and served it up. The kids were eagerly pleased and none the wiser.