Wednesday, April 25, 2007


We had never had gnocchi before but I came across a recipe on allrecipes one day and since it took only minimal ingredients, I decided to try it. This was back when Kay was about 4 or 5 and we couldn't get her to eat barely anything. She was very suspicious of anything new so you can imagine how shocked I was when she asked for seconds! When I asked her if she liked it, she said in a very excited voice, "Yeah. It tastes like bread and butter and cheese!" Those were about the only foods she was eating at the time! Ever since then we have been making it on a regular basis.

We put all kinds of sauces on it. Spaghetti sauce is the stand by. Kay, who doesn't like any sauce or dressing in case you hadn't noticed, uses just butter and Parmesan. In the summer we like use chopped tomatoes with basil and olive oil. Roasted grape tomatoes are really good too. And caramelized onions. The possibilities are endless!
2 cups mashed potatoes
2 eggs
4 cups flour

Combine the cooled mashed potatoes, lightly beaten eggs, and flour in a large bowl. Combine until well mixed. (It works best to use your hands). Depending on the moisture in your potatoes, you may need to add additional flour.

On a floured surface, roll a small ball of the dough into a snake shape. Cut the snake into 1/2 inch pieces with a butter knife. Place the cut pieces on a paper towel so that they don't stick together.

Add the gnocchi in batches to a pot of bowling water. Boil for approximately 4 minutes or until they float. Serve with your choice of sauce, or not.

Kay: In 2001, I tried gnocchi and I really liked it. I really liked to make them, too. They really taste like mashed potatoes cooked twice but cut into little squares.

Mom (Dana): This is another good use for instant potatoes. I've also cut the recipe down to use whatever left over potatoes I have.

These freeze well. Place the cut pieces on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then place them in a Ziploc bag and return them to the freezer. You don't need to thaw them before boiling. Just cook them a little longer.

(I think Kay needs a new word besides "really"!!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

More new vegetables

Well since our first try at a new vegetable wasn't very successful, we decided to try 2 new recipes today. Both of these are directly from A Veggie Venture and I didn't really change anything so I will just link to the original recipes. I will show you pictures of our attempts though.

First, for lunch I made Chopped Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Dressing. It contained both jicama and mango which Kay had never tried. She liked both of them. The original recipe called for orange segments but I liked the suggestion of mango so we went for that instead. Kay made the dressing herself. She never passes up a chance to use the food processor! Here is what it looked like without the dressing on it.

Then with dinner, I made the Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Butter. None of us had ever had sugar snap peas so this seemed like a good choice. Bill and I really liked them and they were really easy to make which was an added bonus. Kay claims she didn't like them but I noticed that she ate them without too much trouble. (Her friend was over at the time so I think she was putting on a bit of an act). Here is what they looked like with our fettuccine.

We were much much MUCH happier with these recipes than the celery!

Kay: I tried the salad and I really liked the jicama and the mango. I helped make the dressing but I don't like putting dressing on salads. My hamster tried the jicama and he really liked it. The sugar-snap peas did not have any flavor to me. I ate them anyway.

Mom (Dana): That salad was fantastic! Today was our first nice day in a while (it snowed last week during spring break) and these vegetables smelled like summer to me. Those sugar snap peas are a great side dish that I'm sure we will have again.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Soft Jumbles (pioneer cookies)

Today, my class went to Buckley Homestead. We did many activities that pioneers use to do in the 1900s. It included grinding corn for corn bread, chopping onions, and making stew. We also made bookmarks and journals. We got to clean sheep wool. We went to a pioneer school where we learned calligraphy with a nib pen.

For the day, parents were asked to make these cookies or a different homemade cookies. We used the recipe the school provided.

1 cup butter
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add half the milk and the vanilla. Then add half the flour. Beat the eggs and then add them into the batter. Mix the cream of tartar with the remaining flour and add it to the bowl. Dissolve the baking soda in the remaining milk and mix that in.

Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in a 360 degree oven for 12 minutes.

Kay: They were very soft. It made a lot more cookies than I needed for my class. Plus, other students made cookies. If they turned out badly we had other cookies. They were awesome!!!!

Mom (Dana): First of all, this was the funniest recipe I ever read. I think it was written in "pioneer talk" and since I am not a pioneer, I wasn't sure half the time what they were talking about! I adapted the recipe above so the rest of you non-pioneers would understand it.

Also, we used vanilla flavored soy milk so I reduced the vanilla extract to 1/2 tsp.

The recipe said to roll these in sugar. Personally, I thought they were very sweet and this wasn't necessary.

And yes, we used the Kitchen Aid which I'm sure isn't very authentic but, like I said, I'm not a pioneer!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cooked Celery

First off, I should say that I hate celery. It is one of the few vegetables that I really don't like. I've gotten to the point where I can handle raw celery if I pile enough dip on it but I will still take any other vegetable if it is available!

Over at A Veggie Venture, Alanna posted a challenge to try a new vegetable. I thought this sounded like fun and so I asked Kay about it and she was very receptive. I thought it was only fair that I let her pick the vegetable. I named off tons of vegetables but for some reason she got stuck on celery. I tried to persuade her towards something else but it was no use! I gave in since I didn't want to prejudice her against it just because I didn't like it. Also, we have tons of left over celery from her birthday party this weekend (aparently I'm not the only one who doesn't like it!)

So I pulled out several cookbooks and came up with a combination of recipes that sounded ok. I tried to keep a very open mind about it. Really!
Look how pretty it is. I reminded myself that green is my favorite color. Then I started to cook it and it got an even brighter green!!Then it came out of the oven looking really good. Everything tastes good with bread crumbs on it, right?

Um, yeah, no! Much to my surprise, cooked celery tastes like raw celery. I still didn't like it but I held my opinion until Kay tried it. And what did she think?

Yep - that is not her "yum this is great" face! I was tempted not to post the recipe but I will because someone might like it. I think we just aren't big fans of celery.

To be fair, Bill liked it (he doesn't share my aversion to celery). He thought the pieces that were smaller, and therefore more soft, tasted better.

1 1/2 pounds celery, cut into 3 in strips

2 T margarine

2 tsp olive oil

1 C vegetable broth

1/2 tsp pepper

5 oz cream cheese, cut in cubes

1/2 C bread crumbs mixed with pepper and Italian seasoning

Heat the oil and margarine in a large skillet over high heat. Add the celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 additional minutes.

Remove from heat and add the cream cheese. Stir to combine. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake covered at 350 F for 10 minutes. Uncover and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake and additional 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler for about 2-3 minutes until nicely browned.

Kay: I picked celery because I wanted to see how it tasted. If you don't like celery, then put a lot of breadcrumbs. That tasted really good to me.

Mom (Dana): Really I do think that someone who likes celery might like this. It wasn't terrible and I was able to eat it. I just prefer my celery to be more disguised! Also, when Kay says the bread crumbs were good, she isn't kidding. She didn't finish her portion but she did eat all the bread crumbs off of it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Potato Enchiladas

A long time ago, one of our friends offered to fix a group of us an authentic Mexican meal. She was very nice to make separate food for me since I'm a vegetarian. I assumed that meant that I would get beans instead of the meat. I was very surprised when she told me that in the part of Mexico she was from, potatoes were used in place of meat. Everything was really good but it wasn't until after she had moved out of the area that I got the idea to cook it myself. So I started my search for Mexican recipes using potatoes. I never really found what I was looking for but I was able to adapt a basic enchilada recipe into something very similar and tasty!

4 servings instant mashed potatoes
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese
8-10 flour tortillas
Enchilada or mole sauce

Prepare the mashed potatoes according to the box. Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and 1/4 cup cheese. Mix well.

Place a thin coat of the enchilada or mole sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Place about 1/4 cup potatoes (amount depends on the size of your tortillas) in each tortilla and roll. Place in the pan. Continue with all the tortillas. Top the enchiladas with the sauce, making sure to cover all exposed tortilla. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Kay: I don't like to put sauce on mine but I put Mole sauce on to the bottom of the pan so it won't stick. Then, I put extra cheese on the top. I don't like my potatoes spicy so Mom lets me put the spice in my own potatoes and no garlic.

They are awesome! If you like potatoes and tortillas, then you will like this recipe.

Mom: I know it seems strange to use instant potatoes but I've found that they really work better in this recipe. If I have left over "real" mashed potatoes though, I'll use them.

The three of us always have to be different but this is one recipe where I can still put them all in the same pan. I prefer mole sauce on mine and I use a plain store brand can of prepared mole. Bill (or Dad) prefers enchilada sauce. Here is the recipe I use for that:

Put 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup chili powder and 2 tablespoons of flour in a skillet. Heat over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add 8 oz tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/4 tsp each of cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sweet Muffins

Since I tend to wake up hours earlier than my husband on the weekends, Kay and I often make muffins for his breakfast and for our mid-morning snack. Out of all the muffins we make, these are our favorites.

Right now we are off for Kay's spring break and there is snow all over the ground! She has a terrible cold so I made them this morning to try to cheer her up.

This recipe is actually from my 7th grade cooking class! I've made some minor changes but overall, this is the same recipe.

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the egg, oil, and milk. Sift together the sugar, flour, and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients. Mix just until the flour is moistened. The batter should be lumpy. Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once half way through.

Kay: They are awesome!!!!

Mom: We like to eat these with honey butter. It's just some butter (or in our case, ususally margarine) mixed with a little bit of honey. This recipe makes 12 muffins and the three of us easily finish them off before lunch time!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cheese Pizza

We decided we may as well get pizza out of the way! We do eat pizza quite a bit and actually like this homemade pizza better than any we can get delivered. We add all kinds of things to the pizza but our favorite is still basic cheese. This recipe is originally from "Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook" which I've made just some minor changes to. Kay can make this recipe almost completely by herself.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 T sugar

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

1 cup water, as hot as you can get it from your tap

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon until it starts sticking together. Then knead it on a floured surface until it forms a smooth ball. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. The longer it sets, the better it tastes.


Nothing too fancy here. We use a canned pizza sauce and then just add 2 T brown sugar.


1 cup shredded cheddar

1 cup shredded mozzerella

1 cup shredded parmesan

2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Mix it all together

Preheat the oven to 500 F. Sprinkle cornmeal on the pan (we use a pizza stone). Spread the dough out evenly on the pan. Depending on the humidity in the air, this may take some patience. Top with the sauce and then the cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Kay: ***** I like this a lot. It is fun to make. I like to knead the dough. It gets all over my hands! It also taste really good. Everyone in my family likes it.

Mom: This really is a great recipe if you are trying to get your kids involved in cooking. It is almost impossible to mess up. I have a friend who makes the dough the night before and lets it rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight. I've never tried it but she has had good luck.

Friday, April 6, 2007

First Post

Hi. I'm Kay. I am 10 years old. I wanted to start a website with my mom and so we came up with the idea to start a blog about different foods that I like to eat and cook besides pizza. I like pizza a lot but I also like broccoli and spinach! Many kids at my school will get extras of pizza but pizza is starting to get boring. So this site will give you some other ideas.

This is Mom. Kay has been cooking with me since she was about 4 years old. She also has gone grocery shopping with me every single week since birth so she is pretty familar with food! She is not a vegetarian but I am so most of these recipes are going to lean towards non-meat, healthy options that kids might be willing to try (and sometimes even enjoy). We really like making desserts, though, so there will be plenty of not-so-healthy options as well!