Saturday, July 28, 2007


My favorite! I love brownies. If I could pick only one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be brownies. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found a recipe that not only tastes fantastic but also isn't quite so bad for you since it doesn't have any eggs.

I had several people taste test this recipe (adapted from Vegetarian Times) and everyone really liked it and no one was able to tell what the replacement for eggs was. These are really moist, chewy brownies, not the cake-like ones. My husband thinks they are too chocolatey - obviously he is insane!

As a side note, it turns out to be really hard to take a decent picture of a brownie. This is the best I could do after about 30 blurry ones. Apparently brownies are very shy!


6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
10 oz prune baby food
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla

Melt the chocolate and margarine in a double boiler (or in a bowl over boiling water). When completely melted, whisk in the sugar and prunes.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold them together until combined. Stir in the vanilla.

Line a 9X9 pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until they look set. Let cool in pan.

Once cool, cut into squares. For additional fanciness, dust the tops with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

These freeze really well.

Kay: They are really good!

Mom (Dana): My dad hates prunes so I new these were a hit when he kept talking about how good they were!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Roasted Marshmallows

Ha ha!! Ok this isn't really a recipe but it is something that Kay likes to cook and eat so technically it does fit into the scope of this blog!

Roasted Marshmallows

Large marshmallows (the more the better)

Long sticks

A bonfire

Put your marshmallow (one or two) on the end of a stick. Hold your stick in the fire. Toast to taste. Eat quickly and repeat.

Kay's aunt and grandma like their's black. Kay and her dad prefer them lightly brown.

Kay: I like mine lightly brown but on the top of the marshmallow, it turned black. Yesterday, my family came over and we had a lot of fun and ate a lot of marshmallows. That picture is of my dad.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fried Tofu and Fried Okra

Two for one! Actually it is kind of three for one since there is also corn in the picture but that isn't really a recipe. Throw corn in a pan with a little oil and seasoning, in this case, Italian.

I know that okra and tofu aren't very popular ingredients but Kay has loved both of these since she was really little. (She really is a little strange I think!).

I'm not sure why I decided to cook these when I was already starting to get a headache! The recipes aren't hard but it does require you to stand over the stove the whole time and coordinate everything without burning it. I was actually successful this time even though the headache was taking a strong turn towards migraine by the time we sat down to eat! I think that is proof that these are pretty simple to prepare. The sight of all those pans to clean wasn't very pleasant though!

The tofu recipe is my own but the okra one is thanks to Alton Brown. We've tried several versions of fried okra but this is our favorite.

Fried Tofu
1/2 block of firm lite tofu
Equal amounts of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, ground flax seeds, and breadcrumbs (about 1/8 cup of each)
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the tofu and cut into bite size cubes. Mix the breading ingredients (whichever ones you prefer) in a Ziploc bag. Add the tofu cubes and gently coat them with the breading.

Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium heat. Add the tofu. Allow it to cook about 5 minutes. You don't want to mess with it too much but you should check periodically to make sure it isn't burning. Turn the tofu to brown on the other side.

Remove the tofu from the pan to paper towels to drain slightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Here is a link to Alton's actual recipe. I followed it pretty closely except I had to adjust the amounts since we didn't have a pound of okra.
Fried Okra
1/2 pound okra
1/4 cup corn meal
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the okra into bite size pieces (more on the small side) and rinse them in cold water. Place the cornmeal in a Ziploc bag and add the okra. Mix to coat.

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. Heat over medium. Add the okra in a single layer and cook about 7 minutes. Stir and then cook about 5 more minutes.

Remove the okra from the pan to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper.

Kay: I like these very much. I think everyone should try okra and tofu because even if you think you don't like it, you might! A lot of people think this food is only for vegetarians but I like it even though I'm a meat eater.

Mom (Dana): These are side dishes but one of our standby meals is making several side dishes and calling it a meal! Kay hates it when people on TV say "tofu - eww!" She always says, "I bet they never even tried it"!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ratatouille part 2

Just a quick post to show you the delicious sandwich I made today with the leftovers from yesterday. I was thinking about this all day. It's amazing that I was able to get any work done!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Yes, you guessed it. I decided to use the new movie to my advantage to get Kay to try some new foods. It was a little selfish on my part since I love zucchini, squash and eggplant! I'm sure there is nothing authentic about this recipe but it won't be the first time I took the name of a dish and then proceeded to change it completely. At least this time I kept the same basic ingredients!


1/2 eggplant, sliced very thin

1 zucchini, sliced very thin

1 summer (or yellow) squash, sliced very thin

1 green pepper, sliced very thin

1/2 cup onion, minced

1 cup tomato sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Combine the tomato sauce, garlic, and onion in a small bowl. Spread it across the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole. Alternate the eggplant, zucchini, squash and green pepper in 2-3 layers over the top. Sprinkle with the herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Cover the casserole with a lid or parchment paper (do not use foil). Bake for 1 hour in a 375 degree oven. Remove the cover, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake and additional 5 minutes.

The vegetables will be very soft and the tomato sauce will bubble through to the top.

This can be served over pasta, over rice, or as a sandwich filling.

Kay: Today, at my daycare, we watched the bootleg version of Ratatouille. (My parents told me that is illegal!) Then today I came home and my mom had made ratatouille for dinner! It didn't look like something I would like because I don't like tomato sauce but this tasted good. I really liked the eggplant because it just tasted like tomato sauce. I guess I like tomato sauce now! I was happy that the green peppers were not the spicy kind.

Mom (Dana): I've tried several versions in the past but I think this combines my favorite parts of all of them. When I have it as a sandwich, I use really crusty bread and melt some additional cheese over the top.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blueberry Muffins

Every summer I get so jealous of all the great ingredients everyone seems to be getting from their local farmer's market. Unfortunately, we don't have anything like that around here. The few farm stands we do have are not very thrilling and I actually find better produce at the grocery store. One of the few exceptions is blueberries. My mom stumbled across a small stand in a neighboring town a couple year's ago and now we anxiously await their appearance each year.

This recipe falls under the category of foods Kay likes to cook, not eat. But that is ok because her dad absolutely loves them so it just leaves more for him!

This is a Martha Stewart recipe. Most of her recipes, although they taste good, I find to be way too fussy and detailed for my patience (or lack thereof). This one is very straight forward though.
Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup softened margarine
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Place the blueberries in a fine sieve and dust with 1 tsp of the flour mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the margarine and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, beating until combined. Mix in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add the reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add the milk, beating until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn the muffins on their sides and let cool.

Kay: The only reason I like making them is to surprise my dad and to eat the batter without any blueberries.

Dana: Forget about letting them cool. I ate one almost straight out of the oven!! Two notes about the pictures. First, all we had were Halloween liners. Also, today was carnival day at day care and Kay got her face painted. I don't want anyone to think she walks around with a filthy face!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Kay's New Cookbook

This is a book review by Kay. I got a new cookbook this summer called Kids Can Cook: Vegetarian Recipes. This book has many things that are vegetarian but are still like regular food. They have breakfast, soups, main dishes, desserts and even party dishes. It shows you how to set the table and what the utensils are. During the recipe it puts the things you need through the recipe instead of all at the top.

I have already made a lot of things out of this cookbook. They have all been healthy for you and easy to make. I have made about 10 recipes and I liked them all.

I would recommend this book for any kids learning how to cook or even kids that already know how.

A really easy recipe that I've made twice now is cheese dollies. Here is the recipe

Cheese Dollies

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a baking sheet. (We used parchment paper instead).

Mix with a large spoon:

1 cup flour
1 cup grated cheese or soy cheese
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk or soy milk

Drop by tablespoons one inch apart on the sheet. Set the timer for 7 minutes and bake until lightly brown. Remove from the baking sheet while warm.

We also sprinkled paprika on top of them. This makes 16 but we cut it in thirds because we were just having a snack. I made this all by myself and it was easy.

Mom (Dana): Kay has a lot of cookbooks but this is by far the best. The foods are very basic but good. The macaroni and cheese and coffee cake were our favorites so far but all of it has been good.