31 January 2008

Snow day!

Aww, it's the last random recipe of January! Don't be sad. I may post more next month.

Today's recipe is filed under "didn't quite turn out as expected." Tortilla snowflakes! Just fold a tortilla, then cut out shapes, just as you would with a paper snowflake. Careful, cuz they like to break. Unfold the tortilla, then bake at 350 degrees (F) for 10 minutes or so, til it's crispy. The recipe I found had some funky steps after that, like melting chocolate chips on it, but it sounded too complicated. Sprinkle powdered sugar or a cinnamon/sugar combo on it (may need to butter it up a bit to make the topping stick).

End result was okay, but not wonderful. What I did learn was how easy it is to make my own baked (i.e. substantially healthier) tortilla chips! Woohoo!


24 January 2008

Nests of Jelly Birds

Jelly birds make chocolate nests, and lay jelly beans. I mean, jelly eggs. Oh, whatever, I just want to provide another random recipe.

OK, today's simple, random cooking lesson is on candy birds' nests. This is a variation on the "chocolate haystacks" recipe, which itself is quite simple. Melt chocolate chips, then mix in a little bit of peanut butter. Stir in chow mein noodles. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto waxed paper and carefully smoosh down the center parts. Refrigerate the nests til the chocolate solidifies, then add jelly beans to the middles.

Hmm... this would probably be a good Easter or springtime treat. Ah, so maybe I'm a few months early... At least I used Valentine's Day colored jelly beans.

21 January 2008

Yum, sushi!

Anyone who knows me knows of my love for sushi. Oh, wait, it's the opposite. I'm not a big fan of that particular Japanese dish. Or most other Japanese dishes. However, I do like this version. Start with a fruit roll up (unrolled). Add shredded coconut. It wouldn't be sushi without fish... I used the Swedish variety. Roll it up, then slice it. Mmm, sugary...

20 January 2008

Feeling pelagic?

I wanted to keep up my January theme of funky foodstuffs, so I went a-lookin' online for creative ideas. And then I found one: cream cheese and olive penguins! Cute idea, sounds easy (only three... er, four... ingredients - large olives for body, small olives for head, cream cheese, and carrots). It was surprisingly aggravating (and messy) to stuff the cream cheese into the olive body. Ah, well, here's my attempt:

Sarah - sorry, but don't ask me to make these for you!! :)

13 January 2008

Alphabetical Pizza

I keep coming across these random recipes, and I just have to try them out. This one came from some Men's Health recipe book. You take a pre-made pizza crust (I used one of the Boboli's mini crusts), then top it with Chef Boyardee's alphabet-shaped pasta with meatballs. I couldn't find the Chef Boyardee version, so--despite warnings that Spaghetti-Os are too "soupy"--used the equivalent Spaghetti-Os product. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top, followed by oregano. Bake til heated through. Voila! As a bonus, you can practice making Scrabulous words while you're eating!

10 January 2008

Eat dirt

I might as well continue on my "unusual foods" trend. I mean, why not? It's not as if there are TV shows to discuss. Tonight's food is a favorite from my childhood: DIRT CUPS! Yum.

You've probably heard of these before. It's simple... chocolate pudding, then mashed up cookies. Most people use Oreos, but I can't stand Oreos. Instead, I opted for crushed chocolate mint Milanos. Much better. Top it with a gummy worm or two.

08 January 2008


Making my meatloaf cake masterpiece got me thinking about other recipes that are great to take into work the next day. So tonight I made a meal based on my love of giant sea creatures. Credit goes to Taste of Home's Fast Fixes with Mixes cookbook (recipes are fast and creative). The name of this recipe is "Octopus and Seaweed." It's just ramen noodles + a few drops of green food coloring + hot dogs with the bottom 4/5ths cut into 8 pieces.

And here's the end result:

Looks a little better than it tastes... I'd forgotten how salty ramen noodles are!! Ah, well, it was worth it!

04 January 2008

Let them eat cake!!

One of my 2008 new year's resolutions is to finish up the family cookbook that was supposed to be a 2007 Christmas gift for my family. It's nearly there. I might actually keep this resolution. Lately I've been cooking and photographing various family favorites (or possible new family favorites) for the book.

Tonight's dish was one I've been wanting to make for a long time: meatloaf cake! I had made the idea up when Emily was taking cake decorating classes. Naturally, when I looked it up later other people had already done it. That's the problem with the Internet -- it's really hard to feel unique and creative. No matter how clever you think you are, someone has probably already thought of it.

Back to the cake. The recipe is very simple... you cook meatloaf (ground beef or turkey) in two small round pans, then stack them (using mashed potatoes in the middle to make your layers stick together). Frost it with mashed potatoes, decorate with cherry tomatoes and ketchup, then serve! Mmmm... Dessert for dinner! Almost. This dish is recommended for April Fool's Day, if you're planning ahead.

Naturally, you want to see pictures. I'm not the pastry chef of the family, but hey, it turned out halfway decent! Except the ketchup was rather uncooperative. See here:

Happy eating!