Posts Tagged "recipe"

The How (and Why) of Blueberry Popsicles | And Rabbits

Dear Kid,

Happy September!

It’s a new month (rabbit, rabbit, rabbit) and I am very excited because September is National Blueberry Popsicle Month.

Wait, what?

Who thinks of these things?

I get designating a month Hispanic Heritage Month (September), Baby Safety Month (September), even Better Breakfast Month (September).  And it is almost conceivable that there would be Popsicle Month.

But an entire month specifically for blueberry popsicles? That’s a lot of blue tongues.

And it gets even weirder.

The only recipe you'll ever need for Blueberry Popsicles. Happy National Blueberry Popsicle Month. DearKidLoveMom.comSeptember 2nd (tomorrow) is National Blueberry Popsicle Day.

Seriously? Seems to me blueberries are double dipping.

Here’s my recipe for blueberry popsicles.

Blueberry Popsicle Recipe

Buy blueberries. If you grow them yourself, then go pick them. But you’re going to need a good quantity of them, so if your yield is anything like ours you should supplement.

Wash and sort blueberries. Taste some to be sure they’re good.

Taste a few more just in case.

Wonder if you have popsicle sticks. Think about it while you eat some more blueberries.

Realize there are only 6 blueberries left, and head to the store to replenish your supplies. While you’re there, buy Blueberry Popsicles.


Love, Mom

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The Discovery of Tryptophan, Leftovers, and a Good Nap

Dear Kid,

Too tired to curl up. Puppy Sleeping After Thanksgiving DearKidLoveMom.comGreetings from a post-Thanksgiving, post-tryptophan stupor.

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as tryptophan. Then Frederick Hopkins (June 6, 1861 – May 16, 1947) invented vitamins, including tryptophan.

Frederick did not have an auspicious academic beginning. He was actually expelled from high school for truancy (which when you think about it makes no sense—you aren’t showing up for school so we’re going to make sure you never show up again. Huh?)

Since he didn’t have a degree (and I kid you not about this) he became an insurance salesman. However, Fred was an ambitious sort of fellow and since he was going to win a Nobel Prize later in life he ate his vitamins (even though they didn’t exist yet) and went to night school. He got a degree in chemistry, worked as an assistant in a criminal forensics lab, and eventually saved up enough money to go to medical school.

In 1901 he discovered tryptophan (which is an amino acid).

He was keenly interested (I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate the word “keenly” into a blog—success!) in how cells obtain energy in the metabolic process, and in 1907 he discovered that oxygen depletion causes the build of lactic acid in muscles. (Now are you digging this dude?)

He then went on to discover vitamins (kindly read that word with the British pronunciation since our good friend of the vitamin fetish was in fact British).

He discovered that a diet that only included pure proteins, carbs, fats, minerals, and water don’t make for a healthy animal. He figured out that “accessory food factors” were missing. But the advertising world realized that no one could possibly sell “accessory food factors” and vitamins were invented (especially in the Flintstone form).

The Nobel Committee agreed to take their vitamins and to give him (and co-researcher Christiaan Eijkman) the 1929 Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine.

During WWI, Fred was asked to study the nutritional value of margarine. Which he did and discovered it was “inferior to butter because it lacked the vitamins A and D.” Ta-da! Enter vitamin enriched margarine. See how these things happen?

But back to tryptophan.

Tryptophan is an amino acid which is a building block for protein. (Pay attention. There may be a quiz later.) Our bodies (ourselves—you’re too young to get the reference. Let it go.) can’t produce tryptophan but that’s ok, because we get tryptophan from lots of food.

And here’s the kicker: Tryptophan does not make us sleepy.

According to WebMD (along with some weird references to Harry Potter movies), tryptophan doesn’t make us tired until mixed with carbs (of which there are plenty on Thanksgiving). WebMD also suggests that alcohol, relaxing with family, and watching football probably make us more sleepy than tryptophan (with or without carbs). And I put in the part about football, not them.

Since you took your nap prior to the Carving of the Bird, I’m inclined to agree that other factors are more influential than turkey.

Happy Leftover Day!

Love, Mom

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Alton and Mom Make Bananas Foster

Dear Kid,

Sometimes blog inspiration arrives in a burst. Sometimes it arrives by carrier pigeon. Sometimes it doesn’t really arrive at all. And sometimes it arrives in the form of the word “magnanimous.”

Last night, when Pi and Tal got home, they (and by “they” I mean Pi) bellowed upstairs. “Hi, Mom!!! Tal and I were thinking that if you were feeling magnanimous, you might want to make us dessert.” “What kind of dessert?” “Whatever you feel like making.” “Be down in a minute.”

Tal asked, “What is this word ‘mag, maj, mananim’?”

Whereupon we set out to teach her the word “magnanimous” to much giggling. It’s a fun word to teach to someone who does not speak English as a first language. To her credit, she learned it really quickly.

Since I was feeling rather magnanimous, I decided to make bananas foster. My way, not the way it’s supposed to be made.

Here are both recipes for your edification.

Bananas Foster (version Mom and version Alton Brown)

Before I continue, let me point out that I think Alton Brown is the Chief Chef, the cherry on the sundae, the Most Amazing Food Person In Our Time. So obviously his version is Right. My version is just what gets made in our house.

Let me also point out that Minions Love Bananas. And doesn’t that just make my little heart happy?

Alton: Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over low heat.

Mom: Find non-stick pan. Move the drying pots off the stove so there is room to work. Turn up the heat to Reasonably High and melt a bunch of vegan butter (what with Pi not doing cow at the moment). Encourage the vegan butter to get on with melting. Put a tortilla in the pan to brown on both sides. Decide you’re not going to wait for any of this browning nonsense and settle for warming it up. Remove warm, buttery tortilla to a plate. Add more butter stuff to melt.

Bananas for Bananas Foster. Recipe from Alton and (take your pick)Alton: Add 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg and stir until sugar dissolves.

Mom: Add about-that-much brown sugar and stir. After reading Alton’s recipe (we’re good friends, so I can call him by his first name) decide cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg might be a good addition next time. Laugh mightily at the idea of grinding fresh nutmeg.

Alton: Add 1 tablespoon banana liqueur and bring sauce to simmer. Add 2 under ripe bananas, sliced in half lengthwise and cook for 1 minute on each side, carefully spooning sauce over bananas as they are cooking.

Mom: Trip over the puppy trying to get the bananas. Giggle as puppy looks expectantly at the bananas. Giggle harder as puppy stares hard enough at the bananas to get them to jump out of their skins voluntarily. Peel and slice bananas into rounds (“coins” as Dad calls them). Share 2 pieces with a grateful dog. Put the bananas in the pan and stir. Laugh at the notion of being careful while doing this.

Alton: Remove bananas from pan to a serving dish. Bring sauce to a simmer and carefully add 1/4 cup dark rum. If the sauce is very hot, the alcohol will flame on its own. If not, using stick flame, carefully ignite and continue cooking until flame dies out, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. If sauce is too thin, cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it is syrupy in consistency. Add 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest and stir to combine. Immediately spoon the sauce over bananas and serve. Serve with waffles, crepes, or ice cream.

Mom: Spoon most of the banana/brown sugar yumminess over half the tortilla. Fold tortilla over and spoon the rest on top. Cut in half if you are serving to two people (which you would only do if you don’t have enough ingredients to make two whole servings. Which reminds me, we need to get more tortillas, bananas, and brown sugar.).

NOTE: If you are me, do not even consider the whole “light on fire” thing since it would doubtless turn into a “light the entire kitchen on fire” thing. And while we do have a fire extinguisher (never used, I’m glad to point out), I don’t think foam is a good addition to this particular dessert.

Serve to incredibly happy teenagers.

Hope you have a sweet day, kiddo.

Love, Mom


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (vegan) for Breakfast

Dear Kid,

I had fudge for breakfast. This may not seem very important, I know. And it really isn’t. But here’s what happened.

The other night after dinner, Pi said, “I think we should make something yummy.”

Me: Don’t you have homework?
Puppy: I like yummy things
Pi: Just a little
Puppy: I can help! I can help!
Me: You’d best do your homework
Pi: Then can we make something yummy?
Puppy: I really, really love yummy things!
Me: Why don’t you finish your homework and then see what you think you’d like to make and come show me.
Pi: OK
Puppy: Ok! I will think of lots of yummy things. They all sound delicious! I think my head will explode.

About half an hour later, I was presented with a multi-post-it-noted cookbook. Pi took me through the options, with the Puppy explaining why each one was the Best Possible One.

Finally, we decided to make her #1 pick: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (vegan variety).

Here is how you make Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge (vegan variety):

Puppy: I love peanut butter
Me: I know you do
Puppy: Can I have some?
Me: We’ll see
Pi: But no chocolate for you
Puppy: Of course not. Puppies can’t have chocolate. I’ll just have two peanut butters please
Me: We’ll see

First you read the ingredients. When you realize you don’t have all the ingredients you turn your puppy eyes (“My puppy eyes?” “No, Pi’s puppy eyes” “Oh. I thought I was in the story” “You are in the story. Just not this part of the story.” “But later?” “Absolutely.”) you turn your puppy eyes on your daddy and implore him to make a trip to the super market.

Once you have Ingredients, measure 1 ¾ Cups of dairy-free chocolate chips into a cup. You will only need 1 ½ cup, but this way there are plenty for snacking on until you get to that part. Note: You can find dairy-free chocolate chips. It’s just not easy.

Have the child measure 1 cup of vegan margarine and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter into a saucepan. (“And I watch.” “Yes, you watch very carefully.”) Whisk the margarine and the peanut butter over low heat until smooth. (“Still watching!!”)

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge. Delicious. Does not last long! DearKidLoveMom.comMeanwhile, line an 8” pan with foil. Amaze child with the trick of molding it over the bottom so it fits on the inside.

Meanwhile, have the child get out the mixer. In retrospect, I don’t think a mixer is necessary at all, but we were (more or less) following the recipe since it was the first time we’d made it.

Measure 3 Cups of powdered sugar into the mixer bowl.

When the peanut butter and margarine are smooth (it doesn’t take very long), whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Make a note to add vanilla to the shopping list.

Pour the vanilla-peanut butter-margarine mixture over the powdered sugar. Hand mix until there is little risk of a powdered sugar cloud engulfing the entire kitchen. Then turn on the mixer to finish mixing. If you’re using the mixer. Otherwise, just stir. Press the yumminess into the pan.

Pi: This is really good
Puppy: Do I get to taste? Do I get to taste? What about me?
Me: Maybe later
Puppy: I like now better
Pi: Oops. Dropped a little piece
Puppy: I GOT IT! I GOT IT! YUM!!!

Melt 1 ½ Cups of dairy-free chocolate chips (see how nicely that worked out?) and ½ Cup of almond milk (or soy or rice) and whisk over low heat until it’s all melty and smooth. (“And I watch.”)

Remove from heat and mix into 1 ½ Cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder. The original recipe says to use the mixer to do it. We decided a whisk would work just fine. (“And I watch.”) Decide the mixture needs to be whisked a bit more and hand the job over to the child. While she whisks, offer the measuring cup that had the peanut butter to the puppy. (“I knew it! I knew it! I love this!!!!! I am a good boy!!!”)

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter stuff. If you’re following the recipe, top with ½ Cup of chopped roasted peanuts. If you’re us, don’t.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Wonder how you ever lived without this fudge.

Then wonder why on earth you just ate fudge for breakfast.

Decide to ponder once the sugar shock wears off.

Love, Mom

For more puppy conversations see

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Creativity in Dinner and S’mores | Innovation is More Fun

Dear Kid,

Friday night, Pi had a bunch of friends over for s’mores. That was the plan anyway.

She sent text invitations so we knew we’d have 8-10 people.

Then one of her friends asked if he could arrive a little early so we invited him for dinner. Then the dinner friend asked if another friend could come for dinner (since that was his ride). No problem. When they arrived, I put the boys to work stirring and slicing (new recipe—delish) and making salad.

As we were making dinner, Pi got a text from another friend who was coming to have s’mores but needed dinner. Sure, come early. We-Feed-People R Us. I found a new recipe: Gnocchi with Zucchini and Carrot ribbons. To be Slightly More Accurate, I found a recipe for Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and then modified it in several directions. Yum.

It's not a campfire, but candles still work pretty well for making s'mores. DearKidLoveMom.comThe next problem we had was that it was raining. Not monsooning or even downpouring, but raining enough so that the idea of sitting outside was highly unattractive. So I did what any enterprising mom would do—we set up candles and let everyone cook s’mores on the porch over candles. Not quite the same, but no seemed to mind.

Some of the s’mores were the traditional toasted-marshmallow-chocolate-graham cracker variety. Others were a little more creative. There were Reeces and peanut butter and various other ingredients involved.

Here’s to innovation.

Love, Mom

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