Laughing at ourselves one meal at a time.

Archive for May, 2011

Sometimes simple is best.

I’ve been travelling for the past three days and am delighted to be home – just in time for Wacky Wednesday.

May is the month that National Hamburger Month coincides with National Strawberry Month. Being that I am not very interested in combining those two particular foods we’re going to keep it simple, and seperate. 

Tonight’s menu:

  • Hamburger’s on the grill
  • Green Beans
  • Crispy Sliced Potatoes (my version of french fries)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream w/ Sliced Strawberries

The only real glitch is that I seem to have one of the few toddlers in America that turns his nose up at hamburgers. Maybe if I can figure out a topping that he likes? The run-of-the-mill ketchup and mustard doesn’t seem to do it. Maybe BBQ sauce? I usually put chopped green olives on mine.

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Full Circle

Hooray! It’s Wacky Wednesday!

I was thinking about Sophie’s friend joining us for dinner tonight. They have literally known each other since they were babies. And even though they don’t go to school together they still see each other at their afterschool program and for playdates. As I was thinking about them, and some of my own childhood friends, a song popped into my head. If you were a Daisy/Brownie/Girl Scout or went to summer camp you are probably familiar with   “Make New Friends“. This is my favorite part:

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.

So, for Wacky Wednesday this week everything we eat will be circular:

  • Pita Pizza’s
  • Sliced Carrots
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Strawberry Shortcake

Eating with friends.

When I think back on my childhood, a lot of my happiest memories came from when I lived in Chicago. We lived in Naperville back when our backyard bordered a cornfield, everyone who lived there was from “somewhere else” and our block had a handful of girls all the same age. My friend’s names still roll of my tongue: Dava, Michelle, Emily, Sharon, Kim, Jennifer… We sang along to Shawn Cassidy and learned to ride bikes and explored our neighborhood while it was being transformed from a small town into a suburb. It’s idyllic when I think back on it. Many of our mom’s stayed home and our dad’s commuted into the “city.” There were outdoor BBQ’s and backyard games at twilight. And I can still remember running into the house late in the day to ask my mom if a friend could eat dinner with us or, better yet, the absolute thrill of being invited over to someone else’s house to eat.

Our neighborhood was a melting pot! Our immediate neighbors were Columbian and I had friends on our block that were Indian and Vietnamese American. How I loved being invited to eat with them just as much as they adored eating my mom’s own “American” cooking.

Dinnertime is different for my kids; our days have different patterns and living in the city hasn’t yielded the same large gaggle of kids running from house to house trying to stir up an impromptu dinner invite.

Still it is one of my favorite parts of my own childhood so I am thrilled that we get to have a playmate of Sophie’s over for several meals in the upcoming weeks. Better yet her visits will all fall on Wednesday nights!

Now, I just need to come up with some good ideas!

Buddha’s Delight

I was vegetarian for many years and in the small town I went to college in there weren’t a lot of options for eating out. Besides cheese pizza, my other standby was “Buddha’s Delight” at the Great Hunan. It incorporated a ton of fresh vegetables in a savory broth/sauce with big hunks of tofu deep-fried to a golden hue. It was truly delicious and I have been trying for many years to duplicate the exact flavor of their sauce with little success.

Being that today celebrates Buddha’s Birthday in all East Asian countries, I’ll also be trying to recreate it in my St. Paul kitchen tonight.

Not familiar with Buddha’s Birthday?

Buddha’s Birthday, is the birthday of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, is a holiday traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism. The day is an official holiday in Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea

Our Wacky Wednesday Menu:

By the way, in doing a little bit of research I dug up that Buddha’s Delight is usually made with at least 10 ingredients, although more elaborate versions may comprise 18 or even 35 ingredients. And in perusing some recipes  MSG listed as listed in more than one recipe. Aha! That may be the secret as to why my sauce never tastes the same.

And can I just say that this is an excellent way to clean out all the dribs and drabs of produce in your fridge?

Yummmmm

 

We’ve been meaning to make this Marshmallow S’mores dessert ever since we saw it featured in an article somewhere. And that is partly why I love Wacky Wednesday. It gives me a little nudge to try something a little outside what we normally have for weeknight dinner fare.

This pie got raves from everyone! It’s especially perfect if you have little ones who are safer away from a campfire.  Not to mention that you can totally control how perfectly golden your marshmallows get.

Here’s the easy as pie recipe:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line pie plate with tin foil.
  • Mix in marshmallows, graham cracker pieces and chocolate chips to your liking.
  • Pop in the oven for a few minutes until marshmallows/chips are melty and look done enough to your liking.

Mmmmmmmmhhhhh

In honor of many things that start with the letter M, we’ll be forging ahead with Wacky Wednesday this week with a menu that features the letter “M.”

May. Hard to believe it’s actually May since it was snowing this morning… Come on. This is the  never-ending winter.

Mother’s Day. It’s really one of my least favorite holidays. And I think I finally figured out why. Someone else described as if there are two camps: One that wants to celebrate being a mom by spending time WITH their beloved children and the other who wants to celebrate being a mother with a break from their beloved kids. And figuring out who is in which camp is tricky. My own mother and MIL are definitely in different camps. And that whole situation was only made trickier after I became a mother. Any guesses as to which camp I am in?

Mary Jo. My Grandma Jo passed away  7 years ago on Cinco De Mayo. I feel so lucky to have had her in my life until my mid-30’s and that I was able to introduce the Sassy Lassy to her before she passed. My Grandma Jo was inspiring to me because she modeled just what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” She taught me a lot about working with what you have and about being a good person and about caring for others. What springs to mind when I close my mind and picture her is her coral lipstick and her wonderfully warm smile.  It lit up her whole face! I have so many good memories of her. Before she died, she remarked to my Dad about all the things she’s seen. She was amazed by it all. I wonder what she’d think of this blog? I bet she’d get a kick out of it.

So, here’s the menu for Wednesday night:

  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Meatloaf
  • Melon
  • Marshmallow Pie

Turns out that not a lot of vegetables start with the letter M. Not that I think any of the kids will mind that.

Speaking of kids, we’ll be having a guest over every Wednesday in May for Wacky Wednesday. I hope it lives up to her expectations!