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Archive for the 'Cuisine' Category

FABULOUS Birthday Cakes #3

Fairy Cupcakes (Courtesy We’re continuing our 2010 birthday cake countdown and this one’s a perfect fit for that Tinker Bell party you may be planning. These fairy cupcakes are made from Juicy Fruit chewing gum, vanilla wafers, Jolly Rancher fruit chews, pink heart candies and mini-marshmallows – oh, and some very clever detailing. Get the step-by-step directions here.

Need more cake ideas?

Posted on Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Under: Cuisine | 1 Comment »

EASTER Eggs Once More: More Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs (Photo by David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT) We started talking yesterday about how to use up those leftover Easter eggs – or charm your Easter guests with a different spin on the usual fare. Here, as promised, is a second take on the classic Deviled Egg, with a seafood twist:

Makes 12 halves
6 extra-large hard-boiled eggs, cooled
6 large shrimp, plus more for garnishing
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, drained and finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Tabasco sauce to taste
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill

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Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Under: Cuisine, holidays | No Comments »

EASTER Eggs: Devilishly Good

Deviled Eggs (Photo by David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT) Ahhh, Easter eggs. The only thing wrong with boiling up a million eggs for Easter is that afterwards … you still have 999,990 of them leftover. It’s an excellent excuse to make deviled eggs, though. And as you can see by the photo, the sky’s the limit when it comes to garnishing eggs. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

Makes 24 halves
12 large hard-boiled eggs, cooled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
For garnish, as desired: thick-cut bacon bits, thinly sliced scallions, minced tarragon, minced flat-leaf parsley, smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper

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Posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Under: Cuisine, holidays | No Comments »

FABULOUS Birthday Cakes, Take Two

Courtesy OK, I admit it. I’m a Martha Stewart devotee. Some of her ideas may be a tad too precious, but dang, those recipes work every time and they always look amazing. So who could possibly resist this polka-dot, hop scotch cake? It’s an orange flavored cake, filled with sweet orange marmalade – although Martha (yes, I like to pretend we’re on a first name basis), says you can substitute lemon curd or any berry jam.

The cake is buttery and divine, the icing a cloud-like Swiss meringue – and may I just say, yes, it’s much more work than popping open a can of frosting, but the flavor is incomparable – and the polka dots are simply piped, colored frosting. Get the recipe and instructions here.

More Cakes from the 2010 Birthday Cake Countdown:

Posted on Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

FABULOUS Birthday Cakes #1

Squid Birthday Cake (Courtesy How much do we love creative birthday cakes? Ohhh, so very, very much. Last year, as you may recall, we did a “10 Days of Birthday Cakes Countdown,” that showcased some of the most clever cakes ever, including sharks, snorkelers and seriously goofy cupcakes. The set of cake ideas was part of our contribution to an All About Parenting blog carnival on birthday celebrations, which I hosted on my other site. (We’re about to take the plunge into another All About Parenting carnival, by the way, this one on an Easter theme. You’ll hear more about that later, but if you’re a blogger and want to participate, follow that link for details.)

OK, back to the birthday cakes! We loved that birthday cake countdown so much, we’re doing it again, one per week, starting right … now. May we present, a purple squid cake? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | 5 Comments »

The Princess & the Cookbook

Tiana's Cookbook (Disney) As you may have guessed, we had some technical difficulties here on the aParently Speaking blog, but we’re back now and playing catch up! OK, first off, let’s give away last week’s prize, “Baking Kids Love” by Cindy Mushet — and the winner is… Monica!

OK, on to the next delightful thing… This week, in honor of the new Disney flick, “The Princess & the Frog,” the story of a New Orleans waitress whose dreams of opening her own restaurant are sidelined by a kiss-seeking frog, we’re giving away a copy of “Tiana’s Cookbook.” It’s a colorful, kid-friendly collection of Louisiana-style recipes inspired by the movie. So we’re talking beignets, jambalaya and frog cupcakes. Not to worry. The cupcakes only look like frogs, they don’t contain any. And this book can be yours! Click “comments” and tell us which movie your family is most looking forward to (or has most enjoyed) this holiday season. We’ll draw a winner’s name on Monday.

Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Under: Contest, Cuisine | 4 Comments »

KIDS Cookbook Giveaway

Baking Kids Love (Sur La Table) We’re heading into prime baking season, and there’s no better way to spend time with kids – and get some help at the same time – than to introduce them to the joys of whisking, scooping and baking. So this week we’re giving away this cool cookbook, “Baking Kids Love,” written by baking instructor Cindy Mushet, her daughter Bella and the Sur La Table folks. It’s ideal for the 8 to 12-year-old crowd, but really, there’s no age that won’t love popovers, gooey pizza or cupcakes. And it can be yours! Click “comments” and tell us, what’s your favorite baking-with-kids project? We’ll draw a winner’s name next Monday.

Congrats, by the way, to Robertville, who won last week’s “Thomas the Tank Engine” DVD giveaway!

Posted on Monday, November 16th, 2009
Under: Contest, Cuisine | 12 Comments »


Chocolate Spiders Meringue ghosts? Check. Jack o’lanterns? Check. Chocolate spiders? Oh wait, here they come – straight from the pages of Sharon Bowers’ fun new cookbook, “Ghoulish Goodies.”

Makes about 24
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chow mein noodles
¼ cup red hots or red mini M&Ms

1. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper or parchment. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven on high power 60 seconds; stir well. If not quite smooth, continue to heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst.

2. Stir chow mein noodles into melted chocolate and drop mixture by tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Press 2 red candies onto one edge of each cluster to make eyes and lift a few chow mein legs up to give a spidery impression. Refrigerate about 20 minutes to cool and harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
— Sharon Bowers, “Ghoulish Goodies”

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2009
Under: Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »


Ghoulish Goodies We’ve been giggling madly over Sharon Bowers’ clever new cookbook, “Ghoulish Goodies” (Storey Publishing, $14.95), and its scary-fun recipes for peanut butter monsters, Cheddar eyeballs and pretzel rod toes. We’ll share her darling recipe for chocolate spiders tomorrow, but first, here’s a handful of Bowers’ quickie party ideas, in case you still need inspiration for those classroom parties tomorrow:

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats: Make your usual krispie treats, but after you melt the marshmallows with butter, remove a small portion and tint it green. Tint the rest orange, then add Rice Krispies separately to orange and green mixtures. (Don’t try to tint after adding the cereal as the mixtures won’t dye properly, cautions Bowers.) With buttered hands, mold orange pumpkins and add green stems.

Screaming Red Punch: Rinse a new surgical rubber glove thoroughly. Fill it with cold water and tie the wrist with a twist tie. Freeze solid. In a large punch bowl, mix up a batch of red punch. Just before serving, cut off the glove with scissors and drop in the frozen hand.
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Posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Under: Cuisine, Halloween | 1 Comment »


Meringue Ghosts (Photo by Mark DuFrene/Contra Costa Times)
Out of all the tempting things in Julia Usher’s yummy new book, “Cookie Swap,” these meringue ghosts may be the most adorable — and the easiest. They’re filled with date nut balls but you can skip that step (actually steps #2 and 3) entirely and just pipe the meringue directly onto a baking sheet

Makes about 2 dozen
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Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Under: Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »