2/24/2009

All Growed Up Honey Kix Giveaway

Guess what? We're all growed up! Today I officially changed from my blogspot address to http://www.gourmetmomonthego.com/.
You won't have to change your bookmarks, it will automatically direct you! WOW!
OK, it's not that big of deal, but it does sound pretty cool, doesn't it?! I wanted a fun way to celebrate and recently got this really fun opportunity from MyBlogSpark. Honey Kix is providing THREE of you with "Sweet and Simple" gift Boxes. Thank you!!
I also made some luscious Bunny Bisque yesterday. Enjoy!

Have you tried the new Honey Kix cereal? My girls looooove it. Honey Kix is a good source of fiber, calcium and vitamin D, contains 16 grams of whole grain per serving (at least 48 grams recommended daily) and has no artificial flavors or preservatives. A perfect balance of taste and nutrition through simple ingredients, which both moms and kids can agree on!

Here are the juicy details!
To enter, simply leave a comment saying one thing you do to get your morning off to a good start. Giveaway ends March 3.

THREE random readers will receive a Honey Kix “Sweet and Simple” prize pack that includes a coupon for a free box of Honey Kix, a honey jar, a set of colorful cereal bowls, a container to take your cereal and milk on-the-go, and a great container to keep cereal fresh at home.

Bunny Bisque

The winner of the Trader Joes Cookbook is...(chosen by random.org)
#58! Team Clancy who said...
"Chicken Marsala Casserole looks tasty!!!"
Congrats! Drop me an email with your address and I'll send it out!
Spring is coming!!
There are soooooo many goodies associated with the season (chocolate bunnies!!), I decided we needed to start off with something a little more healthy. Gourmet Dad's comment?..."it tasted a whole lot better than I thought it would!" This is actually really delicious and packed with Vitamin A. Generally, cooking spoils the nutritional value of food items. But, in the case of carrots, it is the contrary, their nutritional value increases on cooking. I made extra breadsticks for dipping and they gobbled it up.
Bunny Bisque
Ingredients:
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped (reserve a few carrot shreds for the bunny whiskers)
6 strips ready-cooked bacon, crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaves
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream (I actually used fat free half and half and it tasted great)
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bunny Garnish Ingredients:
Toast
cherry tomato
sour cream (or cream cheese)
olives
shredded carrot

Directions:
Pour olive oil n a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients except cream, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaves. Place soup in a food processor or blender along with cream cheese and and process until smooth. Return mixture to pot over low heat. Add cream and more salt and pepper to taste.

To make bunnies, toast a piece of bread and slice as shown:
On the bunny face, add a small amount of sour cream (or cream cheese) for eyes and place olives on top. Add another small amount of sour cream and attach a cherry tomato nose (a cherry tomato sliced in half). Add a few shredded carrot whiskers. Place bunny face in soup bowl and add ears, resting them on the bowl edge. Have everyone "hop" to the table to enjoy!

2/23/2009

Not your Mama's Cookies

My friend Missy makes the best cookies ever. EVER. She actually had a cookie company for awhile and has dabbled in buying a storefront, but has been too busy with her family at the moment. No matter how hard I've tried, I can't worm any of her top-secret cookies recipes from her. Her peanut butter cookies with chocolate chunks are honestly one of the most delicious things I've ever put in my mouth. I can't think about them right now or I get teared up since she won't give me the recipe.
I know she can't share her cookie company's recipes, so I asked, "Will you make a new one up for my blog??" Either she likes me or got tired of me asking, but either way, she did it!
Soooooo, for your baking pleasure, I present Missy's newest delicious creation! These are the most moist oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies I have ever had. I know you'll love them. I especially love her tip about reserving a few chocolate chips top put on top of the cookies before baking (it makes them look extra-packed with choc. chips:)). Enjoy!

Not Your Mama's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Missy Hintze
In a normal blender grind all together:
4 oz. (3/4 C) Whole almonds
8 oz. (about 2 1/3 C) oatmeal
2 oz. (1/4 C) white sugar

In mixer cream:
1 C butter (2 sticks)
12 oz. (1 ½ C) Brown Sugar

Then add:
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. soda
1 t. salt

To creamed mixture add:
Ground oats and almonds
4 oz. (1 C) white flour
12 oz. Semi-sweet chips
3.5 oz. Milk Chocolate bar chopped

Mix all together.

(Reserve some chocolate to top cookies before baking to beautify)

Drop by Tablespoons or cookie scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake in a convection oven 350* 9 min. or until lightly golden. If you do not have a convection oven, bake at 375* for 10 min.

Because of the high brown sugar content – these cookies would be great frozen and then thawed – they become even more chewy.

2/20/2009

Mickey Mouse Ears Cake

Happy Birthday Baby H!
You're not a baby anymore, you're 2!

Thanks to Gourmet Grandpa for the cake design and Gourmet Grandma for the edible images, you two are the best!! I'll post instructions later, it's a lot easier than it looks...I made the sucker ears in the microwave!
In addition to a big cake and two giant sucker ears, of COURSE a girl needs birthday cupcakes:

2/18/2009

Kool-Aid Fun, Oh Yeah!

Some Announcements:
Free Toffee! Ron, the magical man at English Toffee Anytime, emailed me and graciously offered to "sweeten the deal" to help me get votes for my Chili Cacao Mayan Cupcakes--I thought about it and wasn't sure if I should offer bribery to help get my recipe published....then, I got over it and realized I'm totally OK with bribery--in fact I use it daily on my kids.

Check my sidebar for details and if you want to vote, leave a comment here or drop me an email saying you did it. You get one entry per vote and you can vote once a day until March 2. We'll randomly pick a winner March 3 to get a full pound box of milk, dark, or white chocolate toffee.


Don't forget you have until Monday to leave a comment here and win the Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's Cookbook! It's awesome, I am so excited for one of you to have a copy.


Now, for today's topic....what to do with Kool-Aid? I grew up (like most of us) on Kool-Aid---however, I don't usually give it to my kids because we already eat enough sugar. There have been several packets of it sitting in my cupboard for quite awhile so I figured we need to get some creative uses for them. Here's what I found so far, I'd love to hear your ideas. Today we'll be making lip gloss, ooh-la-la!

1. Make Easy Flavored Kool-Aid Frosting
Stir a package of Kool-Aid into a can of vanilla frosting.

2. Frosting for a Jello Cake
Fold in a pack of Kool-Aid into a container of thawed whipped topping. If the frosting tastes a little too sour, add in a little sweetener to taste.

3. Make Kool-Aid Lip Gloss
To make a fruity lip gloss put a small amount of petroleum jelly into a microwave-safe bowl. Stir some Kool-Aid in, enough to make it the color you desire. Add a little sugar, then, place the bowl in a microwave oven for about five or six seconds, just enough to soften it.

4. Make Sand Art With Kool-Aid
Draw pictures on paper, spread a thin layer of Elmer’s glue over one part of the picture. It's better to start at the top of the picture and work down. Sprinkle Kool-Aid over the glue and press it down gently. Shake off the excess powder off, and go on to the next color.

5. Temporarily Dye Your Hair With Kool-Aid
In a glass bowl mix a packet of Kool-Aid with a teaspoon of corn starch and just enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste to clean, dry hair and let set for five minutes, rinse the paste out.

6. Make Spooky Party Decorations
Just place some dry ice- don't touch it with your hands!- into a glass, and pour a packet of any flavor Kool-Aid into it. Kids will watch with fascination as the dry ice and Kool-Aid bubbles and mists.

7. Make Kool-Aid Clay for the Kids
Mix together 1 cup of flour, a 1/4 cup of salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar and a pack of Kool-Aid in a pan. Stir in 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat stirring until the mixture thickens, remove from heat and let it cool. Knead the Kool-Aid clay until smooth. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator until use.

8. Remove Chlorine From Your Hair
Use Lemonade flavored Kool-Aid. Pour a little Kool-Aid in your hand, then add shampoo and lather up. Let the Kool-Aid/shampoo set on your hair for fifteen minutes before you rinse it and then shampoo out well. (and we drink this??)

9. Kool-Aid Water Colors
Pour Kool-Aid into ice cube tray, one compartment per color. Stir 1 tablespoon of water into each compartment; stir until the powders are completely dissolved.

10. Tie Dye with Kool-Aid
You can dye any cotton item such as tee shirts, socks, bed sheets, towels, as long as it is cotton. The article you want to tie dye must be clean and dry. Pour each color package of Kool-Aid into an individual glass bowl. Stir an ¼ cup of white vinegar into each bowl; make sure the powders dissolve completely. Gather the fabric up in several places and secure with several rubber bands. Dip each bunch into a bowl of Kool-Aid. Leave the rubber bands in place and set aside to dry. Once dry, remove the rubber bands and spread it out so it can completely dry. Put it in the clothes dryer by itself and dry on high for 15 minutes to set the colors in.

11. Use Kool-Aid to Check for Toilet Tank Leaks (this is funny to me)
Lift the lid off the toilet tank and pour Kool-Aid into the tank. The darker colors work the best. Don't flush the toilet! Just watch the toilet bowl, if you see the Kool-Aid float through from the tank, then you have a leak. The test can take fro 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the leak.

12. Removing Rust Stains
Remove rust stains on your driveway by mixing unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid with just a little water and scrub. (see #8)

13. Cleaning the Inside of your Dishwasher
Dump a packet of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid into the soap dispenser, run the wash cycle. Removes stains and hard water deposits.

14. Dyes for Easter Eggs
Mix a packet of Kool-Aid in a cup with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and ½ cup of water

15. Kool-Aid Stands
Send the kids out to sell and play--they can sugar up other people's kids.:)

16. Decorating Cookies
Use in place of colored sugars, just sprinkle a little across the top

17. Science Project with Plants
Place a stalk of celery in water with Kool-Aid in it to demonstrate how the Kool-Aid is drawn up into the stalk with the water.

18. Coloring Flowers
Place carnations, daisies or any white flower in water with Kool-Aid in it and watch the flowers turn colors.

19. Demonstrate a Non-Newtonian Substance
Mix equal parts cornstarch and water that has been colored with a pack of Kool-aid. Mix with fingers and observe that this substance fluctuates between solid and liquid.

20. Shower Prank (look out, Gourmet Dad!)
This is a simple prank. All you have to do remove the shower head from your shower and pour in the kool-aid packet into the shower head. NOTE: Make sure you are not the next one to take a shower.:)

21. From Erika: For stampers out there, you can put koolaid into embossing powder and make scratch and sniff images!

As a side note:
A dab of toothpaste on a damp paper towel cleans up stubborn Kool-Aid stains off both skin and countertops.

Another strange and a little scary side note from Jim:
I work as an engineer on US flagmerchant ships. We use kool-aid mixed into the control water system of theauto-shooting fuel purification centrifuges. It is a cheap - excellent -mild acid and helps to keep scale from forming in the solenoid valves andcontrol orifices. The consensus is that Grape works best.

2/13/2009

Secret Message Decoder Cookies

GO HERE to get cute free printable "secret message" valentines to go along with these cookies!
I saw these on the DisneyFamily Community website and had to share! She made them for Valentines, but I think they'd be great for a Detective or Science-themed Birthday Party, a Spy Cookie "S" snack or even just to give the kids their Saturday Job list--do you think it would motivate them to get their chores done faster? I'll keep you posted.:)Cookies with a twist! Red candy melted in the center of each cookie acts as a decoder on your handwritten valentines. On white paper simply write your secret message with a light-blue fine point marker. Then, using orange, red, and pink markers, doodle shapes, scribbles, or words over the rest of the paper. Go ahead and doodle right over your secret message because your decoder cookie will only reveal your secret message and everything else will disappear!

Secret Message Decoder Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
5 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1/4 cup milk
Red, hard, transparent candies/crushed to fine pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together with mixer. Add vanilla. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. In separate bowl add flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. Stir together. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with milk and stir until dough is smooth. Chill until dough is stiff.
Prepare baking sheet by covering with a sheet of foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Don't skip this step--you need the foil or the candy will stick to the pan!

On floured surface roll a portion of the dough to 1/4" thick. Cut out with large heart cookie cutter (approx. 4") and place 1" apart on baking sheet. Cut center with a slightly smaller heart cutter and remove dough. Using a small teaspoon carefully fill center with crushed candy. Bake for 10-12 min. or until lightly golden on edges. Cool completely before removing cookies. Store in an airtight container or individual cellophane bags and attach paper valentine.

A-Dorable Flooded Cookies

Happy Valentines Day!
Here's your present. I'd send them to each and every one of you but I don't think they'd make it in the mail. So, enjoy some virtual calories.:)
Most of you have made sugar cookies and either frosted them with luscious buttercream or flooded them with royal icing. I've always been a buttercream girl myself until we experimented with Royal Icing this week. It was tastier than I thought! I included a video tutorial on making easy dots and other fun things. I have also replaced (gasp!) my favorite stand-by sugar cookie recipe with this winner I found on allrecipes. They are sooooo good!The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies by Jill Saunders
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Royal Icing

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Now for the fun part! Make up some royal icing (recipes for the meringue and egg white version are here) and tint with your favorite colors. If you have decorating tips, use a medium-sized round one. If not, just put some icing in a ziploc freezer baggie, snip a corner off one end and you're good to go. Outline your cookies with icing. When they're all finished, thin out icing with a little water until it's thin enough to drop off a toothpick when you dip it in the bowl. Spread the thinned icing on the cookie and decorate as desired. Check out my video on how to make cute & easy dots and hearts. My girls especially liked making the "ladybug hearts" (red and black). The edible pearls are from sugarcraft.com.

video

A note on black icing: if you are using it to outline cookies, let it dry completely before flooding with thinned icing. The black tends to bleed unless dry. Also, Bridget over at Bake at 350 has some great tips on adding dots to cookies. I just read them and will try them for next time!

Beary Much in Love

We have been in a whirlwind of Vanentines treats for the kids, I'll post a fun cookie tutorial tonight or tomorrow.

I'm taking a break from the treat craziness and making this super fast and easy Valentine Lunch for the kids. The uber-fabulous Kellie over at Little Nummies made these simple bear sandwiches, how cute are they?

Whip them up then print out my "I love you Beary Much" cards (with space to write your "beary favorite things" about your Valentine:)) and you've got one special lunch in 5 minutes. You can download the cards here.
Beary Much in Love Sandwiches from Little Nummies
Ingredients:

Bread
Marshmallows
Peanut Butter (or jam)
Chocolate Chips
Crackers (round)
Bear Cards (download and print here)

Kellie's directions:
I cut the tops off of two pieces of bread. Spread peanut butter on them and put them together as shown in picture. Spread some peanut butter on the ends of ritz crackers and stick them to the back of the “head” for the ears. Cut a mini marshmallow in half and stick mini chocolate chips inside for eyes. A reg chocolate chip for his nose. Use the other two pieces to make a half sandwich.
notes: After downloading the cards, cut along the dotted lines and fold on the pink line. Write your "beary favorite things" about your child and place with lunch.

2/11/2009

Sweetie Pie Drinks

Love is in the air and I loooove that Chris over at Let Me Count the Ways. If you're looking for Valentines ideas, you will have a great time on her blog!! I saw this recipe for her fun hot chocolate (we just had strawberry milk) and knew we had to make those marshmallows!
In fact, we made some homemade marshmallows, too (recipe below) and they were fun. I don't know if they were worth all the work, but it was fun to see Gourmet Dad's face when I told him what I was making. His reply? "Aren't they less than a dollar a bag at the grocery store??" :)
Sweetie Pie Drinks
Ingredients:
Milk
Strawberry Quik (or red food coloring if you just want pink milk)
Large Marshmallows
powdered sugar
Small heart-shaped cutter (or sharp paring knife)

Directions:
Mix milk and strawberry quick in mugs. Or, if you just want colored milk, add a drop of red food coloring to milk and mix well. Cut marshmallows in half and dip sticky side in powdered sugar. Using small heart cutter (or paring knife), cut out heart shape and roll any sticky sides in powdered sugar. Drop in strawberry milk and serve. Yummy!

Homemade Marshmallows
Ingredients:
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray
Food coloring or flavoring oil (optional)

Directions:
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed (with whisk attachment) and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and any flavors/colors during the last minute of whipping.

While the mixture is whipping, combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza cutter dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

2/04/2009

100 Day Cupcakes

Big C just had her 100th day of Kindergarten! Good job Big Girl! We celebrated by making these for her class.
Speaking of fun, there's a cool new recipe site up by Better Homes & Gardens called
Mixing Bowl. It's a great place to store, post, and share recipes! They're having a cupcake contest, so grab your favorite recipe and go enter! You could win $200 and be featured in their magazine!
I submitted my Chili Cacao Mayan Cupcakes. Feel free to
go there and vote for me!;) You can enter as many times as you want and vote once per day. Contest ends March 2.

To make "100 Day Cupcakes":
Simply take your favorite cupcakes, frost with icing, place a circus peanut for "1" and two peach gummy rings for "00". Top with a few sprinkles and time to celebrate!
Hunky Gourmet Dad and I are off for a weekend getaway, I'll see you on Monday!

2/03/2009

Groundhog Pancakes

We had these little cuties this week--sorry I didn't do them earlier so you could have them for Groundhog Day. You'll have to bookmark them for next year (or whenever you feel the need to have rodents for breakfast:)).


Groundhog Pancakes
Ingredients:
Pancake Batter
Apples
Doughnut Holes
Butterscotch Chips
Marshmallows
Icing (any kind--for "glue")
Red & Brown Mini M&M's
Green Food Coloring (optional)
Peanut Butter (optional)

Directions:
Tint pancake batter with green food coloring (if desired--we are just WISHING the ground was green right now). Make round pancakes, about 8".

Slice apples in half and remove core. Put 1 T. peanut butter in the middle of each apple (optional--just for extra protein). Put on plate with the cut side down.
Using a knife, carefully cut out a circle in the middle of your pancake. Place on top of the apple.
Place a doughnut hole in your "pancake hole". Using a little chocolate icing as "glue", add two butterscotch chips for ears. Snip a mini-marshmallow in half and add as eyes. Add brown mini M & M's with a dab of icing for the pupil. Add a red mini M&M for the nose and serve! (We also added a few icing flowers just to help Spring along a little:))

Toffee Winners

First of all, a HUGE thank you to English Toffee Anytime for sponsoring the fun giveaway this week. They are honestly the nicest company I have come across. I know they don't like to brag, so I have to tell you that they found out that one of my readers was having major surgery this week (from her comment) and they contacted her to send her a box of "get well toffee from the toffee elves". How nice is that?! Not to mention delicious! Thank you so much, this has been really fun!

Now, on to the winners!! Email me with your address and I'll forward it on so you can get your Toffee for Valentines Day! You have 2 days to reply or we'll pick some other lucky toffee-o-holic.:)

1st prize (one lb. box of toffee) goes to Aleasha who said...
you can find out all of the ingredients right on the website. oh gosh, how i love toffee! i sure hope i win!!!!

2nd prize (1/2 lb. box of toffee) goes to lisha who said...
They state their privacy policy effective as of October 27, 2008. I love Toffee. My grandma buys it for us every year at Christmas. Not sure where but this looks as good or better!

3rd prize (sampler pack of toffee) goes to Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life who said...
NO Milk and NO preseritives...I can go for that...I'm bloggin this one too...
I LOVE toffee...mmmmm

3rd prize (sampler pack of toffee) goes to The Cookie Girl who said...
I love toffee! I am adding this giveaway to my blog too.
My hubby would go nuts over this since it has almonds in it. Yummy
they let you how the toffee is processed in case you have an allergy to nuts. :)

3rd prize (sampler pack of toffee) goes to Celia Marie (W.) B. who said...
Their gift certificates are not taxed and never expire.

3rd prize (sampler pack of toffee) goes to The Thompsons who said...
You can also place an order by phone:
Phone: 1-801-671-2580 Toll Free: 1-877-887-4978 Fax: 1-801-576-0336
Toffee is my absolute FAVORITE!! I (like everyone else) hope I win!

3rd prize Michelle said...
I promise I didn't cheat to look to see what anyone else said, but ... 112 comments in, I'm not sure how original I can be. I'll try!
Toffee doesn't ship on the weekends. If you order Fri, Sat or Sun, it will ship on Monday.
I am DROOLING now.

We'll be back tomorrow to show you how to make Groundhog Pancakes for next year's Groundhog Day! Yum!