Beka just stopped by for the evening and got to try my caviar.  General consensus is that that eggplant is just a vehicle for the other yummy flavors.  I think Beka’s words were “Not something I HAVE to have, but obviously, I’m eating it so it’s good.” 🙂

And Daniel is anxiously awaiting the day when he gets to participate in all this delicious fun.


So, yesterday afternoon while the kids were napping, I had an “itchin’ for the kitchen.”  In other words, my house was a mess and I was looking for an excuse to ignore it.  Thank you, Beka for providing the perfect excuse.  Sweet and healthy-ish?  Yes, please.


I used old fashioned oats, and that seemed to work fine. (I’m curious if you could replace the oil with banana, but I did not try it…)  Since I only had one can of chick peas, and no vehicle to run to the grocery store, I decided to go with a half recipe.  This was also a good plan since once again, my tiny food processor was limiting my mixing capabilities.


But the half recipe worked… barely… and the mix turned out well.  I used milk chocolate chips and a smidge of butterscotch chips b/c I was a little short on the chocolate.  (Next time, I’d like to try dark chocolate… YUM!)


I had no idea what pan to use, and of course, didn’t bother figuring it out until after I had made the mixture.  She used a 10 inch pan for the whole recipe, so I decided this silicone bread pan would work for about half.


35 minutes later…Image

20 minutes after that (with only Adelaide and I around to eat it…)


It probably loses some of its “health value” if you eat a 1/4 of it in one sitting.  (But… it’s better than a 1/4 a pan of brownies, right?) Adelaide said, “Mom, it’s like a cookie pie!”  Shawn came home and ate some immediately.  I asked him how he liked it and he sheepishly admitted to having a second helping.  I later confessed that there were beans in it, and that didn’t seem to bother him.  I’m pretty sure he snagged some on his way out the door this morning.  Elsie was the only one who wasn’t a fan, and I’m not sure why.

I’d definitely give this recipe 5 dollops.  The ingredients are things that are easy to have on hand.  The directions are basically one step making this recipe tasty, quick, and easy.  We will definitely be making this again.

(And a side note, I totally felt like a healthy, earthy, hippy, green mom as I took my kids on a picnic today.  We had mexican quinoa, carrots, bananas, tortilla chips, and cookies made from beans. 🙂 You all are broadening my horizons when it comes to foods we eat in our house!  Thanks!!)

I wanted to pick a recipe that would inspire me to get back into cooking a “real” meal after a month of freezer meals and having meals brought to us. The reality is that Daniel is only a month old, I have 2 little girls who need my attention, and Shawn will be back in a school in a week. Grilled cheese may be the extent of my “cooking” for a while still, so I might as well run with it, right? Just because its quick and easy, doesn’t mean it has to be BORING!!

So my proposal for March’s recipe is Gourmet Grilled Cheese. There are TONS of suggestions out there. They can take as little or as much effort and ingredients as you are willing to put into it. Be creative and if you need some inspiration, check out some of the following links.

I actually tried this Pesto Mozzerella Grilled Cheese (with tomato) last week and LOVED it.

This Grilled Cheese with Gouda, Roasted Mushrooms, and Onions is one I’m anxious to try:

However, if that doesn’t sound amazing to you, perhaps one of these looks good:

And if those 17 choices are not enough, here are 30 more:

Looking forward to hearing what you all come up with!!

Monday, February 3 – 1:30 p.m.

I had told Adelaide she could frost some gingerbread cookies (by herself!).  After at least 3 fairly decent “false alarms” for labor, I was in a pretty pouty mood.  I figured I’d keep myself busy by making the fudge since I had all the ingredients and a whole afternoon of nothingness stretching before me.  (Plus, it sounded delicious to me!!) 

Here’s the cookie dough part:



Next the fudge part:



Mix it all together.  Don’t mix everything together too quickly, or the chocolate chips start to melt.  Doesn’t affect the taste, but leaves the fudge looking a little more swirly.




2 p.m.   Yum! Super sweet, but tastes just like cookie dough!!  Fudge goes in the fridge.  Contractions start.

6 p.m.  Start mobilizing to drop girls off and head to the hospital.

8 p.m. Get to hospital.

Tuesday, February 4 – 2:35 a.m.  Daniel wastes no time making his arrival.


Thursday, February 6 – 5:30 p.m.  I come home to find this in my fridge.  Somebody’s been eating my fudge!



So there you have it.  I’d give the recipe 4 dollops. Its tasty and easy.  I’d say its a liitle too sweet to make and just keep in your house for no occasion, but would make a good treat to share or gift.  I also felt like I used a lot dishes for an otherwise straightforward and simple treat.

However, I would give my experience 5+ dollops!  This fudge recipe will forever be a part of Daniel’s birth story!  So thank you, Molly.  Your recipe choice accomplished what no amount of walking or spicy food had managed to accomplish in the week prior!! 




I had big plans for this recipe. I’ve had the ingredients for almost 2 weeks.  First, It was going to be part of Shawn’s “Congratulations you passed your Greek class” meal, but then someone offered to grill out for us.  Then it was going to a “we haven’t been together in years” meal for a gathering of people I worked with in 2002 but then everyone bailed.  So it ended up being a “come home after a crazy full long day” meal and it worked out just great.

Anyway, here are the highlights.

First off, the bacon got used sometime in the last 2 weeks, so the Mirepoix went in the pan with some olive oil instead.



Next, 6 potatoes.  Doesn’t seem like a whole lot until they are all cut up!!


Ugh!!  The homemade chicken stock is still frozen, and it’s only 4.5 cups.  Meh.  Oh well.  The pan’s hot, so it should melt fast and I’ll just had a few cups of water.


It actually took a while for the broth to melt and get back to a boil.  The hot pan gets colder as the frozen broth melts… go figure!  

Finally, move the soup to a crockpot to finish, because we’re going to be gone the rest of the afternoon unexpectedly.


LOVE the immersion blender.  This one is borrowed, but I have strongly hinted to my mother that this would be a much appreciated Christmas gift. 🙂

Also, the crockpot was actually completely full, but I had remove some to finish mixing.  This makes a serious batch of soup.  We had it for dinner.  Have leftovers for a day or two.  And have 1 to 2 meals worth in the freezer as well – which could come in handy in January or February.

We came home late to a yummy warm soup.  And the house smelled good too.  Since we had no bacon, we added andouille instead. I figured it would work with the Cajun spice (Tony Chachere’s is our favorite), and it did.  It probably would have been even better if the andouille was added earlier in the day, but it worked adding it before serving.

I’m going to give it 4 dollops.  It has much potential.  I’m gonna guess that with a little less liquid and the bacon, it is probably 5 dollop-worthy.  I’m sure we’ll be trying it again before the end of the winter.