Meatloaf, Smeatloaf, Double-Beatloaf. I Hate Meatloaf!

Much like Randy from A Christmas Story (and our own Abigail), I have never been much of a fan of meatloaf. There are rare exceptions, mind you, and my husband loves the stuff, so I occasionally try out various recipes.

In my opinion, it’s a pain in the neck and gross to make. Plus it’s not ever been something I’ve enjoyed eating so the combination is not great.

Until I found THIS meatloaf recipe. Continue reading

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Carrot cake!

So as I’ve mentioned, I cook when I’m stressed. But sometimes I also cook just because I love love love to bake. I’m generally the go-to dessert person for family holidays, because I take joy in it.

For last Thanksgiving, I was trying to come up with something to make in addition to the usual pumpkin pie. I know that my husband’s favorite cake is carrot cake, and the rest of us love it as well. In fact, my mom is allergic to most everything and generally doesn’t eat dessert at family gatherings, but I knew that she could eat the carrot cake as well so it would be perfect!

Yummy carrot cake!

Continue reading

Copycats!

Okay, I know that I’ve mentioned before my obsession with recreating delicious things I’ve tasted in a restaurant. Usually this is some sort of specific meal. Or a cake or cookies. And I will often try to get the recipes to the degree that I will pester the restaurant, scour the internet, do whatever it is that I have to. When the time comes that I realize it’s over? I still refuse to admit defeat.

Ultimately, I will invent. On my own.

Now that you have this background, let me tell you about a meal I had recently in Atlanta. Or, more specifically, a DESSERT I had. You see, I adore cooking shows. Love ’em. And my favorite is Top Chef. If you’re a fan, you will be familiar with The Professor – aka Richard Blais – and his molecular gastronomy (which, I promise you dear readers, I will one day be brave enough to try on my own. And then I shall blog about my miserable failure for your amusement…). The Professor is my favorite Top Chef contestant ever, and everything he makes looks insanely good (er. with the exception of the foie gras milkshake that helped to win him the competition. Too out there even for me).

The tiniest child stealing a piece of cereal off the Cap’n Crunch shake at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta.

So when I was in Atlanta recently for my cousin’s graduation, I dragged the family to Flip Burger Boutique – Blais’s Atlanta place. The burgers were crazy good. I mean CRAZY good. But the real winner of the night? Liquid Nitrogen milkshakes. At the table, we had one that was Krispy Kreme flavored (complete with bits of donut), one that was nutella with toasted marshmallow (yes, it was exactly what it sounds like. And it was crazy rich and yummy), and our unanimous favorite: a Cap’n Crunch milkshake. When I tell you it tastes just like Cap’n Crunch, please know that I am not exaggerating in any way, shape or form.

It was insanely delicious. Like beyond what you could expect or imagine. And I vowed that I would one day make something similar because it had to be recreated. It could not be just a one time thing!

And so? I did. Maybe not quite as good as the one from Flip but still a VERY respectable substitute. The recipe is in approximates and will change based on preferred thickness/concentration of cereal, but if you like the cereal you will love the shake!

Cap’n Crunch!

Cap’n Crunch Milkshake

  • 1 c. Cap’n Crunch cereal plus some to garnish
  • ~1/3 carton of vanilla ice cream (I used Breyers, but any of the no-longer-quite-a-half-gallon cartons will do)
  • 3/4 c milk

Pour cereal into blender and pulse until mostly pulverized. Add ice cream and milk, pushing down toward blade. Blend until well-mixed. If you find that it is too thick, add a bit more milk and blend again. If it’s too thin, add a bit more ice cream. When it’s at your preferred consistency, divide between two glasses. Sprinkle with a handful of cereal, and enjoy!

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So what’s your dream restaurant dish that you want to make but haven’t? Or what about anything that you have tried to recreate? How did it work out? Or… am I just insane to want to duplicate every yummy dish I try?

I love to cook…

It soothes me, calms me, destresses me, makes me a happy camper.

In fact, my family laughs at me and rolls their eyes on the occasions when I shoo them all out of the kitchen, tell them I’m invoking the cone of silence, flip on my own tunes to drown out the noise from the house, and pull out the baking supplies. They laugh, oh yes, but they all know to avoid me and let me be, because if they do there will be wondrous treats at the end. And if they don’t? Well. Let’s just say they know better than that.

And when I’m in a super fabulous mood, I attempt glorious and elaborate dishes. And they come out amazing (mostly), and we are all happy.

All that being said? When I hit maximum overload… you know the times – the ones where you feel “on the verge” pretty much every moment of the day and are barely hanging on like the kitten in that silly poster – I don’t want to cook. Not only that? I don’t even want to THINK ABOUT dinner.

Those are the times when we do take-out. Lots of take-out. Continue reading

Allergies? CHECK THE LABELS!!

I know, I know, this should be common sense to you all. And it is. Sort of.

Mmm… delicious, cold, completely forbidden milk!

We have recently had to move to a more dairy-free home due to allergies. I figured “no problem! I’ll just get things made with soy milk instead and it’s all good!” I set about buying the fast and easy staples (mac/cheese, frozen pizza, etc) that make for yummy weekend lunches. Or, I confess, occasionally dinners. Continue reading

Disney’s Marinated Chicken Breast & Vegetable Faro Risotto

You may or may not have realized this from previous comments made, but my house is one of Disney fanatics. When one grows up just a few hours south of The Happiest Place on Earth, as I and my children all have, it becomes either hated and overdone or else a true haven. For us it has always been the latter. For my children, as for myself when I was a child, vacations are usually spent in Orlando, gleefully plotting out our path of destruction (ok, maybe not destruction. Though with the Teensy Bitsy one around…).

With Ariel at Epcot's Norway! | Chicklets in the Kitchen

With Ariel at Epcot’s Norway!

One part of Disney World that has improved immensely over the years is the food. My mother still doesn’t believe me when I mention a great meal that we’ve had somewhere on Disney property. To her mind, the food is still as awful as it was almost 40 years ago when we first started going. She is, happily, very incorrect in this thought. Over the years, the powers that be have worked to ensure that people will happily spend the exorbitant restaurant prices (and trust me, they are ridiculous!) and – here’s the important part – enjoy it enough to recommend to friends. Continue reading

Guest Chick Monday: Feeding the Family with Amy Silverstein

Amy Silverstein is a teacher, mom and writer who stars in her own reality series called “Life”.  Her hobbies include embarrassing her children, crosswords, and laughing at herself.
Amy’s blog can be found at http://Tweenragers.blogspot.com, and is a must-read for anyone with kids in that precarious position of pre-teenhood.  So Amy, tell us about kitchen life with a big family! Continue reading