Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

My 2-year-old daughter learned how to use a knife on Easter.  It started with Daddy really needing a nap...

The baby (8 months old) was up at 12:30am and my wonderful (occasional insomniac) husband got up with her and even though she want back to sleep immediately, he was up until 3:30.  So at 8:30 am, he really needed a nap!  We had finished the egg hunt and the "opening" of the Easter basket and the consumption of enough M & M's to not want to eat the scrambled eggs and ham Mommy had cooked for breakfast.  Daddy had fallen asleep on the couch, so Dani (the 2-year-old) needed something quiet to do as to not wake him up.  (And Mommy needed to start Easter dinner so that she could get a nap when Daddy did wake up.)

Let the Deviled Egg preparation commence!

First of all, my planning ahead paid off!  Hubby Ken could not figure out why I was buying 18 packs of eggs every time I went grocery shopping for the past month.  Here's why--in order to peel hard boiled eggs easily, you have to use old eggs.  Not stinky, green old, just old enough to be at or a few days past the "sell by" date.  So I had plenty of eggs to work with on Friday when I cooked them.  On Sunday morning, the peels slipped right off and we only "lost" one egg to a stubborn peel.  If you haven't perfected your own hard boiled egg cooking method yet, try mine:

  1. Use old eggs (see above).
  2. Start with a wide pot with a lid.
  3. Place eggs in a single layer in bottom of pot.
  4. Cover with cold water (if your eggs are cold).
  5. Place on stove, covered, and bring to a boil.
  6. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and set the timer for 15 minutes (my sister says 20 minutes).
  7. When the timer goes off, drain the eggs and put them in a bowl (or the sink) filled with water and ice.
  8. Leave until cool then refrigerate until ready to use.

Second of all, my casual attitude about food with Dani paid off, too!  I really wanted to get some protein in her after all that chocolate (well, it wasn't so much, but it was the first time we've ever eaten candy before breakfast!).  I had been suggesting to her all kinds of food all morning, in which she was not interested.  As soon as she peeled that first egg..."mommy, I eat it?  Put some sauce (she means salt) on it." and she gobbled up probably 1 1/2 eggs by the time we were done.

Dani's job was to help peel the eggs, then after I rinsed them, she was to dry them and hand them to me one-by-one for slicing and yolk ejecting.  I have no idea where this came from, but after the first couple of eggs it was "here mommy, here is your artichoke!" 

I don't follow a recipe or measure anything when I make deviled eggs, I just add how much and what I think will make it taste better.  So I again needed something for Dani to do while I worked my magic.  I thought about having her stir, but did I mention that we were in the dining room and oh, she's two?  That being said, some may question my idea to put a knife in her hand!  Don't worry, it was just a butter knife that came in her toddler silverware set.  We talked about knife safety (don't ever put it in your mouth and when you are not cutting, it stays on the cutting board) and how to hold it with the blade straight up and down.  And then she mutilated the pieces of white and yolk on her cutting board that she had previously been nibbling at.  She really amazes me every day! 

After I had the filling to my liking, she did get to stir and pull the trigger on my "decorating gun" to fill the whites.  And for the second year in a row, we did not make enough deviled eggs for Easter dinner.

So for our next trick...Creme Brule (just kidding!)

Friday, April 15, 2011


I've been trying to introduce new foods into our lives, not only for the kids, but for myself too!  So each trip to the grocery store, I'll buy something I haven't tried yet or tried in awhile.  After a little research, I try different ways of cooking whatever it is...this led me to "Braised Radishes" this week!

I don't like radishes...raw!  I know this.  Ever since I was a kid, I haven't liked radishes.  I discovered last week that I do, however, love them cooked!  They lose the bitterness and taste very earthy and a little sweet with a meaty kind of texture.  The braising liquid is a mixture of chicken broth, shallots, butter, sugar and vinegar, which adds to the sweet / savory yumminess.  The radishes cook out a lot of the color, making everything a pleasant pink (hmmm, princess rosy radishes, anyone?)  WARNING:  If you have any left over, don't heat them up at work...even though they taste good, they do smell like dirt!

As I was prepping my radishes, my two-year-old pushed her step-stool over to the counter to see what I was doing.  "Mmm, mommy, I want some!"  So I sliced off a very thin piece of radish and gave it to her.  She tried a couple of times to bite it...with her front teeth and then with her giant molars in the back...decided she couldn't take a bite and handed it back to me.  I'm so proud that she will try things!  I put that slice of radish in my mouth, decided I didn't want to bite it, but I ate it anyway...I'm so proud that I will try things!

So after the radishes had braised for about 15 minutes (the recipe says 10-12 minutes; I was playing in the living room with the baby) some of the radishes were more done than others, so as I ate one that was less done, it still had that bitter finish that the raw ones do (that's the part I don't like).  I spoke before I thought and asked my husband "are radishes related to horseradish?"  Go ahead and laugh at me...sometimes I just have to say it out loud to answer my own question.