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When you have kids who, for some reason that they can’t express, do not care for soup (and we’re talking ANY soup… not just the ones with veggies in them), you tend to get just a tad excited when you discover one that they actually like.  That’s how it is at our house with Wonton Soup.  It’s a favorite amongst all the family members.  And it causes much rejoicing in my soup-lovin’ soul.   Like a lot of my favorite recipes, this one belongs to Allrecipes.com.  If you have never been to this site, you better get your bootay over there pronto because you are plain missing out. 

In my new attempt to post fast or not post at all (as you can tell from my last year of blogging, I have been unable to post blog updates quickly and so I have gone without), I’m going to just provide you the link to the recipe.  

Wonton Soup

Enjoy!

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The girls and I had the baking bug today but it was just too hot to fire up the ol oven.  So we decided to decorate marshmallows instead.  All you need are some melting wafers (party or craft stores, about $2.50 for 1 lb bag), lollipop sticks, sprinkles and of course, marshmallows. 

It was the perfect fix.  No oven heat and the girls still got to dip, taste, dab, taste, spread, taste, sprinkle and taste to their little hearts’ delight.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the commercials for this new movie or not.  I think it’s an interesting concept. 

(My favorite line: “I could write a blog, I have thoughts!”)

I have to admit, I’m tempted to go finger through the shelves of the used book stores in my area for Julia’s first cookbook.  I have no idea what the recipes are but I KNOW they aren’t easy.  And frankly, at least half of them are probably dishes that my children wouldn’t touch to their lips if their lives depended on it.  I’m sure the recipes are labor-intensive, not quick 30 minute dishes that are the frequent meals that grace my table.  And I’m also pretty sure that there aren’t bright, colorful photos attached to each recipe walking me through step by step.

BUT, despite all those possible negatives… what IF, my children actually like even half the dishes?  Or, dare I say, maybe even more than half?  Like maybe even two-thirds? **gasp!**

And what IF, I realize that even though the recipes require more than three ingredients, I actually enjoy the extra cooking time?

I’m a big fan of photos… I’m a whannabe photographer afterall… but there is something so gloriously vintage about a black and white recipe page… makes me want to don my heels and scalloped apron, pretend my microwave doesn’t exist and start washing all my dishes by hand. 

This trailer has got me thinking…. What are some things you think would be cool to tackle and see through to the very, very, VERY end?

You know, if you actually had time?

And a cleaning lady?

And a laundry fairy?

I’m still trying to figure out my own answer… so many options to consider! 

Just a little food for thought.

HAH!  Get it?!!  FOOD for thought?!! 

Sorry.  I think the 100 degree heat is sizzlin’ my brain.  Please, get back to contemplating and forget my poor attempt at humor.

I realize my posts of late have been all about food.  But is that going to stop me from writing up another one?  No siree.  Ann Kroeker is hosting Food on Friday and I just HAD to seize the opportunity to write about food… because who knows when another chance will come up?!!

fof

Since summer is upon us (or at least, I hear the rumor it is.  I have yet to see proof of it in my neck of the woods… June Gloom is going full force!), I thought I’d let you all in on my secret barbecue weapon.  Ever heard of BBQ University?  No?  Well, Steven Raichlen is the king of BBQ.  And he’s the man in charge over there.  On his website (and tv show.  But I never seem to catch his show) he’ll teach you all you need to know to become the master barbecuer in your home. 

Don’t believe me?  Think you’re husband won’t let you touch the grill?  Think the BBQ is no-woman’s land?  Well, I’m proof that that is all completely FALSE.  For many years, Hubby wouldn’t let me near the BBQ – as I’m sure is true in your home also.  And honestly, I was quite happy to oblige.  But then he sent me on a wild goose chase (after watching Steven’s show several times) of findingand purchasing Steven’s BBQ books.  Long story short:  I found.  I bought.  I read.  I practiced.    After just a couple BBQ meals, I was promptly handed the BBQ crown and gold-handled tools by Hubby. 

Steven has an amazing amount of recipes.  Seriously, it blows my mind.  Not just meats but veggies, desserts, sides, ethnic foods, vegetarian and on and on and on.  He’s amazing. 

One thing I’ve learned, I didn’t really need the books right away.  Just head to his website or his blog first.  He has a ton of recipes on those two sites that will keep you happy for a couple summers at least.  But there are techniques and recipes in his books that he doesn’t show you on his websites.  He wants to make some money after all.  So if you like what you see online, you’ll want to invest in one or twenty-seven of his books.  But don’t feel that you have to.  And certainly don’t wait for the book to come!   

Online he gives you lessons on the techniques of BBQ-ing on either gas or charcoal grills.  He also teaches all about direct/indirect grilling, how to smoke (the meat!), how to tell if the meat is done and everything else you might possibly need to know before firing up the ol BBQ. 

His dry rubs are amazing and his basic one is my go-to for those last minute BBQ because I just have to throw the rub on and head for the grill.  It has never failed me. 

Jalapeno Jerk Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple BBQ Sauce is a recipe we’ve become famous for within our circle of friends.  It’s a bit tedious but man does it ever pay off! 

Oh man, I just saw a recipe for Spit-Roasted Pineapple with Cinnamon, Sugar and Cloves and now I’m thinking I need to ask Hubby to figure out how to get a spit roaster going on our “q”… because that recipe looks scrumptious!

So head on over to Steven’s sites and then prepare to wow your hubby and/or dad on Father’s Day with your newly acquired BBQ-ing skills and recipes!

Pazookie 3

So I might be on a bit of a recipe posting spree.  I just can’t seem to help myself.  Or maybe I just don’t want to. 

Yeah, that’s probably it.

I just posted a recipe I co-created.  Because really I just merged two recipes into one.  But the result was gooey deliciousness (I hope that’s a word).  Lil Blue was happy to model the ins and outs of eating a Razookie

Similar to a Pazookie but baked in ramekins and a water bath… get it?  Razookie?  R for the ramekin?  I know.  It’s pretty lame but I don’t have time to waste coming up with a good name.  I’m too busy dreaming of my next date with one of these little steamy pots of chocolaty goodness. 

Feel free offer a slightly-less-lame title.  Anything is better than what I’ve got so far.

Why is it that as soon as summer break is here and I actually HAVE time to be on the computer, my internet service decides to take a serious nose dive?!  It’s so bad that, our service provider has no idea why so many things are showing up haywire on their end and they’re sending someone out to take a look…. on Tuesday.  We called Saturday.  Ahem!

Anyway, I’m sorry.  I meant to get the Roasted Potato recipe up right away but I had some issues even getting on to check my email the last few days.  Bleh!  I so don’t like computer problems.  Or car problems for that matter.  Or any other kind of problems that are way beyond my ability to fix myself. 

BUT!  I have the recipe posted now.  You’ll find it over on the left side under “Cooking”.  I hope you used the last few days to gather your precious potatoes and dill weed from the store, fruit and veggie stand or your own garden.  Because your going to want to fix these as soon as possible.   

I’d like to confess the fact that I’ve had Dill Weed in my pantry for a long time.  I won’t even tell you how long but the great thing is, it’s held up fantastically.  And now I’m looking forlornly at the teeny bottle of it, wondering why it took me so long to actually use it and why in the heck I bought such a small bottle. 

Live and learn.

But cook in the meantime.

And I might just have some time to blog now!  I’ve missed you… I still go throughout my days thinking I should blog about this or that but somehow 5 bazillion things spring up between me and my computer.  I have time to read other blogs or write on mine and well, you guys are much more interesting than me. 

I’m hoping with the arrival of summer vacation my blogging will get back to “normal”.  Although I’d like to take the time to point out that for the Runningamuck household, school is never really out.  Because if we did, the dream of having 12 year olds taking college classes would have to die.

I’m just teasing folks.  They’ll be 14 at least.  Anything younger than that would be plain ridiculous.

Okay, okay!  So in all seriousness, Hubby and I will be happy for college graduations before their 30… or we’re 80… we can’t be toooo picky after all. lol.

Some exciting things that have kept me busy lately? Besides schooling a 2nd grader, a kindergardener, a preschooler and keeping a 2 year old from getting the puppy in repeated headlocks that is. 

We’re done with diapers!  Can I get an “Amen?” !!  I do the happy dance every time we walk through Target and don’t have to stop in the diaper department.  Yes, my dancing embarrasses my children but their young, they don’t understand the joy I feel and they’ll heal from it.  Or is it what doesn’t kill them will make them stronger?  Hmmm…. 

Our four year old, Tiger, is now an official 2 wheeled bike rider.  Actually, I can’t claim this one kept me busy.  He taught himself… in FOUR days!  I’m thinking if this is how it’s going to be from here on out, I need to prepare myself.  And start tucking extra money away for medical bills and all kinds of sports equipment… both the norm and the extreme. 

The PUPPY!   Lucy has single-handedly destroyed every thing in our backyard.  Let’s just say she loves her grown-up teeth.  She’s been soooo good, trains easily and is very well behaved around people… it’s just the plants, flowers (she particularly enjoyed my snapdragons), weeds, wood, plastic toys, bikes pedals, sticks, flip flops, newspapers, sunglasses, sprinkler heads, etc. that have to fear her.  I’m so ready for this stage to be over…

I’ve officially become a bake-a-holic.  I knew I enjoyed being in the kitchen before but I’ve become a maniac the past couple months.  I have to find “takers” now before I cook/bake so that it doesn’t sit in my house and get devoured by Hubby and I.  My goal is to take more pics and share them and the recipes with you all. 

I’ll end this post with a teaser…

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Roasted Potatoes… ummm, I’m starting to drool just looking at it.  I just love this recipe!  The dill and other spices just make you want to inhale the whole bowl.   Stay tuned for the recipe….

It’s Hubby’s birthday week and the kids and I are trying to do something each day for him.   So this morning I got up early to make Cinnamon Rolls for Hubby to take into his work.   I actually made up the dough last night so that this morning all I had to do was roll it out, slap on some butter, sugar and spices, roll and slice it up and bake it.  With a little rising thrown in here and there. 

If you are looking for a Cinnamon Roll recipe, my favorite is Pioneer Woman’s.  That’s her picture at the top.  It’s easy, fairly quick as yeast recipes goes and it’s the one I get rave reviews on everytime.    She claims you’ll get marriage proposals out of them.  I can’t say anyone’s dropped a knee at the heavenly taste of these rolls but they sure do make everyone REALLY happy and REALLY high on sugar. 

Those two things float my boat every time.  (speaking of boats, I’m watching Deadliest Catch right now.  Why is this show so addicting?  I sure don’t know.  But hooked I am none-the-less)

Click right HERE to go to Pioneer Woman’s recipe and be sure to thank her for any diamond rings that are bestowed upon you as a result.  I’d like an invite to the wedding. =0)  

** There is ONE alteration I make to this recipe and ONE only.  I add a little ground cloves after the cinnamon.  Shhh! Don’t tell Ree… **

But I’ve posted a recipe you can use ANY night.  It’s makes for a special evening no matter the day of the week you make it, holiday or no holiday, company or just the family or a candlelight dinner for you and your hubby.  Do you get what I’m saying?  You can make this dish any night.View Image

Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Cranberry-Port Sauce

Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA!!  Don’t freak out.  I realize there are a few things you might find reason enough for an accelerated heart rate and a few sweat glands kicking into high gear.  But RELAX…  let me explain your fears away.

First of all, while Port IS alcohol, you are going to be cooking and therefore you don’t need to worry about intoxicating any of your toddlers or your 90 year old great-aunt Mabel.  But, if you really have an aversion to using alcohol in your recipes, you can leave it out.  It will alter the taste some but the sauce will be scrumptious none-the-less.

Second of all, don’t be intimidated by the lengthy recipe title.  Not only is an easy recipe, despite the way it appears, but both the sauce and the pork prep can be done the day.  That means the evening of, you just have to reheat the sauce, make your sides and spend 30 minutes cooking the already-prepped pork.  Easy- schmeasy I tell you!  That leaves several hours the day of the meal for eating bon-bons and lounging by the pool. 

Uhhh, yeah.  Wish I’d thought of that when I fixed it today!  Dang it! 

Note to self: buy bon-bons, sunglasses and install a pool in preparation for next time this meal is on the menu.

Third, you should know that I can’t cook pork very well.  Ham – yes.  Pork Roasts – so-so.  But anything beyond that, I have a curse put on me by the pigs of the world.  I’m convinced of it.  But this recipe?  I don’t know what it is but I can do it!!  And given my track record, if I can do it, so can you!  So don’t let the fact that this is a piggy recipe put you off.  Take a chance… you might find, like I did, that this is one you can pull off every time. 

Fourth, this isn’t my recipe.  As much as I don’t want to mention where it came from, simply because it’s a magazine that I found intimidating 70% of the time, I also want to give credit where credit is due.  So please give all credit to Bon Appetit, the October 2001 edition.  Yes, I’ve been making this recipe for 8 years. 

Except that’s not possible, unless I started cooking it when I was 13.  Right?   **a-HEM!**

Now, before you click on the recipe link, take a few deep, cleansing breaths… I’m going to join you since I just about had heart failure a few sentences ago when I realized I’m getting old…  In…. Out…. In… Out…. In…. Out…. Are you calm now? 

Okay, you can go take a look at the recipe now.

When I posted about our sugar cookie recipe, I promised pictures…

Here’s the cookie “painting” in action:cookies-08-anna-painting-email1

If a two-year old can do it, then ANYONE can do it!cookies-08-micah-email1

Sometimes you might end up with a really funky colored one, like this poor snowman:cookies-08-funky-email3

But that’s what you get when the artist is the two year old.  But don’t worry.  He’s going to be a beautiful work of art by the time we’re done with him (the snowman that is, not the two year old)cookies-08-micah-2-email1

Pardon our baking mess.  You can see some of our egg yolk paint selections:cookies-08-chaos-email1

 Mr. Funky Snowman is looking better.  Here he is, fresh out of the oven:cookies-08-funky-baked-email1

Here are some of the others cooling on the counter.  I love how a little oven heat just makes the yolk paint colors POP and become bright and shiny.  cookies-08-baked-email

And now the finishing touches: a little piped white icing and a few Red Hots and PRESTO!  Mr. Funky Snowman looks nice and tasty!

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Here are some more of the finished cookies.  We stuck to only Red Hots this year.  I like how they look, they taste fabulous with the sugar cookie and they aren’t round… so you don’t have to worry about them rolling to every nook and cranny in the house if when they get dropped on the floor.  cookies-08-finished-2-email1

We bake one batch of them without the yolk paint and just drizzle the icing and place the Red Hots for kicks.  I love how they look too; simple yet classy.  If a sugar cookie can even be categorized as classy.  But whatever.  I like how they look.cookies-08-finished-email1

Stay tuned to see how we used all these cookies today…

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