Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Rice Pot Mama

PS I made a pile of desserts as I've been abstaining. Today is my blow out welcome back to dessert eating. On the menu is: cherry pie, chocolate surprise cookies, sugar cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, chocolate cupcakes, Butterfinger truffles, and chocolate mouse. Recipes to follow.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lent Suppers - Dungeness Crab Salad

I bought two large crabs the other day. Way more than our little family could eat on our own. Luckily the leftover meat gave me the opportunity to make one of our favorite crab dishes. This salad is great as a salad, as a ceviche with chips or on its own.

To start you will need the following: Dungeness crab, jalapenos, red onion, garlic, tomato, cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper, avocados and fresh lime juice.

Place the shelled Dungeness crab in a large glass bowl.

Seed and mince the jalapenos. If you want a little heat to the dish leave some of the seeds and membranes in.

Add the jalapenos into the bowl with the crab along with all of the other chopped ingredients.

Toss with oil, salt pepper, and lime juice.

Doesn't that look yummy? Scoop onto a large lettuce leaf or eat it straight out of the bowl!
Crab and Avocado Salad
1 c. Dungeness crab meat, cooked (approx 1/2 lb.)
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. tomato, chopped
2 T. cilantro, snipped
2 T. olive oil
3/4 t. salt
ground pepper to taste
2 avocados, peeled & chopped
1/4 c. lime juice
Place the crab meat in a medium glass mixing bowl. Add the jalapenos, onion, garlic, tomato and cilantro. Mix well. Add the oil, salt and pepper.
Fold in the chopped avocados, being careful not to smash the salad. Mix in the lime juice. Scoop into a large lettuce leaf to serve.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peanut Butter-Cup Cookies

3/27 Update: My sis just informed me that I forgot to the recipe at the bottom. Oops! It has been added. Thanks, sis!

I sent these cookies with Nate for the plane ride. They are tasty and a good way to get rid of leftover candy! I love candy and typically eat a piece a day though for some reason if I have excess candy sitting around the house I stop eating it. No clue why. I was cleaning out our candy bowl and found a large number of small Reece's Peanut Butter Cups from Christmas. Before they totally go stale I thought I had better use them up.

Start by chopping the peanut butter cups. I found that quartering them made the perfect size.

Next cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.

Add in the egg and vanilla. Once combined add in the flour, baking soda and salt.

Finally stir in the chopped peanut butter cups. Don't use the electric mixer as that decimates the candy.

Scoop out the dough by the tablespoon. I used my handy dandy cookie scoop. Place on a parchment or Silpat-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 8 minutes at 375 degrees. These were perfect 2-bite cookies. I think they would be great for ice cream sandwiches!

Peanut Butter-Cup Cookies


1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package small peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter cups.

Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Our boy is on a trip to Disneyland with his grandparents, an aunt and uncle and some cousins. He is having the time of his life and couldn't wait to get on the plane to leave. His parents and little sister on the other hand are home and brokenhearted. I admit that I cried myself to sleep last night. At random times during the day I will get teary eyed. My mom told me that I wouldn't feel whole until he got back. I didn't know what she meant until now. I miss my little guy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lent Suppers - Swiss Chard Fritatta

My friend Megan made this delectable frittata for us when we went to Bend last month. I realized after eating it that I had seen the recipe in one of my cookbooks Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. I decided to try making it myself and it didn't disappoint.

Start with some Swiss chard. Don't spend extra money getting pretty rainbow chard (if it is more expensive) as you will only use the leaves. Luckily I found it on sale.

Cut out the ribs or stems and save for another use. From here on out I forgot to take pictures. My mom was visiting and I got too excited. Oops! Note, she felt that there were too many herbs so feel free to cut back to taste.

Here is the recipe:

Chard and Onion Trouchia


3 T. olive oil
1 large red or white onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch chard, leaves only chopped
salt and freshly milled pepper
1 garlic clove
6 to 8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. chopped parsley
2 T. chopped basil
2 t. chopped thyme
1 c. grated Gruyere cheese
2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch skillet, add the onion, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until completely soft but not colored, about 15 minutes. Add the chard and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the moisture has cooked off and the chard is tender, about 15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, mash or finely chop the garlic with a few pinches of salt, then stir it into the eggs along with the herbs. Combine the chard mixture with the eggs and stir in the Gruyere and half the Parmesan.

Preheat the broiler. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and, when it's hot, add the eggs. Give a stir and keep the heat at medium-high for about a minute, then turn it to low. Cook until the eggs are set but still a little moist on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining Parmesan and broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat, until browned.

Serve in the pan or slide it onto a serving dish and cut it into wedges.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sweet Boy

Today at school one of Nate's buddies had a hard time with his mom leaving. While some of the kids watched with confused looks on their faces, Nate went up to him and tried to soothe him. He patted the little guy's back and told him "Don't cry. It's okay." What a sweet boy.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Battle: Sugar Ants

Ant Anatomy
Sugar Ants are such pesky critters. We recently have been battling these little nasties. They've been coming out of the woodwork (literally) several times a day to scavenge around Gabby's seat at the dinner table. Luckily the number hasn't been great but my patience has still been tested. We've used sprays and bait in the past but were at a loss what to do this time since the issue is so close to where we eat.
I tried sweeping and moping daily but we would still get the odd scavenger throughout the day. Then I came across a hint by Danny Ledoux, author of Pest Control Simplified for Everyone: use citrus. Apparently citrus is a natural repellent that masks an ant's scent trail. In other words, the can't remember how to get back to the food source (Gabby's seat) and more importantly can't tell their colony of friends.
I've been wiping the baseboards with lemon water twice a day and so far it has worked. Not a single ant has been seen since. Bonus: it smells really good too!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cool T

Nate got this cool T-shirt for his birthday from his Auntie Steena. I love the wordplay. It's especially fun since Jim's relatives are root vegetable farmers.

Nate loves the shirt too! He keeps saying "Let's turn up the beat! Oooh! Yeah! Baby, I know!" Hilarious.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lent Suppers - Spicy Shrimp Tacos

A standby in our house for a quick meal is tacos. Not the regular ground beef hard shell tacos but spicy shrimp or spicy fish tacos. The way we make them is super simple: take shelled and de-veined shrimp or fish cut into strips and toss with Siracha hot sauce. Saute and stuff a small corn tortilla. Typically we had a cabbage slaw, cilantro, lime and pickled red onions. Yum.

Siracha aka "Rooster Sauce" is our go to for spicing up meals but i n this dish it really makes the meal!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bicycle Cake

Nate calls his 4th birthday his "Big Bicycle Birthday". It's not that he wants a new bicycle, he got a great hand-me-down bike from a neighbors grandson. He calls it his "Big Bicycle Birthday" because he wants a big cake shaped like a bicycle. Uhhhh...yeah...I could do that, right?


I started by making to 6" rounds for the wheels and a sheet cake to cut into parts for the body of the bicycle. It's a bit rough and clunky, but it definitely resembles a bike...or scooter...or least it looks like a two-wheeled vehicle!

Much more successful were the Oreo lollipops. I simply stuck a stick into the center filling of the Oreo, dipped them in chocolate and sprinkled fun sprinkles on top. They worked out much better than anticipated.

The best part was that Nate had a good time. He didn't notice the awkwardness of the cake or the uneven dip of the cookies. In his eyes everything was perfect. 

Happy birthday little guy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lent Suppers - Cajun Shrimp

Last week we actually made two non-meat dinners. The first was Cook's Illustrated "Best Vegetarian Chili". I'm not posting the recipe or instructions as it was way too much work for the end result. I've had yummy vegetarian chilis before and this wasn't what I had in mind when I made it. It was more of a mock meat chili.

The other recipe was an old standby that we typically make during the Summer, Cajun Shrimp. This recipe is tasty every time! We eat it on its own as an appetizer or tossed with pasta as a main course. The best part is that it is super simple to make.

Start with tail on, deveined shrimp.

Toss with vegetable oil, Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce. Grill on the barbecue until cooked through.

Place cooked shrimp in a clean bowl. Don't touch as they are hot! (Gabby is saying Ow as she wanted to eat one and the shrimp were still hot!)

Drizzle a generous portion of honey on top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Cajun Shrimp


12 shrimp, deveined with the tail on
1 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 t Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 T+ honey


Toss the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Grill on a barbecue until done.

Place in a clean bowl and drizzle with honey. Serve warm.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fluttering Butterfly

My friend Amanda's birthday was last weekend so I hauled out my craft supplies and started brainstorming what to make for a card. I make Amanda a card every year. We made the startling realization that this is the 16th card I've made her. Here's a link to last years card.

This year I admittedly poached the idea from this cool picture I saw at Ikea. I took the picture with my phone a couple of years ago and have been meaning to make my own since.
To start I drew out some butterfly silhouettes on the backside of my card stock. Then I took out an X-Acto knife and cut along the lines. Next, carefully erase the pencil marks.

Then glue a colorful piece of paper to the backside and voila! I think I'll try making a larger shadowbox picture for Gabby's room next!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Partying with Poh Poh

My mom (aka Poh Poh to the kids) came up for a very short but activity packed couple of days this week. We celebrated Nate's birthday early with a trip to the toy department at Target, ate food non-stop and did what my kids do best, ran and ran and ran around the house.

It was exhausting but so much fun. The brief visit highlighted how much I miss my mom for the big events like the kids birthdays but the everyday things too. Sure wished she lived closer.

I love you, Mom!