Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ketchup Toast

This is a picture of Max eating ...chocolate...not ketchup toast. This was some big, 1 pound chocolate car that one of the kids made at a birthday party. It was quite disgusting, but Max loved it and worked at it for days until he had successfully eaten the entire car. Anyways, I was looking through my pictures to see if I had any pictures of Max eating ketchup toast, one of his staples, but I only have pictures of Max eating treats, which could mean one of two things: I only take pictures of Max eating treats, or Max only eats treats. The latter probably would be more accurate, but Max does eat a few good, healthy things, FEW being the operative word here. I will now attempt to list the things that Max eats:

bagels with cream cheese (only white cream cheese, no pink please)
pizza bagels
pepperoni, but not on the pizza
pasta with red sauce
chicken nuggets (only nuggets, no grilled, baked or cooked chicken please)
french fries, what kids won't eat fries?
macaroni and cheese
ramen (pronounced: WAH -MAN)
smoothies -occasionally
pop corn
and finally...ketchup toast

Don't ask me how this came about. My mom eats ketchup on toast and claims it is a Swedish delicacy. I think it was a poor, desperate, American Mormon missionary attempt at making toast seem not so boring. At any rate, Max had no prior knowledge of ketchup toast the day he asked for it. He just one day out of thie blue decided that ketchup should go on his toast instead of the usual...nothing. So, I made it thinking, "one bite and he'll be done". But Max ate not just one piece of ketchup toast that day but TWO! And ever since he has been a believer. He is getting his daily recommended dose of Lycopene for sure! Now it is no wonder Max is so small, given the above mentioned diet, but he is growing. I can tell because he is outgrowing his pants from two years ago and the treats supplement his diet sufficiently. Now those with kids who have serious food aversions probably think this is no big deal, and they are right. I am sure there are kids whose lists do not even amout to 15, like Max's list. I am not complaining one bit, I am quite pleased with his list, which has grown from 5 to 15. I just have to laugh because I have two other children who will eat pretty much everything and I always thought picky eaters had only their parents to blame. Try as we may, and we have force fed Max a few things, only to find that they sit in his mouth and sit and would probably sit there all night until we give in and take it out so he won't choke before bedtime. I guess the point of all this rambling is that I am always trying to think of new foods for Max to try, but he is content, and growing, and I am sure one day will eventually swallow the grilled chicken we force into his mouth. In the meantime I'll just be happy with ketchup toast.

I know you are all watering at the mouth for the recipe for ketchup toast. I will make you wait no longer:

Ketchup Toast

1 piece of whole wheat bread (for optimum health)
some ketchup

Put bread in toasteror toaster oven. Toast to your likeness. Pour or squeeze ketchup onto the piece of toast and spread an even layer over toast. Cut into squares or triangles, whichever you prefer. Enjoy.

Now if that does not satisfy some of you food snobs I will give you a recipe for Max's favorite chocolate chip cookies, they happen to be his dad's favorite too, and mine, and a few others'. They are affectionately named Big Mo's Cookies thanks to Stanton Neilson.

Big Mo's

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter - soft
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix butter and both sugars together until well blended. Add egg and vanilla, mix until combined. Add dry ingredients, then chocolate chips. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet by the tablespoon for regular size cookies or by the 1/4 cup full for really big, dense cookies. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes depending on your oven.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

more good things

Lindsey reminded me of the virtues of Tang. How can you go wrong with the drink of the astronauts? For an extra special treat, try mixing your Tang with some spicy water a.k.a Poland Spring Sparkling water. Now there is a lovely beverage for you.

Now for another very good thing: Lindt Peanut Butter Truffles
These MAY be even better than Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. They are so smooth and creamy going down, it's pretty easy to eat the whole bag. They aren't as rich and sweet as Reeses so it makes it easier to pound more down. Which brings me to my next subject, the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I may sound crazy, but I don't like the standard sized cups. I have to have the miniature sized cups. The standard size are a bit imbalanced in their ratio of chocolate to peanut butter, therefore rendering the cup too sweet and therefore inedible after the first bite. However, one bite of the mini sized version lends just the right ratio of chocolate to peanut butter making it a much more palatable bite and allows one to comsume mass quantities of the stuff.

All of this talk of peanut butter and chocolate reminds me of an ongoing search I have had for the perfect peanut butter bar. I have been married for 10 years, so that is how long I have been searching, approximately. I happened to marry a man who attended schools where the lunch ladies actually made good, homey cooking, unlike the schools I attended where they just defrosted and heated the" schlop" up. Apparently these ladies made a peanut butter bar that made him very anxious. My husband, thinking that I am a culinary genius, thought I would be able to recreate these bars with no problem. I made my first attempt with a graham cracker crumb crust and melted chocolate over the top. I thought, "he'll be so proud of me, these must be the ones!" They weren't the ones. I attempted a few others over the years but never hit it even close. Whenever we would go to a function or a store that had peanut butter bars, we would try them, with no luck. I would try the rice crispy, chewy variety, and the, cakey variety, but could never come close to the lunch ladies. Then recently, I was telling Laura of my dilemma and she just pulled out a recipe from her aunt. I made a batch, but just knew deep down that they were not "the ones". There was nothing to them... a little flour, some oats... but lo and behold, my husband tasted them and declared that these were indeed "the ones". Could it be? all these years of searching, baking, testing, and poring over recipes to find it right beneath me?! My stars! Yes, the stars have aligned and we have found the perfect peanut butter bar. Perhaps that is the reason we have been brought to this place. Laura, you are an answer to many prayers. Thank you, thank you.

Without further ado I give you "the recipe" courtesy of Laura's aunt and a little help from the kitchen of Nestle:

2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup butter, soft
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/3 cups oats
2 pkgs chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 9x13 pan. Combine dry ingredients. Beat butter, sugars, peanut butter and vanilla together well. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in flour mixture including oats. Stir in 1 bag of chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 28-32 minutes. Take out of oven pour second bag of chips over top and spread evenly over bars. May stick back in off oven until chocolate is completely melted.

These are very hearty and somewhat good for you with those oats in them, but if you are looking for a sweeter, more Reeses like version try this recipe. These are my personal favorite.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

1 bag of Hershey's mini kisses - melted

Grease lightly 11x 7 or 9x13 pan. Mis all ingredients together except chocolate. Press into prepared pan, then spread melted chocolate over top. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, then leave at room temperature for eating.