Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I will never, not ever, eat a raw oyster, ever

The other day I was talking to my husband about his dislike for lotion. He says that the greasy residue that it leaves is like lard. This immediately reminded me of the time I was forced to eat fresh, homeade lard that my host's cat had just licked. Then I was reminded of all of the disgusting foods I have ever eaten in my life. Most of these foods were consumed while living in another country and I had no choice really, but to eat or commit the ultimate offense. I am not a very adventurous eater, I love good food, but I do not consider myself a "foodie" because I refuse to eat certain things like head cheese and sweetbreads. Oysters are on that list of things I never want to try. The reason that I am so afraid of oysters is because of a little thing called kisiel. Kisiel (pronounced: key-shell) is the Eastern European equivalent of Jell-O. The only difference is that kisiel has the consistency of sputum, yet comes in a variety of different fruity flavors. Imagine my luck to be served gooseberry flavored kisiel one day. Not only was it the color and consistency of snot, but it tasted just like it too. I don't really know how I was able to get it down, because everything in my body said that this should be going up, not down. The gag reflex was in full force as I tried to stuff more cucumber and kielbasa sandwiches down with it, but it still wouldn't go (heave!). My host, seeing my difficulty asked if I would like a drink? Please, even that hibiscus tea would help get this down!!!! But what should she bring?? no it wasn't the old stand-by, hibiscus tea. How about a nice toasty mug of warm milk to wash it down?? Nothing like a little extra mucous production to help things along. I should have hid the stuff in my warm milk, but I didn't want the woman to discover it after I had left. I wanted to feed it to the dog, but he only wanted my kielbasa. My companion was having the same trouble I was, so I couldn't give her my portion. The only choice we had was to slurp it, oyster style, in one big chug. We held our breath, tried to imagine it was a big bowl of ice cream, and down the hatch. It was a fight to the finish, but we came out victorious and lived to tell about it. I have to say that it was the most disgusting or maybe most difficult things I have ever eaten. I have eaten carp that has lived in a bathtub for a few days, then cooked and served with aspic (a close relative of kisiel). I have eaten tripe, which smells and tastes like poop. I have eaten pickled herring, fresh lard, parts of meat that are usually reserved for other uses, raw octopus, grass soup, and some pretty scary things, but none of it compares to kisiel. I imagine raw oysters to be of the same texture as kisiel, so I am never eating one, ever. I know they are a delicacy. I know they are supposedly an aphrodisiac. But I am not eating one. I know I am a wimp, a lightweight when it comes to eating, I know there are those of you out there who have eaten a plethora of more adventurous (read:disgusting/unpalatable) things that can't be touched by my measly selection. So, let's hear it...what are some of the most disgusting things you've ever eaten??

Friday, January 26, 2007

Chocolate Shortbread

Today I made this. Yes, amidst all the blogging I've done today, I actually had time to bake! This is great to make when you have no eggs or vanilla in the house and need a quick chocolate fix. I didn't make the icing, it is divine on it's own or with a little melted chocolate dipped or drizzled. We cut out little heart shapes(and a sleigh for Max) when it came out of the oven and it looked so much more appetizing than the picture shown here. Warning, save some of the dough for baking, you might eat it all out of the bowl like I almost did.


Does anyone else think this story is suspicious, or is it just me? Hmmm...August wedding, May baby...I know it is possible, but it is really close, eh? Sounds pretty fishy to me.

You're It

I have been tagged, so I guess I am supposed to reveal 5 things about myself that you might not otherwise know. Here goes:

1. I am a long-time(no longer in the closet) Dolly Parton fan. How can you not love Dolly?
2. I am not an animal lover, dogs esp. scare me because they can smell the fear plus they stink, shed, sniff you, and lick you, horses also bother me, they could eat me if they really wanted to.
3. I am afraid of Jaws coming to get me, esp. if I am the only one in the pool.
4. I secretly hope my son's tarantula dies. Don't tell!
5. I secretly hope my daughter's
Tamagotchi dies and never spawns a new generation.

There you have it, now you know my secrets. I think I am supposed to tag some people now...hmmm whose secrets do we want to know??? I tag Jodi of Jodisblog, Erin of LeeLouAnn, Amanda of fancypantsmom, and the newest blogger on the block, my sister of ShaunaNaner.

The Edible Schoolyard

This is Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. I've been impressed with her efforts in The Edible Schoolyard.
I am glad that there are people like her, who see a need and make it happen.

Rhode Island-ish

My first indication that I was in foreign land was when I registered my children for school this past fall. The secretary intoduced herself as, "Mahsha". "Mahsha" I tried to repeat, not knowing if this was some mix of Madge and Marcia or Magda, better yet, how would I even spell that?? Her last name was Polish, so I assumed that was the origin of her first name too. Come to find out her name is Marcia, just plain Marcia with a New England twist. Of course! I didn't think that moving just two states away would require me to try to understand a new language, forget about speaking it, I think they can understand me just fine. Or can they? My oldest child is in third grade. The teacher was explaining words with the -AH- sound, as in lost, not, get it...she asked the class what sound the word b-e-c-a-u-s-e makes. My son raised his hand and pronounced it like this --bee-kuhz-- Wrongo! The girl next to him raises her hand and pronounces it this way --bee-kawwwz-- Bingo! Huh? Well, then they all went to get a drink from the bubbler and then they played tag and had to run to goo or else they were out! If you don't believe me, ask my friend Lisa to tell you why she failed so many spelling tests in this great state! My first grader is having a bit of trouble in this area as well. One student in her class spells park this way p-a-k and why shouldn't she?? That is exactly how it is pronounced! We are trying to invent a new version of Hooked on Phonics for my daughter so she won't be tricked on this weeks spelling words caught and bar.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I wish I could go here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lemon Chicken

Michelle asked for a good lemon chicken recipe. I saw this made on Food Network a long time ago and it intrigued me because it uses lemon curd, one of my favorite ingredients. It is really quick and easy to make and tastes really good. I know there are thousands of good recipes for lemon chicken out there, but this is the one I keep going back to because everyone seems to love it (even though it's from Rachel Ray and my husband can't stand her because of her striking resemblance to an ex-girlfriend!) Serve with rice, and broccoli and you've got yourself a pretty mean meal. Use a good lemon curd or you can make your own. Don't know how to make lemon curd?? Of course you do, it's the same stuff you put in lemon bars.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I read this book when I was a kid and absolutely loved it. I recently introduced it to my older kids and just finished reading it again and still love it. The image of these five children trapped under the earth, in a house for their entire Christmas vacation, has always stayed with me. I remember trying to imagine myself in that same situation and trying to think of ways to get out/survive. How awful! I tried to find a copy in my local library, but it doesn't seem to be in circulation any longer. I did buy a library bound copy from for a really great price, though. Maybe you read this as a kid too?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Could it be???

Look what I saw today in the store! I kid you not, before Valentine's Day could even begin to poke its head out....the eggs are here!!!! And oh yes, I bought a tiny bag and yes, they were good. If we were lucky enough to live in the UK, we might get them year round. I saw a picture of some Christmas eggs on E-bay for sale. Because you know, Christmas and chocolate eggs go so well together. Really, chocolate eggs, if they are of the Cadbury Mini Egg variety, go with just about everything!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hurry and get your Honeybells!

This is probably another to add to my list of foods to eat before you die. If you haven't tasted a Honeybell orange, you better get moving because they are only available this month. Otherwise you'll have to wait until next year to taste their sweet, juicy little goodness. Really, they are the sweetest, juiciest variety I have ever tasted. A honeybell is a hybrid of tangerine, grapefruit, and clemantine mandarin I believe, I am not an expert, I just eat them. Every year, my sister from Florida, sends us a huge box and we devour them until the citric acid burns become too painful to bear. The box comes complete with a few bibs to catch all the juice, they're that juicy. I don't think you'll find these in any grocery store, you've got to have connections like me, but if you check here or here they might be able to hook you up.

The Naked Chef

I think Jamie Oliver might be one of my favorite chefs. He is really fast moving in the kitchen, his recipes are easy, straightforward and always yield great results. I also like what he is doing to change school lunch in his country and train teens to work in the food industry. I am sad that his shows can't be seen on the foodnetwork anymore, he's really fun to watch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Try this

The multi-talented, Denise made this once and I make it all the time now. SO good! You must try it. I've used pita bread for the crust as well, and even used it as a bruschetta- like topping without baking it. It's a great apetizer or meal. Can't say enough good about it. Thanks Denise!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Make mine a Grande

Look at these great cups. They're coffee to go cups, but not so disposable. I saw these at Rockett St George, introduced to me by the one and only Design Mom. I have been thinking about these ever since I saw them months ago...think of the possibilities with these....endless. The best part is the secret message on the bottom, "Chocolate, men, coffee - some things are better rich."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Chocolate, not Gingerbread Cupcakes

Ever since I made gingerbread muffins last week (and my husband thought they were chocolate) my adorable husband, has been bugging me to make these. This recipe is one of the better chocolate cupcake recipes that I have found. So good that they can almost stand alone without any frosting, now that is the sign of a good cupcake. Just the right chocolate flavor, dense, moist, and rich thanks to the sour cream. Do not be decieved, I do not frost mine like this picture seen here, but I do use an easy butter cream like this:

1 stick butter, room temp.
1 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar (or more as needed for consistency)
1/2 t. vanilla

for chocolate frosting, add some cocoa powder to frosting maybe 1/4 c. or so

P.S. The picture you see here is Martha Stewart's Hi Hat cupcakes

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Quick Creamy Tomato Soup

Today is a tomato soup and grilled cheese kind of day. I stole this recipe from Rachel Ray and made a change or two. She uses basil in it, but I can't serve certain people soup with green things floating in it.

1 - 32 oz. carton chicken stock/broth
1 - 28 oz. can concentrated crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup orzo pasta or any small pasta

Add chicken stock and tomatoes to medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until bubbly, add cream, salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. I usually add the pasta already cooked at the very end, or you could add it and cook until done, or leave it out completely. Serve with your favorite grilled cheese.