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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Come on over!

Hey Folks!

Come join me over at my new site

MBAMamaMusings.com!

There is a fantastic giveaway going on - you are not going to want to miss this one! 1. 2.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

International Baking

There's something about making old recipes.  They often have quirky measurements, odd instructions, or bizarre names.  Take Swedish Thumbprint cookies.  I somehow doubt one will find this is the national dish of Sweden.  In fact, it's probably about as authentic as the Swedish Berry or the Swedish Chef.




There's also an incredible simplicity to a lot of these old standards.  Four ingredients, really.  It tops out at six, if you count something to roll them in and fill them with.

Butter, sugar, and egg yolk in the bowl.  Beat it up until its a nice, light yellow colour.

After you've mixed in the flour, it looks about like this.  Good enough to eat right out of the bowl, apparently.

You are going to need something crunchy to roll them in.  The recipe technically calls for nuts.  Growing up, we used whatever crunchy cereal needed using up. Corn flakes, Special K, you name it.  Today, we are featuring Rice Krispies.

I was playing around, trying to devise clever ways of crunching up the cereal.  I should have just mushed the bag with a rolling pin.  This method (if you can call it that) was just plain old painful.

Not a very uniform crush.  Definitely better to mush in the bag.  Note to self.

Again, another opportunity to use the handy-dandy ice cream scoop.

Perfect little cookie balls into the egg white.  The egg white that was 'left over' from making the cookie dough.  I love frugal and efficient recipes.

Now, perfect little cookie balls coated in egg white into the crunched up cereal.  This part can get a little tricky.  The wet hand-dry hand method probably would work best.  In my case, I just employed child labour.

And onto the cookie tray.  You don't have to worry about spacing them too far apart.  They will not spread like a drop cookie will.

The cookie balls do look a little alien once they are coated in cereal.  Half bake them at a low, 300 F oven, for about 15 minutes.  Don't worry - the world won't end if you leave them there for 20 minutes because you got caught up watching the Food Network.

Now for the fun, and slightly dangerous part.  You are now going to jam your thumb into the middle of a hot, butter-based cookie.  Work quickly.  After the first couple of burns, your thumb nerves will become desensitized and you won't feel a thing any more.

Now, for the homemade jam.  What?  No homemade jam at your house either?  I thought we had talked about this earlier?  No salsa, OK, I can let that pass.  But no jam?  We are going to have to work on that this summer.

Fill all the little indents you have made with just the tiniest bit of jam.  Because it is going back into the oven, the jam will temporarily liquify again and run all over if there's too much in there.  I used one of those tiny tea and crumpets teaspoons for this.

Pop them back in the oven again for 15 minutes at 300 F.  When they are done, you will have a delicious little morsel.  Several of them in fact.  This recipe doubles, triples, even quadruples, with incredible ease.  These will store in an air tight container for about a week, depending on what type of crunchy coating you have used.

You can also sub out the jam for a candy of some description.  Hershey's Kisses are popular.  At Christmas, candied cherries cut in half add a very nice decorative touch to dessert trays.

This one is great for kids.  With only a few ingredients, it is a quick recipe to make, perfect for short attention spans.  And what little kid doesn't love to squish their fingers in something gooey like egg white?

A word to the wise, though.  Wait until they have completely cooled off before gnashing.  You will be tempted to pop the entire thing in your mouth and the sugary middle holds the heat for a long time.  Take it from one who knows. 1. 2.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Funny Bunnies

Three of the funny bunnies  Easter Sunday, 2011
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jump Rope for Heart

There are some really scary statistics out there about just how lazy we have all become in North America and the detrimental effect it is having on our health.  Yes, people, I called us lazy.  No covert words like 'sedentary' or 'preoccupied' or 'busy'.  We are lazy.  And I include my household in that term.  One would think the history of heart disease in our family would be enough to scare us into movement and healthier living.  It hasn't yet.  But, E1 bringing home his pledge sheet for Jump Rope for Heart through the Heart and Stroke Foundation, might just do it.

I can also attest that the representatives from the Foundation that visited his school lately to introduce the program did an incredible job of explaining, even to my little guy, about healthy eating and activity.  Now, if only they would do in-home visits.  Perhaps Goose and I would soak up the information as well as E1 has.

Here are just a few of the scary facts the Foundation has collected:

  • 28% of Ontario kids are overweight or obese
  • 26% of Canadian kids are overweight or obese
  • Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past 25 years
  • Only 20% of Canadian children receive daily physical activity education in school
  • 50% of children and youth aged 5 to 17 aren't active enough for optimal growth and development
  • 7 out of 10 children aged 4 to 8 don’t eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables and fruit
Scary, scary stuff.  Childhood habits become adult lifestyles.

To that end, I am posting this, not only to raise awareness about our lack of activity and need for healthier decision making, but to also ask my readers to contribute towards the cause.

Sure, E1 will get some cool stuff.  Sure, the school will get credit towards equipment for the gym programs. But most importantly, the good people at the Heart and Stroke Foundation will have the funds to continue their life saving work.

https://secure.heartandstroke.ca/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=436166&lis=1&supId=326354278

This here is E1's personal donation page.  But a donation to any of these kids, and to this organization, is much appreciated.  If you donate online, you will automatically get a receipt to print out and keep for income tax purposes.

And, as if that isn't enough incentive, who could resist this face?


And thank you for your support. 
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Contest Time! - Cold FX

The cold weather feels like it is hanging around these parts way too long.  This winter season has brought an unprecedented number of sniffles, sneezes, and other bodily fluids to our home.

Given that it is E1's first year of school, I blame him.  Goose and I will pay for his therapy later.

One way to help beat a Canadian cold is with a Canadian product - ColdFX.  It was developed by Canadian scientists using a now patented, and internationally recognized, methodology.  Chemical and Biological Fingerprinting (sounds all CSI-like, huh?) figures out exactly how much active ingredient is in a plant source.  This ensures that any given ColdFX tablet has the exact amount of active ingredient it says it does, thus eliminating one of the pitfalls of naturopathic medicines.

As if the clinical trials and testimonials weren't enough reason to help reduce your dependance on facial tissue, ColdFX is now sponsoring an incredible sweepstakes!




It is ridiculously simple (and fun!) to enter and play.  


Compete against your friends and see, once and for all, who was really paying attention in history class.


And who knows?  Maybe you will walk away with one of the weekly $100 prizes.  Or maybe even the grand prize of $3000!


Good luck and remember to enter often! 1. 2.
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