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Spiced Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

Unlike every other commenter on this recipe, I actually made this cake. I used butter and dairy milk since that's what I keep on hand, and faked the apple pie spice since I didn't have that, either. It was delicious, and we all loved it.

Nov 04, 2013
darklyglimmer in Recipes

I have a REALLY picky 2 year old..

When our daughter was about that age - maybe a little older - we used to "dare" each other to eat things. As in: "Ooooh, Daddy, I bet you won't eat a broccoli. Oh, wow, you did it! Look at me, I'm gonna eat a broccoli, too. Hey, kiddo, I bet YOU won't eat a broccoli. Oh, WOW! You did!"

And so forth. It worked for a few months.

We've given her these since she could eat; she'll eat anything cheesy and buttery. It seems like the other parents I've suggested it to have a 50/50 success rate with it: some kids are just too skeeved by the green, but some love it.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spinach-brownies/

Also, this has been a surprise hit. I use sweet potato or butternut squash in place of the white potato. It's thick, so a kid will have an easy time eating it, and it sort of turns out a pretty shade of green with no identifiable "bits." I use any veggie I have in the freezer or fridge, as much as I feel like (usually way over a cup and a half) and canned evaporated milk.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ba...

Good luck, and he'll live!

May 03, 2013
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Best healthy/low calorie cookbook?

I second this - we like the Balsamic Chicken and Spinach (or something like that).

Jan 23, 2013
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Beyond Spinach Nuggets and Zucchini Tots - what else for a toddler's lunchbox

Those zucchini tots are awesome; my 3.5 y/o will happily eat them, too. If you feel like changing up the spinach nuggets, here's a variation on that theme that my daughter has been eating as long as she could eat. They freeze beautifully and are good warm or cold. I use pretty much any cheese I have in the fridge.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spinach-...

Another thing my kiddo likes: grape tomatoes chopped in half or sliced cucumber mixed with ranch dressing. I give her that in her lunch about once a week. It rarely comes home.

Jan 21, 2013
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

making meringues - first time

I actually just made these a few days ago - they're pretty fool-proof and turned out well! I'd recommend resisting the urge to add green food coloring - they brown slightly and and only the inside ends up pretty.

Dec 20, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

I need help ! extremely picky eater & basically wont eat anything !

If she likes french fries, you might be able to sneak these past her. My three-year-old devoured them without even noticing, and she will go to great lengths to avoid eating anything even remotely green. I did use yellow squash, though - mostly because that was what we had, but in retrospect, the lack of Evil Scary Horrible Green (sigh) probably helped.

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/01/ba...

They're really good, actually. If she doesn't like marinara, I'm sure they'd also be good with ketchup or ranch dressing.

We ask her to try one bite of everything, and if she doesn't like it, she can have a PB&J (with no special requests!) We find that this eliminates a lot of the control issues, and once she has the sandwich in front of her, half the time she'll eat the thing she originally didn't like, because she no longer "has" to. Don't have a big battle about it, that's the important thing. My sister-in-law had a cousin who ate nothing but hot dogs and hamburgers until she was sixteen and started going out to eat with her friends - peer pressure can be a wonderful thing! Good luck!

Aug 10, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Tricks you figured out in the kitchen and thought 'good one'!!!

I made brown rice this way once or twice, on some cookbook or other's recommendation. Worked fairly well, IIRC.

May 31, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Tricks you figured out in the kitchen and thought 'good one'!!!

Very good idea. I'll use that as soon as I reclaim my metal measuring cups from my daughter's play kitchen, where they are currently serving as cookware.

May 24, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Tricks you figured out in the kitchen and thought 'good one'!!!

When measuring honey for something savory - like barbecue sauce, or phoney teriyaki, which is what I did tonight - if you spray your measuring cups w/ cooking spray before pouring the honey in, the stuff just slides right out. No scraping or dripping. 99.9% sure I learned that elsewhere on CH, but it's nifty.

May 19, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Exhausted mom needs cook ahead meals for family or quick suppers for grab and go sports crazy kidss

Burritos! Make 'em on the weekends, freeze 'em, nuke 'em for a few minutes. Not gourmet, but delicious. Straight refried bean, or shredded beef, or whatever you like. These are good, if you're feeling more adventurous.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/addictiv...

My husband, who is NOT picky but cannot cook to save his life, recently decided that he wants to cook on weekends. (Usually I cook while he watches our toddler. I think he wants a break.) So two days a week, we have frozen pizza, or hot dogs, or spaghetti and frozen meatballs. All of which are totally fine and no problem to keep around. Also, on my book club nights, I used to do tuna melts and frozen french fries. Won absolutely no awards for haute cuisine, but I could make up the tuna salad earlier in the day and have them done in 10 minutes, and we all got fed.

May 08, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

cooking for toddler / fussy one year old - cookbook recommendations?

No cookbook recs, but I second Child of Mine, as well as the basic idea of not turning food into an issue -- ever. My daughter is almost three. When she was younger, I tried to give her food that was somehow related to what we were eating. For instance, no way would that kid eat a taco, but she would happily snarf down refried beans, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese. If I made chicken and dumplings, she'd avoid the chicken, but happily eat a dumpling soaked in gravy. (And of course, pretty much anything covered in butter and parmesan was a hit.) The best advice I ever got was to think of it in terms of what the kid eats in a week, rather than what he eats in a day. You might as well cook what you like; he'll be eating with you for the next 17 years, at least, so he might as well get used to the things you cook.

I will say that I think I got lucky. My daughter never met a fruit she didn't like, and never had trouble tolerating any of it, so when dinner was a bust I just gave her a bowl of fruit and called it good. In terms of green veggies, keeping a batch of these in the freezer continues to save my sanity to this day:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spinach-...

Now that she's older, the game has changed a bit; a two-year-old will try to control absolutely everything they can, and one of the things they can control is what they put in their mouth and swallow. We recently started a new policy; if she eats one bite of dinner and doesn't like it, she can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The first week we made seven peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but noticed that once she actually had the sandwich, she usually ate a little of whatever dinner was along with it. Now it's a month later and I haven't made a PB&J in over a week. Small victories!

May 08, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Tuna noodle salad.

An old roommate used to make a tasty one - ditalini, canned tuna, finely chopped red onion and cubes of cheddar cheese, moistened with sweet pickle juice and (I think) a bit of olive oil. I don't remember if there were actually pickles in it, but I don't think so. Apparently her mother added mayo but I've never felt that to be necessary.

Apr 09, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

A kitchen without traditional cabinets-thought?

One of our apartments had glass-fronted kitchen cabinets. I hated them, but it was mostly the tidiness factor; for one thing, we didn't have the kind of pantry area you're talking about, so all of our food was on display. More than that, though, was the organization factor. Most of my stuff matched at that point, too - we'd just moved in together and were on our first sets of dishes, glasses, etc. - but it still had to be arranged. I never had the patience to stand there and point all of my coffee mug handles in the same direction, or line my glasses up into nice tidy rows. You might be a more patient person than I am, though. :)

Feb 24, 2012
darklyglimmer in Not About Food

Please help, I've never made Jalapeno poppers and my son has requested them for the Super Bowl.

I've made poppers with Boursin. I thought it worked fine. I use this same basic method, although I've never used this specific filling:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blue-che...

They're a little quick and dirty, maybe not what you're looking for, but they get the job done for us.

Feb 03, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Cooking for 2 on a budget?

I have no idea about the rice cooker. Certainly seems like it should work, although I'm not super-familiar with rice cookers. Maybe someone else who is can chime in?

Mujadarah is delicious, but it's not the prettiest meal out there. My husband is one of those people who decides the minute he looks at something whether he likes it or not. When we were dating, he used to ask for his nachos with no guacamole because he thought it looked icky. I put a stop to that right quick. :)

Jan 12, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Is it better to make it from scratch or buy it?

Nope, but there's a restaurant near us that makes their own and it's pretty damn amazing, although a long way from my toddler's beloved "keppup."

Jan 11, 2012
darklyglimmer in General Topics

Cooking for 2 on a budget?

You're getting lots of beans/lentils-and-rice suggestions - one lentil-and-rice dish we like is Mujadarrah. If your boyfriend really really has to have a slab of meat to go with it, he can always cook a chicken breast or something to go along with it. I mostly use Deborah Madison's recipe, which appears to be here:

http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2604...

I make lots more onions than suggested and add 1/2 tsp of allspice to the rice/lentil mixture. If you'd rather use brown rice than white, it somehow seems to cook just fine if you add it with the lentils, even though it seems like there shouldn't be enough time. Greek yogurt on top really makes the dish. My husband is a pretty traditional guy, too, but he likes this.

ETA: the only thing about this recipe that takes more than a half an hour is the onions, and you can do those ahead of time.

Jan 10, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Is it better to make it from scratch or buy it?

I heard the author of this book do an interview on NPR not long ago. If my fragile memory serves me, she was an aggressive do-it-from-scratcher, including doing things like curing her own proscuitto in her tiny Brooklyn apartment, etc. The interview was short but I remember being surprised by some of the things she decided were better bought. The one I remember in particular was ketchup; she said she's certainly made some delicious homemade ketchups -- and I've certainly eaten some -- but one night she held a blind taste test at a party, and the one her guests liked best was the store-bought. She said this wasn't necessarily because it tasted better, but that the taste of the store-bought ketchup matched her guest's idea of "ketchup," for better or worse.

By the way, I'm not commenting on whether or not homemade ketchup is sublime or store-bought ketchup is the anti-sublime; just relating what little I remember about the interview. I remember thinking that the book sounded good and I'm glad you reminded me of it.

(edited to fix a silly typo)

Jan 08, 2012
darklyglimmer in General Topics

your best chicken stock recipe

Yep, I've definitely heard other people on CH say that, but the meat in mine comes out just fine. It's not flavorful enough to serve it on its own, but - as I said - in a pot pie or casserole, I find it to be totally edible. Particularly if I use my homemade stock in the sauce. :)

Jan 03, 2012
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

your best chicken stock recipe

It works perfectly for me, too, and I've never done it any other way, but I've definitely gotten a stern talking-to about it once or twice on CH. Just one of those things that pushes people's Right Way/Wrong Way buttons, I guess.

Dec 30, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

ATK banana bread and chicken/dumplings or other?

I made the banana bread recipe from the ATK Family Cookbook (not sure if it's the same one you're talking about - this recipe calls for yogurt) not too long ago and it was among the best I've ever made. Moist, not bland, generally delicious. And now I have to make it again. Mmmm.

Dec 30, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

About to go Vegan - need cookbook advice!

To second (third? fourth?) the Moskowitz recommendation: my sister-in-law's holiday cookies this year were mostly out of Moskowitz's Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. We are not even remotely close to vegan, and I'm normally pretty unimpressed by vegan baked goods, but those were some good cookies.

Dec 28, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Bananas and... 1st birthday cake

Not sure this is what you're looking for, but a friend made monkey-face banana/chocolate cupcakes for her daughter's 2nd birthday, using vanilla wafer cookies - they were cute and delicious. I remember them being a bit like the cupcakes surrounding this cake, although she didn't use the star tip to pipe the icing for the monkey fur. I know you're thinking about a layer cake but maybe you could still use the monkey-face idea somehow.

http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com...

Aug 08, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Need to use three leftover loaves of Wonder Bread - no croutons or bread pudding! Ideas?

Replying to an old post on an old thread. Hooray.

Anyway: the only time my mother ever bought the stuff was for her amazing turkey stuffing (very traditional; onion, sage, celery, butter, some other stuff I can't remember right now), which she cooked in the bird, salmonella be damned. If one must use up Wonder bread, seems like an excellent way to do it.

Aug 07, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

What to Feed my Finicky Five-year Old?

I agree with everything you said, Querencia, particularly the control aspects of picky eating. Also, one of the parenting magazines that magically started appearing at our house when we had a baby did an article on "picky" eaters, and found that most of them actually ate reasonably well-balanced diets over the course of a week. The trick is to think of it that way -- as in, "Well, he had ketchup for dinner tonight, but yesterday he ate spinach and whole-grain toast" -- rather than on a daily basis.

Jul 22, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

What to Feed my Finicky Five-year Old?

I agree. Even some adults function better on a series of small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones. Also, there's a difference between snacks and treats; obviously, you don't want a kid munching their way through a bag of Oreos an hour before dinner, but an apple or some cheese is another story.

Jul 22, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

A dishpan of figs - what to do with them?

There's a fig and black pepper spread from Heidi Swanson's first cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, that's tasty and sort of different. Not sure it's intended for actual preserving, though. The directions say to keep it in the fridge.

It's not on her website (101cookbooks) but this link seems to be pretty close.

http://www.lindenhills.coop/node/1528

Jul 21, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking

Should I Take My Hat Off at a Restaurant?

Manners change. A hundred years ago, it would have been risque for me to show my ankles in public. If it's not hurting me, I could care less what other people wear.

Jul 21, 2011
darklyglimmer in Features

Thai Vegetable Soup

This is pretty good, but needs way, way, way more salt than recommended. Maybe my salt just wasn't Celtic enough, though. Used Thai basil instead of cilantro and added a touch of fish sauce and turbinado sugar.

Jul 16, 2011
darklyglimmer in Recipes

Too Hot to Grill

Thanks! I'll give it a try.

Jul 12, 2011
darklyglimmer in Home Cooking