Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Purple Cabbage Experiment

My husband likes to listen to books on tape.  He often listens to whole college courses on various subjects, like nano technology, greek history, genetics.  He likes to know a little bit about everything.  But he's not a know-it-all.  He's a really cool guy.  

Anyway, after listening to the genetics course he called me and told me to buy purple cabbage.  I complied and then we had some fun.  I boiled the cabbage and we put the juice in 7 jars.

Then we added vinegar (acid) and baking soda (base) in various quantities.  I should have blogged this closer to when we did it because I don't remember the exact amounts.  We have a ways to go before we are real scientists.  Here is the basic idea from left to right: the control, about 1 c. baking soda with some water, a few tablespoons of baking soda with water, about 2 c. vinegar, 1 c. vinegar, I don't remember and a tablespoon or so of vinegar.

The basic idea is that color can change based on the pH level.  I think it might have something to do with how color is manifest in nature. In any event, we had fun.  Especially when we started mixing!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I didn't even know what an ableskiver was until I got this funny pan for a wedding present.  It was from my cousin and his wife.  Fortunately, she included a recipe with the pan.  It was a really thoughtful gift.  I have only made these pancake balls a few times but my kids loved them on this last go round.  I am still a bit of an amateur when it comes to flipping them, but I discovered a trick.  Keep reading for my secret.

These might taste so good because you melt a little butter in the holes.  Wait a little bit and you can have brown butter ableskivers.  Yum.

Next, pour in your batter.  Don't fill them too much, they are harder to flip because they do rise a little.

Make sure you pan it not too hot.  

Don't flip them too soon.

They might look a little wonky the first few tries, but don't give up.

Making progress.

And even more.

See, I knew I could do it.  

So here is my trick: a fondu fork!  It really helped flipping those little suckers.

I also highly recommend a pair of rubber gloves to keep your toddler occupied while you are trying to make these.

Here is the recipe from my cousin:


2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder (yup, a whole tablespoon)
2 eggs, separated
2 c. buttermilk (I used milk with lemon juice and it worked fine)

Whip egg whites to peaks.  (I pretty much skipped this step because first try I couldn't get the egg whites to peak and then I spilled egg down my dishwasher while trying to separate more.  Sometimes the food wins at our house.)  Mix other ingredients then fold in egg whites.  Heat pan on medium heat.  Melt small dab (that's a measurement, right?) of butter in each hole.  Cook until bottom is brown.  Turn with fondu fork (or regular fork, or chopstick, or whatever works).  Cook until brown on alternate side and cooked through.  Server with jam or powdered sugar or syrup.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Had A Visitor

My kids woke up this morning and discovered small green hand and feet prints on them!  We had a leprechaun visit during the night!

They followed his feet and discovered he had played a few tricks and left them a treat.

The little guy apparently stopped to use our facilities.  He has green pee.  Who knew?

Green milk, of course.  They used to do that when I was a kid.

More prints led to . . .

A nice stash of candy in green wrappers!  Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Photo Album and Recipe Cookbook

A few months ago I wanted to organize my recipes better so I could find things easier.  I use 4x6 cards and didn't want to have to type or rewrite everything.  I thought about using a three ring binder with some plastic sheets that hold 4x6 cards.  But then I found this cute photo album at TJMaxx.

It holds 4x6 photos.  In other words it makes the PERFECT recipe holder.  It's a whole lot smaller than a binder and works wonderfully.  If you need a way to keep track of recipe cards go find yourself a cute album!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Summer Squash Pumpkin Applesauce Almond Muffins

I put together this recipe weeks ago when I had some summer squash in a Bountiful Basket.  I have made them twice again since then.  They are super delicious and super healthy.  I combined a few different recipes and swapped out some of the oil for apple sauce and the vanilla for almond extract.  I even used some whole wheat flour to make them extra healthy.  In any event if you make these, they won't last long.  At least they don't around our house.  In fact, this lonesome guy is the only one left for me to take a picture of.  I think I will eat him right now.  With butter.

Summer Squash Pumpkin Applesauce Almond Muffins

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1 t. pure almond extract
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cloves
1 c. grated summer squash
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour

Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean.  Probably 20-30 minutes.  I didn't time it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Colored Shaving Cream

I saw a pin on Pinterest for shaving cream colored with food coloring.  The pin said it made great bath paints, but when a friend suggested using cookie sheets I knew our afternoon boredom buster was born.  My kids loved it!  I have to say, however, that aprons would have been nice.


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