Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Lego party: food

We had some tasty food for our Lego birthday party!


We set up the island in our kitchen to hold the main “feast,” where we tried to do a little bit of theming to go along with the party’s theme.  Husband made a napkin holder and a utensil holder from Duplos, and we had fruit kabobs skewered on sword toothpicks.


However, one of our favorite food ideas was these ninja cheeses–made from partially opened Babybels!  (We found this idea on Pinterest and LOVED it!) . The eyes are edible cake decorations.

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The dessert table displayed some more Lego mold prowess on the part of Husband: we made a bunch of Lego Jello– some with basic brick molds (affiliate link), and some– and this is the really awesome part– from an awesome Jello kit that molds interlocking blocks (affiliate link)!  They actually work, and it was so cool!  (these blocks form the cars in the photo below).


We made cupcakes: B requested strawberry cake with chocolate frosting.  He also wanted the Ninjago golden weapons on them, which were going to be beyond my capabilities, especially that week… so we compromised and used edible gold stars from a cake dec mix.  Each cupcake was topped with a brick that we molded from another silicone mold–that makes smaller bricks– that I bought at Michaels.



The birthday boy’s cupcake was at the top of the cupcake stand, and his cupcake had 5 gold stars and a “5” candle, of course!

B really wanted to be involved in the party prep, and so he helped Husband do some of the candy melt molding!  Husband was amazing– he did so much molding (Jello, candy, and crayons) for this party, and he always worked out the best method.


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Recipe:  Skillet Lasagna from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013, (page 51; affiliate link)

ATK skillet lasagna

Apparently we’re on a “skillet” meal kick.  When we were making the pot pie recipe, I kept looking at this one, which ended on the facing page.  Since we had all of the ingredients on hand, we decided to make it the next night!

  • when did we make this? Saturday, March 11, 2017 for dinner.
  • did we change anything?  We added in some tomato paste that needed to be used.
  • what did we like?  The lasagna is delicious and easy to make, and it uses ingredients that we almost always have on hand.  I love ricotta, so I especially enjoyed the daubs that topped this dish.
  • what didn’t we like?  Nothing!
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)? Probably!

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Recipe:  Skillet Pot Pie from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013, (page 52; affiliate link)

ATK skillet chicken pot pie

  • when did we make this? Friday, March 10, 2017 for dinner.
  • did we change anything?  No.
  • what did we like?  The recipe results in a fairly tasty, traditional chicken pot pie filling with biscuits on top.
  • what didn’t we like?  The recipe is fine, but the end result isn’t anything spectacular, and it used a lot of bowls to prepare.   I was hoping at least for a biscuit-y crust, not just biscuits baked separately and served on top.  For all of the calories that are in this recipe, I was hoping for something with a lot more flavor-power.
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)? Probably not.  I have another pot pie filling recipe that we like better, and it is fewer calories per serving than this one.


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Recipe:  Skillet Tamale Pie from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013, (page 54; affiliate link)

ATK Skillet Tamale Pie

  • when did we make this? Tuesday, February 7, 2017 for dinner.
  • did we change anything?  I left out the cilantro, because neither Husband nor I like it.
  • what did we like?  The flavor is SO GOOD, and the recipe is SO EASY.  Truly a week-night meal.  I texted my brother after just a few bites to tell him that it was a must-try recipe!
  • what didn’t we like?  Nothing!
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)? Absolutely.  It is going into regular rotation!

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Recipe:  Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013, (page 655; affiliate link)

(I forgot to take a photo!)

  • when did we make this? January 2017 to celebrate Husband’s birthday with his family
  • did we change anything?  The store was out of heavy cream, so instead of using milk + heavy cream, we substituted the appropriate amount of half-and-half.  We also used vanilla extract rather than a vanilla bean (using a substitution on the bottle).  Husband also made a double batch because we were sharing 🙂
  • what did we like?  Husband made this recipe, and he was extremely pleased with the consistency of the resulting hardened ice cream (other recipes we’ve tried have come out much harder). Husband and the kids really liked the flavor.
  • what didn’t we like?  I personally thought that it was a bit too sweet (and I usually like sweet things).
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)? From my perspective, I would probably choose another recipe.  But Husband was so pleased with the consistency– perhaps we will try it again, and tweak the sugar content (or add other flavors?) to see if it improves the flavor to my taste.

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Recipe:  Buttermilk Waffles from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2013, (page 320; affiliate link)


  • when did we make this? Sunday, January 8, 2017 for lunch after church.  I got a waffle maker for Christmas!!!!
  • did we change anything?  Nope.
  • what did we like?  The waffle batter was easy to make and uses ingredients that I always have on hand.
  • what didn’t we like?  Well, it only made 3 waffles 😉  This is perfectly clear from the recipe directions, but they were so tasty– we wanted more!  The recipe does require several bowls (including my stand mixer to whip the egg white), which makes me less likely to make it on a weekly basis.  But really, it’s not difficult.
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)?  We will absolutely make this again in the future (I’m lobbying for a weekend tradition ;-)), and I don’t think I’ll need to make any changes… except maybe doubling? 🙂

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I’m trying to renew our challenge from 2013 to make at least one new recipe from our two newer cookbooks each month.  I’m not doing very well on making new recipes every month, but we are occasionally delving into the cookbooks for new meals!  There’s a category on the blog for these posts called “recipe review 2016.”

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Recipe: Potato Frittata with Feta and Scallions from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (affiliate link; pages 39-41)

SK potato and feta frittata

SK potato and feta frittata

  • when did we make this? Sunday, June 5, 2016 for supper.
  • did we change anything? Nope.
  • what did we like?  This is a really delicious combination of flavors.  I don’t think I would have thought of putting bacon, feta, and potato together, but it is fantastic.
  • what didn’t we like?  Nothing!  It isn’t quite as eggy as I was expecting for a frittata, but it didn’t bother me 🙂
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)?  Yes.  Especially if we are looking for an excellent brunch dish!

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