It’s Soup Time, Bitches!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Cooking, Food, Humor, Ideas, Recipes | Posted on 27-01-2017

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Give me your tired, your shriveled,
Your limp veggies yearning to breathe free,
The limp carrots from your teeming fridge.
Send these, the throw-aways, toss them over to me:
I lift my ladle from beside the golden soup.

Do you have soon-to-perish vegetables lingering in your fridge? Give those vegetables a purpose. Let them be soup!

Soup is easy. Soup is healthy. Soup is comforting. Soup is my friend.

This is what I do. I boil the carcass of a roasted chicken or a turkey in water. Remove the bones and whatnot. Add kosher salt and garlic and sometimes crushed red pepper, and bam, you have broth. (I have never written the word carcass. Now I’ve written it twice.)

Add any vegetables you want. Lately, I’ve been using cauliflower, purple onions, yellow peppers, celery, fresh cilantro, fresh spinach, and carrots. Chop away!

I try to use fresh produce, but sometimes, the carrots are kinda floppy. So, I give them a chance to participate.

Add the vegetables to the chicken broth. Boil, stir, then simmer.

And, bam, it’s soup time, bitches!

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If You Give a Girl a Knife

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childrearing, Children's Books, Confidence, Cooking, Daughters, Encouragement, Food, Girls, Mothering, Mothers and Daughters, Teenager | Posted on 13-05-2016

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When my daughter was three, we gave her a mini kitchen with pots and pans and bins of plastic food. Pies! Peas! Corn! Sushi! Cupcakes! Fried Chicken!

She loved everything about food preparation and serving. She would “roast” a fake chicken, “bake” pies, and “chop” floppy carrots. For years, she would prep and serve us at her cafe. When she was older, she would write menus for us to order from. And she would expect payment.

Now at 13, her time spent in the kitchen has lessened and her cooking is infrequent. However, if you give that girl a knife, she’ll make a fruit plate in minutes. She chops vegetables like a Kitchen Knife Ninja.

On the sidelines at a recent soccer game, I was talking to some mothers about daughters and their lack of interest in cooking. I told my “knife story” about how my daughter is a pro with a knife.

One of the Moms looked at me like I was insane. You give her knives?? That’s scary!

Um. Pioneer women sliced open buffalo with knives.

It’s not like I handed my daughter a knife and ordered Chop Now! It began with safety skills. Duh. Don’t slice toward your hand. Watch those fingers.

Kitchen skills are about teaching confidence, self sufficiency, survival. Kitchen skills are life skills.

I mean, what would she do if she encountered pineapple?

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What Smells Like Ass?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Children, Connections, Cooking, Dinner, Family | Posted on 04-04-2016

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What smells like ass? Asks my teenager son, as he walked into the kitchen.

Um, that would be dinner.

It had been weeks since I had prepared a “proper” dinner for my family.

After watching a few episodes of Cooked on Netflix, I felt nostalgic about cooking and preparing a wholesome meal for my family. The show documents various cultures around the world about food preparation and how, in our busier-and-busier lives, many of us have lost touch with taking the time and the steps to prepare a meal. Made with good ingredients and made with love. The narrator and author, Michael Pollan, says that we all have good memories of being “cooked for” and how that makes us feel cared for and loved.

When I have the time and make the time, I do enjoy cooking for my family. It’s just that they don’t always like what I cook.

That night, I baked potatoes. I broiled some cod with fresh parmesan. I roasted broccoli drizzled with olive oil. (Fish + parmesan + broccoli = stink.)

My intentions were to invite and welcome my family to the table. Yet, the smells turned people away. Except for Otis.

He was drooling.

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Magic Pie

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Celebrations, Connections, Cooking, Family, Memories, Traditions | Posted on 24-06-2015

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We made a magic Key lime pie. Magic because it disappeared in one day.

The making of this magic pie was a family affair.

I sent my oldest son to the grocery store with a list of ingredients. And he nailed it! (Oh, by the way, sweetened, condensed milk is located in the baking aisle.)

My daughter helped squeeze the limes and grate the zest. And formed the graham cracker crust into the pan.

My youngest son? He helped all right. In fact, he helped eat two slices.

We all enjoyed a freshly made Key lime pie, a gift to my husband on Father’s Day–a tradition of ours. Except this was the first year that everyone had a role in the pie’s creation. Perhaps that’s what made it so magical.

We made a Key lime pie. It was magic. It disappeared in one day.

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Cake Hero

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childrearing, Cooking, Magic, Parenting | Posted on 19-03-2015

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Sometimes I do something that amazes my children. OK, rarely. But when I do, I relish it and likely write about it. 🙂

For example, I made a rainbow cake for St. Patrick’s Day. It wasn’t that hard to make. It was actually a piece of cake. Har har. And the reactions I got?

Mom! You’re the best baker! 

This is the best cake you’ve ever made.

It looks amazing!

And stuff like that.

So basically, I was Cake Hero for a day. Actually I was Cake Hero for two days. Because with six towering layers, there was enough left for an after-school cake fest.

Bam!

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Just Add Wine

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Cooking, Humor | Posted on 02-10-2014

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Herbed chicken in a savory, wine sauce with mushrooms. The appetizing picture and complete-dinner-in-a-box at World Market sold me. Yum! Chicken Marsala! It’s what’s for dinner!

Throw it into a crockpot, just add water, and let it simmer. Right?

Wrong. Add chicken. Add chicken stock. Add mushrooms. Add wine.

Stupid-dried-sauce-in-a-box. I was sold a box of Stone Soup Chicken Marsala. So much for simple. So much for appetizing.

It’s a good thing there was extra wine to wash it down with. 🙂

No filter can make this chicken Marsala not look like vomit.

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We’ll Always Have Broccoli

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Cooking, Family, Food | Posted on 24-06-2014

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It’s time for dinner but what to make?

How about bacon and eggs? Rummaging through the refrigerator. Two eggs. Hmmm. Not enough to feed a family of five. Never mind, no bacon either.

How about hot dogs? The kids love them! Cloacas and all. Hmmmm. Hot dog buns, but no hot dogs.

How about an emergency pizza? I always stock the freezer with several pizzas “in case of emergency.” As in, I am too exhausted to cook. Or we are home too late from soccer practice. Or, a friend is sleeping over and we need to serve something fun. We are out of emergency pizzas. But there are two giant bags of frozen broccoli. Bam!

Can of soup? Yeah, OK. We do have lentil soup. But it’s low sodium and gaggier than my homemade lentil soup, which is like triple gaggy.

How about quesadillas? Um, we’re out of tortillas.

How about peanut butter and jelly? Out of peanut butter.

What about spaghetti? Out of spaghetti? Nah, I think we’re spaghetti’d out.

But there was bread. And cheese. So, bam. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Served with broccoli. Because, no matter how slight the groceries, we’ll always have lentils and broccoli.

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Stone Soup

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Cooking, Family, Home, Life | Posted on 22-05-2014

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You know the classic story Stone Soup? Where the stranger enters the village to make this amazing soup out of simply a stone and a pot and hot water? He uses his great negotiation skills and slyness to score donations of carrots, potatoes, onions, and other vegetables…to make…voila.

Soup out of a stone, wowing villagers. How could this be?

Well. My soup was the opposite. My intentions at the beginning of the week were to make soup. A rich, vegetable soup with roasted chicken and beans. Packed with nutrients. And lots of other stuff.

I purchased all of the ingredients and stocked the refrigerator. I got too busy. The soup waited another day to be made.

Turns out, the kids ate the two roasted chickens.

The next day, I purchased two more roasted chickens. Meanwhile, the kids had eaten the vegetables with dip. And the soup waited another day to be made.

I repurchased vegetables. Meanwhile, the beans were turned into nachos. And the soup waited another day to be made. No soup was made that week.

All that was left–from the bounty of food purchased on Monday–was a stone.

Oh just making stone soup.

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My Pumpkin Bread Sucks Balls

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Baking, Children, Humor, Nutrition, Pumpkin, Recipes | Posted on 14-10-2013

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I had great plans for these pumpkin loaves. Great, healthy plans.

You know, use oat flour instead of flour flour. Use chia seed gel as the oil. Use applesauce to replace half of the sugar.

Removing them from the oven, the pumpkin bread smelled delicious. However, removing them from the pans, the loaves were dense yet sorta gooey.

After doling out wedges to my kids, my eight-year-old son bravely took a taste and announced, “Your pumpkin bread sucks balls.”

#bakingfail

pumpkin bread

Dear Crock Pot

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Food | Posted on 19-11-2012

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Dear Crock Pot,

People may make fun of you. You have a history steeped in Americana cooking. Stew. Sauces made with cream of mushroom soup.

You are on sale this time of year to keep mashed potatoes and gravy warm for Thanksgiving.

But today at my house, my friend, you are simmering chicken in Indian korma sauce.

Congratulations…you have gone global!
XO,
Pippi