It’s funny how excited kids these days get about cooking and baking. I don’t remember ever having the inclination to go “make” something, other than dumping a bunch of crap in a bowl and microwaving it for 30 minutes. We were bad.
Both of the kids I babysit are really into all things culinary. The 7-year old is a HUGE Paula Deen fan, and the 6-year old has been begging to break out the video camera and “film a cooking show”. So yesterday we decided to make cupcakes. Browsing through one of my dozen cupcake cookbooks, I came across Cupcake Cones. We just prepared a plain old store-bought chocolate cake mix, stood ice cream cones up in muffin tins, filled the cones halfway with the batter, baked for about 15 minutes at 350, and then iced/decorated. The result?
They did the mixing and decorating. Apparently someone is in denial of the fact that it’s 101 outside and the middle of July:
I thought this one was very cute:
If you make these, be warned. Although adorable, they don’t taste that great. The cone kind of stales in the oven so it ends up chewy instead of crispy. I mean, I still ate them- just FYI.
For dinner we had a bunch of veggies that needed to be cooked, so I decided to create some kind of summer vegetable ratatouille thing and serve it over pasta. Ingredients? Just ignore the summer squash. I didn’t end up using it after all:
Summer Ratatouille (for lack of a better name)
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1 Yellow Onion, Chopped
- 1 Red Pepper, Chopped
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
- 1 Eggplant, Chopped
- 1 Cup Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1- 14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes (I used the roasted garlic flavor)
- 1 Tbs Chopped Basil (I used the tubed kind)
- 2 Tbs Dried Oregano
- 2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
- 1-2 Tbs Capers
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Goat Cheese- to crumble over the top
Heat olive oil in skillet over med-hi. Add onions and garlic. Saute until onions have softened slightly (about 3 minutes). Add peppers, eggplant, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often for 2 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook, stirring often, until veggies have softened. I think I cooked this about 5-7 minutes and then added the canned tomatoes, basil, oregano, capers, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Serve over whole wheat pasta or couscous and top with crumbled goat cheese.
Here’s what it looked like in the pan:
My carnivorous better half suggested that we might want some protein in there, so I picked up chicken sausages at Kroger. I can’t remember the brand name, but they were smoked mozzarella, spinach and artichoke flavor and only 100 calories per link. VERY yummy. The best part of this dish, though, is the goat cheese. It kind of melts into the pasta and makes the sauce creamy. Here’s my bowl, sans sausage:
I give you the perfect dinner… pasta, veggies, and a new InStyle, eaten at the coffee table in front of Family Guy reruns: