Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #5

Deceptively Delicious Recipe #5 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ok, when I made this recipe I got inspired and started to take video of the different stages of making the cookies. Then YouTube took forever to upload the videos. I saved some of the early video shots to a place on my computer where I can't find them. So, I just put on here the last two stages of the process.

Some lessons learned on this recipe are that I would use a food processor to chop up the chickpeas. I think it would make it easier to mix. I have a Kitchen Aide stand mixer so I have a powerful mixer, but I just think they would incorporate better if they were whipped up in the food processor first.

The first video is of me taking out the cookies so you can see the finished product. Please remember that I was doing this video at 10 o'clock at night, so I was pretty tired. The next video is of our taste tester eating one of the cookies.

This recipe makes cookies that have a moist texture. They aren't quite as moist as a muffin, but definitley moister than other chocolate chip cookies. If you've had Famous Amos Chocolate Chip cookies, these are definitley not as hard and crunchy as those.

Our final family vote for this recipe was 4 Cheerios. They aren't the worst best chocolate chip cookies, but they aren't half bad either.

My next review is going to be of the Quesadilla recipe. That one will probably be posted over the weekend, or Monday at the latest. Of course barring any technical difficulties.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Technical Difficulties

I have been trying to upload some video clips to YouTube for our next review and it is taking forever. I hope to have my next recipe review up tomorrow. It is for the Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Review Tomorrow

Hello everyone. I promise I haven't stopped the reviews and dropped off the face of the earth. I have been busy in the last week and I am finally getting back on track. Tomorrow there will be a new recipe review. So, be sure to check back. I won't tell you which one, I'll let you be surprised.

I wanted to share a picture of my Amaryllis plant that I've had going since the first part of the month. I think tomorrow is the day it will bloom. It has been such a nice thing to see on my kitchen table with the cold outside. It is such a nice pick me up. I just love the shiny pot it came in. It is going to have a red bloom. I picked this up at Target after Christmas. It is a Smith & Hawken kit.
So until tomorrow, good night!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More to come....

This has been a bit of a crazy week, so I haven't had a chance to try and review anymore new recipes from Deceptively Delicious. But, more reviews will happen. I promise.

This week I have been busy baking bread. Thanks to Kim for sharing her bread starter. The smells of homemade, delicious bread have been wafting through the air. My husband will soon start to fuss that I am going to make him fat. LOL But, I have been sharing it with family, so that has helped.

Please check back because I do plan on posting another recipe review soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Deceptively Delicious | Recipe Review #4

Recipe Review #4 Banana Bread
Well, its another week of challenges with feeding my little monkey, so it is only fitting that we try the Banana Bread recipe.

This recipe uses cauliflower puree and banana puree. There is a note that if you don't have the cauliflower, you can just throw in an extra banana. I wasn't sure how I was going to like the cauliflower in the recipe. I didn't know if it would be a strong taste, but you couldn't even taste the cauliflower. The banana and cinnamon were the predominate tastes.

I also like that this recipe uses whole wheat flour. Another plus is this recipe only uses 1/2 a cup of brown sugar which is great compared to other bread recipes I've made. I was wondering if having less sugar would affect the taste, but it didn't.

Here is our Chief Taste Tester in our kitchen lab with Sample 1.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are using our highly scientific Cheerios scaling system for rating recipes. And this recipe rates a 5. We loved this banana bread recipe. My husband was circling the bread like a hungry shark as soon as it came out of the oven. And, Sawyer loved the bread so much he ate two pieces in one sitting. I will definitley make this recipe again. It made the house smell good to have it baking.

I think when I make this again, I will add golden raisins and coconut to the batter. I've added those to pumpkin bread recipes I've made in the past and it really adds to the flavor of the bread.

If any of you have this cookbook and would like to write a review, please email me. I'd love to add your thoughts, especially for any upcoming recipes I will review.

The next review will be of the chicken nuggets recipe.

Until next time, here is a great food quote I found:

As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Deceptively Delicious | Recipe Reviews 2 & 3


Before I continue with the recipe reviews, I thought it might be helpful for you to see the Chief Taste Tester, and Number 1 Critic here at Chic Crafty Chick. Allow me to introduce, Sawyer. A recently liberated one year old, Sawyer has an attitude a mile long when it comes to what he is now eating. He is a good eater, always has been, he has now just developed an opinion on what he is eating. He no longer dines on baby food, he is a real meat and potatoes man (well, what he can chew with all 6 teeth he has). Even though his recent development of an opinion is a challenge, I take it in stride. For those of you who don't know about Sawyer, he is my little miracle. In July of 2006, he was born 3 months premature at 25 weeks and weighed 1 pound 12 ounces. I have been so blessed that he has always been a good eater since many premature babies don't eat well. So, when he fusses that I'm not getting his food fast enough, I just count it as a blessing seeing how small he was when he was first born.

I think it is important to build an early foundation of good eating habits for Sawyer. So, trying out the recipes in this cookbook as been great to explore new and unique ways for me to make sure he and my husband and I are getting our veggies in every day.
Chief Taste Tester & Number 1 Critic

Our Scientific Scaling System

Another addition I thought would be helpful to the reviews, is a scaling system. And, since our Chief Taste Tester's favorite thing is Cheerios, we will be using a 5 Cheerio scale. 5 Cheerios means that it is a fabulous recipe, easy to make, we loved the flavor and we would highly recommend. 4 Cheerios is that it tasted great, was easy to make, tasted fine. 3 Cheerios is middle of the road, not quite sure what to make of it. May need to make it again, the jury is still out. 2 Cheerios is it was edible. 1 Cheerio, well that means that a picky one year old wasn't pleased and pushed it away. And our Boston Terrier, Zoe, might eat it. Might. She can be a little princess.

Recipe Review #2 Meatloaf
Ok, I have to admit that I very, very loosely followed this recipe. Instead of using celery, I used a green pepper. I didn't cook the onion and other ingredients in a skillet. I'm more of a mix and dump meatloaf maker. I also omitted the milk because I thought it would be too much liquid and I added one egg to my recipe. I find it helps with helping the meatloaf bind together. I also didn't have Italian bread crums and just used plain. I like the idea of pureed carrots in this so I did do that. You really can't taste them at all. For those of you who have never used ground turkey, this is the best way to try it for the first time. To me, meatloaf is more of a tomato taste anyway. So if you are leary of whether you'll like ground turkey, the other ingredients are more the star of the show. Give it a try.

Our chief taste tester loved this recipe. What I like about this recipe is that I am able to get carrots, green pepper, and onion into him in one sitting. I think you could probably sneek in some other kind of veggie in this too. I think I'll have to play with this recipe to see what else I could add to it.

So, we recommend this recipe and we give it 4 out of 5 Cheerios.
Recipe Review #2 - Pancakes (with sweet potato)
When I cooked the sweet potatoes for this, I opted to roast them in the oven. One day earlier this week, I washed them and had them in aluminum foil and set them on top of my oven before I went to bed. When I got up the next morning, I put the oven on and stuck them in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees. Then I left them out to cool and I just scooped out the centers and put that in my food processor.

A side note: In the cookbook Jessica recommends taking one day to get all your purees ready. I think I would do that too, this week I've fighting this sinus infection so it has been touch and go. I've had to rest up and do things when I've felt like it. Also, if you do that you can have some in the fridge ready to go, or freeze them. I have a Food Saver I got last Christmas and it is awesome for freezing stuff. I've done a few baggies of puree in my Food Saver. It really does cut down on freezer burn. (Or as I told my sister the other day through my sinus fog, frost bite for your food). You could also do purees in a blender if you don't have a food processor.

Ok, back to the review. To make this recipe is so easy. You use store bought pancake mix. I use Wal Mart brand, you only have to add water to it. Easy, easy. So, you just add your sweet potatoe puree to the mix and you can use either cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. I used cinnamon, but would like to try it again with the pumpkin pie spice.

One tip I would recommend is slowly heat your pan. I think I heated mine too quickly and the first two didn't want to cook in the middle. I guess with the cinnamon, they brown quickly on the outside, so it is a tad harder to tell how they are cooking.

Once I got mine cooked, it was time for the taste test. I first gave our Chief Taste Tester a bite without any syrup and he gobbled it up. Then I did give him a little syrup. As you can see below, we got a clean plate result from the kitchen lab. I also ate this and really enjoyed these pancakes. I will definitley make them again.

We really liked this recipe a lot. It is a simple way to add some veggies in and it also has great taste. So, we give it 5 Cheerios.

Be sure to check back next week. I hope to post another review soon. Until then, start to eat great in 08'.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Farewell Sir Edmund Hillary


I just saw an article on Yahoo news that the famed adventurer and philanthropist, Sir Edmund Hillary died. Ok, to be honest I thought he was already dead. So, I was shocked to see the news article. I don't remember ever hearing any recent news stories about him. So, I decided to read the Yahoo article and I'm glad I did.
I didn't realize what an awesome person he was and how much good he brought to the people of Nepal after he became famous for climbing Mount Everest. My favorite quote of his from the article was where he talks about people being successful in life "Hillary summarized it for schoolchildren in 1998, when he said one didn't have to be a genius to do well in life.
"I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it," he said before planting some endangered Himalayan oaks in the school grounds."

What an inspirational person. The article talks about how humble he was and how he used his fame for doing so many positive things around the world, especially in Nepal. Now, if only the Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan's of the world could see how you really should use your fame. Sir Edmund Hillary. A class act. This blog entry is in honor of you sir.

If you'd like to read more about Sir Edmund Hillary, you can check out the story I read on Yahoo News at the following link:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Deceptively Delicious | Recipe Review #1


Macaraoni and cheese Recipe #1 (yes, there are two mac-n-cheese recipes in the book)
Well I hate to say it, but our family gives this recipe three thumbs down. For me, I didn't like the way the cream cheese made the mac-n-cheese taste. It gave it a tang that I didn't care for. I used a cauliflower puree and that actually wasn't bad, you really couldn't taste it. The recipe gives you a choice of using either cauliflower or a butternut squash puree. I did use more cheddar cheese than what was called for. The recipe calls for 1 cup and a 1/2 and I used 2 cups. I think if I made this again, I would omit the cream cheese. I don't think it will affect the recipe if this is omitted.
I'd love to know if anyone reading my blog has tried any of the recipes from this cookbook. If so, please email me. I'd like to possibly have you as a "guest" taster/reviewer one day.
I'm not discouraged that this recipe is a strike out. I think that some of the other recipes will be great and I like the approach to making and adding vegetable purees to dishes. We are vegetable eaters, but it is nice to have a different way to incorporate more veggies into one dish.
I've been fighting a sinus infection since Saturday, so I feel pretty crummy. I'm hoping that it will let up soon. If not, I made a doctor's appointment for Monday. I usually get one once a year, so I guess it is that time. I'll be glad when this is over and I feel better. It is the pits, especially since we've had some really nice days I haven't been able to enjoy them.
Feel free to drop me a note or leave a comment. My goal is to post as often as I can. It looks like it won't happen every day, but I should be able to at least a few times a week.
Hope you are having a good week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Target Dollar Spot

There is always an excitement in the air when Target changes out their dollar spot in the front of the store. Whoever came up with that area was a marketing genius. Who doesn't love that junk. And, with it being a $1 you must have one of everything. It is so easy to get sucked in.

One of my favorite things they've had in recent months have been the little board books. They are the perfect length for reading at bed time, or to let my little guy just thumb through. He likes to sit and flip through the pages. Those little cardboard books are so great for him to flip through because he can't tear them up. Yet.

I must say I've seen some cute things now that they've replaced all their dollar spot items and they now have out the Valentine's Day things. My husband was so sweet and surprised me with a number of the scrapbooking things. I am hoping that I can make a few Valentine's before Valentine's Day actually gets here. The fun papers, glitter glue and brads will be so fun to work with.

I've decided that the span from January to March is too grey and depressing, so at some point in the future when my son gets older, I am going to do a Valentine's party. There are too many cute things out not to celebrate. Of course I say this now until I start planning on having a bunch of sugared up, wild kids in my house. Maybe the days aren't so grey. LOL

I hope to make one of the recipes from Deceptively Delicious sometime this week and I'll give a review.

Toodles for now!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Creative Cooking


Well, my child has entered that wonderful stage where it is becoming more difficult to feed him. He is snubbing his nose up at Stage 3 baby food, so it has now become more of a challenge to find things he can eat. He has been good at eating a variety of things, he has never been picky thank goodness. I was mostly using the baby food to make sure he got his veggies in. The biggest hurdle has been to find things he can chew since he still doesn't have a lot of teeth. I want us to keep on track since he has been such a good eater.

I remembered seeing Jerry Seinfeld's wife on tv a few months ago with a new cookbook she had out that helped her with getting her kids to eat vegetables. She incorporated different purees into recipes. I thought it would be great to get a copy of this cookbook. Thursday night I remembered that someone in my MOPS group is a nutritionist, so I gave her a call to ask if she had this book. The reviews I was reading on Amazon were a little confusing. Sure enough she had the book and brought it to our Friday meeting. While I was looking at it, another mom in our group came over and was excited to see the book. She has it too and she had actually made a number of recipes in it. She gave a very favorable review of the Peanut Butter muffins, and a number of the pasta dishes. Her kids were very receptive to the recipes and liked them. That sold it for me.

Friday afternoon my husband and I went out looking for the book while we were running errands. Someone had mentioned Target had the cook book, but then my husband suggested we check out Sam's Club. Eureka! They had it and for the best price in town, $15.13. You can't beat that. Gotta love getting some use out of that Sam's Club membership.

So, I wanted to share this find with all of you. I hope to make some of the recipes soon and I'll post a review of them here on the blog.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Holiday Lights Tour

I know I posted pictures of my Christmas lights, but a week ago it dawned on me that I could actually post a video. I've learned a lot and will next time video a little slower.

Also, please forgive the amateur video and the dorky commentary. I don't know why I keep saying that everything is out to greet people. Duh. LOL I took this video New Year's Eve before we had family over, so I was pretty tired. And no, I had no alcohol to drink. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.

Hope you enjoy the light show.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Get thee to Bath & Body Works

Happy New Year! It is only 3 days into the New Year and I feel wiped out already. We had family over for New Year's eve and then my sister in law's birthday is New Year's day. Then I went shopping today with my mom. We hit a 90% off Christmas sale and I actually got the cutest New Year's flags. I can't wait to use them next year. I got a small one and a big one.

I wanted to let y'all know that Bath & Body Works is having an awesome sale. They are calling it the Perfect Pampering Sale. Sounds good to me. I'm always up for some pampering. Those wallflower air freshners and the refills for them are 5 bucks until January 6th. I got the Velvet Tube Rose. This is one of my new favorite scents. It isn't too overpowering. I highly recommend it. My sister gave me the body butter and the bubble bath for Christmas. I also have the spray.

They are also introducing a new scent called Enchanted Orchid. They have cute little bottles of the lotion and body splash spray by the registers. It is only $1 a bottle. They make great little gifts to give to someone unexpectedly. Wish somone a Happy New Year. Give one to a new mom. Treat yourself. I love these little bottles when I travel. They are a great size.

They also have some of their glycerin soaps on sale for $1. And, I believe the antibacterial soaps are 3 for $10.

Oh, and for those of you who have dry skin in the winter, I love their sugar scrubs. They have a deal now where if you buy 2 you get 2 free.

So, that is my plug, my shout out for the Bath & Body Works. They rock.

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