The first email I received this morning was from my friend Mindy, and attached was a beautiful photo of hot chocolate cupcakes, topped with snowman-shaped marshmallows! She made them for a holiday party today at her little Peanut's pre-school. I have been thinking about them all day, wondering if they really taste like hot chocolate, and how much cocoa they have sprinkled on top. My Frrrozen Hot Chocolate obsessed friend knows that of anyone I would appreciate her newest baked goods. I have searched and found a recipe that looks both simple and authentic. Now I just need to make up a reason to make them! However, I will top each little cake with a giant marshmallow, leftover from our menorah project. ~ Parents: What unique desserts have you replicated? ~
When you think of latke (potato pancake) toppers, you think of applesauce and sour cream. Maybe there is cinnamon in the applesauce, or sugar in the sour cream, but those are the two widely accepted latke toppings. We decided to literally "mix it up" a little this year, and at both of our Chanukah parties, we set out a variety of nouveau toppers, alongside the more traditional. All thanks to a page right out of "Better Homes and Gardens." We tried three of their ideas. My favorite was the cucumber slices topped with ranch dressing and a fresh dill sprig. Ranch really does go with everything. The cardamom apples (I used cinnamon) with yogurt were more reminiscent of the applesauce and sour cream, but were still good. The most gourmet of the three we tried were smoked salmon, with watercress, a squeeze of lemon and ground sea salt. Tiny and her three-year-old cousin loved eating the watercress all on its own. Seriously. ~ Parents: What innovative party foods have your tots enjoyed? ~
My friend Esther recently sent me an email cataloging her proud culinary accomplishments! New to the working-round-the-clock-at-home-mom (WRCHM) world, she has traded in her teacher hat for play dates, and cooking lessons with new friends. Along with quiches and cream puffs, she is also tackling another French treat, crepes. Her two-year-old daughter liked the cheese-filled crepes topped with raspberry jam best, and revealed her happiness while wrestling with her friends as the moms cooked. ~ Parents: Do your little ones enjoy any gourmet delicacies? ~
Credit: Mangio da Sola
My friend Beth's friend Memoria runs a food blog called, Mangio da Sola, which if my internet search is correct, means "eat from the soul" in Portuguese. While reading it, I came across a wonderful looking breakfast (or anytime) treat, called an Apple Breakfast Puff. It looks like something that would be great for breakfast during Chanukah (or Rosh Hashanah) since it includes apples and cinnamon sugar. It isn't fried, but gives the appearance of being just as decadent. I need to buy an apple and try them out. Here is the recipe. Just make sure your little ones are OK with eating cinnamon and nutmeg. ~ Parents: Do you have a special baked treat that works well around-the-clock? ~ PS: Memoria has informed me that Mangio da Sola means 'I eat alone" in Italian, but she likes my meaning too!