Hello world!
August 27, 2009, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


Fine Young Pineapple
August 8, 2009, 5:24 pm
Filed under: picklesandcake, pineapple

One of the unforeseen benefits of having a kids food blog are the unique and odd culinary gifts bestowed on us. Take this punk rock pineapple from the Adams Family! Thanks Shanna and Todd!

Fresh Pickles: Old-Fashioned Barrel Cukes

Right around the time I started this blog, there were two new culinary revelations in my life: Homemade pickles and fresh buttercream frosting. Pickles and Cake was born!

I needed more guidance so a pickle recipe book was in order. I started searching on Alibris and low and behold, Chris Schlesinger had published a book called Quick Pickles. My hero! The book simplifies pickling and the recipes cover pickles from around the world.

Chris Schlesinger’s The Back Eddy in Westport, MA is the perfect place to end up after a day at the beach or an afternoon of wine tasting at Westport Rivers Vineyard. The food is fantastic and every meal starts with a pickle sampler on the table. Chris is the author of my favorite cookbook Thrill of the Grill – the stories and insight jump off the page and the recipes will change the way you grill forever.

Old Fashioned Barrel Cukes

I modified the Kick-Ass Westport River Barrel Cukes recipe from Schlesinger’s book. You will never find a pickle at the supermarket with this authentic flavor-packed pickle barrel flavor. The fresh horseradish made the difference. The grape/oak leaves aren’t necessary but will keep the pickles crisp for a longer period of time – we ate ours so fast, we didn’t even need them.


4 pounds small cucumbers
5 small red chiles
1 large head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
1 cup peeled, grated fresh horseradish
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced into small wedges
1 generous handful fresh dill fronds/heads
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
2 tablespoons craked coriander seed
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
3 crushed bay leaves
8 cups water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
6 tablespoons of kosher salt
1 handful of grape or oak leaves (optional)

Combine cucumbers, chiles, garlic, horseradish, onion, dill, mustard seed, coriander seed, peppercorn, bay leaves and grape leaves in a extra-large crock or bowl.

In a seperate bowl combine water, vinegar and salt to make the brine. Stir until the salt dissolves. Pour in the brine.

I used a crock to pickle the cukes but the large bowl will work. Place the right-sized plate or saucer over the cukes and weight it down with a can or jar. The object is to completely submerge the cucumbers.

Cover with a clean cloth and keep it in the darkest corner of your kitchen counter out of the sun for 5 to 7 days. Make sure the contents are submerged at all times.

Skim off any foam that has formed on the surface of the brine and transfer to the fridge.

The pickles will be ready in about a week but taste great even on the third day. We tried one every day and it was fun to taste the change. Reach into that pickle jar and grab a good one!

We made 4 different kinds of pickles so far this summer and these were the hands down favorite. Crunchy, salty and packed with flavor – every sandwich’s best friend.

Sadie loves the extra-crunchy small ones the best.

Dinosaur Chicken Nugget, Asparagus and Black Olive Pizza

I asked the girls on the way home Friday night what they wanted for dinner. Pizza was the overwhelming choice. When I asked them what they wanted on their pizza, a new Pickles and Cake feature was born.

“Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets!” Sadie blurted out.
“Olives! And Asparagus!” Lillie shouted.

I processed the request for a second and realized that enthusiasm always wins out.

“You imagine it and we will make it!”

Now where to find dinosaur chicken nuggets!

I ran out of time to make my own dough so I picked up some Flatout Wraps – nice and easy.

Popped them onto a baking sheet and laid down the sauce, nuggets, veggies and cheese.

Baked in an oven for 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

The crust was crispy and crunchy!

A quick slice and our new pizza was ready to eat. Sadie was starving and ate every bite.

The pizza was really tasty and the fun meter was pegged because they got to make their own imagined meal.

I asked Lillie what she thought of her new creation.

“Are you kidding?! This pizza is phenomulous!”

What?! Is that a combination of fabulous and phenomenal? Am I really that out of touch?

Lillie and her dinosaur friend enjoying dino chicken nugget pizza

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato
July 14, 2009, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Check out the ginormous 2 pound beefsteak tomato!

Oh, the possibilities!

Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho Recipe
June 22, 2009, 9:29 pm
Filed under: chris, gourmet kids recipe, lillie, picklesandcake, recipe, sadie, sauter

It’s summertime in Florida which means hot soups are off the menu. Gazpacho is a traditional chilled raw-veggie soup from Spain with a tomato base. It’s like a refreshing liquid salad. I remember John Croatti occasionally making an amazing grilled vegetable gazpacho at the Berkeley Grille so I gave him a call to find out how it’s done. Grilling off a few veggies adds a complexity and heartiness to the soup that is worth trying.

Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho

3 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
1 bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 6 pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 1/3″ strips (see photo)
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 average sized cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded
3 cups V8 or tomato juice
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp course salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

The first step is to brush the veggies on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and place on a hot grill.

Grill for about 3 minutes on each side. You want the zucchini to still be a little firm in the middle. Drop veggies into an ice bath (large bowl filled with ice and water) for a few minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the skin from tomatoes and peppers.

Pulse tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs in the food processor (the blender would work too) until finely minced but not pureed. 12 pulses should do it.

Finely dice peppers, cucumbers and zucchini by hand. Pour puree into large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. If it is too chunky, add a little extra tomato juice. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours – overnight if you can. The grilled veggie flavor was perfect 24 hours later.

Serve up with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little more cracked pepper.

Sadie quietly ate her whole cup of soup.

Lillie loved the gazpacho as well! Another winner!

Turtle Burger
June 2, 2009, 2:11 am
Filed under: burger, kids food blog, picklesandcake, turtle, web

Every once in a while, I find something food related on the web worth sharing. Silly turtle burger…