Happy Turkey Day!
November 22, 2007, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

All you need is some aluminum foil and a willing turkey. Gobble gobble from the Sauter family!


November 10, 2007, 4:10 pm
Filed under: chowder, tv

We found a clever new cartoon this Saturday. Lillie and I were watching one of our cooking shows and after deciding on asparagus (or Spair-a-gara-kiss) and chicken for dinner, we started clicking around. This listing said “Chowder” and, well, I love a good chowder…

Lillie loved Chowder from the start – it was silly, colorful and fast paced. Definitely more engaging than watching some middle-aged woman on PBS roast vegetables.

Here is the description from the Cartoon Network website:

“A young child by the name of Chowder is the chef’s apprentice. Chowder believes that one day, he will be a widely respected chef like the one he is working with, Mung Daal. However, Chowder has a problem. He cannot stop gorging himself on the culinary delights by which he finds himself surrounded.”

Chowder is a sensor overload of color and imagery – they also occasionally abandon the animation for funky photos of actual or imagined food and they even have puppets! It was created bu C.H. Greenblatt of Spongebob fame. Check out his blog here.

The show has a similar quirkinesspants to it but the animation is much more stylized and artistic. It has a fast paced 70’s Schoolhouse Rock animation style meets Alice in Wonderland feel to it. The culinary theme was the clincher for me.

“You don’t know what your missing, if your not in the kitchen.” -Mung Daal

Go to the website for showtimes, kid-themed recipes and more…


Here is a recipe I pulled from the site:


½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. pepper
3 cups thinly sliced zucchini “coins” (about 1 lb.)
2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine first three ingredients, stir well.
  3. Dip zucchini slices in egg whites, dredge in breadcrumb mixture
  4. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, place zucchini in a single layer on sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Turn zucchini over and bake an additional 15 minutes or until outside is crispy and browned.

*Note: Zu-coin-ies are not official legal tender.

Will She Eat It? Meal, Ready-to-Eat
November 8, 2007, 2:24 am
Filed under: adventure, george, MRE, will she eat it?

Lillie is an adventurous eater but there are still foods out there that she won’t go near. Here is a fun new posting series called “Will She Eat It?”

Good old George from Oak Park was kind enough to donate the first selection: an MRE. Here is the description from Wikipedia: The MRE, or “Meal, Ready-to-Eat” is a self-contained, individual field ration in lightweight packaging procured by the United States military for its service-members for use in combat or other field conditions where organized food facilities are not available.

During the 5 years I was in Air Force Intel, I was lucky to only have only eaten these shelf-stable meals about 2 dozen times. Usually it was during war gaming exercises or on a flight to a new assignment. Once we got to Turkey or Saudi Arabia, the temporary barracks we stayed in had a mess hall or dining facilities near by. All I really remember is that they were relatively flavorless and the most dreaded of all was the ham omelet. The texture was like a grainy sponge.

I’m happy to say that the latest version of the MRE has undergone some upgrades including attention to flavor a nifty chemical steamer that can heat your entree to 300 degrees in about 60 seconds with only a 1/4 cup of water.

The MRE sat on the counter for a few weeks before I got up the nerve to serve it to Lillie. She asked about it almost every day and was so intrigued by the packaging. “Can I hold it?!”

We cut open the outside bag and surveyed the contents.

Lillie was beside herself. The trail mix was the first to be sampled.

The peanuts were a little soggy but all in all, not a bad snack. I’ve never seen Lillie so excited about a handful of peanuts.

The applesauce pouch was the next to go.

It didn’t have much flavor but both Lillie and Sadie wolfed it down. Eating out of a pouch added the novelty necessary to keep them interested.

Now it was time to heat up the entree. We were lucky to get chicken breast with shells in a marinara sauce. I set up the heating pouch and propped it up according to the directions.

The water was added and a funky-smelling steam came pouring out of the folded down top. Here is the warning section of the pouch.

I let it cool down for a few minutes and we snipped open the pouch. Note the silicon doggie pot holder.

It was a solid breaded chicken breast with pasta and sauce all around it. Hello in there!

Again, Lillie was crazy for the food.

She and Sadie ate every shell and all the chicken.

I had a taste and it wasn’t half bad. The pasta had a little more texture than a spagetti-o and the chicken density was almost like a canned tuna steak. The marinara tasted a little over processed but wasn’t half bad.

We wrapped it up with the M&Ms and they were identical in texture and flavor to the ones we eat here on the civilian side. All in all, not a bad meal. I’m just thankful I didn’t have my chemical warfare gear on, this time around.

Verdict: She ate it!

Hot Peas and Butter
November 3, 2007, 4:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Danny Lapidus from Hot Peas and Butter

We went to see Hot Peas and Butter at Sea World’s Halloween Festival – lots of candy, free beer and great music. The weather was perfect. These guys have such a great rhythm section and played overlooking the lagoon in the middle of the park. The music had a great latin feel and Lillie danced and danced. What a beautiful day.