Picklesandcake


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!



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…



Best Guacamole Ever
May 25, 2009, 10:45 pm
Filed under: gourmet kids recipe, guacamole, picklesandcake, recipe, sauter


Best Guacamole Ever

3 ripe Haas avocados
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 small tomato, seeded and 1/4 inch cubed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste (1/4 tsp recommended)


Cut avocados in half and use your blade to twist and pop out the pit.


Slice a crisscross (Jump Jump!) pattern down into the halved avocados without piercing the skin.


Flip inside out and drop the two softest avocados into a mixing bowl. Save the firmest avocado for last.


Use a fork to mash the first two avocados.


Add the remaining ingredients…


Mix well with your fork and then gently fold in the last avocado for some more solid density and texture.


Serve! Here is a video of me serving the girls guacamole in the musical sombrero. The reaction is priceless.

This easy fresh-flavored dip is perfect for chips or fajitas.



First Tomato
May 21, 2009, 11:35 pm
Filed under: beefsteak tomato, picklesandcake, vegetable garden


I planted three different tomato varieties in April and the first tomato is finally ripe enough to eat! Hallelujah! Lillie picked it all by herself. Looks like the motherload will hit in about two weeks with another 12 or so ripening around then. These beefsteak tomatoes are so dense and full of flavor – nothing like the bland mediocre tomatoes in the grocery store. I’m already daydreaming about what I can create with them…more tomato goodness to come.



Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas
April 22, 2009, 9:50 pm
Filed under: chipotle, enchiladas, gourmet kids recipe, mexican, picklesandcake, pulled pork, sauter


Old pal Brandi Marsh Panzarino asked me to share some Mexican-themed recipes for an upcoming fiesta. I decided to update the classic enchilada with a smokey pulled pork filling – I used the Chicken Enchilada recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook as a guide and let the rest fall into place.

Knowing I was serving this to a 2 and 4 year old, I pulled back on the Chipotle and used Ancho chili powder to make the dish less spicy. Ancho chilies are smokey and sweet without all the heat of a traditional chili powder. The Ancho chili powder can be hard to find, so you can substitute chipotle or traditional chili powder if you crave the spicy fire.


There are a few steps to this recipe but they are all relatively simple and will be worth it in the end. Just ask my little oven-mitted helper.


The first step is to slow cook the pork. I use a crockpot to get just the right pulled pork consistency without a smoker, etc. It will take about 8 to 10 hours so make the pulled pork the day before if you can.

Ancho Pulled Pork

3 – 4 lb Boston Butt pork roast
1 sweet onion
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Ancho or regular chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (add two canned chipotles instead for a little more spice)
1 tsp cumin
2 cups white wine (or a can of beer)
1 cup bbq sauce
1 cup v8 or tomato juice (remainder of can will be used for enchilada sauce)
2 packets Goya sazon


Thinly slice the onion and place on the bottom of your crockpot. Add all dry ingredients over onions.


Place pork into crockpot and then add wine and tomato juice. Pour bbq sauce over pork. Turn on High for 2 hours to jump start the cooking process.

Set on Low and cook for an additional 6 to 8 hours. Carefully rotate pork top side down with tongs 3 or 4 times during the cooking process. When done, the pork will be falling off the bone.


Remove roast from crockpot onto a cookie sheet or large plate. Careful now! That pork is hot and at the same time, is falling apart. Let it cool and then use a fork or even your hands to pull the pork into small shreds and pieces. Discard any fat and the bone – the pork should be as lean as possible. Depending on the fat content, in the end you might have more pork than you need for the recipe. If you have enough, you can make a double batch or freeze the remaining pork and save for quesadillas, etc.


Strain cooked onions from the crockpot and set aside for the enchilada sauce.


The next two sauce recipes are quickies.

Chipotle Enchilada Sauce

1 15 or 16 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup v8 or tomato juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Ancho chili powder (use traditional chili powder for more of a kick)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup reserved onions from pulled pork (just onions, not liquid)
1 tbsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)
1 whole chipotle (add 2 or 3 if you like a little more spice)


Most enchilada sauces start with softening some onions in a saute pan. Since I already had some seriously flavorful onions, I figured I’d take a different approach. This no-cook enchilada sauce knocked my socks off and is the star of the dish. If smoked paprika is difficult to find, used an additional chipotle or adobo sauce to add more smokiness.


Throw all ingredients into blender and puree for 1 minute. Set aside sauce in bowl, rinse blender and reuse for the cilantro sour cream.

Cilantro Sour Cream

1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp fresh lime juice
pinch of salt
cracked pepper to taste


Combine ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. Place into ziptop bag and refrigerate until needed.


Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas

3 cups shredded pulled pork
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups enchilada sauce
1 cup black beans, drained
12 to 14 6″ soft corn tortillas
1 whole tomato, chopped (for garnish)

Heat oven to 400 degrees and adjust rack to the middle position.

Combine pulled pork, 1 cup enchilada sauce, 2 cups of cheese and black beans in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stack tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until warm and pliable – maybe 60 seconds. Don’t skip this step or your tortillas will tear. I know from experience. Boo!


Coat 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Place 1/3 cup of pulled pork mixture down center of each tortilla and then gently roll tortilla tightly around filling. Place into baking dish 5 or 6 down each side – pack those suckers in there. If you don’t have room for the last few enchiladas, stack a few in the middle.


Lightly spray tops of enchiladas with vegetable oil spray.


Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheddar down the center of enchiladas.


Cover with foil and bake until enchiladas are heated all the way through – about 20 minutes.


Remove foil and continue to bake until cheddar browns up, about 10 minutes.

Plate one or two enchiladas at a time. Cut corner of ziptop bag and drizzle each enchilada with cilantro lime sour cream. Garnish with fresh tomato and a little cilantro. Enjoy!

Hurry up and take the picture already, so I can eat!

Lillie’s big bite!

Leftovers are portioned and go right into tupperware containers. Anything we arent going to eat in 48 hours goes into the freezer.

Cheeeeeese!


Sadie’s First Cake – Devils Food with Peanut Butter Cup Buttercream Frosting
April 20, 2009, 11:21 pm
Filed under: chocolate, devil's food cake, peanut butter, picklesandcake, sadie, sauter


It takes me way too long to get a finished recipe up on picklesandcake so I’m changing my approach. I’ll post each food adventure twice – first with a few pictures and a brief description and then once again with a complete recipe and more detail.


Sadie and I made our first cake together and we had a blast. The buttercream frosting came out great – I melted 4 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into the dark chocolate.