Will They Eat It? Japanese Crab Snacks

Talk about a hardcore snack – these crunchy little whole crabs are coated with a savory soy glaze and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. As soon as I saw this unique snack from Japan, it jumped to the top of the “Will They Eat It?” list.

Yes, this is really a snack! Sadie was ready to go and could hardly wait for me to set up the shot.

Hmmmm? Crunchy crab snack? I am so ready!

Love this shot! Bye Mr. Crabs!

Lillie was a little more skeptical but said she loved them. She put on a good show. Check the video at the end for her Oscar-caliber performance.

Check out the video! Sadie crunching the crab is so funny and Lillie’s hesitant praise is dead on. I ate one and could barely get it down. The intense and concentrated seafood flavor was over the top.


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.

Ladybug Lost in the Baby Greens
May 14, 2009, 8:06 pm
Filed under: baby greens, ladybug, pickles and cake

Look who I found hiding in the tub of baby greens. I’ve had this in the fridge for about a week – poor guy. I brought him outside and put him with the tomato plants.

Mr. Pickle
May 3, 2009, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mr. Pickle (3487)
Originally uploaded by acb

I found this dancing pickle while surfing for some Pickles and Cake logo inspiration. An anthropomorphic slice of cake and a smiling pickle to drive home the kid angle seems to be what the blog is missing. I envision an old time concession stand feel from movie theaters past – dancing candy and soda pop singing “Let’s Go Out To the Movies!”

Lillie Loves Corn
April 28, 2009, 9:13 pm
Filed under: corn, epcot, lillie, pickles and cake, sauter
corn power!

Finally tall enough for Soarin’ and Test Track, Lillie was itching to go back to Epcot without Sadie to hit up some new rides. The two of us arrived during their Garden and Flower Festival on a late afternoon.

The weather was perfect and she loved both rides. They had some great playgrounds set up to wear her out.

We took a corn break in the park and then headed home as the sun was setting. Perfect afternoon with my little buddy.

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.