Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Peep Madness Continues

The Winner of the Washington Post's Peep Show

My personal favorite.

I want to party with the person who built this tribute to Mad Men's incredible lawn tractor episode.

Love the details on this one especially the bunny butt.

I'm guessing the recession has left a lot of creative people with a lot of time on their hands.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - Peeps

What is it about Peeps? What drives perfectly normal human beings to Peep extremism? Is it the color? The texture? The fact that it looks more like a slug than an actual chick? Color Jabba yellow and he could be a Peep.

(Which came first, Jabba or the Peep?)

peep rainbow
Not satisfied with throwing a few Peeps in the kids Easter baskets, Peeps contests started popping up everywhere utilizing the long lost grade school exercise of Diorama Creations. From the Last Supper to the March of the Penguin Peeps, hopefuls spend countless hours carefully crafting their small scale Peep worlds. It wasn't long before the madness spread outside the cramped confines of the diorama box. There was art to be made.

But really, it's marketing genius. Because when it comes down to it, when you cut into a Peep, it's still just a marshmallow.

Just how many uses can you think of for the lowly marshmallow? Toasted on a stick while camping, melted into a s'more, plopped down into a steamy cup of hot chocolate, used as the sticky glue that holds Rice Krispy Treats together and the hideous topping to a sweet potato dish that seems to arise only at the winter holidays. How to get more people to purchase more Peeps? Offer some cheap prize and 15 minutes of fame and watch your Peep Profit grow. God Bless America!

There is some hope though. Peeps, while popular, have not reached the level of fame that has their fans tattooing their image into their skin. When you reach The Golden Girls tattoo level of fame, then you are more than Golden.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bacon and Eggs

Soft bacon caramel hidden inside a shell of dark chocolate.
Breakfast anyone?
Order yours from Vosges Chocolates.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - PEEPS

It's PEEP season so Dim Sum Sunday for the next TWO Sundays is exploring your Peepiness.
basket full of peeps

Make use of your Peeps in your own "unique" way.
However.... ...if you're stir frying them with green peppers and garlic, you're dining without Shamy.
Have fun, go CSI on your Peeps and we'll see you on Sunday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring My Ass!

How did we celebrate the first day of Spring? Another Snowgasm, of course.


A 7 seven inch blanket of heavy wet snow. Sooooo happy.


Thanks Snow Peep, just what I needed, more Yellow Snow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Happens When...

....foodies and Star War geeks collide?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maybe for Halloween?

But in general, I'm not a big fan of bug platters. Now if Andrew Zimmern was coming over...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - Kid's Choice

Today's Dim Sum Kid's Choice is letting the young chefs have some fun in the kitchen. Our Main Course is brought to us by Elizabeth of Gardening under the Florida Sun. Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs.

Today we turned Elizabeth loose in the kitchen, with an added twist of whatever she cooked, Shamu had to cook too. Great twist Shamy!

Elizabeth's pick was Spaghetti with Sicilian Meatballs.

meatball makins'


She started out by chopping up some basil for the sauce.


Adding a little olive oil.


Couple cans of diced tomatoes, and the sauce was ready to simmer on the stove for about an hour.


On to the meatballs...Grinding up some pepper to add to the milk, egg, breadcrumbs, and sweet sausage.


Mix, mix, mix.


She had a blast rolling out the meatballs!
Which really surprised me, I thought she'd ask either John or me to do this part, but she was in there with both hands.


Way to go Elizabeth! You made us a fabulous dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.


Photographer's Note: Not going back to ground beef meatball ever again. These sausage meatballs are so good and juicy.

MS and The Sweeties of Making Space decided that making cookies was the perfect activity for wiggly, energetic kids. Lots of stirring, mixing, pouring and cookie formation.


Today’s theme was really exceptional. Kids’ Choice works differently than any other Dim Sum in which I’ve participated, though I just jumped into the fray recently so it may have been done before. Here’s the explanatory post, complete with frightening photos of disaster looming. LOL Now, here’s how it worked around here: I decided what my children and I would make together (they’re young enough that I am not up for leaving them in the kitchen alone – see above under “disaster looming”). I then let Shamy know what our Kids’ Choice was (oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!!); she then made her own version.

I picked cookies because I recently bought cookie sheets and parchment paper; and the children and I have made cookies from mixes before, but not from scratch. Chocolate chip cookies seemed like a no-brainer, and the oatmeal seemed to hint at something that might possibly be marginally healthy (don’t laugh too hard). I asked around for tried-and-true recipes, since I was looking for a classic that I could appropriate into my own cookie-baking repertoire. A friend who bakes all the time suggested Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Allrecipes.com She said when she takes these to potlucks they fly away. This seemed like a good recommendation. Here’s the recipe, just copied and pasted from the site.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Beat butter or margarine, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt, mix well.
  2. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to mixture. Stir in rolled oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes. Don't over cook.


stove cookies
We made it exactly as the recipe recommended, and well, may I just say that when you put two sticks of butter together with a bag of chocolate chips and throw in some sugar, flour and oatmeal, you just really really can’t possibly go wrong. Haha

This turned out to be a great recipe to do with young children. No eggs, so feel free to eat the batter. The batter is really easy to stir, even for small hands and arms. The many different sizes and shapes of cookies all cooked evenly at the same time. A most excellent recipe for a distracted mom who hasn’t made a chocolate chip cookie in thirty years, supervising young children who – well, who REALLY REALLY REALLY want to cook. And talk. And sing. And dance. All at the same time. And of course each one MUST have my full attention. So yeah. This is a household that needs a cookie recipe that’s not especially high maintenance. We’ve found it. Holy moly we have FOUND it. (Special note to those who know my family a bit more than I’ve revealed here: on my blog I ask that commenters not refer to the number, ages, names, or genders of my children. You can call them The Sweeties if you want a handy nickname. Thanks!)




Photographer's note: Normally I'm an oatmeal raisin girl...but these cookies just might turn my head.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Growing up at the doorstep of the Chesapeake Bay gave me a deeply rooted love of seafood, the blue crab holding my heart in it's deep blue claws. Not far behind in the seafood love-fest was the shrimp. Quickly steamed in a special mixture of spices, a big pile of tender pink headless shrimp would tide us through the long gray winter months until spring and that first dozen crabs. But it wasn't until I had the head-on Salty Crispy Shrimp at my favorite dim sum joint that I realized there's a lot of flavor in those lovely shrimp heads.
I'm lucky enough to live in a city that boasts a large and varied immigrant population which translates into some amazing places to shop for all sorts of ingredients. One being big, beautiful heads-on shrimp. How best to showcase these beauties? The Culinary Godmother was consulted and a plan of action was set in place. Again, simplicity wins the day.
Deep fry the shrimp in some peanut oil, maybe 25 to 30 seconds a side but really until the shrimp just reach that pink shade of deliciousness. Quickly remove the shrimp from the oil and while they are still hot, sprinkle with your favorite spice seasoning. If you want you can shell your shrimp but I eat them shells and all. Make sure you suck the heads for all their tasty goodness. Simple prep, amazing, decadent goodness.Now...it wasn't all perfection. I did attempt to make from scratch lemony mayonnaise. Where's the picture of that you asked? When there's not a picture it can only mean one thing - FAIL. Yes my virginal attempt at mayo making was a disaster and a waste of good eggs, oil and lemons. I won't give up on successfully making from scratch mayo but just not while I've got those luscious shrimp waiting. Trust me if you can find shrimp with their heads, try them just once. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Asshat Man Cometh

A little bird whispered in my digital ear this past Sunday. "Watch Iron Chef" I wasn't sure why but the Bird has never steered me wrong. Iron Chef usually isn't on my TV watching radar screen, it just doesn't interest me like the drama and passion of Top Chef does. Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of the fame whore aspects of both shows it's just that Alton Brown annoys the hell out of me and there's really no surprise that secret ingredient is 9 times out of 10 made into ice cream whether it be mangoes or bone marrow. So I wondered what the little bird was trying to tell me? My jaw dropped as I realized who the challenger was. Yes, it was someone who wanted to called by only one name much like Prince or Madonna but that one name he goes by here at the Karmic Kitchen is...Hard to believe but Spike Mendelsohn was the night's challenger of Battle Prosciutto against Micheal Symon. And that, my little Top Chef Crack Monkeys, is when Iron Chef America became dead to me. They've had some kick ass challenger's in the past (José Andrés, Traci Des Jardins, Homaro Cantu, not to mention a whole raft of chefs who either guest judge on Top Chef or compete on Top Chef Masters) but this has to be a new low point. He wasn't even a finalist in his season of Top Chef Chicago. So why Iron Chef America? Can an Asshat change? Would he become the Frozen Scallop Comeback King? Has time taught him to leave his Asshatery ways behind?

Survey Says............

NO! All he's learned how to do is to add pieces of Flair to his asshat. (Note to Spike, you've still a ways to go to get to your 15 pieces...). Still maybe Asshat would surprise us with his food? Maybe a prosciutto soup?
Maraschino cherry prosciutto soup? Or maybe something with truffles?Chef Symon loves the idea of fresh truffles.......but Asshat's use of the canned truffles leaves Iron Chef Symon a bit incredulous.

Despite an hour worth of time and two sous chefs, Asshat's main focus seems to be a play on this classic ham preparation.
Yeah, I'm not impressed either. "Sweet on Sweet" is how one judge described it leaving me to believe that Asshat is still pretty much all ass and not much else going on with his palate or imagination. He didn't even attempt a dessert. I won't go into details because all you need to know is that Chef Symon SMOKED Spike right out of Kitchen Stadium.Sadder still was that score came from 3 unknown, first timer judges. As a casual observer of Iron Chef America I know that scoring is usually close, a spread of maybe two or three points. At the most maybe 5. But TEN? The only thing that would have made this moment even more warm and fuzzy (and watchable) for me was if Jeffrey Steingarten had been judging. If anyone could put an Asshat in his place, it would be Jeffrey. But maybe it's all right, maybe the Food Network is where Spike belongs...perhaps helping Paula Deen massage two pounds of butter into every crack and crevice of every dish she makes...or maybe assisting Sandra Lee with her tablescapes. While the title Top Chef or Iron Chef may never grace Spike's culinary resume, he will always be able to fly his Asshat flag proudly where ever he goes. Just let it be on a channel not in my cable package.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dim Sum Sunday - Kids Choice

The kids are in charge next Sunday for our Dim Sum. They get to pick and make the dish (with mom or dad's help) and they will be posted here and on their respective blogs.

I'm glad I won't be cleaning up their kitchens.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crips...My Worlds are Colliding

From the folks across the Pond, a new brand of crisps, Crips. It was just a little over a year ago that our non-culinary sister blog brought the news that British chefs were using culled gray squirrel meat in their dishes (Squirrel Fritters Anyone?). I'm guessing there's not enough Thai Chili flavoring in the world to cover the taste of squirrel for some people.