MEAT LOAF? NO, MEAT CAKE!

My sister-in-law claimed to hate meat loaf. She also never had it and refused to eat it. My brother couldn’t even cook it at home for her to try. It’s not like she doesn’t like ground beef. She eats burgers and other meat dishes. How can you not like meat loaf? Or even more shocking, how do you hate it? It’s the classic mid-western American meal. What was her problem? It was my goal to investigate this, and then later educate her on the greatness that is meat loaf.

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SHRIMP FOIL PACKETS

I really enjoy cooking. I like the artistic part of it. Selecting a menu with foods that my family will enjoy, all the while balancing complimentary flavors and colors. It’s my daily challenge. But sometimes life is busy and I just want a simple, quick meal. And if I can find one without sacrificing quality and taste, even better! And these shrimp foil packets are a great answer to that.

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CUPCAKE BOUQUET

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Every year, the PTA at my kids’ school has big plans for this week. Each day they decorate the teacher’s lounge with a different theme. Since the school is a Japanese immersion school, they alternate between both Japanese and American themes. Last year, I was on the American culture day team. Can you say hot dogs and potato chips? But this year, the themes were different. Each day was based on a different season and holiday, and I was assigned to the Valentine’s Day theme.

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HUBBARD SQUASH SOUP

We were at the farmer’s market the other day and saw these huge blue colored squashes I had never seen before. When we inquired what they were, they said they were hubbard squash and they’re delicious. She also said since they are so big, it’s best to throw it on the ground to open it up. Hmmm, I love winter squashes and I love smashing things, so why not? Even if it tastes bad, it would be four dollars well spent just to smash it. I decided to make hubbard squash soup to start with.

Cue the Smashing Pumpkin’s song (or in this case Smashing Squash) and let’s break this thing open!

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JAPANESE ROLL CAKE

For Chloe’s first birthday I started researching Japanese style cakes to make for her. I was mainly looking for a lighter style frosting. I had made a rich homemade cake with a heavy cream cheese frosting for Ellie’s first birthday and after one bite she threw up. So for Chloe, I thought she’d appreciate the lighter style Japanese cakes and frosting. During my search I came across these awesome looking roll cakes. Roll cakes that had designs on them. But not only did they have designs on them, they were baked into them. My mind was officially blown. I didn’t know when or how, but right then and there I vowed to one day make that cake. That day had come.

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