Puppet Master or You're The Chef Night

Sous Chef Numero Uno is my guest blogger... she's being a slacker...

So in an attempt to avoid studying for my finals I’ve decided to write a guest post for ECM’s blog. (And no I didn’t take this upon myself she asked the other day. I just chose today to implement it. ) On a side note I’m typing this up and the word blog is underlined in red. What the Heck!? They haven’t added the word blog to the dictionary yet? Anyways, the other day ECM asked all of us kids what we wanted for dinner next week because she was going grocery shopping and she needed to plan out our weeks menu. Well, at the time I had no clue what I wanted to eat, I never do. It is ridiculous, I’m always telling her what we should have for dinner but she is never ready to document it when I’m telling her. (Hmm... maybe I should stop telling her when she’s driving? Nahhhh) All of the sudden I had an epiphany! We could let you, the readers, choose! Fabulous idea right? Well then ECM was like "Okay, that’s a good idea but how is it going to work?" She totally killed it because the whole point of me passing the job onto you was so I didn’t have to think about anything. It’s almost summer, I am done thinking. So this is how this thing is going to work, I think...

We will have a some menu choices for you and then along with you vote of which menu we should have that week you get to suggest two recipes one for you’re the chef night that the sous chefs can make by themselves without assistance from ECM. Keep in mind on you’re the chef night we usually eat left overs, cereal, and other extremely simple and quickly made foods.

The second recipe will be a recipe for ECM to cook that none of the sous chefs have had before.

Good Luck!

Here's a little background on You're The Chef. Click here or here.

Evil Chef Mom's Note: Ignore her... this is how it's going to work because I'm the Mom and I said so!

You, dear readers, are going to submit dinner ideas for our family. It can be snacks, sides, main courses, salads, veggies, desserts, and drinks. Plus one dish the kids can make themselves. The first day to submit ideas will be today, with the theme being cocktails and snacks. You have until Thursday to leave an idea. Then each family member will pick their favorite and we will put it up for a reader vote. That means you will be able to vote for one of the six that we picked. We will do this with every course*. You will have three days to come up with an idea and three days to vote. Then the winner will email me their recipes and starting Monday June 30th, I will be under your control because obviously I don't have any good ideas and the sous chefs are bored.

*except for main courses, which is giving me fits. I need seven main courses. One for each of us then the seventh is the easy, kids cook it recipe. So depending on how many submissions I get, this rule might not apply.

You can enter as many ideas as you like, keep in mind when we do this little event (the last week of June/ first week of July) it will be HOT and I don't have an air conditioner, so the recipes you submit should be your summer favorites (unless you are feeling particularly mean and evil) or what have you, and I will do another in December, when I can actually use an oven.

It doesn't have to be your own recipe, if it's a recipe you want to try but... you aren't too sure about, that's cool. If it gets picked, I'll do it.

Some common sense guidelines or rules, if you must call them that.

Money... I have to feed 6 people, folks and one is a soon to be thirteen year old boy who is growing, growing, growing like a freakin' weed and eats like there is no tomorrow. So, as much as I like veal or caviar, I can't really afford it.

Another common sense thing, as much as I would be willing to eat stuffed squid... some family members, not so much, sure you could submit it but do understand why it might not get picked. As much as I didn't like beet ice cream, I would do something like that again, you might want to keep that in mind. We are pretty adventurous around here.

Other than that, everything is fair game.

If we pick your recipe please be aware I will link to your blog and will have running commentary like with all my other harebrained ideas.

So drinks, cocktails, and snacks or hors d'oeuvres are up first. You have until Thursday the 5th to give me your favorite, most creative ideas. On the 6th, we will start voting for that category and taking submissions for the next category.

Bring It On!

* there will be prizes!


krysta said...

Hey Guys... you can suggest wine or an adult beverage. Cheeses, ect. for snacks... anything goes.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

'Kay, this is not particularly creative, but with all that mint you were just showing on your last post, and the fact that it's going to be hot as hell when you do this, you HAVE to make Mint Juleps! And then you could put on your big sun hats and pretend you're at the Derby . . .

Anonymous said...

Mac'n'cheese from scratch!

I have been a good girl and haven't done my recipe in a long time, so just as I can torture you, oh evil one, with all of my chocolate and bread recipes, please tempt me with cheeeese :)

Mental P Mama said...

And minted iced tea/lemonade!

snack: cream cheese with pepper jelly on top. Served with crackers.

Jules said...

This always happens at the end of the school year...we are so sick and tired of thinking of something to create...let's see...Cocktails....Bellini's would be just fab...peach nectar + champagne...kids snack...peanut butter + banana's....

Anonymous said...

Oh my...my crab dip appetizer, it's on my site under apps.

Umm drinks, definitely orange and basil mojitos.

This is fun.

Anonymous said...

This is the numero uno snack at my house. I can't make them fast enough I tell ya. Whoopie Pies. Kids loves 'em, adults love 'em, even the dog loves 'em. Ok, ok, we don't give them to the dog, we hoard them for ourselves. Whoopie Pies = Heaven!


Anonymous said...

First, I like that all your commenters suggested drinks. Very helpful.

Second, I like that Sous Chef Numero Uno is nearly as sarcastic and potty mouth as you are, ECM. She can come comment on my site any day, as long as she says "freakin'" a lot and makes fun of my husband. I already wish she were my daughter. BTW, she should have her own blog and just talk about you every day...

Third, crab cake burgers (or fish cake burgers, either rock) with a spicy cilantro mayo (sambal, cilantro, lemon, salt and pepper - you can make that mayo from scratch if you want, or not). Maybe some slaw on the side or even better, a black bean dip, big dollop of sour cream and some TORTILLA chips. I have some TORTILLAS if you need them. Really, I'll ship them to you...

Fourth, for "You're the Chef Night" I challenge Sous Chef Numero Uno to step up the game and make something a little more challenging (and bloggable) than Coco Puffs. I mean, honey, you're in ECM territory now. Like, I have some super-easy Chinese meals, they'll take all of 10 minutes in a wok and we'd all be super-impressed. I'm thinking pepper steak or fried rice. Or "Simon and Garfunkel Pasta" which is spaghetti with parsley, sage, rosemary and Thyme (Not Chinese but still good) But you know, if Sous Chef Numero Uno isn't a good enough cook to pull it off well, we'll understand...She can just heat up a bowl of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Don't worry, SHNU we'll love you anyway...

xo Kim

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm entering Shrimp Rockfeller from my site too! Yumm-eee.

Anonymous said...

Darn, no stuffed squid? We were actually willing to have some fresh, tender tenticles fed-exed to you! ;)

But we will send the Sous Chefs some shrimp chimps to make some asian nacho's. We'll even modify the recipe filling a bit to make it more kid "under 18 friendly".

As for ECM's "over 21 request", this is right up our alley. To keep in line with the nacho theme, we suggest a new cocktail we found called a Tiajuana Taxi. After a couple of these, both you and hubby might just find yourselves in a taxi heading to TJ!

me again said...

I soooo need some more caffeine this morning. Do I post suggestions HERE -- as in typing out recipes here in the comments section -- or do I post 'em on my blog and just link to them here? Is there a preference as to which way you want it done? Do you even want recipes or just descriptions? Am I totally out of it this morning? Wait, don't answer that one. Off to peruse our family favourites and drink more caffeine............

krysta said...

*me again... just leave your idea, if we pick yours and the readers vote for your idea then we will ask for your recipe.

Anonymous said...

Oh how could I forget BBQ cups! One of my most requested recipes from the little ones. Quick & easy and very, very tasty! I haven't even blogged about it yet, but here's the recipe.

BBQ Cups
1 lb ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
1/4 - 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (depends on how much you like)
2 pkg (4 1/2oz) refrigerated biscuits
½ to ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (heck add more if you want it really cheesy!)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a muffin pan. Mix meat, BBQ sauce & shredded cheese together. Press biscuits into bottom and up sides of pan. Place a good heaping tablespoon of the mixture into the biscuit. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese on top. Bake 15-18 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Deborah said...

I have the perfect appetizer - easy and EVERYONE loves them. They are bacon appetizer crescents, and they are on my blog under Appetizers. (not hard to find since I only have 3 listed. I need to make more apps!!)

me again said...

Something weird is up. This is the third time today I've tried to post this. Weird, weird. Anyhoo, I'm putting up my tequila salsa as an appetizer. Yup, tequila in a salsa -- although you can leave it out for the kiddos, or make two batches, one with and one without. For something to drink, the adults can have our family fave, gin slush, while the under-21 crowd can have my version of Koolaid. Yes, I make it differently than the package directions. And the great thing about the gin slush -- well, one of many great things -- is that it makes a LOT. :-)

me again said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

I'm pretty terrible with appetizers, snacks and drinks. It's why you never see any on my page.

I'm not sure how cheaply you can buy prosciutto, or if that's an anomaly, but I keep thinking about prosciutto wrapped melon.

Or for cheap simplicity, you can try one of Pioneer Woman's top 5 reader favorites:


I've wanted to try those but haven't had a reason to make them.

KitchenKiki said...

Hi I wandered over from Noble Pig.
Since I just found out that my Grilled Pizzas are AMAZING as mini-pizzas and unbelievably easy to prep ahead for, I'll throw them into the ring.
Kids can pick their own toppings, current favorites are Parmesan & goat cheeses with shrimp and caramelized onions, BBQ chicken w/ "Mexican cheeses" Other topping ideas are scattered on my blog.

KitchenKiki said...

Oh and for the beverage, I have an adult beverage that is tasty, but lethal. I only serve it to neighbors who are in walking distance.
It is frozen mango, dark rum, triple sec, topped with sparkling wine.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm such a terrible source for food ideas, but I'm going to nominate Creme Brulee. I love it so much. Yes, it's a pain in the ass to cook and it requires an oven, so I understand if you pass.

Hey, how about grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!? The sous chefs could totally do this. It's a staple in the Magpie household. I even made them in a college dorm on a popcorn-popper-turned-hotplate.

Mayberry Magpie

Snooty Primadona said...

For the adult cocktails, I'd like to suggest a Burning Mandarin Martini, which I first discovered @ Katsuya Sushi in Hollywood. The ingredients are:

Absolut Mandarin
lemon juice
orange juice
cranberry juice
simple syrup
Serrano chili (just a tiny slice per glass)

They served these in martini glasses that had a coating of sugar around the top inch of the glass & were divine.

For appetizers that are pleasing to all ages, I'd like to suggest: Stuffed Artichokes:

1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup grated Pecorino-Romano Cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 artichokes
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, sliced

1. Combine bread crumbs, Pecorino-Romano Cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix together well.
2. Cut stems off artichokes, flush with bottom. Cut pointy leaves off the top of the artichokes. Spread leaves of each artichoke out and push stuffing in between them.
3. In a pot just large enough to fit the artichokes, add the sliced garlic cloves & bayleaf, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the artichokes. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the artichokes.
4. Turn heat on to medium and cook until sizzling about 1-2 minutes. Add water to reach half way up the sides of the artichokes.
5. Cover and cook until the artichokes are tender and a leaf is easily pulled out, about 45 minutes. If liquid is evaporating too quickly add a little more water.
6. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle a little of the liquid from the pot over the artichokes and serve.

Stuffed Baby Red Potatoes

1 1/2 lb.. small red potatoes (about 20)
1/2 pint dairy sour cream (1 cup)
4 bacon slices, cooked crisp, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons minced chives
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz) or
grated parmesan cheese (1 1/2 oz)
Minced parsley
Cook whole unpeeled potatoes in boiling water till fork tender but not mushy.
Place in cold water to stop cooking; cut each cooked potato in half.
With a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out centers, leaving a 1/4"
shell of pulp in skins. Use centers for soups or salads. In a small bowl,
combine sour cream, bacon, seasoned salt, pepper and chives.
Spoon sour cream mixture evenly into centers of cooked potatoes.
Sprinkle tops with cheese. Arrange on a baking sheet.
May be refrigerated at this point for up to 24 hours and completed later.
If refrigerating, cover with plastic wrap.
When ready to serve, preheat broiler. Place stuffed potatoes under broiler until
cheese melts. Arrange broiled appetizers on a platter or serving plate. Garnish
with parsley. Makes about 40 appetizers.

Familia said...

I like a spanish theme dinner, because sunny spain is the place that i think about when it is cold and foggy in the summer at my house.

so how about a nice spanish potato omelet, which you can make early in the day before it gets too hot in the kitchen, and serve room temperature.

and proscuitto and melon as an appetizer - that was someone else's good idea. or proscuitto and asparagus, as a counterpoint, and for some extra greens.

and a salad of cannellini beans, with chopped tomato, basil and garlic, dressed with oil and vinegar.

and of course, you need a nice tall drink of sangria to go alongside! although rioja would do just fine if you don't feel like cutting up the fruit.

Familia said...

sorry i spelled prosciutto wrong! twice!

Anonymous said...

We just made this last week and it was easy AND FABULOUS ...


Anonymous said...

Drinks, cocktails, snacks and hors d'oeuvres, eh? Alrighty.

Drinks (for the kids): Mint and limeade slushies (kiddie Mojitos).

Cocktails: Mojitos slushies. Since you have the blender out already you might as well!

Snacks: Foodie With Family Onigiri with Gomasio (Soy, ginger, honey, sesame oil and garlic glazed broiled tuna or salmon stuffed rice balls sprinkled with sesame salt.)

Sidebar: We live in a rural dairy farming community in the Southern Tier of New York. My kids requested my onigiri as the meal at their collective birthday party. (We have five sons who all have birthdays in a three month timespan- We do group birthday parties.) One Mom asked what it was while grabbing one that was wrapped with nori (we did half with and half without.) When I said "seaweed" she dropped the rice ball like it was radioactive. My kids scarfed it right down.

Hors D'oeuvres: The Onigiri does double duty as snack and hors d'oeuvres. It's danged good.

Anonymous said...

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that NONE of my recipes requires an oven. If you have a rice cooker you can do the rice in there. If no rice cooker is available it's a stove top deal all the way. If you have a grill you can even do the fish in there. If no grill is available, just fire up the broiler and broil for 3 minutes or so on each side. No broiler? No problem! Just sear in a screaming hot pan for a couple minutes on each side.


I'm the cooking contingency queen!

Anonymous said...