Monday, September 17, 2012


In which: we are unjustly persecuted in Mandarin class (to keep things thematically sound?) and we take a side trip to Lahore and Nicaragua.

We had a big, ol' UN weekend around here.  Friday night was Sukhothai with Momma D and Ehmdo.  Saturday morning we hit up the Brickworks Farmer's Market for those breakfast crepes from that guy, Clement, that we love.  It was kind of a s**tshow though.  Clement and his assistant are super passive-aggressive with each other and work so slow it makes the former line cook in me go inwardly ballistic.  But the breakfast crepes are so good.  Ham, a cracked egg, mozzarella cheese, scallions and hollandaise.  So freakin' tasty.  AND they do that thing I love where you melt some cheese on the griddle so it gets all crispy and toasty and lacy on the outside of the crepe.  I just wish they could work twice as fast.

We picked up concord grapes which I turned into a beautiful, gorgeous, thick and luscious jelly.  I ate it this morning for breakfast on PB on toast and it was divine.  Plus, Lil' Ugmo smelled so deliciously grape-y on Sunday that it was delightful.

So yeah, Mandarin.  The teacher came up to me and the Dotytron during the break and was all like, "Jennifer said that only one parent is allowed per child." And we're like, ummmm...okay, EXCEPT THERE WERE AT LEAST 3 OTHER KIDS WHO HAD BOTH PARENTS THERE AND SHE ONLY TALKED TO US ABOUT IT.  We were, in fact, STANDING NEXT TO another kid who had both her parents there.  We were totally like, "WTF?!" about it and are prepared to make a big stink next class if we see other people getting away with it.  PERSECUTION.  Truth be told, we had already decided that we were going to divide and conquer for the Mandarin class - that way, the other person can have a morning to do their own thing at home.

Saturday was kind of bucktown.  We followed up the farmer's market and Mandarin with this apple festival being held in support for a local community centre/drop-in centre where the Big Yam had his first bouncy castle experience.  Him being the cautious, safety-conscious little bobbin that he is, he basically spent the entire time kneeling at the front of the castle, clutching the edge, and grinning cheerfully at us and looking enormously proud as he slowly rocked up and down, like a rubber ducky in a tub.  I don't know where this cautious nature comes from, but it's quite hilarious to behold.  I think he might get it from Poppa D.

Saturday night we were supposed to go to our friend L's birthday party, but bailed because we are routinely EXHAUSTED and because we had an impromptu visit from the Roomie and T and later, L'Armi.  I made us chicken tikka masala and green beans thoren with brown rice and we bought garlic naan and palak paneer from Lahore Tikka House:

Sunday morning we had breakfast - waffles and English bacon and smoothies and then we hung out and I worked on my presentation and then we had dinner with Dr. Rei and Hanbo at La Bella Managua, which is a Nicaraguan restaurant Dr. Rei recommend.  SO GOOD!  We had ceviche with plantain chips, this giant tamale, and this fried yucca and fried cheese appetizer that came with avocado salsa.  For our main, the Dotytron got a carne asada with a mix of sweet and salty plantains, rice and beans and I had this dish of fried pork (like chicharrons) layered with a cabbage salad on more yucca.  Yucca for life!  The Big Yam went to town on it.  It's so good.

Then for dessert we went to Baker Bots.  They do cookies and make build-you-own ice cream sandwiches with Greg's Ice Cream.  The cookies are soft and yielding and they pack a tonne of ice cream into the sandwich.  You can get either one cookie cut  in half or a whole cookie.  A whole cookie would be an insane amount of sweet to eat.  I got an "everything" cookie (which is similar to the Momofuku compost cookie) with sweet cream ice cream.  The Dotytron got a peanut butter cookie with sweet cream ice cream.  

Why I love my 'hood: neighbours who buy facepainting kits and paint your kid's face for you, thereby mitigating 30 minute lineups for the service.

AND this weekend I made homemade oatmeal cream pies (homage to Little Debbie) and I NAILED it.  Two soft, chewy, oat-y cookies sandwiching a filling of marshmallow cream-whoopie pie filling.  I mashed up a couple of oatmeal cookie recipes and came out with a winner, especially after pumping up the salt quotient so you got a nice sweet-salty juxtaposition.


Oatmeal Cream Pies
makes about 12 4" sandwich cookies

For the cookie:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 c. + 2 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 c. + 2 T. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 1/4 c. rolled oats

For the marshmallow cream filling:
1 stick unsalted butter
2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 7oz jar of marshmallow fluff

- cream butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 2-5 minutes
- add eggs and beat well
- stir in dry ingredients on low speed
- using a 1.5" ice cream scoop, portion out balls of cookie dough on a silpat-lined cookie sheet (about 8 per tray), leaving 2 inches between.  Refrigerate the dough balls for at least 1 hour.
- preheat oven to 350F.  Transfer cookie sheets directly to oven from fridge.  Bake for about 14-16 minutes until they're evenly lightly golden brown on top.
- transfer trays to racks to cool.

- cream together all ingredients until well mixed.  Try to match up 2 cookies and spread with 1 1/2 T. of filling and then sandwich them together.

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