Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Random Thoughts, a fat-free dessert, and a three-ingredient roast beef

Random Thoughts:

1. Have you ever discovered you were wrong? Silly question, I know, but I just recently discovered that I've been making crabcakes totally wrong. I realize this is a trivial observation, but I'm a little crazy for food! I made crabcakes on Saturday night and because my oven was occupied, I had to improvise on the usual way I prepare them. Typically I mix the cakes, form them into serving portions and bake with a small pat of butter. My mom has been pan-frying hers forever and so I thought I'd give it a try. I mixed the crab with the typical ingredients and coated them on either side with panko crumbs. I then browned them on each side in a mixture of butter and canola oil. After they were golden and crunchy, I popped them in the oven (in the same pan) to finish baking. The result? Moan-inducing. Seriously. It was then I realized the error of my ways. This is not the first time I've come to the conclusion that my mom is simply a much better cook than I am.

2. It's hard to watch your child be humbled. I love having girls. I understand them. I love having a boy, too, it's just that sometimes I think he's an alien or something. Girls, I get. I also fully comprehend how fragile their self-esteem can be. I have to say, good or bad, my girls have pretty high self worth. Lately, though, our middle girl has had some humbling experiences. She has always been a big girl. She was eleven pounds plus at birth and she is just a good bit thicker than our other two. She is very healthy and not obese, but it is very hard to find clothing that fits well. We will regularly buy her several pairs of pants, bring them home and have her realize that none fit.
Last night she had her first haircut in a few years. The girl who cut her hair did a great job, but she cut it quite a bit shorter than we had asked her to. After many tears, encouragement, and a little tweaking with the curling iron, the result is a few steps below total hatred. It looks cute, but it's not my favorite haircut and it does make her look quite a bit younger. I worry about her. I really don't want her self-esteem to suffer because she might not look like everyone else. As an adult it's a little easier to understand that beauty is derived from spiritual beauty. As a little girl, I want her to feel totally beautiful, inside and out. I did not sleep well last night. I was praying for her that she would feel beautiful today. Long story short, it's really tough to see your kids humbled.

The fat free dessert is a meringue nest. A few little ingredients can yield an impressive and delicious dessert. Egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar and cocoa (optional) whipped into a fluffy and marshmallow-like nest. Top with fresh berries and you have a healthy low-calorie treat. We also included fresh whipped cream and ice cream, but these additions are definintely not fat-free.

The three ingredients in the roast beef include: beef, water, and french onion soup mix. How easy is that? For an extra comforting take on the roast beef, how about a hot beef sandwich? Simply toast a piece of bread, top with beef and gravy and enjoy!

Meringue Nests
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 T sugar
2 T cocoa

1. In large mixing bowl, whip whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
2. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until soft peaks form.
3. Add cocoa and continue to beat whites until stiff and glossy.
4. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, create "nests" (basically, drop 1/2
cup meringue onto the parchment paper and using the back of a spoon, create a well in the center).
5. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour. Turn off oven and allow meringues to rest in the oven for an additional hour and 15 minutes.
6. Top with berries and serve.

Three-Ingredient Roast Beef
Beef Roast (I like arm roasts best)
3/4 cup water
1 packet french onion soup mix

Sprinkle beef with mix, pour water to cover bottom of roast and bake, covered, at 350degrees for at least 3 hrs or until tender.


  1. Awww. Poor girl. I'm sorry that she doesn't like her haircut.
    Is that a picture of the bad haircut? I'm thinking it looks pretty good for a bad haircut.

  2. It's a really good haircut (her hair is really hard b/c it's crazy thick, wavy in back and stick straight up front)'s just WAY too short...she really does look like she's about four years old (with the world's cutest bubble butt!! :) but, of course, she still acts like she's five years ahead of her current age!

  3. i'm going to try that merigue recipe--looks fabulous! and fat-free is always nice around this time of year...

  4. Abbie,
    I also have heard of people making the "white" version of the meringue (no cocoa, obviously) and putting brandied cherries on top, with some shaved semi-sweet chocolate...I think it sounds really good, just haven't tried it...but I think it would taste kinda like those hideously cheap "queen anne cordial cherries" that I secretly love!!!

  5. Kirsten!!! Your daughter is NOT a big girl! I think your view is a little skewed because you're so petite. :)

  6. I think she is quite healthy, just a little bigger than the other two (she's within 1/2lb of Josh! :)We got the BMI results back from school and she has graduated to "overweight", but I was always in the 97th I don't put much credence in's just frustrating to find be fair, though, I find it nearly impossible to find jeans that fit well!