Friday, July 2, 2010

Bacon: A Colorful Tribute

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 8:35 AM 2 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Heroine of the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)
I have nothing against bacon. Bacon is a perfectly acceptable means to flavor dishes, fry up crispy and eat with toast or crumble into salads and the like.

Bacon and I are friends.

But rainbow-dyed bacon? I shudder to think what Kylie would do if she thought she could dye her bacon.

If she ever tries, I plan to "tan her hide."



Ohhh, the humanity.

(Credit for this enterprising meat masterpiece goes to Neil Caldwell as witnessed on the Bacon Today website. Because I'm a chef, I find it extremely appropriate to dedicate entire websites to a single food ingredient. Why Bacon, you ask? I say...why not? Just...hold the dye on mine. Thanks.)

(To learn more about Sadie's aversion to food containing dye products, check out Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Awards! And Cupcakes!

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 9:25 AM 3 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Main Character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

Well, what do you know? I won a blog award!! With a cupcake on it!! And Kylie says to add, "With SPRINKLES!"


Check it out:
Um...now the dilemma is that Kylie wants me to make the cupcakes - "just like the picture"...

I'm a professional. I can do this.

Right?

Right. =/

(To find out more about Sadie's skill - or lack thereof - with desserts, read the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

* Special thanks to Lori for gifting Sadie with her blog award!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Queen of Hearts

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 10:01 AM 2 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Main Character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

I used to loathe Valentine's Day.

It all began in the second grade when my attempts to woo seven-year-old Nicholas Kunkle went disastrously awry.

For Valentine's Day that year, I crafted my own masterpiece of a card.

I may have gone a teeny bit overboard.

When he opened it, red glitter poured from the envelope and dusted his Reebok sneakers like ruby sand. He wasn't impressed.

Then one of the googley eyes I pasted onto my hand-drawn heart popped off so my creation looked more like a lopsided Cyclops instead of an expression of undying affection.

After Nicholas tossed the card aside, he tore into the pack of conversation hearts I had included in my offering.

Grams always told me that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach.

She lied.

Nicholas tossed a palmful into his mouth and ended up choking until Mrs. Ebersole came and administered the Heimlich maneuver.

Nicholas wouldn't even share my brownies at lunch after that.

Jasper, being my best friend even at that tender age, tried to make things better during recess. He gave me one of those cute little boxes of chocolates - the ones with a plastic tray and four tiny, chocolate-coated candies inside. It was really sweet of him.

But when he tried to kiss me on the swings, I punched him and somehow managed to knock him out cold. This earned me three weeks of detention for injuring two boys in one day. (Jasper did try to defend me, but the evidence was all in favor of a conviction.)

After that, I swore of Valentine's Day exchanges for quite some time.

And to this day, every time I pass a display of conversation hearts...I shudder.

(To discover more about Sadie, Jasper and the time he kissed her on the swings, pick up your copy of the novel, Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sweet Snacks on Snowy Saturdays

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 3:06 PM 1 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Main Character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

There are days when I just do not believe my daughter is normal.

Don't most children want something WARM when they come in from an afternoon spent cavorting in the snow? You know...hot cocoa or chicken noodle soup?

Not Kylie.

No, she doesn't ask for something hot and fortifying after playing outside in sub-zero temperatures. She wants SWEET ICE - a cold, sugary snack that leaves her tongue painted in multi-colored hues and her cheeks pink with happiness.

In the event your own children are abnormal, here's how it's done:

First, you'll want to mix up the flavoring. It's simple - only three ingredients.

1 envelope Kool-Aid (Kylie likes cherry or grape the best)
1 cup hot water
2 cups sugar (I know - I never claimed it was healthy)

Mix these together, and I like to store the syrup in a plastic squirt bottle. Just use whatever you have handy. Now...

Using a clean bowl, collect some fresh snow.






Gather the syrup flavoring, along with whatever cups you'd like to serve the Sweet Ice in (Kylie and I prefer tea cups!)



Fill the cups with tightly-packed snow and squirt as little or as much syrup over it as you like. (Kylie likes a lot. Of course.)


Bundle yourself in a sweater and enjoy with your child. (Then compare your tongues to see who has the funkiest colors!)

(To learn more about Sadie and Kylie's mother/daughter adventures, pick up your copy of the novel, Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snow Cakes: A Moment of Nostalgia

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 9:32 AM 1 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Main Character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

When I was a child - about my daughter, Kylie's, age, my mom and I started this tradition. When the first snowfall came to our hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania, we'd don coats and scarves and mittens and head out into the backyard to collect a few cups of freshly fallen snow. I used this little red sand bucket to collect it - after the summer months, Mom always made sure it was scrubbed clean and stored in the closet until winter was upon us.

When snow was forecasted, I'd begin watching the windows, eyes peeled for the first fluffy flakes to appear. As soon as I spotted them, I'd run to the hall closet, grab that red pail with the lemon-yellow handle and shout for my mom to bundle up!


I was fidgety with anticipation as she buttoned my coat and tugged my cap over my ears. Once we were suitably layered, I would place one mittened hand in hers, the other holding tightly to my pail, and we'd venture outside to begin scooping soft, virgin snow into our container.

Of course, occasionally, the snow didn't always make it into the pail - an impromptu snowball battle was often called for first. =)

But after the snow was finally collected, we'd make our way back inside with red noses and crisp smiles. Mom would carry the snow into the kitchen and store it in the freezer as we set about preparing Snow Cakes, a recipe as sweet in tradition as it is in taste.

I recently rediscovered this recipe of my mom's, written in her elegant, sweeping hand, in the back of one of my own forgotten cookbooks. For any who may want to start their own mother-daughter snow tradition, I'm including it here:

Snow Cakes
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup packed snow
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
Combine the brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder with the milk, snow and egg. Line muffin tins and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.

Enjoy with cocoa. Preferably the Hershey kind. (And Kylie says not to forgot the marshmallows, too.)

(To learn more about Sadie, Kylie and their mother/daughter adventures, check out the book Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cucumbers Gone Crazy: Pickle Pops!

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 2:53 PM 1 comments

By: Sadie Spencer (Main character in the novel Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania, by Cerella D. Sechrist)

I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing. First it was pickles deep-fried on a stick, now we're liquefying this innocent little veggie into tubes and selling it as dessert?!? NO. WAY.

But yes. Way. And here's the conundrum: As bizarre as this food trend may seem, it puts me, well, in a pickle.

My daughter, Kylie, is all about the processed snacks. She's a five-year-old kid, you know? So how do I argue this one with her? It's a VEGETABLE, masquerading as a TREAT!

She's not supposed to have this kind of leverage at her age.

And it gets worse. These things - these pickles sold as popsicles...they're actually supposed to be...GOOD for you. No, really. It's true. I googled it. (Which can never go wrong, as we all know.)


Seriously, though, I think the makers of the Pickle 'Sicle may be on to something here. After all, pickles ARE good for you. Other than the sodium concerns, pickles are low in saturated fat and choleserol and are loaded with Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, calcium, etc. They're brined in vinegar, which has its own range of health benefits. The Pickle People (okay, even I snickered on that one) claim they add no preservatives or additives to their pickle product. (I'm going to start lisping soon.)

In which case, when Kylie demands her Pickle Popsicle, I may have no choice but to relent on this one.

If someone comes up with a Pickle Pie, though, I'm drawing the Mommy line.

(To learn more about Sadie and Kylie's mother/daughter adventures, pick up your copy of the novel, Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist, releasing February 2, 2010 from Summerside Press)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bloody...Cake.

Posted by Cerella Sechrist at 6:46 PM 1 comments
By: Sadie Spencer (Main character in the novel: Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist) 

I don’t get red velvet cake. I never have.
I just don’t see the appeal of slicing into a pristine confectionary delight only to be confronted with an interior of nearly blood-red dessert.


Sure, red is the color of romance, but…seriously? Seriously??? Sanguinary sweets just don’t do it for me, I’m afraid.


On the other hand, before my husband died, he was absolutely addicted to red velvet debauchery. Ned could consume half a cake in the space of twelve minutes, if left to his own devices.

It was certainly a sight to behold, and one that made an episode of CSI look like the Powerpuff Girls in comparison. Crimson streaks smeared across an empty plate – while I was pregnant with Kylie, the sight literally turned my stomach.


After one such incident spent over the porcelain bowl, I begged Ned to desist – at least until after the baby was born.


In return for this chivalrous sacrifice, I baked him a three-tiered red velvet masterpiece a few weeks after Kylie’s birth.


Unfortunately, the results had Ned spending his own time over the porcelain bowl instead. =(


(To discover more about Sadie’s dessert fiascos, check out the novel:
Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist – releasing February 1, 2010.)

 

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