Last time we met, I had (against my better judgment) created chocolate chip cookies mixed with whole chickpeas. The results seemed all right, but I remained skeptical. I mentioned the real test would be lunch the following day, would the kids eat both cookies? Shockingly, this is Max’s lunch container after school.
Both Max’s cookies remain untouched while Madison, my more typically picky child, could not resist the cookie appearance and ate them. Given this I will probably make these again, baking them slightly longer (I always struggle with over baking cookies so I erred on the opposite side this time) and mashing up the garbanzo beans at least a little before mixing them into my dough. One can only accept so many whole beans in one’s mouth before one begins to curse Jessica Seinfeld’s cruel garbanzo trickery. Continuing on with our Deceptively Delicious trial I continued to experiment with a couple more of Seinfeld’s recipes over the weekend.
First I made her Peanut Butter Chocolate Dip (with hidden carrots). I thought Maddie would like this in her lunch because I often pack apples, graham crackers and yogurt to dip them in. This way there would be some carrot and peanut butter, protein and some amount of the goodness of carrots. Since the book doesn’t give us nutritional data so there’s no way to tell exactly how much ‘good stuff’ but one would assume there would be some goodness.
Here it is as I mixed the ingredients.
The carrot puree reminds me of Cheetos. Thankfully it did not taste like Cheetos. The directions for this recipe recommend simply mixing everything together but my dip came out with tiny lumps of cream cheese in it. The texture was disconcerting to my (not picky) tastebuds so I decided to throw it into the Kitchenaid for a few minutes. This didn’t help, even beating it for 3- 5 minutes didn’t remove the lumps.
I gave it to Maddie anyway telling her it was ‘crunchy’ peanut butter (it was creamy) and she ate a couple apples dipped in it while waiting for dinner. She barely scooped any of the dip up however and mainly had a vague coating of the substance on a 1/2 inch segment of apple. The recipe doesn’t tell us about the nutritional content of these recipes but I’m going to venture a guess she got about as much beta carotene out of that dip as she’d get from kissing me (on the cheek) immediately after I ate a carrot.
I sent this with the kids to school the next day as part of lunch and it came back untouched by both kids. At least the apples were gone.
Finally, last night we decided to try Seinfeld’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe which incorporates pureed butternut squash. I like squash and I adore macaroni and cheese and somehow this recipe has managed to ruin both these things for me. Perhaps permanently.
Here is the squash, flour/oil, milk and non-fat cream cheese in a pan. In fairness, I can’t stand non-fat cream cheese and will only ever eat the light version. I should have considered that fact when I decided to make this recipe. In other fairness, I don’t like my macaroni and cheese quite this thick and rich.
Even half this sauce would have been fine for my personal taste, the thickness of the sauce and the bizarre taste of the fat free cream cheese mixed with the squash made this almost intolerable to eat. I rarely say this because I love food and palate is not particularly able to discern subtle nuances in food. However this macaroni and cheese made me want to pull Jessica Seinfeld’s hair. Just a little bit.
My son Max is a fellow macaroni and cheese lover, we often share some for lunch, homemade or from a box. I thought he might like this because he likes almost every version I’ve ever made. He did not like it at all and if he knew it was from the same book which ruined chocolate chip cookies and banana bread he’d probably want to pull Mrs. Seinfeld’s hair as well.
Madison has never liked macaroni and cheese and would probably like to kiss Mrs. Seinfeld for perhaps ruining macaroni and cheese for me forever. My husband was surprisingly not terribly offended by this recipe. He generally hates every version of macaroni and cheese I make which veers from the traditional southern version I usually make. I tried to convince him this tasted terrible but he thought it was ‘fine’. When I tried to tell him there was fat free cream cheese in it (definite deal breaker for him) he refused to let me burst his bubble and didn’t want to know what was in it.
I really want to like this book but honestly I’m not sure I’ll be able to make anything else from it for a couple weeks. Enough time to let the mac and cheese debacle clear out of my memory bank. Beth left a comment saying her family has liked the main dishes, particularly the Spaghetti Pie so maybe I’ll give it one more shot, eventually.
I mentioned previously I’d ordered The Sneaky Chef cookbook to give both books a trial run and compare. However, when I ordered it through Amazon’s One Click I failed to remember I haven’t ordered from them since we moved. I guess I thought since Amazon refuses to forget that ONE TIME I looked at a vaguely pornographic novel, it might somehow also magically know I moved. But no, so the book has been delivered to the new residents of our old house.
They don’t have kids so I’m hoping it gets forwarded on to us soon. If not, maybe I’ll send Deceptively Delicious over to them as well.