mummy brains


Some of my kids’ other ideas for naming this were “yucky goo,” “slime chunks,” “goblin guts,” and my favorite: “ghost barf.”

I think it was my brother who came home and showed me this trick when I was a kid, and once, when I homeschooled my oldest son (for all of about five minutes), we tried it making it at home. It was once included in a Martha Stewart Kids magazine (September/October 2004), and was called “Cornstarch Quicksand”. Oh, how I miss that publication. That’s where my kids saw it this week and begged me to make it.

For about 20 cents, this stuff will keep my kids occupied for a good hour. I imagine it’s a fantastic stress reliever for grownups, too. All you need is some cornstarch and water, and you end up with a strange substance that oozes when you handle it slowly, and tough and resistant when you try to force it quickly.


By |October 26th, 2011|crafts, fun, well-bred|7 Comments

homemade almond joy


A year ago, it seems like the internet exploded with homemade versions of all the fun packaged treats, i.e. pop tarts, Hostess cupcakes, peppermint patties, etc. I’m not quite sure why I didn’t do anything similar here on sophistimom. But just because I never rode that wave on my blog, it doesn’t mean my kids and I don’t love that kind of thing.

It’s a pretty regular Sunday afternoon ritual to come home from church, find out one of my kids didn’t get treats from his Sunday school teacher when one of my other kids did, and answer his or her whines with, “Don’t worry. I’ll make you some candy!” (Hm. Maybe that’s the trouble with my parenting: I make candy for them when they whine.)

Usually we end up making homemade Reeses peanut butter cups, which I can post another time (but the general idea is in this ancient post I did on making peanut butter turtles—and you can probably piece together how to do it from there). But a few Sundays ago, I wanted something a little different, so I tried making these homemade Almond Joy cups. I’m so glad I did.

Now if I could just figure out how to make those Almond Joy Pieces . . .

sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts on wilted greens with warm maple vinaigrette


My brother was just on the phone telling me I had hardly any savory recipes. This is for you, Joe.

It rained almost everyday last week. We even got snow on the mountains.

Those are the kinds of days I want to eat a skillet cookie for dinner. Or a big bowl of chili covered in melted cheddar, like this one my friend Shaina made. Those are the kinds of days I want something to warm me to the bone.

I think this salad accomplished just that.

brioche so easy it's like magic.


One thing I’ve learned about french cooking is this: it almost always delicious, but not always easy. Brioche is one of those things I always wanted to make, but was either too intimidated or too tired to ever try.

But recently, the people at Magimix by Robot-Coupe contacted me to see if I would review their food processor, which they sell exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.

That’s just one of those questions you don’t have to think too long about before you answer, you know?


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