Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter Leftovers Dinner Date!

First, I want to thank Kara for all her work taking care of our blog for the past month. I recently had a close family member pass away and just haven't had the wherewithal to think creatively for blogging purposes. I am very appreciative to Kara for keeping our blog active in my absence but also for being a wonderful, supportive friend to me during this hard time. You're the best! I'm back now though and have had some good ideas rolling around in my brain that I can't wait to share with you.

So speaking of playing catch up...

I had planned this dinner date to go up on the blog the week of Easter (before all your Easter dinners had been cooked) but Kara and Co. had the bad stomach flu that has been going around so we postponed it for the following week (and I'm only getting around to posting it now).

The idea was to come up with a creative way to reinvent and use up Easter leftovers. I decided to give my leftovers a Japanese spin and the result was delicious and actually pretty well received by the toddlers!

The meal...

Ham and Pineapple Skewers
(serves 4)
Pre-cooked ham (I actually used a non-nitrate ham steak) cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 large fresh pineapple cut into bite sized chunks
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. sesame oil
wooden skewers, pre-soaked in water

1. Assemble alternating ham and pineapple chunks onto skewers
2. Line a broiler pan with heavy duty foil and turn the oven on broil
3. Combine the honey, mustard and oil in a small bowl
4. Put all the skewers onto the broiler pan and brush the sauce evenly over all the skewers.
5. Broil until the glaze on the ham starts to brown. Serve! Easy as can be!

Rice Balls
(serves 4)

These rice balls, also called onigiri are often found in those fun bento box meals. I hope to explore these little boxed meals soon on IBB as they are super cute and fun for kids!

Sushi rice (must be sushi rice because the rice for these needs to be sticky)
2 stalks of asparagus
1 large carrot, peeled
2 tsp hoisin sauce
soy sauce for dipping

1. Cook sushi rice according to package directions. I made the 4 serving size.
2. While the rice is cooking, steam the carrot and asparagus for 5 minutes in a steamer or in a covered saucepan that has about an inch of water in it). Remove from steamer and let cool for 10 minutes. Dice both the asparagus and carrot into small pieces.
3. Mix the vegetables with the hoisin sauce. Set aside.
4. Line a small tea cup (or something similar) with a sheet of saran wrap. Scoop enough rice into the cup to almost fill it.
5. Using the end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the center of the rice. Spoon in about a tablespoon of the veggies.
6. Bring up the sides of the saran wrap and, holding the ball of rice in the palm of your hand, twist the saran wrap closed.
7. Finish with the rest of the rice. Put all the rice balls onto a plate and refrigerate for at least one hour.
8. When ready to serve, remove rice balls from the saran wrap and sprinkle a little Gomasio on the tops of each ball. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

Bunny Bars
(makes 8 servings)

So after Easter I had leftover sun drops from Neko's Easter basket, leftover marshmallows and coconut from a coconut lamb cake I made (see below!!) and leftover Annie's Organic Fruity Bunnies cereal that I used in some plastic eggs for her egg hunt. I decided to throw all these things together and boy was that a good idea!

3 Tbsp. butter
3 c. mini marshmallows
5 c. Annies Fruity Bunnies cereal
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sundrops candy

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
2. Add the marshmallows and cook over low heat until melted.
3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
4. Press into a square pan. Cut and serve!

I meant to use those leftover plastic eggs to shape these into egg shapes but am trying to potty train Neko and she decided that she wanted to try a go on the potty right as I was stirring ingredients together. These things set up fast so I quickly pressed them into a pan and ran to the bathroom. Gah!

I hope you enjoy this little japmerican meal as much as we did! :o)

P.S. The lamb cake!


MaryAnne said...

Sorry to hear about your family member passing away.

Your lamb cake is absolutely adorable.

BranFlakes said...

I have never tried rice balls with my kiddos, I will since they look so yummy! Thanks!

LaDue & Crew said...

I'm sorry that you had a loss in your family. It's never easy. How wonderful that you have friends like Kara that step right up!

This sounds like such an adorable idea for a meal! Your cake looks fabulous, too!

MaryAnne said...

I left you an award on my blog - no need to pass it on unless you want to but I think your blog is fantastic!

Kara said...

Aw, Celeste, you know I think you're the bomb diggity! ;-) I'm still craving those Bunny Bars... mmm...

Jenny said...

Hi. I'm just here visiting your site, and I have to say, I like it a lot. You have some great stuff to check out. So, I invite you to come check out my site. I would love to have you over. :D

Maureen said...

I just made the rice balls and ham/pineapple skewers tonight and they delicious!! SO yummy! A hit with the adults and the kids, thanks so much!

Celeste said...

SO glad you liked them!!!