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April was not a month for food experiments in our house.  Just seemed like we were too busy with other things than experimenting in the kitchen.  We did asparagus which we canned plain and pickled varieties.  It was our first time canning plain ole asparagus.  We never get as much as we think but it is still a nice addition to the pantry.

We made the ghee but mostly we made sweets.  I hate to admit but out of the few experiments we had, over half were candy.

What did we make?

One weekend morning we made peanut butter pancakes.  This recipe is the one Rosa Park’s made.  I thought it was fun.  We used basic egg replacer in the recipe.  It came out beautifully.  The pancakes were light and fluffy but my family didn’t love them.  I keep wondering when I will learn that we are a one pancake mix/recipe family.  They don’t mind if I add things to that recipe but they don’t like anything else.

We made this One Pot Stroganoff.  What does it say when I barely remember eating it?  I’m thinking it was okay but this is another recipe that makes me ask why am I always trying new versions.  My family likes it the way I make it, period.  They don’t mind the “instant” version we came up with last year but they like it the way it is.

As a back up for Passover dinner, I made this Black Bean Hummus.  To be honest, I used the recipe as a template and then made something that was my own.  I loved the twist of black beans and green chilies.  However, I struggled getting enough salt into the dish to keep it from being bland.

Onto the sweets.

The first was this Chocolate Gelatin.  My family thought I was weird for wanting to try this.  Mostly, because I hate Jello.  I love gummies.  I just don’t like the taste or consistency of jello.  I liked the idea of this recipe because I associate jello with low calorie desserts.  If this was okay, I’d have a treat that was like a diet food.  Okay, this is not a diet food.  This is pure chocolate chips.  But it is so tasty.  I love the consistency and the way it’s a different dessert.

Then I made Turkish Delights.  I love Turkish Delights especially if they are under the Aplets and Cotlets brand.  The only complaint I have with this recipe is that it’s a little ambiguous – cook until thick and slightly amber.  I took mine off the stove after about 30 minutes and I think I still overcooked it.  My finished product was lumpy and crystallized a few days later.  Aside from that, we love these.  They are really sweet so I might cut back on some of the sugar next time I make them.

For Passover, I made Tapioca Pudding.  Being allergic to eggs, I struggled to find a dessert I could make that would fit into all the rules.  This recipe worked.  I did sub arrowroot starch for the cornstarch.  The recipe came out great.  It’s bland and could be sweeter but makes a nice base for toppings.  Right now I am eating it with a lot of Saigon Cinnamon which makes it nearly a health food.  *I should note that I made a number of changes.  I only use real tapioca and Passover rules state you can’t use minute tapioca (or something like that).  I, also, used whole milk.  I let the tapioca sit in the milk for awhile before I cooked it.  I made the pudding the night before which also helped the pearls become soft and perfect.

Last recipe – Matzo Buttercrunch.  My friend Sharon had invited us to her Passover dinner and brought this dessert to make sure I had something to snack on.  Okay, this is the worst thing ever because it is so addicting.  We ate all the extras she sent home with us and then impatiently waited until we had time to make a batch at home.  The recipe is another ambiguous recipe but if you take your time and watch it carefully, it comes out great.  It takes about 30 minutes all in all and then you have to wait for it to set.  I topped our batch with a little pink salt and we have a whole new addiction in our family.  It is so good and so simple.  You can use any plain cracker, to be honest.  What I like about the matzos is that they are large so you don’t have as many places to spread the toffee.  I really hated trying to get it on the broken pieces because it’s hot sugar and I have really tender fingers.

So there you have it – our April experiments.  I don’t know what’s going to happen as we get into summer.  We may have some really weird experiments going on or be so busy that we barely have time to think recipes.

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