Babes, What’s for Lunch: Tonkotsu/Momofuku Ramen from Scratch

Color me a masochist – 3 trotters, 1 pork neck, 6 chicken legs, 5 grocery stores, marathon dishwashing, and 48 hours later, we’ve got Tonkotsu/Momofuku broth, menma (stewed bamboo), ramen noodles, taré (yakitori barbeque sauce) and shoyu tamago (soy sauce eggs) all from scratch.

Perhaps during the next lunar eclipse, I’ll make it again and chronicle the process.

How to Make a Papier-Mâché Pig Piñata

In honor of my niece having turned the big 1-0, I threw her a mini-luau at the beach.  Since we couldn’t exactly bury a pig in the sand, we decided to make a papier-mâché pig piñata.  Traditionally, piñatas are stuffed with treats and then kids club them to death until their guts fall out.  Way to reward violence! :)  That was the original plan but then this little piggy got anthropomorphized and the kid got attached.  Winston is his name.  He was ultimately modified so that his pudgy little body could be spared.

The making of Winston was pretty simple with a few supplies we had around the house.  We were inspired by this Pin and we’re sharing the process as part of the Pinterest Challenge.  Woo hoo!

Glue (we made three total batches of glue – one for each layer):

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup boiling water

To make the glue, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Then mix all the dry ingredients together.  Add the cold water to the dry ingredients to make a runny paste.  Whisk the runny paste into the boiling water and stir constantly until you get the first bubbles of boiling.  Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool – about 15 minutes.


  • balloon
  • masking tape
  • 7 bathroom tissue tubes (4 for legs, 1 for snout and 2 for ears)
  • newspaper, torn into 1.5″ strips
  • pink construction paper, torn into strips
  • butcher’s twine
  • paint brush
  • black marker

For the legs, I cut off about 1.5″ off of each tube so Winston’s legs weren’t too long.  I cut open another tube and cut that in half to create a larger, shorter tube for the snout.  The tail was strips of paper* twisted together then wrapped around a pencil for the coil.  All of Winston’s extremities were then attached with masking tape.

*In the process of covering Winston, we realized that his newspaper tail would be impossible to cover in pink so we had to perform emergency surgery and his tail was replaced with a pink construction paper one.

I started with reinforcing the legs by brushing glue on Winston’s legs and belly.  The strips were then applied all the way around each leg so that it was touching both the leg and the body (kind of like a starburst effect) so that it’d be secure when it was all dry.  The same was done to his ears and nose.  Section by section, the then-soon-to-be-10-year-old and her sister painted Winston in glue and applied the strips until his entire body was covered.

We found that the brush then strip method kept things really neat and tidy without having to submerge each strip in glue then trying to messily apply it to his body.

We covered Winston with three layers – allowing for a complete dry and hardening between layers (time will depend on your atmospheric conditions) – two newspaper and one pink construction paper.

Butcher’s twine (for hanging Winston) was tied around his entire body and behind his ears after the first layer was dry so that it was extra secure.

The initial pudgy body modification idea was to make a less-violent string piñata.  A string piñata usually involves a trap door from which several strings are tied but only one of which actually opens the door.  I thought I could make udders from which the strings would be attached.  Then I remembered Winston was a boy.  :/

I also didn’t like the idea of one kid getting all the guts and glory.

Husfriend came up with the brilliant idea that Winston could crap candy leis!  It was a perfect solution (that I had to execute by myself).  :/

The candy leis were simple yet very time-consuming to make:

  • candy (I used three packages of individually-wrapped hard candy which yielded about 20 yards of lei)
  • 1 roll of cellophane
  • curling ribbon, cut into 6″ pieces

The cellophane was cut into 3″ wide strips spanning the length of the roll.  The candy was then laid in a long row in the middle of each long strip of cellophane.  The OCD in me also had to have the candy Roy G Bivved.  The cellophane was then wrapped around the row of candy and ribbon was tied at each joint.  When I got to the end of each strip, more cellophane was added and overlapped to keep it continuous.  Then after every single joint was tied, I went back and curled all the ribbon.

I was too deliriously tired to take any decent pictures.  This was the only salvageable one:

The single super long strand of candy was then painlessly stuffed into Winston via a newly-minted butt hole.  :)

In the end, it was all worth it.  Projects like this always remind me of my father.  He was my Martha before I knew of the Martha.  

Winston was a major hit and the kid was happy.  Her friends got a major kick out of pulling candy crap out Winston’s butt and wearing it around their necks.

Winston had fun.

But his butt was tired!

How to Make a Onesie Rose Bouquet

Today, I get a new niece.  I made her a onesie bouquet.  It’s quite simple.

What you’ll need.

  • 8 onesies (or however many roses you’d want in your bouquet)
  • artificial flowers (I chose calla lilies because they came with large full leaves)
  • floral foam
  • green floral tape (I used masking tape found in Husfriend’s stash of stuff)
  • bamboo skewers
  • flower pot (or any other opaque container)
  • shredded green paper for filler (I just ran green paper through the shredder)

Start by wrapping the skewers in the green tape for the rose stems.  Leave the pointy end uncovered.

To make the rose bud, take a onesie and fold it in half lengthwise, making sure to tuck in the sleeves.

Then roll it from one end to the other until a bud forms.  Secure the bud with the masking tape and attach the stem.

To assemble the bouquet, shove the foam down into the flower pot and secure with tape.  Then insert each bud into the foam and fill in the gaps with the artificial flowers.  Then cover the exposed foam with the shredded paper.


Babes, What’s for Dinner: Gluten-Free Meatloaf and Red Mashed Potatoes

Sometimes, my belly craves classic Americana.  I don’t know where it stems from considering we never had any traditional American fare growing up.  I still remember my first taste of burger.  It was hard to let go – literally.  Before I was of school age, my father and I accompanied my older sister to her first day of school where they were serving burgers for breakfast – go figure.

We sat at the long benches in the noisy cafeteria amongst all the other excited-for-the-first-day-of-school kids.  I quietly enjoyed my soft and salty parcel of joy.  I was in my own little burger heaven and did not realize how much time had lapsed.  The bell rang and everyone got up to clear their trays.  They tried to take mine but I wouldn’t let go!  My sister laughed and laughed but I didn’t care.  I was in love.  :)

With this recipe, I tried to create an unknown nostalgia.

For the loaf:

  • ½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lb pork
  • 1 lb beef
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
For the glaze:
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Heinz 57 sauce

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Combine the bread crumbs and the water and set aside.

We always grind our own meat.  I am certainly far from a vegetarian but I find it a little scary to eat something that is made of 200+ different animals.  I’ll take my cow one at a time, please.

Our KitchenAid stand mixer is the one thing that stays out on our plywood counter as it gets used so often.  It’s very handy for recipes like this.

With the grinder attachment, start with grinding the meat.  We used pork butt roast and beef tri-tip that we happened to have around.  Then grind the vegetables.

Transfer the bowl of ground vegetables and meat to the mixer and add the remaining ingredients, including the hydrated bread crumbs.  Mix with the flat beater just until combined.

Pack the mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Flip the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Pop it into the oven.

Then prepare the glaze.  Toast and grind the cumin.  Then combine with the sauces.

Take the loaf out of the oven and cover with the glaze.

Pop the loaf back into the oven for 45 minutes until its internal temperature reaches 155° F.

While the loaf is cooking, prepare the mashed potatoes.

  • 5 medium organic red potatoes
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • milk
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

The one thing Husfriend insists on buying organic is potatoes.  Like any good wife, I research then obey.  If potato farmers aren’t eating their own crops, we probably shouldn’t either.

Boil the ‘taters until a fork easily slips through them.  Drain and let dry.  Then mash with the butter.  Add milk until desired creaminess is reached then salt and pepper to taste.


Babes, What’s for Breakfast: German Dutch Baby Pancake

We used to wait in line forever for these little babies.  Little did I know it’d be so easy to make at home.  All it takes is a little blend and bake.

This’ll serve two:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Mix everything together in a blender until smooth.

Melt the butter in a small 9″ skillet with oven-proof handle.  Swirl the butter to coat the entire pan. With the skillet still warm, pour the batter into the skillet and then immediately place the skillet in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top edges are brown.

Slip onto a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

Guten appetit!