My in-laws have been slowly but surely moving into their new abode a few miles down the road. And since sanding floors, pruning trees, painting walls, and assembling Target furniture aren't really appropriate activities for toddlers, my husband and I have become official entertainers of our nieces. Last weekend my oldest niece gave us an extensive tour of her new playroom and the volcano of toys within (while my youngest niece decided that everything must be test-chewed before receiving her personal approval). She is big into dress-up now, and my husband got the honor of playing "The Prince". I told my niece to dress him up to look tough, and this is what she came up with.
But of course, my husband and I are the official aunt and uncle, so we have to do our job to corrupt in the funniest ways possible. We and the girls found a few extra doll arms lying around, so my husband and I took on the task of making up stories just out of child hearing range:
Prince: "Why, Cinderella, you're the most beautiful girl at my ball! And how convenient is it that your grotesque chest arm helps us waltz even faster?"
Cinderella: "Oh, Prince, it can do much more than waltz. Perhaps you should marry me and find out."
Meanwhile, around the corner, the faerie godmother keeps watch.
Mouse Coachman: "Um...did you know that when you sing 'Bibiti Bopity Boo THIRD ARM!' that's what would happen?"
Faerie Godmother: "That's it! You're going back to being a mouse! Bibiti Bopity Boo TYRANNOSAURUS! ... Crap. I have got to see a doctor about this Tourettes."
I might actually start keeping a record of all the things we do when our nieces are too young to know the difference, and then give it to them when they head off to college. That could be the best birthday present ever.
Meanwhile, in the world of failed photo attempts and recipes lies the almighty portobello burger. Despite the fact that it looks like some kind of dying thing with its tongue lolling out of its mouth, it really does taste amazing. Plus it's easy and quick to make. Plus I got four portobellos for $3.50. They tend to be cheaper when you pull the caps off the stems at the grocery store. Can you do that? I mean, people do it with ginger root and it's okay. I don't know. It's possible that I've ripped off the Roundy's corporation a bit. Totally worth it for now though. :)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 tablespoon capers (I'm really not a fan of capers, so I leave them out.)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained (Again, yuck for me, but maybe not for you.)
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 4 leaves lettuce
1. Turn on broiler, and adjust rack so it is as close to heat source as possible.
2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix together garlic, olive oil, thyme, vinegar, salt and pepper.
3. Put the mushroom caps, bottom side up, in a shallow baking pan. Brush the caps with 1/2 the dressing. Put the caps under the broiler, and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Turn the caps, and brush with the remaining dressing. Broil 4 minutes. Toast the buns lightly .
5. In a small bowl, mix capers and mayonnaise. Spread mayonnaise mixture on the buns, top with mushroom caps, tomato and lettuce.