Category: Life


Fish Fingers and Custard for the Doctor

fish fingers and custard

The family and I are celebrating the return of one of our favorite geeky shows tonight with fish fingers and custard! If you’re also a Doctor Who fan you know what’s up, if not you can get a little background here.

This is actually a surprise for the girls — they know I’ve been in the kitchen all morning baking but haven’t been allowed to come in and see what it is yet. And with that I have to admit that it’s not really fish fingers — we’re not that hardcore! These are actually shortbread cookies rolled in graham cracker crumbs, swiped from bakingdom.

fish fingers and custard

We’re fairly new to the Doctor Who obsession — I want to say it’s only been a year or so — but it makes my little sci-fi heart happy, and fills a void left by Battlestar Galactica and Firefly and Star Trek: The Next Generation as a teen (it was not cool to be into sci-fi when I was a teenager so many hundreds of years ago, so it’s fun to get into it with the girls now, as evidenced by the TARDIS cake for the 14-year-old last November).

fish fingers and custard

The custard (actually vanilla pudding) was also homemade because I’d already run out once to pick up forgotten graham crackers, and I couldn’t bring myself to run out again for a box of pudding. I put up with standing at the stove for what seemed like forever, but it was worth it. Homemade pudding is cool.

fish fingers and custard

The fish fingers are delicious too, very light and crunchy. They’re really close to being too salty, though, so when I make them again I’ll go with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

If you’re a geek at heart and a fan of the Doctor, you can get the fish finger cookie recipe from, and the homemade vanilla pudding recipe I used is below:

Homemade Vanilla Pudding
serves 6

3/4 c granulated sugar
3 Tb cornstarch
3 c cold milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tb butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until bubbly. Lower heat and cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir 1 cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs.

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture and bring almost to a bubble but do not boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

Pour pudding into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least six hours before serving.


Manic Monday

Well, I’m not going to be doing this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie.

Reason #1 is — sit down — I hate blueberries. I wish I didn’t. I wish I loved them like everyone else does, but I just can’t. I don’t like the berries, I don’t like the flavor, I just don’t like them. Mike and the girls can take them or leave them, so I decided to give this week a pass.

The second reason is that I’m experimenting with giving up sugar. I’m a week and-a-half out and I’ve dropped five pounds. That, to me, is pretty amazing (if not a bit worthy of a sad face) since my weight hasn’t shifted in many years. I think I’m going to try and stick it out for the last 15 pounds I’d like to finally shed and see if that does the trick. I love you, sugar, but I know now you never loved me back.

I’ve also taken up a new hobby. As you can see in the picture above, I am wrestling with crochet. My mom crocheted, my grandmas crocheted, but I was never taught (my mom died when I was quite young). I’ve always loved the look of it, but every time I’ve tried to stick it out I get frustrated and walk away. I did learn to knit when I was 11, so for the last 25 years that’s what I’ve been doing. I can knit with my eyes closed, and have taught the girls how to do it, too. I love knitting. Knitting makes sense.

But I’m learning to like crochet. I haven’t given it a shot with a pattern yet, but there are tons of videos on Youtube now that have helped me make sense of what goes where and which stitch you shove the hook into and all that. The tension is still not pretty but I’m practicing and of course, I’ve got three smaller sets of hands that want to give it a try, too.

Speaking of which, I took the girls school clothes shopping today. They are at the ages now that we’ve been dreading since they were toddlers (when their clothes seemingly cost only a few dollars). I made the credit card cry.

So that’s been my week. I’m going to gather up some of the sugar-free (and subsequently low-carb) recipes that I’ve come across and start posting them, because that stuff has definitely improved since the early days of low-carbing.


4th of July Table Decor

4th of July Table Decor

I’ve just uploaded a few posts I had written elsewhere with some table decorations I’ve done for the last few holidays. I’ve got a large glass jar that I found at Walmart back in January that I like to change out with different things to reflect whichever holiday is coming up next.

In February, I used pink and white candy corns for Valentine’s Day. For March I used split peas for St. Patrick’s Day, and in April I used a few bags of jelly beans for Easter.

4th of July Table Decor

For the last few holiday-less months I’ve just filled up the jar with two bags of dried northern beans and one bag of dried red kidney beans and plopped it on the table for something to look at.

But while eating dinner the other night the thought struck me that it would be really easy to transform it into a quick 4th of July jar, and when Mike went to a home improvement store this morning I asked him to pick me up a few paint sample cards in dark blue (he got me red, too, but I didn’t need it). Don’t go too crazy — you only need a few. If you don’t feel comfortable using paint cards, construction paper will work too.

4th of July Table Decor

I free-handed a few stars out of the paint chips and slid them down into the jar in front of the beans. Voila! A craft easy enough for even me to do.