"Thanks! Hey. I'll make it in the side yard. That'll be way safer," chirps the little cold-blooded ankle-biter as he runs for the side yard with the second-best wooden spoon.
And while my children run roughshod over my loose-tooth sensibilities I stuff my apron pockets with crisp dollar bills to leave under pillows. I serve plate upon plate of apple wedges and veggie sticks with dip to hasten the day when those little Chiclets finally go to tile the tooth fairy's kitchen backsplash. (Why are you looking like that? What story do you tell your children?) And I anticipate a summer full of corn cut from the cob and barbecue beef sandwiches served for the toothless, smiling, charming, manipulating little angels who I call my boys.
This simple-to-make dip is a wonder served with apple wedges or spread on cinnamon raisin bagels. And apple wedges are a wonder for encouraging stubborn loose teeth.
Creamy Caramel Apple Dip
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 c. dulce de leche or jar-type caramel ice cream topping
1 t. real vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve with apple wedges or spread on sweet bagels or toast.
This melt-in-your mouth tender beef forms its own barbecue sauce while it bubbles away merrily in your slow cooker.
Barbecue Beef Sandwiches
1 beef brisket (approximately 4 lbs.)
11/2 c. ketchup
11/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. prepared mustard
2 T. cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. neutral oil (such as canola, vegetable or corn oil)
1 T. coarse ground black pepper
11/2 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t. liquid smoke
For serving: either hot cooked rice or sandwich rolls
If your beef brisket has a great deal of visible fat, carefully trim it away. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over both sides of the brisket and gently rub it in to the surface. Drizzle oil into the crock of a slow-cooker and swirl it around. Add the brisket to the slow-cooker and then flip so that both sides are lightly coated in oil.