I recently installed software on my website that allows me to monitor incoming traffic to my blog. Don’t worry: I can’t tell exactly who is looking at what or where they’re located, it just tells me what sort of search terms people enter to be able to find my site – so feel free to email the link of my cats on the toilet to all of your friends, inserting comments about what a loon I am.
Some of the search terms are predictable: “kid friendly chicken recipe” or “Christmas sugar cookies” or “New Year’s menu for kids”. Some of them are questions that I thought would be fun to try to answer, for the benefit of future googlers, looking for help with the same issue. I’ll put the “question” in bold and my answer below, in plain type:
“chocolate chip cookie recipe no brown sugar”
To make a substitute for 1 cup of brown sugar, if you don’t have any on hand, you can use 1 cup of granulated white sugar whisked together with 1 to 2 Tbsp of molasses.
“decorate sugar cookies before or after baking”
If you’re planning to decorate the cookies with just sprinkled sugar or jimmies, then you should sprinkle them BEFORE baking the cookies, but if you’re going to use icing, then you should bake them first, and THEN ice them and THEN add the sprinkles. This must not be as obvious as I would have thought it would be.
“decorate sugar cookies after baking how to sprinkle”
This is why the order is important: if you try to sprinkle the sugar/jimmies on AFTER the baking , they won’t stick. There you have it.
“Mexican vanilla warning”
Mexican vanilla used to contain something called “coumarin” which is a blood thinner (and rat poison ingredient). Mexican vanilla was not imported to the US because our FDA regulations (understandably) would not allow this ingredient. Most Mexican vanillas have been reformulated and have labels that say “coumarin free” and are perfectly safe.
“should i cook the sweet potato gnocchi before I freeze it”
To freeze them:
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Lay the gnocchi on the pan in a single layer, without allowing the pieces to touch. Place the baking sheet in the freezer (gently cover with plastic wrap, if you’d like) and leave it there until the gnocchi are frozen solid (overnight?). When they’re completely individually frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a large, Ziploc freezer bag.
To cook them later, just place them carefully directly into boiling water and cook them until they float. Remove them from the water with a strainer and sauce as desired.
“non-alcoholic substitution for Kahlua”
Umm….why? But, if you’re determined to avoid alcohol, Kahlua is a coffee liqueur, so, again, I would think that a reasonable alcohol-free substitute would be pretty apparent. Suffice it to say that I think your local Starbucks should be able to help you out.
“single serve sugar cookie recipe”
I think what you’re looking for is a bakery. You should be able to buy a single sugar cookie there without incident. Actually, your local Starbucks should be able to help you with this one, too.
“can powder meringue be harmful to eat”
No. It has been pasteurized and is perfectly safe, but you should treat it carefully once it is reconstituted to prevent spoilage or contamination.
“Are you supposed to remove the liner from foil baking cups?”
“how do i take the energy from my campfire and use it to cool my ice chest?”
I haven’t the foggiest, but if you figure this out, please let me know. It sounds like you could win some sort of Physics award.
“how to feed ravioli to kids”
With a fork. And a napkin.
“how to feed your kids right but not too much”
If they’re whining “Moooooooom, I’m huuuuuuuungry“, keep feeding. If their eyes are bugging out and they’re clutching their stomach, stop.
“how to make a kick ass omelette”
I’ll have to have Hubby address this issue: I’ll have him give some tips and techniques in a future post.
My favorite are the searches that are phrased as a complete sentence, like there is a little genie inside your computer, just waiting to answer your questions:
“is it ok to feed kids sauce with wine in it”
Yes, especially if you want to ensure that they sleep through the night.
Just kidding – any alcohol content is usually cooked out as the sauce cooks. There may be a trace amount – like what would be in vanilla extract.
“what cheese goes well with a bottle of 2006 martin & weyrich pinot grigio”
Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog. I’m free tomorrow night.
“why is fudge hard to slice after it has been in the fridge”
For the same reason that water is hard to pour when it gets below 32 degrees.
A couple of the searches were puzzling:
You are aware that “ouch” isn’t an actual medical term?
I’m hope that I’m missing something here, but I’m getting a mental image of one of those things that you fill with cat food that it doles out bit by bit when you’re going aware for the weekend, but filled with Goldfish or Cheerios or something.
“purpose of cookies”
OK, now I’m fighting off a mental image of some guy trying to scrub dishes with an Oreo or trying to rub a gingersnap on his armpits or trying to convince his girlfriend to eat a few prophylactic, pre-coital Fig Newtons.
A couple of the search terms were clearly cat-related:
“cats using the toilet”
Guilty as charged.
“homemade litter boxes”
I was very alarmed by the person that hit my site by searching for “cat litter box brownies”, until I did the search myself and hit upon this:
Cat Litter Box Cake.
Maybe I’ll have a party if I’m actually successful with the whole toilet-training thing and make one of these. It would be pretty funny to set it on the table saying “Well, we don’t need our litter box anymore, so….”