Spicy Street Tacos on the Menu!

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It’s true, Mason’s spicy street tacos that he created while competing on Chopped Junior are the featured recipe on the menu at Max’s in Auburn, CA.

Mason worked to modify the recipe a bit so they don’t have squash blossoms or green strawberries in them, but they are to die for good! Who wants to have a dinner date and go with us?

 

Maxs

Mason is a Chopped Junior Champion!!

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Presenting the coatYep, it’s true, Mason won Chopped Junior on Food Network!

You all know Mason, he’s the kid that raised $26,052 to put a culinary sciences lab in at his elementary school and along that journey, he got the school district to update the school kitchen and hire a lunch lady who cooks hot, real food lunches. They also put in a school garden as part of his efforts.

He’s also the kid who does live cooking demos at fairs, festivals, home shows, private events, and on television. Now add to his CV, at only 12 years old, Chopped Junior Champion

He won $10,000 (more than half went into a trust for later) that he spent on a few special toys, some new clothes, and he started his own business, Mason Made Products, it’s a line of marinades and sauces coming to MasonPartak.com very soon.

We can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring for this bright young man, but we’ll be sure to share his journey with you. You can also follow along on Facebook at Mason Made.

Congratulations Mason, your dad and I are incredibly proud of you! We will be sure to post a photo of Mason in his coveted Chopped Junior Champion chef coat when it comes.

Did You Hear the News?

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Chopped Jr UghOver the summer I got to go to New York and compete on the new Food Network series Chopped Junior. I couldn’t believe it when my mom told me they selected me to compete, I was so excited! A little bit scared, but more excited.

Well, it’s almost time to see my episode. The show aired on October 27th and my episode is scheduled to air on Tuesday December 15th at 5 PM (PST). There will be lots more to share as the air date gets closer, so stay tuned and be sure to like Mason Made on Facebook. We will be posting lots more on my page, including pictures so come follow along.

 

Park Pass & a Picnic, Beals Point, Folsom Lake

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In this episode of Park Pass & a Picnic, we visit Beals Point State Park at Folsom Lake. Sadly, the water levels are so low, this puddle of a lake feels desolate and sad. Mason went swimming, but the water was never deeper than his waist. Ultimately, we did not picnic here as it was just not enjoyable this year, but based on the facilities, we will likely return when the lake is more full.

Hey, you can’t win them all, right?

Crescent Carrot Sandwiches

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This is a fun recipe my mom made for Easter lunch. She got the idea on Pinterest but had to figure a few things out while trying to make them. The fun part of this is making crescent rolls into carrot shapes that can then be filled with some kind of salad like egg salad or tuna salad. We made egg salad because, duh, it’s Easter!

Ingredients

These are the ingredients we used: a box of sugar ice cream cones, foil, non-stick spray, parsley, crescent rolls, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, salt and pepper, and orange food color.

Make your salad first, my mom said she doesn’t have a recipe for her egg salad, she just uses as many eggs as she thinks she needs and add the mayo, mustard, relish, salt and pepper to taste. She likes to add onions, but I don’t like onions in my egg salad so she didn’t add them.

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Once your salad is chilling in the fridge, tear off two 12X12 inch pieces of foil. Cut each piece diagonally to make 8 triangles. Wrap 8 sugar cones in the foil and spray them lightly with non-stick spray. My mom didn’t do this and that is how she knows you need to do it!

When you have all your cones wrapped and sprayed, preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

 

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The next step is to open the crescent rolls and cut each one into 3 pieces. Be sure when you start to roll them on to the cones, you seal the bottom. My mom said you do not need to make sure the dough is touching and overlapping as when the crescents bake, they will fill in the gaps, just don’t leave the gaps too big.

 

 

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My mom made them all touch and the carrots were fatter with less room to fill them up, they were still good though! Add a little bit of orange food color to water and using a pastry brush to color the cones orange. You don’t have to do this, but if you are already going to this much trouble for fun, make it all the way fun!

 

 

 

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Bake for 10-12 minutes, but make sure you drop the rack in your oven to the next to the lowest place or the tips of the carrots will get a little darker than they rest. Yep, that’s something else my mom figured out.

 

 

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 Since my mom did not spray her foil covered cones, she and i had to work carefully to get the crescent carrots off the cones. We broke a few, cones and crescent carrots – but they still tasted great! Let them cool just a little and then fill them with your egg salad. Once you fill the carrot crescent, add a few sprigs of parsley being sure to leave some stem on so the sandwiches really look like carrots! If you let the crescents cool all the way, be sure to put them in a plastic bag so they don’t get hard, or if they do get hard, fill them a little while before you are ready to eat so they soften up with the egg salad in them. These were really fun to eat and tasted so good!

 

 

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Thanks mom for making these for lunch, I can’t wait to make them myself.

No Sugar for 10 Days!

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I am taking the Fed Up Challenge – no added sugar for 10 days. I’m just finishing day 7 and it’s really not been too hard. My mom and I watched the movie, Fed Up and wow! I had no idea how much sugar was in so many foods. We went to shop for sugar free bread and of all the kinds on the bread isle, none of it was sugar free. We finally found some and it was in the bakery section, 1 gram of sugar for 2 slices of bread, that’s the best we could do. I even found out some mayonnaise has sugar added, the high fructose corn syrup. Crazy! My mom made some amazing sugar free Asian chicken lettuce wraps and they were so good, I just had to share them. You can see the recipe in the post before this one. Make them, you will love them! I’ll check back after I finish the 10 days and let you know what I think. If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out on Netflix, it’s really crazy.

Meet Mason!

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Mason and RaleysMason has some cooking demos coming up, he will be at Fairy Tale Town in Sacramento this Saturday from 5-8 with Raley’s and the Sacramento Junior League for Family FunFest. Mason will be doing 2 or 3 cooking demos in Mr. McGregor’s Garden sharing with kids that eating healthy tastes good.

He will also be on Good Day Sacramento on Tuesday the 6th and on Fox 40 on Wednesday the 7th talking about his kitchen project and his upcoming demos at the Auburn Home Show (May 16, 17, 18).

If all that isn’t enough, he will also be at BerryFest in Roseville on May 10th at 2 pm cooking up something Berrylicious! He’s a busy kid – better busy than in trouble, right?! 

School Kitchen Project Check Presentation!

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Mandarin Festival Check PresentationIn November, many families at our school worked at the 20th Annual Mountain Mandarin Festival to help raise money for our new school kitchen. We made a whopping $5800 for the kitchen project and another $1000 for our Bucks Booster Club. My mom always tells me magic can happen when people work together, boy was she right!