November 24th, 2014
You know what my problem is? I want every meal during the entire holiday weekend to be delicious. All of the food doesn’t have to be complicated or take tons of time, but I feel like every meal should feel like a treat. It’s a little overkill, I know, but that’s why I’m so into holiday breakfast recipes. Proof:
This year I took a page from Martha Stewart where I got the idea for this Pumpkin Yogurt Breakfast Parfait. It’s even easier than all of the recipes above, including the make ahead recipes since it preps in 5 minutes flat. It’s also a totally delicious way to get in the turkey day mood. If you like this breakfast parfait as much as we do, I bet it will become a go-to quick school day breakfast. It’s honestly as easy as pouring a bowl of cereal and so much better for you. It makes a killer snack, as well.
November 20th, 2014
Turkey day is next week and that means… cakes and pie!
That’s right, I’m not ready to talk turkey. I’d much rather help make sure that your pies and baked goods are in order. Because if your Thanksgiving meal ends happy, it will be remembered as a happy meal.
I’m dropping gems here, people.
November 18th, 2014
As the cold sets in—and, oh, how it has set in here in Brooklyn—I start cranking the oven and experimenting with recipes for roasts like my Apple Butter-Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin and this Red Pepper Roasted Chicken. There’s really nothing better or easier than throwing a handful of ingredients and good cut of meat in the oven and taking out a delicious, hearty dinner.
November 14th, 2014
I’m thinking turkey, gravy, pies and eating salads, salads, salads. Or, at least, that’s my plan. Starting next week (ha!).
It’s all about balance and I plan to strike one by spending the days leading up to Thanksgiving eating as healthfully as possible. With that in mind, I’ve been rounding up fall salad inspiration. I want there to be no excuse.
Check out my latest favorite fall salads. You can eat them now like me or bookmark some for your holiday table. Many of these would make a lovely addition to a Thanksgiving meal.
November 11th, 2014
No bake, no stress. That’s what I’m screaming with this decadent Thanksgiving dessert. Holiday cooking and baking are fun, but let’s be honest: they can suck the life out of you if you don’t pace yourself. If I’m not responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll happily grab some made ahead pie dough from my freezer to make Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Pecan Crumble or something equally delectable. If I’m responsible for Thanksgiving dinner, though, I save baking for the December holidays and keep it easy with this No-Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake.
November 10th, 2014
It always takes me until after Halloween to realize that, yup, it’s all about fall foods. No more stray berries or plums. Even lighter greens are going away in these parts. It’s officially time for apples and dark greens, pears and squash. I guess it has been for a little while, but I’m just processing now. One of the ways that I love to transition from the lighter foods of summer to the heartier foods of fall is to make big autumn salads like this one with roasted squash.
Salads are an all-year-around food, but the ones founded on a bed of baby lettuces will always have a lighter, summer-spring essence for me. Then I build in winter or fall using roasted veggies and this Maple Mustard Vinaigrette. I’m working on slowly accepting the change of season. Little by little.
November 5th, 2014
We’ve just crossed into holiday cooking season and here I am offering you a tutorial on how to make homemade almond milk. This recipe does not call for butter. The vanilla almond milk recipe doesn’t even have sugar (it’s sweetened with prunes!). No pie crust. No heavy cream. But, still, this is our favorite recipe right now. The spiced vanilla almond milk, in particular—it has a warming, holiday flavor that’s perfect for right now. My boys have been drinking it warmed with a little honey mixed in. I plan on using it to make a healthy holiday nog and plenty of holiday spiced smoothies, so keep an eye out.
Making homemade almond milk may seem like an unnecessary bother to some—I get it. This process may not be for everyone, but it’s too easy not to share. Plus, I’ve been reading up on carrageenan, a common additive in nut, soy and grain milks that helps to thicken them and it’s definitely questionable, especially consumed in great quantity. Given how frequently my boys drink almond and soy milk, I’m thinking homemade is the way to go.
Thank goodness making almond milk from scratch is so easy with such a worthwhile payback. (It tastes so much better than the store bought kind.)
Here’s the deal:
November 3rd, 2014
Snack week strikes again. It happens early in the year when you choose a name for your child that starts with “I.” I already finished my first round of duty and, overall, it was a hit.
I packed the week with lots of staples: tortilla chips and guacamole, pretzels, carrots, hummus, grapes, apples, melon, and cheese sticks. Then I added in a few homemade treats, these Pumpkin Oat Bars included.
The class got my first pass at these bars, which was born of an attempt to make something decadent enough to feel like a treat, but healthy enough to serve as healthy late morning fuel. To be honest, though, I didn’t use quite enough sugar to achieve the taste I wanted. When I made these a second time, instead of increasing the sugar, I added a combination of chocolate and butterscotch chips. Ooooh-eeee did the combination do the trick. They added just the amount of sweetness that I was looking for (which, honestly, isn’t crazy sweet).
October 31st, 2014
I cant deny it any longer: a chill is settling in Brooklyn. We still have some warm afternoons where I can get away with wearing nothing more than a pair of jeans and a light long-sleeved shirt. Nonetheless, I’m getting into the habit of carrying a jacket at all times. All it takes is some cloud coverage and the cold sets in.
It’s a nice feeling. The air is crisp and the light is beautiful. And the leaves: they’re perfect and bright. It’s gorgeous here and if I can keep my mind off of what’s coming, I feel warm and satisfied sipping tea under a blanket (with the warmth of my laptop coming through—ha!) and the oven doing all of the heavy lifting for dinner.
And that’s really the best part. Yes, the leaves are gorgeous. Sure the temps are perfect. I’m just happy that I don’t have to work too hard to make a great dinner. An impressive one, even. I love that my oven can do most of the hard work and then I get to present my family with gorgeous roasted squash, sweet cumin-lime roasted carrots, crispy-edged brussels sprouts, and satisfying roasted meats.
It’s all about priorities.
October 28th, 2014
This is dangerous. My favorite candy—peanut butter cups—can be made at home, in the freezer, with just three ingredients. No special molds, no candy thermometers, no hours of waiting and, best of all, no chemicals or other weird ingredients in my, uh, I mean, in my kids’ treats.
This is a super fun DIY cooking project for Halloween. Either make these with your kiddo for a fun Halloween week dessert or sneak them into his lunchbox on Friday.
Or make these all the time. Because, really, do we need it to be Halloween to eat peanut butter cups? I think not.
October 24th, 2014
I have a secret (that I’d really like to keep between us grownups): There are tons of healthier Halloween candy options that are just as delicious as our favorite classic candies. Seriously.
Despite being a (mostly) all-natural mama, I’m pretty traditional when it comes to Halloween. I’m not going to encourage apples or raisins here, though more power to you if that’s your thing. Now that my kids are older, I can get back to my roots: For me, Halloween is about candy, so you can imagine how excited I am about the many all-natural candy options available these days.
October 22nd, 2014
Last week I did a round up of killer pumpkin spice recipes at Cool Mom Picks and one recipe has stuck with me. You know, the way it’ll stick on my hips (ha!). Regardless, I had to make it and my cozy, post-birthday party Sunday afternoon with the little one was the perfect chance to make these Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts. I’d like to say that the little one helped, but he was way too busy playing with all his new toys. It’s good being five.
All of the treats on my pumpkin spice recipe roundup look amazing, but I just got stuck on these Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts at Southern Fatty. I think it was the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Frosting that got me. I was also interested in the Phillip’s approach to the dough.
The last time I made these Honey Apple Pie Pop Tarts (which, by the way, are basically hand pies), I used my regular pie dough recipe. Phillip takes a slightly different approach to get a sweeter and more layered crust. I adapted his recipe to include some whole wheat flour and it worked quite well, though the whole wheat flour worked against getting distinct buttery layers. It was delicious just the same. Regular pie dough will be delicious, too, but I liked the thicker, heartier dough shared here. It’s a great match the big spice of the pumpkin filling and cinnamon glaze.
October 17th, 2014
Remember my trip to California to visit Earthbound Farm Organic? It happened. It was blissful. I want to go back. Since I don’t think anyone will be arranging that anytime soon (the childcare arrangements alone!), I’ve been feasting on re-creations of the soul nourishing meals that I was so lovingly fed by Chef Sarah LaCasse, Earthbound’s executive chef.
Sarah is warm, funny, and a genius cook dedicated to super flavorful, natural cooking and, if you can’t tell, I love her. What she was able to put on the table given the group’s dietary restrictions is, alone, enough to make Sarah my hero. This Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils and Greens may have helped solidify her super hero status, too.
October 14th, 2014
Homemade Cheddar Crackers: The ultimate all-purpose recipe for school lunch, snack time, holiday parties, and more.
Every once and a while a genius recipe comes along that makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. It’s easy, you can make it for nearly any occasion and, most importantly, it’s totally delicious. This homemade cheddar cracker recipe, a hand-me down from a dear friend (I believe it was her mother’s recipe), is that recipe for me. It’s so good and works for everything: school lunch, cocktail parties, play dates, baking with kids, snack time, and more. Name an occasion that wouldn’t be better with homemade cheddar crackers. Go ahead: I dare you.
I was recently asked by a viewer at the One Hungry Mama YouTube channel for a good toddler finger food recipes. Another viewer had recently asked for make-ahead school lunch ideas and, at the time, I was also starting to think about holiday recipe videos. As ideas swirled around my head, it occurred to me that my go-to homemade cheddar crackers fit the bill across the board. Many birds, one recipe. Or, you know, something like that.
October 10th, 2014
Cold and flu season has arrived. (Sigh.) I’m not giving in: I’m armed with vitamins boosted with echinacea, elderberry syrup, and a steady diet of super foods that are natural preventative and cold remedies. My approach is no guarantee, but nothing is. I just like doing everything that I can to naturally help keep myself and my family healthy all winter long.
Some of my favorite foods for cold and flu season are chicken soup, citrus, carrot juice, ginger, tea, garlic, and miso. I rounded up 7 awesome cold-fighting recipes, from soups to smoothies, at Cool Mom Picks. I’m also sharing my favorite miso recipes below, including my Loaded Miso Soup (above).
Stock up, mamas. We’re going to make it through!