July 20th, 2014
Today is National Ice Cream Day.
National Ice Cream Day!!!
I cannot possibly let the day pass without paying my respect to everyone’s favorite frozen treat so, without further ado, check out my favorite ice cream recipes from One Hungry Mama and around the web, too.
Choose a favorite, eat, celebrate.
July 18th, 2014
The beauty of the grill is in the simplicity of the meals it makes. It doesn’t take much to grill something delicious, whether meat, fish, veg or even tofu. A good marinade and, if you’re feeling fancy, a special sauce to finish, are really all it takes. These grilled Lemon-Oregano Lamb Kabobs are a perfect example.
Quick and easy, they can make a weeknight meal alongside a simple salad and rice. They are also elegant enough to fit into a more elaborate weekend or celebratory meal like the one I made for my father-in-law’s birthday (you know, the one I made after serving the boys this pantry pasta dinner.)
July 16th, 2014
I almost never feed my boys a separate kids meal. I can’t lie: partly it’s on principle. Mostly, though, it’s about keeping things easy for me. It’s about doing and eating what I want. Every once and while, though, making a quick, separate kids meal works out better for me and, when it does, I go for it.
This weekend, I wanted to take my time to prep a big birthday meal that the grown ups would eat later in the evening with a special guest. Instead of cooking early and having the meal sit, I threw together a summer pantry meal for the boys, got them to bed, and then sipped on a Aperol Spritz while prepping lamb kabobs, pilaf, string beans with yogurt and pine nuts, and a spinach salad with dates, almonds and quick pickled red onion.
That was easier. That was what I wanted.
On occasions when I make separate meals for the boys, I rely heavily on my pantry. In the winter, that means digging through my cupboard and freezer like I did for this all-pantry dinner recipe. In the summer, when produce is abundant and easy to have on hand at all times (I’m looking at you zucchini), I can throw in some fresh produce. This Pasta with Zucchini and Chickpeas is a perfect example of a quick meal that I can make in 15 minutes, any night of the week, all summer long. And, by the way, it is delicious enough that the some of the late-dining grownups couldn’t resist a pasta appetizer, so don’t think this is just a kids meal.
July 11th, 2014
Last summer it was a Pimm’s Cup. This summer I’m all about the Aperol Spritz. It’s THE drink of the summer. Or, at least, MY drink of the summer.
What can I say? I can’t get my trip to Italy out of my system.
July 7th, 2014
I’m on a serious Italian food kick. Ever since returning from Italy, we’ve been feasting on easy summer pestos, meatballs, fresh mozzarella and tomato salads, prosciutto sandwiches, and even fruit and mascarpone dessert pizza!
Having just been in Bologna, one of my biggest cravings has been meat sauce. Having just returned from an eating vacation, I’ve also been wanting to lighten up. So, unlike my restaurant-style approach with Chicken Marsala, I riffed on classic bolognese to make a healthier version.
This Mushroom and Lentil “Bolognese” sauce is not meant to taste like a stand in for real meat-sauce, but it is just as hearty and full of umami flavor as the real thing. Totally delicious and satisfying.
July 2nd, 2014
If you follow me on Instagram or even Facebook you know that I was recently in Italy. And, you guys, I can’t get it out of my system. I want to go back. But, sadly, having just gotten the boys adjusted to NYC time and settled in camp—you know, among other things—I won’t be heading back to Italia anytime soon. So, for now, I’m bringing Italy to Brooklyn, and this weekend it was in the form of a dessert pizza that turned into a breakfast pizza. Because everyone in Italy knows that breakfast and dessert are interchangeable.
The Italians are so smart.
June 30th, 2014
Holy bananas. (Or, uh, cherries?) We’ve been home from our trip to Paris and Italy for 4 nights and every single one has been a terrible sleep. As in being greeted at 3 a.m. with, “Good morning mama, I can’t sleep. It’s morning, right?” The good news is that I think tonight’s going to be a good one. The bad is that it comes just in time for our new camp schedule. You know, the one where one of us has to be out the door with one kid at 7:45 a.m. while the other one leaves at 8 a.m. take the other kid in a totally different direction.
Yea, that one.
I’ve prepared as much as I can. Backpacks are stuffed with towels, swimsuits and lots of other labeled shit (do you guys label each sock?). Lunches are prepped. Water bottles are stationed by the sink, ready to be filled. And so it will be every Monday through Friday for the next 5 weeks. It isn’t fun (for me), but with thoughtful preparation it is manageable. I wish I could say I felt the same about getting a healthy breakfast into my boys before we walk out the door.
You guys probably remember that back in March I took control over breakfast. I learned about how to choose a healthy cereal, what makes a better breakfast food, and created a healthy breakfast meal plan that limited cereal to 3 days a week. It’s been going great, but I’m a little bit worried about keeping it up with this new schedule. Yet, again, preparation will be the key.
For this week, I’ve prepped smoothie packets and have granola and yogurt ready to go. I also baked a batch of Sweet Cherry Muffins with Coconut Crumble since I suspect that on-the-go breakfasts are going to take on new meaning. And, of course, I hard boiled a dozen eggs. Can’t go without them.
June 24th, 2014
So, technically, these aren’t red velvet pancakes as much as they are red pancakes. The important thing, though, is that they are good pancakes. Great, even, thanks to an easy trick that will turn any old pancakes into fluffy diner-style pancakes. (Watch for my secret!) Tasty, pillowy, and a pretty red hue that comes from an all natural source, these pancakes make an awesome July 4th breakfast topped with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream.
Red, white and blue pancakes for breakfast?
It doesn’t get more patriotic than that, people.
June 23rd, 2014
Remember when I wouldn’t make Carrot Ginger Dressing at home because I didn’t think it would measure up to the version at my once favorite restaurant, Dojo? Well, thanks to Keepers, one of the cookbooks I keep right near the stove for weeknight meal inspiration, I got over that. And, now, thanks to this recipe for tofu burgers, inspired by the Hijiki Tofu Burgers at Dojo, I’m making Carrot Ginger Dressing all the time. Because these two things go together like vanilla ice cream and warm apple pie, like bacon, lettuce and tomatoes, like chocolate and peanut butter. These tofu burgers drizzled with Carrot Ginger Dressing are a combination not to be missed.
June 19th, 2014
I wanted strawberry rhubarb pie, but didn’t feel like making pie crust. So, instead, I made an easy cake—this Flourless Almond Cake, to be exact—and this Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce.
It hit the spot.
Plus, this sauce did double duty and made a batch of Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas for the grown ups and Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade for the kids. So, yea, it really hit the spot. Twice. And the crazy thing is that there are a million other ways to use this sauce.
June 16th, 2014
I’ve been wanting to make a Flourless Almond Cake for a while now and finally pulled the trigger. Maybe it’s because I’m traveling to Paris soon. Maybe because a light, fluffy flourless cake is the perfect way to end a summer meal. Maybe it was t was just time. Whatever the reason, this Flourless Almond Cake happened and I’m happy that it finally did.
The first time that I made this cake it seemed impossible that it would come together. A thick paste of egg yolks, sugar, and almond meal. No flour. No liquid.
But, then, magic.
June 12th, 2014
Tortilla Soup is one of my all time favorites. Hearty, with a little bit of spice, and topped with fried tortilla strips, it’s as satisfying as a soup gets. And, I mean, fried tortilla strips. Is there more to say?
I’ve always considered chicken—and, more to the point, deep, rich homemade chicken stock—to be the soul of Tortilla Soup. After all, it’s usually called Chicken Tortilla Soup. And that healing feeling that sweeps over you when you eat a bowl? It could only come from long cooked chicken bones. Right?
Apparently not, because I’ve made a kick ass version that’s completely vegetarian. Vegan, even, if you skip the grated cheese garnish. It turns out that this soup is not about chicken stock, but rather a genius blend of simple ingredients.
(Like so much great Mexican food. I should have known!)
June 10th, 2014
Ice cream sandwiches are good, but they’ve never been my favorite. Honestly, for all my all-natural-ness, I’d trade a classic chocolate cookie/vanilla ice cream sandwich for a classic Oreo any day. But here’s the thing the I’m coming to realize: I like ice cream sandwiches in flavors inspired by classic pies. Remember these “Key Lime Pie” Ice Cream sandwiches? Like that. And like these “Banana Cream Pie” Ice Cream Sandwiches, too.
Strange, perhaps, but tell me these don’t sound—and look!—delicious.