November 24th, 2015
With Thanksgiving coming up and more winter holidays around the corner, you’ll want a light, but totally delicious dessert recipe in your back pocket. At least I will, because oof. These easy, light Baked Apples are the ticket. With only a touch of sugar and half a pat of butter each, these are a respite from heavy, sugar desserts—that don’t taste like a respite at all. Mmm.
November 10th, 2015
Roasting vegetables is my number one way to make fall and winter veggies because it is, hands down, the best way to coax out big flavor. And then there’s the fact that it’s dead easy. All it takes to make totally delicious roasted vegetables is two key ingredients: oil and salt. Plus, it’s just as great a technique for busy week nights as it is for special holiday meals. It just gets better and better, which is why you need to learn this foolproof technique for how to roast vegetables once and for all.
November 3rd, 2015
While I’m all for decadent holiday cooking, it’s nice to have a few tasty, healthy options in your back pocket, too, like this Maple Harvest Mousse. Because decadent is good, but decadent-tasting and healthy is even better.
You know me: I’m always looking for fresh, new ways to use vegetables to make my cooking healthier, especially during the holiday season when there’s so much cream and butter (and butter and cream). Together, with my partner Earthbound Farm Organic, we’ve come up with a creative way to use butternut squash in a slightly sweet and totally delicious no-bake dessert that you can make just as easily for any night of the week as you can for a holiday meal.
In fact, since this is sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup and is packed with nutrient rich butternut squash, I’ve even served this at breakfast.
(Yay, healthy breakfast sweets!)
October 30th, 2015
It’s been a long time since I’ve just sat down to write a blog post for you guys. As many of you know, part of that is because I’ve been running a new, one-of-its-kind food site specifically for families, Cool Mom Eats. I’ve also been having a lot of fun working on the One Hungry Mama YouTube channel. But there is something else: I’ve been working on my first cookbook! I thought that keeping it a secret would be difficult, but I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to think about it. The project is finally coming together and I cannot wait for you to see it. I’m so proud and beyond excited to tell you about Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipe to Cook from Scratch with Smart, Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them.
(There’s no cover yet, so the link is there for you only if you want to pre-order the book based on, well, trusting me. Which you should. The book is killer—keep reading to know why!)
There’s so much that I want to tell you about what I’ve been thinking, have learned, and have done to put together a book that is aimed squarely on making healthy cooking for your family easy to do. And when I say easy, I don’t just mean quick. This book includes specific tips and suggestions designed to help ease every part of feeding your family, from meal planning (or not) to navigating the supermarket. And especially to help you go easy on yourself. I know that you want to cook from scratch and keep it uber healthy, but you can’t always do it the way you imagined or the way that other people tell you to—and it’s okay. It’s possible, for example, to use store-bought and budget shortcuts and still pay careful attention to what you put on your family’s plate. My book will help you do that with mix-and-match recipes and a supermarket guide to the best brands and products that conventional supermarkets have to offer.
Given that, I couldn’t be more excited to be making this announcement with a recipe from the book that I’m also sharing with sponsors Bon Appetit and their partner ALDI Supermarkets. Inspired by their Executive Chef, Bon Appetit challenged me to create a meal for under $10 using ingredients sourced at ALDI, a supermarket dedicated to keeping prices remarkably low. It was the perfect opportunity for me to put my tips into practice and show that you can cook up a quick, delicious, healthy meal on the cheap using ingredients that don’t necessarily have to come from the farmer’s market or an expensive specialty food store.
October 29th, 2015
Everyone always goes crazy for Halloween recipes because, well, HALLOWEEN! But this year, Halloween is on a Saturday which makes having fun in the kitchen even more viable. You can bake with the kids, make a special dessert, or take time to whip up healthy Halloween snacks (ooooh, scary!). You can even make a big festive dinner instead of the normal post-school/pre-trick-or-treating shove pizza in your face madness of most years.
With the extra time you’ll want lots of options to pick and choose which Halloween recipes you want to make or, if you’re a Halloween fanatic, to start prepping to make them all.
My Top 5 Halloween recipes video features—you guessed it—five of my favorite Halloween treats. From DIY peanut butter cups to a creepy Halloween dinner that you can throw together with mostly store-bought ingredients, these are my favorite Halloween recipes. Check out how to make them all:
October 23rd, 2015
I’ve been wanting to make caramel apples for a long time but, sadly, this is not the year. I’m way too busy. So, instead, I’m making these easy shortcut Caramel Apple Turnovers that look like mummies. This is Halloween gold, people!
I make these using puff pastry, caramel candies (melted with just a little bit of water; I know, but it’s Halloween, after all), and apples. Real fresh ones (ha!). If you want to go scratch, or even semi-homemade, you can use homemade pie dough (store bought works, too, if you can’t find puff pastry) and even homemade caramel sauce. I have recipes for both!
October 9th, 2015
With the hectic back-to-school season behind us you’re probably (hopefully!) in a groove with school lunch. But what about dinner?! I find that I get so wrapped up in preparing to pack lunches and getting my healthy snack game on that I forget—completely—about how hard it is to get healthy dinners on the table come fall.
With the kids in school all day, I always think that I’ll have more time to cook but, in reality, outdoor after school activities, homework, the early fall of darkness, and school night bedtimes make getting home cooked dinners on the table way harder than in the summer. And that’s not to mention more limited produce choices, at least in many parts of the country. Having go-to recipes that I can count on to be easy, healthy, and fast is key to maintaining my sanity while keeping the family healthy through this busy time of year.
September 30th, 2015
It used to be that vegetables were the thing that always came home in my boys’ lunch boxes, but there was a strange reversal over the summer. Suddenly, the peppers and cucumbers, carrot stick and snap peas were eaten, but the fruit was coming home. Fruit? Sweet summer fruit! What gives?
Back in the day, I might have investigated this strange phenomenon. And maybe back then I would have written a long (possibly inspiring? or at least informational?) post about the psychology of children eating fruit. But you know what having a nearly 6-year-old and 8 1/2-year-old has done for me? It has freed me. I don’t need to investigate. I’m not even all that curious. It’s just the way of raising children. One day they like fruit and the next they don’t. One day pasta is their favorite food in the world and then next it’s quite possibly the most disgusting thing they have ever seen plated for human consumption.
There’s just no telling and luckily, at this point in my motherhood journey, I can rest assured in that reality. Instead, I focus a little energy—whatever I have—on looking for creative and easy solutions that get them to eat well. In this case, it comes in the form of fruit sushi.
Before I explain what fruit sushi is, how I make it, and why I refuse to call it “frushi” (it just sounds bad), I do hope that my “move along” attitude is, in some strange way, as helpful as the long examining posts of yesteryear. If you have younger children, I encourage you to still put the energy into learning about how and why kids eat the way that they do. Here are some resources that I hope help: 5 simple ways to feed baby while feeding yourself, why hiding vegetables misses the point, introducing high allergen foods. But I also hope that you don’t stress out too much. I get that you may not be able to just “move along” if you’re in the thick of dealing with a picky 3-year-old—I wouldn’t have been able to—but I also wish that someone had told me that my efforts were better spent eating well myself as a good model, having fun coming up with healthy meals that we could all ostensibly share, and not stressing when the kids refused my healthy meals. (Your kids won’t starve. Seriously. I promise.)
I wish someone had told me to make it easy because my best was good enough. And then I wish that someone had shown me fruit sushi. Because look at how fun!
September 22nd, 2015
The number one thing that slows home cooks down is chopping. And, of all the things to chop, the most frustrating is onion. It’s also the most common thing to chop. It figures, right? I mean, how many times a week do you chop an onion? If you don’t know how to do it correctly, it probably feels like a million.
It’s not all bad news, though. The good is that there is a simple method for cutting an onion that will make even the slowest choppers go fast (safely!). It also creates a perfect dice, so there’s that, too. No more need for hacking a big pile of wonky onions. Because you know what they say about wonky onions.
September 15th, 2015
While everyone is scrambling to come up with the next new school lunch idea, I’m taking a different approach this year. I’m thinking it’s not about new recipes or fresh lunch ideas—at least, not entirely. Instead, it’s about changing up presentation. Who cares if it’s the same old, same old. In fact, if it’s healthy and the kids will eat it, why wouldn’t you stick with what works?!
But a new presentation? That’s everything to kids.
August 25th, 2015
It’s back to school and everyone is talking about school lunch. I get it: packing a lunchbox day after day can feel like a seriously thankless chore. For me, though, figuring out quick, healthy breakfasts for busy school day mornings is the big challenge. After an enthusiastic start, I inevitably find it hard to sustain a morning routine of anything more than smoothies and a bowl of cereal. Not very inspired, which is why, this school year, I want to help you—and myself!—by collecting quick, healthy breakfast recipes that we can rely on all year long in one place.
Look no further.
August 18th, 2015
Back to school season means back to school lunch packing. (Our favorite!) I’ve found that the best way to get good and FAST at something—anything, really—is to figure out the best approach and practice it over and over again. Packing a school lunch is no different, which is why I’ve put together these 5 easy steps to pack school lunch like a pro.
Think of these steps as best practices for packing a healthy, balanced school lunch without too much extra thought or effort on your part. Follow them, over and over, and before you know it you’ll be moving through the task at lightening speed. And, even better, you’ll get so good that you’ll be able to start riffing and coming up with your own best practices.
When that happens, come back here and tell me what they are. Don’t forget the little people.
August 11th, 2015
It seems like nearly everyone has to pack lunch for nut-free classrooms these days. Whether yours is a family contenting with nut allergies or just looking for a nutritious swap for your staple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sunflower seed butter is a life saver. Sunbutter, the most popular brand, comes in creamy or crunchy and is pretty tasty, too. (My kids think it tastes a whole lot like peanut butter.) The only problem is that it can be pricy. So, instead of buying it—since I also stock peanut butter for non-school days—I make small batches using this DIY Sunbutter recipe to cover school lunch.
August 4th, 2015
Hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite things to always have on hand. They make a great healthy snack with nothing more than salt and pepper (okay, and maybe a smear of mayo) and can be used to throw together a brainy breakfast like these 5 easy breakfast recipes. I don’t know how I could pack school lunch without hard boiled eggs: It’s one of my 4 pantry ingredients essential for great school lunches. Hard boiled eggs can even be used to make a super simple, lightening fast dinner like these Quick Curried Eggs (a favorite in my house). And, of course, no party appetizer is complete without deviled eggs.
July 28th, 2015
It’s hard to believe that back-to-school season is about to kick off. And, around these parts, back-to-school means school lunch. We still have a little time, but we’re going to warm up by looking back. These are my top 5 school lunch recipes and ideas. My all-stars.
There is a ton of inspiration in these videos from gluten-free to make-ahead school lunches and ideas for how to use leftovers and think beyond the sandwich. It’s a lot—but the year is also long.