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!
October 8th, 2014
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that in August I made a bunch of pizzas for a big family gathering. I’ve been crazy about making pizza ever since, experimenting with toppings, sauces, cooking temperatures, and cooking surfaces (sheet pans, pizza stones, etc). I’m still gathering all of my intel—though I can tell you that I haven’t convincingly disproven any of the common pizza-making wisdom—but I had to share this pie in the meantime.
I love a pie loaded with inventive ingredients, but sometimes you want just a slight variation of a plain pie. When that’s the case, you want this Pizza with Provolone and Caramelized Onions.
October 6th, 2014
It’s a funny thing being obsessed with cookbooks, but not often cooking from them. I guess, for me, cookbooks are inspiration: I look through them less for recipes and more for new flavor combinations and novel ways to approach cooking. Not that recipes don’t matter. They are the point of a cookbook, after all, and I can tell if one is good just by looking at it.
Every once and a while, though, the recipes in a cookbook draw me in. I know that I can make something similar without the recipe, but I’m moved to follow it exactly. This happened with Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sam Tamimi, and more recently with the The Make-Ahead Cook from America’s Test Kitchen.
October 1st, 2014
Everyone’s favorite: a green smoothie! Okay, I’m being facetious. I know that you’re tired of green smoothies. But I also know that you like them. Right? Right? You’re just bored with the same old formula and this one is fresh and new and irresistibly delicious.
I’m a huge fan of cardamom and, if you are, too, this is your new go-to green smoothie. Paired with shredded coconut, coconut water and lime, this has a bright, exotic flavor that will transport you to southeast Asia. Or at least that’s what it does for me.
The mango lends this smoothie a bit of sweetness, but not too much. My kids like this as is, but you can always add a touch of honey if your children need a little bit more. And don’t worry about the kale: you don’t even taste it. It just lends a gorgeous green color and nutrition boost.
September 30th, 2014
Remember pizza day at your school cafeteria? It was my favorite, which is amazing considering the icky frozen pizza that my cafeteria served! I’m giving pizza day a makeover with these awesome make-ahead Pesto Pizza Rolls that are perfect for the lunchbox or an easy weeknight dinner.
You all know I’m a sucker for scratch cooking, but it isn’t always possible to make a pizza entirely from scratch, especially when it’s for school lunch. It isn’t even necessary given that it’s pretty easy to find quality store bought ingredients for this recipe. You can also swap in pizza sauce (again, homemade or store-bought) for the pesto and ricotta to make traditional pizza rolls.
September 26th, 2014
I can’t help but end travel week with a few thoughts on why I think travel—near or far, luxe or on a budget, by plane, train or automobile—is so important. And, yes, I realize that the timing for this may seem strange, but I wanted to reflect on travel at a time when you’re not likely to be busy traveling. Hopefully you have time to consider what you want travel to mean for your family before gearing up for the holiday travel season, when travel will mean decisions, logistics, and planning.
Difference is a big concept for little ones. It takes years for young children to understand that not every home is like their own. Friends and neighbors are our children’s first exposure to differences, but imagining diversity on a global scale isn’t something that children can start to do until they are at least 8- or 9-years-old. Travel is an amazing way to help young children picture the world’s many peoples, places, and cultures. It makes difference concrete and relatable, but it can also feel strange. That’s where food comes in.
Food is universal. It connects us all and, even when foreign food feels strange, it’s always a comfort to be fed. The food of another place or culture may be unfamiliar, but the drive to nourish and be nourished is a shared experience that connects us all; it is a reminder that we are more the same than we are different.
September 24th, 2014
It’s travel week here at One Hungry Mama! Travel and eating go so well together, but there can be more to it than just experiencing new flavors. Our family trip to a Parmesan dairy in Italy this summer was a wonderful reminder of how powerful it is to connect with how our food is grown and made.
Day to day, meals can feel like a chore but—take just one moment to stop and think about this—the food that we put on the table is the stuff that goes inside our bodies and our kids’ bodies. What we feed ourselves and our family is the fuel that powers our day and our children through learning, growing, and playing. I know how easy it is to get lured in by processed food shortcuts that make kid-friendly dinners easy breezy, especially during the school year, but it’s a scary slippery slope. One look at most ingredients labels is proof.
The good news—no, the great news—is that there are a lot of socially-minded companies making delicious, wholesome food products that help make dinner fast and healthy. Earthbound Farm Organic is one of them. The company that revolutionized salad (they were the first to sell pre-washed greens!), is on the forefront of making organic produce accessible; their products are available in 75% of markets in America!
From greens that you can eat straight out of the package, to salad kits that save me from my lunch-avoidant ways on weekly basis, and frozen fruit that make it possible for my kids’ smoothies to be organic, Earthbound Farm Organic has been leading the sustainable charge for years. So, yea, I’d say that I was pretty excited to be invited to visit Earthbound Farm Organic to see and learn more about how they are growing and making so many of the the products that I love using in my kitchen everyday.