September 15th, 2014
You guys, I’m freaking out. These Thai Chicken Burgers with Quick Pickled Carrots are so good. Like eat them for dinner once a week good. And they are quick and easy, too.
Tasty, quick, and easy: the family dinner trifecta.
The flavors in these chicken burgers are quintessentially Thai—especially paired with my Thai-Style Quick Pickled Carrots (recipe below, too)—but mild enough that the kids loved them. Even my picky eater. I just skipped the carrots for the boys and served them on a potato roll with nothing more than a little mayo. In addition to a pile of tangy pickled carrots, I served the grown up burgers with Sriracha mayo. Perfect.
September 12th, 2014
I once heard that the mark of a great chef is how well she can scramble eggs. Of course. It’s always the simple things that stump you, like how it took me years to figure out how to cook rice perfectly. Making hard boiled eggs is one of those kitchen tasks that you’d think would be a no-brainer, but is actually hard to do well. It’s not easy to consistently get a creamy yolk without that icky green outer ring and to escape rubbery egg whites unless, of course, you follow these easy directions for how to boil an egg perfectly.
All it takes is a little attention, or at least a timer.
September 10th, 2014
The first person to ever pique my curiosity about gluten-free cooking—and to convince me that it’s easy and doable—is Silvana Nardone. The founding editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine and a former Italian bakery owner, I trusted Silvana. She knows food and, more importantly, she knows gluten. Though I’d never considered gluten- or dairy-free cooking, her first cookbook Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals became an instant favorite in my house. But as much as I loved the book, I didn’t realize just how fabulous it is until sickness hit.
It’s a long story that ends with us not having to maintain a gluten-free home, but there was a long period of time when we thought that we might have to. During that time, I experimented with my own gluten-free cooking, leaning on Silvana’s book the whole time. Then, a year later, we found ourselves having to take on a dairy-free diet. It was temporary, but lasted for 12 months and, again, Silvana came to the rescue. Even now, as we’re back to eating gluten and dairy with (mostly) abandon, Silvana’s recipes are a regular part of our life.
In the years since Silvana’s first book, she has become a pillar in the gluten- and dairy-free recipe community. She’s the woman behind the go-to gluten-free and dairy-free blog Silvana’s Kitchen and is among the most sought-after gluten- and dairy-free food writers and recipe developers in the business, with regular contributions to publications including Food & Wine. If Silvana knew what she was doing before, she’s mastered it now, and her new book, Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed, is all about sharing her perfected classic recipes.
September 8th, 2014
I found myself in a quandary the other day. I didn’t feel like cooking, I had already cooked pasta on hand, and I really (really) wanted Middle Eastern food. What’s a hungry mama to do? Why, make this Pasta with Lemon Yogurt Sauce and Buttered Pine Nuts, of course.
September 4th, 2014
Sometimes you just need dinner to be quick and easy. Not the kind of “quick and easy” promoted by headlines or recipe titles. Those are never quite quick and easy enough. No, sometimes, when you’re just back from vacation or have worked an interminably long day or can’t believe that there’s so much to do to get everyone ready to start school again, you need a dinner that practically cooks itself—and fast. This Grilled Steak with Sweet and Sour Peppers is the answer.
September 2nd, 2014
With so many great-tasting, gluten-free products on the market these days, packing a gluten-free lunch is easier than ever. The main challenge is that, unfortunately, gluten-free bread is not on the top of my list of great gluten-free products. If you ask me, store bought gluten-free bread has a long way to go and the key to packing a delicious, easily gluten free lunch box is to work around the bread.
Watch for three of my favorite gluten-free lunch ideas, none of which use gluten-free bread. Because, even if you’ve found one that you like, you’re likely to use it to make traditional sandwiches and these ideas go beyond the sandwich.
August 29th, 2014
If you’re anything like me, hearing a term like “Superfruit” triggers major eye rolling. But, as it turns out, some fruits really are super and most aren’t particularly rare or flown in from some far corner from the globe. Despite what marking might have you believe, most Superfruits are fruits you can find at your supermarket all year around.
I did some research on Superfruits and highlighted five of my favorites, along with ideas for how to pack them in a super-boosted school lunch on Cool Mom Picks. As a bonus, I’m adding some other recipes here, too, to help make sure that you and your super family get all the super nutrition these fruits have to offer.
August 27th, 2014
I spied this recipe on Food52 a while back and have been keeping it in my back pocket. The name is what really pulled me: Red Pepper Taxicab Chicken. Who wouldn’t want to make that? Just back from vacation and in need of a hearty, low-maintenance dinner, this was the perfect week to give this chicken dinner a test run. It turned out so good that I want to share it with you, too, as my latest family food find.
August 21st, 2014
It’s back to school time again! I can hardly believe it, but here we are searching for backpacks, lunch boxes and school lunch recipe inspiration. As with every year, I’m here to help you find the best lunchbox gear the new season has to offer, but I’m doing things a little bit differently. (Don’t worry, mamas: change is good!)
Instead of reinventing the wheel, so to speak, this year I’m going to point you to a few places—here and at my other home, Cool Mom Picks—for everything you need to put together the coolest, most delicious school lunches you can manage.
Why point you around this year? Well, first off, the 2013 One Hungry Mama Back-to-School Lunch Gear Guide was so good (if I do say so myself) that I’ve become a die hard for some of the products there and I want to make sure that you know about them. And new stuff? Well, my Cool Mom Picks team, in all their glorious good taste, have put together the ultimate guides to the best lunch boxes and lunch bags and also the coolest school lunch accessories.
Plus, I know you Pinterest-pinning, Facebook-liking, tumbler-hopping mamas are using to jumping around a bit if it means discovering the best stuff the web has to offer. And that’s exactly what this year’s Back-to-School Lunch Guide has in store. So, go ahead, click to read more and check out all the school lunch goods.
August 19th, 2014
While I’m deep in denial, soaking up the last days of summer while we still have three weeks before school begins in NYC, I know that many of you are in the throes of transitioning to your school routine. Or at least preparing for that. Early mornings, homework, after school activities and, of course, school lunch. Every school day for an entire school year.
It’s a lot, which is why, even though I spend most of these days squeezing my eyes shut, plugging my ears and pretending that I don’t see or hear the school year approaching, I’ve managed to put together a series of back to school lunch recipe videos. (The things I do for you!) The first one was a video with healthy dip recipes for the lunchbox. All three are perfect antidotes for the sandwich blahs. (Believe me, they’ll kick in sooner than you expect.) And now I’m taking on the Lunchable with a DIY version of the every popular Taco Lunchable.
August 15th, 2014
Earlier this week it was pie (fresh Plum and Lime Custard Hand Pies, to be exact) and now ice cream. What can I say, I’m not ready to give up summer. Plus, these are dairy-free ice cream recipes—the best ones around—so they are healthier for you. Or at least healthierish. Or maybe they aren’t healthier at all. Whatever. I’m making excuses.
Let’s get real: I cannot wait to try all 5 of these dairy-free ice cream recipes, including a genius post on how to make dairy-free ice cream in general. I plan on enjoying every bite in the sunshine, all the while ignoring backpack shopping or whatever else it is I’m supposed to be doing right now.
I hope you’ll do the same.
August 13th, 2014
So, I’ve got this lime curd problem. It started with the discovery of my new favorite snack, Yogurt with Lime Curd and Raspberries. I’ve been eating it like crazy, sneaking small, plain spoonfuls of lime curd in between. Now I’ve taken lime curd to new places, places from which I cannot return. Now I’ve paired tangy lime custard with sweet summer plums in a hand pie that goes down all too easily. It’s summer deliciousness all wrapped in pie dough which, by the way, is how all deliciousness should be delivered.
August 11th, 2014
I’ve been obsessed with the recipe for Little Quinoa Patties from Super Natural Every Day, the cookbook by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, ever since I first cracked the book open. The recipe is simple and delicious and my favorite way to serve quinoa. Maybe because it’s the only way that I can serve quinoa that goes totally unquestioned by both boys every time I serve it. It’s fool proof, at least in my house. (And, toddler mamas, these make a particularly awesome finger food.)
The only challenge with this recipe is finding ways to serve the patties so that they feel satisfying as dinner. They make a fab side but, though they are simple to make, they require enough effort that I say they have to be the main. During the week especially, I don’t have time to make these and another significant recipe.
I’ve served them with a huge, hearty salad and with leftover soup. I’ve also served them as a side to leftover chicken. I’ve always known, though, that there can be so much more to this healthy, delicious dish. And, finally, I figured it out: serve these fritters as you would falafel. It works perfectly to make a lovely weeknight dinner.
August 8th, 2014
I spent last Saturday cooking and listening to an 80′s radio station. (Heaven.) One song, in particular, got into my system: “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.” Remember that song—or are you too young (harumph)? The song has a line about cherry wine. What is cherry wine? I’ve wondered for so many years and finally, last Saturday, took matters into my own hands. What is cherry wine? I make cherry wine. THIS is cherry wine. Or, you know, Cherry Plum Sangria.
August 5th, 2014
Oh, school lunch. It starts out fun enough: picking out new lunch boxes, buying cute lunch box gear, and collecting fun school lunch ideas. But it gets old fast, right? A few weeks in, I know it can be hard to muster up the wherewithal to pack anything more than a PB&J and bag of popcorn. I’m here to help with a brand new series of school lunch videos to give you fresh ideas that will make packing—and eating!—school lunch easy and way more fun. First up are healthy dip recipes that are perfect for packing in a lunch box.
One of the easiest ways to get stuck in a school lunch rut is to get stuck thinking strictly about sandwiches. Sandwiches day in and sandwiches day out make for a very boring school year. Believe me: I know because I’ve been there. One of my boys spent an entire school year refusing leftovers which left, well, sandwiches. That is, until I got sick of it and started thinking beyond the sandwich. Dips were one of the things that saved lunch that year.