March 28th, 2012

{recipe} Pasta with Spinach Pesto and Haricots Verts

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Haricot Verts

Do you ever want to thank your food? Not Mother Earth for making the ingredients available. Or even the farmer who harvested them. I mean your food—the meal on your plate that you shovel into your mouth. Do you ever want to thank it for coming together easily and for tasting so good?

I do. Not so much when I’ve mastered a new recipe or successfully whisked ingredients into submission. Then I thank, well, myself. (You know, for being awesome.) But when I’m rushing like a mad woman, the the clock is tick-tocking, a toddler meltdown interrupts my already staccato rhythm and dinner still manages to come out well—then I thank my food.

Thank you for cooperating, for defying time, for being tasty despite how little proper attention I was able to give.

Thank you, pasta.

Thank you, pesto.

Merci, haricots verts.

Continue Reading …

March 23rd, 2012

{cravings} Pretty Cake Stands

Cake Stand

Take a stand—a cake stand! Make it five cake stands. Why not? You deserve some pretty in your life.

Check out Cool Mom Picks for five of my favorite cake stands. There’s a little something for everyone, from the modernist to the traditionalist. I even threw in a glam black and white pedestal—ooh la la! Each one is more beautiful than the next and useful way beyond holding cake. (Really. I included a bunch of ideas for how to use cake stands, too.)

Though, to be clear, cake holding is not a job to be taken lightly.

Continue Reading …

March 22nd, 2012

{parenting} Parents Need to Eat Too, a Q&A with Debbie Koenig

Parents Need to Eat Too

I remember like it was yesterday. Astounded that it was legal to leave the hospital without a professional, I brought my little boy home. My house, under construction at the time, was clumsily prepared, but my fridge was expertly stocked. I’d spent days before my first son’s arrival prepping, cooking and packing. I had stocks made, chili portioned and lasagnas frozen. We were going to be well fed for about a month and then, well, after that, things would be easy. We’d be cruising.

Cruising for disaster, as it turns out.

One month of prepped food was not nearly enough to get us through the many hectic months that marked my introduction to parenthood. Then, once it seemed we were in the clear, about 6 months in, the baby needed to eat, too! Though it helped for a short while, I didn’t need a stocked fridge, I needed a whole new way of cooking. If you have a little one and are feeling the same way, I have just what you need: Parents Need to Eat Too, the new book by Debbie Koenig.

Go ahead. I’ll wait here while you place an order for your copy. (I know how important this is.) Then, come back to read my interview with Debbie to get some of her best tips, you know, to hold you over until the book arrives.

Continue Reading …

March 19th, 2012

{recipe} Kale, Squash & Farro Soup with Chickpeas

Farro Soup

I appropraitely made this soup to warm our bones just a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s nearly 70 degrees. I have no idea what kind of weather the next couple of weeks will bring, but I know that I’ll be making this soup. Thankfully, with its thin, flavorful broth and hearty chunks of seasonal veggies, it’s just as fitting in winter as it is in spring. Just change the vegetables.

My recipe is based on Mark Bittman’s Luccan Farro Soup, a sort of minestrone from Lucca in Tuscany. I swap chickpeas for his white beans—just because I prefer chickpeas—and add extra vegetables. My winter version includes kale and butternut squash (though any dark leafy green and winter squash will do). I also like to top this soup with crunchy brown butter breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of pecorino.

Continue Reading …

March 17th, 2012

{recipe} Dried Pineapple Flowers

Dried Pineapple Flowers

I spied a picture of gorgeous pineapple flowers on this food hacks Pinterest board and instantly knew that I had to try to make them. As it turns out, the editors of Martha Stewart Living have also made them (of course!). I ended up following Martha’s directions, but the other source, a blog published in another language (so that I cannot tell you anything about it), has step-by-step photos and the brilliant idea of letting the “flowers” dry in a muffin tin. That’s the way to go, for sure.

Either way, the idea is the same and oh-so-simple. Barely any work (peel, slice, stick in the oven) yields this pretty thing…

Continue Reading …

March 15th, 2012

{st. patrick’s day} Green Your Eats + Eat Your Drinks

green tea cream cheese frosting

Photo: Michelle of Une-Deux Senses

Ready to get festive?! Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve got two ways for you to celebrate.

For the kids…
Skip yucky artificial food dyes and go green naturally this year. Hop on over the Cool Mom Picks to check out my natural alternative for making this year’s lucky green treats. And before you roll your eyes in disbelief, check out that photo above from Michelle at fab blog Un-Deux Senses. That strong, gorgeous hue—yup, all natural.

For the grown ups…
Chocolate Guinness Cake

Pour your Guinness into a simple chocolate batter and call it a night! This rich Chocolate Guinness Cake is perfect with just a top hat of sweet ‘n tangy cream cheese icing. Remember: a drunken cake is always better than a drunken self.

Now go get lucky!

Xo

March 14th, 2012

{recipe & reads} Chocolate Zucchini Loaf and the Naptime Cookbook

Naptime Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

I’ve known Kelsey Banfield, also known as The Naptime Chef, for a couple of years now. Somehow, though, it seems like we’ve been friends forever. Partly it’s because we just plain get along. We also have similarly aged children. But there’s something else: Kelsey’s approach to cooking gives me the warm fuzzies. I can picture her, apron on, cooking and baking her version of classic recipes while her (adorable!) daughter naps.

I guess there’s just something about how Kelsey celebrates and revamps the recipes that she grew up with so that they are relevant recipes that her daughter will grow up with, too, that makes Kelsey feel familiar to me. Like an old friend who’ll always be there with perfect blueberry muffins or a chocolate zucchini loaf when I really need it.

Continue Reading …

March 12th, 2012

{recipe} Quick Soba Noodle Salad with Coconutty Bok Choy

Soba Noodle Salad with Coconutty Bok Choy
This quick dinner has become a weekly standby. The Hungry Boys, big and little, love soba noodles. We’re all obsessed with the tangy dressing. Bok choy is super healthy and, for the green veggie averse among us, also super mild. And I get to cook with a new favorite ingredient, coconut oil.

Oh, wait. There’s more: this one-bowl meal can come together in 20 minutes.

What’s that? You want this to be a weekly standby in your house, too?! No problem. Here’s the deal…

Continue Reading …

March 10th, 2012

{kitchen aids} A Cake Pop How-To for All, No Kitchen Experience Required

CMP Cake Pop 101

It’s safe to say that cake pops have taken over the world. They’re everywhere! But when they look like this:

Lorax cake pops by Bakerella

or this:

Easter cake pops by Bakerella

(both by original cake pop master, Bakerella)

you might think that cake popping isn’t for you.

This Cake Pop 101 gives you reason to think again.

Continue Reading …

March 8th, 2012

{recipe} Orange Nutmeg Olive Oil Muffins

Orange Nutmeg Olive Oil Muffins

Remember last year, when baking with olive oil became a thing?

Oh, wait. You’re not a food nerd like me? You missed that one?

Yea, totally understandable.

Okay, well, last year there was a virtual onslaught of baking-with-olive-oil recipes on the food blogosphere. Not that people haven’t been baking with olive oil for ages—they have, since wayyyy before 2011. But, somehow, baking with olive oil caught on in a big way last year and with good reason. Olive oil gives baked goods a luxurious feel and rich flavor. When you use a high quality olive oil with a distinct flavor that you love, you add its wonderful fruity and floral notes to your sweets.

When olive oil baked goods set fire to the food world last year, I bookmarked a bunch of recipes like this one which pairs olive oil and blood orange, this one made with spelt (intriguing!) and this one packed with zucchini, one of my favorite baking ingredients. But instead of trying those recipes, I embarked on my own olive oil adventure. A journey inspired by the delectable olive oil muffins at one of my favorite NYC brunch spots, Maialino.

Continue Reading …

March 2nd, 2012

{recipe & reads} Squash Carrot Raisin “Muffet” Bread from Julia’s Child

Julia's Child book

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve barely read any books in about, oh, five years. And, yes, you guessed it: the Hungry Boy is 5-years-old. I’m making my way back, though, from Perez Hilton to the print version of US Weekly, from Vanity Fair to the New Yorker, from the Tommy Lee biography (sadly, I’m not joking) to *real* books. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve arrived and am reading again—slowly, but reading—and loving it.

My latest read is Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo, a hilariously witty story that’s right up my alley. Like, really, truly, up my alley. See, while researching her novel about a Brooklyn-based mom and organic toddler food entrepreneur, Sarah spoke with my former ChowBaby foods business partner. The story grapples with a lot of stuff that my business partner and I grappled with: Can we be profitable and do good in the world? Can we grow into a successful company and still be the moms we want to be, the moms who can still focus on the very things that inspired us to start a food company in the first place?

Continue Reading …

February 27th, 2012

{recipe} Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Creamy Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Y’all know how I feel about hiding veggies, right? My aversion to the practice has more to do with the fact that it’s a lot of extra work for you with ultimately counterproductive results for kiddo. I’m here to make life easier, after all, especially when easier gets better long-term results. (Yes, long-term people.)

That said, I get the need to be creative with our veggies sometimes. I am, after all, still a parent of two little kids! So, when my mac and cheese with cauliflower florets fell flat, I tried a new version made with cauliflower puree.

Don’t get smart now—I told the kids, straight up, that they were eating cauliflower mac and cheese. And, instead of being surreptitious, I celebrated how extra creamy the cauliflower made the cheese sauce. ‘Cause it did. And it was good. A hit even.

Continue Reading …

February 25th, 2012

{parenting} Essential Baby Food Resources

Annabel Karmel lentils

This week on Cool Mom Picks check out my 5 essential baby food recipes from 5 essential baby food sources. I even threw a bonus in there for y’all!

So, yea, all that solids research you were planning to do this weekend… done!

Did I leave out your favorite baby food resource and go-to recipe? Head on over to Cool Mom Picks and tell us!

Continue Reading …

February 24th, 2012

{green your eats} “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan in Stop Motion

Have you seen this brilliance? An entry by Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle to the RSA/Nominent Trust Film Competition, the video is Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” done in stop motion.

“Using a mixture of stop-motion and compositing, our aim and challenge was to convey the topic in a visually interesting way using a variety of different food products.”

Love it! If you do, too, vote for the film now!

Happy weekend!

S
xox

(via brainpickings)

February 23rd, 2012

{recipe} Lemon Ginger Infusion to Sooth a Savage Tummy

Lemon Ginger Infusion

School break is well underway—more than halfway through now—but the Hungry Boy is just getting into the swing of things. Poor thing got hit with a (thankfully, pretty mild) stomach bug last Friday evening. He fought a fever and tummy ache for three days—the bug won one of the days, knocking him out completely, but the Hungry Boy came out on top the other two. Even so, he didn’t eat anything the whole time. Nothing. Not even toast. The only thing other than water that he put to his lips was this homemade Lemon Ginger Infusion.

cup o Lemon Ginger Infusion

Continue Reading …