September 4th, 2012
I’ve been inspired! And I think you will be, too.
I was recently on my friend Elizabeth’s site, Brooklyn Supper, and spied her Zucchini “Noodles” with Marinara and Sausage. I’ve seen zucchini noodles before, but these caught my eye. I think it might have been the sausage.
Most cookbooks that encourage you to swap zucchini for pasta are uber healthy odes to raw or vegan food. I can appreciate that, but it doesn’t inspire me. Sausage, on the other hand, does. Especially when paired with peak season zucchini.
So Elizabeth (and her, uh, sausage) sold me, but what about the boys—the hungry papa especially. Would they think this was some nerdy food move? A plea to be vegans Monday-Friday. (It’s crossed my mind!) I wasn’t sure, but with sweet Italian pork sausage as my lifeline, I embarked on an adventure to serve the hungry family zucchini ribbons in place of pasta.
August 30th, 2012
I long ago dogeared a simple, but glorious sounding recipe for Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion by Marcella Hazan. Then, for some inexplicable reason, I never made it. Maybe it’s because everyone else did. Seriously. Gilt called this “the most talked about buttery tomato pasta recipe ever“. Enough said. What could I add?
Not much is the answer. Truth be told, this recipe is spectacular as is (of course!) and already widely available. But I’m posting it anyway because I finally got around to making this sauce and it’s sublime, soulful, easy and a sure favorite with kids.
You I don’t have to be annoyed anymore when the kids want pasta with nothing but a simple tomato sauce.
I also just want to make sure that you have the recipe. Because—seriously—you need it.
August 28th, 2012
I can’t believe I’m back from vacation.
I can’t believe I’m already swamped!
I will not get stressed. I will not get stressed.
Things are getting frantic quickly. There’s still two weeks before I have to wake up early, pack a lunch, send (two!) kids off to school (in two! different places), and I’m already feeling it. I know that a lot of you have already started the school year routine. It’s quite a shift, huh?
I’m focusing hard on remembering that the insanity—the appointments, schedule, activities—don’t have to mean a shift away from cooking. The produce is still spectacular here and I’m still inspired. I hope you are, too, because we’re going to keep it going.
We are going to breathe. And cook. And enjoy the still-warm weather.
We are going to hold on to the last days of summer, even once school has started.
We are going to ignore the Halloween displays because, even if it’s just in a few days, it’s not even September yet.
You with me? Great!
Need inspiration? No problem. Here it is, in the form of a super easy, seasonal dessert with a fun middle eastern twist.
This is easy to make. It’s a reminder that we can still take our time to do fun summer cooking with great summer ingredients. Even as the early days of fall approach.
August 24th, 2012
When all you want to do is eat peaches you’ll know how I feel.
You’ll scour the internet looking for the best peach recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You’ll whip up Tarragon Peach and Pork Kabobs on a whim and then wonder why you hadn’t thought of combining those flavors earlier.
August 22nd, 2012
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I started writing about food after developing a frozen organic baby food company, ChowBaby Foods. ChowBaby was on the verge of launch when the economy crashed. Everything was put on hold and then everything changed. For one, I rediscovered my passion for creating content and focused all of my research, skills, and energy into building a writing career instead of a running a packaged food company.
Heather Stouffer, the founder and CEO of Mom Made Foods, took a different path. A contemporary of mine in the ChowBaby days, she rode out the initial financial crisis and, over the last 5 years, has impressively built a company that offers three organic food lines in stores like Whole Foods and Target nationwide. She’s a powerhouse.
Though I was terribly disappointed when it became clear that ChowBaby wouldn’t launch, I now know that everything worked out for the best. I didn’t want to run a food company (phew!)—I wanted to be part of a movement to feed our children and ourselves better. Now, I’m doing that my way and Heather is doing it hers. Funny that our paths should cross 5 years later.
I feel like Heather has played out one of my alternate realities. Intrigued, I asked Heather to guest post today and she graciously agreed. (Thank you, Heather!) I wanted to hear about mealtime from a mom who I know thinks and feeds like me, but runs a really different household. She and her husband both work demanding jobs out of the house. Can a commitment to healthy, adventurous, family eating be maintained? See what she has to say.
Before I had kids, my husband and I lived and worked in London. We enjoyed cooking at home most weekdays and eating out on weekends. We’d roll in from work around 7:30 or 8 p.m. and sit down to dinner around 9 p.m. Name the ethnic food, and we made it. Going out to eat was also relaxing and fun; we had our favorite places and got to know the wait staff and bartenders in those restaurants. But making dinner at home was my favorite, cherished time together, even though it required our “cooking dance”: avoiding bumping into each other in the tiny hallway that served as the kitchen in our London flat. We promised each other when we had kids, we wouldn’t change a thing.
Well, that’s not quite what happened…After having two kids and launching a nation-wide, organic food company of frozen meals, munchies and bites, Mom Made Foods, mealtimes have shifted things slightly. Here are my top 5 secrets to upholding your adventures with food, even after having kids …
August 20th, 2012
I’ve seen red currants at the farmer’s market, all glistening and gem like, but had never picked them up before. I think of them as food porn glitter, making food photography impossibly pretty (check out the gorgeous Cannelle et Vanille to see what I mean). My food photos aren’t spectacular. I’m not French (the French understand currants). Therefore I cannot purchase red currants. It’s just not allowed, I convinced myself.
But sometimes I like to break the rules.
On a recent trip to the farmer’s market, I grabbed red currants like a thief (except that I paid) and ran home to make this pie. I grabbed black currants, too. What’s the point of breaking the rules if you don’t push to see how far you can go?!
August 17th, 2012
This is the first thing that I’ve ever made with fresh red currants. If it’s any indication, I have a talent for working with them. If it isn’t, I’ve at least created one kick ass pie.
As soon as I saw the currants I had the idea to use them to top a classic chess pie. I figured that the tart berries would go well with the kind of sweet, buttery custard that fills the classic southern dessert. By the time I made it home though, my mind had wandered. To buttermilk pie. Then to crack pie. And finally to coconut cream pie.
Don’t they all sound like they’d go well with red currants? I couldn’t choose.
So I didn’t.
August 15th, 2012
Another school year has begun for some and is just around the corner for others. That means bustling mornings, quick and hearty breakfasts, book bags and—everyone’s favorite!—school lunch.
Whether you make a lunch every day or just need a few things to cover field trips, I’ve got the gear you need to pack a fabulous, fun, and nutritious lunch. And, by the way, this stuff isn’t just for kids. You eat lunch, too, and aside from the cute hippo lunch box, there’s a lot of stuff in here that you can use, as well. I mean, unless hippos are your thing.
Don’t forget to LIKE One Hungry Mama on Facebook so that you can follow along as I document all of the Hungry Boy’s school lunches (starting on Sept 10th!). And also check out last year’s Back-to-School Lunch Gear Guide. There are many things on that list that I still love.
In the meantime, here they are: my favorite non-toxic lunch boxes, baggies, and accessories for the 2012/13 school season.
August 13th, 2012
Corn on the cob is great, but so is corn freshly cut off of the cob. You can use it for so many things—you’ll see in a minute—and then you can make corn stock.
Just throw the milky cobs in a stock pot filled with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour (or until you have great corn flavor). Use the silky vegetarian broth to make corn chowder, another vegetarian summer soup, risotto or, really, whatever you like.
August 11th, 2012
Four kids. All of them friends from the beginning. The very beginning.
A big country lawn in a not-city dwelling. Room to run. Really run. Even inside.
A pink motorized car that’s just their size. Seriously. Look:
August 9th, 2012
Baking used to seem fussy to me. And, in some ways, it is. Measurements need to be exact. Proportions precise. Temperatures just right. While baking, I would focus so hard on trying not to eff things up that I’d get into a perfectionist mind set that carried into every aspect of my baking experience. My pie crust had to look perfect. The icing artistic. Cake layers even. Then I’d give up. Because my pie crust never looks perfect, I’m a doddering oaf when it comes to icing, and I haven’t the first clue how to cut across a cake so that it is smooth and even.
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point it occurred to me that though there are very fussy aspects of baking, it’s not an entirely fussy endeavor. Not every baked good will come out looking like it’s from a famous patisserie, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious. (Especially if you call it “rustic.”)
This realization changed the way that I bake. Mix everything in one bowl like for this One Bowl Apple cake. Sure! Adapt a classic from a trusted source the way I did to make this Vanilla Cardamom Olive Oil Pound Cake. The way to go! Riff on a tried and true recipe to turn Cranberry Pear Upside Down Cake into Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. Easy breezy.
Once you get used to taking the time to measure accurately and follow a few rules (use unsalted butter, make sure it’s cold, etc.), you’re free to take it easy, which is what I did with these mini Orange Blossom Honey Peach Pies.
August 8th, 2012
One Hungry Mama is about finding the joy in feeding your family. Mostly, that comes from making delicious food that you feel good serving to everyone in the family. But it’s also about getting your bearings on feeding issues so that when things go awry, as they so often do when feeding children, you can comfortably stay in place. Even when the kids are being picky. Or there’s too little time. Or any of the other things that stress us out about mealtime.
Getting your bearings starts early—with baby’s first sip—and though there’s not much for me to post about the time before solids (sorry, you’ll have to get your recipe for breast milk cheese elsewhere), it counts.
There’s been some recent talk about breastfeeding and formula (when is there not?!) and I wanted to chime in. Because this isn’t just an issue for new moms. It’s related to how parents are left to find their way in a feeding landscape defined largely by industrialized food (and, in this case, pharmaceutical) companies. It matters to all of us.
Sun poured in through the cafe window. Me and the hungry boy, an infant at the time, were sitting in the corner of our local coffee spot. I chose a table as far from everyone as possible, but still felt exposed. The table was right by the window. Everyone would see.
I reached into my bag and, with tears filling my eyes, pulled out a baby bottle filled with water. I considered giving him a few pure sips for show, but he was hungry. I snapped to and continued our new feeding process. Instead of unhooking a secret panel in my bra, I reached into my bag for a second time and shiftily pulled out a brand new, baby blue container filled with white powder.
The way I was acting, you would have thought it was cocaine. It was formula.
August 6th, 2012
Another post from our babysitter who we’ve lovingly dubbed ‘The Hungry Sitter.’ Think you have all the answers because you’re the parent? The HS thinks otherwise. Agree?
Picture this: A health-conscious, organic-buying, veggie-crunching sitter walks into a hot dog and boxed mac and cheese household. Sound like a nightmare? I wish that I could say it was only a bad dream but, unfortunately, as a seasoned childcare provider, I can tell you that it’s not. This has happened to me way more that I would have ever predicted, especially given that I’ve had the fortune of working with fabulous parents who are, themselves, healthy eaters.
So what gives?!
After all these years of caring for kids, I’m still not exactly sure. Though I’m not yet a parent, I know that feeding children is hard. I also know that lots of factors can make mealtime complicated: age, schedules, food sensitivities, varying sibling habits and, well, the list goes on. Every family is different, but I’ve noticed one thing in common across all of them: mealtime with mom and dad is emotional.
Feeding a picky child is always easier for me than it is for his parents. The emotional and power dynamics are just not the same. Maybe there’s something to learn from that? I wish I had a “works every time” answer, but I don’t. That said, I believe that there are some useful takeaways from my experiences feeding reluctant eaters. Here are a few things that I’ve learned so far that I hope give you valuable perspective.
August 2nd, 2012
Yes, pepitas are pumpkin seeds.
And, yes, I know that it’s not pumpkin season.
But, you know, sometimes a girl’s gotta snack. And her kids, too. (They always need to snack.) And sometimes this girl has pepitas in her pantry. (Stay strictly seasonal? Avoid food waste? The answer’s clear.) So sometimes a girl’s gotta make sweet and smoky pepitas in the dead of summer.
Think of it as a practice run for October.
July 30th, 2012
I rarely repost recipes, but recently made these Vanilla Poached Cherries from my archive and remembered how spectacular they are.
Totally delicious. Light. Like pie, without the crust or even tons of sugar. Unless, of course, you spoon them over vanilla ice cream. Which I encourage.
The best part about these Vanilla Poached Cherries is that they also make an awesome early finger food treat. That’s right, mamas—don’t be afraid. Baby wants to taste the glory of summer fruit, too, and this is a great way to do it without handing them some crazy sweet and buttery baked good.
I’m so excited about this recipe that I’m going to post it again below. Though I encourage clicking around (I’ve got some good stuff here!), it’s more important to me that you make these. I know you’ll love them, too.