Things in the kitchen move more quickly, smoothly and efficiently when I do things myself. To be honest, most things go more quickly and smoothly when I do it myself because after so many years, I’ve got most things optimized. For restraining my obsessive need for order, for being patient and flexible I am rewarded with this smile of happiness and pride. And it makes me realize how important it is to allow children to participate in (practical) life not simply so they will learn necessary skills and feel a sense of accomplishment but because it reminds us as adults to pause our need for perfection, to enjoy the moment as it unfolds.
I know it is rather easy to make brownies from scratch and I do so on occasion but sometimes you just want a brownie as fast as possible and in those circumstances, it pays to have a good brownie mix in your pantry. My favorite is the Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix which I buy from Costco. It is also readily available in many stores, including on Amazon . I love brownies. I like them plain. I like them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. I like them with a drizzle of caramel and toasted hazelnuts. I like them studded with walnuts and mini marshmallows. I like them swirled with cream cheese. I like them in muffin form, in bars and in dessert sandwiches.
The school year is in full swing, any struggles with school lunch preparations? Though my children often help to prepare meals, I don’t often encourage my eldest school-aged children to pack their own lunches & snacks. Of course this is at odds not only with the montessori-way of doing things but doesn’t lend itself to promoting independence or fostering healthy eating habits. It has been said countless times that a child who prepares her own lunch and snack not only feels empowered in her decision-making but also is more likely to eat what she prepares & packs. Knowing all of this, why am I still hesitant to allow my kids more opportunities to pack their own lunches?
I think delicata squash is my all time favorite squash. Better than acorn, better than butternut, kabocha and much better than pumpkin. One of the restaurants in Marin County that we frequent, Picco, does a beautiful delicata squash dish which I have adapted for an quick weeknight side dish. The ease of delicata is that the skin of the squash is thin and the flesh cooks to fork tender very quickly and most importantly - it is delicious.
Sometimes all you want to do is use up leftovers and keep it simple. This one pot dish does both.
My kids love fresh fruit of course but they also enjoy snacking on dried fruit as well. Buying high quality, organic dried fruit is very easy these days but dehydrating peak of the season fruit from the farmer’s market at home allows you to control the level of dehydration and more importantly, create the most delicious dried fruit ever.
Gluten has been getting a bad rap as of late. And though I don’t believe, we will be cutting out gluten entirely from our diets any time soon I have been trying to introduce more gluten-free food items into my recipe arsenal. This recipe for gluten-free muffins is a Bob’s Red Mill Recipe featuring their 1 to 1 Gluten & Dairy Free baking flour.
These days my kitchen windowsill real estate is very popular. Right now bouquets of scallions, basil, flat-leaf parsley and cilantro are hanging out and reminding me to use more fresh herbs in my cooking.
My youngest at 2, is always interested in what I am doing - just like her older siblings were at the same age. But since things tend to be hectic with three kids, I often forget to give her opportunities to work alongside me. Can I tell you, her face just lit up when I offered her the chance to de-rib kale leaves with me so that we could bake kale chips.
I am not one of those people that can portion batter to have enough at the end to fill an entire waffle well. So my last waffle is always ugly.
Did I really put bacon in my morning yogurt bowl? Yes I did.
Ice cream! So many choices: classic scoop, popsicle, bar, bonbon, cone, sandwich, cake and cookie. And don’t short-change yummy sorbet. So peruse these 90+ recipes for a delightful cool treat.
Summer is the time for salad. Whether you’re feelin’ fruity, grainy or greeny - I’ve compiled a great board of over 40 hearty & delicate salad recipes perfect for the warm weather.
Sometimes simple can be so delicious. A hunk of salty cheese, chopped radishes, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and avocados. All fresh from the farmer’s market at their peak of flavor and freshness. Salt, cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil is all you need for a blissful, healthy and refreshing meal.
A collection of cookbooks for the kids. Summertime is the perfect time to get kids into the kitchen.