Pretty in Pink Picnic with Spring Radishes

Happy Spring! We were in Florida over spring break and I was afraid we’d missed the annual DC cherry blossoms blooming — but it turns out they were much later than usual, so we still had a chance to pack a tea party picnic and enjoy eating under the beautiful blossoms. In years past we’ve been able to sneak down on a school day before the crowds of tourists invade, but no such luck this year. The foodie tot was eager to take her new bike for a spin, so we parked on the Potomac side of the Tidal Basin where the path was a little less crowded and biked down towards the Memorial Bridge to find a good picnic spot.

biking dc cherry blossoms | foodietots.com

I made cherry blossom green iced tea (from The Republic of Tea), sweetened with honey, to drink. To eat, we made pink radish and butter sandwiches with — of course — pink salt. The foodie tot was skeptical when I insisted on planting radishes in our garden, but couldn’t help but be intrigued when I picked up a bunch of small pink and lavender radishes at the farmers market.

radish and butter sandwich | foodietots.com

She made peanut butter sandwiches as back-up, but she did admit that the radish sandwich was pretty tasty. My kids will eat butter like it’s its own food group, so using it to make new vegetables enticing is a no-brainer. The butter pictured comes with our milk delivery from South Mountain Creamery.

radish-and-butter-sandwiches-foodietots

If you don’t have a local source for fresh butter, look for a cultured butter — it has a richer, tangy flavor that is divine on toast and also adds a great flavor to roasted veggies. But I must warn you it’ll be hard to go back to the regular old sticks from the supermarket. (Though we do buy those for baking.)

pink tea party picnic | foodietots.com

My French breakfast radishes in the garden will be ready to eat very soon — how do you like to use radishes?

ralph lauren polo dress | foodietots.com
What the Kid(s) Wore: I picked up this flare-skirted, petal pink Ralph Lauren dress on sale at The Purple Goose in Del Ray — she loves it for twirling! Worn with bike shorts, of course, for biking and her new very favorite ever “Twinkle Toes” Skechers. Oh, and the coral leather bracelet is from Hanna Andersson.

Spring Pea and Chevre Souffle {#SundaySupper}

Anyone else wake up to snow on the first day of spring? Thankfully not enough for another snow day, but still. March is always full of crazy weather here in the mid-Atlantic; it was 70 degrees on Monday, before the snow! But as the weather eventually warms up, new fresh produce will soon be appearing at the farmers market. Peas may not be ready quite yet — we just planted them in the preschool garden this past week — but chickens are laying eggs! And it’s kidding season, which means fresh goat cheese (chèvre) from local farms, too.

peas egg goat cheese recipe | foodietots.com

My dish for this week’s Sunday Supper Spring Fling combines all three of these early spring foods in a light dish that’s the perfect counterpoint to all those months of braising and stews. A souffle takes just a little more effort than a quiche, but it is an impressive dish to serve guests or just enjoy around the family table. To make a standard souffle, you prepare a bechamel sauce (butter, flour, mustard, milk), add egg yolks and beaten egg whites. Cheese is standard, and I’ve double-down on the green here by mixing in both a pea and tarragon puree and whole peas.

pea and chevre souffle | foodietots.com

You could serve this springy souffle as a side to a roast chicken or even Easter ham (green eggs and ham, aha!), but I served it as a vegetarian main dish with a big salad. Divide it into four smaller ramekins to make individual servings, or use a souffle pan or large round baking dish.My foodie tot is the designated egg cracker in my kitchen so she’s always game to help me with a dish like this — getting to whisk those egg whites in the mixer is even better.

Recipe: Pea and Chèvre Souffle

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup peas (thawed, if using frozen)
  • 6 fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or oil baking dishes — either 4 10-ounce ramekins or a 2-quart souffle pan or round baking dish.

2. Boil peas in a small pan for 4 minutes. Drain and scoop out 1/2 cup peas, reserving for later. Place remaining cooked peas and tarragon leaves in small food processor and pulse until pureed. (May need to add up to a tablespoon of water to help smooth the puree.)

2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash of black pepper and cook, stirring, until smooth and golden. Slowly whisk in milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat and crumble goat cheese into pan, stirring. Add 3 egg yolks and stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in pea puree and reserved peas.

3. Beat egg whites at medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add a pinch of sea salt and beat until peaks become stiff.

4. Fold egg whites into the pea/bechamel mixture and scoop batter into prepared baking dish(es). Bake for 25 minutes for small ramekins or about 45 minutes for large souffle, until puffed, brown on top and set (if it jiggles a lot, continue baking for a few more minutes).  Serve immediately.

spring pea and goat cheese souffle recipe | foodietots.com

(PS Those daffodils were my taking a stand for spring despite the snow Friday. They sure brightened the kitchen!)

Read on for links to many more fantastic dishes to welcome spring from the Sunday Supper bloggers!

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides

Entreés

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast {#SundaySupper}

Do you ever flip through vintage cookbooks and marvel at the things people used to eat? I recently saw a blue cheese jello mold that was pretty frightening. Of course, you have to be cautious about looking through them with kids, who might suddenly want to make something they see. But sometimes vintage recipes stand the test of time. Sunday Supper is celebrating retro recipes this week and I thought it would be fun to make an old comfort food recipe my mother used to make — Creamed Chipped Beef.

creamed chipped beef | foodietots.com

Now, I always assumed this was a New England recipe — my mother’s parents hailed from there and from Washington, DC, and many of the recipes she used to make were, well, rather bland. Not that this was entirely her fault — my early childhood coincided with the glory days of the microwave, that magical device that made it possible to cook chicken without fat, or flavor. But I don’t remember being particularly adventurous in my eating anyway, more partial to bread and pasta than anything. So getting to eat toast with a creamy beef gravy for dinner always seemed like a treat to me.

creamed chipped beef on toast | foodietots.com

It seems this was a classic diner dish in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, though maybe not as popular as the Southern version, sausage gravy. As I searched the web to see if chipped beef was still a thing (turns out the plastic packs are still sold in the grocery store), I spotted a few recipes that seemed to attempt to make it a little more gourmet. Adding fresh herbs seemed too fancy, but I did add just a little chopped shallot. And we try to eat only natural meat, so I compromised with thin-sliced corned beef. Of course, everything’s better with a fried egg so I ate mine that way, but I served it straight-up to the foodie kids. One liked it enough to ask for seconds, one just ate the toast with the tiniest of dabs in the gravy.

creamed chipped beef with fried egg | foodietots.com

As for me, I think I prefer my occasional sausage gravy over biscuits — but I may make this again some time when we have extra lunch meat on hand.

Recipe: Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 ounces corned beef, chopped
  • optional: eggs

Instructions:

1.  Melt butter in sauce pan over medium low heat. Add shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add flour, salt and paprika and cook, stirring, until smooth and bubbly. Let simmer for 1 minute.

2.  Add 1/2 cup milk and whisk until smooth, then add remaining milk and increase heat to medium. Stir until sauce is thickened and smooth. Reduce heat to low and stir in chopped beef. Cook several minutes more while preparing toast.

3. Toast bread. Serve with chipped beef gravy over top (and optional fried eggs), season with black pepper.

***

Get more Retro Recipe inspiration from these Sunday Supper bloggers!

Bodacious Breakfasts and Appetizers:

Made in the Shade Main Dishes:

Swell Side Dishes:

Dreamy Desserts:

The Bee’s Knees Beverages:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Smoked Cheddar Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread

Okay, so I know baked cheesy pull-apart bread is hardly a new idea. I’ve seen versions of them popping up on blogs for months. But for some reason, they never really caught my attention until I saw someone share one made with smoked gouda. We used to buy smoked gouda at our old neighborhood farmers market weekly, and it’s still a favorite in my mac and cheese. Something about the word “smoked” suddenly made this crave-worthy. I happened to have some maple-smoked cheddar in the fridge, so I picked up a nice crusty loaf of bread at the market and we made this for lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

cheesy pull-apart bread | foodietots.com

The scent of it cooking alone had us hungrily watching the oven timer, and it was lucky it was too hot to immediately dig into or I wouldn’t have had time to snap any photos at all!

So, so good. It may not be the healthiest of meals, but as an occasional snack — say, on Super Bowl Sunday or the like — you really must give it a try. Be sure to use a natural pepperoni and good cheese — I also had a gruyere-style cheese in the cheese drawer, but you could use asiago, gouda or another good melting type.

making cheesy bread | maple smoked cheddar | foodietots.com

It gets a little messy, but the kids might have fun cramming the cheese and pepperoni into the bread’s crevices — just be sure to supervise and make sure it’s more or less evenly distributed throughout the loaf.

smoked cheddar pepperoni pull-apart bread | foodietots.com

Smoked Cheddar Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread

Adapted from Creative Culinary
Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf crusty bread (country white, wheat or Italian)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce pepperoni (8-10 slices), thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces maple smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces gruyere or asiago cheese, shredded

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Score bread in 1-inch diagonal cross-hatch cuts, cutting nearly but not all the way through the bottom. Place bread on a piece of foil on baking sheet.

2. Whisk together melted butter, olive oil, mustard, sea salt, smoked paprika, garlic and parsley. Drizzle into the bread’s cuts.

3. Combine cheese and pepperoni and stuff between the bread cuts, distributing as evenly as possible through the loaf. Wrap foil up around the sides of the bread, leaving top open. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and top golden brown.

Pate with Degas: Foodie Tots Cook the Arts

When she’s not scouting out the city’s best falafel or macarons, the foodie tot is a ballet dancer. She’s been, at her own request, in ballet classes since age two. Her program focuses their learning units around a story time to draw the kids in and keep them engaged. One day, she came out of class and struck a pose, announcing, “I’m Marie!” It turns out they had read a story about Degas’ famed sculpture, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. She wanted to know if we could go to the National Gallery to see the sculpture. As luck would have it (or perhaps it was intentional on the part of our ballet school), a musical production of the fictionalized story was about to premiere at the Kennedy Center, and I had been debating whether the tot, at age four, was old enough to attend her first grown-up production. I went ahead and got tickets for a weekday matinee, and we were off to the National Gallery to whet our appetite by exploring Degas’ sculpture and ballerina paintings.

visiting Degas' Little Dancer | foodietots.com

Of course, as a family food writer I’m always looking for a way to inject food into our experiences, and we had two chances in our Degas adventure. First, no visit to the National Gallery is complete without a stop for gelato in the below-ground cafeteria. We happened to run into a preschool classmate there and the two girls danced around the cafe in between bites of gelato.

Paté with Degas | chicken liver pate recipe | foodietots.com

During the show — which was more magical than I can describe — I noted that Degas’ housekeeper once mentioned preparing a lunch for him of “a baguette and paté.” So naturally I seized upon the opportunity to introduce the tot to paté at home. I didn’t grow up eating chicken liver or the like, but have acquired the taste for it as an adult. Liver is so rich in nutrition that I’ve been meaning to find ways to include it more in our home cooking. The foodie boy actually encountered it several years ago when we arrived at my brother’s for a holiday. My sister-in-law had made some paté and set it out for hors d’oeuvres. From the table, mouth half full, he called out to his cousin, “Come try this chocolate dip!” We all looked at him wondering what on earth he was talking about — only to notice he was scooping the pate onto crackers and scarfing it down. The foodie tot had a good laugh over this story as I tried to fend off her little fingers long enough to snap pictures for this post.

Paté with Degas tea time | foodietots.com

I’m not going to lie, the cornichons likely made all the difference in enticing the foodie tot to try our paté. I also set the table with our china tea cups (purchased at a thrift shop) and when she came into the room and saw the table she gasped, “Oh, are we having a tea party?!” Another reminder that sometimes it’s simply how you present a new food that will encourage little ones to give it a try.

chicken liver paté with cornichons | foodietots.com

Recipe: Simple Chicken Liver Paté

Makes 16 servings, as an appetizer

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken livers, preferably from free-range chickens
  • 1/2 cup plus four tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 4-6 fresh sage leaves

Instructions:

1. Melt two tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook for a minute, then add livers and saute, stirring occasionally, until outsides are browned, about five minutes. (Insides should still be pink.) And sherry and cook for an additional minute, until steam subsides.

2. Remove from heat and let cool a little before transferring livers and cooking liquid into a food processor. And 1/2 cup butter, two sage leaves, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.

3. Spoon paté into individual ramekins or small jars. Place a sage leaf on top of each. Melt remaining two tablespoons butter and gently spoon over tops. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving, and be sure to serve with toasted sliced bread or baguette and cornichons.

Cooking with Kids notes: Little ones can carefully chop the shallot (it doesn’t need to be perfect since the mixture will be puréed) and press the buttons on the food processor.

~*~

Sadly Little Dancer has already ended its (too short) run at the Kennedy Center, but thanks to the magic of social media, we now follow the dancer who plays young Marie on Instagram — and you can only imagine how thrilled the foodie tot was when Tiler commented on one of her own ballet photos. You can still see the Little Dancer sculpture, and the famous Degas ballerina paintings, at the National Gallery of Art.

@foodietots instagram