Archive for December, 2010

10 Posts I Didn’t Write in 2010

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Before I pull together my own year-in-review for 2010, I wanted to share 10 posts I didn’t write in 2010, but wish I had. These are posts from the blogs that fill my feed reader, the ones I turn to throughout the year for support and inspiration. If you’re not already reading them, I hope you’ll check them out.

10. Marion Nestle is a must-read on food politics. This post, “Food Corporations Buy Silence from ‘Partners,‘” shows how the food wars are only just beginning, even as the Child Nutrition Act has been signed into law.

9. Speaking of the food wars, a first-grader known as the “Little Locavore” took on Sarah Palin in “Red Carrot’s Anti-Fast Food Guidebook” (at Little Locavores)

8. Organic Gardening Q&A via Good Life Eats — a helpful read if “grow your own” is one of your 2011 resolutions

7. I only got as far as freezer, uh, sauce and vanilla-preserved strawberries this spring, but next year I aspire to Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Strawberry Preserves with Mint and Black Pepper

6. 26 Kitchen Organizing Tips from Real Cooks, at Simple Bites

5. Musings on Feeding Baby from Stacie of One Hungry Mama — especially relevant as the foodie bebe will be beginning solids very soon!

4. Strategies for getting family dinner on the table, and recipe for Mustard and Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin, by Christina of Take Back Your Table for the Rachael Ray blog

3. “School Lunch Reform — Stick a Spork in My Eye” — school lunch reform realities from What’s Cooking with Kids

2. It’s not a blog post, but everyone who cares about kids and/or food should read Chef José Andrés‘ “Food for Thought” talk at the Economist’s The World in 2011

1. “Let’s Ban the Phrase ‘Picky-Eater’” from Spoonfed, one of my new favorite blogs. As you ponder your family’s new year’s resolutions, this is great inspiration: drop the labels, embrace real food, and your kids will follow. Really.

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How Not to Bake Gingerbread Men

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Don’t be surprised if you reach for the molasses and your child starts talking about the Battle of Manassas
(especially if one of his best friends is a budding Civil War buff).

Don’t expect your child to heed your warnings about eating raw cookie dough after he catches you nibbling on it.
(But do buy your eggs from a trusted local farmer.)

Don’t expect to have your child spread flour on the cutting board without it also winding up on the wall, floor and his hair.

Don’t hope for traditional Christmas cookie shapes when you have Star Wars cookie cutters and a four-year-old boy in the house.

Don’t set out bowls of frosting and expect little fingers not to be promptly plunged in them.

Don’t arrange sprinkles in easy-to-access little cups and not expect two pinches to be consumed for every one sprinkled on cookies.

Don’t decorate cookies at 9 pm and expect your child to fall asleep before midnight,
or before he runs 10 laps through the living room and around the tree.

Gingerbread (Clone War) Cookies
Source: The Gourmet Cookie Book

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice*

Instructions: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. In the bowl of a mixer, or other large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add brown sugar, molasses, butter and allspice and beat on medium low speed until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low until flour is incorporated. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into smaller portions and roll out on a lightly floured cutting board to 1/3-inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before cutting out desired shapes. Gently transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, watching closely to ensure they only slightly begin to brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before decorating.

To decorate, we just mixed up a simple powdered sugar glaze and tinted it various colors. For more elaborate designs, use royal icing.

Notes: The recipe calls for 6-inch gingerbread men and 12 minute cooking time. With more standard 3-inch cookies, you’ll need much less time. I did not have cloves or allspice, so I omitted the cloves and used nutmeg in place of allspice.

joy to the world

Saturday, December 25th, 2010


joy to the world, originally uploaded by foodietots.

Merry Christmas from the Foodie Tots family to yours.

Share our Holiday Table

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Today we wrapped up the Share Our Holiday Table progressive dinner to support Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The dessert course features more than a dozen recipes, from maple cheesecake to a pomegranate mousse tart and croquembouche. The complete menu of recipes is below; I’m sure you’ll find something to add to your own holiday feast, and maybe a few new blogs to tempt your taste buds as well. And if you haven’t yet, please take a moment to sign the No Kid Hungry Pledge and/or make a contribution. Thanks, and happy holidays!

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Sunday Brisket {and A Plea}

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Today I’m pleased to share our family’s favorite Sunday brisket for a virtual progressive dinner party, Share Our Holiday Table. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers, we are sharing our favorite recipes to help raise awareness of Share Our Strength‘s work to ensure no child goes hungry.

You’ll see below I made my own chili sauce for this recipe, using organic ketchup, out of frustration with the HFCS in the store version. So when I read this story in yesterday’s SOS email, my heart broke:

…. a young boy who received free meals all summer at a small community organization in El Dorado, Arkansas, thanks to the support of Share Our Strength. One day, a staff member noticed that he was stuffing his pockets with ketchup packets and asked him why he wanted so much ketchup.

He replied, “I hope it’s okay. I bring them home and when we have enough my grandma and me make tomato soup.”

Won’t you hop over to SOS and donate even just $2.99 — the cost of a carton of tomato soup? It doesn’t take much to make a world of difference for hungry kids this holiday season.

Thank you! Now, on to the recipe.

My brisket recipe comes from my Jewish mother-in-law, who instructed me to simply add a jar of chili sauce and a can of beer to a brisket and roast it. The first time I attempted this to nearly disastrous results. The supermarket had only corned beef brisket, and I did not yet know the difference. I couldn’t find chili sauce, and wound up with a bottle of something like Pete’s hot sauce. Hot sauce + hot pink and uber-salted corned beef is, for the record, almost inedible, as the husband likes to remind me.

Now, I buy my brisket from Smith Meadows at the farmers market, and I know that chili sauce comes from Heinz. Unfortunately, Heinz is made with high fructose corn syrup, so I made my own chili sauce. Instructions below. The best part about making this brisket on a Sunday afternoon is that the leftovers can be stretched out into one or two more dinners during the week — sliced thin for brisket sandwiches one night, then shredded and served over egg noodles another. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget and get the most out of your grassfed beef.

Recipe: Sunday Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound beef brisket
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • sea salt and black pepper

For Chili Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce ingredients. Trim any excess fat from the brisket and place in roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread chili sauce and onions on and around the brisket, then pour beer over top. Cover pan with foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until tender. Serve with pan juices as gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Below are the other sites sharing entree recipes on Share our Holiday Table today. In addition to our usual year-end donation to Share our Strength, I’ll be donating my December ad revenue as well. If you’ve already donated to Share our Strength, I hope you’ll take a moment to share this post with a friend too. Thank you so much!

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Find the full menu of appetizers, drinks, soups and salads that have already been shared after the jump. (more…)