Archive for the ‘cookbooks’ Category

Red, White & Blueberry Pizzas {#FoodieTotsWorldCup}

Monday, June 16th, 2014

While strawberry season is sadly winding down, there were plenty of new berries at the farmers market this weekend — namely blueberries, raspberries and both sour and sweet cherries. As we get ready to cheer on the US in the World Cup, these red, white and blueberry sweet pizzas are a perfect project for the kids in the kitchen.

red white and blueberry pizzas | foodietots.com
Recipe: Red, White & Blueberry Pizzas
Makes 4

Ingredients:
4 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
cinnamon-sugar

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place 2 tortillas on each of 2 baking sheets. Brush to coat with olive oil.
2. Spread ricotta over each tortilla and arrange berries on top. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.
3. Bake about 10 minutes, until berries begin to burst and ooze juices. Let cool and slice into wedges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Stay tuned — our goal is to cook one dish from each country Team USA plays. And of course the host country, Brazil! Care to join us? Post a picture of your global dish on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #FoodieTotsWorldCup.

Spring in Jerusalem (#KidsCook Ottolenghi)

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

A confession: my dinner menu hits quite a rut in the last long, cold stretch of winter. Tired of heavy foods but without fresh spring produce, it’s a struggle to find inspiration in the kitchen. When the weather does finally turn warm (or jumps straight to 90 degrees, as it suddenly was this past week), the produce at the farmers markets still isn’t quite ready. Fortunately, I received some new cookbooks for Christmas that I finally cracked open to plan our recent holiday meals. I’m particularly smitten with Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. (I’m not the only one — the book was just named cookbook of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).)

sweet and sour fish ottolenghi

Between the pictures and the background stories I could spend many a evening curled up on the couch reading it — but it wouldn’t be long before I’d feel driven into the kitchen to try a recipe. Not content to try just one, I made two recipes for our Passover/Easter weekend: Saturday night’s seder featured the Marinated Sweet & Sour Fish (pictured above) and for Easter dinner the next day, Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts.

eggs and peppers on toast

The fish recipe starts with a flavorful red and yellow pepper, onion and coriander sauce — and there was far more sauce than needed for the amount of fish I used. (I used hake, which looked fresher than the cod at the supermarket that day. I’d probably try it with cod next time though.) So for lunch the next day, I reheated some of the pepper sauce, spooned it over toasted bread and topped it with sliced hard boiled eggs, olive oil and sea salt. It was so good I’m actually considering making just the pepper part again to keep on hand.

The lamb-stuffed eggplant gave me a new way to prepare lamb on Easter when it was just the family and I didn’t have an excuse to cook a whole leg of lamb. The recipe is definitely company-worthy, though, and not too labor-intensive. The eggplant is roasted first, then topped with ground lamb and pine nuts and baked some more, until it is tender and saturated with the paprika-infused sauce. Delicious.

eggplant stuffed with lamb and pine nuts

As an added endorsement, the colorful pictures also caught the eye of the littlest foodie tot — who likes to flip through the book with me and was eager to help mix the spices to season the eggplant dish.

kids cook ottolenghi

I will definitely be making the eggplant many more times, especially when local eggplant arrives at the markets later this year.

There are so many more recipes I’m eager to try. Do you have Jerusalem yet? Let us know what we should make next. (Or get your kids in the kitchen and let’s cook Jerusalem together! Need more inspiration? Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write recently made the book’s turkey and zucchini burgers — with her middle school boys’ cooking club. Love it!! And OMG! Yummy hosts a monthly “Tasting Jerusalem” cooking event, with a recipe contest going on right now.)

FoodieTots Review: The Whole Family Cookbook (and giveaway)

Monday, April 18th, 2011

If there’s such a thing as a family food superhero, my friend Michelle Stern surely is one. Founder of a certified-green cooking school in the San Francisco Bay area and author of the What’s Cooking with Kids blog, Michelle was invited to the White House for the launch of Chefs Move to the Schools and is leading the charge for school lunch changes in her own school district. Somehow she also found time to write The Whole Family Cookbook — a hands-on guide to getting kids into the kitchen. Her no-fuss recipes have a color-coded guide to which steps are appropriate for different age groups, and special green boxes geared to kids provide interesting facts and explanations about ingredients and sustainable eating. (And answer the question, how do those seedless watermelons reproduce, anyway?) A seasonal recipe index is a nice starting point if you’re looking for ideas for what to do with this week’s CSA or market haul. My favorite part about this book is that its recipes are simple, real food — not overly cutesy or filled with sugar. Michelle shares my philosophy that kids can get excited about healthy food, too — really!

We made the A-B-C Frittata (recipe reprinted below). He’s been very excited about learning his letters at preschool, so it was a natural choice. (For extra fun, ask your kids to think of other A-B-C combinations … like avocado, banana and coconut!) It was the boy’s first time using the box grater — grating cheese is my least favorite cooking task, so I think I may need to invest in one of the circular graters Michelle mentions in the book so he can more easily do it on his own. He also peeled the apples and cracked eggs. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, noted below, but it is definitely one we’ll be making again. The boy loves quiche, and frittatas are a little faster to put together (no crust) — also Passover-friendly for those of you observing this week, though of course you’ll want to omit the bacon if you keep kosher.

foodie tot cooks frittata

Read on for the recipe. If you’d like to win your own free copy of The Whole Family Cookbook, comment below with your kids’ favorite way to eat eggs. For an extra entry, “like” FoodieTots on Facebook and leave an additional comment here letting me know you have (or already do). Entries will be accepted until midnight (Eastern time) Thursday, April 21. Update: Congratulations to Miriam, the lucky commenter as per the random number generator. Thanks all for your comments and for joining us on Facebook!

(Can’t wait? Buy The Whole Family Cookbook on Amazon or at your local bookstore.)

Recipe: A-B-C (Apple Bacon Cheddar) Frittata
from The Whole Family Cookbook, reprinted with permission

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites**
  • 8 whole eggs**
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon
  • Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 apples, Fuji or Gala
  • 1 Tablespoon butter**

Instructions:

Put the rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Crack the eggs, one at a time, over a small bowl. After checking for stray shells, pour each egg into a medium bowl. To separate the egg whites, crack the egg over an egg separator or someone’s clean hands. Carefully let the egg white slip through the fingers into the bowl, with the yolk remaining. Discard the yolk or save for another recipe. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined.

Grate the cheese. Younger children can help you use a rotary cheese grater (which protects their skin). Older children can use a box grater. Add half of the grated cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to your liking.

Cook the strips of bacon. You can fry them in a skillet (watch out! They can splatter.) Or, you can bake them in the oven on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. We like this method because we don’t have to turn the bacon over and the kids stay safe.

Once the bacon cools, crumble the strips with clean hands. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apple. If you have an apple corer, you may use it. Or, simply cut up the apple, leaving the core behind. Slice the apple pieces very thinly. As you are cutting, be sure to put the flat side of the apple pieces down, so the chunks don’t wobble on your cutting board.

In a medium cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.** Add egg mixture to the skillet. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles evenly over the eggs. Gently arrange the apples on top of the egg mixture, in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Move the skillet from the stovetop to the upper rack of your oven. Bake until frittata is firm in the center and cheese is browned, about 20 minutes. Use a flexible spatula to loosen the frittata from the pan. Carefully slide it onto a cutting board. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges.

Serves 4.

apple bacon cheddar frittata

** FoodieTots notes: I cooked the bacon in my cast iron skillet, and reserved about a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan instead of using butter. I didn’t want to have two extra egg yolks leftover, so I used 9 whole eggs. And of course I used cage-free eggs from the farmers market.

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.

Baked Explorations with Kids (and Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins)

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

We had a spell of grey, rainy weather when we returned from Florida, which made me want to hunker down in the kitchen and do some serious baking. It was perfect timing to receive a review copy of Baked Explorations, the newest cookbook from famed Brooklyn bakers Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Its gorgeous pictures and simple recipes for classic American treats with a modern spin had the whole family pouring over the pages trying to decide what we wanted to sample first. From black and white cookies to caramel apple cake, there doesn’t appear to be a lackluster recipe in the bunch. (Well, there is one weird one that calls for tomato soup, but we’ll let that one slide.) But the recipe that made my heart flutter was for Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins. The sidebar note extolling the virtues of Vermont raw milk cheddars didn’t hurt, but it was the combination of my two favorite foods, pumpkin and cheese, that led me to believe I’d met my breakfast soulmate.

Indeed, this muffin is a little bit savory, full of pumpkin flavor and the very essence of fall. If, like me, you like pumpkin-flavored fall treats that actually taste like pumpkin, not just overly-sweet cinnamon-spiced concoctions (ahem, Starbucks pumpkin spice latte), you’ll love these muffins. Especially if you use fresh roasted pumpkin puree. I made cinnamon-sugar roasted pumpkin seeds to use on top, and used extra sharp Cabot cheddar (from Vermont).

The only other change I made to the recipe was to use just 1 teaspoon black pepper instead of the 1 1/2 it called for. My pepper mill produces too coarse a grind and I was afraid of biting into a chunk of pepper. The muffins have a slight bite but not so much so that littler taste buds won’t still enjoy them. I did have to tell a little white lie to get the boy to eat them, however. He suddenly declared he didn’t like pumpkin, but asked what flavor the leaf-shaped muffins were. (I baked half the muffins in a pumpkin and leaf muffin pan I have.)  I said they were oak, and he declared, “I love oak! Oak is my favorite flavor!” before digging in. Sometimes food-phobias really can be overcome with a simple change of semantics.

Whatever you call these muffins in your home, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. And take a look at the rest of the book if you’re looking for some new sweet treats to bake with your kids on rainy days.

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins

Source: Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, optional

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream. Add the eggs and butter and whisk until combined.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and brown sugar. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well, and fold until just combined. Fold in three-quarters of the cheese.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the pumpkin sees on top of the muffins. Bake them for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the muffin pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out the muffins. Serve them warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Review Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this cookbook. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are strictly those of myself and my family. Read my full review policy here.