I have menu-itis. It usually happens on a weeknight especially in between homework and carting kids from music to sports and trying to keep an infant happy. I get in a rut over dinner but want something fast. This is when I reach for my Japanese Chicken Tonkatsu recipe. There’s very little prep time and dinner is made while you boil rice. Try it!
If you’re staying at home for Valentine’s Day but want to end the meal with a restaurant quality dessert, this White Chocolate Mousse with Dark Chocolate Ganache recipe will give you the best of both worlds. It looks fancy but the recipe is so easy the kids can help make it. I use Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Bars as they melt nicely but feel free to improvise. The recipe makes 8 glasses so spread the love around and invite friends over.
For months now, Pikelet & Lollo have been anticipating the birth of their baby brother, Googie. They first saw Googie at our 12 week scan where the sonographer mentioned that the baby was attached to an egg sac and one of them added, “like a googie (ie runny) egg” and the nickname Googie was born. Then four year old, Lollo thought it’d be cool to crush egg shells and make a craft for Googie when he arrives. That was around August.
We always think of September as apple season! Lollo’s school likes to start off parent night with a serving of applesauce made by all the kids. This month we’ve been branching out from our usual suspects and discovering some of the New Zealand apples like the sweet and crisp, Envy apples. I also tried my hand at ‘baking’ an apple crisp … sort of.
This week I picked up a jar of peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. and got another jar of peanut butter and a loaf of Mrs Baird’s Whole Grain White bread for free! A bargain for $4.49 from Central Market with a $7.11 savings! Peanut butter is a great source of vegetarian protein and since we’re about to start school, it’s time to stock up.
We are in love with 8 ball squash, the round little zucchinis that are the size of a billiard ball. We are so enamored with it, IttyBittyFoodies’ uses them as their signature avatar. You may need to hunt for them at different grocery stores but you can definitely get them at the Dallas Farmers Market at the Lemley’s produce stand. Here’s an easy and quick recipe for dinner I recently did for White Rock Lake Weekly. The stuffing can be made ahead and then baked in the zuccchini on the night that you plan on eating. And they are so cute, they naturally make for an awesome presentation and will be a conversation starter at dinner time.
There’s nothing like homemade ice cream and this Honeycomb Ice Cream with Chocolate Mint does not require any special equipment – aside from a hand mixer. The recipe uses old fashion ingredients – eggs, cream, some honey to provide natural sweetness and chocolate mint to add a refreshing touch. Chocolate mint is sometimes hard to come by so feel free to substitute with regular mint or spearmint. I’ve found chocolate mint plants at nurseries such as Calloways or Redentas but I’ve not seen it at a grocery store.
We love easy entertaining and this Asian Shrimp Toast recipe is perfect for summer play dates and early dinners. The little appetizer sizes are great for IttyBittyFoodies ready for nibblies before dinner. It can be made ahead and served at room temperature. We like to use baguettes but I’ve also used not-so-fresh bread for this recipe.
Peaches are in season. The best way to select a peach is by smelling it. Choose one with a strong peachy fragrance. The redness on it’s skin is not an indication of ripeness but discard all that have hints of green in it which means they’ve been picked too early.
This year, Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day occur on the same weekend. So, if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift, consider buying Fair Trade Certified goods such as flowers, chocolate, coffee, clothing and jewelry.
Buying Fair Trade Certified goods help improve the lives of 1.4 million moms and families in developing countries.
“I have worms!” Lollo proclaimed loudly to his teacher who looked at me quizzically. He means we own worms. We’re proud owners of a spanking new working worm bin from Texas Worm Ranch.
Finally after an unsuccessful bout of vermicomposting last year, I decided to take a class from Heather Rinaldi, head worm rancher of Texas Worm Ranch and one of the founders of Dallas Eco-Op. Boy, did I learn a lot from the two hour workshop.
“Mama can we please keep him?” Lollo looks up at me and implored. He’s scooped up a worm off the pavement after a big rain. That was the beginning of our composting adventure which began last spring. We often talk about food on IttyBittyFoodies but not what to do with food scraps.
In the tradition of our Easter post from last year, I’m using real eggs again. I found a wonderful book full of the cutest egg recipes called Funny Food, 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts by Bill and Claire Wurtzel. I love how they’ve used fresh wholesome ingredients to make a good breakfast, snack or healthy dessert.
We like to eat well at dinner time but with two small children, it is often hard for me to stay in the kitchen for more than twenty minutes. This slow roasted salmon recipe I created for Artizone is an easy solution for us. Slow roasting is a great way to fool proof cooking fish. I basically pop the salmon filet in the oven at a very low temperature for twenty minutes and it comes out coral pink, soft and silken in texture (almost like smoked salmon) and never dry.
The new Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook just might be the last cookbook I’ll ever need but since I’m a cookbook junkie, it won’t be last I’ll buy. After interviewing Jack Bishop (we went to Oddfellows), editorial director of Cook’s Illustrated and co-host of America’s Test Kitchen for the Dallas Morning News in January, I’ve been faithfully consulting the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook on a weekly basis – salmon, chicken, cod, beef, veal, veggies… in short everything.
2012 brings the auspicious Year of the Dragon in the Lunar calendar. “Gong Xi Fa Cai!” as the Chinese say. The new year runs from January 23rd to February 6th, 2012 with fifteen glorious days of celebration and customs. There are so many traditional practices during this time, I wanted to share one of Pikelet & Lollo’s favorite – the Chinese tea ceremony. This is a sweet and private family ritual that is performed on special occasions such as weddings and we do it every year on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
Food co-ops have often intrigued me but I’ve always shied at the thought of getting 30 lbs of produce I do not know what to do with. This week, my dear friend D who is off to Sydney, let me pick up her half share from Urban Acres who have pick up sites all over Dallas.
Here’s how it works. You sign up to commit to a half share ($30 for 15 lbs) or full share ($50 for 30lbs) and pick up your produce every two weeks. There’s a membership fee $50 and a bin fee $14 that you pay at signup.