Posts filed under 'Picky Eaters'
Happy 4th of July Weekend flavoristas! The recipes links below are from the May/June issue of Hannaford's fresh magazine, I worked on the recipes last winter and yes I am one of the grill crazy people who grills year-round despite frigid, New England winters.
These burgers have been thoroughly tested on my family and neighbors. They are made from well-seasoned lean meats, quick to prepare and super yummy; so when you tire of plain ol' burgers, give one of these a try:
Breakfast Burger: Ground beef seasoned with cooked bacon and cheddar served on an English muffins with tomatoes and a fried egg. This gives breakfast for dinner a whole new meaning.
Burgers Cordon Bleu: Ground chicken seasoned with ham and Dijon mustard topped with Swiss Cheese. Roasted red peppers give it an extra layer of flavor.
Inside-Out Cheeseburgers: American cheese is sandwiched between two seasoned beef patties and topped with French's Fried Onions and spicy homemade ketchup. Yeah Baby!
Sun-dried Tomato Turkey Burgers with Fennel Slaw: An Italian-inspired summer burger with thick, chewy ciabatta rolls, savory turkey seasoned with bruschetta topping, pesto and a simple fresh fennel slaw. Delizioso!
July 2nd, 2011
Our visit to New York City in February included a trip to Grand Central Station for lunch at the infamous Oyster Bar; my kids had their first oysters (and I'm sad to say one ran to the bathroom after a 5 minute valiant attempt to eat it, and the other just spit it out) We opted for dessert at Magnolia Bakery; their first piece of ice box cake was much more well received than lunch.
I had made it once for my eldest, before the others were born and had forgotten how simple and delicious it is. For my middle child's 10th birthday, a request was made for this to be his cake.
Easy to make and easier to devour. You can dress this up or down. Smitten Kitchen has a more beautiful version but this one, from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook – uses 3 cups of heavy cream and more packages of the wonderful wafers. Smitten Kitchen also offers a recipe for making the wafers from scratch. Someday, I will try that.
Nabisco wafers are indeed hard to find so if you find them, purchase several boxes as they also make the best chocolate crust for pies.
Click here for the original recipe listed on the back of the chocolate wafer box. Searching the web will give you any variations you might want, like mint, and alcohol scented whipped cream, a touch of brandy could create a Brandy Alexander Ice Box Cake.
Try it, you'll like it, we promise.
May 25th, 2011
Move over macaroni and cheese this is my new go to one pot pasta dinner. This recipe which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on March 26th is off da' hook! Another hit by one of our Flavorista favorties, Dorie Greenspan. What makes this recipe stand out is flavor and texture of the pasta. It cooks in a fraction of the time and differently from what you would usually do – treating it more like a risotto and less like pasta (without all the stirring).
There are many ways you could pump this up and add different flavors -diced proscuitto or Serrano ham, a medley of wild mushrooms, some blanched broccoli, grilled asapargus or baby spinach. Make it plain for the kids and add whatever you want for the adults.
The first night I made it I did not have any mascarpone so I substituted cream cheese. This dish is perfect for Better than Bouillon (a Flavorista fave and pantry staple – I am so happy they sell very large jars of it now in our Costco).
This product is not only better than bouillon, it's better than stock-in-a-box by a landslide. I used the chicken base but the vegetarian and mushroom bases are also delicious and would be well suited for a Meatless Monday. Tubetti is a must for this dish. The shape makes for the perfect texture.
The only other divergence from the original recipe I did was to cook it in my La Chamba and place it in a 250 degree oven with some fresh mozzarella balls sliced on top for 20 minutes before serving. My new go to comfort food!
"Risotto" Pasta a la Dorie Greenspan
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced
3 3/4 cups chicken stock (3 tsp. of Better Than Bouillon dissolved in 3 3/4 boiled water)
1 1/3 cups tubetti
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (pecorino and asiago would be excellent choices too)
3 1/2 Tbsp. mascarpone (or regular cream cheese)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot and saute the onions, stirring occasionally for a good 10 minutes. You can season with salt and pepper now or after the dish is done.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 to 25 minutes. Pour in the cream and stir well. Allow to simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and cream chesse and cook for another minute. Let the dish rest for about 3 minutes, adjust the seasoning then serve.
May 4th, 2011
Jaimie Oliver is working hard to change the way we eat. This video made back in March worked in converting some kids to appreciate real chicken. I propose that you can actually make a wonderful chicken nugget using chicken breast meat and even more economically, you can use the chicken tenderloin pieces that have been pounded to an even thickness. Whole Foods sells them and I use them when I’m in a hurry.
The key ingredients to a good, crispy nugget are egg whites, baking soda, panko bread crumbs, crumbled corn flakes and if you wish, Parmesean cheese finely grated.
A quick note on the ingredients: using just egg whites lightens the batter and makes it taste less eggy. If you like the addition of the yolk, then go ahead and use it. The egg white batter made for lighter crispier nuggets, but I’ve used the yolks as well and it’s still pretty good. Baking soda helps with the overall color. I also believe that using granulated onion, garlic and a little paprika really helps add to the flavor.
If you don’t have cornflakes (Kellogg’s does make already crumbled flakes, but you can make your own by processing whole corn flakes in a food processor) then just use the Panko bread crumbs and if your are feeling more virtuous, use some of the whole wheat ones mixed with the Italian style. Either way it will be good.
Once you get the proportions down, you’ll be rotating these crispy nuggets in your monthly menus and you won’t buy the frozen ones anymore (except in a pinch). I make the coating in advance and have it in the cupboard for those harried nights. Everyone will enjoy this meal, not just the kids. I’ve served them with marinara sauce for dipping and also just with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You could serve with BBQ sauce or honey mustard as well.
While you still might buy the frozen nuggets, once in a while these will beckon you back as they are pretty tasty.
Coating for Nuggets – This coating makes enough to feed 6 hungry kids.
There is no salt in the coating as I recommend salting after the nuggets are fried. You will end up using less salt and not sacrifice any flavor.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornflakes, crumbled
1 cup Panko style bread crumbs
2 tsp. granulated onion (not powdered)
1/2 tsp granulated garlic (not powdered)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. Paprika
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
4 cups peanut oil or other high heat vegetable oil
If you are using chicken breast, make sure to pound it down to a uniform thickness. This will ensure even cooking throughout.
Place all the coating ingredients, (except the egg whites and the oil) into a large container and shake or mix well. I use my Pyrex pie plates, one for eggs and one for coating. Lightly whip the whites until just foamy.
Dip the chicken pieces into the egg whites making sure to coat both sides. Then place into the coating. Press down gently on each side of the chicken so the coating is pressed into the meat.
Heat 3 cups of oil in a large pan. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, fry the nuggets until golden on each side. This takes about 6 minutes each side. Hold the cooked ones in a warm oven while cooking the rest.
January 6th, 2011
I bought a bag of Mayan spiced cocoa from Savory Spice Shop a while back. In the winter I enjoy it prepared as hot chocolate. The heat from the chilies makes it especially warming on a cold, blustery day. Its unique blend of chilies, hazelnut powder, vanilla and cinnamon inspired this chocolate sauce.
I served it on on homemade cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon sugar palmiers. The palmiers recipe is from Martha Holmberg’s gem of a book on recipes made with puff pastry entitled Puff. You could also use gingersnaps or cinnamon shortbread cookies.
Mexican Spiced Chocolate Rum Sauce
½ cup unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Mayan cocoa
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Meyers rum (or any dark rum like Goslings. Captain Morgan’s would work too)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Heat the butter in a sauce pan; add sugar, cocoa cream and salt. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in rum and vanilla.
Serve warm. Refrigerate any leftovers.
June 1st, 2010
Once the pantry purge has been completed, I start to tackle the freezer knowing that berry season will be here soon enough and there must be space to freeze Maine’s summer berries.
Despite a few batches of blueberry jam over the winter, I still had a couple quarts of blueberries needing to be used up (Stay tuned for a superb blueberry cake with brown sugar glaze to be posted soon). Now onto this yummy pie.
This pie was made for my friend Kate who had been having a very tough month. I am a big believer in the power of pie and its ability to make things seems better, even if momentarily. She described it as "ooey, gooey, apple, blueberry yumminess." Needless to say, I will be making the pie again, maybe for Mother’s Day because I still have some blues to use up.
I would like to note that I made the pie crust with Earth Balance spread because Kate prefers to pass on dairy and I am happy to report that the crust acted just like a normal pie crust. It cooked up nice, golden and flaky. Flavorista Monica gave me the idea. Her son is allergic to all dairy products, so she is my go-to expert on the subject of dairy-free. Of course the flavor was different than an all-butter crust, but it still met with very good reviews.
For the crust, I followed Jess’ instructions for freezing the pie crust before baking. I am a convert to this method as it it has consistently delivered flaky, golden crusts since Thanksgiving 2008. I only use metal pie plates for this freezing method because I am too nervous about temperature differences and potential explosions (I am not willing to sacrifice my Pyrex and ceramic pie plates).
Apple Blueberry Pie adapted from from Emeril with Hogwash’s Pie Crust.
Two 9-inch prepared pie crust (recipe follows)
3 cups thinly sliced granny smith apples
1 cup blueberries, preferably wild Maine blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. butter cut into small pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine the apples, blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.
Pour the apple-blueberry mixture into the frozen pie crust. Dot the top with butter and cover with the other frozen pie crust, sealing edges.
Cut steam holes in top, place on cookie sheet pan lined with foil or parchment. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Fruit juices should be bubbling though the vent holes. Stick the point of a knife through the hole and check to see if apples are tender.
Allow pie to cool for 4 hours before slicing.
Edible’s All-Butter Crust from Hogwash
From the Fall 2008 issue of Edible Seattle.
Yields: Two 9-inch pie crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1” dice, and chilled again
1/2 to 2/3 cup water, chilled in fridge
Blend flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle chilled butter cubes into the flour and press into the dry ingredients with your fingertips, blending together until the mixture looks like fresh breadcrumbs or damp sand. Ideally, no lumps of butter any bigger than a pea will remain, nor will you have any dry flour lurking in the bottom of the bowl.
Add cold water one tablespoon at a time, blending gently with a large fork, until the dough forms into a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a crust about 1/8” thick and gently pat down into a 9” or 10" pie pan. Trim the edge with a sharp knife or scissors so the dough hangs over the edge by 1/2”. Fold and crimp the dough’s edges. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight. For the top crust, roll it out flat. Line a 10-12" plate with plastic wrap and place the crust onto it. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes, or overnight.
Remove from freezer when your filling is ready and the oven is pre-heated—whatever sort of pie you’re baking, you want the crust fully frozen when it goes into the oven.
April 21st, 2010
My son gave me a copy of Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis a few years ago. Pizza di Spaghetti is one of his favorite meals. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, it is a great way to use up any leftover pasta and it is a meal that all of my children will eat.
Topped with a little marinara sauce and served with broccoli, it is an easy dinner. You could even put bits of broccoli or chopped spinach inside. I’ve done several variations, such as adding 1/2 cup ricotta cheese and finishing it with mozzarella. My 13-year-old is able to prepare this recipe by himself.
Typically, I use Barilla Plus Angel Hair as it has nice texture and a better nutritional profile than regular pasta. In this recipe, even finicky eaters won’t know the difference.
Not very photogenic, but certainly very tasty.
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or sharp cheddar)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups leftover pasta, cooked
1/4 cup olive oil or butter
Bits of mozzarella cheese, about 1/2 cup (optional – but this makes it more like a pizza)
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat well. Heat a 9-inch skillet and add the olive oil or butter. When hot, add the pasta mixture, spreading evenly and cook for about 8 minutes, pressing it down with the back of a spatula.
Carefully invert the pasta onto a round flat surface like an oversized plate, then slide it back into the pan on the opposite, un-cooked side down. Place the bits of mozzarella on top and cover. Cook for another 6 minutes. Heat your marinara sauce in the microwave while the pizza finishes up.
Place the pasta on to a serving platter, cut up into your desired serving size and serve with a bit of marinara on top or on the side.
January 19th, 2010
It is nice to have something light to nosh on while you are putting the final preparations on the big meal. This dip along with potted shrimp (recipe coming soon) is a nice way to wait for the feast. Kids like it too. And remember, no double dipping!
Take 1 cup of cottage cheese and with the back of a ladle push it through a sieve. In the same bowl place 1/2 sour cream, 1 Tbsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. dry mustard, 1/4 tsp. celery seeds, 2 tsp. chopped capers, 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced scallions and mix well. You can easily make this a day ahead.
December 6th, 2009
A "healthier" alternative to high fructose laden "juice" boxes, these lightly sweetened fruit waters were a hit with all three Mayone children. Lucky for me they each like a different flavor, so the Healthy Kids variety pack is perfect for us.
The clean ingredient panel works for me with organic juices, organic cane sugar and only 40 calories per pouch. Happy sips to you.
November 5th, 2009
As we are in seasonal transition, it is decidedly colder here in Colorado. My tastes have been for heartier fare. Here is a recipe to excite you about broccoli. As luck would have it, broccoli is the one vegetable that my most finicky eater likes. Of course the other two only "tolerate" it. This dinner was a huge hit with all three!
I highly recommend that you serve this on a ridged pasta, like rotini. We enjoyed it on wide fettuccine egg noodles. My favorite boxed pasta, Barilla Plus, adds to the "stealth health" appeal that this dinner has for moms.
This pesto could also be easily worked into a warm pasta salad with some white beans, lots of freshly chopped parsley and a splash of red wine vinegar.
Pasta with Broccoli "Pesto"
1 (14.5-oz.) box Barilla Plus Pasta
1 lb. steamed broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Juice from 1/2 large lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese (or Parmesan)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, more to taste
Put your pasta water on to boil. Set up your steamer and steam the broccoli.
Saute the diced onion in a little olive oil until soft. Place the still warm, steamed broccoli in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic clove and onion. Pulse until evenly chopped. Add the pasta water, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Transfer this mixture to a small mixing bowl. Stir cheese and olive oil into the mixture until evenly blended.
Once the pasta is cooked, place it in a warmed bowl and add the "pesto" and stir well. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan. Offer additional ground pepper and salt.
Recipe Note: To make this dinner gluten-free, substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta or toss the pesto with 1 lb. of oven roasted potatoes.
October 19th, 2009