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Posted on Apr 14, 2016 | 0 comments

Life Goes On – In the Garden

Life Goes On – In the Garden

Like most of botany and other life sciences, this is simultaneously super cool and gross. With one question (“Which are the girl flowers and which are the boy flowers?”) we were launched into learning about the reproductive life of squash today. Very interesting and sooooo, uh, familiar. Ahem. And with the added delight of edible ovaries and stuff! (Squash = ovary. Yep. I said it was gross!) Here’s an enlightening explanation of the birds and bees and pistils and stamens, in case your little farmers ask you any questions about their Halloween pumpkins you wish you had answers to. Just try not to blush as you tell them. And if your squash plants are taking off but you don’t love squash, just eat the flowers. Here’s a fantastic recipe that is shockingly easy. No stuffing, no deep frying. I even eliminated the cheese from the batter so it’s just a few ingredients. Save any extra batter for the next day and it still turns out great. We’ve been doing this daily and marveling at...

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Posted on Feb 17, 2016 | 0 comments

Frog Cookies

Frog Cookies

This post is a follow up to A Frog Party and Frog Hats. Just a few tips on making Frog Cookies, from one who has been to the swamp and lived to tell about it.   1) Any old sugar cookie recipe will do, but I used a shortbread recipe because I wanted to and I am the Frog Queen. Add mini chocolate chips to the dough to make it wartier and chocolatier, but harder to get a cookie cutter through. Use the chips or not – it’s up to you. You are a Frog Queen.     2) To get them green, add matcha green tea powder, spirulina, chlorella, or any combination of those. I don’t have an exact combo – I just kept adding until I liked the color (and flavor – those substances have a flavor profile not commonly found at children’s birthday parties or anywhere else one typically eats for pleasure). Note: Use matcha green tea powder: Do not simply rip open matcha green tea bags, thinking you’re clever for saving a few bucks. The leaves aren’t...

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Posted on Jan 7, 2016 | 2 comments

This Is Not a Recipe – Veggie Mish Mash

This Is Not a Recipe – Veggie Mish Mash

A dear, brave little group has assembled around me as I embark upon a three week sugar detox (I warned them I’ve lost my mind – although that was probably apparent due to my voluntarily giving up wine). Toward that end, we post tips, questions, and support to a Facebook group. If you’ve ever tried to explain what you’re cooking on Facebook, or pretty much anywhere, you know it can quickly bury you in blurry photos and hasty instructions. Instead of cramming all that into one FB post, I am cramming it all here. 🙂 One perk of having a paid-for blog (as opposed to having a read blog – ha) is that you can take advantage of its recipe writing feature and let your friends use it. Enjoy.   Since this is not a recipe, you can use the measurements below, or just toss in what you’ve got. This is meant to be an idea, and it does not have to be exact. That’s my kind of cooking – the...

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Posted on May 22, 2015 | 2 comments

Breakfast Sushi

Breakfast Sushi

When your family is on an elimination diet, it can be a real struggle (and that’s putting it nicely) to find foods they A) Can Eat, and B) Want To Eat. Those are generally mutually exclusive, especially with children. And husbands. And selves (oh, carne asada fries, I miss you so). This was a breakfast collaboration between my sushi-loving kid and me this morning. You can make it all yourself, or let the kiddos rip up the seaweed themselves and have at it. Do-It-Yourself food of any kind wins with kids. And husbands. And selves (less work for me!). Prepare this at your breakfast bar – call it a sushi bar – and it will be even more fun!   These are the ingredients. Nori, Lox, and Avocados. There’s your tri-cultural language lesson for the day. [Imagine a picture of an English cucumber here. This is a wonderful suggestion from my sous chef, age 6, who loves cut sushi rolls and thought this would add an authentic touch. It would also...

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Posted on Apr 6, 2015 | 0 comments

Baking Bread

Baking Bread

My mom says she used to bake all her own bread as a young housewife. This was before KitchenAid mixers with dough hooks, and also before I was old enough to eat any of it, so I can’t be sure. By the time I grew teeth, she had moved on to store-bought bread, albeit whole wheat and without preservatives. I do recall being asked what I wanted for my birthday – in high school – and I requested the mystical, foreign substance known as Wonder Bread. This early bread-baking habit of hers was always something I lumped in with drinking chamomile tea and not letting me wear toy makeup as a four-year-old. I always thought it was because she was a crazy hippie nut job. While my mother’s reputation remains secure, I have realized you don’t have to live in 1970’s San Francisco, man, to make food from scratch. Or, to want to. I have begun to make my own bread. Because it is approximately 4,000,000 times better for our bodies than anything from...

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Posted on Feb 3, 2014 | 0 comments

Pan Cookies – The Easiest Cookies Ever

Pan Cookies – The Easiest Cookies Ever

The appeal of these sweet babies lies in their utter ease to assemble. They are basically soft cookies, without the most tedious part: scooping uniformly-sized balls and placing them evenly around a baking pan. Yawn.     With this recipe, just six essential ingredients, and a pan, you can have truly yummy treats in 25 minutes flat. I can’t imagine a more kid-friendly recipe but I had fun sneaking off to the kitchen by myself and surprising the kids with the results in the time it took them to completely destroy my living room (which is not as long as you might think).   I especially like that this recipe doesn’t require milk, which I always seem to be out of. The idea was inspired The Pioneer Woman, that crafty lady. She’s always up to something interesting. I started with the PW, then veered way off. Whole-wheat-off. (Some might just say “off.”) But I am not afraid of dark foods! I used spirulina in my son’s birthday frog cookies, for...

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Posted on Jan 24, 2014 | 0 comments

Enchiritos and Chimiladas (Dinner!)

Enchiritos and Chimiladas (Dinner!)

I was going to call this recipe “Deconstructed Enchiladas” but I didn’t think I have quite earned the right to use the word “deconstructed” in my recipes yet – at least not this one. This is weeknight fare. Throw it in a pan, heat it up, and spoon it into your mouth kind of stuff. Although it’s not sophisticated, some of the most satisfying food is like that (at least for me and Cute Banker – my kids are the only people on planet earth who dislike other classic, easy comfort foods like mashed potatoes and spaghetti – weirdos. But they do like enchiritos!). This dish shares a name with an old Taco Bell dish but the only thing it has in common with that one is that it’s about as un-Mexican as Taco Bell is. But, it does have a bunch of virtues essential to a weeknight dinner. For example: 1) Hot. A salad – no matter how many beans and nuts are in it – is not...

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Posted on Jan 5, 2014 | 4 comments

Winter Cocktail: Tom and Ruby

Winter Cocktail: Tom and Ruby

This drink is named after my stepmother. Let me explain. Pay attention, as this will not be so easy to follow after you’ve had a Tom and Ruby. My brother’s mother was my father’s first wife. My mother was my father’s second wife. Ruby is my father’s final wife. A sparkling gem of a woman, she vibrates calm, warm energy. Much like this drink that she introduced me to this Christmas. The original drink, a Tom and Jerry, was created in the 1850s and involved separating a raw egg and processing the two parts independently. This simple version requires you do nothing more strenuous than open a carton of eggnog. This can be a good thing after a long day returning Christmas presents while driving through snow. (Uphill, both ways). I don’t get a lot of snow around here, but a warm, cozy drink is always a welcome treat. Just like Ruby! Tom and Ruby   Print Cook time 5 mins Total time 5 mins   Warming, aromatic, soothing...

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Posted on Dec 19, 2013 | 2 comments

Whole Spice Ornaments

Whole Spice Ornaments

As you may remember, I received a jar of mulling spices for Christmas last year. I never did mull a darn thing, but I did make Hot Chai Cereal several times for my kids, to much delight (theirs) and surprise (mine). Spices don’t last long, so when I came across this inventive way to use them up, I jumped on it. It combines my favorite things: seasonal crafts that yield a product you actually want to use, fun things to do with my kids, and yummy smelling stuff. So, we made spice ornaments! As per usual, I did not create this idea. I cannot claim creativity in the artistic arena. You want a closet organized, a desk sorted, a multi-page spreadsheet formatted? Yeah, I’m your girl. Art?? Not so much. So, I turned to What To Do At Home With The Kids. It turns out, spices aren’t just for eating.     First, I sorted out the biggest spices for the kids to decorate with. If you are doing...

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Posted on Oct 10, 2013 | 5 comments

Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween Cupcakes

I succumbed to this enticing, round, multi-compartment shaker of happiness.     At Target, naturally. I didn’t even go there for this. I was on my way to the garden section.     Target and sprinkles: They always get me!!     I used Nigella’s fairy cake and icing recipes from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. (You must pronounce it go-DESS, as Nigella does).     I’m clearly not quite ready for go-DESS status yet, because I totally screwed up the cupcakes. I dumped a bowl of powdered sugar into the batter, thinking it was the flour. (They look alike!) I tried to scoop it out without dumping the batter out too. It was a mess. They turned out really dry, but here’s the good part: I layered so much of this ooey, gooey, sweetly salty, life-changing icing onto them that nobody cared. In fact, it was a great excuse to do so. I can never get enough of this icing and...

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Posted on Sep 19, 2013 | 0 comments

Easiest Roast Chicken Ever

Easiest Roast Chicken Ever

Easiest Roast Chicken Ever   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 55 mins   Crispy, golden, comforting chicken. Author: Sand and Table Recipe type: Main Course Cuisine: Americana Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 8 chicken thighs 2 tablespoons bacon fat 1 tablespoon Santa Maria seasoning Instructions Preheat oven to 425. Set your chicken on a paper towel, on a plate. Cover with another paper towel and press lightly onto the tops of the chicken pieces. Melt bacon fat in your roasting pan or a large cast iron skillet, over medium-low heat. Trim excess fat off chicken, if any. Put chicken in your pan. Turn it in the warm bacon fat. Sprinkle Santa Maria seasoning over all sides of the chicken. Put skin side down. Roast for 20-25 minutes and turn over. Roast another 20-25 minutes, until the skin is as brown as you like. (Don't go past 50 minutes total cooking time). Remove from pan. Cover loosely with foil to rest for 10 minutes. Crunch away!...

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Posted on Aug 28, 2013 | 0 comments

Blackberry Mint Smoothie

Blackberry Mint Smoothie

Okay, I know I’ve said it before about discovering some really good smoothie concoctions. But this one is absolutely delicious.   I usually add a banana to smoothies for creaminess, but I wanted this one frostier…icier…slushier. Something about the mint and the blackberry called for something sharp and refreshing so I left the smoothing banana out. I do a combo of sweeteners here (honey and maple syrup) so it doesn’t end up tasting like either one. Don’t use too much mint – subtlety is the key to it’s sublime flavor. I add parsley for it’s staggering health benefits. Feel free to leave it out altogether but, if you just add a bit, I think it deepens the earthy blackberry. (It also complements raspberries and blueberries). Kale is just a staple in my smoothies. I rarely make one without it, it’s such a superfood. The smoothie is generally just the delivery system for the kale. But, in this case, you’ll drink it for absolute enjoyment as well.   This sure woulda...

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Posted on Aug 19, 2013 | 0 comments

Chiaritas (Chia Limeade Margaritas)

Chiaritas (Chia Limeade Margaritas)

Chef Marcela Valladolid is my new best friend. Okay, technically, I have not actually met her. But she’s got that whole Fabulous thing down. And she makes food I want to eat. Well, she makes Mexican food which, I guess, pretty much everybody wants to eat. But the way she does it, I want to cook it too. Then, I want to invite all my Mexican in-laws over to my beautiful house to share my authentic food prepared on my gorgeous grill with a stunning view of the San Diego coastline behind me…oh wait, that’s her. Well, no matter. Once we meet and become BFFs, I’m sure she’ll let me come over and cook at her house. Cute Banker’s family is of Mexican descent, and I thirty minutes from the border, which is the same thing. At least, when it comes to my affection for Mexican food. I was cooking tortillas over the open flame on our stove before I could even say Valladolid. (I can really roll right...

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Posted on Jul 31, 2013 | 0 comments

Anytime Strawberry Shake

Anytime Strawberry Shake

UPDATE: I tried this with one cup of coconut milk and one cup of coconut water (instead of half & half and yogurt) for a non-dairy version, and it worked! This is an “anytime” strawberry shake because it calls for frozen strawberries, which you can get any time of year. And also because it’s so fast, you can make one any time you get a craving for cold, creamy sweetness. My son requested dessert one day, and he specifically wanted strawberries and milk. Not having fresh strawberries, I came up with this.   The frozen berries provide all the thick icyness you need, so adding ice cream isn’t necessary. Just use some full fat dairy, and you’ve got your creamy component. You can also substitute whole milk for the half and half. It will be just as delicious, but thinner. Instead of a strawberry milkshake, you’ll get strawberry milk. Also good! Now that I’ve said “full-fat,” I have to say I do like to include plain kefir, which only...

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Posted on May 15, 2013 | 0 comments

Hot Chai Cereal

Hot Chai Cereal

This is a sweet, spiced hot cereal. It is reminiscent of a dessert but with the addition of chia seeds and hemp seeds it becomes a powerfully nutritious breakfast. The swirl of maple syrup and pinch of salt salt round out the flavors without tasting mapley or salty.     If you don’t happen to have mulling spices lying around, or given to you as a holiday gift as we gratefully were, you can substitute allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. Buckwheat groats are a gluten free source of insoluble fiber, minerals and B vitamins. They can be found in the bulk aisle, or in a Bob’s Red Mill bag on the cereal aisle. You could substitute steel cut oats. Chia and hemp are becoming very common, either in bags at the grocery store (even Costco!), or online. For the kids, I omitted the brown sugar, and used whole milk rather than cream. They scarfed it up, not realizing their deprivation. I allowed myself those indulgent toppings and it was transformed from a breakfast cereal...

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Posted on Apr 26, 2013 | 0 comments

Not Exactly Gluten Free Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

Not Exactly Gluten Free Waffles with Blueberry Syrup

The kids got a waffle maker from their Auntie that makes very cute jungle animal waffles. I’ve never made waffles in my life so I needed some direction. Being full-throttle on my new wellness kick, I broke out Gwyneth Paltrow’s book, It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great, in search of a healthier waffle recipe. What do you know, she has several! Gluten free, sugar free, and all that. I was all set to get started with my recently purchased gluten free flour when I noticed you must also add something called xanthan gum to it. What is that? It doesn’t sound like a whole food to me, but what do I know. And, in any case, I don’t have any. So, I went to my tried-and-true cookbook for all things Middle Americana, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, to find a regular-person waffle recipe. Naturally, she has many tempting selections. The problem is that they all call for eggs and we are...

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Posted on Apr 24, 2013 | 1 comment

It’s All Good – Avocado Toast

It’s All Good – Avocado Toast

Going on vacation is a wonderful thing. You eat and drink and take a delicious, restorative break from your responsibilities. You’re so refreshed that, somewhere on your long ride home, you get the idea that when you return you’re going to totally change your life from the inside out and start living clean. Clean eating, clean house, even an exercise program starting at 5:45 am! Your spouse escalates this mania and soon you’re both making lists with milestones and numbers and schedules. To aid you in your mad plans, you pick up a book that claims it’s possible to maximize both health and flavor in the same dishes. For me, there is no point to health if there is no flavor, so this little adventure might even be sustainable past a day and a half. I watched a series on PBS a few years ago called Spain: On the Road Again. It combined some of my favorite things: traveling, cooking outdoors, Mediterranean food, and chefs Mark Bittman and Mario Batali....

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Posted on Mar 19, 2013 | 0 comments

Like Buttah: Burnt Butter and Brown Sugar Cupcakes!

Like Buttah: Burnt Butter and Brown Sugar Cupcakes!

  Okay. I’m not certain I can convey in mere words how entirely delightful these cupcakes are. No. Really. I texted Cute Banker at work about it in the middle of the day. They are stop-your-day, harass-your-spouse-at-his-place-of-business good.   I confirmed this fact with Cute Banker, who, upon returning from a particularly challenging day at work (I have no idea why!), proclaimed them, “Friggin’ GOOD.” Then, I ate one more, just to be sure.   Yes, it is certain: these are the best cupcakes, or cake of any kind, I have ever eaten.   As you can see, I had no trouble sampling them, from start to finish. I kept mixing and tasting, and scraping and tasting, and forgetting to take pictures of the completed steps. You’ll definitely want to lick the beater.   I’ve been in a general baking frenzy, ever since I noticed that when my child of three years and ten months spends the first half hour upon waking from his nap helping me bake, he...

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Posted on Mar 14, 2013 | 1 comment

Boeuf Bourguignon, a.k.a., Wine Stew!

Boeuf Bourguignon, a.k.a., Wine Stew!

This is not a low-cal dish. Can you handle it? Look. Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re going to have a small breakfast, a moderate lunch, walk a bit when you can today (run if you have time), and enjoy this meal. Because it’s good. What is life for, if not pleasure?? Okay, yes, and helping people less fortunate than you. That, too. Pleasure and helping others. I think I’ve just found the meaning of life, in a bowl of Boeuf Bourguignon from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. The fact that it requires an entire bottle of wine is probably not unrelated to my new-found enlightenment. An entire bottle of wine, plus a package of bacon. Ina Garten is my people! You think she’s asking you to add a lot of pepper. It works. Do exactly what she says about the bread: toast, rub with a raw clove of garlic, and serve underneath the soup. Eat with a fork and knife. And a spoon, and...

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Posted on Mar 8, 2013 | 2 comments

The Barefoot Comtesse: Provençal Soup au Pistou

The Barefoot Comtesse: Provençal Soup au Pistou

I’ve long felt inclined toward simple, rustic, southern Italian cooking. Olive oil instead of butter, loads of fresh veggies, minimal meat, all complemented by small amounts of simply dressed pasta. I have to say, one of the wonderful things about life is how it surprises you, and how you surprise yourself as you venture on. I am most surprised that my long-standing inclination toward the Italian way of enhancing beautiful, fresh food by not fussing with it too much is giving way, somewhat, to the French way of fussing with it so much it becomes something gloriously else. This delicious Provençal Soup au Pistou, from Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home, is a wonderful transition between the two. Here are some reviews of the soup, heard around our dinner table this evening: Child: This is so good. Make this again! This is so good, I’m not even drinking water. Mommy, this is so good I’m not drinking water! Cute Banker: Just so you and I are...

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Posted on Feb 26, 2013 | 0 comments

Plant-Based Diet

Plant-Based Diet

In honor of spring springing, I thought I’d give my kids a sunny lunch favorite. It does contain one of the Magic Ingredients: cheese. And, it has a bonus kid-favorite: bread (okay, an organic spelt English muffin, but anything in the grain family is a winner here). Plus, it’s fun! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Posted on Feb 20, 2013 | 0 comments

A Lunch by Any Other Name Would Not Taste As Sweet

A Lunch by Any Other Name Would Not Taste As Sweet

So, like, kids are kind of a pain.  I mean, I love them and all, and, most of the time, I even like them. They’re funny and cute and sweet. But when it comes to basic human functions, they are so particular, sometimes I’m tempted to just let them fend for themselves. Take getting dressed. I am strictly, adamantly, forbidden to help the baby in any manner whatsoever, lest I unleash Kicker, the Beast of Flailing Feet. That child can, and must, “doobit self!”  Yet, when his head ends up in his sleeve, he cries for help.  This is perfectly acceptable. What’s a bit eccentric is that as he is crying for help, he is also scolding you (sternly!) for doing it. Kay. Take staying dressed.  “Nudie Cutie” is a phrase I have mixed feelings about, although I know it’s really not the phrase’s fault. When our oldest son was tiny, it was so cute to see him streak around the house for about one minute before joyfully getting...

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Posted on Feb 17, 2013 | 0 comments

Beta Blast

Beta Blast

“Stimulating. Cleansing. Internally antiseptic.”  Ever think you’d hear those words applied to a common orange? “Detoxifying. Anti-bacterial. Good for digestion.” A description worthy of a lowly carrot? According to a book my mother gave me called The Food Doctor, Healing Foods for Mind and Body, yes!  Moms and books are always right. Well, these two are. I decided to combine these orange superfoods to make one heck of a beta-carotene rich smoothie.  Beta-carotene is one of those friendly little anti-oxidants we love to invite to dinner. It helps your body remain cancer-free and in perpetual, sunny health. We could all use more help with that. I could. Okay, I could use more help with that. You may love this smoothie just because it’s so zippy. Since carrots and oranges are both sweet, and therefore tasty in smoothies, I thought I could get away with adding a bunch of spinach too. Turns out, you can! Note: always add some banana or apple when you put greens in your smoothie. They really...

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Posted on Feb 7, 2013 | 0 comments

Instant Italian

Instant Italian

Dip is fun.  It even makes eating raw vegetables seem like less of an imposition. This is a versatile dip worthy of a kids’ lunch or an Italian cocktail party. Here’s all you need: 1 can cannellini beans 1 clove chopped garlic (or less if your kids’ tongues aren’t flame retardant like mine) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 t sea salt 1/8 t pepper 1/4 c fresh basil (would also be benissimo with rosemary instead) 1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes (for the cocktail party, not the kids) juice from half a lemon Drain and rinse one can of cannellini beans. Plop the beans into a food processor. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Process until mostly smooth. Adjust seasonings. Spoon into bowl, top with basil chiffonade, a few crushed red peppers, and a swirl of olive oil. Serve with buttered, toasted pita bread. I use a comal to toast mine up but any pan, or even a toaster oven, will work fine. It’s a kid pleasing...

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Posted on Feb 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Mexican in Minutes

Mexican in Minutes

Need a quick, healthy meal everyone will love? Here you go: refried beans. From scratch. It’s almost as easy as opening a can of processed mystery beans. Non-mystery ingredients: 1 can pinto beans 1 cup broth or stock of any variety  (Omit this liquid and you’ll have a great bean dip!) 1 one small clove of chopped garlic 1 t salt, plus more to taste Drain and rinse the beans. Pop them into a food processor. Add the garlic and broth. Pulse (one second each) several times, until you like the texture. Add salt to taste. Transfer to a saucepan and heat gently.  Add more stock if the beans get dry on the bottom. Cook longer if it’s too runny. This recipe is easy to double.  We double it for our family of four. From there, you can make a quick burrito.  Simply roll the beans into a tortilla (from any grain) for a super quick, high protein, and easy-to-hold meal no kidlet can resist.  Add cheese and you’re guaranteed success....

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Posted on Jan 26, 2013 | 1 comment

Hawaiian Pancakes

Hawaiian Pancakes

What do you do when your kids are asking for cookies for breakfast? Sigh a heavy sigh of despair, then, set about making the next best thing to breakfast cookies: pancakes! Next, go to the kitchen, discover you are out of maple syrup, or anything you could mash together to make any semblance of fruit syrup. Normally, you just use warmed applesauce, but you are even out of that.  (Note to self: go to store!!) Create new plan for syrup: Gently heat a cup or so of honey, then turn off the flame. Spoon in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil (it will melt easily in the residual heat).  Put in a splash of lemon juice. Add a few drops of vanilla extract.  You’re out, like me? Add a few drops of almond extract. Even better. Notice a theme coming together. Start humming Tiny Bubbles by Don Ho. Next, slice some bananas and set aside. Time to mix up your pancake batter.  I use this one by Fannie Farmer (minus...

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Posted on Jan 11, 2013 | 0 comments

Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal

Peanut Butter & Jelly Oatmeal

I am out of everything.  My kids are unsympathetic to this.  They still insist on eating! And they don’t appreciate being asked to wait while mommy showers, makes a list, and goes to the store. Once again, breakfast was dictated by what tiny shreds of foodstuff I could find in the corners of my kitchen. I found some rolled oats.  Not normally a favorite unless I spice it up with dried fruit, at least.  Hmm, fruit.  I have jelly!  What goes with jelly? Peanut butter?  Yes! I think I’m on to something. First, cook the oatmeal. Next, mix in the peanut butter (or almond butter or sunflower butter…) Spoon it into bowls.  My oatmeal was pretty stiff today (I’m also out of filtered water) so I made kind of a sculpture out of it. Swirl in the jelly (if you have looser oatmeal), or dribble it on top (if you’re going for the fine dining effect). Finally, very confidently present your diners with “Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal” like...

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Posted on Jan 9, 2013 | 1 comment

It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

First thing every morning, before I can even reach my coffee maker, I am met with demands for Breakfast!?!? And, first thing every morning, I think: I gotta put the coffee maker in my bedroom. Next, I think: what can I make for breakfast that: 1) the kids will eat, 2) is nutritious, and 3) is actually in the house. #1 is easier if the little gourmands haven’t had it in a while. The harder part is coming up with a large enough variety to be interesting.  Our current rotation of eggs, oatmeal, and waffles just isn’t big enough.  Although, come to think of it, they’ve never turned down a waffle.  I think I’ll need to work on a homemade, super pumped up version of waffles that I can keep in my freezer.  But that’s another goal for another post. Today, I happened upon the Vitamix recipe book that came with my blender.  I haven’t opened the thing in three years.  Suddenly, all kinds of new and delectable recipes are calling...

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Posted on Jan 3, 2013 | 0 comments

Blueberry-Parsley Smoothie

Blueberry-Parsley Smoothie

Parsley is more than just a cheerful, green garnish, although it does do wonders for a bowl of pale food. It does so many magnificent things for the body as well, that I have cherry picked (parsley picked?) a few for you: -Parsley contains a lot of anti-oxidants.  Those are so good for you, just get as many as you can. -Parsley is high in folic acid.  Not artificial folate, but the actual, real, whole stuff.  Folic acid is thought to be crucial to babies in the first weeks of their gestation.  If you happen to be past that stage, it’s also great for your heart. -Parsley is anti-inflammatory. As I understand it, when your body is, um, un-inflamed, it can turn its attention to fighting off nasties, rather than inflammation, and maintain it’s healthy state. -And, parsley is good for your bones (look, I started a sentence about parsley with a word other than parsley.  But I ended it with parsley.  Parsley.  What a funny word). Normally, I...

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Posted on Dec 28, 2012 | 0 comments

The Grossest Looking, Best Tasting Smoothie

The Grossest Looking, Best Tasting Smoothie

I was afraid.  Really afraid.  And I’m not squeamish about food.   When Cute Banker presented me with this morning’s smoothie, I was a little taken aback by it’s utter greenness.   These photos are a little hazy, a little dreamy.  Not because I’m such an expert with the iPhone camera, but because 1) it, like all photos that turn out well, it was a happy accident of technology, light, and the fact that no short person came along and bumped me, and 2) because this concoction really does taste dreamy!   This photo isn’t to emphasize how much the smoothie looks like grass. It’s to illustrate how tasty it is, in spite of that. While this smoothie is startlingly palatable, it’s also intensely good for you and likely improves all your senses.  Which is how I can hear you saying how odd it is to take food into your backyard and take pictures of it.   With all the goodies we’ve been ingesting this wonderful holiday season, I...

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Posted on Dec 19, 2012 | 7 comments

All Hail the Vitamix

All Hail the Vitamix

When I received a Vitamix, I knew, but I didn’t know, how much it would change my life. My kids (and Cute Banker and I) get multiple servings of raw vegetables and fruits almost every day without protest. This greatly reduces my guilt over not producing gorgeous bowls of green and orange delicacies with every meal. They also get occasional doses of chia seeds, hemp seeds, probiotics, chlorella and spirulina. They are detoxing heavy metals as they slurp up the yummy smoothies, none-the-wiser to the weird seeds and powders that mom puts in them. I do take care to familiarize them with these ingredients and cultivate a taste for them at times, but in the hustle of every day life, these smoothies are a realistic go-to. This morning, we had carrots, oranges, red cabbage, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, local honey, and a few grains of sea salt. And ice to make them cold. Sunrise Salad Spinner Sometimes, the smoothies turn out brown. Spinach and strawberries do that. Tasty,...

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Posted on Nov 5, 2012 | 0 comments

Chipotle Tomato Soup

Chipotle Tomato Soup

I saw Ina Garten making tomato soup on tv this morning.  It inspired me right on the spot to get out all the ingredients I had on hand, plus a few more.  I even got out my Le Creuset pot, just like Ina used, but that’s where our roads diverge.  Her soup is creamy and comforting, mine is zesty and invigorating.  Choose your fork, depending on what you need today. Given that there was pasta in it, and cheese on top of it, even my babies ate this stuff.  But if you aren’t constantly pushing spicy food on your children like we are, yours may object to the heat.  You could reduce the garlic, and reduce the chipotle chili powder, or even replace it with regular chili powder.  I just love the smoky flavor of the chipotle with the tomatoes.  The milk will also help smooth out the spice. Chipotle Tomato Soup   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 25 mins   Zesty, spicy,...

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Posted on Oct 31, 2012 | 0 comments

Afternoon Delight: Cold Kahlua

Afternoon Delight: Cold Kahlua

Coffee ice cubes, Kahlua, sweetened condensed milk…”aaaaah” in a glass. Maybe now I’ll have the strength to wash the spots off those windows. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Posted on Oct 20, 2012 | 1 comment

Cool Lunch

Cool Lunch

There is something fun about tiny food.  From simple appetizers to fancy tea cakes, it’s just more fun to eat things in miniature.  Take this concept, add it to the idea that it’s also fun to eat out of unusual containers, and you get ice tray lunch! Put a few tried and true child pleasers (anything with peanut butter) with some bright colored veggies and dip (tri-colored bell peppers and hummus), some fruit, some meat, some little crackers, hard boiled eggs, olives, seeds, anything you think your kids will, or won’t, eat.  It’s a good place to try new things.   Avocado, feta cheese, oranges, slivered almonds, lightly cooked carrots, green beans, cherry tomatoes, strawberries…   Going in.   Fun food in the fort! (excuse the bad lighting in addition to the usual questionable photography)   These would be great, shatterproof containers for a picnic in the backyard. Tapas for tots! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click...

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Posted on Oct 11, 2012 | 0 comments

And Breakfast For All

And Breakfast For All

I made a breakfast hash by Giada De Laurentiis this morning.  This dish covers all the basic breakfast hits: bacon, eggs, potatoes.  It also adds a lot of mom hits like spinach, onions, and red bell peppers, and leaves room for improvisation on both fronts.     I made this once with no bell pepper (didn’t have it) and once substituting ham for salami (had it).  So, go with whatever’s in your fridge, and don’t be afraid to use more or less of something, depending on what you’ve got. Since I cook all the elements of this dish in the fat from the bacon, I use way less salt than the recipe calls for, but I do add a tiny pinch at every point Giada instructs us to. It’s good advice: the salt really flavors the food through and through, rather than sitting on top. I also omit the orange zest. I think it distracts from the other flavors but go ahead and try it, just use the tiniest...

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Posted on Oct 7, 2012 | 0 comments

Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween Pumpkins

It’s a bit challenging to get photos of the pumpkin carving when one of your carvers is a little nudist.  So, here’s what we’ve got. Yep, that’s all the G-rated ones! Here’s a basic recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s infinitely customizable; these measurements are just to give you an idea where to start. Add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne if you want a spooky little kick! Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 55 mins   Sweetly spiced (not hot) pumpkin seeds. Try instead of popcorn - or mixed in - as you watch The Great Pumpkin! Author: Michelle Q / Sand and Table Recipe type: Snack Ingredients 1½ cups raw pumpkin seeds, scooped from two small pumpkins, or one large one ½ tablespoon olive oil ¾ tablespoon refined sugar ½ teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (or ⅛ teaspoon table salt) Instructions Preheat oven to 300. Put seeds and any attached pulp...

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