Posts tagged under Recipes. Show all posts.
Welcome to the first posting of the EatSavvy Blog. We are really excited about this blog because we just love food. Hopefully you are already a dedicated follower of EatSavvy and have been trying out our recipes. Well, if you like those, you will like this blog—but don’t expect anything fancy. This is not epicurious (which we love, by the way) or Martha Stewart (not so bad either) but rather a very real account of foods that we feed our families and ourselves. You’ll hear about what was for dinner, our favourite gadgets, the best in season, what we feel like eating now and what we had for lunch (at SavvyMom HQ and at home with the kids). It’s all about food, how to make it fun, easy and real. A few tips and tricks, observations and even some behind the scenes tid-bits from the EatSavvy shoots.
Must go and get dinner ready now. We’re having our regular Thursday night fried rice filled with all the left-overs from the week. It’s always a surprise!
What are you having for dinner?
We don’t always have dessert with dinner, but it was Sunday and I was experiencing one of my daily chocolate cravings. Something sweet was definitely in order! Fortunately for me, I had just received a simple chocolate dessert idea from Holly Sisson, our EatSavvy photographer and head of production at SavvyMom—it’s called the Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake. Her daughter came across this recipe online and we received an email submission from a reader about it the next day so it is clearly going viral. No stove is required, so it is a perfect cooking activity for kids. And, all of the ingredients are pantry staples, so I had everything I needed on hand. I placed the ingredients and measuring cups on the counter and let my son mix up personal-size chocolate cakes for each of us. Dessert doesn’t get much easier than this. Total prep and cooking time—10 minutes.
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only five minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!
I am always looking for new ways to use leftover cooked chicken, so tonight wasn’t any different. Let’s make it Mexican night! I don’t remember where I picked up this recipe, but recently I found it scribbled on the back page of one of my cookbooks. It’s simple, nutritious and even better, my children love it. No leftover chicken? This also makes an excellent vegetarian entrée without it.
Baked Chicken Tortillas
1 cup frozen corn
¼ cup red onion, chopped finely
½ cup green/red pepper, chopped
1 cup Canton Beans in Tex Mex Sauce or 1 can black beans, mashed
½ jar chunky tomato sauce
1 cup cooked chicken pieces
1 cup cheese, grated
6 tortillas (we like Dempster’s Multigrain)
* Reheats well too.
What are you having for dinner?
We are very excited about this month’s EatSavvy edition featuring my family’s latest fave…Fish Tacos! My sister who is a former caterer and health nut living in California told me about this idea a few years ago. I will admit that I turned my nose at it a bit thinking that my meat-eating boys would never go for them. But it turns out the inclusion of sweet mangoes in the salsa and the ability to ‘build-your-own’ made this recipe a big hit. I can’t wait to make them again! And you can bet I will be making extra fish for the chowder recipe—another favourite. Mmmmm. I hope your family enjoys these recipes as much as mine did.
What recipe did you like the most on EatSavvy this month?
Once a week I take a break from lunch in the office and pick up my kids and their two friends from school for lunch. Midweek lunchtime is always a rush (factor in removing and finding places for four sets of snow boots, snow pants, gloves, hats to dry, etc). Fortunately, the lovely March Break weather permitted us to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and enjoy a leisurely lunch out. No hats and mitts meant more time to relax. We took a vote and as usual, pizza won (I’ll allow it since it’s healthier and less expensive than most fast food alternatives). One of our favourite local pizza parlours makes their pizza on thin crust, and more times than not, whole wheat or multigrain crust. The kids are happy with tomato sauce and cheese (which can’t be that bad), while I prefer to load up on fresh veggies. Unfortunately, their beverage selection is limited. Juice and milk are sold in large bottles and cartons only and they don’t keep cups in stock. Good thing I brought along their Klean Kanteens and a couple of juice boxes from home.
If you have more time, consider having a pizza party at home with this easy homemade pizza recipe from EatSavvy.
What are you having for lunch?
Photo copyright Holly Sisson Photography
We have some exciting news on the EatSavvy blog which we know is going to make it more interesting for you as well. Our friends at Kodak have been kind enough to give us one of their M1093IS EasyShare cameras to help us chronical our food adventures around here. We were amazed with how easy it is to use—in a rush to take a picture today before I ate my lunch, we wanted to set up the camera and it only took a few seconds. Truly plug ‘n’ play. It’s also small and sleek and it comes in a few very lovely colours (we’re partial to the pink one of course). And it takes HD pictures suitable for prints up to 30 x 40 inches, should we be wanting to make a poster of any of our cooking creations. But the feature we probably will use the most is the blur reduction—most of us around here just don’t quite have the photography skills that our own Holly Sisson does.
But back to the food…as a dedicated office-lunch-bringer, I always like to be creative with my lunch and today I am enjoying one of my favourite creations to date. Last night I grilled flank steak and a few vegetables (red and green bell peppers, brown mushrooms and zucchini) for dinner. The flank steak was delicious, tender and juicy, but much too big for me and my two boys. So, this morning as I began my lunch-packing routine, I decided to use my leftovers and make a flank steak burrito to take to the office. I laid out a large whole-wheat tortilla on the counter, put four thinly sliced pieces of flank steak down the middle, arranged the peppers, mushrooms and zucchini on top, and then crumbled some feta cheese on top of that. I then folded the sides of the tortilla in and both ends underneath. Finally, I added a small container each of sour cream and guacamole (the store-bought kind—I usually keep some in my fridge at home) to my lunch bag, as well as a piece of fruit. At lunch time I popped the burrito into the microwave for a minute or two and thoroughly enjoyed a gourmet lunch (with little preparation) at my desk. Easy and delicious—yum.
What did you pack for lunch today?
On Good Friday, the kiddos and I did the classic Easter egg decorating thing but then they wanted to try their hands at something sweeter. I know we had done some great recipes on last week’s newsletters for homemade Easter treats but amazingly my kids don’t really like chocolate so I wasn’t sure how they would go over. What they do like though is marshmallows and any variation on the classic rice krispie square, and we tend to make those every week, using all kinds of cereal for them—corn flakes, bran flakes, whatever we have.
So inspired by our wonderful chocolate nest recipe, we mixed up a batch, substituting some of the rice krispies (actually leftover ones from the holiday season, with the red and green in them) with a mixture of corn flakes and bran flakes to make them look more authentic, as if a bird had really foraged for all the different materials for the nest. (This also had the added advantage of using up a couple of boxes of almost finished cereal—hate those!) Once the mixture was cool enough to touch, the kids had fun making balls of the cereal and then forming them into nest shapes, with a small indent in the middle. Make sure if you try this not to squish and squeeze them too much—you don’t want the nests to be too dense. We then cooled them in a muffin tray to keep their shapes, and when they were ready, we popped a couple of Easter egg candies in the middle to make them look like real spring nests. It was fun and easy—and yummy (all gone by dinner time!). Sure to become a family tradition for us. What’s your favourite thing to cook with the kids?
My sons aren’t what you would call “picky eaters”, but that doesn’t mean they’ll eat anything I put in front of them. I have been known to finish off a child’s plateful of food or two, begrudgingly agree to macaroni and cheese for the third meal in a row, and I am also guilty of offering more than one meal option in my nine years of parenting. I would love for my sons to share the same passion for food as I do, so as much as possible I strive to offer meals that are healthy, fun and creative. For the healthy part, I think I am OK, but for the creative part, I call upon the help of professionals. One of my favourite family cookbooks is Whining & Dining – Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and the Families Who Love Them by Emma Waverman and Eshun Mott, food professionals and moms to three children each. The first couple of chapters focus on nutritional information, the importance of eating together as a family, and practical advice and tips for managing picky (or not) eaters, while the rest of the book is made up of over 100 kid-tested recipes for every meal (including birthday and dinner party recipes) and age group. I particularly like the tips and nutrition facts that are printed alongside each of the recipes. A few of my kids’ favourite recipes include their Multigrain Buttermilk Waffles, Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins, Turkey and Bean Chili, and Meat Loaf. If I were to choose one family-friendly cookbook to have in my kitchen it would be this one. Available to purchase online at www.randomhouse.ca.
What’s your favourite cookbook?
Scanning the meat section of my local grocery store for inspiration, I settled on what was on sale—ground beef. My kids love spaghetti and meatballs, so what better meal for dinner tonight. After some deliberation, I took that idea one step further and decided to make meatball subs—they like those too! I picked up three packages of ground meat—beef, pork, and chicken, a can of tomato sauce, and a few whole wheat sub buns. The meatball recipe I use is pretty simple and my kids love it. If I were making meatballs for adult guests I would add a little heat. Making meatballs is not only a good cooking lesson, but also a great after school activity. Much like playdough, my two love to get their hands in there and mess around.
½ lb ground beef
½ lb ground pork
½ lb ground chicken/turkey
½ cup bread crumbs (homemade if you have them)
¼ cup parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup cooking oil (Grapeseed oil is great for cooking at high heat)
6 sub/sausage buns, warmed
1 cup tomato sauce, heated
½ cup grated cheese
What are you having for dinner tonight?
On the back cover of one of my favourite cookbooks, it states “Be a faster, smarter, better cook”. And who wouldn’t want to be that? But Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks by David Joachim isn’t really a cookbook in the traditional sense as it is not just a listing of recipes. Rather it’s full of 5000 tips, tricks, shortcuts, solutions and answers to everyday cooking questions to help you cook like a pro. It’s arranged from A to Z and is cross-referenced and organized to make finding things easy, whether you’re trying to figure out how to:
(S) avoid making watery salsa,
(F) organize your freezer (one of my favourite topics in the book)
(C) how to store a coconut; or
(B) how to ripen a banana fast
The book also includes 900 simple recipes that help you master what you’ve just learned when reading about various ingredients or cooking techniques. So find some room on the shelf for this one—it’s like having your own private at-home Cordon Bleu course (for about $20).
I have a new favourite food blog. In fact you could say I am smitten…with smittenkitchen.com. The recipes are original and not complicated and the photography is absolutely beautiful. I will admit that it’s rather unlikely I’ll be making my own graham crackers one day but it’s good to know I can if I ever feel the urge. I will be serving these delish looking lemon-mint-granita’s at my next dinner party…for sure! They look gorgeous. I think I’ll add a little sprig of mint, and maybe some chocolate on the side. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
I encourage all you food enthusiasts to check it out for some divine inspiration…you’ll be pleased with what you find….
And on a side note the chef blogger is expecting her first child so it will be fun to watch her recipe selection evolve throughout her pregnancy and beyond!
Clearly, Dads were the inspiration behind EatSavvy this month—with the menu laid out for a Father’s Day Feast. We made things simple, savoury and sweet, just like our Dads but we want to be clear that this menu is not just for that one day of the summer—it’s a perfect summertime feast for any night. We chose recipes that not only Dad would like (and that paired well with beer) but items that the kids could get involved with preparing. We know that if the children are more involved in the preparation of the food, they are more likely to eat it and enjoy it. So lemonade and ice cream cake are obvious choices for the kids, but why shouldn’t they also help with the seasonal green salad and yummy strawbana kebabs. Get them excited about fresh produce at an early age—there is always chocolate to dip in if necessary! Enjoy your dinner.
What did you make for Father’s Day dinner?
I must confess that as much as I love cooking (and food!), most food sites don’t really appeal to me. They always seem like they are trying too hard or they end up making me feel inadequate in the kitchen. But recently Mixing Bowl Mama (aka Jan Scott, mom of two boys aged 7 and 9) from MixingBowlKids.ca paid us a visit over here at the EatSavvy blog and introduced me to her wonderful site. I must confess I am hooked. Her conversational posts are full of great and easy recipes for any family. Fresh ingredients are a major theme, as is getting the kids to help with the food prep, something I am working on. In fact, I love this site so much I’ve taken to making most of the recipes on the site in lockstep to them being published! It’s nice having someone else help me with great ideas in the kitchen now for healthy, yummy food for my family. Try the Banana Bites and the Pasta a la Mama to get started, and jump on board the MixingBowl Kids bandwagon with me!
What are your favourite food sites?
Photo courtesy of MixingBowlKids.ca
This summer I discovered the perfect picnic sandwich. I took the original recipe for a “Muffuletta Sandwich”, a specialty hero-style sandwich of New Orleans, and switched it up a bit to make it a little more “family friendly”. A Muffuletta is a multi-layered sandwich made on a large round loaf of Italian bread, smothered with olive dressing, and layered with delicious Italian-inspired ingredients. My version, the “picnic sandwich”, consists of a round loaf of multi-grain bread, olive spread, hummus (or any other dip/spread you may have on hand), grilled or roasted vegetables, sliced meats, sliced cheeses, tomatoes, pickles etc. This sandwich is perfect for a picnic, lunch on the dock, or a packed lunch because it can be made ahead of time, feeds a crowd, is easy to transport, and, most importantly, tastes incredible.
Perfect Picnic Sandwich
Makes 8 sandwiches
What are you packing for lunch this summer?
We really want to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve EatSavvy for you so please leave a comment here. Want more recipes with local ingredients? Ideas for make-ahead meals? Shopping lists and menu planners? Don’t be shy!