Blog

02 Nov How to Improvise a Smoothie

I woke up a few days ago knowing that I wanted smoothie for breakfast, but unsure what flavors I was craving. One thing led to another: I was running late, hadn't finished my coffee, and knew I needed to get blending asap. I spotted the half-pear left on the counter after Rosa's breakfast, glanced at my half-drunk cup of coffee, and knew I had the ingredients for a delicious drink. But how do you go from lukewarm coffee and half a fruit to a satisfying smoothie? If you know the formula, you have a pretty good shot. In the Introduction of SMOOTHIE-LICIOUS I break down the Anatomy of a Smoothie, the components that most smoothies need to come together well:
Read More

30 Oct Wicked Fun Halloween Snacks (That Aren’t Sugar Bombs)

Kids LOVE Halloween. Candy! Costumes! What's not to like? I love it too, but what I'm not crazy about is the fact that if kids go to a party or two before the main event, they likely eat so much candy that they crash before they even start trick-or-treating. My solution is to try, try, try to feed Rosa something semi-nourishing before she pounds the pavement. It doesn't need to be a salad, for heaven's sake, just something that isn't 99% sugar. That's why I love the Halloween food in the October issue of parents. It's super-cool looking, but still healthy-ish. Think Turkey Meatball Eyeballs, a Spider Cheese Ball, and Hummus Haunted House Sandwiches (all developed by the very talented Genevieve Ko!).
Read More

15 Aug The Summer Recipe You Should Make ASAP

I admit that I am a fair weather Greenmarket shopper. Each year I sit out December-April, then head back in May for the promise of asparagus and, eventually strawberries. By summer I am a farmer's market fanatic. I love seeing how the market's offerings change week by week, with strawberries disappearing in late June (boo) about the same time peaches make their appearance (yay). Blueberries and zucchini arrive, then corn, and finally in August tomatoes and bell peppers. But for me peaches are queen. Ask me my favorite fruit, and I'll say a juicy, fragrant peach. The best peaches are only around for about six weeks, just a fraction of the year, so I buy many and eat them any which way I can. One of my favorite preparations is this gorgeous peach salsa. Fruit salsas are a staple at our house all year 'round. I love how they can add a punch of acid and sweet to a savory dish; I've found this sweet/savory combination especially appealing to kids. In fact, I included a recipe for Tropical Pork Tenderloin with a mango and red pepper salsa in Real Baby Food. But in the summer it's all about peaches. Last weekend I prepared this salsa at a book signing/demo at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket.   In action at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket
Read More

03 Aug Recipe: Summer Zucchini Bread

Well, it's August, so that must mean it's zucchini bread time. To me, it just wouldn't be summer without this recipe. My mom made it when I was a kid, and every year I bake it to much acclaim from Dave and Rosa. (In fact, today Rosa had a friend over while I was baking. She literally asked, "What is that wonderful smell?") We eat it warm out of the oven or spread with peanut butter for breakfast. I will probably make several batches throughout the month and will freeze some for later in the year when we desperately need a taste of summer. Nearly every time I make this recipe I tinker with it a bit. Sometimes I use canola oil, sometimes olive. I might play with different flours, and I almost always trim the amount of sugar. Like most quick breads this batter also bakes up beautifully as muffins. I even included a version in the breakfast chapter of Real Baby Food as Zucchini and Carrot Donuts. Did I mention this recipe is also really easy? There are no special tricks here, just measuring, stirring, and summoning your will power to wait until the bread is just warm before cutting a slice.
Read More

20 Jun People Are Talking (About Real Baby Food)

Real Baby Food has been out for almost two months, and I'm happy that it has received a strong response. I believe so much in making cooking easy and accessible for parents, and it was my goal with Real Baby Food to show moms and dads that whether they're cooking for a 6 month-old or a 6 year-old, feeding and eating with kids can be fun, enjoyable, and delicious for everyone involved. I've been honored to have Real Baby Food featured on many of my favorite sites and thought I'd share the full list in case you missed any of these thoughtful posts.
  • Mama Glow called Real Baby Food a "Glow Worthy Book". (Mama Glow is one of my favorite new websites, by the way. It's so positive and, frankly, I feel calmer and happier just looking at it!)
Read More
Get the recipe for Can't Miss Cantaloupe Smoothies, a perfect healthy smoothie recipe for kids. #healthysmoothierecipes #smoothierecipesforkids #smoothierecipes

02 Jun How to Make Smoothie Ice Pops

One of the best things about smoothies is that they make delicious smoothie ice pops with almost zero effort. Just blend and instead of drinking, pour the concoction into ice pop molds and freeze until solid. This method works with virtually any smoothie, and is a...

Read More

04 May My Top 5 Family Cookbooks

It's no secret that I am an avid declutterer. Rosa's everyday artwork is not long for this world, and if I feel so-so about a shirt it's quickly pitched into the donation pile. But cookbooks are another story. Gosh, I just love them. I could stand in the cookbook section of a bookstore for hours, just taking in the jacket art and flipping through the pages. My desk at Parents is lined with stacks of cookbooks, and I've piled about 20 into a makeshift standing desk. At home guests frequently comment on the fact that cookbooks almost completely dominate our bookshelves. I use cookbooks for reference, for inspiration, and of course for cooking. But there are a few that see the most action on a day-to-day basis. I thought I'd share my five favorite family cookbooks in the hopes that you'll find inspiration in one too. First, what is a family cookbook anyway? Here is my easy definition: it's a cookbook I use to cook for my family. Some are officially targeted towards families or kids; others aren't. None are for "kid food", though, a concept I'm wary of to begin with. Without further ado, my (current) five favorite family cookbooks:
Read More

27 Apr Recipe: My Go-To Tomato Sauce

Real Baby Food is out this week (yay!), and one of my favorite recipes in it, one I make almost on a weekly basis is the Go-To Tomato Sauce in the Dinner chapter. Inspired by Marcella Hazan's classic version, this sauce is brilliant in its simplicity. Aside from one cut (slicing an onion in half) there is no chopping involved. Just simmer a can of crushed tomatoes with some aromatics for half an hour--and voila--you have a light, tangy, crowd-pleasing tomato sauce perfect for coating pasta, dipping polenta diamonds, baking eggs, topping pizza, or assembling these Saucy Meatball Sliders. I frequently make a double batch and freeze half to use down the road. After making it once you will too I bet. The recipe:
Read More

14 Apr 3 Ways to Power Up Breakfast

In the May issue of Parents I share 22 ways to break out of your breakfast rut, from awesome add-ins for eggs to easy make-ahead options. I loved making this list, but let’s just say I didn’t always practice what I preached. Weekday breakfasts can be…uninspired. At least at my house. At least until recently. Rosa lives for breakfast; in fact most days I think it’s the only reason she gets out of bed. On the weekends her go-to breakfast is an egg on a bagel along with whatever smoothie I’m blending up that morning. On weekdays, for the longest time, she just ate cereal for breakfast. We’d alternate between Cracklin’ Oat Bran (her all-time fave—mine too!) and some other relatively low-sugar option. But for the last few months I’ve been making more of an effort, mostly because breakfast is a great opportunity to add extra nutrition to your child’s (and your) diet. Some breakfast is better than no breakfast, of course. But we can do better than that. Here are three easy ways to power up breakfast:
Read More

30 Mar The Best Food in the World Is…

Drum roll please. According to Rosa, age 9, the best food in the world is the humble (miraculous) egg. We are crazy for eggs at my house. We go through about a dozen-and-a-half a week. Rosa's traditional weekend breakfast is a one-egg omelet on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel. A hard-boiled egg often makes a lunch box appearance, and one of her favorite dinners is my 15-minute version of shakshuka, known as Saucy Eggs in Real Baby Food. In fact, at least one of our dinners each week generally revolves around eggs, not by design...just because they're quick, easy, and delicious baked into a frittata, folded into a burrito, or just scrambled and doused with a little Tabasco or Cholula.
Read More