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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.
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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!)
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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...

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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:
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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:
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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:
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Sunny-side up eggs in tomato sauce in a skillet

30 Mar An Easy Egg Recipe for Dinner

This is my favorite easy egg recipe; it's so simple--just four ingredients!--that it's a mainstay on my dinner rotation. We are crazy for eggs at my house and always have been. Whether it's two eggs scrambled for breakfast, a hard-boiled egg in a lunch-box, or a...

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21 Mar I’ve Given Up

When I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle years ago I was galvanized. It made so much sense. Yes, we should be eating locally-grown and seasonal produce. And while I wasn't religious about it, this philosophy really did shape how we ate to a large degree -- especially when it came to fruit. Fresh strawberries didn't cross my threshold until I bought a pint at the Greenmarket in May or June. Same with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, melons, peaches, and nectarines. Come fall I'd buy apples, pears or grapes at the farmer's market or grocery store. I'd ditch the apples around February and bring home citrus and tropical fruits. By March and April we were living on kiwi and bananas until strawberries rolled around again. This meant that summers were UH-MAZ-ING when it came to fruit, fall was nice, winter so-so, and spring ... not so much.
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03 Mar My #1 Tip for Getting Veggies on the Table

A veggie side dish or two are always on the dinner menu at our house, but some days it's a race to the finish, and occasionally my green veg just falls off the menu altogether. But, after years of family dinners I've finally realized a foolproof way to make veggies appear on the table. Hint: it's not about the cooking; it's about the prep.

How long does it take to put broccoli in a steamer and turn on the stove? Or toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then slide them into the oven? Or dress shredded kale with olive oil, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of Parm? The answer, in all cases: not long. What takes active time is washing, drying, and prepping the vegetables -- cutting the broccoli into florets, trimming and halving the brussels sprouts, de-ribbing and then shredding the kale.
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20 Jan Do You Give Your Kid Soda?

Good question. I am one of those people who believes (like Mark Bittman) that soda is the new cigarettes. When a relative told me that he regularly drinks soda I was aghast. Soda is just such…junk. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about it. But, despite all...

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