Tag Archives: children

My Favorite Recipes: May 2012

Have you liked emmycooks.com on Facebook yet?  If so, I have one more request for you.  If not, now’s the time!  Here’s the step by step: visit the emmycooks.com Facebook page.  Click the “Like” button.  Wait, you’re not done yet!  Now hover over the button (which now says “Liked”) and select the “Show In News Feed” option.  There.  Now the daily recipe should appear in your Facebook feed.

Alternatively, you can sign up right here to receive our daily recipe via email.  (See the link over there on the right sidebar?)  Or you can add www.emmycooks.com to your favorite RSS reader.  Or just come back and see us now and again, that’s nice too.

Finally, before we get to the good stuff, there’s something that’s been bothering me.  Since you are discerning readers, I imagine that it’s been bothering you as well.  It’s this “emmycooks” business.  See, when I started this blog I wasn’t really thinking about giving it a name, I just popped that in as the URL and copied it as the blog’s title.  But oh! The improper capitalization.  And the unnecessary runningtogether of two words.  I apologize if this has been grating on you each time you visit this site, and I hereby unveil this blog’s dramatic new name: Emmy Cooks.  Phew.  Don’t we all feel better now?

Baked Chard Stems with Tomato, Garlic, and Parmesan
Indian-Spiced Kale and Paneer
Buckwheat Soba Salad with Spicy Almond Sauce
Butternut Squash Tacos with Chipotle and Feta
Hazelnut Baked Pears
And last but not least, the readers’ favorite: Roll-Your-Own Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi

It’s been a delicious month!  Thank you for reading and cooking along with me.  I love all the great ideas and thoughts you share in the comments.  I can’t always keep up with them, but I’ll do my best to at least answer questions as I see them come in.  Here’s to another delicious month together!

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My Favorite Recipes: April 2012

I don’t know if this whole idea of picking our five favorite recipes from each month is such a good one.  I mean, this list might leave you with the impression that there aren’t others that we cooked again and again and will be keeping in the rotation.  Like that (vegan) Farro Bowl with Toasted Kale and Coconut and Curry-Roasted Tofu.  Like the amazing (also vegan) Thai Greens and Tofu, which I left off simply because for most people it would require a trip to a well-stocked Asian grocery store.  The Smoked Salmon Salade Nicoise?  My standby Simple Lentil Soup?  All my favorites.  You see the problem.  It’s a good problem to have.

How to Make Homemade Organic Vegetable Broth for Free
Broccoli Salad with Ravioli, Feta, and Lemony Harissa Dressing
Queso Fundido with Mushrooms, Greens, and Chiles
Kale Salad with Apples, Currants, and Gorgonzola
Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb
And last but not least, the readers’ favorite: Homemade Matzo with Olive Oil (but I’ll just be calling them “Spiced Flatbreads” until Passover rolls around again)

Thank you for reading and cooking along with me!  As always, you can sign up to receive daily recipe updates by subscribing to this blog via RSS or email, or following @emmycooks on Twitter (links on the sidebar).

Banana Olive Oil Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Is it wrong to make cake two days in a row?  My weekend was just kind of like that.  Watch for some healthy salads in the coming days to balance things out!  Well, maybe.

Yesterday’s rhubarb cake was inspired by the new produce of springtime, but today’s recipe is inspired by old produce: a bunch of browning bananas.  I tend to throw them in the freezer and forget about them, but it was my turn to bring snack to the soccer game, so I figured I’d toss the bananas into some healthy muffins.  Instead, I made these cupcakes–a happy accident.

See, the recipe comes from the Moosewood Simple Suppers book, and it features four ripe bananas, olive oil, and yogurt.  Healthy, right?  I somehow glossed over the amount of sugar until I was actually measuring it into the bowl.  These are cupcakes, folks, plain and simple.  And good ones!  And quick to make.

The cream cheese frosting is optional and we enjoyed most of our cupcakes plain. If you do choose to make the frosting, though, the recipe gives you the option of dressing it up with a splash of coffee or a spoonful of cocoa powder, either of which would be a worthy compliment to the sweet banana flavor.

Continue reading Banana Olive Oil Cupcakes (click for recipe)

Granola with Orange Zest, Currants, and Walnuts

I mean to bring something nice over when you invite me to your house. Hopefully I will at least show up with a bottle of wine or a six pack of drinkable beer. But sometimes getting out the door with shoes and coats and all three children is all I can handle and on those occasions, sorry, I owe you. I’m lucky to have understanding friends (and reciprocity agreements in place).

Last weekend, I got about halfway to my goal of bringing some kind of nice baked good to our weekend hosts. Which brings us back to the topic of traveling with oats. I didn’t manage to actually bake the batch of granola I meant to take to our friends in Portland, but I did get as far as packing two jars with the ingredients for this olive oil granola: one big jar of dry ingredients and another smaller jar of wet ingredients. It wasn’t quite like showing up with a perfect cellophane-wrapped treat with a ribbon on it (just kidding, I’ve never done that), but at least the house smelled good while it baked.

We have eaten a lot of that olive oil granola in recent months.  (Here’s a variation with pistachios, dried apricots, and cardamom.)  J claims he could eat it for every meal, but it’s so sweet that his teeth might fall out. Here’s another option, a bit less decadent and perhaps therefore better suited to eat as an everyday breakfast.  Or for three meals a day, your call.

I am an orange zest junkie (have you made this bread yet?), so this recipe appealed to me immediately. Orange zest, currants, walnuts. I was intrigued by the fact that the recipe (mine is adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day) calls for butter in place of oil, but I really didn’t taste any difference and will probably just make it with oil next time. Maybe even olive oil.

Continue reading Granola with Orange Zest, Currants, and Walnuts (click for recipe)

A One Year Old’s First Birthday Cake, or, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Our baby is one!

We’ve had her in our lives for a whole year.  And what a year the first year of life is!  A baby grows from a shapeless, snuggly bundle of tiny fingers, big eyes, and warmth into a little person who can play peekaboo and demand bananas.  It’s been a good year.

A birthday, at our house, calls for a cake.  I know there are birthday-pie people and people who think one-year-olds shouldn’t eat sugar (they probably shouldn’t), and we aren’t even really cake people so much but…. Birthday. So cake.  I have made this same cake for all three of my little ones’ first birthdays.  Here it is.

You can think of this particular cake in two ways.  If you want to feel virtuous, you can describe it as a tender, butter-free whole wheat cake, glazed with a maple-sweetened cream cheese frosting, chock full of carrots and tinted pink with beet.  If you want to feel honest, you can describe it as a total sugarbomb of a cake, well-suited to any celebratory occasion.

In the past, I’ve grated a beet and squeezed it in cheesecloth to use as pink food coloring.  This time, I came across powdered dried beet at my spice shop and gratefully took that less-messy route.  I bought about a quarter cup of the stuff.  Achieving the magnificently pink hue below required half a teaspoon.  Oops.  Does anyone need some powdered beet?  What should I do with the rest? Continue reading A First Birthday Cake, or, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (click for recipe)

Matzo Brei

Lest you think that I am only posting this recipe in order to get away with eating scrambled eggs again, I would like to start by clarifying that matzo brei (rhymes with “fry” and, hey!, also means “fried”) is a traditional Passover meal.  Some people eat it because they are eating matzo (matzoh/matzah!) in place of leavened bread in observance of Passover.  The rest of us eat it because we have a box of matzo in the house and would prefer to use it up this year.  Either way, these eggy pancakes make an appealing blank slate for sweet or savory sauces, and get you out of eating boxed matzo in its dry and un-fried form.

I’d like to tell you that this was my own Bubbie’s recipe, but actually it came from Bon Appetit.  Growing up, my family’s matzo brei was more of a scramble, and if I recall correctly it involved fried salami as well (is THAT kosher?).  This recipe is more refined, more symmetrically shaped, and more vegetarian.

Matzo brei is traditionally a breakfast dish, but breakfast for dinner is never a bad idea.  You can take these in a sweet direction with jam, powdered sugar, or syrup, or you can spice things up; we liked them with a harissa spread.  But my personal favorite topping was our homemade plum-ginger jam.  You could easily replicate it by pureeing a pound of pitted plums and boiling them down with a couple of teaspoons of grated ginger and sugar to taste (I further sweetened our jam to use as a sauce here).  Isn’t that good?  You’re welcome. Continue reading Matzo Brei (click for recipe)

My Favorite Recipes: March 2012

I spent all day today wondering what on earth I could have done with my slippers.  I looked everywhere.  I kept asking if anyone had seen them.  (Nobody answered, but I assumed they thought I was just muttering to myself, which, ok, I was.)  I had to make do with a ratty old pair that I was apparently keeping just in case of an emergency like today.  Finally, late at night, J admitted to me that my 5 year old squirreled my slippers away early this morning as step one in an April Fools joke she had planned.  What?

First, should they really be teaching kids about April Fools Day in schools?  What about the unintended adverse consequences, like me having to wear different slippers today?  And second, since when can my 5 year old plan and execute devious schemes over the course of multiple days?  I clearly am going to need to up my parenting game.

I leave you with my favorite recipes from the past month and a warning to be on the watch for April foolishness.  I’m off to fill the kids’ breakfast bowls with fish sticks and broccoli.  And if you have any great ideas for April Fools tricks to play on my children, please share, as I believe I will have to be planning more elaborate ruses in future years.

How to Cook Black Beans
The Best Red Lentil Soup of 2012 (and a close runner-up for my favorite soup this month: Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup)
Challah French Toast with Vanilla and Orange Zest (perhaps made with your homemade challah?)
Quinoa Cakes with Cheese, Garlic, and Herbs
Roasted Broccoli Pizza with Feta
And last but not least, a readers’ favorite: Sweet Potato Chips

Thank you for reading and cooking along with me, and for sharing your own great tips, recipes, and humorous anecdotes.  To receive daily recipe updates, you can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, or follow @emmycooks on Twitter (links on the sidebar).

Breakfast Tacos with Eggs, Potatoes, and Greens

Everyone pretends it’s only the first few months of parenthood that leave you bleary-eyed and dazed from lack of sleep.  Wrong.  Most babies I know regularly wake up during the night for a long, long time.  I don’t know if it’s collective amnesia or willful deception, but nobody ever explained this to me in advance.

Last night my almost-one-year-old slept all night long for the first time in her life.  I was overjoyed, because my older girls didn’t do that until they turned two.  So it was probably a freak occurance that won’t be repeated for a year.  But still–still!–multiple consecutive hours of sleep are always a welcome gift after five years of sleep deprivation.  (I am like to think of this period of my life as the decade of babies, to be immediately followed by the decade of sleep.  Does it work that way?)

Sleep or no sleep, these tacos–just eggs atop a tangle of sauteed onions, potatoes, and greens–are a nice way to start the day. Continue reading Breakfast Tacos with Eggs, Potatoes, and Greens (click for recipe)

Rhubarb and Brown Sugar Jam

There are harbingers of spring in the garden.  Eggs and herbs.  Flowers and spots of sunshine.  I’d like to say that this rhubarb jam is a celebration of my first harvest of the year, but it’s not.The rhubarb still has a ways to grow.  Instead, this jam celebrates a more mundane annual ritual: cleaning out the freezer.  While fruit picked at the peak of ripeness and made instantly into jam preserves some of the flavor of summer, frozen fruits (or vegetables, in rhubarb’s case) are a perfectly acceptable alternative.  And when it all gets to be too much for us in the summertime–all the plums ripen at the same instant I find myself unable to resist a box of peaches at the market and my brother offers to bring a haul of rhubarb to town–well, into the freezer it goes.  And at this time of year, when our kids have eaten through our obviously-inadequate annual supply of jam, we’re glad to have summer’s bounty patiently waiting for us to deal with it.

In the past few days, we’ve made peach, yellow plum, Italian plum, plum-ginger, and this rhubarb jam.  We canned most of it, froze some, and experimented with making a sticky jam tart.  And hopefully these 35 jars will hold us over until summer comes again.

The Rhubarb Brown Sugar Jam is simple but seductive.  Sweet, bracing, tonic.  And maybe, where you are, you can already pick a few stalks of rhubarb or find it at your local market.  The recipe is infinitely scalable.  You can make one jar to spoon over toast (think of it with this bread!) or a big batch to freeze or can.  Or do as my 5 year old did and just enjoy a bowl of it with a spoon.  (I probably would have added some yogurt to the bowl myself, but hey.)

Continue reading Rhubarb and Brown Sugar Jam (click for recipe)

Smoked Salmon Pizza with Red Peppers, Green Onions, and Feta

Sometimes making a great pizza requires the preparation of many sub-recipes: a sauce, cooked vegetables, a drizzle of reduced vinegar.  This one, though, is fresh and light, a springtime pizza.  And it can be in the oven in minutes.  Start preheating now.

We had some whole wheat pizza dough left over from making this Roasted Broccoli pizza last week.  J and I took a little break from canning jam (more about that tomorrow, but here’s the takeaway: jam-making always takes longer than we think it will, and once we start the kitchen is going to be a hot mess all day, so we might as well add to the chaos by making a good lunch in the middle of it).  It was a teamwork day, so I piled ingredients on the counter and rolled out dough; J curated and composed this lovely pizza.  Voila, lunch. Continue reading Smoked Salmon Pizza with Red Peppers, Green Onions, and Feta (click for recipe)