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Cookbooks ’ Category
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
Tired of bringing the same old high-calorie bottle of wine or box of cookies as gifts to holiday parties? The co-authors of the new book Grain Crazy: Recipes for Healthy Living are here to help. Their homemade gift ideas are easy, creative, delicious and healthy. (Or check out these presents your kids can make.) You’ll feel good about giving their ideas listed below, and your host will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Here’s what Cherie Schetselaar, mother of seven, and her daughter, Britney Rule, mother of three, put together. They also run the popular blog called Grain Crazy.
“We’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas here of treats you can bring that will add some additional health to your friends’ holiday–along with some sweet cheer.
1. Homemade Salsa—It’s the type of snack that we see way too little of during the holidays. Who doesn’t like a spicy treat to warm up a chilly night?
2. Granola—Granola is great because it can be a snack, breakfast, or a dessert—just throw it in with yogurt and fruit for a healthy parfait. We provide our recipe below.
3. Freezer Jam—Jam is something every household uses, right? This is a yummy, but useful gift that you can dress up to be festive and cute. Package it in a mason jar with a ribbon tied around the top.
4. Whole Grain Bread—Everyone loves homemade bread. Pair this with the freezer jam and you’ve got a slam-dunk gift.
5. Candied Nuts—Give some of those “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” The aroma of toasted nuts and spices feels like Christmastime. Our favorites are pecans and almonds.
6. Jarred Fruit—If you spend time canning in the summer months, consider giving a jar of your favorite jarred fruit. To those that don’t have the time, means, or knowledge to can their own fruit, this is a perfect taste of summer in the cold of winter.”
We love the “clumping factor” of this granola. It’s a healthy alternative to the cold cereal my dad and brother love to eat. It would make a perfect hostess gift or Christmas present for a neighbor.
Here’s my favorite recipe:
2/3 cup of honey
1/2 cup of coconut oil
3 cups of old-fashioned oats
1 cup of almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg
Dried fruit, raisins, dates, craisins, if desired
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the honey and oil together in a small bowl. Set it aside.
2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Pour in the honey mixture. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.
3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour the granola onto the cookie sheet. It will be thick.
4. Place it in the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes. Stir the granola a couple of times during cooking.
5. Let it cool on the counter and store in an air-tight container.
Makes 5 cups
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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
If you’ve ever daydreamed about turning that secret spaghetti sauce recipe into more than a family crowd pleaser, here’s your playbook: Author Rachel Hofstetter interviewed dozens of successful food entrepreneurs–mostly women–for her new book, Cooking Up a Business and gives you tips for getting started.
Her biggest takeaway? Moms make the best food entrepreneurs. Here’s how they turned their passion into a career—and how you can, too. Rachel knows what she’s talking about. She’s the former food editor at O, The Oprah Magazine. She’s also an entrepreneur herself with her company guesterly that creates custom magazines. (So super cool–check it out.)
KK: What are some examples of good food businesses that other moms have cooked up?
Rachel Hofstetter: Moms make great food entrepreneurs because kids provide great inspiration—and they are excellent taste testers! If your picky eater likes what you’re cooking up or if you, as a mom, care about the issue your product is solving, chances are other kids and moms will agree.
For example, when Shannan Swanson (at left) and Liane Weintraub were dismayed at the baby food they found at their local supermarkets, they began to make their own, dreaming up and pureeing combinations of fruits and vegetables that they deemed worthy of their little ones’ developing taste buds. And they began to talk, simply hypothetically, about selling this healthier baby food. That inspiration eventually led to Tasty Brand.
I also love Kara Goldin’s story of how she stumbled upon the idea of Hint Water. Kara’s family was drinking tons of sugary drinks—and she herself was drinking way too much Diet Coke! So she cleaned out the kitchen and put everyone on good old tap water—a moratorium that lasted all of two weeks. But instead of drinking water, they ended up drinking…nothing at all. Kara knew she had to change something or she’d have a home full of dangerously dehydrated kids. Her eyes drifted around the kitchen, looking for an idea, and landed on the big bowl of fruit on her counter, part of her new attempt to stock the house with real, wholesome foods. Kara chopped up a handful, tossed it in a pitcher, added water, and put it in the fridge to chill. A few hours later, she poured a glass to try. It was interesting. It had taste. It was . . . delicious. She poured another glass, and then some for her kids. Everyone approved! And after accolades started pouring in from other parents, Kara decided to turn her fruit-flavored waters into a business; today her waters are sold at over half the grocery stores in the U.S.
KK: How do you gauge whether your idea for a business is a good one?
RH: Have your friends and family taste test your product: Do they rave about it? Do they ask you to bring it to every event? Ask them: “If this was in a store, would you be willing to pay for it? How much?” It’s okay to change your product as you respond to feedback! Liane and Shannan at Tasty Brand started by making organic baby food—and now they only make snacks. Food businesses are great because you don’t need a lot of special equipment to test your idea: just a kitchen and the ability to make a recipe. So you can jump in, try it out, and gauge if your idea works as you go along.
KK: What are your top three tips on starting up your own shop–doing something you really, really love?
RH: 1. Pick a product that makes your life easy once it’s out of your kitchen. For example, in Cooking Up a Business I share the story of Love Grown Foods. They originally thought they’d sell founder Maddy D’Amato’s famous pesto. But they found that while it’s easy to make pesto for your dinner party of ten, it’s exponentially more difficult to make and store 50 batches for your local farmers market. Instead, make a product that’s easy to cook in large batches and is shelf stable (non-perishable).
2. Create a name for your product and tell a story. Why is this special? What’s memorable about it?
3. The best way to get people excited about your product (and to get them to buy it!) is to let them taste. Give away as many tastes or free samples as you can at farmer’s market, grocery store demos, local festival and fairs, mom’s events and more.
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Monday, November 25th, 2013
Thanksgivvukah is almost here! As many know, Hanukah and Thanksgiving coincide this year, and popular author and TV personality Jamie Geller is here to help with her book Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes. She’s all about delicious holiday recipes that do double-duty. Think Cranberry Chestnut Challah Stuffing; Rice Salad with Toasted Nuts, Apples and Onion Dressing; Latkes with Caviar and Cream; Whiskey-Glazed Whole Roasted Turkey; Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese; Kiddie Candy Bark (that can be made into gelt coins); Cardamom-Scented Chanukah Cookie and Sea-Salted Soft Challah Pretzel Rolls. (Check out some great Thanksgiving crafts from Parents, too!)
Geller hasn’t always been kosher. She was raised on take-out and didn’t gravitate to her heritage until her mid-20s. When she married her husband, she was dubbed the Bride Who Knew Nothing–that’s how clueless she was about cooking. Joining his family meant celebrating more than 100 traditional Jewish holiday meals annually, complete with six-course homemade kosher dinners for the immediate and extended family. Determined to show everyone that she had what it takes and spurred to confront her culinary clumsiness, Geller didn’t just learn how to cook—she founded the Kosher Media Network and created cookbooks, magazines, a popular website and even a television show.
In Joy of Kosher, Geller wants everyone to know that if she can put really good food on the table, anyone can. There is no slaving in the kitchen (no rabbi required!) and cooking kosher is really not as tedious or complicated as one might think. Here are a 3 to get you started this week–Cardamom-Scented Chanukah Cookies, Cranberry Chestnut Challah Stuffing and Latkes with Caviar and Cream.
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Hanukah, Jamie Geller, Joy of Kosher, Thanksgiving, Thanksgivvukah | Categories:
Best Sellers, Cookbooks, Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Do you need to go gluten-free this Thanksgiving? Popular blogger Nicole Hunn is here to help. Check out her 4 Tips for a Safe and Delicious Gluten-Free Thanksgiving below. From her new book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, she also shares a breadstick recipe she swears is as good as The Olive Garden’s!
“As the mom of a gluten-free kid, I know stress can come as its own special side dish to family get-togethers and holidays. Double it when you’re talking about Thanksgiving, or as I like to call it, The Food Olympics. But whether you’re hosting your own Thanksgiving this year or you’ll be a guest in someone else’s home, you can (and should!) expect great gluten-free food for your gluten-free kid, with all the trimmings! In fact, since we moms of kids with food intolerances and allergies tend to think about food more than the average person, our allergy-friendly food should be the envy of the table. I can help you with that! Beyond the food, I recommend you stay away from religion and politics at the dinner table, and the holiday should go off without a hitch.
Before I share with you a gluten-free bread recipe from my new book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, here are a Four Tips for a Safe and Delicious Gluten-Free Holiday for yourself and those you love:
1. If you’re hosting the holiday, guests feel uncomfortable showing up empty-handed. Since I keep an entirely gluten-free household, I ask guests to bring wine or fruit. I tell them that this is going to be the most stress-free holiday that they’ve ever had, since they don’t have to lift a finger.
2. Second, if you’re a guest in someone else’s home, don’t expect them to cater to your and your family’s dietary needs. In fact, I much prefer it when they don’t, since then I am free of any worry that their kind attempts to help will end up making my son sick. Did they chop up those vegetables on the same cutting board they use for regular bread? Did they bake those muffins in their regular muffin tin, the one they used the day before to bake regular cupcakes? Instead, I offer to bring as many sides as the hosts will allow. Then, I just serve my son his meal first before everyone else digs in. Otherwise, I basically cater a whole meal for my gluten-free son and bring it, already warm, in an insulated cooler. That’s why I prefer to host. It’s easier! But we do what we have to do for our kids.
3. Make a fabulous dessert. They’ll always remember you for it.
4. Finally, pick a part of the holiday meal that is typically filled with gluten, like breadsticks or rolls, and knock one out of the park with an amazing gluten-free version. Like these Soft Olive Garden-Style Garlic Butter Breadsticks, from my new Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Cookbook:
Soft Olive Garden–Style Garlic Butter Breadsticks
Makes 12 breadsticks
4 1/4 cups (595 g) Gluten-Free Bread Flour (recipe included below), plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (24 g) sugar
2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water (about 95°F)
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic salt
First make the bread dough. (more…)
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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
The Casserole Queens have taken over my blog! Best-selling authors and frequent TV guest chefs Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock tell you all about their new cookbook, getting kids to eat casseroles and even give you a super-easy and delicious recipe involving tater tots. Read on:
“Mealtime can become a battle between kids wanting their favorite foods and your desire to keep them healthy. We try to offer up menu items that can create some peace at the dinner table! For example, in our first book, The Casserole Queens Cookbook: Put Some Lovin’ in Your Oven, we took a kid favorite (Mac & Cheese) and gave it a unique twist. At first glance, our Lunch Lady Doris’ Spicy Mac and Cheese has all the things kids love, pasta and cheese – yet we sneak in some broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes to help balance out the dish. We Queens are sneaky like that!
We pull the same trick in our new book,The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook, with our Gluten Free Corn Dog Casserole! Just the smell alone will get the kids to the table in time for dinner. Maybe even the neighbor kids. Okay, forget the kids, who are we kidding? We love to eat it too! Casseroles are great for disguising vegetables, as they are layered with in the dish. You kids won’t even know you hit them with some vitamins!
Here are some other suggestions for kid-friendly meals from our Make-A-Meal Cookbook. And keep reading below for our Q&A with resident book reviewer and mom, Kristen Kemp. Then, below that, check out our recipe for Tater Tot Casserole! (more…)
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budget meals, casseroles, celebrity chef, Crystal Cook, kids meals, Sandy Pollock, tater tot casserole, The Casserole Queens, The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook | Categories:
Best Sellers, Cookbooks, Guest Blogs, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books, Q&A With Authors