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Cookbooks ’ Category
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Benno and Leo Batali have grown up eating their dad, Mario’s, fine food. It’s no surprise that these two kids know their way around a kitchen and have already co-written their first food tome, The Batali Brothers Cookbook. I’m sharing it with my first grade twins who love to eat and to help. They can easily make the boys’ recipes such as Cinnamon Swirl French Toast (see the whole thing below), Sloppy Sloppy Joe’s and Blue Cheese Pocket Burgers. Mario steps in for the second half of the book to add signature family dishes like Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Grapes and Apple Fritters.
See what Benno and Leo had to say about having Mario Batali for a dad below. Scroll down a litter further for a recipe you can do with your kids tomorrow morning.
KK: How old were you when your parents let you start cooking in the kitchen? What was/were the very first dish you prepared?
BB: We’ve always cooked withour dad.
KK: A lot of moms (like me!) are hesitant to let their kids start cooking. Why is it important to stop worrying and get our children started? I know mine really want to.
BB: Once you allow kids in the kitchen, then it’s always part of the game. Our living room is our kitchen and our kitchen is our living room. It’s only natural that we help out with the cooking. Keep the knives out of reach, but otherwise, it’s goot to get them involved.
KK: If you had to choose, what’s your absolute favorite recipe in your new book?
BB: Pocket Burgers. Hands down. It’s a simple adaptation of a classic recipe. We change what’s in the pocket depending on what we find at the farmer’s market.
KK: So tell us, what’s it like having a famous chef for a father?
BB: It’s cook that Jimmy Fallon’s been to our house for Super Bowl Sunday.
Cinnamon Swirl French Toast
This is our favorite breakfast dish to eat on the weekend because it reminds us that we should be relaxing and doing what we want. When we were younger we used to eat it every weekend, but now we only have it on special occasions, so it is a real treat for us. Makes 10 slices of French toast
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 slices cinnamon bread
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus more as needed
Maple syrup and butter, for serving
1. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract and nutmeg.
2. Set a cast-iron or nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.
3. Put a couple of slices of bread in the mix. Coat each side of the bread and let it sit for half a minute to soak up the egg.
4. Put 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan and let it melt. Put the bread into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked to your liking.
5. Cook the rest of the bread the same way, adding butter to the pan each time.
6. Serve hot, with maple syrup and butter.
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Benno Batali, cinnamon swirl French toast, cooking with kids, Leo Batali, Mario Batali, pocket burger, sloppy joes, The Batali Brothers Cookbook | Categories:
Celebrity Books, Cookbooks, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books, Q&A With Authors
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Thank you to Noodlemania’s author Melissa Barlow for this delectable guest post that ALL ABOUT PASTA! Don’t miss her easy Mighty Mac ‘n Cheese recipe at the bottom.
“Kids like pasta. Or maybe they love it. Yeah, on second thought, they love it. And I mean L-O-V-E, love. At least my kiddos do. We have homemade mac and cheese for lunch at our house at least once or twice a week. Not to mention, there’s typically a couple other “noodle-y” dinners as well. And these always seem to be the meals that the kids literally (well, almost) lick their plates clean.
So, I know Noodlemania! is my book, but I just have say that kids are gonna love it. They can flip through the pages and find any of 50 playful pasta recipes that they can make themselves. The recipes are easy and, in the words of my three-year-old daughter, “Super nummy.”
Kids are pretty keen on comfort food, and that’s what makes Noodlemania! so appealing. Many of the recipes have quirky twists on old classics. One of my kids’ favorites is “Somethin’ Fishy,” which is a simple tuna noodle casserole that features those beloved little cheddar snack fish that seem to be in every child’s repertoire.
My kids also beg me to make them Mighty Mac ‘n’ Cheese (see my recipe below!), as well as Curly Worms—a dish that literally tastes like a ham and cheese sandwich in a bowl. My little boy loves the Green Martian Noodles, and so do I! It is a great healthy choice and is made with whole wheat spaghetti and a creamy avocado, lime and basil sauce.
There are many other healthy options and the kids eat them all! The Mini Spaghetti Pizzas can be topped with favorite veggies and are always a big hit. Toss ’Em Tacos Pasta is also another winner at our house. I’ve found that when the kids help me prepare their meals, the veggies don’t scare them off. They are actually excited to eat what they make.
With all that said, I hope you’ll try out these favorites. My family painstakingly narrowed it down to the following, which was SUPER hard to do!”
Mighty Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
¾ cup milk
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then stir in the flour to form a paste. Slowly stir in the milk. Continue stirring until the sauce starts to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the cheese until melted. Stir the cooked noodles into the cheese sauce until coated. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle more cheese over the top to serve. Makes 4 servings.
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Thursday, April 11th, 2013
The new cookbook, The Yummy Mummy Kitchen by popular blogger Marina Delio, will absolutely make you hungry. The elegant photos are luscious–some of the most beautiful I’ve seen. (And I nearly died over the gorgeous tables, dishes, place mats and napkins.) The recipes are geared to families, but they’re not just for kids. Marina cooks for highly varied and sophisticated palettes. Her dishes are easy-ish with a doable number of ingredients. All of them are pretty and flavorful enough to serve to guests. Her children are very lucky–they get grape and rosemary flat bread and sugared blueberry goat cheese crostinis for snacks!
I asked her one important question: How do you get kids to eat such a wide variety of foods–especially veggies? Marina told me: ”I’ve found many ways to get kids to eat their veggies. One tip is simply to expect that your children will eat most vegetables, and serve them frequently. It can take time for children to accept new foods, so keep putting them on their plates and incorporating them as the stars of the meal. Often it helps to cook small vegetables into kid-approved dishes instead of piling them on the side. For example, most kids love a mild chili, cheesy calzone, lasagna, pasta, or enchiladas. All of these dishes are easy to create in a plant-based way. Get excited and say, ‘Isn’t this gorgeous? Look at all the colors!’ The bonus of cooking this way is that you only have to cook one dish at dinnertime, rather than a main dish and a veggie side. It can be hard to switch kids from hot dogs to colorful healthy dinners, but in the long run they will thank you for it. Don’t offer alternatives at dinnertime and your children will eventually accept and enjoy the healthier dinners you’re serving.”
Marina was also kind enough to pick two of her favorites from The Yummy Mummy Kitchen and share them with us. I definitely see her Green Enchiladas and Grilled Shrimp and Corn Salad in our future.
Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup cooked brown rice
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups mild tomatillo green salsa, fresh or jarred
½ cup half and half
6 (9-inch) flour or brown-rice tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, Monterey Jack, cheddar, Colby, or a blend
1 avocado, chopped, for garnish
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and toss until just wilted. Remove from the heat and transfer the spinach to a medium bowl. To the spinach add the beans, rice, mushrooms, cilantro, and goat cheese. Gently toss to combine.
In another medium bowl, stir together the salsa and half and half. Pour half of the salsa mixture into an
11 × 7-inch baking dish. Fill the tortillas with 1 cup of filling each and roll up. Place the filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish. Pour the remaining half of the salsa mixture over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool slightly. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and lime.
Grilled Shrimp and Corn Salad
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound large peeled, deveined shrimp
1 ounce tequila
Juice of 2 limes
3 ears of corn, husks removed
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, sliced
¼ cup favorite salad dressing
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Sliced lime, for garnish
Tortilla chips (optional)
Thread the shrimp on skewers and place in a baking dish. Coat with tequila and lime juice and marinate 15 minutes. Oil and preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the shrimp and corn on the grill and grill about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Cool slightly. Remove the shrimp from skewers and slice the kernels off the cobs.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the beans, tomatoes, avocado, and dressing. Arrange grilled shrimp and corn on top and garnish with cilantro and lime. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Today, April 2, is a big day for new releases. I wanted to let you know about some cool stuff that just came out and wish the following awesome authors Happy Book Birthday! Really, these are all great reads, and I have reviews and author Q&As coming up on some of them.
Just this morning, I got to meet Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She’s got a sad, helpful and funny new book out about her journey through adoption. I’ll write up my interview on Instant Mom this week. I love her–and her warm and honest book made me adore her all the more.
And Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery? She’s been all over the talk shows this week–and she’s an amazing person. Props also to my friend Christina Baker Kline who wrote Orphan Train, an Audible and Target pick of the month. Want to laugh? Check out STFU, Parents. You must do so right now.
Happy Book Birthday to:
by Nia Vardalos
The gist: Nia goes through 10 IVFs, and then finally her daughter comes to her through adoption.
Carry On, Warrior
by Glennon Doyle Melton
The gist: An extension of her candid, truthful blog that everyone I know adores.
by Christina Baker Kline
The gist: Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Word on the street: This book is lovely.
Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir of How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs
by Tracy Beckerman
The gist: This popular writer tells how she lost her mojo and got it back as a mom in the suburbs–Beckerman is a blast to read.
STFU, Parents: A Guide to the Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare
by Blair Koenig
The gist: You will laugh out loud at the ludicrous mommy and daddy bragging in this book that’s based on Blair’s popular website.
The Yummy Mummy Kitchen
by Marina Dello
The gist: Stock up on some beautiful, tasty and kid-friendly recipes from this well-known food blogger.
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Blair Koenig, Carry On Warrior, Christina Baker Kline, Glennon Doyle Melton, Instant Mom, Lost in Suburbia, Marina Dello, Momastery, Nia Vardalos, Orphan Train, STFU Parents, The Yummy Mummy Kitchen, Tracy Beckerman | Categories:
Best Of Lists, Best Sellers, Celebrity Books, Cookbooks, Fiction, Memoirs, Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Popular Books
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Are your kids off from school tomorrow? Mine are. *drink* Does the Easter weekend mean you’re getting together with family? *drink* Have you bought the Easter basket and all of its stuffing yet? *drink*
Author Rose Maura Lorre has the perfect solution to the many conundrums of parenthood–and adult life in general. She just wrote a luscious book–the recipes and photos require the use of this adjective–called The Big Book of Martinis for Moms. This chick knows what she’s talking about. Full disclosure: Rose was my summer house mate on Fire Island for a few years in our twenties (way before kids) drinking days. Her recipes were delicious–and they still are on her blog, The Five O’Clock Cocktail.
So make yourself and others happy. Buy the book for yourself and give one to a friend.
I asked Rose a few quick questions, and below those, check out her recipe for Mom Must Read–the Hemingway Daiquir-tini:
KK: Why do moms need your book?
RML: Since becoming a mom, I’ve found that a) I need a cocktail more than ever, but b) it needs to be just the right one, properly made and well chosen for my mood. The days of just indiscriminately having a few drinks at the end of the day are long gone, as I’m far too exhausted to tolerate more than one drink per evening. So what I like about the book is that it gives moms lots of worthwhile options, including plenty of classic cocktails, no matter what their cocktail-making skill level and whether they prefer their cocktails sweet, bitter, fruity, etc.
KK: How did you *drink* do your research?
RML: That would be where my years of pre-parenthood having a few drinks on most nights came in! I also write my own cocktail blog Five O’clock Cocktails where I do a lot of cocktail experimentation.
KK: Are cocktails a yes or a no at a playdate?
RML: A no, for several reasons. Firstly, playdates are usually during the day, and while I’m a firm believer in “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” (hence the name of my blog), I personally would find getting through the rest of the day a drag if I’m a little tipsy when it’s, say, 2 in the afternoon. Second, there’s no way I can foresee getting through a playdate without a spilled cocktail (martini glasses do not come with snap-on, spillproof lids!), and while I don’t cry over spilled milk, a martini’s a different story. Basically, I just think a cocktail tastes best when it’s a reward well deserved at the end of a long day and able to be enjoyed in relative quiet, with non-Wiggles music playing softly in the background if Mom so chooses.
KK: Which drink should Mom Must Read readers try first?
RML: Definitely the Hemingway Daiquir-tini
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- Garnish: lime wheel, 1 cherry
Pour everything but the garnish into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and cherry.
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