RSSFood With A Dash Of Fun
A delicious holiday gift for teachers & caregivers
'Tis the season to give the hardworking teachers & caregivers in our lives a gift. I like to give our teachers a holiday treat - something they can share if they want to, but is also just the right size to keep to themselves. (Because sometimes a treat kept to ourselves is just plain decadent.) My go-to gift: a homemade goodie with a Starbucks card.
I often make Cinnamon Roasted Cashews because they are definitely something that falls in the treat category. Plus they are easy to make and the whole house smells good while they are roasting.
Holiday Breakfast Ideas
Oh, Thanksgiving is almost here!! I don't cook the turkey on this holiday (but my tip if you're roasting it is to roast it upside down - then all the juices from the dark meat run into the breast). I do cook a side and some desserts and this is the one holiday where I don't vary much from year to year in what I contribute to the feast:
Cooking with Kids!
I love getting my kids involved in the kitchen. From a very young age - as in so young I used to plop them on the counter and put a bowl between their little legs - I've had them in the kitchen stirring and mixing. As they get older they can chop and help a bit more. Sometimes I can convince them to follow an entire recipe with just a touch of assistance or even be bold enough to add their own ingredients as we make something together.
I understand that if you aren't too comfortable in the kitchen yourself, it becomes hard to involve your kids. I'm here to tell you not to be afraid! The worst case scenario is that you end up ordering pizza for dinner - and sometimes those nights make the best memories. Have I ever told you about the time that I dropped an entire crock pot full of food... we all watched it shatter and explode all over the kitchen floor... and after a bit of clean up we all went out for burgers. It is a story my kids like to tell to this day.
Healthy and Fun Halloween Party Treats
I’m not a Halloween scrooge. I like fun-size snickers as much as the next person (perhaps even more), but it does seem like the sugar has gotten out of hand at school parties and Halloween get-togethers. I know I’m not the only one who greets this holiday with a slight dread of future dentist bills and sugar crashes. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of healthy Halloween treats that are fun, fresh and satisfying.
Fun (and healthy) Halloween Treats
Indulge your craving for pumpkin with this yeast pumpkin bread
Every October I post a recipe for something using pumpkin. There's just something about pumpkin flavored foods as the weather turns chilly. Plus, we are big fans of pumpkin around here. Most recipes for pumpkin bread are of the quick bread variety - more muffin-like than bread-like. Delicious but not necessarily something you want to have alongside a bowl of soup for dinner. Today's recipe is the best yeast-based pumpkin bread recipe I've ever found and it's a favorite in our house.
Get out the bread maker (you know the one you got as a wedding gift but hardly ever use) and make this bread. It will make your whole house smell so good that your family will be thanking you before they even try it. And then when they have some warm with butter they will hug you. And then tomorrow when you lightly toast a slice and put apple butter on top... you'll think you've died and gone to heaven.
Using Fall's Bounty: Whole Wheat Apple Scones
Here in NWI, it's apple picking season. If you have young children, they've probably already been on a field trip to the orchard or you might be planning a family apple picking trip like I am. It's fun to go to the orchards throughout the months of September and October because just about every week a different variety is ripe and ready for picking. It's also fun to find fresh, local apple varieties in your local grocery or farmer's market. My kids love to pick apples so when we go I end up with far more apples than we can eat as snacks or in lunches. That's when I pull out the baking recipes.
Muffin Meatloaves and Bonus Zucchini Recipes
If you have a garden or know someone that has a garden, chances are you've got some zucchini in your house. I love zucchini. I even like it raw with a little veggie dip when it's fresh from the garden. Over the years I've posted some yummy zucchini recipes:
When my husband is working through dinner, the kids and I often have breakfast for dinner. Yum! It feels like a treat to the kids and it's often less work for me. We had this frittata a few days ago and I was reminded that they are easy to make but far more appealing than a plate of scrambled eggs. Don't get me wrong - I love scrambled eggs but the kids don't always. Slice up a frittata however and they are all in. I could have made two of these the other night and there wouldn't have been a crumb leftover.
This time of year some fresh sliced melon made the perfect side dish. In the winter a fruit salad or green, leafy salad would be nice on the side.
Ham & Veggie Frittata
We were at the Indiana State Fair this week. An annual tradition for us, I'm still astounded at how much there is to see and do at the State Fair beyond the animal barns and rides. One of our favorite stops is the Taste of Indiana exhibit. There are two reasons we like this exhibit:
- FREE FOOD: the whole focus of the exhibit is to hand out samples of food made from products grown & raised in our state. You wander around and eat small snacks at approx 15 tables.
- Learning: It really opens the eyes of my kids (and sometimes their mother) to realize how many things are grown and raised in Indiana. I had no idea mint farming was even an industry here - but it is. This exhibit is full of little learning moments in between trying barbecue duck, beef sausage and tomato juice.
This year there was a booth from watermelon farmers (mmmmm.... fresh watermelon) and the Watermelon Queen (yes, really)
I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer that needed to be used. I wasn't so excited about roasting it in the middle of July - hot kitchen! - so I started looking into grilling it. Found this spice rub from Bobby Flay and it turned out to be a delicious dinner that was a hit around the table. Yes, even the ultra-picky, don't give me anything spicy child liked it. I know there is some cayenne pepper in this but it is not spicy in the least. Trust me, she would have noticed if it were. Delicious flavor and easy to make!
Spice Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 2-4 lbs of pork tenderloin
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons hot shot (black pepper & cayenne pepper mixed together)