Holidays are really about memories we create with our family. Not the hustle, bustle and whether or not you were able to score a Hatchimal before they sold out. One way my family takes a breather from the craziness is to make holiday cookies together. The kids LOVE making sugar cookie cut outs. We have old cookie cutters, passed down from my mom that we used when I was a child. I make a buffet of bowls filled with sprinkles, frosting, little candies and really anything that will stick to cookies and let them have at it.Read More
Although it seems like summer vacation began yesterday, with a blink of an eye, our children have been loaded back on the bus and are beginning the new school year. With that, comes after school activities, various appointments and of course, homework. Every day seems like a race to the finish and early in the morning, without fail, we face a dreaded challenge…school lunch.
Kids eat with their eyes first. So, if they open up a lunch box that looks good, they are much more likely to dig in. From a Bento box that keeps one food from touching the other to a thermos that keeps last night's dinner warm - you really have to think outside of the (lunch) box to keep kids healthy, happy (and fed) .
I love to travel. One place that is definitely on my bucket list is New Orleans. I know the food scene there is amazing and for me travel = food. When I do, one of my first stops will be Café Du Monde. They are world famous and serve, ‘the best’ beignets. Beignets are a little square of fried dough, served hot with powdered sugar.
As you can gather from this website, I’m a big fan of trying recipes that are indigenous to a particular area of the globe so when my daughter requested that I make them, I was very excited to comply. Whether you have made it to New Orleans or not, give these little powdered squares a try. It will feel like Mardi Gras in your mouth when you take a bite!Read More
This week was my darling boy’s 3rd birthday. Just like many boys his age, he loves superheroes, legos, and of course, Mickey Mouse. We brought the kids to Disney this year and the love affair with the big mouse grew to epic proportions. So, for his birthday I decided to make Mickey Mouse cupcakes.
His preschool is probably the last school on the planet that allows outside food, so for birthdays we can bring in cupcakes for the kids to share. The night before the big day, I put on my Super Mom cape and tried to make the best Mickey Mouse cupcakes ever.Read More
My son’s preschool provides a snack for the children every day. It’s either graham crackers, goldfish or some other simple treat, but a few of us decided that we wanted to do something a little better. A schedule was made and each day, one of the moms brings in something extra for the kids to eat.
Yesterday was my day so I decided to put out my A game. Dante and I got up early and made mini strawberry shortcakes. A simple, sweet biscuit, pureed strawberries and some whipped cream and viola, the best snack ever was created.Read More
Sometimes, you just don’t want to make a big dinner. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like a really dirty kitchen, tons of dishes and loads of prep. I get it, days are long, the kids are busy and many nights, we don’t have it in us. However, before you grab the take out menu, please consider whipping up a crispy Cast Iron Skillet Pizza. It's easy and tastes so good! And, at the end of the day, you still get a pat on the back because its home cooked and the kids will be begging for more.Read More
My kids love to cook. Probably, because if they want to find me, I’m usually standing in front of the stove cooking, testing or occasionally, baking up some treats.
We recently started a nice Sunday tradition. The girls pick something they really like and I teach them how to make it.
Alessandra loves Chicken Francese, most likely because I try to convince her that one of my late ancestors created the dish. She is a big fan of FoodTV and all the kids cooking competitions so she really enjoys getting in the kitchen and trying her hand at making something good to eat.Read More
I’m a big fan of Sunday Brunch. My kids love bagels and cream cheese on Saturday morning so on Sunday, I try to go big with a few main dishes, home fries, bacon and fresh fruit. Recently, on a rare trip out for brunch, we ordered a Dutch Baby - a huge pancake covered in fruit, jam, syrup, confectioners sugar, or really, anything you want to top it with. It’s a great brunch option because its one huge pancake that cooks in the oven, allowing you to forgo the multitasking of flipping while trying to juggle the bacon, toast and coffee brewing. So, join me on my journey to Germany this weekend and go Dutch!Read More
I’m going to keep this short and SWEET - My daughter wanted to make gingersnaps and I found this amazing recipe in one of my favorite baking cookbooks. Tastes just like Nabisco Gingersnaps, but these are so much better because, (1) They are homemade goodness and (2) They have lemon zest - my secret weapon in them. Thanks to my lil’ sister who wrangled all three kids into the kitchen and made these delish cookies with them. They had fun and I got a blog post out of it. Win, win.Read More
Kids love muffins. Why? Because let’s face it, muffins are just cupcakes without the frosting. After a recent 'eat this and stop bugging your brother' muffin impulse purchase, I decided this Friday needed to be dedicated to the glorious muffin. I developed a recipe that has all the bakery goodness and some dried cherries too just to make them interesting. I figure, if a muffin can keep your child well behaved and obedient on the weekly grocery store run, they might just be full of magic powers.Read More
The next time you realize you totally forgot about the cookie swap you need to go to tonight, make these and everyone will be asking you for the recipe. So easy, so good and they come together in minutes - these cookies are awesome! All you have to do is roll out some pie dough, sprinkle some really good filling, roll it back up and bake. That’s it! It's all the good toppings of a quality ice cream sundae rolled up in a pie crust.Read More
Most of my most cherished Christmas cookie recipes come from my mom. She always made a number of cookies for Christmas so we could give them to our teachers and friends. This cookie was always in high demand so she made them every year. It’s very delicate looking because of the fringed edges, it’s dusted with powdered sugar and filled with a delicious blend of coconut, jam, dates and chocolate chips.Read More
This recipe was given to my mother Gina many years ago by a neighbor. Florentines allegedly come from Florence Italy so one more reason to love Italy! They are buttery, nutty and sweet from the fruit. My mom always smears the backside of the cookie with melted chocolate. They are pretty and delicious - a great holiday combination.Read More
If there is one recipe I know my children will remember me by it’s my Italian Tricolor Cookies - my husband Phil's favorite Italian dessert!
This cookie is really a mini cake. Its three layers of thin cake (tinted red, white and green) made with almond paste and slathered with apricot jam. The outside is enrobed in chocolate. You can find them in the case of any classic Italian pastry shop. For years, he would always buy a box from the bakery near our dorm and talk about how it’s the best cookie you could ever have. Even though he loved them, I never thought about attempting to make them at home. It seemed complicated.
Then, about 15 years ago, my mom was sitting in a hair salon thumbing through a Good Housekeeping and came across a recipe for tricolors. She ripped it out and gave it to me. The recipe is perfect. It makes the most delicious tricolor cookies you will ever have. They are even better than the pastry shop’s version. I have been making these cookies, every year since, for Christmas. I hope is that even when I’m old and grey, my children and grandchildren will ask me to whip up a batch of these cookies for the holidays.Read More
A true Puerto Rican girl - my friend Iris loves spending time with her mamma Evelyn. She is very proud of her heritage and really enjoys eating the food of her youth. I was really touched when Iris and Evelyn showed up to my house to teach me how to make their most cherished dish, Pasteles.
Pasteles are very important in Puerto Rican culture. Served at the holidays with rice, beans and tostones, they are a labor of love. The exterior (masa) is made from unripe, green bananas. You have to grate each one on a box grater to get a fine pudding like consistency. The abuelas never complain, but it is labor intensive! The filling is a delicious blend of pork and traditional Puerto Rican spices and ingredients like pimentos and olives. The achiote oil gives it a beautiful red hue and fills the entire kitchen with a very Latin aroma.Read More