Category Archives: Family Dinner

Main Meal

Seared Tuna, Grilled Stringbeans/Mushrooms and Edamame Rice

“It’s Not Your Fault Your Fat”

For goodness sake, no wonder everybody struggles with their weight.   Have you been to the big grocery stores lately?  The majority of food is processed and filled with chemicals that are known to cause serious harm to our bodies.  Does a cigarette come with those pizza rolls?  The reality is that cheap food is typically highly processed and faster to cook than fresh (if you don’t know better and haven’t read of course).

Would you go to the beach without sunscreen or worse yet, tan with baby oil (even your face)?  Heck no!  We all look back and can’t believe the damage we did to our skin years ago – but who knew any better?   Ten years from now you will be just as horrified remembering a time when we ate 60 pounds of high fructose corn syrup per year and 40% of all foods in a grocery store had hydrogenated oils in them.

Just like smoking and sun damage, we must educate ourselves on the dangers of certain ingredients and their link to cancer.  Even just a few choices you make today could have a major impact on the health of you and your family.   Try these 3 healthy choices next time you go to the food store:

  1. Eliminate foods with high fructose corn syrup (I can’t get rid of the Heinz ketchup though).  Why?  Read this:
  2. Eliminate foods with any type of hydrogenated oils.  Why? They will eventually kill you and make you fat in the meantime.  Read this:
    • 95% of all cookies and 75% of chips and crackers
    • 70% of all cold cereals and cake mixes and 80% of all frozen breakfast foods
  3. Try to buy your meats and milk free from hormones.  Why?  It “can increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive system cancers among women and may promote development of prostate cancer in men”.  Read this:

Grilled Tuna:  This is a variation on the marinade I use for my flank steak recipe. 

  • Take 4 fresh tuna steaks and marinate in a Ziploc for 10 mins. or 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Marinade:  ¼ cup of Soy sauce, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 TBS of brown sugar, ½ TSP of ginger.
    Add a chopped shallot if you have it.
  • Grill on tin foil for 3-7 minutes on High.  Flip and grill for another 3-7 minutes on Medium.  Cook times vary based on how rare you like it cooked.

Grilled String Beans

  • Wash and snip string bean ends (or defrost) and cut grape tomatoes in half.
  • Toss on tin foil w/ olive oil, salt/pepper and garlic powder
  • Grill for about 10 minutes – wrapped/covered in foil.  Stir to avoid sticking/burning.

Grilled Mushrooms

  • Wash or wipe button mushroom clean.  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt/pepper and grill on tin foil for about 10 minutes.

Avocado/Tomato Salad = Avato Salad

  • Cut one avocado into cubes and slice grape tomatoes in half.
  • Toss with ½ fresh lime, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt/pepper.

Edamame Rice

  • Brown rice takes a while to cook so you can use instant (10 mins.) or buy it cooked and frozen from Trader Joes or just make a large batch and freeze it yourself.
  • Defrost some edamame.
  • Cook/defrost rice.  Add a drop of soy sauce and edamame and stir.
  • You could also add some lemon zest and tarragon for a french vs. asian flare.

What Can Kids Do to Help?

Did You Know?

The consumption of canned tuna accounts for more Americans eating tuna than any other type of fish.

Grilled Turkey Breast, Honey Roasted Carrots and Sweet Potatoes, Crunchy Salad

Food Shapes Character

What traditions were important to you as a child?  What traditions are important to you as a parent?  Whenever it’s somebody’s birthday or Mother’s/Father’s Day or just any random Sunday night, my local family, “the core” (that’s my sister, her kids, my dad, my husband and our kids) will enjoy a nice sit-down dinner.  On special occasions, we all watch, joke and laugh as the guest of honor opens all their cards (some hand-made by the kids) and opens their presents.

I truly enjoy watching my children say grace, eat (of course the family dinner) and listen to the conversations at the table.  As they mature, it’s fun to watch them interject their own opinions or comments into the exchange.  They don’t know it yet, but these nights are just as character-forming (if not more) as the college they select or the job they choose.  Now I do know that these dinners give my children confidence and shape their character but what I don’t know is how much of the dinner conversation they will actually remember – I can only hope for the best.

Grilled Turkey Breast:  This was the fastest, most delicious turkey breast I ever made.  I bought a 5-6 pound turkey breast and cut off the string that held it tightly together (otherwise it’s too thick).  You can grill the breast flat or I loosely tied it to keep it moist inside.

Marinade:  Mix about ¼ cup of EV olive oil with some herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme), salt/pepper and pour it over the turkey breast.  Let marinate for 10 mins. or 10 hours in a Ziploc bag.

  • Grill on some tin foil on MEDIUM for 20 minutes each side.
  • Take off the grill and cover with tin foil for 10 minutes.

Honey Roasted Carrots

  • Peel carrots and cut into slices about 2 inches
  • Toss with a little EV olive oil, salt/pepper and honey
  • Roast for 30 minutes or until tender

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half – then slice into wedges.
  • Lay on a baking sheet (line w/ parchment paper for easy clean-up) and toss with a sprinkle of brown sugar and salt/pepper.
  • Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.

Crunchy Salad:

  • Cut up some grape tomatoes, orange peppers, cucumbers and celery.
  • Toss with some fresh basil, EV olive oil, salt/pepper and red wine vinegar.

How Can the Kids Help?

Did You Know?

  • Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it
  • Brown sugar has less calories than white sugar.
  • A slice of apple or a few drops of water will loosen hard brown sugar in the bag.
  • Sweet Potato Plant:

Broiled Flounder, Tin Foil Veggies, Tarragon Potatoes, Shallot Spinach

Surprise – No Grill Gas!

Can someone please tell me why it is such a complete surprise when you uncover the grill (raw dinner in hand),and realize, after pressing the igniter about 10 times, that there is not even enough gas left to light a candle for your table.  I guess it’s the same feeling I find, after using the bathroom, that there is not a stitch of toilet paper left.  Perhaps, it’s the same surprise I get when we show up to our son’s first piano recital and, can you guess, the battery is dead in the camera.  I guess my husband and I could benefit from being more organized, more prepared, more structured in our daily lives.  But then I think of this quote by Leo F. Buscaglia:

“Love withers with predictability; its very essence is surprise and amazement.  To make love a prisoner of the mundane is to take its passion and lose it forever.”

I smile and think, “who needs the grill tonight after all?”.

Broiled Flounder:  Each piece of fish uses a separate piece of tin foil so mix up the toppings.

  • Lay a piece of flounder on tin foil and drizzle some EV olive oil on top/bottom.  Flip the thin tail underneath so the fish is about the same thickness across).
  • Chop some fresh herbs (or dried) basil, parsley and/or thyme – whatever you like.
  • Squeeze some fresh (or bottled) lemon juice and a splash of white wine (if you have it).
  • I added some leftover calamata olives and grape tomatoes to my 2nd piece of fish.
  • Broil for about 10-15 minutes.

Tin Foil Veggies:

  • Slice a zucchini (into spears), and some colored bell peppers and tossed with olive oil, shallots, salt/pepper on a piece of tin foil.
  • Covered and poked holes and broiled for 10-15 minutes.

Spinach w/Shallots

  • Cook some shallots up in a little EV olive oil in a large pan.
  • Add fresh spinach and toss w/ salt/pepper (add 1-2 TBS of water if needed).  Cook for about 5 minutes.

Tarragon Potatoes

  • Wash and slice baby red potatoes in half. Boil for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Toss with EV olive oil, salt/pepper and a little tarragon (fresh or dried).

How Can the Kids Help?

Did You Know?

  • In Iran, crushed shallots are often eaten in yogurt.
  • Shallots are very high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron and is also a good source of protein
  • The body can digest the shallot much easier than it can an onion.

Grilled Fish Trio, Grilled Snow Peas/Portobello and Rice Pilaf

Falling Through the Cracks

When I grill food on tin foil, it feels as liberating as serving dinner on paper plates.  The kids like it because they don’t get too much of that charcoal taste and texture (yes, they don’t like the black stuff).  I like it because I simply just throw it away after the food is cooked– no cleaning pots/pans or serving dishes.  No matter what it is, veggies, steak, chicken, pork and fish – it all works on tin foil.  And the best part is, you don’t have to worry about stuff falling through the cracks and you still get some grill marks and delicious grill taste.  Now if it could only catch the things on my “to do” list from falling through the cracks….

Grilled Fish:  While not a fan of cooking multiple main courses, my kids and I picked 3 different fishes at the market today, “I want salmon, no I want swordfish, no I want…!”.  The customer next to us said to me, “I have never seen children so excited about fish before!”. 

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon:

  • Put a piece of Salmon on tin foil and pour a little teriyaki sauce on top (and bottom), sprinkle with ginger powder, pepper and some fresh garlic cloves.
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for 7-8 minutes.

Grilled Swordfish:

  • Cut a piece of swordfish in half and place on tin foil (with a little EVOO on bottom).  Pour a little EV Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic clove and splash of white wine on top.
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for 8-10 minutes.

Grilled Flounder

  • Place flounder on tin foil (fold thin sides under to cook evenly).  Pour a little EV olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic clove, fresh lemon and spices (I used thyme and parsley).
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for 6-7 minutes.

Grilled Grape Tomatoes

  • Place grape tomatoes on tin foil.  Toss with EV olive oil, salt, pepper (and fresh basil if you have it.  FYI it will turn black on grill).
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for about 10 mins.

Snow Peas

  • Wash and take strings off snow peas.  Place on tin foil and toss with salt/pepper, fresh garlic and ginger powder.
  • Wrap in tin foil and grill for about 10 mins.

Portobello Mushrooms

  • Slice mushrooms and place on tin foil.  Toss with EV Olive oil, salt/pepper and grill for about 10 minutes.

Rice Pilaf:

  • Cook rice pilaf (Far East brand) according to directions (does take about 30 min.)

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Smash the garlic clove
  • Pick and/or sprinkle herbs on fish
  • Squeeze the lemon wedge on fish
  • Help wash veggies (teach importance of washing food)
  • Measure and pour rice pilaf ingredients
  • Fish coloring/activity pages:

Did You Know?

  • To get Omega 3 in eggs, farmers force hens to eat flaxseed (fish oil).  Don’t bother, just eat fish instead.
  • If Omega 3 is “added” to your food, chances are it wasn’t meant to be in there in the first place.  Just eat fish!

Now THAT was good!

Grilled Flank Steak and Asparagus, Baked Potato Spears, Purple Salad

Love Your Food Store Like Your Friends

We love the people in our lives for different reasons and each person has their own strengths; one friend might be a good listener, one might give good advice, another friend might tell you the ugly truth, and so on.  Most likely, it’s difficult to find everything you need all in one person.  I feel exactly the same way about my food stores, I love them all for different reasons and they are all good at something special:

  • I love Fresh Market for their meat and produce
  • I love Whole Foods for their cheese and bread
  • I love George’s Shop n’ Bag for their home-made deli meat and nuts/dried fruits
  • I love Sonny’s (Ambler) for their fresh fish
  • I love Trader Joe’s for their packaged foods and snacks
  • I love for their paper products and cleaning supplies (delivered for free!)
  • I want to love Wegmans but they are just a little too far!

Why do you love your food store?

Flank Steak:

  • Put a piece of flank steak in a Ziploc bag  and add ABOUT:  1/4 cup of EV olive oil, soy sauce, ginger powder, garlic powder, black pepper (don’t need salt)
  • Marinate as long as you have (10 minutes or 10 hours)
  • Grill on tin foil on HIGH for 5-6 minutes.  Flip ONCE and cook on MEDIUM for another 5-6 minutes


  • Wash and cut ends off asparagus.
  • Lay on tin foil and toss with EV Olive oil, salt/pepper.
  • Cover with tin foil and seal (poke holes on top to vent).
  • Cook with steak (5 mins. on High and 5 mins. on Medium – no flip required just a shake).

Baked Potato Spears:

  • Cut potato in half then cut each piece in half again.  Cut spears like you would orange slices (on an angle).
  • Toss in a Ziploc bag with EV olive oil, salt/pepper and onion powder.
  • Lay on baking sheet (line with parchment or tin foil) and bake for 45 minutes on 425 until golden brown.

Purple Salad:

  • Boil beets and cut into small cubes.
  • Boil (or microwave) baby carrots just for a couple mins. and cut up.  (You can add these raw if you prefer)
  • Cut up grape tomatoes and red bell peppers.
  • Cut up a mozzarella ball.
  • Add all veggies into bowl and toss with EV Olive oil, salt/pepper, a splash of rice wine vinegar and red wine vinegar.
  • Everything with turn PURPLE – even the cheese

How Can the Kids Help?

Did You Know?

  • It has been reported that Asparagus Therapy has been used successfully to treat cancer  (Asparagus therapy includes eating 2-4 TBS of pureed asparagus per day).
  • Asparagus grows upright from a crown that is planted about one foot underground.
  • Image of asparagus growing:

Grilled Chicken Cutlets, Grilled String beans, Corn on the Cob

Grilling Saved My Marriage

Mia told me tonight that I was “getting a little carried away with the grilling” and suggested that I go back to cooking food in the pan or oven.  To add insult to injury, she also informed me that her dad was actually a better griller than I am – which is fine with me.  You see, Mike’s grilling skills are actually one of the reasons we have such a good marriage.  When we were dating, we ate dinner at my parent’s house a lot.  My father would be grilling and my mother would be yelling instructions out the door “Flip the steaks now!”.  It was then and there after dating only a few months that I turned to Mike and told him that if we were ever going to be married someday that he would have to become a “Grill Master”.  Well, Mike’s grilling skills have reached perfection and here we are 16 years later happily married.  But, looking back on those wonderful dinners with my parents, I can’t help but think the same thing over and over…..WHY didn’t I say, “Laundry Master”?

Grilled Chicken Cutlets: Tonight’s dinner took 10 minutes to cook.

  • Took about 10 thin, small chicken cutlets and marinated them in a Ziploc bag with Fresh Market’s Anytime Marinade (it tastes like a mild BBQ sauce with only 6 ingredients).
  • Grill chicken on a piece of tin foil for 5 minutes on High.
  • Flip chicken and cook for an additional 5 minutes on Medium.

Grilled String beans

  • Snap ends off fresh string beans and lay on a piece of tin foil.
  • Toss with a little EV olive oil, ginger (powder), salt/pepper and 2 garlic cloves.
  • Grill with chicken for 5 mins. on High and 5 mins. on Medium.

Corn on the Cob

  • I boiled the corn because the kids don’t like grill marks on their corn.  Boil for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Try the new tool from Kitchen Capers that peels the corn off the cob for the kids (if they like that).  Also, get the corn holders for the ends of the cob.
  • What’s not to like about fresh corn with a little butter and salt?


  • Tore pieces of Romaine and shredded a few carrots over the salad.
  • Tossed with leftover Balsamic vinaigrette made the other night.

How Can the Kids Help?

Did You Know?

Grilled Cod w/Mango Tomatoes, Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus, Raw Salad

What NOT to Order

I went to my favorite fish guy in Ambler today determined to make grilled tuna (Mac has been bugging me to make it).  When I arrived, it wasn’t as bright red as usual but I figured it would be fine.  As I began to order it, I heard him whisper, “get something else”.  So I quickly changed plans and ordered a big piece of the Cod.  “Great choice!” he told me – as if it was my idea.  It reminded me of a waiter that says something like, “are you SURE you don’t want to try the salmon instead?” – hint, hint, the veal is a real loser tonight.  So I was thinking….wouldn’t it be great if someone could warn you before every meal what NOT to order, sort of a fairy godmother of food?  Imagine if Stacey and Clinton from What NOT to Wear came jumping out of the restaurant’s kitchen to guide you in ordering the best items off the menu.  C’mon tell me that wouldn’t be the coolest!

Grilled Cod w/Mango Tomatoes: 
I am not a girl that ever likes fruit in my dinner but when I bought this Mango and cut it up for the kids, Mia told me it tasted like lemon (which I forgot to buy for the fish).  I asked her if I should put it on the fish and she suggested that I add some sliced grape tomatoes and Voila!  Plus, once grilled it didn’t taste fruity at all.

  • Pat your fish dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt/pepper.  Place on a piece of tin foil.
  • Chop some fresh thyme, parsley and tarragon (from my herb pots – you can use dried too) and sprinkle it in on top of or inside the cod fish filet (if it is sliced).
  • Dice a mango and some grape tomatoes and put on top of and all around the fish.
  • Drizzle with some EV olive oil, white wine and lemon juice (bottled is ok).
  • Place another piece of tin foil on top and tighten sides with bottom piece.  Poke a couple holes for steam to escape.
  • Grill on HIGH for about 10 minutes.  Turn the heat down to Medium for another 5 mins. or so (depending on thickness of fish).

Grilled Asparagus

  • Snap the end off of one asparagus piece to see where you should cut the bottoms off the rest.
  • Lay asparagus on tin foil and toss (with hands) EV olive oil, salt/pepper, lemon juice and 2 cloves of garlic.
  • Wrap in the tin foil and grill for 10 minutes on High.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

  • Peel and slice sweet potatoes (about ½ inch thick). 
  • Toss with EV olive oil, salt/pepper and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  • Lay on an open piece of tin foil and grill on High for 10 mins. and then Medium for 5 mins. (same as fish).

Raw Salad:  Raw salads are so good for you and so easy to make.  Just cut up whatever you have!

  • Peel and dice celery, orange pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes and avocado.
  • Toss with EV Olive oil, salt/pepper and Rice Wine Vinegar.
  • Squirt some fresh or bottled lime juice on before mixing to ensure the avocados don’t brown.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Plant a few herbs in a pot and let the kids help you pick them.
  • Sprinkle the chopped herbs and mangos/tomatoes in and around the fish.
  • Toss asparagus with seasonings with hands!
  • Sprinkle brown sugar on the sweet potatoes
  • Help add ingredients and mix the raw salad.
  • Fish Coloring Page:

Did You Know?

  • This dinner took 15 minutes to cook!
  • I like grilling on tin foil because the kids don’t like things too charcoaled plus it makes for an easier grill clean-up and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks!
  • Cod is it one of the cleanest sources of protein with little or no carbohydrates or fat.
  • Cod provides you with healthy doses of B12, B6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, plus it’s a very mild flavored fish – all good things for your heart, cholesterol levels, and fish has anti-inflammatory effects on the body and may help protect against skin cancer.

Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Butternut Squash Risotto and Grilled Veggies

Walmart Should Be Ashamed

I needed some paper products for the Lacrosse party tonight and decided to go to Walmart since I was in the area.  I walked into the store and not even 1 foot from the front door was a display for Dolly brand deserts for $2 a box.  They were these nasty powder and chocolate donuts and a disgusting pink sparkle, crème-filled twinkie thing.  I kid you not, the ingredient list was 20 lines long and I could barely read a word of it.  Why is this not against the law?  I bet some street drugs are healthier for you than these deserts.  I could not find one natural yogurt in an entire wall of yogurts.  There were plenty of low-fat, low-sugar, low-carb processed products – God knows what’s actually in them.  Can’t we just eat REAL FOOD?

I continued to walk around the store in amazement – not one person looked healthy, and I am not talking about weight.  I actually do not believe that weight alone is the sign of health.  I know lots of people that are overweight that eat healthy and look healthy.  But I also know several skinny girls that eat only “low-fat/low-carb”– now they are scary.  I want to yell out, “give that girl a cheeseburger please!”.  Don’t people realize (no matter what your size) that all this obsession with healthy eating is killing us?

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak

  • Brush a little EV olive oil, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence on each side of the steak.
  • Grill on High for 3-5 mins. Flip and turn heat to Medium to cook through for another 5 minutes (to taste).

Butternut Squash Risotto  (This does take at least a half-hour so I like to make this one on Sunday)

  • Cut-up butternut squash into small cubes and lay on baking sheet.  Toss with salt/pepper and a little EV oil (with hands) and bake on 400 for approx. 20 minutes.  Set aside.
  • Heat up olive oil and cook 3-5 shallots until soft (not brown – about 5 mins.).
  • Add a splash of white wine and 1 cup of Arborio rice – stir for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add salt/pepper, a little rosemary and 1 cup of Vegetable broth to rice.
  • Add an additional 4 cups of broth (one cup at a time) and stir until the liquid is absorbed each time (5 cups total).
  • Secret ingredient:  add a tablespoon of cream cheese and of course the butternut squash and stir.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Grilled Veggies  (Serve these by themselves or throw them on your salad)

  • Cut up a broccoli head and a red bell pepper.
  • Toss on some tin foil with EV olive oil, salt pepper and 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Seal tin foil and grill with steak (about 10 minutes).

Salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette:  LOVE my new Salad Spinner (thanks Aunt Nina)- it keeps the lettuce SO crisp!

  • Wash and thoroughly dry lettuce.
  • Salad Dressing:  Pour ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 Tsp of mustard, salt/pepper in a jar (w/lid).   Add about 3/4 cup of EV olive oil and shake hard.
  • You can put the veggies on the salad and toss it all together with the dressing if you like.

Desert:  Mia made this up.

  • Toss strawberries with a little Sugar in the Raw (even a dash of balsamic vinegar is great).
  • Scoop them into an ice-cream cup and top with whipped cream or fluff.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Drizzle the oil and spices on both sides of the steak (you flip it over).
  • Sprinkle the salt/pepper on the butternut squash and toss with EVOO with your hands!
  • Measure the wine, rice and chicken broth and help stir the risotto
  • Measure salad dressing ingredients and use immersion blender to mix.  Teach safety about unplugging appliances immediately after use.

Did You Know?

  • Butternut squash is technically a fruit because it has seeds – it’s a member of the gourd family but is much healthier than zucchini.
  • Butternut squash is high in fiber, potassium, B6 and beta-carotene – all good for preventing heart disease, breast cancer, and it’s good for your immune system.  Plus just one cup provides you with ½ of your Vitamin C for the day!
  • The smaller the squash, the more flavorful it will be.

Laziest Chicken Noodle Soup

The New American DreamSee full size image

I cannot tell you how many smart, educated and all-together fabulous moms, who enjoy food themselves, succumb to the “short order cook” syndrome.  If you are not familiar, this is the person who cooks something different for her spouse, each of the kids, and herself (if she has any energy left).  This amazes me.  Did your grandmother do this?  My favorite show growing up was Little House on the Prairie – I am pretty sure that Caroline Ingalls did not offer multiple choice dinner options.  Bear with me, I am on a roll….do starving children in Africa or flood victims in Haiti turn away broccoli with melted cheese or sweet potatoes with brown sugar/butter.  Hell no!  Why?  Because they don’t have the luxury and most likely, they are malnourished.  However, isn’t it ironic that studies show that our children (with all the options in the world) are also lacking in basic nutrition?   Sometimes, more choices do not result in a better outcome.  The new American Dream – less is more, go figure.

The Laziest Soup:
My kids weren’t feeling great so I cooked this soup in 10 minutes.  It works with or without meat.

  • Heat up 2 boxes of organic broth (I like to mix 1 chicken and 1 vegetable).
  • Pour about 2 cups of pasta in the broth (I like the mini shells but whatever works).
  • Slice some baby carrots and put them in the broth with the pasta and boil for about 10 min. (you can add any other veggies you have if you want i.e., celery, mushrooms).
  • If you have some leftover turkey or chicken breast you can cut it up and add it in the last 2 mins.
  • I sprinkled some parsley and a little black pepper on top for color (but skip if you want).
  • Serve with some crackers or bread and of course, a big hug.

Did You Know?

Italian Frittata and White Bean/Artichoke Soup

What Happens in…stays in…. 

When did the movies get so nasty?  I think it was when they started selling pizza and hot dogs – what’s next Chinese Food?  Must we serve the exact same food everywhere?  I heard that some Chinese restaurants are actually serving chicken nuggets now.  Even the new movie theaters smell like stinky feet and god knows what else.  It’s like getting on a packed airplane for a 3+ hour flight and the person next to you in the center seat pulls out a bag of McDonalds.  Does a nose clip come with that barf bag?  I see these 300 pound men and women at the movies ordering enough food for the Octomom and Gosslin Families combined and I want to yell “Stop – do you know that will kill you!”.  Pretty soon they are going to install moving walkways up the aisle because nobody will be able to walk the steps.  Now can you please tell me one final thing?  As completely offended and utterly disgusted by all this behavior at the movies, why is it that even I cannot resist the free pass – to eat an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids in the dark.  You know what they say, what happens in the movies, stays in the movies. 

Frittata:  You can make this frittata with any ingredients (ham, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, shredded cheese, herbs) and serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! 

  • Scramble 8-10 eggs and add salt/pepper, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (and 2 TBS of milk if desired)
  •  Heat TBS butter (or EVOO) in a hot skillet and cook your ingredients (prosciutto/asparagus) until cooked through.
  • Add a drop of EVOO to ingredients to prevent eggs from sticking if needed.  Pour eggs over ingredients.
  • Cover and let cook for 5 minutes (eggs will still be wet, careful not to burn bottom of pan). 
  • Put skillet in the oven on BROIL for about 5 minutes until knife comes out clean.  Serve it like pie.

         Note:  You can also simply bake the frittata on 350 for 20 mins. after you pour the eggs  into the pan. 

White Bean/Artichoke Soup:  I made this up from ingredients in my cabinets (served 4).  The color wasn’t the prettiest but it tasted so delicious! 

  • Sautee 1/2 onion in a soup pot with a little EV olive oil until soft.
  • Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of drained cannellini beans, 1 can of chopped artichoke hearts, and 1/2 teaspoon of chopped rosemary.  Boil and then simmer for 30 mins.  Use hand (immersion) blender in the pot to blend and thicken soup.
  • Add good hit of salt/pepper and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve with bread for dunking!
    The kids didn’t like it until I gave them the bread to dunk.

Salad:Clean and dry romaine thoroughly so it won’t get soggy.   Add toppings (yellow pepper and tomatoes) and toss with salad dressing. 

How Can Kids Help? 

  •  Teach kids how to crack eggs (do each one in a separate dish so you can fish out shells if needed).
  • Measure and add 1/2 cup of cheese to the eggs.
  • Wash asparagus and help pull apart prosciutto into pieces.
  • Teach kids how to know where to cut bottom of asparagus – take a piece in your hands and snap the bottom off gently.  Wherever it breaks is where you should cut the rest.
  • Teach kids how to measure butter (2 TBS) and add to pan.
  • Dinner Game:  Pick a letter (or start with A) and see how many foods you can name that begin with that letter.  It’s a good way to teach new foods.

Did You Know? 

  • A Spanish Tortilla is like an Italian Frittata but is usually made with potatoes (no cheese) inside and served with a garlicky mayonnaise.
  • A French Omelet hold a small amount of filling and is rolled-up several times.
  • Frittata means “fried” (although some people bake them – like my husband).
  • Pasture raised hens lay eggs that have:  1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more mega-3 fatty acids, times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene (the yolks are actually orange)