Tidbits RSS



Kid Food Critics: Caprese Pasta Salad

My kids evaluate the fresh flavors in this pasta salad. Spoiler alert: They love this dinner! But in the video they just fiddle around with a jacket and laugh when the chair makes a noise. Lower your standards and enjoy the show!  This recipe depends on high quality tomatoes, so you won't enjoy it in January with mealy grocery store tomatoes. As long as you have vine-ripened half-way decent tomatoes and fresh basil, this is the best pasta salad ever – especially in late summer when the tomatoes are at their best. I use gluten-free pasta and no one is the wiser. Similar recipes call for a mozzarella ball that you chop up; but I opt for mozzarella pearls because they are already bite sized...

Continue reading



Kid Food Critics: Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

Despite the high spinach content, my kids rate it as "foot-up, foot-up, hands up" – whatever that means. In any event, this recipe makes a great alternative to boxed mac & cheese and cooks in about the same amount of time.I found this recipe in a Cook's Illustrated magazine 3 years ago and, with a few modifications, it has made its way into our regular weeknight meal rotation. It's great for meatless-Monday or for a busy weeknight, since it comes together in ~30 minutes.    I tend to overestimate my commitment to spinach salads when I do my grocery shopping at the beginning of the week, so this is a great way to use up wilted greens. Before cooking the spinach, I chop it into little tiny pieces...

Continue reading



Kid Food Critics: Brazilian Coconut Shrimp

Broiled Brazilian Coconut Shrimp RecipeMy kids evaluate the flavors, shrimp tails and use of jalapeño in my recipe for broiled Brazilian Coconut Shrimp. This fresh, flavorful dinner comes together in under 40 minutes. Converting from kebabs to one-pan broiling shaves 30 minutes off the prep time. And you can use less of the marinate, freezing the other half for a super quick second dinner. Two meals, one marinate! 

Continue reading



The best gluten-free breadcrumbs

I have been gluten-free since 2009 when my dentist suggested I try an elimination diet to resolve joint pain and fatigue. I don't have any official medical diagnosis confirming a gluten allergy or intolerance, but it seemed to work for me so I kept it up. I am pretty good at adapting recipes to be gluten-free. The one thing that never quite turned out were breaded recipes. I tried numerous work-arounds to create a suitable gluten-free alternative to panko bread crumbs, generally this meant grinding up the reserved heels from gluten-free bread. But the end result was always soggy. I found a near perfect panko alternative in the cereal aisle. Use a food processor to pulverize a gluten-free crispy rice breakfast cereal and...

Continue reading



Chicken stock recipe

I have a big freezer bag I fill up with chicken bones, celery tops, extra herbs, onion tops and carrot peels. When the bag is full, I make this delicious chicken stock. The bone broth is so much better than store-bought that I won't even bother making soups or risotto unless I have some on hand.  Chicken stock recipe:- Bones from 3-4 chickens- 2 large onions, roughly chopped (it's ok to leave the skins on)- 3 carrots, no need to peel- 1 clove garlic, sliced in half (it's ok to leave the skins on)- 3 stalks of celery- 1 TB salt- 1/2 tsp ground pepper- 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or use 8 sprigs of fresh)- 1/2 tsp dried dill (or use 10 sprigs of fresh)- 10 sprigs fresh...

Continue reading