Whether or not you like to cook, you have to eat. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, sharing food is the perfect time to devote to spending time with your daughter, family and friends. Why not make prep time mommy and daughter time? It’s one of the best times we know to help bond great relationships between mothers and daughters!

Mommies and Daughters recipe section has great recipes for all occasions that are time tested and proven to be excellent choices, sure to please almost anyone. All of these recipes have been tried personally by me and have proven to be winners with family and friends.

favorite recipes

mini pasta frittatas

What do you do with all of the leftover spaghetti noodles from dinner last night? Here’s a great way to use those noodles and create a great lunch box item or a great after school snack for the little ones. I actually got the idea from an episode of Rachael Ray but I changed the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need

  • leftover spaghetti noodles
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, your favorite or a blend
  • fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • lunchmeat ham, chopped
  • salt, pepper and any  family favorite seasoning ( I love Spike Seasoning in eggs)

*Some different options could be cherry tomatoes, small broccoli florets, mushrooms, etc.

Place spaghetti noodles in paper lined or baking cup sprayed with non- stick vegetable spray. Add in a sprinkle of ham, spinach and cheese. Whisk together eggs, milk and seasoning. Pour or ladle egg mixture into muffin cup to fill almost to the top. Bake at 375° for 15 -18 minutes or until set and lightly golden.
You can make this a fun event with the kids… let them help fill the cups with their favorite items. You can use whatever kinds of veggies, cheese, meat that your kids like. They are always more willing to eat the fun foods that they have helped to create! For re-heating, simply microwave  about 30 seconds.  What a great way to send a healthy, fun lunch to school for your kids!

 

not your average chip

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Kale chips. Yes, that’s what I said kale chips! Kale is so incredibly healthy. The nutritional value in a serving of Kale is off the food chain! (Being possibly the most extreme form of the term “off the chain”, ‘off the food chain’ is used to describe a situation where every aspect of it is completely dope & radical.) Kale is loaded with vitamins… One cup has 684% daily value of vitamin K and 206% A. Other vitamins include B6, folate, thiamin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Kale is also rich in minerals… including manganese, copper, potassium, calcium and iron.

Ariel is not really a vegetable girl. So imagine my surprise when it turns out that she loves kale chips! You may have a picky little eater at home or you just might like to have them as a healthy, nutritious and low calorie snack. So easy to make…. and if you want a little quality time with the kids, let them help tear the kale into pieces and toss with the seasoning. (Bonus, kids are more likely to try something they helped to make!)

Preheat oven to 300°. Soak kale in a large bowl of water, letting dirt fall to the bottom. Remove and rinse well. Shake and let dry on towels. Cut kale into small pieces, removing stem. Toss cut kale in a large bowl with olive oil. Season with your favorite spice, salt and pepper. Ariel really likes it seasoned with Spike seasoning if you can find it. I liked it with nutmeg. Experiment to your liking! Spread oiled and seasoned kale  in one layer onto baking sheet. Bake until crispy about 15 minutes, maybe a little longer.

Enjoy and have no guilt about eating your not so average chips!

*Note… If you are taking prescription anticoagulants you should consult with your doctor before consuming large quantities of kale.

mushroom and goat cheese tart with watercress salad

My friend was telling me about a recipe she made with goat cheese and tomatoes in a tart…. This got my thoughts going! I love it when an idea jumps in my head and takes over. It took me a good week and a half before I had time to actually get around to trying out my new recipe idea… It was worth the wait. Here’s what you need…

For the tart:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (keep cold)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter,
  • 2 slices of a large onion, cut in half
  • about a half pound of assorted mushrooms, (I used shitaki, portabella and cremini) sliced
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 5 – 6 oz. pkg. fresh goats cheese (chèvre) , softened to room temperature

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch watercress, rinsed well
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 325°. Melt 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion until slightly caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and mushrooms to the pan, season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme (be generous with the thyme) and sauté  3 or 4 minutes until tender. Add wine and let reduce and thicken a little. Remove from heat and set aside. Unfold puff pastry onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Score the pastry 1/2 inch from edge by gently cutting with a knife, not cutting through to the bottom. Fold this 1/2 inch edge inward over the pastry square creating a raised edge to your tart.

Spread the goat cheese over the bottom of the pastry. Cover this with the mushroom mixture and some additional leaves of fresh thyme. Bake for about 18 -20 minutes until pastry is cooked through and golden on the edges. Toss the watercress with the olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. To serve, cut a slice of tart to plate and top with a handful of the watercress salad. Pair this with a glass of that white wine that you opened just for this recipe and enjoy!

*Note… This recipe can be done without the wine if you like.

*If you can’t find watercress you can substitute baby arugula.

*This is a wonderful dish to serve for brunch, lunch, as an appetizer or a larger portion for a light dinner!

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

what the devil... an egg

Today (November 2) is National Deviled Egg Day! I know, who knew? Well now you do!  Deviled eggs bring back memories of every holiday get together our family ever had. It  was the official job of my sister Tammy to make them. The deviled egg was a dish that was always present…Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas. The little devils even show up at family BBQs! So I thought I’d share our family’s deviled egg recipe with you . Keeping in mind that I don’t measure a lot of the things I make… You’ll have to use your best judgement on the amounts of some ingredients!

  • dozen eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • mayonnaise
  • yellow mustard
  • sweet pickle relish
  • fresh finely chopped onion (about a Tablespoon)
  • salt, pepper, paprika

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise, scoop out the yolk into a small bowl. Mash with a fork. Add about a Tablespoon of mayo, a couple teaspoons of mustard, a Tablespoon or more  relish( to your taste), the chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Taste and adjust as necessary. Place mixture into a large baggie, cut off a small corner and use this to pipe filling into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and top with a few scallion slices.  You little devil!

vanilla ice cream with stone fruit lavender compote

This dish is so easy yet displays itself as a wonderfully elegant but simple dessert. All you need is :

  • a really good quality vanilla bean ice cream (I use Breyers)
  • any combination of stone fruits; peaches, plums, apricots and figs, fresh or dried
  • butter
  • honey
  • fresh lemon juice
  • dried lavender flowers

Cut fruit into quarters or large pieces. Heat a couple tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Saute’ fruit in butter. Add a couple tablespoons of honey and a little lemon juice and about teaspoon of lavender. Continue sautéing for one or two minutes until you have a little caramelization. Spoon over ice cream and serve immediately. Enjoy!

The ingredients

sautéing the fruit

maple planked trout

I’ve always wanted to try fish on a plank. It’s just one of those neat things. Will the wood flavor come through? Where do I get the plank? The usual questions. My good friends and fellow foodies were out of town for a wedding in September. When they came back home they had a gift for me…a maple wood plank! Of course I had to try them right away. That next weekend I bought some beautiful Steelhead Trout, some lemon and fresh dill and was half way to making some of the best fish I’ve eve eaten! This was so easy if you can find the planks (mail order if you have to) you can do this. Soak the plank… I started soaking the morning of. Prepare your grill as usual. Since fish doesn’t take that long you’ll want to put the plank on the grill first for about 10 minutes before adding the fish. This is to give the plank time to actually smoke before the fish is done. That is where the wood flavor comes from. Note that the fish will take a little longer to grill on the plank than it would just on the grill.

To prepare the fish… Season well with salt and  fresh cracked pepper, a little fine grated fresh lemon zest and juice. Some sprigs of fresh dill and very thin lemon slices. Place onto plank on the grill and cook through. Fish should be firm and flaky. This made an absolutely beautiful presentation not to mention how good it tasted!  Ours was a maple plank. I really enjoyed the flavor it imparted. There is also cedar or applewood. I plan to try porkchops or pork roast on the applewood plank next. Try this one soon before it’s time to put the grill away for winter. You’ll be glad you did. Enjoy.

Trout prepared and ready for the grill.

Ahhh, This looks so good!

Maple planked trout...Yummmm!

pizza night

photoPizza night. No, not takeout pizza night. A new and better pizza night. This falls into so many categories on my blog. Things for mothers and daughters to do together; quality time; kid friendly foods and in a rush – quick and easy recipes! There’s something great about  family spending time together in the kitchen. It can be as grand as you like spending all day preparing a holiday meal or a theme night with lots of new recipes. It can also be as simple as hanging out around the bar putting your favorite toppings on your own personal pizza!

For the crust, I just purchase naan bread which as an Indian flatbread. This should be available at most grocery stores, I get mine at Walmart supercenter. If you can’t find naan bread or if you just prefer, you can use pita bread (not the pocket kind). I just prepare a platter with all of our favorite toppings. Get the whole family involved in washing the vegetables, slicing and placing on the platter. The toppings are endless. Instead of tomato sauce, I like to use  chopped fresh tomatoes…all varieties, orange sunburst cherry tomatoes are excellent used here. You can use grape tomatoes, roma, whatever you like…mix them up!  I get pepperoni sliced fresh at the deli, super thin. You only need 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound for 4-6 people. Some other favorite toppings at our house…fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, basil and red bell pepper.

When all of the toppings are sliced, diced and ready, have everyone start by brushing a little olive oil on their naan bread and let the toppings begin! Place all of the prepared pizzas on baking sheets or a pizza stone really works nice if you have one. Place in a preheated oven at 400°. Bake till cheese is melted and bubbly…this only takes about six minutes. Quick, easy, fun and delicious for the whole family. What night is gonna be your “new” pizza night?photophoto

cranberry walnut french toast with warm apple compote

photoSaturday morning and the girls (Ariel and her friend Olivia) want breakfast. Last weekend I made them my pumpkin pancakes with some maple sausage links. Olivia wanted pancakes again but Ariel wanted something different…what’s a mom to do? I looked around in the freezer a found a loaf of cranberry walnut bread from the farmers market…. French toast! But as I start making the egg mixture I’m thinking about fall and all of the wonderful flavors. I look over and see the bowl of apples on the counter and here we go…the thoughts just keep going. In a skillet I sauteed apple slices in butter and a little fresh squeezed lemon. Then, I added a little brown sugar (maybe a couple of tablespoons) some dried cranberries, a few shakes of apple pie spice (cinnamon, cloves and ginger) and a splash of cranberry juice. I let this simmer on low while I prepared the french toast.

For the egg batter, I used 3 eggs, about a half cup or so of milk, a couple drops of vanilla extract and apple pie spice. Beat this well, soak the bread slices and cook on a hot griddle or skillet until golden brown and cooked through. As I said, my cranberry walnut bread came from the farmers market but large grocery stores usually carry some specialty breads in their bakery department. If you can’t find cranberry walnut you could use a nice tuscan loaf or even a wheat loaf. If so, just add some walnuts to the compote! Top your slices of french toast with a little of the warm compote (you can also add a little syrup on top also if you like) and enjoy!

lemon waffles with lemon curd and macerated strawberries

IMG_8237This is one of those great Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast items, but it is easy enough for the weekday! To make it a time friendly and simple breakfast use your favorite waffle mix. Prepare as the package directs. Add the zest of 1 lemon stirred into batter. To macerate the strawberries…(This can be done the night before or at least 30 minutes before serving.) slice enough strawberries to top number of waffles you’ll be making. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and fresh lemon juice. Stir and set aside.(you could also add a little fresh chopped mint if you like)  If doing this the night before place in refrigerator. Cook waffle in waffle iron as directed. Top with some store bought lemon curd, macerated strawberries and dust with powdered sugar. Careful, you just might become addicted! Enjoy!

spring pasta with fresh breadcrumbs

photoI love the way a recipe can evolve. Several weeks ago we were at our friends’ house for dinner. One of the side dishes was steamed broccoli with fresh bread crumbs. Ariel really loved this. She doesn’t like to eat broccoli unless it is in broccoli cheese soup. So of course I took notice of another way to get her to eat her vegetables! Then a couple of weeks later somehow ended up in a conversation with the same friend over an Italian cookbook. She is sicilian and as we were talking about recipes she mentioned that a lot of sicilians were poor and they used bread crumbs made from stale bread to top dishes in place of cheese. I thought this was very interesting. It was a way to use the old bread and add more flavor to a dish. What I didn’t know is just how good it could be!
So I’ve had this beautiful package of imported Italian pasta, shaped like butterflies in pastel colors. I bought them because they were so pretty, not knowing what in the world I would do with it…too pretty to cover with a red marinara! Inspired by the bread crumbs here is what I came up with and I will say it was a winner in our house!
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb. pasta (tri color bowtie pasta would work if you can’t find specialty pasta)
  • 1 large lemon, (zest and juice)
  • 1 package fresh sugar snap peas
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and papper to taste
  • stale french bread
    To make the bread crumbs, if the bread is not dry you can slice it and toast it in the oven. Let it cool and then process in a food processor until you have crumbs. Set aside. Boil pasta as directed on package.  Make sure to cook al dente (still firm), you don’t want soggy pasta. Blanche sugar snap peas in boiling water, just long enough to brighten the green color, 1 minute or less. You still want them to have a nice crunch. Set aside. Meanwhile heat about a tbsp. of olive oil in a pan with a tsp. of butter, toast the fresh bread crumbs until nicely brown and crunchy, stirring often. Set aside. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/8 cup of the cooking water. Place pasta and water in a large serving bowl. Add sugar snap peas, 1 tbsp. butter, shredded parmesan (as much as you like) and the zest and juice from one lemon. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh toasted bread crumbs. Serve with additional cheese and bread crumbs if desired. You could also sprinkle a little fresh chopped mint or parsley , yeah! Serve with a small salad and a nice glass of sauvignon blanc. Enjoy!