Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tacos for little hands

Do you ever go about your business and do something so normal and natural to you and then, when in front of other people, you realize that it's not oh so normal?!  Yeah.  I've done that.

I've also done creative things that I assume everyone else does because it seems so logical to me, but in talking with other people and moms, I realized that maybe i should share this little tid bit.  And since it has to do with food, it's here. 

So, down to the trick.  When we eat soft tacos, and in the summer, that's a lot, we all eat them.  I have never been one for fixing something different for my boys to eat, but soft tacos + little boy hands = big mess.  To solve this problem, we use a rubber-band and wrap it around the bottom of the folded taco.

Like this.

No more spilled taco.  Easy to pick up and put down.  And most of all.  Mom and Dad have free hands to feed themselves!

By the way, these are the sweet potato tacos that are fabulous!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Skillet Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

I love gnocchi. It's quick to cook and when you get the whole wheat variety, it's filling, too. I saw a version of this recipe on pinterest (thank you, pinterest!) and it looked so delicious and easy I just had to try it.  I omitted the cheese for our family meal, but you could very easily sprinkle mozzarella or Parmesan on top if you'd like.  Otherwise, I followed the directs almost to a T.

A huge ease of this meal is that it's all made in one skillet, so very little clean up is needed.  A plus, I think, if there are little feet around that need to be corralled either to to dinner or up to bed.

Scot ate this meal re-warmed and he loved it just as much as the rest of us did right out of the skillet.  And it's so pretty, too -- don't you think?  I served this with some bread (more carbs, I know, but I didn't care.  I needed something to sop up the juice!) and a green salad.

Skillet Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans
Serves 4
  • EVOO
  • 16oz (1 lb) shelf stable whole wheat Gnocchi
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups packed spinach
  • 1 can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans (Canellini works really well), rinsed and drained
  • pinch of salt and pepper
-- Heat EVOO in a large skillet and add the gnocchi.  Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the gnocchi is soft and "fluffy".  Remove to a bowl.
-- Saute onion for 3-5 minutes in the skillet with a little more EVOO
-- Add garlic and stir for a minute.  Add water, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until onion is soft
-- Add spinach and cook a few minutes until wilted
-- Stir in the beans and tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer and and stir in the gnocchi.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until everything is heated through.
-- Sprinkle with a little mozzarella or Parmesan if you want.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Simple Corn and Bean Burritos

This is a super simple dinner but our little family really likes it.  Which is nice since it's so easy to throw together.  You can adjust the spices to your own liking and add whatever toppings you'd like.  The main point is that the filling is just a simply delicious canvas to work with.

I found the recipe off pinterest and I'm so glad I did!  It's a meal we'll be having a bit when I don't know what else to make.

With that being said, here you go!

Simple Corn and Bean Burritos
serves 6

  • A little EVOO
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (1 can, rinsed/drained or 2 cups frozen, thawed)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic or 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 c salsa
  • 6 soft whole wheat tortillas
-- Saute corn, onion, and green pepper with a little EVOO until soft
-- Add garlic and spices and stir for 1 minutes
-- Add beans, rice, and salsa and heat through.
-- Spoon 3/4 cup portions into tortillas and top with cheese or sour cream or guac or more salsa...and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


A kitchen is like a workshop, and in any workshop, tools are a necessity.  Like workshops have certain tools customary to its shelves, so does a kitchen.  Most kitchen have the same basics: bowls, spoons, measuring cups, cutting board, pots and pans, etc. To make the meals here, there are a few items that we want to make sure you have on hand to make the cooking easier.  Obviously, please do not feel that you can’t make the meals on here if you don’t have everything on this list -- there are ways to cook most everything with even the most basic of kitchen tools.

  • Large stock pot or dutch oven
  • Blender/Food processor/Hand or Immersion blender -- in some case, a potato masher will work fine if you’re willing to use a little elbow grease
  • A good sharp knife -- this is imperative as a dull knife will almost double your chopping time.  You don’t need a whole slew of knives, but a good knife for chopping veggies, like a Santoku or Chef, is a good idea
  • Rice cooker - not only for perfect rice, but for other grains and lentils, too
  • This is a great link to pan sizes and how much they can hold.