Tag Archives: kid-friendly foods

Easy Black Bean, Corn and Scallion Fritters

12 Dec

Here was a nifty little trick to use up some bits and bobs…black beans from a batch I had soaked, some frozen corn, a couple of leftover scallions. I went light on the seasonings, but you can certainly go more heavy.

This is an example of a denser fritter! More water will make the batter lighter

This is an example of a denser fritter! More water will make the batter lighter

These were a big success at my house on a night that everyone just wanted something casual that you could grab with a napkin and keep going. You’ll have to play around with the consistency…add more water if you want a lighter fritter, less if you want it dense (which will need more cooking time in order to cook that flour).

I didn't think Leandro woud like them, but he loved them and ate loads!

I didn’t think Leandro woud like them, but he loved them and ate loads!

Black Bean and Corn Fritters With Scallions

1 tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp salt

5 black pepper corns

1 Cup black beans (either from a can or soaked)

1 Cup corn kernels

Half an onion, minced (at least ½ Cup)

½  Cup scallions, sliced, green and white parts

2 eggs

2 Tbs cilantro

¾ Cup flour

Water

2 Tbs vegetable oil (or more) for frying

Grind coriander, salt and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until pulverized.

In a large skillet, heat  oil at medium-high. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix beans, corn, onion, scallions, eggs, cilantro and flour until blended. Add water to create a more liquidy batter that drips thickly off a spoon.

Drop large tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and smooth out a bit into fritters. Don’t crowd them and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, adjusting temperature as needed. Place cooked fritters on paper towels to cool while you start the next batch and continue until done. Makes about a dozen fritters.

Your Opinion: A Back-To-School Welcome Gift

13 Sep

This is what my first-grader brought home from school on the first day of school.

Background: It is not clear whether the bag of candy is from his teacher or was a whole-grade gift or a whole school gift. Someone clearly spent a lot of time, energy and money putting it together. It is a well-meant back-to-school gesture. And to end the first week, the teacher requested a piece of washed and cut fruit from each child to make a Friendship Fruit Salad.

What do you think? What does your school district or school do about sweets and snacks?

I would love to hear your thoughts on school, food, and kids (and how parents handle it all!)

I would love to hear your thoughts on school, food, and kids (and how parents handle it all!)

Cocktail Meatballs (Fry for Now or Bake for Later)

8 Sep

The school year has started for me (for those who don’t know, in my other life I am a college professor of English as a Second Language) and will start for my FIRST-GRADER (!?!) on Monday.

I love a little army of meatballs. I do them in my fancy toaster oven!

I love a little army of meatballs. I do them in my fancy toaster oven!

I like to start the semester with the first two weeks of my lesson plans prepped, photocopies made and ready-to-go, and….my freezer full of home-made dishes that I can pull out in a heartbeat and serve with an easy starch and a steamed vegetable. The older my son gets, the more activities we have outside school, and the harder it gets for me to get to the gym. When dinner’s already ready, I am more relaxed and have fewer excuses to keep me from the treadmill.

Cooked! Meatballs are one of my favorite things...

Cooked! Meatballs are one of my favorite things…

Meatballs are one of our favorites. If you bake them, you can freeze them. Then, you have loads of options, Drop them in tomato sauce to defrost and make delicious pasta gravy. Just heat them up and serve with rice or buttered noodles or pesto. Make a meatball hero. Serve to unexpected guests with toothpicks as an attractive appetizer. Yes, meatballs in the freezer make life much easier. So here they are, simple to make (the little guy helps with the smashing and meatball making) and yet very, very tasty.

Fry-babies

Fry-babies

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Easy and Delicious French Toast

6 Sep

French toast was a special treat when my brother and I were small. The very name seemed elegant and the stacks of golden bread looked so beautiful and the maple syrup was so heady and rich. Who knew it was as basic as bread dipped in egg and fried?

French toast is happy food!

French toast is happy food!

So, much to the delight of a certain six-year-old, I took advantage of my first day off of the semester (L’shana tovah to all of those celebrating the new year this week) and made some for breakfast yesterday, with (shock,horror) white sliced bread that I had in the freezer simply because they were giving it away at the Stop & Shop and I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste!

I cut off the crusts in a familial reflex (that’s what my parents used to do) but I realized that I didn’t have to! At any rate, the crusts became the bread crumbs for my meatballs later, so no matter.

So, basic French toast. An easy treat! Would love to hear how you dress up yours (click here for an cool story on Burning Man French toast).

The sliced apples were a big hit with the French toast, dipped judiciously in the maple syrup and cinnamon.

The sliced apples were a big hit with the French toast, dipped judiciously in the maple syrup and cinnamon.

French Toast

1-2 Tbs butter

3 eggs

¼ Cup milk

8 Slices of bread

Maple syrup

Cinnamon

Melt the butter in a skillet at medium to medium high.

Beat the eggs and milk together on plate or bowl that is wide enough to accommodate a slice of bread, but won’t spill over.

Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture just before placing in the skillet (do not soak the bread). Cook about two minutes on each side. Serve with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon or your favorite topping.

Big Bang Burgers: Four Ingredients, Deliciously Juicy

7 Jun

Do you buy frozen beef patties for summer grilling? Really? Please tell me you don’t. Or at least, please tell me that you have done it for the last time! When you see how easy it is to make tasty, juicy burgers that are infinitely superior to those tasteless wooden slabs, and only use four ingredients, I know you will make your own next time. And your family and guests will be glad you did.

Destined for the freezer

Destined for the freezer

We certainly were. Several days before our recent beach camping trip to Hither Hills State Park here on the East End of Long Island, I made about a dozen burgers (which took all of five minutes, even with Leandro doing the burger formation), cooked a couple for dinner, then wrapped and froze the rest. Ours are a variety of sizes, as a certain almost-six-year-old was in charge of forming the patties. I like having many sizes actually, because it suits different appetities. Adjust cooking times accordingly.

Here's one we ate at home

Here’s one we ate at home

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Taco Tuesdays: DIY Refried Beans. Banging Flavor without the Fat

11 Mar

We’ve been doing Taco Tuesdays for the last month or so. Our neighbors across the street do it, so Leandro decided we should too. I actually like it, because it gives me a solid plan and lets me tinker. I don’t actually do the taco thing – by the time all the accoutrements get to the table I have eaten more than my share of shredded cheese and settle for rolling a veggie wrap for myself (ripe avocado slices are my solution when I crave creaminess and  am trying — quite unsuccessfully — to battle my cheese dependence).

Olive oil, onion and peppers add to my sorta Mexican veggie wraps on Taco Tuesdays

Olive oil, onion and peppers add to my sorta Mexican veggie wraps on Taco Tuesdays

One of the things I have been tweaking has been refried beans (which are not really refried at all). You can buy them out of a can, and I won’t deny that they taste good, but do I really need that much lard in my life? Actually, I do wish I had more lard in my life, but I would like to know where it came from before I serve it up. Continue reading

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