Tag Archives: kid-friendly

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea Lemonade

7 Aug

I am so glad to be back!

There she is! Will find that contact info soon!

There she is! Will find that contact info soon!

We were just in Puerto Rico for a month, which was fantastic and wonderful (especially for my son’s Spanish; he spent his days at a summer camp fending for himself  and emerging victorious!). But for those of us sitting home with nothing but fans blowing hot air around while he frolicked in the pool, it was ridiculously hot.

Putting it together was easy!

Putting it together was easy!

We headed for Rincón’s Famer’s Market a couple of Sundays (Rincón is higher elevation where it is not beachfront, so it is cooler), and we found a young lady selling iced teas…with a twist (now I can’t find her card or I would tell you who she is…).

How pretty is that?

How pretty is that?

Leandro fell in love with the Hibiscus-Mint Iced Tea Lemonade which she said is very popular for kids’ parties. So, of course I had to recreate it at home and I too emerged victorious. This stuff is super-refreshing and delicious, has no caffeine and looks beautiful. I used agave nectar, so I didn’t even have to fuss with sugar syrup….You could try honey too!

 

So refreshing!

So refreshing!

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea Lemonade

6 Cups hibiscus tea, cooled (I used Tazo’s Passion – 5 teabags to 6 Cups hot water, then steeped for ten minutes)

½ generous Cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (strained to remove seeds and pulp)

¾ Cup agave nectar (you could also make a simple sugar syrup and start with 1/2 Cup)

Several sprigs mint and 1 Tbs chopped mint

Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher until blended. Remove mint sprigs, stir in chopped mint and serve over ice, with additional sprigs of mint for garnish, if desired.

 

Zucchini: 7 Superstar Supereasy Recipes

12 Jul

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all love summer veggies fresh from the garden. Except — admit it! — when there are piles and piles and piles of zucchini sitting around your kitchen counters waiting for a purpose. For that time there is this post.

I have collected some of my favorite zucchini recipes here to inspire you and yours to enjoy zucchini in different ways (and overwhelmed gardeners can send this to their friends as they pass off some of the overabundance of zucchini from the backyard).

Enjoy! You will remember these days fondly in the dark of winter.

Rosemary-Manchego Zucchini Fritters

 

Zucchini Rosemary Manchego Fritters Yum

Zucchini Rosemary Manchego Fritters Yum

 

 Remoulade (Easy Summer Squash Slaw…cooooool)

 

Zucchini Slaw

Zucchini Slaw

 Crunchy Creamy Zucchini Corn Fritters

Light and luscious, the abundant corn kernels make this fun to eat

Light and luscious, the abundant corn kernels make this fun to eat

 Easy Stovetop Lemon-Oregano Zucchini and Yellow Squash

How this dish looked at our campsite on the beach

How this dish looked at our campsite on the beach

Healthy and Happy Grilled Veggie Kebabs Continue reading

Splayed Roast Chicken (adapted from Melissa Clark)

2 Mar

I had a craving for a roast chicken and Stop & Shop had a sale on whole organic birds and it was a rare lazy Saturday with almost nothing on the schedule…so the stars aligned and I got to planning a proper weekend lunch for me and my boy. I have several terrific roast chicken recipes (see links below), but wanted to try something new and I seemed to remember that the New York Times’ Melissa Clark was roasting birds in a new way.

I really enjoy Ms. Clark’s recipes and short videos. Her techniques tend to be very simple and unfussy and I have gotten many good ideas from her work. I would like to do something similar for Latin and Puerto Rican cooking…who’s in?

Cutting the skin to release the legs (photo by Leandro de Cuba)

Cutting the skin to release the legs (photo by Leandro de Cuba)

A quick Google search got me to her video on splayed chicken and I was inspired! PLEASE NOTE: I had a big issue with my oven smoking, but the end result was so amazing that me and the boy agreed it was worth doing again, even though I had to shut him in the bathroom with the fan on and the window open and my eyes streaming and opening more windows to the frigid temperatures outside.

Herbs!

Herbs!

Mind you, I rarely use my tiny apartment stove because it sucks — uneven cooking, imprecise temperature settings, no indication of when you’ve reached the temperature that you want, just awful – and I head down to use my parents’ whenever I want to roast or bake or broil anything that doesn’t fit in my fancy toaster oven.

Into the skillet. Raw whole chicken always looks vaguely sordid to me. I popped this one right into the oven before it got to me...

Into the skillet. Raw whole chicken always looks vaguely sordid to me. I popped this one right into the oven before it got to me…

So it may very well have been a function of unmentionable stuff burning toxic something that I don’t really want to think about, but I had to lower the heat a bit towards the end which helped somewhat and the child kept himself busy in the bathroom until the air had cleared out the windows. I don’t know why the smoke alarm didn’t go off, which is also worrying…I will be writing to Ms. Clark to ask her if this has ever happened to her and will keep you posted on her response. Continue reading

Yes! BAKED Broccoli, Spinach and Feta Empanadas (using store-bought disks)

24 Feb

Here is the second installment of 2014: The Year of the Empanada. After my first installment, in which I fried up my stuffings in Goya pre-made disks, I was showered with questions about whether they could be baked instead.

I wasn’t sure, but thanks Kathy Blenk for reporting back that she tried it and indeed they could!

How to pinch in those cute folds

How to pinch in those cute folds (photo Marianne Goralski)

So I decided to go for it as well (later in the year I hope to make my own, but one thing at a time) and was very pleased with the results. Continue reading

French Toast-ed Croissant and Apple Sandwiches

21 Sep

After our last very successful French toast adventure, my friend Pam suggested we try French toast croissants.

How pretty are these local eggs (from Makinajian Poultry Farm in East Northport area)

How pretty are these local eggs (from Makinajian Poultry Farm in East Northport area)

As I had mini-croissants in the fridge, I thought that was a fine idea! She also mentioned that she uses any leftovers for lunchbox sandwiches and that got me to thinking…how can I pump up the nutrition and texture…and maybe convince my son to eat sandwiches (which would be an easier lunch solution for me!).

French toast croissants are pretty good without the apple too!

French toast croissants are pretty good without the apple too!

So, I split the croissants and gave them tth French toast treatment, drizzled with maple syrup and cinnamon and stuffed with thinly-sliced apple. The result was like an apple turnover, without the extra sugar and with a lot more crunch. I am sure if you are a peanut butter family, a good schmear would be tasty, as would cream cheese!

A delicious autumn breakfast

A delicious autumn breakfast

French Toast Croissant and Apple Sandwiches

1-2 Tbs butter

3 eggs

¼ Cup milk

12 mini-croissants (or 4-6 standard size), split

Maple syrup

Cinnamon

1 apple, cored and sliced thin (peeled or unpeeled is up to you)

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 split croissant, but won’t spill over.

Dip each croissant in the egg mixture on both sides just before placing in the skillet (do not soak the bread). Cook about two minutes on each side. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place a thin layer of apple on one side, close up the sandwich and eat!

Hearty Vegan Veggie Soup in Three Stunningly Simple Steps (plus non-vegan tortellini option)

27 Apr

Is everyone’s family as kooky as mine? Wait, don’t answer that.

But truly, when I look at how many different dishes we sometimes have at the same table, I do feel like we are more diner than family-style when it comes to meals. There’s  my dad with the tattered but still crazy vegan diet that says you shouldn’t combine vegetables that grow above ground and below ground in the same meal (wtf?), my child who eats well, but rejects most soups and has a limited vegetable acceptability quotient; my mom who likes what she likes when she likes it and is not always easy to predict, and me, who eats mostly salad and picks at everyone else’s when she doesn’t really mean to and then complains about weight management. Four people, four different meals.

Ridiculous.

But then, sometimes you hit on something that is one dish that everyone can eat and modify to their liking.

The vegan vegetable soup base

The vegan vegetable soup base

Continue reading

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