Summer Break – Gone Fishing

See You in September_A Little Yumminess

It’s been a busy and exciting summer of cooking camps, recipe development, writing and other yummy projects and we’re feeling luckier than ever to be doing what we love to do! High fives and hugs to all our amazing campers and junior counselors for the enthusiasm and creativity and extra hugs to our wonderful cooking buddies (Bernal Cutlery, Bay Leaf KitchenJoy Foodly, Xiao, Rachel M. and Rachel E.) for lending their talents along the way.

Also, do check out our upcoming cooking classes in the Fall at 18 Reasons – we’d love to have you join us!

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We Love Joyful 12

We had the good fortune of meeting Hollie Greene last year at a CUESA cooking class for kids and have ever since have been in awe of her passion for getting kids to eat better and her sheer knowledge of food.  She is an amazing teacher and she even joined us this year with a “cooking with kids” session on Italy day for our summer camp and it was a super-hit.  She has enthusiasm and energy bubbling out of every pore, and we love hanging out with her and learning from her.

Hollie has just launched the Joyful 12, an educator-and-kitchen tested learning lab designed to motivate even the most reluctant preschooler to try, and even love, eating vegetables and fruits all year round. The Joyful12 features proven educational techniques that teach parents essential – and often missing – home cooking skills, in a beautiful, engaging and affordable online format.

Cooking and eating with young children is essential for fostering a child’s healthy relationship with food. Yet parents often struggle to find time to cook, and many lack the most basic kitchen skills that make preparing healthy delicious meals fast and efficient. Even for parents who are die-hard Food Network or food blog fans, the ability to whip up a complete shopping list, master basic knife skills, or to cook unfamiliar but compelling vegetables such as fennel or asparagus can be looming barriers to getting a vegetable-centric meal on the table.  Chef Hollie’s recipes carry clear allergen labels and are tested gluten-free, alleviating concerns about inadvertent exposure. And to take the sting out of the grocery run, all Joyful 12 recipes integrate into an innovative, mobile-ready shopping list, allowing users to seamlessly take their market plans on the go.

A season’s worth of techniques and recipes is only $12. For $40, parents can access a year’s worth of tutorials and inspiration for summer, fall, winter and spring, with unlimited access to all videos, recipes, shopping list tools, and more.  It is a must check out.  Below is a recipe from her collection of wonderful recipes!

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Chickpeas

This dish looks and tastes gorgeous and I can imagine that it makes a wonderful school lunch!  Plus, it super fast and easy and a good one to make with the kiddos.  I love that she omits garlic in her recipe, as I would do the same. :)  Obviously, she’s a kindred spirit!

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Thai Curried Noodles


This dish looks way more complicated than it actually is.  And it is probably as beautiful as it is tasty.  We developed this recipe recently for the San Jose Mercury and our editor made it once for her family and then made it again a few days later.  Nothing makes us smile more than a successful recipe and positive feedback, especially from our editor (since she knows food!).

It also is far easier than it probably looks.  We use store bought red curry paste (which I always “gussy up”) and a grocery rotisserie chicken.  Technically cheating, but who cares?  When you can get something this tasty on the table for dinner, no one will ask about the short-cuts you took.  My little one’s face lights up when this is on the menu and I am thinking we need to make it again soon.

You can use “light coconut milk”, but I am not a fan at all.  I have tried it and hated it, low-fat coconut milk in my book, just doesn’t cut it.  But don’t let my snobbery stop you. :)  You can also use Asian noodles, but thin or regular spaghetti works just fine.  Not the the real thing, but definitely good enough and somewhat reminds me of the laksa I grew up eating. Continue reading

Picnic Time: Spanish-Inspired Sandwich

Spanish Inspired Sandwich by A Little Yumminess

This is the last of our international sandwich ideas for picnics.  Now it is up to you to come of with your own variation of a sandwich from around the world.  Work with your kids and make a sandwich that represents a part of the world that you are from or a favorite cuisine.  I am thinking a tandoori chicken, mixed salad (tomato, onion and cucumber like a kacumber) with a thick yogurty spread with spices with pita as our version.  The possibilities are endless… share yours with us!  We love new ideas!

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Picnic Time: Greek-Inspired Sandwich

Greek Inspired Sandwich by A Little Yumminess

Our picnic series continues with some our top tips for successful picnics and a sandwich inspired by Greece!

Make a checklist. There is a lot to bring, so a list will help you get organized. Don’t worry if you forget something—as long as it’s not the food!

Make finger food. The fewer utensils you need, the better. Lay out containers of food on your picnic blanket and call it a “garden buffet” so children can pick and choose what they like. Kids love to just pick up and eat their food.

Buy food. If you don’t want to wake up and cook before you head out, stop at your favorite deli or supermarket, and pick up your picnic. Purchase prepared sandwiches or wraps, some fruit, cereal bars, nuts and water, and you will be all set.

Bring plenty of cleanup supplies. You will need more of these than you think Bring a whole roll of paper towels or several dishcloths and perhaps even some wet wipes. Also, bring hand sanitizer if you are going to be somewhere you cannot wash hands. And don’t forget extra bags to collect your trash.

Bring safety items. Make sure you have a first-aid kit in the car or in your basket/backpack. Scrapes and cuts are inevitable, and it is best to be ready for them. Sunscreen is also essential, as are hats and bug repellant.

Bring games or toys. You can spend your time exploring nature, or bring some toys and games along. A travel-size board game or deck of cards will be easy to carry. Or bring a bat and a ball or football for some more active fun.

Select an enclosed space. To reduce your stress level, find a park or area that is enclosed. That way you won’t have to worry about your children wandering away.  Particularly helpful when you have younger kids in your picnic party.

With July 4th coming up – head doors on a fun picnic!

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A Little Yumminess Summer Camp – First Week Fun!


We had the best week traveling with an AMAZING group of kids.  They were adventurous, enthusiastic and incredibly well-behaved on top of being fantastic listeners.  We couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids as we so something we love – hang out kids and teach them about the world and food.  We traveled to India, Scandinavia, Japan, the Middle East and ended the week with a Mexican fiesta to which we invited the parents.  Tacos, music and a reading of our creative writing about food, ended a very memorable week.  Somehow, my daughter, managed to attend the camp for a third time – we are calling her a “camp-crasher” around here. :)

Next we are off to other lovely parts of the world..and hanging out with another tremendous group of kids at 18 Reasons.

Here’s a link to some of our best photos from the week.  Hopefully, your kids can join us next year – get on our mailing list here, if you want to get on our advance sign up list.


Picnic Time: Italian Panini

Italian Panini by A Little Yumminess

Summer is here and in most places it is the perfect time to get out have a picnic.  The weather is not quite as agreeable in San Francisco during summer – so either we brave the fog and picnic anyway (because we are tough people who are used to cold summers) or we head a short distance outside the city to better climes for our picnic.  However, don’t let the harsh SF weather mean no picnicking for your family.  Some of my fondest memories from childhood revolve around picnicking and the idea of eating a packed lunch outside still brings a big smile to my face.

Though I have learned over the years that picnics on the beach are generally a bad idea, no matter how glorious it sounds.  Sand in sandwich is not such a good idea.  Get your kids to help with the packing of the picnic and think about what you could need.  You will invariably forget something – that’s a given and part of the fun.  The outdoors are beckoning and what better way to enjoy them then to share a meal outside.  The next few posts are going to feature some international sandwich recipes that you can make with your kids before you head out for some fun.
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