In Spain, tapas are appetizers that are eaten at any time of the day. Putting a few tapas together makes a complete meal. It is essentially “finger food” and the recipes and ideas below are a launching pad and you can create your own special menus consisting of your favorite dishes. We love creating these little bentos with different international cuisines and since we have not done one for a while, we decided to make a Spanish Tapas bento.
This is our favorite type of meal – it’s a combination of store-bought, food-assembly and quick-cooking dishes, but the end result is a delicious and satisfying meal. Plus, everyone loves a dinner that consists of just little appetizers that you enjoy as the dinner conversation flows.
Kids also enjoy little bites of different foods and this is a wonderful way to get them to try new foods and a whole new type of cuisine. After the first “traditional” tapas meal, work with your children to create your own tapas party. You can also try a “tapas party” with foods from different countries and have a new theme each time – the possibilities are endless. Perhaps even host a tapas inspired birthday party for your little ones. Instead of sangria, the children can enjoy some fruit punch. :) And this week we are cooking with kids at our summer camp and the first city we visited was Barcelona!! Continue reading
An inspiration board for our summer of kids’ cooking.
As we were having dinner after the last day of school, I invited the kids to come up with a list of things they wanted to cook this summer. While they are pretty interested in cooking in general, when they come up with the cooking projects themselves it’s a whole different ballgame. They put their heads together and in about 2 minutes had come up with the following list, with some things I might have predicted and a few surprises too. While it would be nice to see more veggies and whole grains make the list, at the end of the day the most important ingredient is always enthusiasm. That’s the starting point for everything. We’ll plan a few trips to our gorgeous summer farmers’ markets which I’m sure will provide some extra inspiration too. Continue reading
As the munchkin gets older, I am increasingly on the lookout for recipes that kids can pretty much cook all by themselves. It is amazing how time flies and I remember when we first started cooking together, she could not do much at all, except make a big mess. :) These days she can make a simple cake by herself and help me cut vegetables, among many other things. I cannot wait for the day when she can make an entire meal by herself – and clean up the mess, while I sit around and watch TV or read a book. How’s that for a role reversal?
This cake from Bon Appetit magazine caught my eye right away when I saw it in the magazine. We have made it a couple of times already (and we are not a family of bakers), but this last time when we made it for grandpa’s birthday, the little one made it (almost) all by herself. She gathered all the equipment and ingredients, measured everything and followed all the instructions. I helped with lining the baking tin and getting the cake in and out of the oven and a little bit of the clean-up. The rest she managed by herself. Needless to say, Ria could make the world’s worst cake and grandpa would still love it. :) Fortunately, this moist, light cake was a super hit and “Nanu” was touched.
Every year, we make something edible for our teachers, versus something they have to keep and add to the clutter in their lives. In the past we have made different types of granola and cookies for our teachers. Jams, banana bread and pickles are other good ideas for year-end teacher gifts.
This year, Ria once again, had a teacher who is super interested in food (just like us! yay!) and we decided to make her some spice mixes to thank her for a year of amazing learning and fun. The great thing about these spice mixes is that children can pretty much measure (while the practice their math skills) and make these mixes all by themselves. It’s nice to include some recipes as well, if your teacher is unfamiliar with the spices you are sharing with them. The Madras curry powder makes a mean shrimp curry and the garam masala can be used to marinate our simple oven baked “tandoori” chicken. Both spice mixes can be used to roast chicken drumsticks and also vegetables like cauliflower. Continue reading
I am unfortunately surrounded by mayo-haters – starting with my partner in life to my dear friend and partner in business. Together they are “corrupting” my child into thinking “mayo is gross”. (Evil people :) ) Nonetheless, I am an unapologetic lover of mayo and absolutely love this sesame dressing recipe. I have been looking for years to replicate this dressing available at many a Japanese restaurant that makes salad amazingly addictive. And finally, I have found it. The bottled store-bought stuff be damned, I am making my own sesame-mayo dressing from now on. Continue reading
Puttin’ some muscle into it!
It goes in phases, but the most requested meal at Casa Stacie right now is oven roasted salmon and mashed potatoes (and a green veg or salad for good measure). The kids ask for this dinner all the time and so it’s a frequent one on our dinner table. They’ve also asked to learn how to make this meal themselves. So each time we cook this dinner they have been taking on more and more of cooking tasks. They’ve been working on: Continue reading
Well – almost a week – and I must say it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The little one was horrified and there was all kinds of (very amusing) protesting and whining. Perhaps, I should be pleased that she even knows what a vegan diet consists of. However, she did just fine, and her dairy was not taken from her – she still had her milk and cheese. :) And, I did fine too, even though I gave up caffeine, alcohol and sugar (I did eat fruits), in addition. Interestingly, I craved sugar more than anything else. Here are some highlights from the week…to inspire you…
White bean soup with baked crispy kale (this bowl has parmesan cheese – my bowl did not). Super creamy, yummy and satisfying soup served with a side of hearty walnut bread. Made for a great school lunch the next day and we made an extra large vat that lasted a few days. Continue reading