Summer Cooking To-Do List

Summer Cookin

Summer Cookin' 2015

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

Kids in the Kitchen: A Birthday Cake for Grandpa

ricotta raspberry cake

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.
Continue reading

Teacher Gift: Spice Mixes


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

Sides We Love: Green Beans with Sesame Dressing

greenbeans with sesame dressing

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

The Most Requested Meal

Salmon by Luca-A Little Yumminess

Using the ricer

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

A Week of Eating Vegan….

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

Rick Bayless’ Garlic-Lime Mojo Popcorn with Cilantro & Queso Anejo

Rick Bayless_Mojo Popcorn by a Little Yumminess

I’m always on the lookout for interesting savory snacks and this is one of the best ones I’ve come across in a long, long while. You’ve got the tangy-savory flavors of lime and garlic infused olive oil that you use for both popping and seasoning the popcorn, then you top things off with a salty, crumbly Mexican cheese (such as queso anejo) and a generous amount of finely chopped cilantro for a bit of brightness. I would also suggest adding a little chile flake (Japanese togarashi would be nice) to the mix if you’re a fan of heat.  Continue reading