Cacio e Pepe, A Taste of Rome

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe collage

Learning how to cook an Italian classic.

 

This is one of those recipes that is so easy it hardly even needs a recipe. It has a list of 3 ingredients (maybe four, but more on that later) and is just only slightly more complicated than boiling pasta. But despite it’s basic-ness Cacio e Pepe one of the most delicious and satisfying pasta dishes ever dreamed up. In fact, when my husband and I were in Rome this last summer we of course made it a point to eat as much great food as possible (no surprise there). Despite the many absolutely amazing meals we had, the one we returned to on our last night (and we were both in total agreement) was a bowl of Cacio e Pepe, a slow-roasted porchetta sandwich, a simple salad and a glass of wine from a little stand down by the Tevere which was set up as part of a summer festival along the river. Last meal in Rome? No contest. Okay maybe dining al fresco by the light of a full moon, bathed in the special magic of one of our favorite cities had something to do with it, but the food really was perfect.  Continue reading

Buckwheat Crepes (Galettes), Savory or Sweet

Buckwheat Crepes_France by a Little Yumminess

Buckewhat Crepes_A Little Yumminess

 

We really love this buckwheat crepe (galette) recipe from the always excellent David Lebovitz — it’s a little less eggy and a bit more crisp and delicate than other crepe recipes we have tried and we love the deep color and the nuttiness from the buckwheat. I’ve made this recipe so, so many times over the years, but realized that I have never shared it here on the blog. Now is the perfect time, with that foggy chill in the air and major cravings for cozy foods like cheese and chocolate setting in. Crepe season is here! Continue reading

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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Snack Time: Chilli Cheese Toasties

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We are currently addicted to this “Indian” variation of a simple grilled cheese sandwich.  It’s always fun to take something familiar and mix it up just a little bit.  We enjoyed these cheese toasts recently before a family hike and they kept us satisfied as we got some exercise and fresh air.  It was also a fun little cooking project with the little one.  For kids, feel free to omit the chillies altogether – the tomatoes, onions and herbs are enough of a twist.  Another thing we like about this recipe is that you can make multiple cheese toasts at one time by using a sheet tray and the oven, versus slaving over each grilled cheese over the stove.  This is the perfect after school snack for a playdate.

Next time we make these, we are going to try different types of cheeses – goat cheese, gruyere, mozzarella or perhaps even some fontina.  Or maybe even a variety of leftover cheeses that seem to always languish in our fridge.  Another yummy addition could be finely chopped colorful bell peppers.

A throwback to my childhood that I had forgotten all about…excited to have it back :)!
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A New Collaboration with Bay Area Parent & Chicken Piccata (A Classic Kid-Friendly Recipe for Spring!)

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Chicken Piccata Collage_A Little Yumminess

We’re very excited to announce a new collaboration with Bay Area Parent. As all of you moms and dads in the area already know, it’s a super handy print and online resource for finding activities, classes, kid-friendly events, and even summer camps — not to mention lots of useful articles on a whole variety of parenting issues from “kids and cell phones” to “finding the perfect preschool”.

Each month we’ll be contributing our favorite easy, kid-friendly recipes for Bay Area Parent’s “Feeding Your Family” column. For our first article for the April issue we chose a light and fresh take on chicken piccata. Our version stays classic with the tangy flavors of lemon and capers, but we’ve ditched the cream to make it a lighter and more everyday recipe. Hands down this is one of our favorite dishes to make whenever that craving for zingy lemon hits…. and it’s a perfect meal to welcome spring, especially when you serve it alongside tender, bright green asparagus.

Click here for our “Light and Fresh Chicken Piccata” recipe on the Bay Area Parent website as well as a Q&A about how Simran and I got started together on this foodie adventure as well as some thoughts about cooking with and for kids. Stay tuned….Simran and I are already hard at work fine-tuning some great recipes for future issues!

Dinner in a Blink: Pasta with Chèvre, Asparagus & Mint

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I love Jamie Oliver, but I was cursing him as my attempt to make his recipe for ravioli with minted-asparagus, potatoes and mascarpone went up in flames this last weekend. I wont get into details other than to say that the whole thing ended up being a real big mess and I was nearly forced to go to my Jamie Oliver-themed potluck party empty handed (I substituted with his easy and excellent “Chocolate Pots” at the 11th hour. When in doubt, bring chocolate!). Despite my ill-fated ravioli-making endeavor, I really can’t stay mad at Jamie because the combination of flavors inspired by his recipe — tangy-creamy chèvre, sweet asparagus, and bright herbs — is quite wonderful and works perfectly as a quick and delightfully spring-y pasta dish that comes together nearly as quickly as boxed mac and cheese. This combo would be equally great on crostini, as a topping for pizza or melted inside a grilled panini.

BTW: I’ll make sure to nudge Simran to share the recipe for Jamie’s ricotta and herb stuffed mushrooms that she made for the potluck — they were great!

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Slow-Cooker Yumminess: Soy-Simmered Chicken

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I am generally not a fan of the slow cooker, unless I am using it to “slow-finish” dishes I have started on the stove-top.  That way I get the caramelization from the high heat and the benefit of a long-“slow cook”.  Very few dishes work, cooked almost entirely in the slow-cooker, but this one does. One can dump it in the slow-cooker and then forget about it.  You can pan-fry the chicken pieces if you want to, but omitting that step is totally OK too.  This dish can be made on the stove top as well, but the slow cooker just makes it easier and the chicken comes out super fork-tender.

The potatoes I added to our dish were a super hit and everyone was fighting over them.  Just because I always like a bit of heat, we also added about a tablespoon of Sriracha.  And we prefer thighs over chicken breast, though the recipe allows for both.  Enjoy with some fluffy white or brown rice and a big side of your favorite vegetables.

Our little ones are fans of this dish and Stacie and I had a great time tweaking this recipe for our bi-weekly San Jose Mercury article.
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Rotisserie Chicken Magic: Hainanese Chicken Rice

chicken rice

New Year.  New Beginnings.  New Projects.

We are on a brand-new mission to make daily meals easier by taking a store bought rotisserie chicken and turning it into a delicious, international-themed family meal.  For our first project, we turned the rotisserie chicken into a favorite of mine: Hainanese Chicken Rice from Singapore.  The whole family loved this meal – it’s tough to go wrong with chicken and rice, plus your favorite greens with some killer condiments.  Definitely not as good as the real thing one gets in Singapore, but it hits the spot when the craving hits – with minimal effort.  If you have any ideas on what else we can turn a rotisserie chicken into – send them our way.  We are super excited about our “Rotisserie Chicken Magic” project.

Stacie and I have made Hainanese Chicken Rice from scratch before and should you want to try the “real recipe”, it is on our blog.  This recipe below, we created for the San Jose Mercury Food and Wine section and they featured it this past weekend in their “Fast and Furious Weeknight Cooking” – a bi-weekly column that we write for the paper.  Another project we are LOVING!
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World Bento Tour: Middle East

BMezzeento by A Little Yumminess_Middle Easten Mezze

This bento makes one hell of a delicious and satisfying meal.  It’s also a chance to travel with your kids to the Middle East and talk to them a little bit about the countries that make up the Middle East.  This is partly why we try and eat food from around the world – because it gives us a chance to talk to our little ones about other countries and cultures, while we enjoy their cuisines. Continue reading

Spectacular Garlic Miso Chicken Wings

miso wings

Little fingers love chicken wings and this recipe from one of our favorite blogs Just One Cookbook, is bound to be a favorite at almost everyone’s home.  It requires some special ingredients like miso and mirin, which everyone may not have at home.  However, the great news is that several regular grocery stores are starting to carry both miso and mirin.  If you are interested at all in any type of Japanese cooking, both these ingredients are staples in Japanese cuisine and a worthwhile addition to your pantry.

From Wikipedia:

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus kōjikin, the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup called misoshiru, a Japanese culinary staple. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking, and has been gaining world-wide interest. Miso is typically salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. 

Mirin is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine. It is a kind of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. The sugar content is a complex carbohydrate formed naturally via the fermentation process; it is not refined sugar. The alcohol content is further lowered when the liquid is heated.

We have just started experimenting with using miso and have so far used it on a broiled tofu for “Vegan Monday” and also a killer ginger miso dressing for salads.

These delectable wings were served as part of a rice bowl with vegetables, pickles, avocado and of course some Indonesian sambal for that spicy kick for the grown-ups.

Garlic Miso Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 10 chicken wings (or any parts of chicken)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Miso – Nami uses awase miso (red & white mixed), we used just white miso
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin

Method

  1. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towel. Prick the chicken with a fork and put it in a Ziploc bag.
  2. Mince the garlic and combine it with miso in a small bowl.
  3. Add the mixture into the Ziploc bag and rub it all over the chicken from outside the bag. Keep in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours (preferably overnight).
  4. About 3 hours before cooking, add soy sauce and mirin in the bag and mix well. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
  5. Line the bottom of broiler pan with aluminum foil (so that you don’t have to clean later) and oil the broiler rack.  Place the chicken on the broiler rack skin side down first.  Turn the broiler on high (no preheat) and place the broiler rack 6 inch away from the top (middle oven rack) and broil for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.  Then flip the chicken (now skin side is up) and broil for another 10 minutes.  The cooking time will vary depending on the oven.
  6. If you use other parts of chicken like chicken thigh or breast, preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place the meat on top.  Bake for 30 minutes or more depending on the part you use.  Turn the chicken over half way during cooking process. Serve immediately.

Some other yummy chicken wing recipes and a chicken wing food adventure from our blog….

Icky-sticky chicken wings

Wings from Hot Sauce and Panko in the Richmond

Soy Dijon Chicken Wings

Iam Knauer’s Sticky Balsamic-Glazed Drumettes