Category

Home Made

1
Feb
2016

Plant-Powered Families

A couple of weeks ago I had braces put in and I've inadvertently become a vegetarian. My teeth hurt so much, it has put a clamp on meat eating for a while. After days of being on a smoothie/soup diet, things got serious as I needed more calorie dense (but healthy) diet that was soft enough for me to chew. That where "Plant-Powered Families"* by Dreena Burton came in. "Plant-Powered Families" has over 100 kid-friendly, whole-foods vegan recipes and I found it useful to rally the troops to get them on board with eating more fruits and vegetables. Whether you're thinking of dabbling in veganism or just want to add more plant-based dishes to your daily diet, "Plant-Powered Families" is a healthy resource.
28
Dec
2015

Lobster Linguine & Champagne Cocktail: Easy Recipes for the New Year

The Itty Bitty Foodies won't be staying up past midnight this New Year's Eve but that doesn't mean there won't be a celebratory meal to ring in the New Year. There's nothing like lobster to jazz up a simple pasta dish to make it into festive family meal. This lobster linguine is another one of fast and fancy recipes that can be made by beginner chefs. If you can, use fresh pasta and herbs and be generous with the butter. After all... diet only starts on the first of the New Year. For those who love their bubbles, I've also slipped in a quick Bees Knees Royale Champagne cocktail recipe at the end of this recipe. Cheers to a New Year!
11
Oct
2015

How to slow cook duck legs

Cooking duck legs is deceptively easy and yet it's so intimidating for many because it's considered "fancy food". We love eating gourmet food but as a family of five always on the go, we need a quick recipe (at least with very little prep time). Using the slow cooker is the best way to cook duck legs especially if you're a beginner chef. This easy weeknight dinner recipe allows me to put all the ingredients in the Crockpot and then forget about it till we come home for dinner. Here's a basic recipe on how to slow cook duck legs but I've added an Asian flair to it by using soy sauce and a few Asian spices. Just know that you need about 1/2 cup of liquid in the slow cooker so if you're not up for soy sauce, substitute it with a simple broth and add your own vegetables in the last 30 minutes. It goes to show that you don't need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to eat well. Once you've figured out your slow cooking, you'll be Crockin' it!
2
Oct
2015

Easy Baked Frittata Recipe

Weekends should be leisurely and relaxed. Our Itty Bitty Foodies are crazy about eggs and we love this easy baked frittata recipe. "Frittata" meaning "fried" in Italian is usually done in a skillet and then finished off in the oven. We had such a positive response with our Oven "Fried" Chicken Wings, we decided give this recipe a healthy tweak and do more baking than frying. Frittatas are a great way to add more vegetables in our diet as well as help clear out the fridge of odds and ends. Have a few leftover rashes of bacon or a few handfuls of spinach? Toss it in. Found a lone zucchini you didn't know what to do with? No problem. The recipe is flexible, so get your kids to add in what they like and get them cooking with you in the kitchen. This 'everything but the kitchen sink' recipe is excellent for beginner cooks. Here's what we added in our frittata recipe.
13
Sep
2015

Easy oven fried chicken wings

Football season is here and it's Cowboys fever at our household. Whether it's Friday nights lights or Sunday night football, it all equates to one thing for me: fried chicken wings. Our boys can eat their weight in chicken wings so I make it healthier with this oven fried chicken wings recipe. Chicken wings already have high fat content and my version uses very little oil as opposed to the traditional fried version. The skin comes out crisp and it's just as delicious hot or cold. This recipe is great for tailgating, a quick weeknight recipe or weekend picnics. As with all Itty Bitty Foodies recipes we try to keep prep time low and it's so easy the children can make it themselves.
10
Aug
2015

Healthy Caprese Lollipops

Summer months are tomato season. Whether you're buying from your local farmers market or at the store, this is the time to enjoy this summer fruit. Botanically, tomatoes are fruits because it contains seeds of the plants. Vegetables are edible parts of the plant but in cooking, most of us see tomatoes are vegetables as they are used in savory dishes. This weekend, our kids made Caprese Lollipops armed with a basket of mini heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil leaves from our garden and a mozzarella ball. The recipe is easy like summer should be and our kids will feel great because they made the family meal.
6
Aug
2015

Thrive Market $1000 shopping spree

It has never made sense to me that food that is unprocessed, unaltered and natural costs so much. It makes eating healthier so challenging especially for families. This is one of the reasons why we're excited to partner with Thrive Market, a new online marketplace with a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. Thrive Market works like Costco with an annual membership and offers wholesale prices (25-50% less than retail) except it only sells healthy, natural and organic products. Read on for your chance to win a Thrive Market $1000 Shopping spree and get a free trial month and 25% off your first order.
9
Jul
2015

Grilled Bananas with Chocolate

Grilled bananas you ask? We've all eaten cooked bananas in desserts like Bananas Foster or banana cake but until recently I never thought of grilling bananas. This recipe is from my grill-extraordinaire husband who made this when he was growing up. It's great for camping trips or summer cookouts. With just two ingredients, grilled bananas with chocolate is simple and quick. We let our Itty Bitty Foodies choose their favorite chocolate bar and then they make their own. With all the cooking out we're doing during summer, this grilled bananas with chocolate is a no-brainer recipe. Just throw them on the 'barbie'. Here's what you need:
18
Jun
2015

English peas pasta with lemon and mint

As the weather heats up, our suppers are becoming lighter. This English peas pasta recipe is brightened with hints of mint and lemon. For summer we want refreshing so we buy fresh on the herbs, pasta and peas. However, we often call on this ’emergency’ recipe and substitute with frozen peas and dried pasta as we have these ingredients in our pantry, most times. If we don’t have fresh mint, we just omit it from the recipe as the dried version pales in comparison. Fresh English peas give an extra bouncy pop than frozen. English peas come in big pods that are easy for the Itty Bitty Foodies to shell. Even 2 year old Googie gets into the prep work. Aside from a quick an great tasting meal, it’s also fun for the whole family to make this English peas pasta with lemon and mint.
8
May
2015

How to make the perfect boiled egg

When it comes to boiled eggs, my Itty Bitty Foodies are like Goldilocks. Half boiled, runny eggs are a "no go" at our home as are hard, over-boiled, eggs with the yellow powdery, dry yolk. They like their eggs just cooked so that the yolk is firm but still orange and moist. Hitting that sweet spot is not easy so Beefcake and I use this method on how to make the perfect boiled egg with consistent results
5
May
2015

Beef and potato wrapped in puff pastry

It seems that every culture has some version of a beef and potato wrapped in pastry food item. Australians have a steak and potato pie, Russians do it in a piroshki, Indians with samosas and Latin Americans have empanadas. Over the weekend, I made the Malaysian version for friends: curried beef and potato wrapped in puff pastry. I used a mild curry powder and the kids loved it. It's always rewarding to see your own kids appreciate your food but a little extra special when other people's children enjoy it so much, they ask to eat the last one. This is an easy recipe and I cheat a little by using puff pastry instead of making my own.
14
Apr
2015

Simple grilled lamb chops recipe

It's cook out weather and we're enjoying every minute of it. This year, Dallas is actually having real spring weather which means the only thing sizzling is on our barbecue grill. We like to entertain friends with this grilled lamb chop recipes. The key is to marinate them for at least 2 hours in advance to infuse all your flavors before popping them on the grill so all your hard work is done by the time your friends arrive.