Mexican food is a favorite around our house so much so that I am constantly looking for new ways to reinvent it for dinner. This is not only a quick and easy recipe for a weeknight dinner, but can be adapted to fit everyone in the family by offering them their favorite taco toppings. The use of marinated chicken thighs, gives the meal a juicy and intensely flavorful touch. I even made extra chicken thighs to use the following day for sandwiches and to top my salad. Quick, Easy and Delicious!
These cute and clever bird's nest cookies are the perfect treat for Easter. Light and airy coconut-filled meringues really look a lot like birds' nests—you can complete the illusion by adding a few egg-shaped Easter candies. We like the Cadbury mini eggs, but malted milk eggs or even jelly beans will work equally well.
The kids love to help make these, and of course love to eat them. These treats are a great addition to Easter baskets, too. Give them a try, and you'll probably find that they earn a spot in your spring baking repertoire.
Lately I've been trying to get a little more creative with my kids' school lunches and try to get out of the turkey sandwich rut. One of the things I've packed recently are these delicious baked chicken fingers. A healthier variation on the deep-fried kids' menu staple, these strips of chicken breast are coated with breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and dried herbs. They're tasty either hot or cold, and so they're perfect for the lunchbox.
I like to use the Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs because they're really light and crispy; you can find them at Trader Joe's or in the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store. Ordinary breadcrumbs will work just fine, though, and homemade ones would of course be outstanding.
The kids love to help make these—just make sure everyone washes their hands after handling raw chicken.
This is an old family recipe originating on the shores of southern Italy. It is simplicity at its best. If you can find ripe tomatoes use those as a substitute to canned plum tomatoes. This is one of those recipes where if your family doesn’t like fish they will love it after they eat this meal. With the kids, have them dunk their bread in the sauce first to get the taste of the salty tomato sauce. One taste and I promise they will clean their plates.
St. Patrick's Day is coming up, and for many that means it's time to cook that quintessential Irish-American dish: corned beef and cabbage. Corned beef—usually a tough cut of meat like brisket or round—requires long, slow, cooking over relatively low heat to make it tender, so it's the perfect candidate for preparing in your slow cooker.
Start your corned beef in the slow cooker early in the day; there's a minimal amount of preparation involved. Some recipes call for adding most of the vegetables at the same time, but we think they turn out a bit overcooked. Instead, add them to the pot during the last two hours of cooking.
With the proliferation of vegetables cooked with the meat, there's something here for everyone in the family. Serve your corned beef accompanied by grainy Dijon mustard, horseradish sauce*, and a gravy** made from the cooking liquid. Also, when it comes to corned beef, bigger is better. Much of the weight of the meat is water, and it shrinks in size during cooking, so budget about one pound of meat per diner for a generous serving and leftovers (think corned beef sandwiches… mmm…). This recipe serves about 4 people, depending on how hungry everybody is.
With St. Patrick's Day coming up, my kids have been asking for Irish food for dinner. Since corned beef and cabbage is not exactly something you throw together after school, I've been making other appropriate dishes like this rib-sticking, easy-to-make, and kid-friendly shepherd's pie. It's essentially a beef-and-vegetable stew topped with mashed potatoes and baked in the oven until golden brown. I topped this version with a little grated Irish white cheddar cheese for a bit more authenticity.
This pub-grub favorite is more correctly known as "cottage pie", since it's made with ground beef instead of leftover roast lamb, but it's delicious regardless of what it's called. I always try to bulk up the stew part with extra vegetables to make it a one-dish meal. My kids love this and even my picky-eater daughter asks for a second helping. Feel free to substitute healthier ground turkey or leftover roast beef or lamb for the ground beef.
This recipe serves 6 to 8, so we usually get two dinners out of it, reheating the leftovers on a weeknight. It actually tastes better after sitting in the refrigerator for a day or two!
It's almost as fun for kids to make their own snacks as it is for them to eat them! This pretzel recipe—adapted from one that my daughter brought home from school—is easy and perfect for small children to help with, and the results are pretty tasty, too. It's a great activity for rainy days and playgroups, too. Why not bake up a batch to eat during the big game this weekend?
They won't look like the dark brown store-bought pretzels, though; that color is achieved by dipping the unbaked pretzels in a lye solution, which is way too dangerous for kids—and adults, for that matter. Here we brush the tops with an egg wash, but if that's a problem you could use milk or even a little olive oil.
This recipe is adapted from a clay-pot chicken recipe. I love clay-pot chicken but I don’t have a clay pot to cook the chicken in so this is my translation of the recipe using a Dutch oven. The first time I had clay-pot chicken was at the Slanted Door in San Francisco. It is so warming and delicious. Charles Phan the owner and executive chef makes his clay-pot chicken with a Vietnamese slant. My recipe it is more Chinese-inspired.
I love it when I find a dish that everyone in the family loves and that's healthy, economical, and easy to make, too. This Chinese-inspired chicken and broccoli stir fry is all of those things. Serve it with some plain rice or Asian noodles and it's a complete dinner that comes together quickly.