Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Recipe’

Cookbook Review – Cooking Light Comfort Food

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

I like comfort food.  Mac and cheese, pot pies, apple crips, meatloaf etc.  But I don’t make these foods frequently, and when I do I usually make mine on the healthier side.  It’s just how I cook.  So sometimes I was a bit surprised when reading Cooking Light Comfort Foods: Home Cooked, Delicious Classics Made Light by the nutritional information and label of “light” for a recipe that still has 10 grams of fat and 50 grams of carbs.  But most recipes give a reason why it’s lighter than the classic version which is helpful to those who fry cook, use lots of oil, full fat dairy and fatter cuts of meat.  Suppose that’s why comfort foods are so flavorful  and hearty and well loved?.  That said, there are some tasty recipes in Cooking Light’s Comfort Foods, and it never claimed to be a diet book.  So if you don’t already make these foods on the lighter side or need a new version of your grandma’s strawberry shortcake, then this is a good guide to get you cooking lighter.  I made…

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

I thought making this soup would wreck my oven.  The cooking is done in the oven rather than the stovetop like most soups.  I was quite worried the mixture would bubble and overflow on my oven bottom (I even put a pan under), but luckily it didn’t happen.  This was good as a soup with grilled cheese sandwich points, and I would even use it over pasta (and not use add milk, as shown above).  It was hearty and had a bit of a tang from the vinegar.  It was a bit spicy for my youngest.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was a classic chocolate chip cookie.  Of course best warm right out of the oven.  Nothing new here – sugar, butter, all purpose flour.  They came out nice and round and held shape rather than spreading (when using more buter).  Called for fewer chocolate chips than I’m used to, which my kids noticed, but still liked.

Buttermilk Pancakes

These were a hit.  These pancakes puffed up and cooked quite easily.  I substitute the usual syrup and butter topping with yogurt and fruit. Yum.

Overall Book Review

Pros: Foods that are classic and mainstream for all tastes.  Lighter versions of some classically guilt induced foods. Helpful nutritional information and comparisons to non light versions.  An appetizing color photo for just about every recipe.

Cons: Not as light as they could be.  Some of these recipes are pretty basic – you may feel like you’re competing with your family favorites (grandma’s secret recipes).

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A Few Green Items of Late…

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Green Item #1

My children have a subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine.  It’s full of stories, facts and games about animals, people and places.  There’s also a recipe in each.  My daughter kept asking about a St. Patrick’s shake in the March issue.  There were many things in the recipe I don’t usually buy or make such as lime yogurt and limeade.  But today I said we were going to make our own green smoothie.  We used some of the ingredients as suggested and added and subtracted a few to make it more healthy and less complex.  When my son saw the spinach leaves going in, he was certainly suspect.  However he was first to drink it up and ask for another glass.  Here’s what I did…

Green Snoothie

1 frozen organic banana, cut into 3 – 4 pieces

2 organic kiwis, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 cup plain organic yogurt

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 handful (about 1/2 cup) spinach leaves

1/2 cup organic orange juice

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.  

(My kids commented on the kiwi seeds.  If you add more juice you’ll be able to strain seeds.)

Green Item #2

The Avocado Pit

I finally got an avocado pit to successfully split and sprout.  I remembered doing it as a kid and saw it recently in my daughter’s preschool class.  However until now, I hadn’t been able to sprout one on my own.  I found out the water needs to be changed and I think that made the difference.  So now, I need to know what to do next.  Replant?  When and in what?  Can someone out there advise please?

Green Item #3

 

Obscene (looking) fava bean

I just had to share this.  There’s actually a more obscene image that I’m too embarassed to post.  Many things in my deck garden have not grown to potential this year, such as our tomatoes.  However we planted a few fava beans and we now have 3 huge stalks, over 5 feet tall.  We’re starting to get beans too.  Now we’re just waiting for Jack to come up or a giant to come down.

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The Vegan Weekend – Part 1

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Ellery's giant salad and "pizza"

So my sister came and the corned beef was put away.  Instead I stocked up on vegan sausage and cheeses, vegan “butter” sticks and pleny of fruits and veggies.  I am becoming pleasantly surprised by the vegan recipe choices and products, that are quite tasty.  Many of these items are not as soy based as in the past.  Surprisinlgy wheat gluten, potatoes and veggies make up the vegan sausage.

As my husband was picking up Aunt Christy and Uncle Craig (a.k.a. Unc and Tee Tee) from the airport, I was home with the kids, roasting veggies.   I make these veggies on a regular basis, to create last minute meals during the week.  These are easy to make and great to have on hand for any diet, be it vegan, vegetarian or omnivore.  The veggies (this time red peppers, zucchini, potobello mushrooms) are simply cleaned,  cut, oiled (I use olive) and seasoned (I use rosemary salt, pepper and fresh thyme and rosemary) and roasted in the oven on a baking pan on 400F for about 30 minutes.  These can be added to pasta, salad, couscous, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, and the list goes on and on…

During out weekend we went out to eat twice.  Often going out is a challenge for someone on a restricted diet be it food allergies, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian etc.   Once we went for chinese food at Feng Nian in Sausalito (lots of veggie options and yummy meat and seafood dishes for the carnivores) and the other time we went to Cafe Gratitude.  This place is vegan heaven.  They “celebrate the aliveness of food”.   I’d had their food at the farmer’s market, but never been to the restaurant and was waiting to take my sister.  All the ingredients are organic, local and sustainable.  They even have their own farm.  The food is wonderful.  However the ambance is lacking.  Kind of like eating in your college deli/bookstore.  I think take-out and a trip to the park for a picnic will be my choice next time.  My sister appreciated the food and effort and enjoyed being able to look at a menu and be able to choose anything.  And did I mention all the names of the menu items are affirmations, such as “I am Wonderful” or “I am Refreshed”?  Here’s a few photos, as the food is quite inventive and beautiful.  My daughter had a “pizza” on homemade cracker bread, called “I am Passionate” (above photo).  She liked it but it was a bit messy for her.  My sister and I shared these lovely spring rolls, wrapped in some type of kale leaves as well as yummy indian biryani quinoa dish (“I am Graceful”). My brother in law had a rich black bean mexican inspired dish (Yo Soy Mucho”).  My son had a comforting, sweet porridge with coconut and dried fruits (“I am Bright Eyed”).  However my husband got the short end.  The waiter recommended the “I am Giving” salad of kale and seaweed with miso sauce, and my husband bit.  We weren’t sure why as he is not a huge kale and seaweed fan.  This was the dish that makes people think “vegan” = funky food.  Yes, it was different, but fun.  Even the inside of the bowls ask, “What are you thankful for?”

Springrolls, vegan style

quinoa curry bowl

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Snow or Bust

Monday, January 4th, 2010

snowman

We made it to the snow!  Every year we have plans to go, but someone gets sick or we’re not brave enough to make the drive in a storm (my husband and I have many stories of getting stuck in the snow).  My six year old was excited from the get go.  He was up for it all sledding, learning to ski, eating icicles, catching snowflakes, etc.  My daughter, age three had never seen snow.  I thought it would be quite interesting.  She only wears ballet clothes (whether it’s dance day or not) and does not like long sleeves, outerwear and cold.  I had a feeling I’d be inside with her while my husband and son snow enjoy the great outdoors.  

 

I planned on a game marathon with her and cooking some hearty slow foods.  Whenever I think of snow I think of chili and soups.  Yum!  However, she proved me wrong.  She loved the snow – after the initial shock that it is cold and turtlenecks and snow suits are made for a reason.  She even wanted to go to ski school like big brother.  And we all had too many hot chocolates in the lodge not to have fun.  I have a feeling we’ll be heading up again soon. 

 

I made and brought my white bean and chicken chili for this trip.  It’s an easy make ahead dish for transporting in an ice chest and makes enough for hungry people for lunch or dinner after snow play.  You can make this without the chicken too for the vegetarian skiiers.

 

White Bean and Chicken Chili (from Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry)

The origin of this recipe is from San Francisco Flavors, by the San Francisco Junior League. The original is great, but not many parents with small children have two hours to allow a stew to cook, let alone remember to soak dried beans overnight. The prep time is reduced in this recipe by using canned beans and sautéing the cooked chicken in the spices to soak up additional flavor that would come out from the slow-cooking process. You can reduce your time further if you have leftover chicken on-hand or buy pre-cooked chicken and pre-shredded cheese. This version for busy families takes only 35 to 40 minutes from start to finish.

 Makes 12 cups

 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chilies, or 2 fresh chilies, roasted, seeded, and chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 pounds cooked boneless, skinless, organic free-range chicken (can be left over or purchased pre-cooked)

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

2 cups shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese (rBGH free)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, cloves, and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Mix in chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Add beans and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.

 Transfer 1 cup of the broth to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Stir cornstarch mixture back into pot, cover, and cook another 5 minutes, stirring, to thicken.

 Add 1 cup of the cheese to the pot and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining cheese.

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe

Monday, November 16th, 2009

While our carved Halloween pumpkins are gone, we were delivered a beautiful 3 lb sugar pie pumpkin in our veggie box.  My son said “let’s make pie!”  He doesn’t really get that the pumpkin is just one ingredient in a pumpkin pie.  I said we’d bake the pumpkin but not today.  Well it was a whole week until “not today”, became “I better cook this thing”.  It is really easy to cook and make fresh puree, however to be honest 95% of the time, I buy canned organic pumpkin.  (Nutritionsist say the vitamins and nutrients are the same for canned pumpkin vs fresh and that’s why I don’t bother.)  But it is fun.  Plus now with the thought of BPA lining in canned goods, I thought the health scales are tipping to homemade.

 

From my 3 lb pumpkin, I now have 3 cups of lovely puree.  (This would be a perfect puree for baby).  I’m having a hard time deciding how to use the puree – pumpkin bread, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars and on and on.  I’m sure I’ll decide soon and be baking more sugar pies in the next few weeks, stay tuned…

 Here’s what I did…

golden baked pumpkin

golden baked pumpkin

 

surprised how easy to peel

surprised how easy to peel

ready for seed removal

ready for seed removal

success -  pumpkin puree

success - pumpkin puree

 

Pumpkin Puree

You can cook the pumpkin whole if a small pumpkin (3 – 4 lbs).  If using a larger one, cut in half or quarters and place cut down on oiled baking sheet.

Makes about 3 cups

3 – 4 lb. sugar pie pumpkin

Set oven to 350F.  Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and lightly oil.

Pierce whole pumpkin with a sharp knife.

Bake pumkpin in oven 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until knife pierced through to seeds easily.

When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin using your fingers or a paring knife.  Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and fibers.

Place pieces of pumpkin flesh in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and porcess until smooth.  It make take a few minutes of processing and then stopping to scrape sides for all to become blended and smooth.

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Breakfast for Dinner (with Organic Yogurt Pancakes For Kids Recipe)

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

Before we were parents my husband and I would sometimes skip dinner (both had a big lunch, out) or just have a glass of wine with a baguette and some yummy cheese. My roommate in college sometimes had a bowl of ice cream for dinner. And I meet plenty of new parents who are intimidated to cook for their children in the first place because their own dinners are often eating take out meals standing in the kitchen.

But once you have kids that are old enough to eat your food and hear your philosophy about healthy meals and eating habits, that freedom is lost. It’s not that you want to revert back to some poor eating habits all the time, but maybe once a month or year. It just doesn’t happen – kids want and need a meal. Plus you are the one cooking it and setting a good example.

If you’re a parent who’s tired of coming up with creative ideas for your family dinner together…take a break. Be a hero and announce to your kids you’re having “breakfast for dinner”. This usually is welcomed with squeals of delight. I’m not advocating a cereal dinner (although I know a few parents who have that on the rotation for those really difficult days) but how about family favorites you only make on the weekends such as pancakes or a cheesy omelet (which also happens to make great use of left-over veggies and meat)?.

My kids and I (Dad was out) had these pancakes tonight with an impromptu veggie cheese omelet and side of fruit and everyone was happy.

Organic Yogurt Pancakes

1 cage free organic egg, slightly beaten
2/3 cup organic yogurt – plain or favorite flavor*
2/3 cup organic milk or soy milk
3/4 cup organic unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Expeller pressed canola oil to prevent sticking

In a medium bowl, mix together egg and yogurt until smooth. Add milk, flour and salt. Mix until batter is smooth. If batter is too thin, add more flour.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Spray cooking oil in bottom of skillet, or drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the pan. When oil is hot and sizzles, drop quarter cup fulls of batter into pan. Leave enough room around each heart to turn easily. Cook one to two minutes and watch for bubbles to form on the surface before flipping with a spatula. Cook another one to two minutes on other side until cooked through, and lightly browned on each side.

Top with fresh organic berries, yogurt and/or maple syrup.

Makes 10, four inch pancakes.

*If you choose a flavored yogurt such as strawberry or raspberry, the batter will take on a bit of color. Pancakes will also be sweeter than using plain yogurt.

~
See also Lisa’s No Yolking Around – Organic Pancakes for Kids Recipe
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Runaway Pancake (a Rand McNally Junior Elf Book), Ben Williams 1956
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Happy Mother’s Day! (with Organic Greek Frittata Recipe)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

There seems to be three camps of moms on mother’s day…one that likes to celebrate with family, one that likes to celebrate without and one that tries to juggle both.

The first like to be surrounded and reminded of their children and their own parents – getting multiple generations together for usually brunch or dinner. Then there are those (usually with young children) who like to take the day off from being a mommy. Many I know do a relaxing spa day alone or with other mom girlfriends and then go to a romantic dinner with their spouses. The ones that like to try to fit everything and everyone in (like their daily life) tell me they’re doing a lunch or spa without children in the morning and then are joined for a family celebration in the evening.

If you’re a Dad – ask your wife what she’d prefer. One year I celebrated mother’s day by shopping by and for myself. I thought it would be nice and relaxing but it was so depressing. I watched families going into restaurants for brunch and missed my husband and kids (they had a fun day without me!) and also missed my own mom who doesn’t live close by. I came home and said I never wanted to do Mother’s Day alone again. Of course I like the alone time – just give me the day off before or after.

Anyways if you’re lucky enough to celebrate with your own mom and family, here’s a lovely and easy fritatta recipe to make at home. And if you’re in the mood for someone else to make brunch, make reservations fast (OpenTable.com can help). If you live in the Bay Area I would suggest Foreign Cinema. They have a wonderful brunch, excellent mimosas and bellinis for mom, and a great 3 course children’s menu.

Happy Mother’s Day! (Here’s a photo of my mom with my daughter)

Organic Greek Frittata
A frittata is an easy, yet elegant dish, to serve for friends and family – perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch. Adding couscous to the frittata makes it heartier, and gives the eggs a bit of a crust. Cut the frittata into wedges and your children will think it’s an egg pie.

1/2 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon water – divided

1/3 cup uncooked couscous

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 cage-free, organic eggs

2 teaspoons expeller pressed canola oil

1/3 cup slivered oil packed sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped nicoise or kalamata olives

1/4 cup diced organic onion

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan bring ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in couscous, remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff and separate with fork.

Combine the 1 tablespoon water, salt, pepper, and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk together. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, olives, and onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in couscous and egg mixture. Level mixture with rubber spatula. Sprinkle cheeses over top. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until set and cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges with knife or pizza cutter.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Tiny Feet © Orangeline | Dreamstime.com
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Kids on a Plane (with Organic Snack Recipes)

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

So we’re headed to the East Coast to visit family (and see a Red Sox game). It will be great once we get there. However anyone ever traveling with (or unluckily, near) small children knows how touchy and anxious the plane flight can be. Even if you’ve packed all the old favorite (and new) books, games, stickers, toys, DVD’s, etc. it may still not work for a child who is confined for more than an hour.

I’ve been stockpiling and preparing snacks now that only peanuts and “cereal bars” are the only edibles offered any more (unless you are flying first class). And you can’t bring in liquids, gels and other food type textures (forget the yogurt, hummus dip and apple sauce). Some of the items in our (large!) carry-on include: bananas, apples, carrot sticks, trail mix, dried spicy peas, yogurt covered raisins, and fig bars. In addition here are a few recipes for things my children (and husband and I) will enjoy en route. In addition I’m sure we’ll be buying food (an actual meal) in the airport (an activity for the lay-over, right?)

Organic Cherry Almond Granola
This is from my baking friend, fellow mom and food blogger Amy Andrews. It is the perfect crunchy snack for on-the-go packing or enjoyed at home in your child’s favorite cereal bowl with milk. It also makes the perfect top layer for a yogurt parfait.

Makes 5 ½ cups

Granola base
2 cups organic rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup organic sliced almonds
1/2 cup organic unsweetened grated coconut
3 tablespoons organic flax meal
1 cup dried cherries

Granola syrup
2 tablespoons organic, expeller pressed canola oil
3 tablespoons organic agave nectar
3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper. In large bowl combine the oats, almonds, coconut, and flax meal.

In small bowl whisk together canola oil, agave nectar and maple syrup. Add the vanilla and salt. Pour over oat mixture and stir with wooden spoon to combine.

Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet pan and spread to an even layer. Bake for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes until golden in color. Remove cookie sheet pan from oven and add the dried cherries. Stir to combine and let cool. (At home, enjoy as a topping to organic yogurt or as a cereal with your favorite milk or nut milk.) Store airtight.

Organic Apple Crisps
An alternative to boring potato chips, this simple treat satisfies a child’s need for crunch. Having a mandolin provides convenience and accurate cuts for even baking. However a careful, steady knife works as well. The apples crisp because of the low heat which dries out the moisture. Once in the oven these need no attention (just remember to turn off the oven overnight), until it’s time to pack them (or eat) them in the morning.
Makes about 48 apple crisps.

2 large organic apples such as Fuji or Braeburn
2 tablespoon evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir together evaporated cane juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Using a mandolin or a steady hand cut the apple vertically in to 1/8 inch thick rounds. You do not need to core or peel the apple. The seeds will fall out or can easily be removed from apple slices once cut.

Place apple slices on baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven and cook for 1½ hours. Rotate pan and cook an additional hour. Turn off heat and leave pan with apples in the oven overnight if not dry and crisp.

Loosen chips with a spatula to remove from parchment paper.

Tip:
Shake it Up! The easiest way to lightly and evenly sprinkle sugars and spices is to transfer to a spice shaker. Having a specially marked shaker for cinnamon and sugar saves time when making other snacks such as cinnamon toast or spicing up plain yogurt. This is also a “neat” way to get children to help with decorating and flavoring tasks.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Ripe Oats © James Virgin | Dreamstime.com
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Popeye Puree (Organic Spinach For Kids Recipe)

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

popeye

From Lisa Barnes

Today’s children probably don’t even know Popeye, but most adults remember him fondly chugging those cans of spinach. No wonder everyone thinks spinach is wet, gray, and tasteless. Here’s the real deal—very sweet and packed with vitamins.

Makes 12 to 14 (1-ounce) servings

1 bunch organic spinach, or 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen organic spinach

Separate leaves and trim from stalks. To clean spinach of all the sand and grit, fill a sink or large basin with lukewarm water. Plunge leaves into sink and swish under water. The silt and sand will sink to the bottom, leaving you with clean leaves.

Steamer Method: Place spinach leaves in a steamer basket set in a pot filled with about 1 to 2 inches of lightly boiling water. Do not let water touch spinach. Cover tightly for best nutrient retention and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and bright green. Rinse spinach in cold water to stop cooking.

Puree spinach in a food processor. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid to make the puree smoother and adjust consistency.

Microwave Method: Place spinach in a microwave-safe dish. Add 2 tablespoons water and cover tightly, allowing a corner to vent. Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir spinach. Re-cover and cook for 1 minute, or until wilted and bright. Cool spinach and proceed with directions above.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons
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Hearty Organic Oatmeal Cut Outs for Valentine’s Day Recipe

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

heartycookies1.jpg

From Lisa Barnes

It’s Valentine’s Day and time to make something to decorate for my son’s preschool class. To be honest I’m not very crafty. I don’t draw well (although I like to color), nor do I yield a mighty glue gun or a glitter pen. When it’s my turn to participate it’s always going to be food. I can’t help it – it’s what I know and how I show some creativity. Here’s what I’ll be making for class on Thursday. I’ll bring the plain cookies, then squeeze bottles of icing and some sprinkles and crushed candy canes that the kids can decorate with. Wish me luck. (Especially since my 19 month old will be with me to “help” the big kids). Happy V-Day!

Hearty Oatmeal Cut Outs

This was inspired by my son’s Great Big Backyard animal magazine – with a few changes, sugars, flours and the addition of naturally pink (thanks to cranberry juice) colored frosting. My son brought these to share with his preschool class to represent the letter “H” for hearts. Feel free to use other shapes, but those with less detail (circle, heart, star) work the best because of the oatmeal pieces.

Makes 35, 3” hearts
Icing yields 1/3 cup

1 ¼ cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup raw organic turbinado sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted organic butter, melted
2/3 cups organic milk

Icing:

1 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic cranberry juice
1 teaspoon organic milk

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda and spices. Stir in sugar, butter and milk until well mixed. You may need to knead dough together. Form into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll with rolling pin until ¼ inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and arrange on baking prepared sheet about 1 ½ inches apart. Bakes about 10 – 12 minutes until golden on bottoms.

Cool completely on a wire rack then frost if desired.

Combine all icing ingredients in a small bowl. Using a small spreader or squeeze bottle ice the hearts with stripes, dots, outlined or covered.
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
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