Posts Tagged ‘organictobe’

Every Day is a Holiday for Kids – with Organic Lemon Pancake Recipe

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

From LISA BARNES

Think the holiday season takes a break after New Year’s and before July 4th? There’s groundhog day, winter solstice, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, May Day, Cinqo de Mayo, mother’s day, father’s day, and many others (real and imaginative). For children every day is a holiday. That means there are many reasons and excuses to make things special. The best thing about celebrating with children is that they find fun in the little things.

In writing my latest book The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Eat, Drink and Be MerryI reflected a lot about my childhood memories. My mom always made things special with decorations and crafts, especially at holidays. Our Halloween costumes were amazing (think Peter Pan with wired shadow, and Sigmund the sea monster. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t sit in them – we got lots of kudos and the best candy and prizes. St. Patrick’s Day breakfast was dyed, of course, a festive green – from our pancakes to our milk. Our eggs for the Easter egg contest were not simply dyed but then decorated with glitter and noodles.

For me food is a way to celebrate everything – culture, history, seasons, geography. (And to be honest I’m not crafty and can’t sew)…

To celebrate Earth Day I took my children to the local park and we cleaned up trash and wiped down the equipment. Next we picked up some seeds and planted them in pots outside. My daughter placed marigolds, beets, onions and cucumbers in the same pot, so we’ll see what comes up. Perhaps a new varietal of something tasty. Finally we made Earth Day Cookies. What are Earth Day Cookies you ask? Well they’re sugar cookies frosted like the earth. But it could’ve been anything. Call it something festive and ask your kids to decorate it, and something special is created.

We celebrated “Tres de Mayo” this year because my husband was going to be out of town on the real day. I did homemade tacos, beans and rice with all the trimmings. However not wanting to miss Cinqo de Mayo, my kids and I celebrated with nachos for dinner. What could be easier? And yes, it was basically left-overs “repackaged” as a party on a plate. Although my daughter asked “This is just a pile. Is it dinner?” When she saw the veggie platter with her favorite jicama, she was satisfied with the menu.

When my kids are off from school they will sometimes ask if it’s a Lemon Pancake Day. This is a quick and easy giant pancake that’s impressive and sweet for all ages. Quicker than other pancakes, it’s a way to celebrate sleeping in and hanging out in pajamas. See I told you any day could be made into a holiday?

Happy Mother’s Day to all the creative moms out there who make their child’s everyday a special one.

Manny’s Organic Lemon Pancake

Gayle Pirie and John Clark, chef-owners of San Francisco’s Foreign Cinema restaurant and co-authors of “Country Egg, City Egg” developed this recipe to recreate a child comfort food enjoyed on sleep-over mornings.This “dramatic egg pancake” is also known as a Dutch Baby.

3 cage- free, organic eggs
½ cup organic milk
½ cup organic all purpose flour*
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
Juice of half a lemon
Organic confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the flour and salt and whisk until a smooth batter with tiny bubbles is achieved.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. When the butter is hot and begins to sizzle, add the batter, and remove from heat. Place skillet on center rack of oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until pancake is light golden and has risen like a soufflé. The edges will be creeping over the rim of the skillet and be nicely browned.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with lemon juice and a dusting of sugar.

*All-purpose not for All. Not everyone can eat all-purpose flour. I’ve made this recipe successfully with spelt, gluten-free, and rice flours. Use whichever works with your family’s diet and preference.

~

See also Lisa’s two new books out now at local bookstores:

Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods For Kids of all Ages.

~~

Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry and lives in Sausalito, California.

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“Oh. I Don’t Like Green Stuff” with Organic Spinach Hummus Recipe

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

My children’s preschool is revamping their snack offerings to the kids. They weren’t doing a poor job before, but thankfully there is an interest and effort in making improvements and of course getting the best value for the children’s health and the school’s money.

I helped the director review menu items and vendors to provide a variety of fresh, healthy foods including hummus, whole wheat crackers, veggies and dips, edamame, yogurt etc…  For St. Patrick’s Day the school was planning a green menu for snacktime and asked me to make my green hummus. I of course said I’d be happy to. I packed each container for the 4 classes: the mouse class (age 2), the rabbits (age 3), the monkeys (age 4) and the giraffes (age 5).

The teachers were all very appreciative when I dropped by with the hummus. The director and I were secretly wondering how the children would receive the “green dip”.  When I got to my son’s class (the upperclass giraffes) I was greeted by a shout from my son’s friend, “What’s That?!”  The teacher said “look it’s leprechan dip”.  He replied “Oh.  I don’t like green stuff!”  My son said ”Don’t worry Zach.  My mom made it and she doesn’t know any leprechans”.

When I picked up my kids, I was greeted by my daughter (a mouse) who said “I ate all the green dip!”  The teacher said all the kids and teachers really enjoyed it.  Then I saw the director and she summed up the tasting experience which was very interesting.  The younger kids were more likely to try the dip, and then like it and eat it. However the older kids were less likely to try, having a preconceived idea of “green stuff”. When I got to the giraffe class the teachers said about half tried it – mostly the girls. And my son couldn’t get Zach to try it – handmade by leprechan’s or not.

I made some extra for our family, to serve with my other St. Patrick’s favorites, corned beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread.

Organic Spinach Hummus Recipe (from Petit Appetit Eat, Drink and Be Merry)

Is your family ho-hum for hummus? Try this variation using spinach. This is quick and easy dish to perk up a crudité plate for a play group or simply pack with pita points in your child’s lunchbox.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces canned organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic
1 cup packed organic spinach leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pita points or vegetable sticks, to serve

In a blender or food processor, combine chickpeas and garlic and puree until smooth. Add spinach, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend thoroughly. With motor running, gradually add olive oil and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

To make the task even easier, purchase prepackaged organic spinach or baby spinach leaves, but still remember to wash.

*Spinach is on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list and also high in nitrites. Reduce your family’s exposure by buying organic.
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See also Lisa’s two new books out at bookstores and online:

Cooking for Baby: Wholesome, Homemade, Delicious Foods for 6 to 18 Months

Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods For Kids of all Ages.
~~
Lisa Barnes
is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry and lives in Sausalito, California.
OrganicToBe.org
| OrganicToGo.com

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Help! I Have No Kitchen (with Organic Roll Up Recipe)

Monday, March 9th, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

The past month has been a bit kooky in the kitchen. First we were without refrigeration. An ancient sub-zero died and our landlord couldn’t figure out how to remove it  (800 pounds! up three flights in a townhouse). It was an adventure at first. Ice chests for the food and I told the kids it was like camping. But it sure got old trying to dig through all the ice to find the cream cheese (always at the bottom) to make my son’s favorite wrap for school lunch in the morning. For someone who teaches how to create convenience for family cooking by freezing quantities of purees for baby and left-overs of family meals – this was a challenge. Cooking with no leftovers seemed wasteful. Next we had a new refrigerator outside on our deck (no really – waitng for someone to solve the subzero issue). I have a huge appreciation for refrigeration. My friend Kristi joked about my going totally green and how I’m cutting back on electricity by not having a refrigerator. She even found this article in the NY Times about people giving up their refrigerator by choice. Now that’s a commitment.

In December we bought a fixer house and have been remodeling the kitchen and baths (as green as possible but we’ll have appliances).  With a move in date approaching, I’ve been so excited. A new kitchen with a  new refrigerator (not a Sub Zero) inside the actual kitchen.

However as remodels go, there’ve been glitches. We moved in this week and the kitchen wasn’t finished.  However what was working was the new refrigerator. Funny, irony. Now I’m about 6 days in without a range. No problem I thought, I’ll do more raw foods – better for us anyways right? Well it is cold and rainy outside and salads, wraps and cold foods just aren’t comforting like a nice bowl of hot soup.  We’ve been eating out more which is taking a toll (on our wallets and my sanity – taking 2 kids out to eat too often loses its luster).  I just want to cook a hot meal and make a cup of tea and eat from our dishes.

We’ve also been undoing (just temporarily) some of our green habits and eating traditions. We’ve used some plastic utensils and old birthday paper plates, I found when packing. I felt bad and bought biodegradable plates, and bowls and then unpacked the silverware (even though I can’t wash it). We also bought bottled water. I know, the guilt! I just don’t want to drink from the one working sink in the bathroom (I’m sure it’s perfectly fine). But we’re increasing our garage and recyclables without unpacking many dishes (which can’t be washed without a sink). We also ate some food in the bedrooms. This has never happened. We always sit at the dining room table or in the kitchen to eat or drink. It’s just a rule. Of course the kids think it’s pretty cool to eat a granola bar and yogurt in their room for an afternoon snack. I just keep telling myself (and the kids) it’s an adventure and once the workers are out of my kitchen we go back to the table.

So I’ve been questioning which of the three kitchen items I could do without the longest… the range, the refrigerator or the sink? Not having the range makes me more creative. Not having the refrigerator takes me to the store and farmer’s market more often, but at least I’m eating very fresh. Surprisingly I think the sink has been the hardest to go without. Not being able to wash/rinse dishes (my husband joked how about taking them outside in the rain), let alone put them somewhere is hard. Plus there’s the water to drink and cook with (again hard with the bathroom sink). And washing your hands (and little sticky faces).  Boy I realize we use the kitchen sink quite often.

I know I am going to appreciate my kitchen and fixer quite a bit (I hope soon!)

And to add to the chaos my new book Petit Appetit Eat, Drink and Be Merry was released this week.  Here’s my son’s wrap recipe from the book. Luckily there’s a never ending supply of creativity of what can be wrapped up.

Jonas’ Turkey Roll-Up
At the time of this writing my son requests this be packed for school almost every day. The best part is it is simple and can be done in only a few minutes. If my son ever gets out of a rut he’ll realize how versatile this can be too; prosciutto or roast beef slices can be substituted for the turkey. For a veggie option grate or thinly slice veggies such as zucchini, carrots, bell pepper and layer with cheese. I usually make one whole lavosh roll-up for the day, half for my son’s lunchbox and half for my daughter’s on-the-go snack.

1 roll; 2 servings

1 piece lavosh (about 13 × 9 inches)
2 ounces organic Neufchatel cheese
2 ounces thinly sliced organic cooked turkey

Spread lavosh with a layer of cheese. Layer turkey in single layer on cheese.

Starting from narrow side, roll lavosh until you reach the end. You may want to add a small spread of cream cheese to secure roll. Using a sharp knife, make a quick cut in the center of roll. Cut each half in half again. Then each quarter in half, so you have 8 pieces.

Kids Korner Need more glue! My son likes these rolled tightly and packed in his bento-style container. He likes to be sure I spread enough “glue”, a.k.a cream cheese to keep them together without unraveling.
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See also Lisa’s Getting Greener or Getting Fooled – Label Deception
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry [Avail. March 2009], and lives in Sausalito, California.
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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Spinach Shrimpy Fusilli (Organic Recipe)

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

Ask your child to say that ten times, fast. High in protein and iron, this dish is a good way to introduce shrimp into your family’s diet. The pasta is creamy and comforting and really highlights the fresh flavor of the shrimp and spinach.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces uncooked organic fusilli pasta
10 ounces fresh organic spinach leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup sliced organic pearl onions, about 8 to 10
1 1/4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and salt and sauté until shrimp turn pink, 2 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender. Drain well and return hot pasta to cooking pot. Stir in spinach while pasta is hot and allow spinach to wilt.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat, and add onion. Sauté, stirring often, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in broth and lemon zest and cook until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Stir in ricotta cheese until combined. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. Add shrimp and ricotta mixture to pasta and gently toss together.
~
See also Lisa’s Popeye Pureé (Organic Spinach 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, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry [Avail. March 2009], and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Tonobalaguer | Dreamstime.com/
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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Fat Tuesday, with Organic Jambalaya and Citrus Corn Muffins Recipe

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

Before having children my husband and I always managed to celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in the local southern restaurant/bar. We love New Orleans – the people, the jazz, the food, the food, the food….  We haven’t been in a few years (pre Katrina) so we use any excuse to celebrate and bring attention to the great city at our house. Unfortuantely some of our favorite cajun restaurants are gone from San Francisco. If anyone can make a suggestion in the Bay Area, please let me know.

Fat Tuesday at our house will start with my kids and I making festive feather masks and donning our colorful beads. Next we will sit down to one of our favorite meals of jambalaya with corn muffins.  Every night at the dinner table my family has a ritual. Each person (no matter how young) shares three things they are thankful for, along with telling everyone the favorite part of their day. For Fat Tuesday we will be especially thankful and remember the people who lost their family, friends, homes and jobs, and who continue to struggle in the areas hit by Katrina.

Years ago I bought a souvenir cookbook on one of our New Orleans visits. It is very well used with stains and dog eared pages, but it still works great. I changed a favorite jambalaya recipe to one that is child friendly and not too hot (although you can make adjustments) for my own book. Enjoy!

Organic Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya Recipe

Jambalaya is an easy one pot meal to make for the whole family. In the South this is considered a major comfort food.  For a spicier meal, substitute a Cajun Andouille sausage. This one is less spicy, for little mouths, and more health conscious than authentic Jambalaya recipes. But there are plenty of flavors from all of the fresh ingredients. Serve with citrus-corn muffins, below.

2 tablespoons expeller pressed canola oil
½ pound organc chicken-apple sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1 small onion, chopped, about ½ cup
1 large organic red bell pepper, chopped, about 1 cup
1 clove garlic, minced
1¾ cups organic chicken broth
3 medium vine ripened tomatoes, or 8 ounces of Pomi tomatoes, drained and chopped
¼ cup Pomi tomato sauce
1 Bay leaf
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano
1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
1 large (3/4 pound) boneless, skinless organic chicken breast, cut in 2 inch strips

In a large, heavy stockpot heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add sausage, onion, pepper and garlic. Stir together and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, and spices.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken, cover and simmer 5 additional minutes until chicken is cooked and rice is tender. Let stand, covered 10 minutes. Remove Bay leaf before serving.

One to watch and wash!  A one pot meal is a great time saver. All the ingredients can be prepped beforehand (even the night before) and then added when ready. Only one pot means one pot to watch when cooking and only one to wash when finished.

Organic Citrus-Corn Muffins Recipe

This savory muffin is inspired from a spa recipe. These muffins make a great accompaniment to family soups and salads, as well as the perfect healthy snack for active toddlers. You can bake these in adult size or mini muffin tins. If using mini tins, reduce baking time to 10 -12 minutes.

1 tablespoon grated organic orange zest (about 2 medium oranges)
2 cups unbleached flour
½ cup organic cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large, cage- free, organic eggs
½ cup organic light brown sugar, packed
½ cup mashed organic banana, (about 1 large banana)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease 12 cup standard muffin tin or 24 cup mini muffin tin with vegetable oil. Using a small knife or zester, remove zest from oranges.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, banana and zest. Mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, fold wet buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Be careful not to over mix, as muffins will be tough. Spoon batter into muffin cups, about ¾ full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until muffins are brown on top and pick test (see below) is successful. Remove muffin tin from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Turn out muffins onto rack to cool completely. If muffins stick to pan, run a dull knife around edge of muffins and pan to release.

Makes 18 large muffins or 36 mini muffins.

Get picky! Keep toothpicks or small wooden skewers on hand to check muffins and other baked goods for doneness. Simply insert pick in center, and when comes out clean, muffins are done.

~
See also Lisa’s Quick Organic Snacks For Kids
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry [Avail. March 2009], and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Nola.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! (with Organic Long Life Noodle Recipe)

Monday, February 9th, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

Last night our family celebrated Chinese New Year in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  Even in past years of rain, this has become a family tradtition.  This was named one of the top 10 parades throughout the country - what’s a few raindrops?  This year was clear and crowded.  We met my cousins, who oddly enough have lived in the Bay Area 35 years and never been to Chinatown.  It was quite a spectacle of sights, sounds, tastes, and colors for all ages.  It was fun to see my kids showing my family around and telling them which foods were their favorite (egg custard, shrimp hargow and lomein) and which store fronts they like to see (the fishmongers and produce stands).

This year we walked into a store that had a variety of brightly colored bulk bins.  Bins usually mean candy.  And while they did have a section of the western sweets, the majority of items we had never seen, let alone tasted.  There was the typical dried mangoes and papaya, but it didn’t stop there.  Bright green balls called ”green plums”, lacey shredded cuttlefish, dried lychees and shaved octopus tentacles were some of the offerings.  My son was begging for the dried fruit peel.  Not one to squelch culinary curiosity, I bagged some (along with mangoes and prunes) and paid.  My cousins couldn’t believe he would want to try it.  And no, he didn’t like the fruit peel (I don’t blame him), but I appreciated him trying it and wanting to experience something new.  I think that’s what fun and interesting about introducing children to new cultures, customs, holidays and foods.

My new book Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry [Avail. March 2009] gives ideas, tips and recipes for children’s snacks, drinks and party foods.  As part of the “merry” section there’s lots of good reasons to celebrate from birthdays and New Years (western and Chinese)  to simple “snow days”.  Here’s a noodle recipe for getting your family  into the Chinese New Year spirit.  Happy 2009!

Long Life Noodles

Fireworks, lantern festivals, dragon dances, parades, and lots of food are all part of this special occasion. Both symbolic and delicious, noodles make a great food for sharing during Chinese New Year. There are many options for noodles that could work besides rice noodles; try Chinese egg noodles, udon, or soba for a variation. The peanut butter lends a bit of sweetness your child will enjoy.

Makes 8 to 10 (1-cup) servings

8 ounces rice noodles
2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup julienned organic carrot (1 large)
1 cup julienned organic red bell pepper (1 large or 4 mini)
¼ cup chopped scallions (about 3)
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon peanut butter
½ cup organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant and soft, about 1 minute. Add the carrot and bell pepper and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender but not soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, scallions, tamari, peanut butter, broth, and lime juice and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and heat until hot, stirring to combine with vegetables and sauce.
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See also Lisa’s DooF-a-Palooza
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry [Avail. March 2009], and lives in Sausalito, California.
Images Credit: Lisa Barnes
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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Hooray for the Half! Angels vs. Devils (cakes, not kids)

Monday, January 26th, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

When you ask a child under 10 years old their age, you’re bound to hear a fraction in the answer. “I’m 5… and a half” says my son. Of course the “half” is said louder than the rest of the answer. A friend of his says “Well I’m 5 and a quarter”. My kids both get their halves in January. In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, we make a half dessert. It could be half a cake (to be shared by the family) or each person gets half a muffin or cupcake.

We even cut the candle in half. So you still get a wish, it’s just a stubby one. And we sing “Happy Half Birthday to You…” There are no fancy gifts (isn’t the title enough?), but I like to give a pair of socks or shoes (just wrapping one).

My daughter is a vanilla lover while my son goes for chocolate (like, Mom, the darker the better). I’ve shared a few cupcake recipes (carrot cupcakes, better brownie cupcake) which work well cut in half. Here’s also an angel food and devil’s food recipe, so you can see who wins out in your house.
Happy Half!

Angel Food Cake

This is a yummy, light, and airy cake for celebrating just about anything. It is a lighter alternative to chocolate cakes with heavy frosting. The fun part for kids and adults is letting them choose their own toppings and décor for their piece. Set out fresh raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries; whip up some cream; and maybe have some chocolate sauce for a truly decadent treat. Let children create their own special pieces.

Makes 12 servings

1 cup organic cake flour, sifted
1 1/3 cups evaporated cane juice
12 large cage-free organic egg whites, at room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan or tube pan.

Mix cake flour and sugar together in a bowl. Beat egg whites and the cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks are formed, about 5 minutes. Sift one-third of the flour mixture into the egg whites and gently fold in. Repeat by sifting another one-third of flour and finally the last one-third until all combined. Fold in salt, vanilla, and almond extract until combined.

Pour or spoon batter into prepared pan. It will fill the pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until top is golden brown and batter does not shake. Remove pan from oven and completely cool in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. When cool, place plate over top of pan and carefully turn over. If cake does not come out, slide a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen cake.

Little Devil’s Cake

This is not a true devil’s food cake because it does not contain melted chocolate in addition to cocoa. However your little devil will be happy to indulge in this tasty cake. The drizzle of frosting is especially pretty and lends moisture to the cake.

Makes 1 (8-inch-round) cake; 8 servings

5 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, melted
½ cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup organic applesauce
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 large cage-free organic eggs
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unbleached organic all-purpose flour
¼ cup hot water

Icing

1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic milk, plus additional if needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch-round cake pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together butter and cocoa. Stir in applesauce and brown sugar until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating to combine. Stir in vanilla, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually add flour to cocoa mixture, stirring just until blended but do not over mix. Stir in hot water, just until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Gently turn out cake and cool completely on wire rack before icing.

To make icing: Combine all icing ingredients in a small bowl. Using a fork, drizzle icing over cake. To serve, cut into 8 wedges.

Disappearing Icing. We made this for my son’s half birthday. The next day my son wanted a piece and noticed the icing was gone. He wondered what happened. I explained it was magic and that it just sunk into the cake. He asked, “If I say abracadabra will it reappear?”
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See also Lisa’s She Takes The Cake (with Organic Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe For Kids)
~~
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Lisa Barnes
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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The Show Must Go On – Soothing Organic Recipes for Children Under the Weather

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

Since winter started it seems every time I take my children to school there’s a new rash of sickness. Even with a healthy diet, lots of laughter and exercise, there’s no escaping the preschool germs. My kids (as well as the rest of our family) were ill over the holidays. This was a real bummer – at least for the adults. It’s too bad our kids count down and look forward to such dates. When they were smaller I could just “postpone” a holiday or occasion if need be.

On Christmas Eve, my husband and I took turns trying to stay awake with our five year old (who wanted to wait up for Santa) and then putting together and strategically placing the Santa gifts. This was all while running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. When I was looking for some empathy from my parents on Christmas day, they told me of stories when they did the same for me during my childhood. I guess “the show must go on”, and always has and always will. So while I felt bad that my kids would have a negative memory of the holiday, they were happy that Santa came and that they had popsicles for dinner. (The Christmas dinner I had planned, we enjoyed a few nights later when we were all back to solids).

I am often asked what to give a baby or child when not feeling well. I’ve always made camomile tea, broth and popsicles when my kids were under the weather. It gives them liquid as well as a dose of some needed vitamins and nutrients. It’s easy to have broth (in cubes frozen in the freezer) and a tray of popsicles ready for the first sneeze or temperature. For those wanting to provide some homemade broths and popsicles to comfort a little (or big) one here are some recipes to help. Stay well!

Very Veggie Broth
This is a favorite recipe from The Petit Appetit Cookbook as it is a basic broth recipe for a baby’s bottle or sippy cup. It delivers a punch of calcium and vitamin C for a child (or any age) needing a liquid diet or vitamin pick-me-up. Serve warm or cool in a cup or bottle for baby. Also this broth freezes well in ice cube trays for later use.

Makes about 3 cups; 6 servings

1 quart cold water
1 cup organic cauliflower flowerets, (about 3 to 4 ounces)
1 cup organic broccoli florets (about 2 to 3 ounces)
1 cup organic collard or dandelion greens, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 cup rounds organic carrots, (about 3 to 4 ounces)

Place water in a medium pot with a lid. Add vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot. Cook for 1 hour.

Strain broth and reserve vegetables. These can be pureed or mashed for baby.

Not Just Baby Broth. This is a great broth for many ages and uses. It can be a liquid meal for someone under the weather, a calcium rich soup for baby, or a flavorful liquid for poaching meats and fish. Always having broth cubes in the freezer means lots of cooking options for you and your family.
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Dried Fruit Broth
If constipation is a problem and your pediatrician suggests juice, here’s a way to make your own broth that’s not as sweet as store juice and not as strong for young taste buds and system as well. This is much easier to swallow than full force commercially packaged prune juice, but will still have some of the laxative benefits.

Makes 1 cup broth

½ cup dried organic prunes, peaches, or apricots
2 cups water

Put dried fruit and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40 minutes. Broth will be reduced, darker in color, and have sweet fruit flavor. Strain through a strainer into a bowl.

Want more laxative? Puree the remaining cooked fruit in a food processor or blender and mix with plain yogurt or spread on toast. The fruit can even be enjoyed alone as it will be soft, but lighter in flavor.
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Any Juice Pops
Look beyond the boxed pops in the freezer section of the grocery store. There’s no telling how many combinations and variations you and your children can make by having an ice pop mold on hand. These are nice and icy on a hot day and can be made with any juice you have on hand. Adding water dilutes the juice and sugar a bit and also lends a more “icy” texture.

Makes 8 (¼-cup) pops

1½ cups fresh organic fruit juice such as unfiltered apple juice
½ cup water

Shake juice container to mix contents before measuring and pour into pitcher. Add water to juice and stir.

Pour liquid into ice pop molds. Put the tops on and transfer to the freezer on a flat shelf to freeze until solid, about 1 hour.

To remove the pops from the mold, stand the mold in a bowl of cold water (or run water under one, to release only one pop) for 1 to 2 minutes until the pops lift out.

Kids Korner
Mix It Up! There’s no need to stop at one juice for these pops. Ask your child for flavor combinations. Combine orange and apple or pear and pomegranate. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be making lots of colors and flavors of frozen treats.
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See also Lisa’s Safely Feeding Babies – 10 Important Tips (plus one you already know)
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Rmarmion | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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New Year’s at Nine (with Organic Recipes)

Monday, January 5th, 2009

From Lisa Barnes

What did you do for New Year’s with small children and no babysitter?  We had a family party to celebrate the New Year on East Coast time. Although you can use Australian time, or any other time that suits your needs and bedtime. We were hoping to celebrate with friends and their kids, however we were getting over the flu and didn’t want to spread the “cheer”.

However the good thing about kids (at least little ones) is that they really don’t know much about time.  So blowing a noisemaker and putting on silly hats at 8:30 p.m. works for them.  This can be effective for any celebration or get together with little ones.  A few festive foods and decorations and it doesn’t matter what time it is. Plan for all ages to be awake and be able to celebrate with sparkling drinks and party snack foods for your next celebration. With Tivo and other recording devices the New Year’s Eve ball drop can happen anytime – day or night (or more than once a year).

Our menu (recipes below) was fun because we ate our New Year’s dinner with our fingers – like a real h’ors d’ouvre party.  Some other easy and kid fun “bites” include threading things on toothpicks like cut sausage (serve with mustard or ketchup dip of course), or grilled shrimp or chicken pieces.  Happy 2009!

Organic Juice Sparkler

This is a fun and healthy way for children to join in on a fancy toast with a sparkling drink of their own. This recipe is really simple and can be made with any kind of fresh, organic juice such as orange, pear, or apple. At holiday time I like pomegranate juice because of the bright and festive color. Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids. The juice can be found year round in the fresh refrigerated juice section of most supermarkets.

Makes 1 cup

¾ cup sparkling mineral water
¼ cup fresh pomegranate juice

Combine water and juice in a glass.

Variation

If serving a crowd, combine three parts sparkling mineral water with one part fresh pomegranate juice in a pitcher. Serve over ice cube cuties for older children and adults.

Kids Korner

For a really festive drink, add a few cranberry ice cubes (just add cranberries when freezing water in trays) and a straw. You’ll be surprised how much those touches will excite your child.

Kids’ Crab Cakes

Just because “kids” is part of the title, don’t be hesitant to share these with adults, too. They are simply shapes for smaller mouths, or a single hors d’oeuvres bite for mom and dad. These are festive and special for a holiday appetizer or dinner with family, and made healthier than the usual crab cakes with yogurt substituting for mayonnaise.

Makes 16 to 18 (1½-inch) crab cakes

1 large cage-free organic egg
1 tablespoon organic plain yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon grated yellow onion
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup soft bread crumbs
8 ounces fresh or canned lump crabmeat
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs or panko
2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, mustard, dill, onion, and pepper. Stir in soft bread crumbs until combined. Stir in crabmeat until combined but do not overmix.

In a small bowl, combine dry bread crumbs and oil. Set aside.

Using your fingers, shape heaping tablespoonfuls of the crab mixture into 1½-inch rounds and flatten. Press each side of cake into dry bread crumb mixture to stick.

Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden on bottom and cooked through.

Zuke Sticks

Zucchini is a tough name to pronounce for little ones and zuke sounds much more fun. These are a good snack food, side dish, or party food to serve with other veggie sticks. A side of marinara sauce or ketchup is good for those little dippers.

Makes about 50 sticks; about 6 servings

¾ cup dried bread crumbs or Panko
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup organic milk
3 medium organic zucchini, cut lengthwise into 3 × ½-inch pieces (peel if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Place the flour on a plate. Pour milk into a shallow bowl.

Dip each zucchini stick in flour until lightly coated. Then dip in milk. Finally roll in bread crumb mixture until covered, pressing so mixture sticks.

Transfer zucchini sticks to prepared pan and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until zucchini is tender and coating is crisp and brown.

Kids Korner

Enlist older children to help by rolling sticks in flour, milk, and bread crumbs. This may become a messy job as mixture can stick to fingers. A child that does not like messy hands will pass on this task.
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See also Lisa’s Happy New Year! Lobster vs. Pizza – Don’t Ask
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Roberto Giovannini | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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More Kids in the Kitchen (with Organic Recipes)

Monday, December 29th, 2008

From Lisa Barnes

When engaging kids in kitchen and cooking activities you may want to serve them something special like a festive hot drink or a snack of granola or trail mix.  It’s one more reason to stay and help, and also won’t tempt them to eat or “sample” too much of what you’re making.  The drink recipe below is great for all ages and takes the chill out of a cold and rainy afternoon.

Of course there’s the usual helping decorate cookies (see last week’s Little Helpers in the Holiday Kitchen) which kids are always up for.  But there are also other tasks that don’t involve desserts.  Below is a recipe for a unique way to prepare and enjoy brussels sprouts that my kids love to make and eat.

Organic Calientito
Calientito means little hot one and this drink is a spiced cider made with spices and fruit. You can use just about any fruit and fruit juice combination here. This is good for the kids at a party when serving adults mulled wine. The name sounds appropriate for my feisty daughter.

Makes 5 cups; 5 servings

2 cups organic unfiltered apple juice
2 cups organic pomegranate juice
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup orange segments
½ cup chopped pear
1 tablespoon organic raisins
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick, Serve hot or wait to cool for younger, sensitive mouths. If serving to younger children, strain before serving to prevent choking.

Leaf Us Alone Brussels Sprouts
Although they are one of my favorites, I realize Brussels sprouts are not welcome by many. I think they get a bad rap because they are usually boiled, bland, and still rock hard in the center. Peeling the leaves and discarding the center core, makes for an entirely different taste and texture. And yes, you and your kids may even have a new green favorite. Note this takes time and patience, but little hands make great peelers.

Makes 6 servings

1 pound organic Brussels sprouts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.

Cut off bottom stem or core of each sprout. Carefully peel away the leaves until it becomes too hard to peel. Cut off bottom core again and peel more layers. Continue cutting and peeling until it is too difficult to peel apart.

Place leaves in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and stir until all leaves are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir again.

Spread leaves onto prepared baking pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until leaves are cooked and start to crisp with golden edges.

Kids Korner
I brought these to the table to peel while my children were having a snack. It must have looked interesting as both my four year old and 18 month old starting peeling, too. I told them they were Brussels Buddies. My son just kept telling his dad “We’re only eating the skins.”
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See also Lisa’s Why Organic For Kids?
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Reno12 | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com

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