Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Good [Kids'] Stuff: What we're listening to, part 2

To improve our very noisy car travel, we've had the audiobook of The collected stories of Winnie-the-Pooh playing in our car the last two weeks. This cd set is read by Stephen Fry and Judy Dench, along with a full cast of characters. I'm not a huge fan of the Disney Winnie-the-Pooh; just a bit too cheesy/annoyingly bouncy for me. But, Shane and I were talking last night about our favorite parts from these stories! The stories are read as they were originally written, and include the richness and depth to the characters and they are sweet. Peter loves each one! I cried on the last story when sweet Christopher Robin had to explain to Pooh that he had to grow up.

Anyway, we love these and they would be a perfect thing to put in the cd player on a road trip.

ps. I just discovered Gwenyth Paltrow's sooooo fabulous website, I think I'm going to discontinue reading all other blogs and just read this one. Ah, she is the best.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Good Taste: A few more breakfast and lunch ideas

I came across an old ripped-out article from Real Simple (circa 2008) that has some excellent recipes for kid-friendly breakfasts/lunches. For us, dinner is never specifically 'kid-friendly', but I always try for more familiar fare for the other two meals. Anyone else like this, too?

I thought I'd copy the recipes onto this blog rather than keep this ratty old paper that is increasingly covered in flying food particles. (I am an abstract expressionist cook, unintentionally.)

For breakfast at home:

Egg in a Hole with Berries and Yogurt
Total Time: 15 minutes. Serves 2.
2 slices whole-wheat bread
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
kosher salt and pepper
1 cup berries (blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Spread the top of each slice of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Using a round cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut a 2 1/2- to 3-inch whole in the center of each slice of bread, reserving the cutout pieces. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick or cast0iron skillet over medium heat. Place the bread and the cutouts, buttered-side up, in the skillet. Crack 1 egg into each hole. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the underside of the bread is golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook the egg to desired doneness, 1 to 2 minutes for a runny yolk. Divide the berries and yogurt between two bowls and sprinkle with almonds (if using). Serve with the eggs.

For lunch at home:

Turkey Taco Salad
Total time: 25 minutes. Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
kosher salt and pepper
1 16-oz container store-bought refrigerated fresh salsa
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into pieces (about 8 cups)
1/2 9-oz bag tortilla chips
1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
1 avocado, diced
1 cup grated Cheddar
1 6-oz can sliced black olives (optional)

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour off any excess liquid. Stir in half the salsa and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining salsa and sour cream. Divide the lettuce, chips, turkey mixture, beans avocado, Cheddar, and olives (if using) among bowls. Serve with the salsa-and-sour-cream dressing.

Peas and Carrots Alphabet Soup:
Total time: 20 minutes. Serves 4
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 carrots, diced
1 cup alphabet pasta
kosher salt
1 10-oz package frozen peas (2 cups)

Place the broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, pasta, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer until the carrots and pasta are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Multigrain Mac and Cheese
Total Time: 30 Minutes. Serves 4
12 oz. multigrain elbow macaroni (3 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3 1/2 cups grated Cheddar (12 ounces)

cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the parsley. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the saucepan and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the Cheddar and 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk until the cheese melts. Stir in the macaroni. Divide among blows and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.