Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Bites.... Cauliflower and Carrots Puree - Build Up Recipe

Cauliflower... for some reasons it seems that people have a hard time with it. I know that my husband does not like it in gratin much...and because my children will notice his hesitation when it comes to eating it, I have tried to come up with other ways to prepare it. You know, it's all about my "Eating-By-Example" Theory....
One of the best way to maximize the chances that your children will grow up eating (liking?) cauliflower is to introduce it early to them. And like turnips in my previous post, you hide it in other well-liked vegetables. In this recipe, the orange color of carrots attracts the little one attention who, then are more willing to swallow the mix. I tested it with my two children when they were younger and it worked. It worked again with them when I cooked it recently. My daughter did ask me what the little white pieces were... but when I told her it was cauliflower, she did not care.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Seafood Salad with Avocado, Tomato and Grapefruit

We have this tradition in my family where the one whose birthday we celebrate has to choose his/her lunch menu (you would have to ask my siblings and my parents to tell you whether there was one specific dish I always requested because I can't just think of one right now). This is my older brother's favorite salad. He would inevitably choose it for his birthday lunch menu and we would tease him about it because he was SO PREDICTABLE with his lunch appetizer! Since we started  living away from each other (and now literally around the world), we started to pool birthdays. For instance, if we only see each other in July, then we'll pool the June/July/August birthdays together, making it a little bit trickier for the menu selection but never impossible! The advantage of pooling birthdays is that we get to celebrate someone's birthday a few times (let's say my brother and his wife would celebrate my brother's birthday with their children at their home and then with us/my parents/relatives on another day). The other advantage is that we have learned not to care so much about THE actual birthday day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lighter Fares for After The Holidays ;)

There won't be any recipe today, at least not a new one. I have two good reasons why not. The first one is that most of you will be spending tomorrow, Christmas Day and days after with friends and/or families... and that with a schedule full of cooking, gifts wrapping, gifts unwrapping, game playing and maybe a little walk outside, most of you will be dying to get on Facebook to escape and upload your pictures away from your screens (Really? How long can you be away from a screen these days (computer, cell phone?) Honestly?)...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yesterday with My Children We Made..... Coconut Macaroons (gluten-free)

It seems that everybody is baking cookies these days. I know it's the Holiday Season but I feel that Americans are baking more cookies during this time of year than during the rest of the year. It's a tradition to offer home-made cookies as a gift for friends here... and I remember that my friend M-A from San Francisco offered me a great box of her home made cookies once. They were delicious. I love shortbread cookies but I am no big fan of sugar cookies, especially if they are coated with icing. Too much fake sugar for me. The other day, because I was in a hurry and wanted to bake with the children as a late-afternoon activity (like just before bath so that they can go straight from the kitchen to the bathtub!), I purchased a ready-to-make dough from the supermarket. I generally don't purchase them but I thought that for once, I was going to give it a try.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brussels Sprouts with Carrots, Bacon and Fresh Rosemary

I have always wondered why Brussels Sprouts enjoyed such a bad reputation among some people. I think that they look cute and have the perfect size for adults and children. With the new fashion of miniature vegetables like mini-squash, mini-zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, and baby artichokes, Brussels Sprouts should be highly praised. Besides, they are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and fiber! All right, they have a strong peculiar taste... but I bet that most people don't like Brussels Sprouts because they only had them over-boiled, over-steamed at home or at the school cafeteria, just when too much cooking make them release chemicals that have a sulfur odor.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Buckwheat Kasha with Mushrooms and Onions

As I recently said, I like to purchase new things at the supermarket... and since the agro-business manages to bring new products every other day to feed a new demand (gluten-free for instance) or fad (remember all the Atkins-diet products? Seen any on the shelves lately?), I am always in luck to bring home something new. The latest thing I bought is Kasha. I was in the bulk section of the supermarket and next to my Blue Indigo lentils, Kasha there was. I had never heard of it before...I read the tiny-print (really tiny) label to discover that it was 100% buckwheat. I love buckwheat in galettes (buckwheat-flour crepes) or in Soba Noodles, so I was very happy to find a new way to eat buckwheat... and a new thing to cook for my family in less than 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First Bites... Turnips and Potatoes Purée

Turnips (navets in French)? Pff... some of you might not even try to read this post because of them. And yet, I do think that turnips need to be granted more attention. I personally love turnips in every forms and just in case you had not noticed, I already used some raw (in Coleslaw) or steamed (in Potée Lorraine). I have yet to roast some... but for the time being let's just puree them. My grand-mother grew turnips in her garden and if she managed to trick the wild rabbits, she would get a small production that she would inevitably share with all of us. So, I grew up eating turnips!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Panna Cotta with Fresh Raspberries and Raspberry Coulis

The other day, we were having friends over for dinner and I was looking for an easy-to-make-not-too-heavy dessert to make. Chocolate was out (I had made Petits Pots de Crème not too long before)... and I wanted something with fruits. All right, serving fresh raspberries in late Fall in Philadelphia is not really eating local... but I was lucky enough to find Chilean raspberries (Chilean??? That's REALLY not local!!) on sale at the supermarket; it made me feel somehow better. You see, I have this special relationship with Chilean raspberries (and not just because they were on sale).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Apples and Quinces Compote (Apple Sauce)

My grand-mother used to say that “you don’t have to be hungry to eat apple sauce”. She had a lot of apple trees in her fields, some, les pommes à cidre, dedicated to her home-made apple cider and Calvados, and others, les pommes à couteau, just for us to eat. When the apples were not good-looking enough for us, she would just cook them in her pressure cooker (with skin, seeds, and occasionally worms (hey,  hey were local and really organic!!)). Then it was my job to make la compote (the apple sauce) using her old vegetable hand mill. I don’t know how many kilos of apple sauce I made with her over the years… but except for the worms, I never got tired of eating it afterward (preferably tedious). Nowadays, I cook apple sauce a lot for us. I find that home-made apple sauce tastes better than the one you can find in jars. Besides, as always when you cook from scratch, you control the ingredients (no salt, no preservatives or other undefined “natural flavors”) and you can also play with the fruits (rhubarb,  quince, banana, strawberries) and spices (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom) to achieve different tastes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Salmon with Buckwheat Pasta, Edamame, Carrots and Sesame Seeds

In France, we call an open kitchen a cuisine américaine (an American kitchen). It is, for some reasons, very fashionable to have one in France but having gone through 3 different types while living in San Francisco, Upstate New York, and now in Philadelphia, I can say that it's great for people..... who don't cook!  While I enjoy being able to be in my kitchen while keeping an eye on my kids or talking to guests, there is something I really don't like about open kitchens:  that it's, well, open on to the living room. There is nothing more annoying to me than having the feeling that I am cooking "in my living room".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swiss Cheese Soufflé

If you think that soufflés are too complicated to make, please don’t close this page yet. Read further! I mean it.
I am a big fan of soufflés and it is indeed part of our French cuisine. We used to serve it as an appetizer (and I know that some families still do). However, in my family, we eat it as an entrée with a green salad on the side. Soufflés come for all tastes: the salty lovers and the sugar lovers. The most common ones in France are the Swiss cheese soufflés and the chocolate soufflés. So far, I have only made salty soufflés. Not that I don’t like sweet soufflés but I have had such a memorable experience of eating a Peach soufflé at Café Jacqueline in San Francisco that I’m just afraid of baking sweet ones. That said, my friend D. makes a great chocolate soufflé and I am still hoping to get his recipe to make some one day (chocolate and peaches don’t compete in the same category!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vanilla and Chocolate Petits Pots de Crème

Petits Pots de Crème are a very common dessert in French families. My grand-mother would make some for us with fresh milk from the farm. I don't know why but she would always put a leaf of Cherry Laurel in the cream to flavor it... but please don't do it because I just found out that Cherry Laurel is poisonous! Fortunately, she did not make us her cremes too often!
Crèmes are so common that you can find it in ready-pack (you just add warm milk) or in thousands of little jars in the large dairy sections of French supermarkets (we, French, take our dairy products VERY seriously, just in case you had not noticed before). I had not made crèmes in ages but I thought that it would be a great dessert to make for my children.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yesterday With My Children We Made.... Fall Vegetables Casserole with Cranberry Beans

I become sometimes frustrated in the Fall and Winter time because I feel limited with the offer of vegetables. No matter how many recipes I have for cauliflower, squash, and cabbage, there are days when I'd love to find something different. In France, we would eat a lot of fresh beans such as Coco de Paimpol. I have never found them in Philadelphia but the other day, I found fresh Cranberry beans! I purchased some and realized that I had the fresh beans I was looking for. Cranberry beans (a.k.a shell beans) have the great advantage of not requiring soaking before cooking! A big plus for me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cabbage Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Raisins and Cheese

How do you eat your cabbage? Do you actually eat any? If not, you should give it a try. Really. I mean it. First, cabbage is really good for you; it's also very affordable and if you are lucky to find fresh whole cabbages near where you live, you could have enough to serve it over several meals. I personally don't like cabbage in a soup (bad memories of camp food). I love it when it's cured and made in Choucroute (with meat or with fish). I also love in Coleslaw, which, as you may recall, is now one of my favorite recipe for raw cabbage. I also cook it in stews like the Potée Lorraine but I won't cook that dish often. The following recipe is a traditional way I grew up eating raw cabbage in France.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yesterday With My Children We Made... Spaghetti Squashotto

I discovered spaghetti squash while living in Upstate New York. I had never seen it before and I got intrigued. The first time I cooked it, I served it with a tomato sauce, just like its name suggested. It is a little bland to my taste so since then, I have come to cook it in different manners: in soup, in a hot tomato sauce, and more recently in a risotto-like preparation. Instead of using Parmesan, I used Ricotta because Ricotta brings a creamy taste to the vegetables. What I like about the spaghetti squash is that I can cook it in the microwave in less than 15 minutes... and that my children (almost) still believe it's spaghetti!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Snack or No Snack?

The other day, I was at the playground and a mother of two children (let's say a 6-months baby and a 22-months daughter) was there among all the other parents/caregivers. It was about 4 pm in the afternoon... and since it was early Fall in Philadelphia, we were all staying a little bit later at the playground, filling up on sun knowing that in a few weeks, we'll all be inside. The mother was feeding her older child snack, after snack after snack : pizza-flavored crackers, tiny bits of sausage, cereals, etc. Around 5.30pm, her husband joined them at the playground and then she said "now we are going to have pizza for dinner". I just wondered how hungry the older daughter was going to be for pizza after all these snacks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coconut Icecream with Raspberries and Raspberry Coulis

My husband loves ice cream; I mean he REALLY loves ice cream. A few years ago, he decided that we needed to have an ice cream maker. Not a fancy one, just a basic ice cream maker with a small motor. The pretext reason was that we could not find good sorbets in supermarkets back then... We did make a few sorbets at the beginning. However, over the last 5 years, I think we used the ice cream maker only twice (but purchased lots of ice creams and sorbets)! The ice cream maker was sitting in a closet (next to the yogurt maker).. and because of that, the minute we thought about making some ice cream, it was not possible because the bowl was not cold!

Monday, November 23, 2009

First Bites.... Carrots and Zucchini Puree

I remember when we decided to start our first child on solids. Like most French people, we decided to start with carrots, not with hot cereals. I don't have anything against hot cereals (I actually like oatmeal with warm milk (yes, yes)!!) but I think that they taste too bland to me to be introduced first, especially if the child has been/is being breastfed. The whole point of starting a child on solids is to make her discover new stronger tastes and textures early on. Offering rice or oatmeal cereals does not serve that purpose well to my opinion.

So, for my child, I made my first carrots puree and watched out as she took her first bite... It was the first time we were introducing the spoon as well, so there was some adaptation to the new utensil too. Needless to say that it was not a great success! I'm not sure how much she actually ate (maybe three full spoons?); her whole bib (and our walls) turned orange....... but at least we had started the process! And as her mom, it was also a big step for me to see her take that first bite. I was emotionally moved (sigh)!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coleslaw with Mayonnaise or Tahini (Sesame Paste) Dressing

Coleslaw? French people don't eat much coleslaw and that's a shame! Really! We do it a lot (I mean A LOT) of shredded carrots and shredded red cabbage salads but somehow we did not come to coleslaw until fairly recently. I had it maybe twice before coming to the US and realizing that it is a favorite side dish everywhere in the country.
But why make coleslaw when you can purchase it already prepared at the deli counter in the local supermarkets? I'll give you a few reasons: 1) It's fresh. 2)You control the ingredients (less or more cabbage, what about a few radishes or parsnips, more carrots, an apple?). 3)It's very easy to make. 4)Your kids will be delighted to see how a whole carrot ends up shredded. 5)You'll have made something "from scratch" that everybody loves in your family!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Watercress Soup

This is maybe the easiest soup to make and a real favorite in my family. I was actually surprised how easily my two children ate their first bowl of watercress soup. You know, I was doing the "prep" talk (something like "we are going to have watercress soup tonight; it's really good, both papa and I love it; I was even maybe starting to tell them how I made it, just to keep them interested). I put their bowls on the table with a little bit of apprehension, waiting for their reaction. Part of me was already prepared to push for "at least a few spoons"... but no! My older child looked at me and said "c'est bon". My younger kid could not talk yet but by the speed he was gulping his soup, I could just tell that he was enjoying it! Blessed with this great success, it has become a favorite on my menu list. I also serve it over couscous; it makes a great dinner dish and it's easier (and less messy!!) to serve to younger children.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes, and Potatoes Au Gratin

I grew up eating gratin de chou-fleur in France. Cauliflower is locally grown (mostly in Brittany), it's relatively cheap and a vegetable easy to find in the winter. I don't have the statistics, but my guess is that 80% of cauliflowers in France are eaten au gratin: either as a main dish for dinner or as a side dish with pork roast, pork or lamb chops. My husband ate too many gratins de choux-fleurs while growing up;  he is no big fan anymore (was he ever?)...As a result, I have tried other recipes for cauliflower because I can't resist purchasing a fresh big head of cauliflower at the Farmers' market. So, once in a while, I cook it au gratin as well. As with any gratin, we add potatoes (as a treat for those who don't like cauliflower that much!). Since living in the US, I have started to add sweet potatoes as well. They add color (and color is HUGE when it comes to feeding kids) and give us something to talk about (why are they sweet? why orange? what's the difference between yam and sweet potatoes? Anybody?)...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roasted Pork, Pumpkin and Garlic Heads

 My husband had bought a pumpkin at the market and used half of it to make pumpkin Soup (similar to the Butternut Squash soup I made a few weeks ago except with pumpkin). The other half was sitting in the fridge and I was wondering how to cook it. I had not read David Lebovitz's Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe yet (soon to be made), but I had looked at The Pioneer Woman's recipe for roasted garlic and potatoes. We somehow had lots of garlic heads and I remembered a Superball Party back in California where my friend had made roasted garlic. This was a very "ta-da" moment where the taste you expect (garlic) is not at all what you get (this wonderful smooth caramelized taste) and you just fall for the dish. [I had another "ta-da" moment with Vegemite in Australia one day but in a different way!]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Orange Shortbread Cookies

It was Halloween a few weeks ago and I wanted to make something for the kids that day. However, knowing they were going to come back with more-than-anyone-can-eat candies, I decided to make something "healthier" (like with real butter and real sugar, not corn syrup and fake coloring). Since Orange was the color of the moment, I came up with the idea of orange-flavored cookies instead of orange-colored cookies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Swiss Chard and Bacon Tartelettes

Once again, we purchased Swiss chard at the market. And once again, I scratched my head to find a new way to serve it to my children (I know, I owe you the Swiss Chard Gratin Recipe!!). I came up with this idea of an individual savory tartelette, a variation from the traditional Quiche Lorraine that is ubiquitous in French families. French eat a lot of quiches. It used to be served as an appetizer. Lately, it has become more common to eat one slice of quiche with a serving of salad for lunch or dinner. This makes an easy, relatively healthy entree. Like everybody else, my children love having their own individual tartelette dish. It makes it more fun for them to eat... As a result, I have tried, when possible, to individualize their portion that way so that they would eat it all without balking. Since Swiss chard can be a little tart, I added bacon because, like my husband would say, "everything tastes better with bacon". Right. Bon Appétit!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yesterday With My Children We Made.....Basil Potatoes Croquettes

You know, I have this "Eating by Example" theory: children eat what they see others eat. How many of your children have come back from school and ask you for "a banana" or for a "whole apple, skin on" or, maybe more frequently for a "bag of chips" because they just saw their friends eat them at school? It turns out that I have other theories... For example, I strongly believe in the "If They Cook it, They'll Eat It" theory. I have implemented it at home with my two children and it has worked great so far.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What's In My Pantry?

Our kitchen is small and there is no such thing as a pantry in my apartment (that would be a dream in a way).. so I try to keep the minimum in my cupboards to have as a base for my daily cooking... And since spices go bad within 12 months, I am not the kind of  person with two or three shelves full of spices.Here is a list of things I always have in my pantry cupboards. Anything missing?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Corn Chowder

It all started because I had forgotten that my husband had bought corn ears at the market!!!  The ears were not fresh enough to eat them on the cob, so I decided to make Corn Chowder instead. French people eat a lot of soups but we are not used to eating milk-based soups. I discovered Clam Chowder while working in California for a company based out of Cambridge, Ma. On a professional trip to the East Coast, we had clam chowder and I liked it immediately despite the clams (I eat oysters but somehow don't like clams that much)...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Plain Yogurt with Chestnut Spread

Chestnuts (châtaignes in French) are to the French what cranberries are to the Americans. French people eat chestnuts as a side dish in the traditional Roasted Turkey with Chestnuts (Dinde aux marrons, which despite its name does not call for horse chestnuts (marrons in French) but for châtaignes ). Candied in sugar (marrons glacés), they become a delicacy people buy alongside chocolates for Christmas. Roasted (marrons grillés), sometimes right in the middle of the streets of Paris, they become a healthy snack... but more frequently, you'll end up eating them pureed in chestnut spread (Crème de marrons).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Socca with Caramelized Onions (Build-Up Recipe)

When you live in a foreign country, you are always prone to coming across dishes, vegetables, and fruits that you have never seen or tasted before. It's part of the experience of living abroad; it's expected; and as long as you are open to trying new food, it can be really memorable in a good (or bad) way!
I did not expect to find a new French dish that I had never heard of before coming to the US though! My friend C. cooked Socca for me the other day, assuming I knew all about Socca. I had NO idea of what she was talking about. "Oh, you know, this chickpea-flour sort of pancakes they serve in Nice".

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Potée Lorraine

In addition to being Mr. Big Sweet Tooth, my husband is also a Big Meat Eater. While I could go for weeks without eating meat and feel great, he, on the other hands, NEEDS meat more than once a week! That's why I have come to cook more meat than I would otherwise (hey, that's a small compromise!)... The other day, I asked him what he felt like eating (already anticipating that he was going to answer something with "meat")...Because we had just bought a large green cabbage at the Farmers' market, he said "une bonne Potée".  A  Potée Lorraine is a stew of smoked meats and sausages, with cabbage and root vegetables that is originally from the Lorraine region , in Eastern part of France.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carrots and Fresh Mint Soup - "Build Up Recipe"

I had carrots (lots of carrots) in the fridge and I did not know what to do with them. It also happened that I had fresh mint available. I thought that I could make carrots puree (mashed carrots) but since it was really cold outside, I felt that a soup would be more appropriate. I called this recipe "Build Up Recipe" because you could feed infants, picky eaters, children and adults without changing the recipe a lot.  Friends of mine have asked me to publish more recipes that could feed picky eaters... and even if my children are not too picky, there are days when I adapt my recipes to make sure dinner will be pleasant for everybody....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In Search of the "Perfect" Baby Bottle (ie, anti-colic, BPA free, PVC free, etc..): the MAM Bottles.

When I was trying to wean my children, I tried different brands of bottles, hoping that the different shapes and textures of the nipples would make it easier.... Little did I know... it was really hard! For my second child, I was in France and my niece was drinking from a bottle that I had never seen in the US before : the MAM bottles. The ultra-soft silicon nipple was really different from the "round" ones I had tried before (even the ones that supposedly mimic the natural nipple). We tried it with my child and it was an immediate success. I later recommended them to my sister who was looking for bottles for her child and she has been really happy as well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pear Tartelette with Chocolate

You might have noticed that I had yet to publish a dessert recipe... I have no sweet tooth (given the choice between a savory crepe and a sweet one, I'll choose the savory)... but it does not mean that I don't enjoy sweet desserts once in a while. My husband, on the contrary, is Mr. Big Sweet Tooth. He has somewhat taken over the baking in our kitchen (because he finds that I don't bake enough!!); he now has a few very good recipes (I'll publish them when he makes them.). Because he does not have that much time to bake, I have come to bake, mostly easy things that I can do with the children on a rainy day...

Monday, October 26, 2009

REMINDER - Last week for the SIGG Voluntary Exchange Program

Just to remind you that the SIGG Voluntary Exchange Program ends at the end of October. Go and exchange your old bottles if you have not done so already!
For more information, read my previous post on the SIGG Voluntary Exchange Program.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pork Roast with Prunes, Apples, and Potatoes

This is maybe one of my favorite dishes! I don't know when my parents or grand-parents cooked it for me but I have always liked it. Every year, I can't wait for Fall and Winter to arrive to be able to make it! I like it because it's sweet and savory at the same time, because you don't really know whether you are going to eat an apple or a potato (children can't be picky!!) ... and also because the prunes are adding a nice sweet taste to the pork roast. Simply delicious...

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Moussaka

I first had Moussaka while in Greece a LONG LONG LONG time ago...My friend's grand-mother had made it for us and I can still remember it today...  It was De-Li-Cious! I decided to start cooking my own home-made Moussaka not to try to recreate what I had then (impossible!) but as another way to eat eggplant. I am always purchasing eggplant at the (super/farmer's)market and beyond Ratatouille and grilled, I did not really know what to do...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swiss Chard Soup

My grand-mother used to grow green Swiss chard in her garden. I therefore grew up eating a lot of Swiss chard, mostly au gratin. However, I never eat red or rainbow chard until I came to the US.  They do taste differently that the white-stem chard I grew up with, but all of them are delicious. The only problem with chard is that it is extremely perishable. You have to be careful when purchasing chard and you can't keep it in your fridge for too long...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuna Curry with Yellow Squash and Rice

A lover of Indian and Thai food, I frequently cook curry for my family. It's always a hit with my children unless I make it really too spicy!  I find that it's an easy way to cook fish, shrimp, pork or chicken with vegetables. I like it with tuna because coconut milk balances the dryness of tuna.Unlike some curry recipes, I don't use potatoes as I always serve the dish over rice or couscous...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

I am big soup eater! I grew up eating soup as an appetizer for dinner in colder days. Nowadays, I would eat them for lunch and dinner anytime of year! I started feeding soups to my children early on and they are now good soup eaters as well.
The following recipe is an adaptation of a soup my husband's maternal grand-mother used to make with her garden-grown pumpkins...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grilled Salmon with Wild Rice and Spinach

I discovered wild rice—that has nothing to do with rice—while living in San Francisco. I had never had it before and liked it immediately. I bought some on my next trip to the supermarket and the pack sat in my pantry for months! I just did not know what to do with it. A salad? A side-dish? A risotto-like dish? The day I decided to cook it, I just could not believe how much time it needed to fully cook!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SIGG Bottles Voluntary Exchange Program

If you are like me, trying your best to improve the environment you (and your children) live in, you might have switched from plastic sippy cups and water bottles to stainless reusable bottles. Congratulations!
I bought my first child a SIGG bottle in 2007. I found them more fun than the Klean Kanteen ones. For my second child, I did not even use a sippy cup, I purchased a SIGG bottle for water. I also bought myself and my husband one, all of them before 2008.
I was therefore a little bit taken by surprise to read about the whole BPA issue in the SIGG bottles...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Oh no, I am not going to comment on the Disney-Pixar movie by the same name. That said if you followed the movie to the end, you remember that Remy cooked Ratatouille to impress Anto Ego, the famous food critic. Here is your chance to impress your family with this easy recipe of ratatouille.Ratatouille is a great dish to make because you can serve it vegetarian (with couscous, rice or polenta for instance), as a side dish with meat (chicken, pork) or with fish (white fish or tuna). You can even eat it cold....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken with Mushrooms , Fresh Peas, Carrots and Basmati Rice

I grew up going to the Farmers' market every week, even twice a week sometimes. "Faire le marché"  is a social event, an activity rooted in the life of (some) French people: people get to know each other and exchange the latest news; customers have their favorite vendors and tend to be very loyal; politicians come to shake hands and discuss their latest projects, etc...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grain of Salt on Salt...

Having been on a low-iodine diet for 10 days, I have had to cut my sodium intake. [Low-iodine does not mean NO-iodine or No-sodium: you just have to know if the sodium has iodine or not. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to know which type of sodium is used in processed food... so basically low-iodine means cutting processed food, including dairy products, condiments, bakery-made breads, etc... No FUN!].

The bad news is that 75% of sodium comes from processed food. Only 7% comes from the table salt (which is 60% sodium and 40% chloride) pinch you add to your broccoli or home-made soup!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lentils with Fresh Vegetables

We are lentils lovers in my family (at large) and I have been cooking them on a regular basis (at least once a month, if not twice). Lentils come in different colors and textures. I prefer the French Blue/Indigo lentils, which take more time to cook than brown or Indian pink lentils but are firmer and therefore better keep their shape. Also, contrary to other beans, you don't have to soak them the night before!! A big plus for me!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Lima Beans

As I try to balance our meals over the course of one week (more on that in an another post), I have come to serve shrimp about every other week in different settings. This recipe is made with Angel Hair pasta, which as a child, we would only eat cut in my grand-mother's bouillons (soups)!! So it was quite an experience to start cooking them in a real pasta dish!  Spaghetti could be a good substitute but I like the finesse of Angel Hair pasta better in this dish.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Green Beans Salad with Tomatoes, Garbanzo Beans and Hardboiled Eggs

While I generally make hot entrees for dinner, there are times, especially in the summer, when we just crave a large salad. The following one is a modified version of the French Salade Niçoise. Instead of potatoes, I used Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), which we all enjoy eating. My kids love to pick them one by one in their plate (perfect for small motor skills development!)...

Welcome to my blog!

If you are like me, always wondering "what am I going to cook tonight?", that is nutritious; healthy; appealing (and maybe new) to young children and to the entire family with limited modification; and that does not take two hours to cook; and does not cost an entire pay check?... this blog is for you! Here you will find easy-to-make, healthy, and affordable recipes and ideas that I cook for my family. So, What Are You Feeding Your Kids These Days?
Bon Appétit!