Cooking with Kids: Pita Bread

Baking can be intimidating even for adults, but I believe that fears and doubts should be checked at the door and the kitchen entered with abandon – and ideally with a child or two in tow.

Children are baking with their parents less and less often; with our busy lives, plus the easy accessibility of baked goods at supermarkets, youngsters are missing out on opportunities to learn. I say let yeast and fly, (let’s face it, things may get may be messy), just get in the kitchen together and have some fun.

Pita bread is something my family has been making for as long as I can remember, and is one recipe I continue to make with my children. Our family’s simple recipe is ideal for making with children because it comes together quickly, requires only one brief (30 minute) resting time, and produces almost instant puffing results in the oven. I promise you will be as excited as your children to see these flat rounds of dough balloon to three times their size. [Read more…]

14 Ways to Enjoy Ripe Tomatoes

Tomatoes have arrived. Tomatoes that actually have flavor, that taste sun kissed, and have ripened naturally.

I herald the arrival of the fresh summer tomatoes just as enthusiastically as flip-flops and sundresses. Like most produce, they are best enjoyed simply adorned.

Marinated Tomatoes

Here’s what I’m suggesting you do right now. Yep, before you’ve had your morning coffee, before you even open Google Reader.
Go select five or six of the ripest summer tomatoes on your counter and gather extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, a few cloves of firm garlic, and some fresh herbs. They can be basil, oregano, or thyme.

Wash & slice the tomatoes, then tip them into a large bowl. Drench them in olive oil (1/2 cup) and add salt & pepper. Crush the garlic, chop the herbs and toss everything together. Let it marinade on the kitchen counter until lunch.

Now you’ve got an ace up your sleeve; a base for a handful of delicious meals. [Read more…]

Weekend Reading

Here’s what caught my eye and made my stomach growl around the web this week…

Here are two brand new sites I’d like to draw your attention to… [Read more…]

20 Simple & Practical Kitchen Hacks for Everyday Cooks

We all strive to improve our efficiency and frugality in the kitchen for obvious reasons; time and money are valuable!  Both attributes can be learned over time, yet often a helpful tip at just the right moment can be more useful than months -or even years- of experience.

Here are twenty of my favorite kitchen hacks, shortcuts and secrets. They will save you money, time, and wits.

Gleaned from many years in the professional cooking industry and passed along from fellow chefs and home cooks alike, they are 100% applicable for everyday cooks–and I use all of them as I cook daily for my family.

I hope you can put a few of them to good use and help simplify your cooking and baking.

[Read more…]

10 Tips to Help You Conserve Some Coin

We all want to know how we can trim our monthly grocery bill and yet feed our families real, wholesome food. Anyone who has shopped for organic ingredients, knows that there is a price to pay for bringing home pesticide-free, all-natural foods. So what can be done?

Fortunately, Slow Food Rhode Island leader Amy McCoy of Poor Girl Gourmet has some solutions for us. In her brand new cookbook, Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget, she takes us on a low-budget, high-quality food adventure, offering proven tips for eating wholesomely on the cheap, as well as providing reliable recipes to back the tips up. Her suggestions for frugal eating are one hundred percent applicable for every household and well worth reading about.

Here are ten money-saving tips that I gleaned from her cookbook, as well as a recipe that demonstrates how a less desirable (read: cheaper) cut of meat can be absolutely amazing. [Read more…]