In the French Kitchen with Kids: Steak Frites

Forget cooking shows and YouTube; kids best learn to cook by getting in the kitchen and doing the actual food prep and cooking.

I feel like I’ve been saying this for years (maybe because I have been saying this for years), as well as stressing the need to teach the younger generation this important life skill.

One person who totally gets this hand-on approach is my friend, Mardi Michels. She’s a food writer and an elementary school teacher, and now she’s written a fantastic cookbook: In the French Kitchen with Kids: Easy, Everyday Dishes for the Whole Family to Make and Enjoy.

It’s a cookbook for children, their parents and, well, people of all ages. I mean, who doesn’t love French food?

[Read more…]

Watermelon Greek Salad

Watermelon is a delicious, ever-present staple in our diet all summer long, hacked into wedges and served up chilled. It’s a refreshing way to beat both the heat and my children’s inevitable afternoon attack of the munchies.

I usually sprinkle my melon with a touch of sea salt and a squeeze of lime, and or blend it with mint into agua fresca. But this summer, watermelon has taken the spotlight in a vibrant salad that is as delicious as it is pretty.

[Read more…]

Yogurt Sheet Cake with Summer Berries

Today’s recipe is everything you’ve been looking for in a summer cake: it’s simple to make and spotlights the most beautiful fruits of the season.

If you’ve got an event to celebrate this month but you don’t want to spend the whole afternoon in the kitchen, then you are going to love this Yogurt Sheet Cake with Summer Berries. Or perhaps you are looking for an original dessert to bring to a weekend pot-luck? This recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser – and a bit of a show-stealer, too.

Best of all, you can get the kids involved in a little kitchen project, because anyone can decorate this cake. Bonus point for picking your own berries!

[Read more…]

My Grilling Set-Up – and a Weber giveaway!

My cooking takes a delicious turn in summer, moving from the Simple Bites kitchen to the backyard patio and the charcoal grill.

The patio is shady in the afternoon, and leads onto our sprawling back lawn where the kids play. I love being able to simultaneously grill dinner and jump in on their games, whether we’re tossing a football or slinging a frisbee.

When cooking out of doors, fresh herbs are within reach for meals like Sage-Scented Chicken with Grilled Lemon. The overflowing garden inspires dishes such as Grilled Zucchini Salad with Feta-Mint Dressing and Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus and Walnuts.

Today, I’m sharing my charcoal grilling set up and the outdoor kitchen space I frequent from May through October. Be sure to read all the way to the end for a Weber giveaway you won’t want to miss.

[Read more…]

Eat Seasonal: Zucchini Pizzette

Hello July!

After a scorching week, tomorrow promises to bring a break in our heat wave and I am finally thinking about baking again. The produce at the markets is so inspiring and each day I am coming home with something new to play with in the Simple Bites kitchen.

My own garden has surprised me this year, flourishing despite the lack of attention from me. The zucchini (or courgettes) are beautiful right now, with every plant producing 4-5 per week. I harvest them while they are small and add them to everything from Easy Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti to my Harvest Tortilla Soup.

Since we’ve been rocking the summer of the spritz, I’ve also been incorporating my homegrown zucchini into little pre-dinner appetizers and they are too good not to share the recipe.

[Read more…]