Apple Almond Conserve for Passover

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

Of all the Jewish holidays, Passover is my favorite. While it doesn’t have the delicious fried foods you find during Hanukkah, the traditional Seder meal offers both a chance to remember the past and celebrate the current goodness of life. Plus, how can you not love a holiday that requires matzo ball soup?

Though that bowl of soup will always be my primary Passover love, I also have a soft spot in my heart for the charoses. It’s essentially a salad made from apples, walnuts, honey, cinnamon and sweet wine and is meant to represent the bricks and mortar that the Jews laid before their escape from slavery. Sweet and crunchy, it’s traditionally eaten on matzo with a dab of horseradish.

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The Hunger Games: 5 tips for feeding your tweens

Editor’s Note: With the arrival of Clara, I’m taking a short maternity blogging break. I’m excited to welcome several guest writers, among them, my friend and mother of tweens, Jan of Family Bites. Welcome, Jan!

The Hunger Games might be the name of a popular book and movie series, but for me it’s an activity I participate in daily.

I live with three hungry boys: my husband and our two growing sons, who are 10 and 11.  Food makes up a major part of our daily lives, and not just because I spend my working hours as a food writer.  The people in my house eat so much these days that I would still be thinking about food around the clock, if only to devise ways of keeping my ravenous boys fed.

On average my kids eat 6-8 times a day.  There’s breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, a second afternoon snack, dinner, and yet another snack before bed.  When Ben, my oldest, has a hockey outing (which is five days a week right now) I can be certain there will be another serving of food interjected at some point in the day.

Why are my kids eating so much? Between the ages of 6 and 12, kids can double their body weight and grow up to two feet in height.  Both of my boys are in this stage right now, and between them we’ve seen 13 inches of vertical growth since spring of last year.

When you add in all of the sports and general physical activity, not to mention hormonal changes and a speedy metabolism, there is no doubt that these are hungry times, and they are likely to continue for another four or five years.

So what’s a mom to do?  I don’t have all the answers, but here are my tips for feeding tweens that have worked well for me over the past two years. [Read more…]

7 ways to source your summer produce outside the supermarket

(This post was originally published in March, 2011.)

It is freezing as I write today, but that hasn’t stopped me from gazing out on our future garden spot and visualizing the raised beds full of lettuce, zucchini, herbs and tomatoes. Winter still has a few more weeks to rage and blow before it gives way to spring, however, one can’t help but think about pending arrival of fresh greens and tender fruits.

April is a good time to start making plans for how you will source your summer produce. If you live in the city, now is the time to sign up for a spot in the community gardens. If you are more rural, you should be putting in a seed order right about now. Not into gardening, but want farm fresh vegetables? Then perhaps you should be calling around and getting your name on a list for a CSA basket.

The first crisp asparagus spears and strong rhubarb shoots will be poking up through the ground before you know it. Here are seven ways to source your summer produce that don’t involve a shopping cart and a supermarket.
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How to Dye Easter Eggs the Natural Way

Written by Megan of Stetted.

Our family is not religious, but we still enjoy celebrating the arrival of spring with a morning of hunting for brightly colored eggs, followed by an egg-laden brunch table.

We try to not let our son eat food with artificial colors in it, and this year I decided we had to make the same rule when it came to our Easter eggs. True, the colored shell of the egg is not eaten, but why bother with chemicals when you have Mother Nature’s bounty to give you gorgeous hues?

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Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Editor’s Note: With the arrival of Clara, I’m taking a short maternity blogging break. I’m excited to welcome several guest writers, among them, my friend and fellow mother, Kelsey, The Naptime Chef. Welcome, Kelsey!

For many years I was under the false impression that baking cinnamon rolls at home was extremely difficult. I am not sure why, I just felt certain I could never replicate the ooey, gooey, cinnamon-y goodness I found in the rolls from our local bakery. Then I took a great baking class on working with yeast and discovered a simple method for rolls that made the whole idea of making them far more accessible.

Once I mastered the basic formula (which, thankfully, including kneading with a mixer!) I started playing with the flavors. I got the idea to add cinnamon to the actual dough from the amazing Balthazar cinnamon rolls I used to buy at my favorite Upper West Side coffee shop.

Then, I added a dash of nutmeg to round out the warm spices, chopped pecans for texture, and topped everything with a sticky vanilla bean glaze. The resulting rolls were soft and chewy with just the right amount of nutty crunch.

All photos by The Naptime Chef

For my family of breakfast eaters, these have quickly become our go-to Saturday morning breakfast. I prepare the dough after everyone is safely asleep the night before, letting it rise while we watch a movie, then have them ready to bake the moment everyone wakes up. Once they are out of the oven we barely have the patience to let them cool before it is time to dig-in.

Enjoy!

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