Tag Archives: kid friendly
6/17/13

Grilled French Sausages

Grilled French Sausages

You might be thinking these French Grilled Sausages are simply fancy hot dogs. I assure you, mes amies, they are so much more. And they will become your go-to item on the grill this summer.

Right around this time last year, we were honeymooning in Paris. One of the best meals we had – and this is going to sound insane – was a grilled sausage picnic that we ordered from a deli near our hotel. We carried our packed lunch to a nearby park and sat in the sun, enjoying our lunch next to others taking mid-day breaks in the sunshine. The sausages were delicious, but what really made this special was that the sausages were served in slices of baguette. Because, apparently when you’re a Parisian, you can eat french bread all day and still look like a model. Would this be a good time to point out that I gained 7 pounds on our honeymoon? But anyway.

Grilled French Sausages

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4/10/13

Acai Bowls

Acai Bowls

Sometimes Hawaii is behind in cool trends, from fashion to music to movies. But in the case of Acai Bowls, Hawaii is waaay ahead of the curve.

Acai berries (pronounced ah-sai-e) traditionally come from South America and are loaded with antioxidants. They are considered a super food, and it doesn’t hurt that they also happen to be delicious. You can find acai berries in several forms here in the states, most commonly dried. But Acai Bowls are perhaps the most delicious (and fun!) way to enjoy the acai berry.

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4/8/13

{Bloggers Against Hunger} $4 Lentil Soup

Food bloggers nationwide were challenged to answer a simple question today: What would you do if you were hungry?

Some of you may have caught on by now that I’m passionate about the issue of hunger. And it really is a big issue – even here in our own country. 1 in 5 kids in America suffer from hunger. That’s 16 million kids who are not getting the food they need. If you’re surprised by these figures, I hate to tell you that it gets worse. Kids who don’t get the food and nutrition they need suffer long-term consequences. Hungry kids are more likely to experience serious short- and long-term health issues. They tend to have trouble learning and are more prone to behavioral and emotional problems. And these kids may look not different from other children. Child hunger in America is often invisible.

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3/4/13

Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps

Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps

I’m over the winter. Can we pretend that it’s summer? And that we’re on vacation?

Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps

I don’t know what it is about these thai lettuce wraps, but they take me there. You know where.

That super fun, relaxing place where you can be carefree and have Sriracha on your chin and not even care? Yup, there.

Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps

These thai lettuce wraps are super simple to make, and you can be as creative as you want with the toppings. Swap the chicken for shrimp, or forgo meat completely for a vegetarian meal. Add shredded carrots instead of the zucchini. You get the idea. I love serve-it-yourself type dishes, like sushi and tacos, and this one is right up there.

Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps
Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps

So grab your lettuce wrap and hold tight. Faux-cation, here we come…

Crunchy Thai Lettuce Wraps
Serves 2

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Ingredients
1/4 lb bag of thai noodles (or thin spagetti noodles)
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
1 bunch romaine lettuce, washed
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup peanut sauce
Sriracha and/or red pepper flakes
1 zucchini, shredded
limes for garnish

Instructions
Cook noodles according to package directions, drain, and let cool. Add peanut sauce and mix until thoroughly coated. Cut bottom 1-2 inches off lettuce slices. Line all ingredients up (think: taco bar!) and let your family serves themselves.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

1/16/13

I ♥ Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread

Dark chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies

I have a very eclectic selection of cookie cutters.

Some of the most random ones include: squirrels and greek letters. These are unrelated. Promise.

Dark chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies

Although the heart cookie cutter is probably the most normal one, it only comes out once a year, in February.

Last year for Valentine’s Day I made Conversation heart cookies that my friends and colleagues loved. This year I made a personal favorite: macadamia nut shortbread dipped in dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies
 
I didn’t make up this combination, but I can certainly appreciate it.

Life sure is sweet. xo

Dark chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies
 
Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Shortbread
Serves 2

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Ingredients
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup flour
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
An extra 1/4 cup macadamia nuts finely chopped to use as a topping
8 oz. chocolate (I prefer dark)
1/4 cup shortening

Instructions
Cream the butter until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. When combined, slowly add the flour and beat until incorporated. Mix in the coarsely chopped mac nuts. Pat the dough into a ball and refrigerate in a large ziplock bag or plastic wrap for 2 hours. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F and remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out to 1/4-1/2 inch, and stamp with cookie cutters (or, simply roll into log and slice). Place pieces on ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies turn golden around the edges. Remove from oven and place cookies on a cooling rack. In the meantime, melt the chocolate and shortening, and dip (or drizzle!) over cookies. Sprinkle with finely chopped mac nuts, if desired, and let cool.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Shortbread

Makes approx. 2 dozen large cookies
Adapted from Use Real Butter

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup flour
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
An extra 1/4 cup macadamia nuts finely chopped to use as a topping
8 oz. chocolate (I prefer dark)
1/4 cup shortening

Instructions:
Cream the butter until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. When combined, slowly add the flour and beat until incorporated. Mix in the coarsely chopped mac nuts. Pat the dough into a ball and refrigerate in a large ziplock bag or plastic wrap for 2 hours. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F and remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out to 1/4-1/2 inch, and stamp with cookie cutters (or, simply roll into log and slice). Place pieces on ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies turn golden around the edges. Remove from oven and place cookies on a cooling rack. In the meantime,  melt the chocolate and shortening, and dip (or drizzle!) over cookies. Sprinkle with finely chopped mac nuts, if desired, and let cool.

1/9/13

White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

White truffle macaroni and cheese

We spent the holidays in Hawaii with my family.

After two weeks, I think we must have acclimated to the 80 degree weather. By the time we arrived back in Portland after New Year’s, the temperature in the Northwest had dropped dramatically to the low 30s – and it was really difficult to get used to the change.

All I’ve wanted since we’ve returned is comfort food: quesadillas, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and macaroni and cheese. Notice a trend here? Thank god I’m not lactose intolerant.

White truffle macaroni and cheese

I justified my mac and cheese craving by making it from scratch and adding white truffle oil to make it a bit more sophisticated. And wow, we devoured this dish quickly. The truffle oil adds a really earthy, rich flavor to the already drool-worthy cheesy goodness. Truffle oil can be expensive, but a little goes a long way. And it’s totally worth the splurge.

White truffle macaroni and cheese

In addition to the truffle oil, I love the caramelized breadcrumb crust. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat crustless mac and cheese again.

This one-pot-dish was adopted from a Ninja Cooking Systems Slow Cooker recipe, but you can adapt it to your own slow cooker (or for the stovetop!) easily.

White truffle macaroni and cheese
 
White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8

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Ingredients
4 cups water
1 pound uncooked noodles (macaroni or other)
¾ cup butter
6 T all-purpose flour
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
6¾ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray
1½ cups bread crumbs
2 T truffle oil

Instructions
Pour water into pot. Set to STOVETOP HIGH. Heat uncovered to a boil. Stir in macaroni. Cook uncovered 9 minutes or until macaroni is just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove macaroni from pot and drain well in colander, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Add ½ cup butter to pot. Set to STOVETOP MED and heat until butter is melted. Stir in flour. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in 6 cups Cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, and pepper until cheeses are melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off pot and add truffle oil. Stir cheese mixture, macaroni, and reserved cooking water in large bowl. Wipe pot clean. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter. Stir melted butter, bread crumbs, ¾ cup Cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup Pecorino Romano in bowl. Spray pot with cooking spray. Press bread crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of pot. Pour in macaroni mixture. Set OVEN to 350°F for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Cook until golden brown on bottom and sides and invert onto plate.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/