Category Archives: Kid Friendly

Fun With Food

DSC_8879 (1600x1060)Because I’m really only nine years old.

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Fajitas

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I know it’s a big party weekend, but since we’ve covered Super Bowl snacks twice already in the recipe exchange, I didn’t see how I could get away with it again this year. For those snacks ideas, click here and here.  All those recipes should give you plenty of ideas for your Super Bowl Party. Obligatory, Go Broncos! 

What are you making for the Super Bowl? Or more importantly, what are you making for the Puppy Bowl? Might I suggest Puppy Chow? Seriously good snack! And who are you picking for the big game?

Now about those fajitas. A while ago, JeffreyW posted about making his own fajita seasoning and I was curious. We emailed back and forth a few times about good recipes and then I was ready to make my own. I can’t imagine I will ever buy taco or fajita seasoning again. It’s easy to make and I can control the salt, which is a plus. And fajitas are a quick, simple dinner for any night of the week.

Here’s the recipe that started it all: JeffreyW’s Chicken Fajitas (pictured above), click here.

And then here’s where I went with it:

fajitas

Steak Fajitas

  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange or red pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs sirloin or flank steak
  • olive oil and butter
  • 10 flour tortillas

Fajita Seasoning

Mix together the following and store in an airtight container.

  • 2 tbsp chili powder (I used a combo of chili and ancho chili powders)
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Slice the sirloin very thin – which is easier to do if it’s slightly frozen,  then coat the meat thoroughly with 1 to 2 tbsp of the seasoning and set aside. I grilled onions in a bit of butter and olive oil until they were nicely caramelized, removed and set aside. I then sautéed the peppers with a bit more olive oil until they were soft, removed and set aside. Then I quickly fried up the beef in olive oil, adding a touch of lime and water at the end to create a bit of a sauce with the fajita seasoning. Served with warmed tortillas.

Easy way to warm tortilla – wrap in foil and leave in a 200 degree oven while prepping dinner.

That’s it for this week. We’re snowed under here, but I stayed warm with two good recipes this week:  Stuffed French Toast Rollups and the weekly Dinner Menu, Crispy Potato Chicken.  See you next week – TaMara

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Dinner Menu: Buffalo Burgers and Stuffed Acorn Squash

Buffalo became the topic of conversation a few weeks ago. I use buffalo burger frequently but have never delved into roasts or steak. The idea appeals to me and I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then, I do have a nice buffalo burger recipe…

Tonight’s menu came to be as one of my kids’ night menus, but don’t let that fool you, it’s tasty. If you haven’t had buffalo before, this is your chance to try it. If you want to start out slowly, mix it half and half with a ground beef (I’d go with an 80/20 grind, because the buffalo is so lean), or mix in ¼ lb of spicy sausage. The stuffed acorn squash is a quick, easy recipe, but let it inspire you, because you can stuff acorn squash with any number of wonderful things, from rice to couscous to fruits and nuts. It can make for a fun, decorative holiday side. For the dessert, you can usually find frozen huckleberries, but if not, you can easily substitute with blueberries or even a selection of mixed berries like blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

On the board tonight:

  1. Buffalo Burgers
  2. Whole Grain Rolls
  3. Stuffed Acorn Squash
  4. Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

Buffalo Burgers

  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp ea: thyme, rosemary, marjoram
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 1 tbsp oil (skip if using hamburger)

large deep skillet w/lid

Mix ingredients, except oil, together well. Divide into 4. Create patties. Heat oil in skillet, add patties. Sear for 2 minutes, each side, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Buffalo is a very lean meat, so you want to cook it slowly and avoid over cooking it. Makes 4 large burgers.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and cleaned
  • 1 box wild rice mix, prepared according to directions
  • 4-6 button mushrooms, washed and diced
  • 1 tbsp butter, quartered

9×12 Baking dish

Pour about ¼ to ½ cup broth into baking dish. Place acorn squash, cut-side down, and bake at 375 degrees until fork tender (a fork easily pierces the skin) – about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add mushroom pieces to rice mixture.Turn squash cut-side up, put a pat of butter in each half, then mound with stuffing, leaving just a rim of squash showing. Bake for additional 15 minutes, until stuffing is browned.

Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup berries (huckleberries or blueberries)
  • ½ cup butter

Loaf pan, greased

Cream eggs, butter and sugar together. Add flour, milk, and vanilla. Toss berries with a bit of flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Fold berries gently into mixture. Put in loaf pan, sprinkle top with a bit of sugar and bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until done, when a knife comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf.

Shopping List:

  • 4 whole grain sandwich rolls
  • 4 oz can of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 2 large acorn squash
  • 1 box wild rice mix
  • 4-6 button mushrooms
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 stick + 2 tbsp butter
  • 16 oz huckleberries, or equivalent

Also: oil, vanilla, baking powder, egg, thyme, rosemary, marjoram

Originally posted November 2010

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Someone Made All the Layers of Earth…with Cake

If only to prove I suck as a blogger and baker, I stumbled across this little baking adventure yesterday. I had to share. I was so impressed. What do you think?

From CakeCrumbs Live Journal:

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A little while ago, my sister approached me with an idea. She’s doing an education degree, and her and her friends had to give a series of lessons on the geological sciences to a class of primary school kids. One of their lessons involved teaching the kids about the structure of the Earth. One of her friends came up with the idea of presenting a model of the Earth made out of cake. So my sister asked me if I could make a spherical cake with all the layers of the Earth inside it.

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To see how she achieved this feat, head over to her page and see her process at CakeCrumbs.

And for more of her amazing designs, wander around her blog for a while. I think this is one of my favorites.  Followed closely by this one. It’s amazing stuff. And if you’re in Melbourne, Australia, she’ll make you a cake to order.  Cool.

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Enchiladas

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Quick note: I’ve been playing with the layout of the blog, so it may change several more times over the weekend. Please standby.

JeffreyW has been teasing with some impressive looking South of the Border treats lately, so I thought it would be a good night to focus on them. The featured recipe is an enchilada pie. It  is kid friendly and a breeze to put together. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.

JeffreyW makes a similar dish, called Enchiladas Montadas (recipe here), which is pictured above.

Also from JeffreyW, a quick and easy Chicken Enchiladas (click here), including his terrific photos.

From frequent visitor, Joshua De Mers (you may know his as Yutsano), his Pork Enchiladas (recipe here).

All of that should give you an idea how to create your own enchilada to satisfy your tastes. Hit the comments and share some of your favorite enchilada, nacho, burrito or other favorites.  And if you need more inspiration, click here for a complete photo gallery of JeffreyW’s enchilada creations.

Finally, tonight’s featured recipe:

Enchilada Pie

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 20 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated

skillet & 8×8 glass baking dish, lightly oiled

Add beef and onion to skillet and cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Add spices and sauces; let simmer while you prep tortillas. Tear tortillas into strips and use some to cover the bottom of a well-oiled casserole dish. Layer a portion of the beef mixture and cheese on top, then repeat (tortillas, beef, cheese) to fill up casserole; finish with layer of cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350°

Friday Recipe Exchange: Oven Baked Chicken

Chicken à la noir.

Chicken à la noir.

I thought we’d covered oven baked chicken before, but it turns out we have not. Since this is one of my favorite ways to make chicken, I was surprised. So that’s tonight’s theme. There are many different ways to go about making crispy baked chicken, I like Italian bread crumbs and panko for mine. Sometimes I soak the chicken in buttermilk for an hour and use that instead of egg to get the breadcrumbs to adhere. But if I’m in a hurry, it’s just the traditional recipe that I’ve posted below. And by traditional, I mean the one I grew up with, although my mom used rice crispies and cut up chicken pieces.

To change things up, you can add ingredients, like parmesan cheese, sesame seeds (there’s a recipe for that below), corn flakes or rice crispies. I saw a very interesting recipe recently that used toasted pecans, breadcrumbs and panko as the coating. I’m going to recipe test that one when I have a chance.

If you want something a little different, one of my favorites is Crispy Potato Chicken (recipe here).

Craving a Crispy and Spicy Chicken Sandwich?  Here’s a recipe that comes close to a famous fast food joint.

And for something completely different, how about Baked Chicken with Peaches? (recipe here)

If you’re looking to barbecue chicken that’s not all scorched on the outside and raw inside, either on the grill or in the oven, I have some simple tips here.

Grilled, baked, fried or barbecued, what’s your favorite style of chicken? Do you have one of those favorite childhood foods you just have to make once a week or so? Share some recipes in the comments.

On to tonight’s two featured recipes:

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 bonelss chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water**
  • salt & pepper to taste (at least 1/8 tsp each)

large mouth bowl, large plate and baking sheet lined with foil or parchment

Wash and pat chicken dry. In a large bowl, add water, eggs, oil, salt and pepper and beat well. Mix together and spread Italian breadcrumbs and panko evenly on large plate. Take chicken pieces one at a time and dip in egg wash, coating completely, dredge  in bread crumbs until lightly coated on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake  at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with foil covering the chicken, uncover and cook additional 15 minutes.

If you want to punch up the coating, you can add additional dry herbs to the breadcrumb mixture, I usually add some extra garlic and onion powder, a touch of cayenne, a bit of dried basil and rosemary.

This next recipe is great when the kids want chicken fingers, or it can be used with breasts and thighs as well, but you’ll need to increase the portions of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds to equal 3 cups.

Sesame Chicken Fingers

  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp limejuice
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment or foil

2 bowls and 1 plate

Mix mustard, honey & limejuice in bowl, set aside. On plate mix salt, pepper, breadcrumbs & sesame seeds. In second bowl, add egg, water & oil. Dip chicken in egg wash then dredge in breadcrumbs. Line on baking sheet, bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, should be crispy on all sides. Serve with mustard dipping sauce, waffle fries and a fresh vegetable tray for a quick and easy dinner.

Burger Week: Focaccia Burgers w/Italian Condimenti

Continuing the Burger Week series with one of my favorites. The series started here and this weeks recipes can be found here.

Originally published July 24, 2010

If you are looking for something different to grill this weekend instead of the same old burgers, this one brings new flavors to an old favorite:

Focaccia Burgers

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh, snipped)
  • 1 tsp crushed dried oregano
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella (you’ll want 8 slices total)
  • 16 oz Focaccia bread, cut into 4 square pieces, then sliced horizontally

bowl

In bowl, mix together all ingredients, (except mozzarella & bread), mixing well and forming 8 small patties. Grill until cooked through. Watch carefully because they are small, they won’t take as long and you don’t want them to dry out. Top each burger with cheese and let melt. On each plate, place two slices of Focaccia bread and put a patty on each slice, top each with lots of Italian condimenti (below). You’ll have two open-faced burgers per person when you’re done.  Serves 4

Italian Condimenti

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

bowl

In bowl, mix together all ingredients and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the meal, at least 30 minutes.

Burger Week: Dilly Burgers

Continuing our series of burger recipes, which will conclude with Thursday’s recipe exchange:

Dilly Burgers

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup sour cream (lo-fat ok)
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste (I also like a dash of onion powder)

Mix ingredients together, form into 4 patties. Broil or fry, 5 minutes or longer to desired doneness. Serve immediately. Works great with toasted onion rolls.

The series started here. This weeks recipes can be found here.

Burger Week: Jalapeno Burgers

Photo by JeffreyW

I like things spicy, so adding jalapenos to burgers was a no-brainer. But you can take it even further. Omit the milk and use picante  or salsa to the mix instead. This will keep your burgers juicy and really add some zing.

Originally posted on March 3, 2010

This was dinner tonight, served on homemade bread, of course.

Jalapeno Burgers

  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2-4 jalapenos, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 oz sliced jalapeno jack cheese (opt)

Suggest toppings:

  • salsa for topping
  • avocado slices
  • sour cream
  • black olives
  • chopped lettuce and tomato

bowl

Soak bread in milk, add beef & jalapenos, salt & pepper. Mix well and divide into 4 portions. Shape burgers and either grill or fry until desired doneness. Add cheese and let melt. Serve with optional toppings on toasted buns.

The series started here. This weeks recipes can be found here.

Burger Week: Cuban Burgers

By the time we get to this Thursday’s recipe exchange you should have enough burger recipes to wow any backyard grilling party. Let’s get things started. And if you missed it, it all started here with 4 recipes.

Cuban Burgers

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp jerk seasoning (or more as desired)
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • ½ lb thinly sliced deli ham
  • ½ red onion, sliced in rings
  • 4 kaiser rolls, sliced
  • Dressing:
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp dill pickle relish

small bowl

Mix ground beef, salt, pepper & jerk and create 4 patties. Fry or grill until cooked to desired doneness.

In bowl, mix garlic, mayo, mustard & dill relish. To make burgers, spread dressing on both sides of rolls, layer burger, swiss cheese, deli ham and onion. If you want you can place cheese on burgers before removing from heat and let it melt. And I almost always grill my onions, but that’s a personal preference.

And I think we’ll add this to the Back To Basic Series, too.  This week’s recipes can be found here.

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