When you are cooking with kids, there is such a huge feeling of accomplishment when they learn how to do things from scratch. Even better? When they can get super-dirty doing it! Rolling meatballs by hand is one of life’s greatest thrills. There is so much control over what happens too – tiny, huge. Bake them. Fry them in a pan. A touch of Worcestershire, a dash of spice. Teaching kids to cook creatively are lessons that will last them a lifetime. Meatballs and the creation of a homemade ruby red sauce are great places to begin.
This is the perfect intro to making pasta with your kids. Known as ‘little ear’ pasta, orecchiette looks like cute little cups. Or pig’s ears. It’s mind-boggling to watch children’s faces as you turn a heap of flour on the counter into handmade pasta without the use of a machine! It’s also such a rush to make a water-filled well out of the flour and carefully incorporate the sides without letting the water escape. Making orecchiette and Alfredo sauce with kids is both satisfying and delicious.
There’s no denying the importance of “couple time.” Date night gives you the chance to reconnect with the person you knew before they became the person with whom you co-parent. Time alone together lets you strengthen your commitment, rekindle a romantic spark, and relieve stress. These days, going ‘out’ during lockdowns isn’t really an option for most people. Here are some movie ideas – classics, romances, and comedies – along with specialty cinema-inspired cocktails to enjoy while you snuggle.
Most people hear ‘butter chicken’ and want to head to the store to purchase and over-priced sauce that lacks flavour and contains a ton of additives. This doesn’t have to happen. I actually ran a ‘pandemic virtual cooking club’ with a ton of kids, and they created this in less than 30 minutes! If you are looking for an authentic, but easy weeknight butter chicken, this is one to try.
Seeing as we are all still stuck at home with extra time on our hands, here is a recipe that is not only delicious but also nutritious and low fat with no added sugar. Homemade low fat granola is a great way to start your day and perfect for a mid day munch. With the kids learning from home, I tend to deliver mid-morning snacks to keep their attention focused on the virtual learning. (Sometimes I make it with some dark chocolate chunks to brighten the day – of course…) You can add goji berries, dried fruit, chia seeds or coconut. Whatever you have in the cupboard that can add some interest to your pandemic cooking!
This fresh and healthy recipe for lemony lentils with kale packs a punch of nutrients and stays warm in a dutch oven while you pry the kids off to a fun activity! It’s filled with iron in the kale, and the lentils aren’t their normal chalky, flavourless selves because of the lemon punch. It’s a great side to roast chicken or fish. Delicious.
Got a child who needs a little calm-me-down at bedtime? Here are three great versions of the classic “Warm Milk” for babies and kids. Older kids can make them by themselves (with adult supervision of course).The mint milk is super soothing and refreshing, whereas adding molasses coats a sore throat and provides comfort.
Q. Do I need to drink milk to produce milk?
Taco Tuesday? Fajita Friday? Or simply an excuse-for-a-fiesta-Saturday. All summer long I’ve been tending to the garden as the kids help me water and weed. We’ve tried our hand at growing vegetables and have been thrilled with the results. In addition, my family and I have the good fortune of owning a crab trap. So…. when I mastered the summer challenge of catching crab in the Pacific Ocean, I was very proud. The only obstacle is when I catch too many. Seriously. Listen to myself! Feeling inspired and using my new pastimes to source fresh ingredients, I got our family and friends out of a serious dinner rut with crab tacos.
One of my big pandemic activities (like everyone else!) has been developing a sourdough starter, and playing around with bread making. With little yeast or flour in the stores, I went directly to a local flour mill, then spent hours learning how to develop a good sourdough starter out of simple flour and water.