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Risotto, Spinach and Kale Cakes with Parmesan

Risotto, Spinach and Kale Cakes with Parmesan

EAT, family meals By October 5, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

We think these little cakes have everything going for them, from their portable size to their delicious Parmesan flavour. This hearty risotto also gets a dose of my favourite superfood, kale. Two-bite wonders, they’re a great lunch packed up with some fruit and cut vegetables. You can also serve these little bundles alongside eggs at breakfast or as a side with dinner.

This recipe was excerpted from the great new cookbook entitled How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potatoes Chronicles Cookbook, by Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh.  As two urban, working moms, Ceri and Laura learned quickly how challenging healthy meal-times can be. So they joined forces to create the Sweet Potato Chronicles (, a website written for, and by, non-judgmental moms, packed full of nutritious recipes for families.  The phenomenal cookbook is available across Canada at Chapters Indigo.

Prep time:  30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes:       about 8


5 cup  (125 ml) arborio rice
1 Tbsp   (15 ml) butter
4 cup (60 ml) chopped onion
3 cloves  garlic,  minced
1 cup  (250 ml) chopped kale, fresh or frozen
1 cup  (250 ml) chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
5 cup  (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Using a nonstick  spray, grease a muffin  tin.

Cook the arborio rice according to the package directions. If you’re using fresh greens, wash and remove any tough stems then chop. If your greens are frozen, thaw them for a few minutes and squeeze out any liquid.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion  and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the kale and spinach and sauté for about 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture  to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Transfer to a medium-size bowl and add the rice and cheese. Beat the eggs and then add to the rice. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, leaving about 1 inch  (2.5 cm)  space  at the  top. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until  the egg is set and the edges are golden brown.

Allow to cool for a few minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn  the cakes onto  a plate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator  for up to 4 days.

munchy crunchy crackers

Homemade Munchy Crunchy Crackers Recipe

EAT, snacks By October 19, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

One of my biggest pet peeves as a parent is that so many store-bought crackers are filled with excess salt and bad grains.  (And to purchase all natural ones can blow your food budget.)  So I was thrilled to find Jennifer Low’s recipe for crunchy munchy crackers in Everyday Kitchen for Kids.  It’s amazing to make your own crackers! These taste so good on their own, but you can also eat them with cheese, if you like. You will need a helper with the baking step.

Supplies you will need

baking sheet, parchment paper, bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, dinner knife, rolling pin, fork, pizza wheel, cooling rack (the metal kind for cooling cookies)


1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level; see page 19)
1/4 cup (50 mL) whole wheat flour (spoon in, level)
1/2 tsp (3 mL) chili powder
1/2 tsp (3 mL) dry mustard
1/2 tsp (3 mL) white sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Cut three sheets of parchment paper, each the size of your baking sheet. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix the two kinds of flour, chili powder, dry mustard (be sure to use the back of a spoon to mash out any lumps), and sugar. Set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk and butter in the microwave at 50% power until the butter is melted (about 1 minute).

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Use a baking spatula to scrape all the milk mixture into the flour bowl. Mix the ingredients into a dough, scraping sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife. When the dough gets too stiff to stir—keeping the dough in the bowl—use your hands to squeeze the dough against the crumbly bits and dry flour in the bottom of the bowl to work them into the dough.

Use a dinner knife to cut the dough into two equal-sized pieces. Put the first piece between two of the sheets of parchment paper you cut earlier. Put your rolling pin on the top sheet of parchment and roll out the dough to 1/16 inch (2 mm) (see “One- Quarter-Coin Rule,” page 17). To make excellent crisp crackers, it is very important to roll the dough that thin. First roll across the whole piece of dough to flatten it, then make it even thinner by rolling from the middle of the dough out to the edges. Press down hard. And just when you think it’s thin enough, roll it out again and check against the quarter coin. The dough puffs up a lot as it bakes.

Peel off the top sheet of parchment. Prick the rolled dough every inch (2.5 cm) with a fork. Use the pizza wheel to cut a checkerboard pattern into it. The squares should have about 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) sides. Don’t pull apart the squares of dough. Leave them exactly where you cut them, touching in rows. Slide the parchment paper—with the dough on it—onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the first batch bakes, roll out the second piece of dough between two pieces of parchment, prick and cut it the same way as the first. Bake this batch the same way as the first batch (either use a second baking sheet or cool off the first one and use it again). Keep the oven on after baking the second batch. You will still need to bake all the crackers again to crisp them.

Remove the baked crackers and parchment from the baking sheet. Put a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Pull apart the crackers into squares and place them on the cooling rack.

Put the baking sheet—holding the cooling rack and crackers— in the oven. Bake another 10 minutes or until the crackers begin to brown. Ask a helper to remove the browned crackers and put crackers that aren’t ready yet back in the oven for a few more minutes until they until they are also hard and crunchy.

Makes about 36 Munchy Crunchy Crackers.

We’ve also got Jennifer’s recipe for Real Mac ‘n Cheddar Cheese.

Jennifer is inviting kids to send in pictures of their favourite recipes from the book to her website

Excerpted from Everyday Kitchen for Kids (Whitecap Books) by Jennifer Low
Photo by Ryan Szulc from Everyday Kitchen for Kids (Whitecap Books)


Cook, by Deborah Anzinger

books, GEAR By October 19, 2011 Tags: , , No Comments

I used to make muffins every couple of days.  Somehow, I just stopped.  When I was sent this new cookbook, I was inspired – was is the great 1950’s graphics on the cover or the yummy recipes?  Not sure.  2 pans of muffins and 3 dozen ‘Wartime’ cookies later, I was hooked.  There are awesome food recipes too – not just baking.  Anzinger has also provided tips and tricks for keeping a busy family organized and stuffing as much health into quick meals as possible.  She even teaches how to enlist other family members to help with the prep.  I’ve always wanted a sous chef.  And a pool boy.  But I digress.