A peek Into My Kitchen: White Bean Kale Soup (crockpot!)

The slowcooker/crockpot is truly a magical appliance! I love knowing that I can throw a whole bunch of vegetables into it in the morning and have dinner waiting for the family at the end of the day.  I am truly in awe of it’s fabulousness.

That said, if you’re not careful, a lot of recipes in the crockpot can turn out, for lack of a better word, gloopy.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have the convenience without ending up with another nondescript stew-y or chili-like dish.

This a great soup that actually remains soup-like even after sitting all day (or even overnight!) in the crockpot.  The beans (even though they’re canned!) actually maintain their shape and texture, and the kale adds a nice richness to the broth.  Win-Win!


The Food Pyramid Becomes a Pie?

In an attempt to offer americans a more meaningful guideline, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama, have tossed the food pyramid out the window and offered up a new plate graphic in its place.

According to Michelle Obama,  this plate will be a quick visual to aid parents in planning appropriate meals for their children:“When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too…As long as they’re (our kid's plates) half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden.”


A peek Into My Kitchen: Laaaazy Baked Pancake

I love to make pancakes for my family…except for the standing over the stove and making them part ;)  I've noticed that pancake-making seems to fall into two scenarios when hungry kids are involved–1)the pancake-maker in question stands at the stove making batch after batch until everyone else is full and then gets (if lucky) to sit down and eat a couple him or herself OR 2)the pancake-maker simply scarfs down a couple of pancakes right out of the pan while standing over the stove making batch after batch.

Neither scenario results in that Norman Rockwell pancake-eating family togetherness that one imagines while whipping up a batch of batter.

The solution?  A pancake (sort of) baked in a casserole dish which can be cut into pieces to feed everybody.  Genius, huh?


A peek Into My Kitchen: Tomato-Rice Soup

I just love soup and am always trying to come up with new not-too-complicated recipes to keep me in my soup and keep the DH and kids happy.

This soup, with some toasted grilled cheese and some cut up veggies is a really filling, easy shmeasy and totally multi-age pleasing meal!

Note: You could totally replace the rice with any little pasta shapes–stars, alphabet noodles etc.  Just cook them first, or they will soak up all of your soup!

Tomato-Rice Soup

Serves a family of 4, with leftovers for lunch

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)

1-2 stalks celery, sliced


A peek Into My Kitchen: Cinnamon Squash Soup

Sometimes, I find myself desperately craving soup…a need that I seem to have passed on to both of my children.  Thankfully, soup-making isn't an exact science, so when the urge hits, I rummage around and create soup recipes based on whatever I find in my fridge and pantry.

I made this one in about half and hour on Friday, to rave reviews from my 4 year old, 20 month old and even my husband.

Tip: Keep it a little bit thicker, or leave out the broth, and you have a great baby food which introduces your little one to the taste of cinnamon!

Cinnamon Squash Soup Serves ~4

1 Tbsp light olive oil

1 onion, chopped 


A peek Into my Kitchen: Non-traditional Spinach and Feta Latkes (No Potatoes!)

Who doesn’t love a latke?  Fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly donuts are traditionally eaten throughout the jewish holiday Chanukah…but the combination of oil and carbs can start to even the most die-hard french fry lover 😉  These are lighter and healthier, and a really nice  way to get some green vegetables into your kids! There are no hard ingredients or large chunks, so they make a great food for a younger toddler as well as for older kids and adults.

Spinach and Feta Latkes

2-3 tbsp olive oil, plus enough additional oil for frying

1 medium/large yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic

2 lbs fresh spinach, steamed & chopped, with as much liquid as possible squeezed out