Perfect Pork Chops

I’ve always liked the idea of pork chops for dinner, it makes me think of a happy 1950’s family (complete with two perfect kids) sitting around the dinner table.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to cook a decent one!  They’ve always turned out very dry and tough and I’ve secretly suspected that maybe only a 50s housewife really knows how to cook these things.  (Did they eat a lot of pork chops on Happy Days? Not sure why I have this association  …).

Things were looking pretty poor for pork in our family, until I discovered the trick to a thick juicy chop! Continue reading

Do you know a good egg when you see one?

We go through a lot of eggs in our family.  From breakfast to baking they’re in our diet every day, so when I started paying attention to what was in our food it was really important to me to choose the right ones.  The problem was when I stopped blindly reaching for the cheapest egg carton and opened my eyes to all the different ones available I became kind of paralyzed by all the choices.  Natural, Organic, Free Range, Cage Free,Vegetarian Fed,  No Hormones, No Antibiotics, Pastured, Certified Humane, etc.  the choices can be overwhelming!  To help unscramble the options (:-)) I’ve done some research to figure out what exactly these terms mean and what’s important when buying eggs.  It comes down to 3 things:

1.  The diet the chickens were fed.

2. How the chickens were raised.

3. How fresh the eggs are.

How do these translate to the terms on packages? For an easy cheat sheet here’s what you should look for in order of importance. Continue reading

Maple Mania

As I mentioned on Facebook, I am now obsessed with my new discovery from this weekend — Maple Cream!
bread maple cream
This month is Maple Month here in New Hampshire, which is just perfect for us since honey and syrup are our main sweeteners these days. So on Saturday we took a little family field trip to Meader’s Heritage Farm in Rochester, NH to learn about how they make the syrup. As it turned out, my 1st grader and kindergartners knew a lot more about the process than I did!

When we pulled into the farm I instantly felt like we had stepped into a Christmas card, complete with snow falling! — Yes, snow on March 22nd! Ugh! This adorable farm has stone walls, two big friendly work horses leaning their heads over the fence for the kids to pet and a picture perfect sleigh parked against the barn.
horse Continue reading

Cooking with kids video: Delicious potatoes

potatoes.resizeAlthough it still feels like winter here we’ve been dreaming of summer, and one thing that always makes me think of summer is having a campfire, so I couldn’t resist buying this Camp Mix seasoning.  Turns out it’s even better than I expected!  Not only is it full of delicious, kid friendly spices (great flavor, but not too spicy!), it’s also made in New Hampshire, AND it’s turned my boys into potato lovers!  Before this they were all pretty sure they didn’t like potatoes, or tomatoes for that matter — possibly because they rhyme with potatoes (?) not sure.   Now, they practically beg me to make these, so I figured why not teach them to make them themselves!  Ding!  Another reason to love them, less work for me :) Continue reading

Easter Treats – With none of the junk! (no refined sugar, preservatives, or artificial colors)

Easter collage 40resizeAs I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been kind of worried about the upcoming Easter holiday. This will be our first Easter being “junk free” and eating Real Food and I can tell I’m not the only one who’s been a little concerned about how the “Easter Bunny” is going to pull this off this year. My kids are very aware of all the Easter candy being promoted in the supermarket, on commercials, on billboards, etc., and have been loudly – randomly -calling out to thin air (presumably to the invisible Easter Bunny who I think they might be confusing a little with Santa Claus, not sure, but I get the sense that they think the Easter Bunny is watching over them and listening to what they want in their Easter baskets), “Easter Bunny, I’ve been good! Please bring me _____!” (whatever candy they just happened to see on tv, in a magazine, at the store, etc.

So, I’ve been hard at work coming up with some “Real Food Easter Treats” and I think I have some real winners here! In fact, the only treat that had a mixed reaction in our family was the chocolate egg which does have a dark chocolate flavor to it, so it probably wouldn’t appeal to all kids. The other night I cut one egg in 1/4s to let them each try it and I got the following reactions: Continue reading

Delicious (Easy!) Blueberry Muffins

muffin pic.resizeI made these last night thinking we’d have them for the weekend, and there are only 3 left!  They are deeelicious — you may want to make a double batch!  Also, you can add anything you like to them it doesn’t have to be blueberries.  I’ve used strawberries before and I think smashed bananas, raisins or nuts would be good too.

Delicious (Easy!) Blueberry Muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 12 muffins
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter (melted)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl combine first three ingredients.
  4. In a medium bowl stir egg, milk, butter and honey together.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries (or whatever fruit/nut you want).
  7. Pour evenly into 12 muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 16 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.