Magic Mix – my secret time saver!

One of the things I hear most often from other moms is that it’s time consuming to eat real food all the time.  It’s so much easier to grab a pre-packaged mix.  Well, here’s a little secret:  You don’t need to buy packaged mixes!  You can make your own in 5 minutes.  Here’s a “pre-made mix” I created that you can use any time you want to make things like pancakes, muffins, and biscuits.  Trust me, take 5 minutes to mix this together and it’ll save you lots of time later. magic mix Continue reading

New England Fish Chowder

One of the best things about a nor’easter is that it’s a perfect time to make fish chowder (assuming the storm doesn’t shut down your electricity!).  This weekend we had our second – or maybe it’s the third – storm so far this season and it’s looking like we’re in for a bad winter, so we officially welcomed the cold weather by chowing down on chowder.  This dish is a blend of two authentic New England recipes – my husband’s grandmother’s recipe and John F. Kennedy’s recipe that was published in a newspaper years ago.  It’s definitely a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal that will warm and fill you up with delicious, real, ingredients.  Enjoy!

final

New England Fish Chowder
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs firm white fish (Pollock, haddock, etc.)
  • 2 cups fish stock
  • 4 large potatoes - peeled and cubed (Yukon Gold are good)
  • 1 vidalia onion - chopped
  • 1 celery stalk - finely diced
  • 4 slices bacon cut into ¼" pieces
  • 2½ T flour (I use white whole wheat)
  • ¼ c white wine
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 2 T butter
Instructions
  1. In a large pot simmer the fish in the fish stock for about 15 minutes, or until just under done.
  2. Remove fish to a plate and cut into bite sized pieces, removing any bones at the same time.
  3. Transfer stock to a separate bowl.
  4. In the same pot add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  5. Add diced onion to the bacon grease in the pot and sauté until translucent - about 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir to make a roux. Stir constantly to slightly cook, but not burn, the flour.
  7. Stir the stock back into the pot, stirring constantly until the flour mixture and stock are well combined.
  8. Add the celery, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
  9. Bring to a boil and add the wine.
  10. Reduce heat to medium and add the potatoes.
  11. Cook at a low boil for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  12. Add half and half and stir to combine.
  13. Add butter and stir while melting.
  14. Add fish and slowly heat until all is warm.
  15. Crumble reserved bacon on top and serve with crusty bread and salad.

 

 

Halloween Snack Attack

Unfortunately my kids will never open their lunch boxes and find a replica of Fenway Park somehow artfully created out of a sandwich, or a teddy bear made out of fruit salad, or even a puppy made out of rice balls.  ( Sorry kids, mommy is lacking both the talent and time to create edible lunch art.)  BUT these two easy snacks are right up my alley — healthy, cute and quick!

A couple of spooky little surprises for their school snack:  pumpkin muffins and clementine “spiders”.

picmonkey Continue reading

Easy (healthy!) Halloween Treat Idea!

It seems like Halloween is the official kick off for “school party season”.  I’m always trying to think of party food I can bring in to my kids’ classes that’s not junk food, but also not so “healthy” that they’re embarrassed that their mom is the “apple and raisin mom”.   I made these this weekend and think they’re the perfect solution!  A quick, easy and healthy Halloween treat idea – perfect for a school party.

Just spread natural peanut butter on the end of a pretzel rod and roll in a topping.  I used raisins and mini chocolate chips, but I think unsweetened coconut and chopped nuts would also be good.  Stick a plastic “witch finger” on the end of the rod and slip the pretzel into a plastic pretzel bag.  I found these witch finger tips at Michaels craft store, but I think they sell them everywhere.

Enjoy!

witches fingers

Water your kids drinking?

Looking for some healthy drink options for your kids?  Just like with food, the best stuff is the real stuff.

water with mint sprigs and lime slices

water with mint sprigs and lime slices

But with drinks, it’s so easy for healthy choices to quickly turn into a ton of daily sugar.  We all know not to give our kids sugary sodas, energy drinks and fruit drinks, but even 100% orange juice contains a whopping 22 grams of sugar and whole milk has 11 grams.  The best drink?  Plain old water.  BUT, it doesn’t have to be “plain”! Continue reading