My favorite place in the world is in my kitchen with my children. The laughter and memories made while cooking and baking together are irreplaceable. This blog lists some of our favorite recipes & experiments in the kitchen. Check back regularly for new posts, and be sure to check each week to get the recipes featured on our Cooking with Mommy online radio show!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tour of Italy

Hope you enjoyed today's show! Let us know how your Italian feast goes. We would love to hear from you! Below are today's recipes. Remember that each recipe serves 8-10 people. So, invite your friends over, and let your kids be proud that they were able to help prepare a meal for company!!!

Sundried Tomato Bruschetta
1 baguette
1 jar Sundried Tomato Pesto (We used Classico brand, found near the spaghetti sauce in your grocery store.)
1 (12 slice)pkg. Provolone cheese
Have your grown-up helper slice the baguette into approximately 20 slices. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of pesto on each slice of bread. Break cheese slices into quarters. Top with 2 pieces of provolone cheese. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese begins to turn golden and bubbly.
Caesar Salad
2 bags chopped romaine lettuce
1 bag garlic cheese croutons
4 oz. fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
Your favorite Caesar dressing
Toss first 3 ingredients. Pour Caesar dressing to taste.
Stuffed Shells
1 (32 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. mozzarella
1 c. fresh parmesan cheese, grated (plus additional for topping)
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 (2lb.) jar spaghetti sauce (your favorite)
1 box jumbo pasta shells
1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
Have your grown-up helper boil shells for 14-15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop cooking process. Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 baker.
Meanwhile, mix ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and eggs thoroughly. Separate mixture into 2 halves. Add spinach to second half of mixture.
Fill halve your shells with cheese mixture and place in 9x13 baker. Top with 1 cup spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese to taste. (You can top with mozzarella, as well.) Repeat steps in second 9x13 baker with spinach mixture. (You can use browned ground beef or Italian sausage instead of spinach, if you prefer.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.
Tiramisu Pudding Parfait
1 cups milk
1/4 c. instant coffee granules (You may use 1/8 cup if you desire a less strong coffee taste.)
1/4 c. sugar
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
2 boxes Cheesecake flavor instant pudding (8 servings total), plus ingredients to make pudding
16 Ladyfingers (Need 2 cookies per parfait.)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix 1 cup milk with instant coffee granules and sugar until coffee and sugar are dissolved. Mix in container of Cool Whip. (Mixture will be runny.)
In a separate bowl, prepare pudding according to package directions. Chill in refrigerator.
Break Ladyfingers into quarters. Place 4 pieces in bottom of parfait glass. Add 1/4 cup. coffee Cool Whip mixture. Next, add 1/4 cup pudding. Top with shredded chocolate chips as desired. Repeat layers one time. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to eating. (This allows the cookies to absorb some of the coffee mixture. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hurry, Hurry! Eat Some Curry!

Serve this yummy chicken salad in a pita pocket for a nice change of pace to your normal sandwich fare!

Curry Chicken Salad
3/4 lb. cooked chicken (weight after cooking), chopped or shredded
1 c. mayonnaise (We love our Duke's!)
1 Tblsp. curry powder
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery hearts, sliced
2/3 c. sweetened, dried cranberries
2/3 c. chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Open pita pocket. Layer several lettuce leaves in pocket. Fill with chicken salad. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Thank you to everyone who listened to our Saturday morning edition of Cooking with Mommy today. We chose to postpone our scheduled show yesterday due to Tropical Storm Fay. Although we never lost power, the lights flickered several times before and after the scheduled show time, and there were several tornadoes in the area. We thought it was a safer bet to postpone the show until the bad weather had passed. Thank you for all of your patience!!!

On to the good stuff! =) Below you will find the recipes from today's show. We hope you enjoy our spin on delicious fruit-filled treats!

Fluffy Fruit Dip

Although we didn't get a picture of this first snack specialty, we're sure you'll love it. It's super easy to make, and tastes delicious with any fruit.

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7 oz.) container marshmallow creme (We used Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme)

Mix ingredients until fluffy and smooth. Serve with assorted fruit of your choice. We recommend strawberries, pineapple, grapes, berries, etc.

Strawberry Soup

This chilled soup is a sweet and tasty way for kids (and their grown-up helpers) to enjoy strawberries!!!!

1 qt. fresh strawberries, tops removed
1/2 c. sugar
16 oz. whole milk (you can use cream, if you prefer)
2 oz. sour cream
3 oz. strawberry yogurt

Put strawberries (with tops removed) in a bowl. Pour sugar over top and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble your ingredients. Put half the strawberry/sugar mixture and half the milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Serve cold!

Frozen Banana Salad
This tangy treat is sure to delight your taste buds. This one's considered dessert in our house! Thanks to Sue Turner for this recipe!
2 cups sour cream
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 Tblspn. lemon juice (This keeps the bananas from browning.)
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional; we use walnuts)
1/2 cup sugar
4 bananas, mashed
1 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, quartered (Reserve liquid.)
Mix all above ingredients well. May add just enough cherry liquid to get the shade of pink you want. Pour into 9x9 inch pan. Freeze. Garnish with a dab of sour cream and top with a cherry.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lunchbox Ideas

We hope you enjoyed the show today. We have LOTS of ideas for "thinking outside the lunchbox". Hope you liked these three today! (Remember to try both of the Asian marinades and let us know who your vote goes to. It was a true Asian marinade throwdown!)

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 head iceburg lettuce, torn
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and chopped
1/3 cup vidalia onions (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (like Craisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Your favorite poppy seed dressing

Mix all ingredients except the dressing. Serve in bowls. Drizzle with poppy seed dressing.

Asian Chicken Legs

1 dozen chicken legs, without skin
1 marinade recipe (Choose 1 below)

Marinate chicken legs in marinade for several hours. (We recommend marinating overnight.) Grill over medium-low heat for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning chicken every 5 minutes. Put aluminum foil on end of chicken legs to keep fingers clean at lunchtime! =)

Mark's Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tblsp. ketchup
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. ground ginger (or substitute 1 Tblsp. fresh ground ginger)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tblsp. apricot preserves
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tblsp. rice vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
1/2 tsp. grated zest of lemon

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Kara's Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plum sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 pinch salt

Stir until mixed thoroughly.

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 (15 oz.) can chicken broth
1 lg. can Italian diced tomatoes
1 cup whole milk (For an even creamier soup, substitute heavy cream.)

Heat 1st three ingredients over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Add cream and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat. Blend in blender until smooth. Place in thermos, and enjoy at lunchtime!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Broccoli Casserole

Okay, so I can't vouch for the healthiness of this next one! It's a sometimes side dish, but it is delicious! The recipe we wanted to share with you today is a family favorite from MY childhood. My mom used to make this casserole for everything from potlucks to Thanksgiving to Sunday dinner. If you are in need of comfort, this is a dish for you! (And, it has veggies!!!)

Broccoli Casserole

2 10 oz. chopped broccoli
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise (We prefer Duke's!)
1 ¼ cup grated, cheddar cheese

Have your grown-up helper cook the broccoli until heated and drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, slightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add remaining ingredients to the beaten eggs and mix together. Lastly, add the broccoli and stir. Pour into an ungreased 9 X 13 dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Bake uncovered.

Mmmm! It's delicious! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Little Guacamole for You!

Hola! This weekend, we had some culinary adventures with avocados, plantains, and homemade doughnuts. There was a LOT of playtime for us in the kitchen, and the recipe we wanted to share with you today was loads of fun to make!

We find that letting the kids out of the cart in the produce section of the grocery store means we come home with a HUGE variety of fruits and vegetables. It also means the kids are open to trying new things because they helped choose what went into the cart! This week, we came home with apples, strawberries, bananas, plantains, grapes, mango, kiwi, avocados, pineapple, blueberries, green onions, several colors of bell peppers, mushrooms, etc. It's made for a fun week.

Last night, we decided to break out the avocados and make some guacamole! The recipe we came up with is below, and let me tell you! Mommy (that's me!) has REALLY enjoyed it! Hope you like it!


2 avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. tomato salsa (your favorite brand)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro

Have your grown-up helper cut a line around the avocado. Twist the avocado to remove one half. Have the grown-up helper place the knife, sharp side down on the large avocado seed and bang the knife gently to stick in seed. Twist the knife gently to remove the seed from the avocado. Using a spoon, remove the soft, green flesh of the avocado from the avocado peel.

In a medium size glass bowl, mash the avocado using a potato masher. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with spoon until fully incorporated! Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

***Tip: We suggest using juice from fresh fruit, but you can use bottle lemon juice, if desired. Additionally, if you have not lemon juice on hand, you can substitute lime juice. you will notice a slight change in flavor, but the guacamole still has a delicious flavor to it.

***Tip: You may use fresh cilantro instead of dried. We actually prefer the fresh, but dried is what we had on hand!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Healthy & Tasty Snacks

We hope you enjoyed the show today. For more details on what your child's nutrition demands, please check out Below are today's recipes! Hope you enjoy them!

Fruit & Yogurt Parfait

1 French Vanilla Yogurt cup, about 6 oz. (Our favorite is Stonyfield Farms with cream on top!)
Fresh Strawberries (sliced) and Blueberries

If using a cream on top yogurt, mix with spoon until cream is thoroughly incorporated. Pour half a container of yogurt into cup. Top with enough granola to fully cover yogurt. Layer sliced strawberries on granola, followed by blueberries. Repeat layers one more time. This makes one parfait.

Black Bean Hummus

1 can black beans
2 garlc cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. tahini
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lemon

Place all ingredients in food processor. (Be sure to have a grown up helper on hand!) Blend until smooth. Serve with pita chips or veggies (like carrots, celery, bell pepper, etc.)

Strawberry Ice Pops

10 oz. pkg. frozen, sweetened strawberries
2 strawberry yogurt cups (Again, we use Stonyfield Farms cream on the top!)
3 popsicle sticks or spoons
3 small plastic cups or gladware containers
Plastic Wrap (3 squares)

Thaw frozen strawberries. Blend in blender until they are smooth. (Get that grown-up helper to help!) Pour 1/3 container of yogurt into cup. (Mix first if using a cream on top yogurt.) Pour 1/3 blended strawberries on yogurt. Pour another 1/3 container of yogurt on top. Repeat process to fill 2 more cups.

Cut a small "x" in each plastic wrap square. Top each cup with plastic wrap. Insert popsicle stick or spoon through hole in plastic wrap. Freeze overnight.

Tip: To help the ice pop release from the cup, run the cup under hot water for a small period to soften the sides.

Hope you enjoy these snacks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Almond Fruit Pastry

Straight from our test kitchen to you, we hope you enjoy the following fruity treat! It's super easy to make. The kids can do every step!

Almond Fruit Pastry

1 can crescent rolls
1 pkg. frozen fruit (Your choice. We used mixed fruit because it was on hand. Mixed berries or strawberries would be great, too!)
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 Tblsp. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove crescent rolls from can, being careful not to separate triangles. Lay flat on baking sheet. (Hint: We used stoneware. If you are using a metal pan, you may want to grease the pan.) Pinch all perforations to seal, leaving you with one large rectangle of dough. Fold each side over 1/4 inch to make edge.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and almond extract. Spread mixture over dough, stopping at raised edges. Spread frozen fruit over top of cream cheese mixture. Top with sliced almonds.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Breakfast Foods

Hey guys! We had so much fun getting ready for this show. We hope you enjoy these three recipes as much as we do! Have fun getting in the kitchen, getting messy, and making memories!

First up - Mexican Breakfast Pizzas!!! =)

Mexican Breakfast Pizzas
1 pkg. chorizo sausage, sliced
6 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 c. Mexican blend shredded cheese
4 flour tortillas, soft taco size
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, heat an 8 to 10 inch non-stick pan over medium-low to medium heat. Place 10 to 12 slices of chorizo in hot pan. Pour 1/3 c. egg mixture over chorizo. Before egg completely sets, sprinkle cheese over egg and chorizo. Place tortilla over top of eggs. Press down lightly, and let set for approximately 2 minutes. Flip pizza over in pan, allowing tortilla to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top. Remove pizza from pan and let cool for 5 minutes. (Repeat process 3 more times.) Recipe yields 4 servings. Try with sour cream, salsa, etc. on the side!

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 c. peeled, shredded apples (about 1 lg. apple)

Streusel Topping
1/4 c. flour
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Mix first 5 muffin ingredients in bowl. In a separate bowl, mix last five muffin ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture until fully incorporated. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix all streusel topping ingredients.

Pour approximately 3 tablespoons muffin batter in each muffin tin. Sprinkle streusel topping over each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean. Trust me! They are delicious!!!
Egg Bites

1 doz. eggs
1/2 c. milk
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1 c. shredded cheese (your choice)
****Other toppings of your choice****

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle shredded cheese in each mini-muffin tin. (You may also sprinkle additional toppings, such as bacon, ham, spinach, chicken, sausage, peppers, onion, etc.) Fill each tin approximately 1/2 full with toppings. Pour egg mixture over each tin, filling to rim. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until egg has set. Egg Bites will puff up higher than the muffin tins, but will settle once out of the oven. Let cool 5 minutes. Enjoy!

(My favorite variation of these Egg Bites is spinach and swiss. Kaiya's favorite is plain cheddar. Juke loves his with cheddar and bacon or ham. As I said, the possibilities are endless with this one, and it is a great breakfast when you are on the go! No utensils needed!!!)
Hope you all enjoyed this week's show! Tune in next week to hear great snack recipes!