Friday, August 28, 2009

New England Clam Chowder

Little Foodie LOVES "Clammer Shell Soup" or as it is traditionally called New England Clam Chowder. As soon as we got to Maine and went out to eat she got a big bowl of it and practically licked the bowl clean. Tonight I made my own chowder soup in celebration of Little Foodie's second day of 1st grade, she was so happy that I made it and she spent the ENTIRE dinner telling me how delicious it was! This recipe was found on


  • 5 cups bottled clam juice
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 10 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine
  • 8 oz. of cooked clams, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, cooked and cut in bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Heat the clam juice in a large saucepan on medium heat. In a separate pan, melt margarine and saute the diced onions until they appear translucent. Add bacon and flour to the melted margarine and stir continuously for 5 minutes. Increase heat on clam juice to medium-high, and, with a wire whisk, add flour, margarine and onion mixture to the liquid. Stir constantly, breaking up any lumps that form. Add clams and stir. Add potato chunks, milk, cream and salt, and continue stirring. Decrease heat to medium-low, and allow chowder to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning or sticking.

Serve clam chowder hot with oyster crackers, adding freshly ground black pepper to taste.

If fresh clams are not available, substitute six ounces of canned clams, including the juice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wild Blueberry Ice Cream

Everywhere you drive in Maine you will see people on the side of the road selling wild Maine blueberries. After we were in Maine for a few days we decided to stop and pick up a container and test them out. The berries were teeny tiny and I had to pick off the little stems and clean them but once I did and we tasted them they had this intense blueberry flavor in this tiny little package. I used some of the berries to make blueberry pancakes, yum! When we got home I used the rest of the blueberries to make Wild Blueberry Ice Cream!! I used the recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream and added the blueberries. It is so yummy, especially when you bite into one of the cold blueberries and it pops in your mouth!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Vacation- Maine

Each summer we try to take a vacation in a different area, my hubby and I believe that life is too short to spend our vacation time in the same place each summer. This summer we stayed in a house on the water in Maine about 40 minutes outside of Portland. Although it was a super long drive (12 hours) for Little Foodie and the dog we still had an AMAZING time. Little Foodie got to try lobster for the first time, she wasn't impressed with the cold lobster on the the lobster roll but she absolutely loved the steamed lobster, she ate almost an entire lobster by herself and was licking her fingers as she looked longingly at my hubby's lobster. We also ate at an AMAZING resturaunt called Duck Fat, they had the yummiest sandwiches and the most GLORIOUS fries with special dipping sauces. I love summer vacations!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Looking at food in a new way!

Tonight I had a hankering for a burger not a fast food burger but a good grilled burger the only problem we had no hamburger rolls. I made up some little burger patties using organic lean ground beef, a little bit of bread crumbs, some worcestershire sauce, salt/pepper and then I brushed them with a little bbq sauce. While the burgers cooked I had a brainstorm!! In my freezer I had a few packs of english muffins, my local grocery store had them on sale for a $1 a pack, the little burgers would fit perfectly on an english muffin. I thawed and toasted the english muffins, put out some condiments and cut up some fresh from the garden tomatoes. My hubby was very impressed with the burgers and Little Foodie thought that the tiny burgers were so cute!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vanilla Ice Cream w/ Chocolate Chip Cookie Chunks

Sounds YUMMY doesn't it!! My hubby LOVES ice cream, it is his favorite dessert; the problem is that organic ice cream is expensive and rarely on sale. Problem solved, at the beginning of the summer I decided to buy an ice cream maker and even though it was pricey it has been a great investment. In my new effort to use up the ingredients that we have in the house and not waste anything, I made a delicious sweet treat. I adapted the recipe from the recipe that came with my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker.

1 C of milk
3/4 C of sugar
2 C of heavy cream ( you can use use half and half but the heavy cream makes it creamier)
1-2 tsp of vanilla extract (the good stuff!!)
dash of cinnamon
chocolate chip cookies or cookie bar cut in chunks

Keep all of your cold ingredients really cold until you are ready to use them. In a medium bowl, I used a Pampered Chef measuring bowl, combine the milk, sugar, cream, vanilla and cinnamon and mix with a hand mixer until everything is completely mixed together. The instructions that come with the ice cream maker will explain how to use the machine and when to added the mixture. Once the ice cream is formed about 20-25 minutes then you can add the chunks of cookie. Once it is set up enjoy with a little chocolate syrup!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dinner Battles

Even though Little Foodie is a good eater, meaning she will try new things and isn't super picky, we still have DINNER BATTLES! Little Foodie is a SUPER SLOW eater but only at dinner time and this makes my hubby and sometimes me super crazy. Here is what we don't do: we don't tell Little Foodie that she has to eat a certain amount of food or she won't get dessert, dessert is not a reward in our house, sometimes we have dessert after dinner and sometimes we don't; we also don't make Little Foodie stay at the table until her plate is clean. Here is what we do instead: I serve dinner family style most nights so Little Foodie can serve herself and we let Little Foodie decide when she feels full and that is when she is finished eating. It is important for her to learn how her body feels when she is full that will help her have a healthy relationship with food. Here is what we need to work on: figuring out a way to get Little Foodie enjoy her dinner at dinner time and not linger so long after my hubby and I are finished, it's a work in progress!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Zucchini Bread

Wow I was in quite a baking mood/groove today!! After the muffins were finished I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread to join the muffins in the freezer, this will make the first few weeks of the school year a little less crazy!! This recipe was adapted from one found on

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt ; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Crunchy Banana Muffins

Now that I am home with Little Foodie and trying really hard to stay within my grocery budget I am getting more creative with my cooking and making sure that we are not wasting any of the food that we purchase. With a few overripe bananas and some leftover homemade granola we now have 24 muffins in the freezer which will be perfect for Little Foodie's breakfast when she heads back to school in a few weeks :) This recipe was adapted from a recipe on

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 2 cup granola
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil. Fold in mashed bananas, chopped banana and granola. Scoop into the prepared muffin cups, an ice cream scoop is perfect for this job.
  3. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quick Pickled Cucumbers with Red Onions

Our garden has been very slow at producing veggies but we still have lots of fresh veggies from pop and nana's garden. Little Foodie went for a visit to nana and pops over the weekend and came home with a lot of delicious veggies. Little Foodie's favorite way to eat cucumbers is in my quick pickled cucumber salad; although she won't even think of touching the onions because they are "too spicy", she eats a ton of the cucumbers.

- 3-4 Cucumbers
- 1/2 a small red onion
- 1/4 C of cider vinegar
- 1`T of sugar
- salt and pepper to taste

Peel and slice the cucumbers in thin slices. Slice the red onion into very thin slices, you could use any type of onion but I like the way the red onion looks with the green cucumbers. Mix the cucumbers, onions, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and let chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Salsa Chicken

This is one of my favorite crock-pot recipes, this recipe and tons of other great crock-pot recipe can be found on; if you don't have a crock-pot you should buy one, it is perfect for cooking up a healthy meal on any budget! It gives you a good amount of protein without a lot of meat; I add a few boneless/skinless chicken tenders and an extra can of beans.

--4-5 chicken thighs, or equivalent body parts
--1 can rinsed black beans

--1 cup chunky salsa
--1 cup frozen white corn

The Directions.

Put your chicken in the crockpot. Top with the rinsed black beans, salsa, and corn.

Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. Cooking time will vary depending on whether or not your chicken is frozen, and how big the pieces are.

If you decide to use breasts, increase your salsa by 1/2 cup. Breasts are drier than thighs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Little Foodie and Snacking

Little Foodie eats pretty well at breakfast each morning and after being in the pool for a few hours she eats like a wolf at lunch time but what we have noticed lately is that Little Foodie is only picking at her dinner. What could the cause be.... snacking before dinner? I am a firm believer in the fact that kids need an afternoon snack, as an adult I know that grumpy, tired feeling that comes on in the late afternoon. Little Foodie usually has a small snack around 3:30pm, some cheese or a little bit of fruit etc. always something healthy but with our more relaxed summer schedule she has been snacking later in the day which is leaving her with not much of an appetite at dinner. Little Foodie and I had a conversation about the problem and we decided that she couldn't have any snacks after 3:30pm. Let's just hope that I can remember to stick to this during our vacation!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Banana Bread

We always have bananas around at our house but Little Foodie and my hubby will only eat them when there aren't any brown spots on them, which leaves me with a lot of bananas to eat or to use to make muffins or bread. When I don't have the time to bake I place the ripe bananas still in their peels in a plastic freezer baggie and I save them for later use. We ran out of muffins this morning so this afternoon I baked a loaf of banana bread, nothing smells better than banana bread baking in the oven!!

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar + a little more for sprinkling on top
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 overripe mashed banana
  • 1 T of vanilla
  • 1 T of cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9x5 inch pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and bananas. Add flour and soda, stirring just until combined.
  3. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top and bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes (or till toothpick comes out clean). Remove from pan and let cool. Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


A little girl is thrilled about what's for dinner--the Korean dish Bee-bim Bop--and she excitedly helps her mother select groceries and prepare the meal before Papa, the baby, and Grandmother gather for a short prayer and, finally, dinner. Park's brief, bouncy, rhyming text, with the refrain, "Hungry hungry hungry / for some BEE-BIM BOP!" perfectly echoes the frenzied speed of shopping and cooking, as well as the gleeful anticipation of a favorite meal, which most kids will recognize. Lee's watercolors extend the flurry of activity, humor, and delight in uncluttered spreads, many from a child's-eye view. Step-by-step descriptions will intrigue children who love learning about the process of putting a meal together.

When I was teaching at preschool one of the children brought in this wonderful book Bee-Bim Bop! and his mother read the book, its a great rhyming book for small children and a recipe for the dish can be found at the end of the book.

After reading the book Hungry Monkey I was inspired to make the Bibimbap for Little Foodie and my hubby. My hubby loved it, he loves anything spicy or that he can make spicy and Little Foodie thought it looked really cool and she loved the egg on top. We will definetly make it again! The only change I made to the original recipe is that instead of the 2T of pear I added 2 under-ripe sliced pears, in part because I wasn't paying enough attention to the recipe and because adding fruit to anything make Little Foodie happy!

Serves 4
For the Marinade

1/4 C of soy sauce
1 1/2 T of sugar
2 T of finely grated Asian pears or Granny Smith Apples
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 med. clove of garlic, minced
2 T of sesame oil
2 T of sesame seeds
1/2 T black pepper
1 pound of flank steak cut into very thin slices
8 oz of bean sprouts
4 eggs
peanut oil

10 C of hot cooked rice (3 1/2 C of dry rice)
8 oz of kimchi
Sriracha Sauce

1. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, pear, scallions, garlic, sesame seeds, oil and pepper in a bowl. Add the meat and refridgerate for 2 to 24 hours. Put meat and marinade in the skillet and cook until meat is no longer pink.

2. Blanch the bean sprouts in boiling salted water for 2 min.

3. Fry the eggs in peanut oil, over easy with a runny yoke. The hot rice and meat with cook the yoke.

4. Place rice in bowl, top with the meat, kimchi, sprouts and egg. Add hot sauce, mix and enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Visit to the Asian Market

When Little Foodie was a baby up until she turned 4 years old I ran a home daycare 3 days a week so I could be home with her. On our days off I looked for fun free and inexpensive things for us to do, one of our favorite things was visiting the local Asian market. Little Foodie loved and still loves to check out all the different types of fruits and veggies, she would run her hands across the bumpy skin of a bitter melon and she would sniff the fruit. We would pick out something new and different to try at home, sometimes I would have to google the fruit/veggie to get more info so I would know how to peel/eat it. Today we took a trip to the Asian market to pick up ingredients for a special meal I am cooking tonight and of course we had to pick up a few other treats while we were there. On the way home Little Foodie was eating little pieces of dried seaweed and for lunch she was eating squid, she especially liked the legs and she would let them dangle from her mouth as she ate them; if you want to see something really amusing watch a child eat a squid leg. Exposing Little Foodie to new foods is one of my favorite things to do!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

I love to watch the Food Network and get inspired by different recipes that are shown. Last week I watched a show that featured a restuaraunt that made Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast and I thought I can do that!! I didn't have any bananas so I made mine using peanut butter and chocolate chips but you could really use anything you want.

6 slices of bread ( I used homemade but any thick sliced bread will work)
2 Eggs
1 C of Milk
1 tsp of Vanilla ( the good stuff not the imitation)
1 T of Sugar
1 T of Cinnamon
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Chips

Heat up a skillet or griddle and add butter to keep the toast from sticking. Use the bread, peanut butter and chocolate chips to make 3 sandwiches. Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and dip the sandwiches in the mix making sure to coat each side. Place the sandwiches on the griddle and cook till nice an brown and crunchy on the outside. Top with a little powdered sugar and enjoy with your favorite maple syrup.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eating Dinner Out with a Little Foodie

From farm to table Woodberry Kitchen features the seasonal best from local growers and emphasizes organic meats and sustainable agriculture. Our goal is to nourish and delight our guests with cooking grounded in the traditions and ingredients of the Chesapeake region.

As a family we do not eat out often but when we do we make sure we go to a good restaurant that offers real food for kids and not just chicken nuggets. For my birthday we went to the most wonderful restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen! Woodberry Kitchen uses local and organic produce/meats and they have an amazing menu. As a starter we had potato chips and dip but not just any chips/dip we had homemade potato chips with a smoked onion dip, Little Foodie enjoyed the dip so much that she wanted us to ask for the recipe so we could make it at home. We also shared a yummy salad with spinach, peaches, goat cheese and a maple dressing. For dinner Little Foodies had a grilled cheese sandwich made on the most glorious bread and a salad with chunky carrots that she really enjoyed. My hubby had a soft crab sandwich on homemade bread with a pablano chile salsa and fries and I had suckling pig with delicious creamed corn, not the corn from a can but yummy sweet corn with real cream. For dessert we shared homemade chocolate pudding with homemade whipped cream and a piece of flourless chocolate cake with homemade vanilla ice cream. Needless to say we all left very full and very happy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

I try not to buy baked goods at the grocery store, most of the time the ingredient list contains things that you can't even pronounce. Last night Little Foodie and I decided to make a little sweet treat to enjoy after dinner so we made Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies adapted from a recipe found on They were so moist and yummy, Little Foodie was licking her plate to get the last crumb!!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In large bowl, cream margarine/butter, eggs and brown sugar. Add in milk and vanilla extract and mix well. Gradually add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well blended.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips & nuts and stir until they are evenly distributed in dough. Spread dough in pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little Foodie and her LOVE of Sushi

Little Foodie and I decided to do a little window shopping and have a special lunch on my birthday, we decided to go to a sushi restaurant. Little Foodie LOVES sushi and has been eating it since she was a toddler. She started with the California Roll and now has moved on to her favorite the tuna roll and she is game to try any rolls as long as they are not "too spicy". When we arrived at the sushi restaurant the waitress handed us the menu and said that they also had a kids menu with chicken nuggets etc. I noticed the scrunched up look on Little Foodies face and quickly told the waitress that we were both having sushi. When the waitress walked away Little Foodie said who would want chicken nuggets from a sushi restaurant, I only came here to eat sushi! My husband and I love sushi and we want Little Foodie to enjoy what we enjoy so we introduced little foodie to sushi as soon as she was able to eat it; I am sure she will be one expensive teenager in a few years but that's ok with us!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rosemary & Olive Focaccia Bread

This is an easy bread to make even for a beginner baker/cook and its a great recipe for kids to help out with; I adapted the recipe from one found on Little Foodie enjoyed cutting the fresh rosemary from our garden and then chopping it in little pieces, she also enjoyed slicing up the olives although I think she ate more than she put on the bread. We enjoyed it with our dinner last night and today I will top it with turkey for lunch, yum!!!

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 T of Fresh Rosemary (one for in the dough and one as a topping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, 1 T of the fresh rosemary, basil and black pepper. Mix in 1 T of olive oil and the water.
  2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, rosemary and olives.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

I am always on the lookout for a new muffin recipes since Little Foodie will have nothing to do with cereal in the morning. I found this recipe on I used fresh blueberries and regular oats not the quick cooking kind, I also added a little cinnamon and vanilla because I love those flavors with blueberries. The muffins have a great texture because of the oats and its an extra dose of fiber!

  • 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and drained
  1. Combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in milk, egg, and oil; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in blueberries. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.