Food!!

Back to School Healthy Lunches

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Classes are back in session. Now it’s time to get the lunch situation back on track. Packing healthy lunches is key. I want to make sure my kids are getting healthy options, but I also want to make lunch fun for them so they don’t get bored of the sandwich in the plastic baggie. I think this helps the kids eat their lunches at school.

I was excited to partner up with one of my favorite food stores WHOLE FOODS MARKET. They offer so many amazing back to school options. Some of you may not know but WHOLE FOODS has their own brand called 365 Everyday.

The 365 Everyday Value products can fill your pantry without emptying your wallet. With value prices every day of the year, the products are formulated to meet all of their quality standards, come in both natural and organic selections, and will change the way you shop at WHOLE FOODS MARKET. That’s because they have it all — from whole grain flours and shade-grown coffee to organic milk and frozen veggies. They make it easy to stock up on the best products for the best price.

My kids love lunch meat roll ups. I added a little pretzel stick to keep the roll up together. WHOLE FOODS lunch meats are now 25% off Sliced In-house Deli Meat Sale from 9/7 until 9/13.

365 Everyday Value® Organic Sliced Cheese has the benefits of organic including that it’s made from the milk of cows not given synthetic hormones (rBST) and Lunchmeat that doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives such as added synthetic nitrates or nitrites.

Below you will find 3 fun ideas to pack for the kids. I hope everyone has a fun and safe school year.

Here we have Peanut butter & Jelly rolls, pretzel stick, carrots and water 

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Quaker crackers, Ham & Cheese kabobs, water and some mandarin oranges 

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Peanut butter apple sandwiches, carrots, quacker crackers and water

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

Devour: Embrace Your Inner Kid with 5 Fun Flips on Pizza
The Lemon Bowl: Skillet Mexican Street Corn
Homemade Delish: Healthy Back-to-School Lunches
Creative Culinary: Peanut Butter and Apple Oatmeal Cookies
The Fed Up Foodie: Spiced Pumpkin Donuts
A Mind “Full” Mom: 2-Ingredient Homemade Gogurts
The Mom 100: Tomato-Orzo Dill Soup
Healthy Eats: 7 Back-to-School Dishes That Kids Can Help Make
Taste with the Eyes: Black Bean Spaghetti Caterpillar For Kids
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Kale Sushi Rice Bowls
Swing Eats: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Cookies (Gluten-Free & Flourless)
FN Dish: Our Favorite A+ Afterschool Snacks

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Food!!

Sweet corn ice cream

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It’s been so hot here in Philadelphia lately.  All we have been craving is something cold. I love making homemade ice cream, but I currently do not have an ice cream maker, so it takes a little longer to make. This recipe will take up to 8-24 hours to set nice and firm, but it’s totally worth the wait. Since corn is another staple crop of summer I wanted to incorporate it into an ice cream. This recipe will not disappoint with its sweetness from the kernels.  Stay cool!

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen 
1 can condensed milk
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preparation:
In a medium saucepan bring the heavy cream and kernels to a simmer. Pour the mixer through a sieve into a bowl. Set aside to cool and then place in the refrigerator with a plastic wrap on it.

Take the kernels from the sieve and pour it into a blender or food processor to get a creamy texture. Next place in the refrigerator to cool.

After 1 hour remove the corn mixture and cream from the refrigerator. Pour the cream into a mixing bowl. Now pour in the can of condensed milk. Take electric mixer and mix for one minute on medium speed. Next pour in the corn mixture. Mix for another minute.

Finally take a piece of plastic wrap and place inside a loaf pan. Making sure all sides are covered with plastic wrap. Pour the ice cream mixture inside loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #summersoiree below:

The Lemon Bowl: Pesto Pasta Salad with Green Beans and Corn
Devour: Fire Up the Grill for a Mexican Grilled Corn Fiesta
Feed Me Phoebe: Sweet and Spicy Gluten-Free Corn Pasta with Ricotta and Chives
Creative Culinary: Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Chiles, Cilantro and Honey
TasteBook: Esquites (Mexican-Style Corn Salad)
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Corn, Pluot and Grape Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: A Cornucopia of Corn Recipes For Summer
Healthy Eats: 7 Summer Salads That Put a New Spin on Corn
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy Homemade Creamed Corn
FN Dish: If You Cook Any Corn This Summer, Make It One of These 5-Star Recipes

Food!!

BBQ jalapeño poppers

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I can’t believe the 4th of July weekend is already here. It’s time to celebrate our Independence with lots of delicious foods. I’m sure many of you will be hosting a BBQ or going to one. These barbecue jalapeño poppers are the perfect addition to any get together and will leave the crowd wanting more. I hope everyone has a safe weekend.

Ingredients:
12 jalapeños, cut in half and remove membranes and seeds
8oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, homemade or favorite store brand
24 slices turkey bacon or regular bacon

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl add cream cheese and barbecue sauce and whisk until smooth. Next take jalapeños that have been sliced and seeds removed, add about 1/2 to teaspoon of the bbq cream cheese mix to the center. Now wrap a slice of bacon around the jalapeño and set on a baking sheet.

Place poppers in the oven for 25-30 minutes until bacon is nice and crispy.  (You can also grill these instead of baking.)

heck out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #sensationalsides below:

Devour: Add Asian Flair to Grilled Ribs with These 4 Recipes
The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Marinades for Grilling Season
Homemade Delish: BBQ Jalapeno Poppers
Napa Farmhouse 1885: BBQ Beef on Toast
TasteBook: Skewered Grilled Prawns with Spicy Peach Glaze
Domesticate Me: 37 Foolproof Recipes for Your Fourth of July BBQ
Creative Culinary: Apple Cider and Brown Sugar Pulled Pork Barbecue
Healthy Eats: 6 Lighter Alternatives to Classic Slow-Cooked Barbecue
Taste with the Eyes: BBQ Shrimp and Grits with Lobster Butter
The Mom 100: Farro Arugula Salad with Orange Herb Vinaigrette
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Best BBQ Ribs + 19 Recipes for 4th of July
FN Dish: Food Network’s Top Recipes for Barbecue Favorites: Ribs, Pulled Pork and More

Food!!

Superb pizza

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Pizza is so versatile. You can let your imagination run wild when creating. Coming up with this combination was pretty easy. I have been obsessed with fennel lately, so I added it as a topping. I could have eaten this whole pie by myself but I decided to share it with the hubby (haha). The other star ingredients are goat cheese and bacon. I hope you give it a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Ingredients:

1 package store bought pizza dough, thin crust
1 bulb fennel. Sliced thin, save the fennel fronds for garnish
8 pieces bacon, diced into pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
1 8oz package goat cheese

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.

In a large skillet on medium to high heat add bacon pieces. Cook them about halfway through until slightly crisp. Remove and place on to a piece of paper towel to drain. Set aside. To the same skillet with bacon drippings, lower heat to medium and add fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly caramelized. Meanwhile roll out the dough and crumble goat cheese all over pizza dough. Next add the caramelized fennel and bacon. Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and top with fennel fronds.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog#comfortfoodfeast below:

Feed Me Phoebe: Easy Mexican Breakfast Pizzas with Avocado
Creative Culinary: Pear, Gorgonzola and Hazelnut Pizza with Mixed Green
The Lemon Bowl: 5-Ingredient Chicken Pesto Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Homemade Delish: Superb Pizza
Daisy at Home: Pizza Panini
Healthy Eats: 5 Smarter Ways to Eat Pizza at Home
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Six Pizza Recipes For Your Academy Awards Party
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Best Pizza Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: Pretty Smoked Salmon Pizza with Chive Blossoms
FN Dish: 5 Ways to Eat Pizza for Breakfast

Food!!

Italian Cioppino Soup

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It’s officially winter, and soup is in full effect in our house. I grew up with my dad making soups all the time, and this was one of them. It’s called cioppino, an Italian American seafood soup or stew. It’s a one pot delight. Enjoy and hope your keeping warm. 

Ingredients: 

1 lb cod, cut into chunks 

1 lb mussels, scrubbed 

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1/4 cup tomato paste 

2 piece celery, chopped

1 1/2 cups dry white wine 

5 cups vegetable stock 

1 bay leave 

5 garlic cloves, minced 

1 28oz can diced tomato 

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to taste 

Salt & pepper, to taste 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Preparation: 

In a large pot on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions, celery and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes until translucent. Next add garlic, salt, pepper flakes and tomato paste and diced tomato, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the stock, wine and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes so flavors combined. 

Next add mussels to broth and cook for about 5 minutes until mussels begin to open. Finally add shrimp and fish cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, stir. 

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a slice of Italian bread. 

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #comfortfoodfeast below:

The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Posole Rojo
Creative Culinary: Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Ham
Homemade Delish: Italian Cioppino Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Soup
Dishing with Divya: Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Creamy Vegetable Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup (in a slow cooker)
Red or Green: New Mexican Green Chile, Turkey & Posole Soup
The Heritage Cook: Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup (Gluten-Free)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 14 Sensational Soups
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Winter Squash & Chickpea Ribollita
The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup
The Mom 100: Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
Healthy Eats: 5 No-Brainers for Improving Chicken Soup
FN Dish: Soup’s On! 5 Warming Must-Make Bowls

 

Food!!

Fennel and potato gratin

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Most people know about a traditional potato au gratin dish, but I wanted to give this classic a twist and add some fennel.  The results were delicious. If you’re planning on bringing a side dish to a party or just making it for a weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes sliced into 1/4 inch slices or using a mandolin slicer
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 large garlic clove
1 fennel bulb, sliced into 1/3 inch thick slices or using a mandolin slicer
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/4 cups shredded fontina cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped almonds, optional for garnish

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Smear butter in a 1 quart casserole dish.

In a food processor add flour, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, milk, garlic and butter. Pulse for 30 seconds, add the cheese and stir together and set aside.

Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the 1/2 of the fennel slices, Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/2 milk mixture on to potatoes and fennel. Repeat.

Next add breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Top with almonds and serve.

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Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

Feed Me Phoebe: Butternut Squash Gratin with Gruyere and Pistachios
The Lemon Bowl: Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Homemade Delish: Fennel and Potato Gratin
The Mom 100: Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Rye & Roasted Butternut Squash Dressing
Red or Green: Green Beans with Chipotle Butter
The Mediterranean Dish: Shrimp Bruschetta
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Fail-Proof Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Lobster, Artichoke and Spinach Bake
Creative Culinary: Baked Mushrooms in a Parmesan Cream Sauce
Healthy Eats: 7 Holiday Sides That Won’t Spoil Dessert
FN Dish: 5 Indulgent Side Dishes to Deck Your Holiday Table

Food!!

Warm Pumpkin Salad

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Pumpkins are a staple for fall decor and food. I love everything pumpkin.  I’m that person that will have everything pumpkin as soon as October hits. I love to incorporate it in my cooking. I’m lucky enough that my store carries per cut and peeled pieces.  I like to make warm salads during the cooler months.  I figured this would be the perfect one to share. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pancetta, cubed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 whole Artichoke hearts, cut into wedges
2 lbs pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into desired pieces
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a baking dish add pumpkins and Artichoke hearts. Season salt, pepper and 1/4 cup olive oil. Place in the oven for 1 hour or until pumpkin is tender. Set aside.

In a medium skillet on medium heat add pancetta, cook until crispy. remove and place on paper towel to absorb any oils. In the same skillet add the fennel into pancetta oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside in large bowl. Add the pumpkin, artichokes and parsley. Toss together.

Dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation:
In a medium bowl add apple cider begin to whisk in olive oil. Whisk consistently. Season salt and pepper. Add garlic, lemon juice and molasses. Keeping whisking for another 2 minutes. Pour over pumpkin and veggie mix. Toss everything together. Top with crispy pancetta. Place in serving dish and enjoy.

P.S. This is a perfect dish for thanksgiving.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

The Hungry Traveler: Pumpkin Brown Butter Madeleines
Bacon and Souffle: Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan
Homemade Delish: Warm Pumpkin Salad
Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Butter
The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Weelicious: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
TasteBook: Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
Red or Green: Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars
The Heritage Cook: Roasted Pumpkin, Potato, and Sage (Gluten-Free)
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Taste with the Eyes: Sultry Pumpkin Soup – Southwest Flavors, Dressed To Kill
FN Dish: 8 Ways to Eat Pumpkin All Day Long

Food!!

Apple chips

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Sweet, simple, and healthy, these homemade apple chips have become a fall staple. 

It’s hard to believe that fall is finally here. Pass on the potato chips and instead try this easy and healthy idea: apple chips. Sure, you can buy apple chips at the supermarket, but if you look at the ingredients they are full of oils and preservatives. This at-home recipe is simple enough that the kids can help (after you do the slicing). Feel free to use any type of apple, or go ahead and try it with some pears. I hope you enjoy. 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 200 F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Wash and thinly slice apples (use a mandolin if you have one) and place them in a large bowl. Next, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over apples. Toss ingredients together.

Spread the apple slices on to the parchment. Bake for 1 hour, then flip and bake for another 1 hour to 1 ½ hours.

When done, let apples sit in the oven with the heat turned off for about an hour. Remove from oven and place in air-tight container.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

The Lemon Bowl: Sparkling Apple Cider Punch
Creative Culinary: Boozy Apple Crisp
Homemade Delish: Apple Chips
Healthy Eats: 6 Healthy Treats to Make After Apple Picking
Daisy at Home: Fall Farmer’s Market Salad
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Apple Bars
TasteBook: Caramel Baked Apples with Cinnamon-Oat Crumble
Napa Farmhouse 1885: “Grownup” Caramel Apples
Red or Green: Caramel Apple Spiced Shortcakes
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Whole Grain Oat & Millet Pancakes with Shaved Apples
Domesticate Me: Roast Chicken, Apple and Brie Grilled Cheese
Taste with the Eyes: Classic Apple Tarte Tatin with Cognac and Crème Fraîche
FN Dish: Quickest, Easiest Apple Dessert Recipes

 

 

 

Food!!

Homemade Poptarts

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Sweet treats aren’t a hard sell, but somehow, we’ve decided to up the allure. Meet the homemade Pop-Tart on a stick. Inspired by the requests of some creative kiddos, this dessert is great alternative to store-bought pastries, which can be loaded with artificial colors and flavors. Ours, instead, opt for fresh fruit and no preservatives. You won’t need them anyway — these will disappear pretty quickly.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • 2 pie crusts (homemade or from the freezer section)

Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Create your fillings. For the banana filling, mix cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of sugar with mashed bananas. For blueberry filling, mix blueberries with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. For strawberry filling, mix strawberries with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

Next roll out the pie crust and cut into desired rectangle sizes. Take about a teaspoon of filling and place onto the center of rectangle pie crust. Now take another piece of the rectangle pie crust and lay it on top to seal. Using a fork go around the dough to make little dents. Take egg wash and brush top of tart.

Slowly insert the stick into the bottom of the tart.  Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool and enjoy.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

The Lemon Bowl: Yogurt Banana Splits with Muesli
Devour: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes That Make Food Disappear Faster Than Houdini
Homemade Delish: Homemade Poptarts
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Glaze
Creative Culinary: Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Healthy Eats: 6 Kid-Approved Finger Foods with a Healthy Twist
Taste with the Eyes: Banana Split Pavlova – A “Sick” Dessert For Both Adults and Kids!
Daisy at Home: Chewy Granola Bars
Weelicious: Hummus Veggie Wraps
FN Dish: A Whole Week’s Worth of Back-to-School Lunches

 

 

Food!!

Festive Champagne Punch

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Give a final burst of summer this Labor Day weekend with this delicious Prosecco punch. It’s packed with flavor and super refreshing on these last couple days of heat. This drink would actually be really enjoyable around the holidays too. Feel free to add your favorite fruits. Your guests will be coming back for more, so make sure to stock up.

Ingredients: 
1/4 cup private stock dark rum 
1 whole bottle of prosecco 
1/2 grapefruit, sliced 
1 cup fresh raspberries 
1 can of Sanpellegrino Aranciata Soda Pomegranate and Orange
Fresh basil leaves, optional for garnish 
Preparation: 
Pour all of the above ingredients in a punch bowl or a large pitcher, stir, garnish, pour and enjoy. 
Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

The Lemon Bowl: Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs
Bacon and Souffle: Roasted Shrimp Orzo
The Hungry Traveler: Ginger Vanilla Fruit Salad
Homemade Delish: Festive Champagne Punch
Dishin & Dishes: Savory Tomato, Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella Tart
Creative Culinary: Zucchini and Cream Cheese Casserole
TasteBook: Apple-Pecan Chicken Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Batter Fried Pepper with Tzatziki Sauce
Healthy Eats: 6 Fall-Forward Recipes for Your Labor Day Celebration
Domesticate Me: Lobster Avocado Toast
Taste with the Eyes: “Margarita” Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Grilled Shrimp & Peaches with Arugula Pesto
Red or Green: Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread
The Heritage Cook: Smoked Chicken Salad (Gluten-Free)
The Mom 100: Yogurt Berry Pops
FN Dish: The Last Hurrah: Grill Absolutely Everything on Labor Day