It’s All About Food

Life since the New Year has been all about food! Ever growing kids means finding interesting things to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

This was dinner tonight. Made in about 15 minutes, eaten in under 5 and enjoyed by all.

On the menu:

Pasta with Pork/Spinach/Pesto/Sour Cream delight
Avocado
Boiled Broccoli (plain, no butter or salt)

3/4 cup pulled pork (I have done it with tofu and seasoned chicken)
approximately 3 cups fresh spinach
8 greek olives (optional)
2 tsp sour cream
1 1/2 tsp pesto
sprinkling of finely grated pecorino romano cheese (or any kind of grated cheese)

Fry up the protein with a little olive oil (medium to low heat), stir in spinach and cover pot to let the spinach cook. Add pesto, sour cream and olives (optional, my girls like olives). Turn down to low heat and cook until spinach is completely cooked. If anything sticks to the pot by this stage it should be pretty moist and the pot should come clean. If it looks too dry add a tiny bit of water. After about 5 minutes turn the heat off and let stand until ready. Meanwhile cook the pasta and broccoli.  These amounts serve three small kids and one adult!

Five minutes later…

Enjoy!  Oh… if your kids don’t like it then it’s a quick meal for you.  Yum!

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are an all time favorite with the whole family.  There are two ways of baking them, two slightly different taste according to what spice you use and they are always delicious.

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup of cane sugar*
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or 1/2 teaspoon of allspice)*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips or raisins*
3 cups oats

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and sugar.  Add in the eggs and vanilla, beat well.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, spices (cinnamon or allspice), salt and chocolate chips or raisins.

Mix flour and butter mixture (in the large bowl).  Once all this is together add in the oats. Mix well.

At this stage you have two options for baking

1)  Chill overnight, then drop one rounded teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

The reason I chill it overnight is the cookie dough can be quite soft and the cookies will completely flatten/melt once in the oven.

2) On a large cookie sheet place about 1/2 the cookie dough mixture and flatten it out using a fork and your fingers till it’s about 1/4″ thick.

 

Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and immediately cut the cookie sheet into squares.  Do this before the cookie sheet is cooled or it’s really hard to cut!

Let the cookies cool completely before putting them in an sealed container.

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I use silicon sheets for all my baking.  If you use one make sure your cutting instrument is dull or you’ll end up cutting through the silicon sheet.  I use either my pie server as a cutter or the backside of a dinner knife.

Flour* – I always use Whole Wheat flour for all my baking.  It’s great for cookies, brownies, cakes etc.  Unless you are looking for a super fluffy consistency whole wheat is a great option.

Sugar* –  In Honolulu we can find the 10lbs bags of Organic Pure Cane Sugar at Costco and I use this for all my baking.  I hardly ever use refined sugar.  When my kids were younger I would cut the sugar by 1/4-1/2 on most recipes.

Spices* – Cinnamon or All Spice.  There was one time I was out of Cinnamon and experimented with All Spice.  They have a very different, more Christmasy, flavor.  Still yummy!

Nuts* – Many recipes call for crushed walnuts, almonds, peanuts etc.  Once your kids go to school find out the nut policy at their school.  My girls go to a “Nut Free School” so anything with nuts is not allowed.

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Little Helpers!  My three girls love helping me make these.  I can see in a few years they’ll be able to make them on their own with me in the background making sure not too much Baking Soda or Salt gets added.  If your kids are helping, the chilled dough route is often more fun as they can help make the mounds.  It can be a messy affair but for little hands very satisfying to squish around.  Make sure they don’t eat the dough as it does have raw eggs.

 

PS I totally forgot the vanilla in this batch I made last night and “overcooked” them by about 5 minutes so they are more like a crunchy granola bar. Bake them less and you’ll have a softer cookie. It all tastes good.