Cooking with Kids!

My girls love blueberries and I had gone to Costco to get a five pound tray but we weren’t going through them fast enough….found this recipe. It is delicious! We had to make them into muffins because my daughter is obsessed with the princess liners :)

Blueberry Zucchini Bread – Courtesy of Parents Magazine (May ’11)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used 2 cups all purpose)
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
½ tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat the bottom of 4 mini 5-inch loaf pans or 1 9-inch pan with cooking spray; set aside. (I used muffin tins that were lined with princess muffin foils)

In a large bowl combine flours, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder; set aside. In another bowl, mix eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined. Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake about 40 minutes for mini pans or about 1 hour for 9-inch pan or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean. (I baked the muffins for about 20 minutes). Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm or let cool completely before slicing. Each mini loaf makes 8 pieces, while the large loaf has 12. Freeze extra mini loaves for up to 3 months.

Nutrition per 2 mini slices 185 calories; 3g protein; 11g fat (1g sat. fat); 19g carbs; 1g fiber; 30mg calcium; 1mg iron; 154mg sodium

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I brought some homemade-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies in to share with the office today. When I set them out this morning, I assured everyone that with 2 cups of oatmeal these definitely fall into the breakfast category 😉 Just a few short hours and many enthusiastic thank you’s later, this was all that was left at noon!

By popular demand, here’s the recipe. I’ve also included a few fun variations!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening (I use these handy pre-measured Crisco shortening packs)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups Quaker Rolled Oats
  • 2 BAGS semisweet chocolate chips (I’ve also been known to use 1 bag of semisweet + 1 bag white chocolate chip cookies!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat shortening, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually stir in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in rolled oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Lightly spritz cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray
  7. Teaspoon onto baking sheets
  8. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden. I let cookies cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields approximately 64 cookies (16 cookies per cookie sheet).

With this many cookies, I like sharing! But they also keep well stored in the freezer and are surprisingly good, just a little bit crumbly, frozen.

Another way I like my cookies when I’m feeling extra indulgent?





5.18.11: What’s for dinner Wednesday? Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto anyone?

Fresh pesto tastes amazing yet I always forget how easy it is to make! Recently, while doing the weekly grocery shopping I passed the basil containers and recalled a cold pesto pasta salad I had in Italy that was delicious. Thanks to a quick tutorial from my friend’s aunt who introduced us to this dish, it is easy to make! It’s perfect for summer and you can serve hot or cold. Like I said, I prefer it cold.  Serve with flavored sausage like artichoke heart or sundried tomato. Also a hit with grilled chicken!

Shopping List:
Fresh basil leaves
Pine nuts or walnuts
Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
Garlic Cloves
Grape Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese Balls
Bowtie/Capellini/your choice of pasta

Meat of your choice (see above)

This recipe from Simple Recipes is the fastest!

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment needed: A food processor

1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

You can cook the pasta while you are making the pesto. Once the pasta and the pesto are finished (if serving cold, run cold water over the pasta and be sure to refrigerate for an hour before you serve, otherwise), combine pasta, pesto, tomatoes and cheese balls in a large bowl, stir and serve!

Perfect summer lunch or dinner…Buon Appetito!

4.20.11: What’s for Dinner Wednesday?

My three year old used to be such a good eater. From the time that she could feed herself, she was eating steamed broccoli and cold plain tofu (her choice, I tried to cook it). Now the only thing she asks for is mac n’ cheese! I was flipping through my recipes and came along this delish zucchini & carrot bread recipe that calls for two zucchini’s & 2 carrots…. We will get veggies in this girl yet!

I made two loaves and brought one into the office pictured here. Guess it isn’t just for kids… I went to take a picture to show you all and it was already half gone! Word on the street is that it is delicious!

Here is the recipe – enjoy!

Preheat oven to 375. You will need (1) 8” X 10” pan or (2) 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½, greased and floured.

Beat smooth
3 eggs
1 cup sugar (raw, if you have it)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
3 tsp. vanilla

Stir in:
2 medium to large shredded ** zucchinis
2 medium to large shredded **carrots
¼ cup wheat germ (click here for the health benefits if you are not familiar with wheat germ)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

**Use a food processor to make it pulpy and less recognizable for the super finicky kids.

Sift together:
2 ½ cups flour (you can use half wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg

Stir in the sifted ingredients with your wet mixture. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8” X 10” pan or you can use two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½, just separate the batter evenly. Cook for 30-35 minutes for the two loaves or 40-45 minutes for the 8 X 10 pan. Check doneness with a toothpick in the middle. Cool and enjoy!