Friday, June 15, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday - Featuring Chef PickyKid and Me

I recently joined a group of fellow food bloggers called Foodie Friends Friday.  It is a great way to meet new bloggers and find some amazing new recipes to share with you!  I am really excited to be a part of this wonderful group of fellow foodies!

I came across this great blog - Chef PickyKid and Me.  She is a mother with a daughter who loves to cook.  Like me, she encourages her daughter to participate in the cooking process in order to get her excited about trying new foods.  She focuses on simple recipes using commonly found ingredients.  What could be better?

I have been dealing with a houseful of people hit with a bad cold, so one post really caught my eye this week.  Her amazing Key Lime Pie Martini!  Ok, so it isn't a "meal" per se, but how delicious and beautiful does this look?

Let's face it, we moms have a really hard job, and isn't it nice to unwind after a long day with a decadent cocktail?  Why bother going to a restaurant when you are covered in kid snot and utterly exhausted?  Just mix yourself this stunner!  Check out her blog for other cocktails from this former bartender (isn't she great?!) as well as her other wonderful food recipes!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Russian Mushroom Potato and Leek Soup

I know what you're probably thinking.  "Soup?  In the summer?"  But here in Southern California, we have weather we call "June Gloom".  It is cool and often overcast in the mornings and evenings, so for me, it is still good soup weather!   When I started thinking about how to cook leeks for the first time, I knew I wanted it to be in a soup.  This soup is nice and hearty with the mushrooms and potatoes, and other than the chopping prep, there is nothing to it!  My three year old just LOVED it!  The veggies were the perfect size for her, and she got a kick out of spooning them one-by-one out of the bowl.  If you're looking for a great soup, give this a try!

5 Tbsp butter, divided
2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
6 C reduced sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 lb of potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 C half and half
1/4 C flour


  1. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  
  2. Add the leeks and carrots.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in broth.  Season with dill, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.
  4. Add the potatoes.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender but firm.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  6. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over high heat.  Saute the mushrooms for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Add to the soup.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the half and half with the flour until smooth.  Stir into the soup to thicken.
  8. Adjust seasoning as needed. 

Adapted from DTeresa

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Red Wine Vinaigrette

This simple dressing is such a great basic vinaigrette.  I use it on a number of salads and it always is such a wonderful compliment.  There are only a few ingredients, and it takes just a few minutes to prepare.  It is full flavor and so simple, you will wonder why you ever bought ready-made dressing before!

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp shallot, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of sugar
1/4 C red wine vinegar
2/3 C extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine.
This recipe makes about 1 C.  It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Adapted from Food to Live By (Myra Goodman)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Easy Greek Salad

Summer is in the air and summer produce is really starting to become available!  When I saw fresh cucumbers at the farm, I knew I just had to make my Greek salad.  It is such a great side dish on a hot day!  It works so well with a number of main dishes ranging from pastas to burgers to BBQ.  

This salad is just bursting with colors and textures!  I actually just starting growing my own cucumbers, so I can't wait until they mature and I can make this salad with cucumbers from my own garden.  And of course, it is even better with fresh, local tomatoes.  

This salad is kid-friendly with a mild flavor and small, bite-sized pieces.  My daughter loves to help put all the veggies in the bowl after I cut them up.  It is another recipe that can be made early in the day in order to make evening dinner prep that much easier.  And who doesn't love that?  

2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped
10-15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
10 Kalamata olives, halved
1/3 C crumbled feta
a dash of lemon juice


  1. Assemble the chopped ingredients into a large bowl.  Stir to combine.
  2. Sprinkle the feta on top. 
  3. Add the dressing and lemon juice.  Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Let chill for an hour before serving.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly menu

We are trying another new vegetable this week!  Leeks!  I have never cooked with them before, and I am excited to finally give them a try!  Along with the leeks, we picked up some green and yellow zucchini, carrots, sweet onion, cucumbers, cabbage, and strawberries from our local organic farm.  Here is how I will be using them this week.

  • French Bread Pizza with a Greek Salad and Baked Zucchini Fries
    • using the cucumbers, onion, and zucchini

  • Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup
    • using the leeks and carrots

  • Hamburger Macaroni Casserole with Coleslaw
    • using the carrots, onion, and cabbage

We will be enjoying the strawberries for dessert and as a topping on our breakfast oatmeal and cereal.