RECIPES JUST FOR YOU!
Come here to check out what our family is reading and eating, with step-by-step recipes inspired by our favorite children’s books.
Winter Dance Salad
Can salad be a comfort food? When you add warm roasted potatoes and freshly caramelized onions, this dish is as cozy as your favorite jammies and a bedtime story. Winter Dance Salad is the perfect potluck dish to bring to celebrations with family and friends.
Flotsam and Jetsam’s Seaweed Cashew Snacks
I love The Little Mermaid. All of its characters just make me smile, even the evil ones. Speaking of which, Flotsam and Jetsam—the sinister pair of moray eels that serve Ursula, the sea witch are without exception. I love them so much, I even gave them their own recipe! If you haven’t seen the movie in a while, do yourself a favor, and rewatch it with—or without—the kids.
This dish is inspired by Princess Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The idea came from my friend, Olivia Mackoul age 9 years, who loves this movie. We decided that Ariel probably would not want to eat seafood because ‘fish are friends.’ However, Olivia wanted the dish to feel like it comes from the sea – so we used tubular pasta and died the water a deep green-blue. The arugula adds a bit of plant life to enhance the underwater experience.
Mardi Gras Truffles
Inspired by the giant plastic beads on the prized throws we catch at parades during Carnival, these lemony truffles bring the love and spirit of Mardi Gras straight to your table. After experimenting with lemon cake, I just couldn’t top Sally’s version with fresh lemon juice, zest and buttermilk. Getting the cake just right is key
If you have never heard of kohlrabi, don’t feel embarrassed. Turns out, kohlrabi is a German Turnip, although it is more closely related to cabbage than it is to a root vegetable. Like cabbage it can be green or purple or pale. It has a mild flavor, meaty texture and is packed full of vitamins C and B6 as well as fiber and potassium. I tracked it down at my local Whole Foods Market and mixed it with homemade stock, fresh lemongrass and ginger, for a soup that felt life-affirming and tasted sufficiently posh.
PS I Love You Sugar Cookies
One of our favorite and first books is I Love You Through and Through by Carolyn Jane Church. The simple rhyming story lists all the qualities that we love our children for — I love your happy side, sad side, silly side, mad side, and more! Even though we are now reading chapter books, I pull out this sweet board book about a boy and his teddy bear to remind my sons that I love them unconditionally – all of their qualities and feelings are precious to me. I love them through and through!
Apple, Celery and Fennel Mashed Potatoes
This twist on a classic side dish (mashed potatoes) is inspired by the new children’s book When Good Fruit Goes Bad by Vernon D. Gibbs II. This tongue in cheek tale teaches children not to judge a fruit (and we can even make a parallel here to a person) by their appearance. When Hank – the local fruit vendor – tosses a bruised apple into the trash bin, the apple leads a produce revolution. As author and illustrator Vernon puts it, “Despite some bumps and bruises that might keep you from looking and feeling ‘perfect,’ you have value!”
“Smac” and Cheese (Spaghetti Squash and Cheese)
While the boys took their bath, I read them the story. We laughed (and splashed) as the girl in the story struggles to convince her pet wooly mammoth to the take a bath. The illustrations are SO brilliant! Later that evening, I was shredding spaghetti squash…and all I could think was, this looks just like wooly mammoth hair. While that may sound unappealing, I assure you that Axel and Rex thought it was hilarious that we were making pasta from wooly mammoth hair and gobbled it right up. 🤷🏻♀
Country “Stone” Soup
Rex’s pre-kindergarten class just finished reading different versions of the story, Stone Soup. Their teacher, the wonderful Mrs. Smith, is teaching them about story- telling. She is also showing them the power of imagination, because each version of Stone Soup she read to the class had a different illustrator. The version of Stone Soup I grew up with is by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Nola Langner. Rex’s class hadn’t seen this version yet so I sent it in. At Rex’s request, I created a Stone Soup recipe to go with the story.
Winter Drink Collection
As we get into dark winter months, I’ve noticed how much I rely on luscious coffee drinks and a great book to keep me going. I live in Florida and it’s pretty warm still, but I’m seeing snow storms have frozen many of my friends in other parts of the country.
Try this disguise of traditional Thanksgiving stuffing made with sweet potatoes and butternut squash instead of bread. It’s flavorful, colorful and packed with antioxidants! Plus, it’s a one-skillet recipe so it doesn’t take up valuable space in your oven!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
If you haven’t been to your local coffee shop, you may have missed the memo that it’s Pumpkin Spice Season, y’all. This smoothie satisfies your need for fall flavor without the hefty coffee-shop price tag. Plus, since you can make it right at home, there’s no line!
St. Mark’s Salad with Croutons & Light Vinaigrette
The students of St. Mark’s Episcopal School met with me today to write and make a recipe. Enjoy this bright dinner salad with your favorite French snail, Escargot!
Pear and Goat Cheese Quiche
The sweet and salty flavors of pears and goat cheese are always a crowd pleaser. But baking them into a quiche makes them oh so much better!
What do cheddar cheese and carrot have in common? They are both orange. Kids who are wary of vegetables will embrace this simple, crunchy salad. When coated in the dressing, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the cheese and the vegetable.
Classic Rock Meatloaf
2020 has me a little nostalgic for simpler times. I find myself tuning into the classic rock station on the radio and turning down today’s pop. (Except for Lady Gaga – LOVE HER!) I’m probably dating myself, but some of the rock on that classic station wasn’t classic when I was little. It was new.
Upside-Down Honey Cakes
Are you familiar with the Bear Books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman? My kids and l love reading the adventures of Bear and his animal friends. These sweet, rhyming stories follow Bear through hibernation, sick days, Christmas and being scared. We find it’s easier to deal with and talk about our own emotions after reading about Bear.
I grew up in New Orleans. If you’ve never visited the Big Easy, you’re missing out – the music, food, art and culture there are rich and spiced with good times and colorful characters. We don’t live there anymore, and only get to visit every couple of years, but I want my kids to know my New Orleans.
Green Tomato Salsa
Within months of purchasing our first home, the covid-19 crisis of 2020 gripped the world. We decided to plant a garden in our backyard and patio—tomatoes, summer squash, peppers and loads of herbs. It was both something to do with the kids and would (with luck) provide some fresh ingredients for me to cook with.
Ahoy, matey! When you be makin’ this sandwich be shurr to talk like a pirate. Aye, the sillier you sound the better it will taste. You’ll want all hands on deck to help assemble this simple breakfast sammy. They say the “X” marks the spot where the treasure is hidden. This sandwich hits the spot so you have the energy to find it!