A simple syrup is both simple and extremely versatile. Easy to make, simple syrups typically consist of a base of equal parts sugar and water and then you can get creative! They can be used to flavor cocktails, coffee drinks, or even add a little something extra to a basic fruit salad. I love getting creative with syrups and with such easy and accessible ingredients, the sky really is the limit. A few weeks ago, I had a bunch of strawberries and my basil plants were exploding! I decided to combine the two and make a simple syrup to flavor some basic iced tea and quickly, my easy Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup was born….
It’s back to school week here in Minnesota and I know for many busy families, it also means back to crazy nights of post-school activities, sports practices, and arts lessons. Trying to get a family fed in the midst of all that activity can be a challenge for even the most prepared and experienced home cooks. This week’s Good Food Reads is a collection of easy, hearty meals perfect for these busy back to school weeks. Most of the recipes are designed for slow cookers or the Instant Pot (or another electric pressure cooker) in an effort to make these hectic days a little less crazy.
30 Minute Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta from The Butterhalf. Perfect one pot meal for those crazy busy back to school/activities nights!
I love curry and can’t wait to try this Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken from Fit Foodie Finds. It would be great with some fresh green beans and rice!
This Honey Mustard Slow Cooker Pork Loin and Rice from Food, Faith, Fitness is gluten free and adds fresh spinach at the end of cooking!
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) is packed with veggies and can easily be served over rice or cauliflower rice for a complete meal.
A fun twist on slow cooker soups: Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup (Foodie Crush).
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken (Two Peas and Their Pod) is an easy slow cooker classic and can be used for tacos, burritos, or quinoa bowls. Such a great recipe for meal prep, too!
And if you’re looking to keep things on the lighter side, check out these recipes from the always genius SkinnyTaste: Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls and One Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce (Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker).
Here’s hoping your back to school weeks are great ones! Let us know when you’re cooking and as always, we’d love to hear from you with your Good Food Reads.
I’ve been feeling extra snack-y lately. For whatever reason, sit down meals just haven’t been my thing. Snacks though? All over it. It may have something to do with the busy, end of summer, cram-it-all-in-before-it-gets-cold life we are living right now but I’m embracing it, whatever it is. This week’s Good Food Reads is a selfish collection of snack recipes that I’m hoping to try in the coming weeks. Got a favorite snack? Let me know on social media. Or just dive right in and enjoy this week’s Good Food Reads: Snack Time! …
Well, now that the solar eclipse craziness is over for a few years (or at least until 2024!) we can all get back to our lives and stow away those hard won eclipse glasses for next time, right? Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate well where I live and so even though we were predicted to have about 82% totality, all I saw was a bunch of storm clouds. A bummer, for sure, but definitely not as disappointing as if we had driven down to Nebraska to try and catch totality! Did any of you get great eclipse views? While waiting for the eclipse yesterday, I had a huge craving for something salty and crunchy. Despite my love of baking, I really do prefer salty snacks. One of my favorite savory treats is the Tostitos Hint of Lime Chips. I can’t get enough of that salty, lime-y crunch. After a weekend of food indulgences, however, I figured I had better try for a healthier treat that would satisfy my need for crunch. So, after a rummage through the pantry, these salty, crispy Roasted Chickpeas with a Hint of Lime were born and eclipse snack time was a huge success. …
Oh, man. It has been quite the week around here. For a food blogger, I’ve done a dismal amount of cooking. Truth be told, the vast majority of my meals have consisted of whatever quick snack I could grab and run out the door. There was also a whole lot of cold press coffee. No home runs in the nutrition or variety categories, that’s for sure! As we approach the weekend and I finally have a few days off, I’m really looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and eating something more exciting than a protein bar. This week’s Good Food Reads is a selfish one – a collection of recipes that I’m hoping to try in the next week. No theme here friends, just great looking recipes and foodie inspiration. I hope you find something you can’t wait to try! And don’t forget to check out all of the amazing recipes from fellow food bloggers and the Minnesota State Fair Copycat Recipe roundup. …
The Minnesota State Fair (otherwise known as The Great Minnesota Get Together) is a must go event for hundreds of thousands of Midwesterners each summer. Held the two weeks before Labor Day, it’s an annual celebration of summer, fun, and really, really good food. While there are plenty of things to do at the fair that don’t involve food, I would say that for many people, the food is the fair experience at it’s finest. This week, Lane and I are teaming up with six amazing fellow food bloggers to bring you a collection of Minnesota State Fair Copycat Recipes! These fantastic foodies have recipes for all of the great fair foods (see the links below) and we’re joining in with a new recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts. …
So, I know the height of summer isn’t really considered prime baking season but sometimes a girl just really needs a cookie, am I right? Don’t get me wrong – I love, love, love all of the easy, fresh, summertime recipes in abundance right now. I do. It’s just that yesterday, I also really needed a cookie. A fresh chocolate chip cookie. So I baked some. And now all I want to do is bake some more. I want butter. I want chocolate. I want frosting! And because I have cookies, brownies, and pies on the brain, my recipe research for this week’s Good Food Reads ended up a little, uh, lopsided. So I’m embracing it! Bust out your measuring cups, dust off your apron, and preheat your ovens. We’re about to get down with some serious baking deliciousness. It’s time for Good Food Reads: Get Baking!…
Well, this is post is officially a day later than I had hoped but I guess that’s what happens when you head out of town and forget your laptop charger. Oops! With a few days away from work and no plans in hand, my husband and I made a last minute decision to head to his family’s cabin in the northern Minnesota lake country. We invited some friends to join us and had a great couple of days of sun, sand, water, and some good food. I love the simplicity of summer foods – marinades and grilled chicken or burgers, fresh fish, and plenty of salads. As part of our Southern themed dinner party earlier this summer, Lane and I tossed together this Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad to lighten up an otherwise heavy menu….
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve commiserated with friends about the challenges of cooking for kids. I’m not talking about technical cooking skills here – most of us can manage the ins and outs of classic kid foods. Rather, I’m interested in how to balance making healthy, tasty food that kids and adults will want to eat. I don’t want to be a short order cook and I want my kids to eat food that pushes beyond macaroni and cheese and pizza. Lane and I are both busy working moms and our kids range in age from 9 months to high school so our kid culinary needs are widely varied. In putting together this week’s Good Food Reads, I wanted to find a collection of recipes that would be useful for moms with kids of all ages. To make it a little easier, I’ve broken down the recipes by (loose) age groups. There are recipes for young kids, families, and recipes to cook with your kids! Do you have a favorite recipe that is a surefire hit with kids? Let us know! We’d love to share it here.
For Babies and Toddlers:
Pregnancy Smoothie (and the whole Smoothie Project) from Weelicious. Are you guys familiar with the Smoothie Project? Catherine, the genius behind the go-to cooking with kids site Weelicious, features a daily smoothie on her Instagram and has a cool PDF with mix and match options for healthy smoothies the whole family will love. I loved this pregnancy smoothie – and it’s perfect for the whole family.
An easy finger food for older babies, Barley Banana Protein Pancakes have only four simple ingredients and are quickly whipped up in a blender. Yum!
My oldest child was a bit of a picky eater when first starting table foods. These Toddler Muffins were a lifesaver and he always devoured them. They are so easy to make and freeze well. Highly recommend!
I’m hoping to try these Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chick Pea Patties from Annabel Karmel. I love that it doesn’t shy away from big flavors and packs in plenty of nutrition!
My youngest is proving to be an adventurous eater and I’m excited to try these Mini Chicken and Carrot Meatballs for Baby this weekend. They should be perfect for the freezer, too.
Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Cheddar Croquettes are a great option for baby led weaning and are full of nutrients. Make a double batch and pop the extras in the freezer for later!
My son refused to eat eggs until just a few months ago but my daughter is absolutely in love with scrambled eggs. This Veggie Eggy Orzo is next on my list of finger foods to try for her! I love the simple ingredients and whole wheat orzo.
There’s no easier way to get veggies into picky kids than with pasta sauce! I love this recipe for 5 Vegetable Pasta Bolognese.
These dumplings would be great for older kids and families alike: Ricotta Spinach Dumplings.
Ok, so these are not the healthiest option, but they are an easy treat you can absolutely make with younger kids! We all need dessert sometimes, right? Check out our very own Peanut Butter Cup Bars.
Good For the Whole Family:
Cooking for Kids doesn’t have to mean making separate meals. I love these simple Mashed Sweet Potato Bowls, Two Ways for a quick and easy way to make a healthy meal for all ages.
And because I can’t do a Good Food Reads without a good one pot dish: One Pan Pesto Chicken and Brown Rice. Perfect for cooking for kids and adults!
Finally, what kid (or grownup?) doesn’t love crispy chicken? Check out these Panko Crusted Chicken Drumsticks. They’ve got tons of flavor and crunch and a honey mustard dipping sauce sure to please the pickiest eater.
Well friends, that’s it for this week’s Good Food Reads: Cooking with Kids. How’d we do? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
The past few summers, as soon as the zucchini starts to take over garden patches, I make a batch of Yotam Ottolenghi’s genius Turkey Zucchini Burgers with Sumac Yogurt Sauce. They are the perfect use of summer’s garden bounty and are also the recipe that got me hooked on sumac. As my kitchen skills have grown over the years, so has my willingness to try new herbs and bold spices. I’ve come to love a big flavor punch, especially when it comes to vegetables. While I was pulling out my spices for this summer’s first go at Ottolenghi’s recipe, I thought I’d try to put together a collection of spice heavy recipes to experiment with for this week’s Good Food Reads! Get ready for some serious spice!
First up is this Chicken and Tomato Salad with Sumac and Herbs, featured in the New York Times. It uses tons of fresh herbs and more sumac!
While you’ve got the sumac and your spices out, try this recipe for Cucumbers with Labneh and Cherries for a refreshing take on a side dish.
And since I know you’re going to be as sumac obsessed as I am, how about this Sumac Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots for an easy, healthy dinner? It’s a sheet pan wonder that will be perfect for busy weeknights.
Don’t think I forgot a beverage! How about this Chili Lime Pineapple Soda? I think it would also be good with a splash of vodka, if you’re looking for an evening cocktail.
Want a show stopping, filled with flavor treat? Look no further than this recipe for Zucchini and Herbed Ricotta Flatbread. I think I might try it on the grill for a little added flavor.
I first had chicken under a brick while traveling in Tuscany about 10 years ago. Here’s a great take on the classic, using fresh sage and flavor packed juniper berries: Chicken Under A Brick with Sage and Olives.
As you all know by now, I’ve never met a good vegetarian recipe that I don’t like. Itching to try these Spiced Grilled Vegetables.
The lovely Amanda of Heartbeet Kitchen killed it with this profile of Shelly Westerhausen’s gorgeous recipe for Minted Baba Ghanoush. My backyard mint plant is going to be put to good use!
This recipe for Lemongrass Curry With Shrimp from Bon Appetit can be made – leaving out the shrimp – a day ahead, which is definitely helpful for the weekday dinner crunch.
And finally, we can’t talk about spices without including a recipe for chicken wings, right? Try these Chicken Wings with Mango Chili Sauce for a sweet and spicy twist.
I hope you all have a great weekend filled with good food, great spices, and lots of fun with friends and family. Let us know what you make! We’d love to see your kitchen successes. Find us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.