Who doesn’t love a party where everyone gathers for fun and food? The annual Super Bowl is the time to have fun, for us it is a time for everyone to party, not just the men! The kids and I are big fans, just like my husband, so it is a family and friends affair. I just got some menu hints from the friends we are celebrating with this year and let me say I am counting down the days!

Here is a little inspiration for your Super Bowl party.

If you want to make your mouth water pop on over to my Super Bowl Inspired Pinterest Board. Warning: Do not attempt this on an empty stomach!

Photo Source: Bakerella, Catch My Party

 

Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a little love throughout their day? We know all kids do, so we created “Love Notes for Lunch Totes” to make it fast and easy to slip in your child’s lunch. Send these little notes and brighten your child’s day – we are sure they will be smiling!

These are designed to be used with Avery Business Cards or you can print on any cardstock and trim along the lines.

Click here to Download Now!

Check back soon as we are going to be offering a print your own Valentine’s card for your kids too.

 

Over the past few years I have become creative in my cooking; trying new recipes and new foods. My kids have eaten and enjoyed everything from chicken to cuttlefish. That was, until recently when now all they want to do is eat pasta. So, I have sought out help through the cookbooks and other moms. For cooking inspiration I look to the following:

  • Other moms who have great ideas on meals
  • How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
  • Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home by Mollie Katzen
  • recipes pulled from :Canadian Living, Canadian Parent,Chataine. and Bon Appetit
  • my garden

I do pride myself on making delicious, home cooked meals. I take supper time seriously. It is family time. A time to eat together and chat about the day’s comings and goings. But recently my little foray into family time has taken a dive. The kids simply won’t eat and won’t sit still. We have tried everything – multiple main courses, pasta or rice at each dinner, separating the kids, bribery. You name it, it has failed. The kids refuse to eat. I know I have a choice. Fight them and try to make them eat, or accept their antics and hope for the best. I have chosen the latter. And so for now, I will continue to cook. Continue to hope. And just keep trying to preserve the sanctity of dinner time.

Here is one recipe I can actually get the kids to eat – especially if they can pick the vegetables from our garden. So glad spring is here and my garden is coming alive.

Whole Wheat pasta with freshly picked spinach and tomatoes and feta cheese

Cook pasta until the way you like it.

In the meantime, saute up some garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook for a few minutes. Add feta cheese and let it melt into the vegetables (I usually cook for a minute, then turn off the heat and let it melt from the heat of the pan.

Dinner is ready.

I have added cooked shrimp and leftover chicken and salmon to this recipe. I have also seasoned it with fresh basil, cilantro and oregano.

The kids love it. Especially when the pick the vegetables from our garden.

 
Just before Christmas I had the pleasure of attending a lunch at Maple Leaf Foods amazing Think Food building. What an impressive facility!  Well John Placko, Director of culinary excellence- Maple Leaf Foods- ThinkFOOD! prepared a delicious menu for us utilizing nuts (sorry for all of those out there with nut allergies) and it was so good that I had to make it for friends that came over for dinner during the holidays.  Everyone including the kids loved this chicken!  So I am going to share it with all of you, you can also find the entire menu we had at the MLF Tweetup on their website.

Ingredients

1 Whole MAPLE LEAF Prime™ chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs (1.5 kg)
¼ cup (50mL) Each toasted pecans, cashews, walnuts and pumpkin seeds
¼ cup (50mL)Grainy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Lemon, cut into 6 wedges
1 Orange, cut into 6 wedges
2 Sprigs rosemary
2 Sprigs thyme
1 tbsp (15mL) Each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme leaves
2 tbsp (30mL) Butter

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375˚F (190˚C)

PLACE pecans, cashews, walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and blend until coarsely chopped. Mix the nuts with grainy mustard and season with salt and pepper.

GENTLY pull the skin back from the chicken breast and leg by sliding your fingers under the skin, carefully loosening without tearing.

SPREAD the nut mixture under the skin of the breast and around the legs, and smooth to an even layer.

SEASON the cavity with salt and pepper to taste, and fill with lemon, orange, and herb sprigs. Tie the legs of the bird together with butcher’s twine.

PLACE the chicken in a small roasting pan surrounding it with the remaining lemon and orange, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spread butter on the outside of the chicken.

ROAST the chicken for 11/4 to 1 ½ hours or until meat has reached an internal temperature of 185°F(85°C), basting several times during the cooking process.

REMOVE the chicken to a platter; discard the citrus and herbs from the cavity but reserve the roasted citrus from the pan for garnish. Cover the chicken with foil and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

TIP: Try using an inverted soupspoon to help make it easier to loosen the skin before adding the mustard nut Stuffing.

 

Like with everyone, there are a few things about me that are somewhat like a trademark.

  • I use to live on a sailboat in Vancouver
  • I have curly brown hair and freckles
  • I love spicy food
  • I cannot make chocolate chip cookies – or any other baked goods for that matter

It has been that last point that has become a bit of a pain. A real thorn in my side. My Achilles Heel. You see, my kids love to bake. They love to surprise daddy with a sugary lip-smacking dessert. But, usually daddy gets a hockey puck masking as a cake. Or a door stop that resembles a brownie.

So, I am sure you can imagine how excited I was when I was invited to attend a cooking class at Two Moms Baked Goods. They do the hard work for you. Ingredients? Purchased. Measuring? Done. Oven temperature right? All set. I simply showed up with my daughter, put on an apron and began the fun task of assembling the ingredients.

To be clear, I didn’t really do anything. My daughter did it all. She massaged the butter until it was the right temperature to be creamed. She added in the flour, sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Mixed them up. Stuck her fingers in the batter for a taste test. And declared it yummy. I somewhat supervised, chatted to the other moms and helped clean her messy hands. Two Moms Baked Goods, they did the rest – like cleaned the table and gave us samples to try.  When all assembled, we went home with two trays of brownies – ready to be frozen or baked.

My husband was a happy man that night. Perfect brownies, for once.

But here is another reason I love Two Moms Baked Goods. My mother in-law has a deadly allergy to nuts. Not all nuts, but a lot of them and it seems the list grows each year. Another nut gets added. Guess what, Two Moms Baked Goods is a nut free facility. I can “make” her dessert and not even worry about it.

And another reason? They have shop above the cooking school where I can purchase pre-made scrumptious treats – like a Vanilla Latte Cheesecake Square or a Banana Dolce Loaf. Yum.

Two Moms Baked Goods is a local, Toronto store/cooking facility. It is the brain-child Caroline Davis and Karen Freilich-Miller. These two women spent a number of years researching and taste testing products that are not only nut-free but are also preservative-free. As a mom (who cannot bake), I appreciate this. I know I am feeding my kids healthy and safe products. Thanks!

 

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