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.

 

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