Last week, I wrote about how to get kids in the kitchen. And I’ve gotten several e-mails asking what some of our favorite recipes are. So today, I am sharing one of The Goose’s very favorite recipes, that we make over and over again, Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Now, while you really can’t go wrong with a batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies, these kid friendly chocolate chip cookies are a favorite for us because they make a small batch, they always taste good (even if they are accidentally left in the oven a little bit longer than they should be), and with just a few ingredients, they are easy to whip up any time.
We are in the throws of tomato season at our house, and it is fantastic. So far, we’ve picked over 30 pounds of tomatoes from the family garden and The Goose’s Garden – and there are plenty more on the vine waiting to ripen. We’ve been using the tomatoes to make my husband’s favorite Roasted Eggplant Soup, The Goose’s favorite Veggie Plate, my favorite Basketweave BLTs, and everybody’s favorite Homemade Marinara Sauce.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
5 pounds tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons oregano
5 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoon black pepper
5 teaspoons sea salt
5 teaspoons thyme
We’ve had a few chilly days in Michigan this week – a reminder that fall is on its way, school will be starting soon, and the lazy days of summer will be far, far behind us.
Last year I shared my love of using cookie cutters to make The Goose’s lunches a bit more fun. This year, I am partnering with Nature’s Harvest® Bread to introduce their back-to-school Nature’s Harvest® Sandwich Art Photo Contest.
When I was pregnant with The Goose, my husband and I loved Tuesday nights. Because every Tuesday, we’d make a big batch of brownies and sit down to watch The Biggest Loser. Disgusting. I know. But it was our new tradition.
During those nine months, we tried nearly every kind of boxed brownie mix on the market. We tried traditional brownies, extra thick brownies, cheesecake brownies, peanut butter swirl brownies. We even tried a brownie/chocolate chip cook fusion. They were all good. But they didn’t compare one bit to my homemade brownie recipe.
During the summer, when our garden is growing like crazy, one of our favorite dinners is salad (or Veggie Plate for The Goose) with grilled chicken. Salads for dinner are a great way to make sure my family is eating a wide variety of nutritious foods (especially during the summer, when ice cream is our main food group). Plus, the veggies can’t get any fresher – we usually head out to the garden minutes before dinner.
When it comes to making grilled chicken, I always struggled with making the chicken more flavorful. I mean, you can only do so much with salt and pepper, right? I’d tried a handful of store bought seasonings, like Mrs. Dash, Emeril’s Essence, and even plain old seasoning salt. The chicken was always good, but it wasn’t great. So I decided to experiment with different herbs and spices. And what I came up with is, in my opinion, the best chicken seasoning. Hands down. It’s great for salads, quesadillas, even slathering with homemade barbecue sauce and serving with a side of bacon ranch pasta salad.
Every Thursday, The Goose and I set aside some time in the afternoon to make a special recipe together. We spend all week deciding what we’re going to make, then on Thursday we head to the grocery store to buy any ingredients we don’t already have in the house before coming home and getting to work. Over the summer we’ve made chocolate sponge cake, jumbo blueberry muffins, deep dish pumpkin pie, and chocolate ice cream.
A few weeks ago, after we made our jumbo blueberry muffins, The Goose remembered that his very favorite muffin is the Banana Nut Muffin. So that’s what we decided to make the very next week. (Which was good, because it gave me a few days to make sure our bananas got a little too ripe).
During the summer, grilled chicken salad is one of our favorite go-to meals, especially on busy nights. Not only does grilling give us a chance to eat on our patio (which is one of The Goose’s favorite things to do), it also doesn’t heat up the house and it gives us a chance to pick fresh vegetables from our gardens. (We have a large family garden and The Goose has his own garden, too.) Take it from me – If you’ve never had a chance to eat a fresh picked cucumber, you are really missing out.
Because I’m such a picky eater, I’ve worked really hard to make sure that The Goose doesn’t follow in my footsteps. When he was a baby, and first began eating solid foods, I made all of his baby food at home. I began introducing him to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (like mango, kiwi, cauliflower, peas and avocado) – all foods that I would never, ever have tried eating as a child (or as an adult, for that matter). Thankfully, all of my efforts paid off. Nowadays, The Goose is a big veggie eater. He loves fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and even eats raw green beans right out of the garden! He is also a fan of broccoli, corn, and sugar snap peas.
When it comes to breakfast foods – The Goose is not a fan. He refuses to eat eggs, he once cried for twenty minutes when I offered to make homemade waffles, and he won’t eat toast because it is too crusty. But there is one breakfast food that I can always count on when he refuses everything else. The Goose absolutely loves oatmeal.
The Goose loves brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal. His favorite kind was the dinosaur egg oatmeal that comes in the rectangular box. But the kid was eating two packets each morning, and at more than $3.00 per box, it was quickly adding up. So I decided to find a recipe for homemade instant oatmeal that was more economical.
July is prime blueberry season in Michigan. And my family is a sucker for anything blueberry – we love blueberry jam, blueberry pie and definitely blueberry pancakes. But the blueberry treat that we all love the most is blueberry muffins. Hands down.
I tried for many years to find a homemade blueberry muffin recipe that tasted as good as the blueberry muffins that we buy from our local bakery. Some of the muffins were too sweet. Some of the muffins were too bland. Some of the muffins tasted great, but they were tiny and didn’t puff up the way I like.
A few months ago The Goose insisted that he wanted to go someplace ‘fancy’ for lunch. Well, I don’t know about you, but there is no way I am going to head out to a fancy restaurant with a five-year-old. Especially not my five-year-old, who has a hard time sitting in one spot for more than five minutes at a time.
Not wanting to disappoint him, I loaded him in the car and drove us to the fanciest restaurant that I was sure we wouldn’t get kicked out of – Olive Garden. Having never been to a fancy restaurant before, The Goose was in awe. When he saw the servers all wearing ties, the silverware bundled up in cloth napkins, and baskets full of bread sticks on every table, he was happy as could be and declared Olive Garden to be the fanciest restaurant ever.