Marin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes that will please foodies and children alike.
Hummm… bacon and eggs for dinner? Count us in! Sometimes it just seems right. Think of this dish as a take on quiche but instead of a crust I use cooked pasta. Add in some veggies and the kids will never know that you sneaked them in because my frittata is just that good. The best part is that this recipe is so quick and easy it is a perfect weeknight dinner. It can also easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the pancetta.
Every year we create a gingerbread house using the nice kit sold by Trader Joe's, but last year, after constructing a house from the kit, my daughter decided she wanted to take our gingerbread house building experience a step further and create another one—this time from scratch! Fortunately, as we found out, it's easy to do and fun.
First thing you have to do is come up with a design for your house. We created a template for a basic gingerbread house that's simple to create and put together. (You can download our template, formatted for two letter-size sheets of paper; get page one here and page two here.) You can embellish and elaborate on this little house and make it your own special creation.
Fall and winter are great times to use your slow cooker, since it's perfect for making long-simmered comfort food favorites that hit the spot on a cool evening. Try out this recipe for a Mexican-style tortilla soup. The technique couldn't be easier: you just throw almost everything in the cooker and let it go all day, adding beans and corn at the end.
Everyone likes this because you can personalize your bowl with various garnishes, like avocado, cheese, sour cream, and more. Fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika give this soup a delicious smoky flavor, but of course you can use the normal varieties of these ingredients, too.
In my opinion, peppermint should be the official flavor of the holiday season! This white chocolate peppermint bark candy is a holiday staple in our house, and is quick, delicious, and kid-approved. My kids love the fact that smashing up candy canes is part of this recipe.
Peppermint bark is really easy to make, and doesn't mess the kitchen up nearly as much as making cookies does. Feel free to omit the nuts or mix in something else that you think would be tasty. My mom makes hers with both the almonds and dried cranberries.
These old-fashioned jam thumbprint cookies are probably my favorite Christmas cookie from my childhood. I remember my mom making these buttery treats every holiday season, and of course I remember eating them, too.
While my mom's thumbprint cookies were rolled in chopped walnuts, I've also seen them covered in coconut, too. I decided to do a taste test and we decided that the coconut ones are our favorite, although the walnut versions are delicious too.
I followed a suggestion in the Ina Garten recipe for these and finished the cookies with an egg wash. I thought the step was kind of unusual for cookies, but it really made a difference in texture and appearance. You can use any jam you like in these; I used raspberry preserves and orange marmalade.
Fall and winter is the perfect time to fire up the slow cooker and make some long-simmered comfort food. Chili is a perfect food for a chilly evening. Everyone in our family likes it, and you can offer different condiments so everyone can customize their bowl to their own liking.
Here, I’ve adapted my go-to chili recipe for the slow cooker. Put all the ingredients in the cooker in the morning and let it go and it will be hot and ready in time for dinner. You can also chop up the vegetables for the recipe—onions, garlic, and green peppers—in the food processor, saving a little more work in the process.
If you like your chili spicy, feel free to add some cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeños. Since we're feeding both grownups and kids, so I tend to make it mild. Besides, you can always add your own heat after the fact, but it's impossible to take it out once you've put it in!
While the turkey is usually the star of the Thanksgiving table, there wouldn't be much of a feast without a variety of delicious side dishes. One of the things I love to make on Thanksgiving—or any other time of year, really—is roasted vegetables.
Roasting vegetables in the oven at hight heat has a lot of things going for it: it's easy, it works with a variety of different ingredients, and the results are uniformly delicious! I like to use this technique on cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They get really sweet and it's much harder to overcook them than it is when boiling our steaming them. My kids often ask for seconds of these veggies—they're that good. Carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables are fantastic roasted, too.
Roasted veggies couldn't be easier to make: cut vegetables into chunks, toss with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a hot oven. That's it! There's nothing like a super simple and delicious side dish to help make your Thanksgiving less stressful.
This year, as I've done for several years now, I'll cook our Thanksgiving turkey on the charcoal barbeque grill. This is, in my humble opinion, the best way to cook a turkey, hands down. And it frees up the oven for more important Thanksgiving fare, like pie.
Cooking the turkey on the grill has long been my family's favorite way of doing so. I know a lot of people like to deep fry their turkeys in one of those turkey fryer contraptions, but as Captain Kirk shows in this cautionary video, it can be hazardous to life and limb.
Here's what you'll need to cook up your turkey on the grill. My method is optimized for your standard 22-inch Weber charcoal grill, so your mileage may vary with other kinds. I have no idea if this will work on gas grills, so if you try it and it doesn't work don't blame me.
At this time of year, my family and I love making a warm pot of comforting soup for dinner. The kids love chicken soup in all its forms, so I created this Mexican-inspired version of chicken and rice soup to mix things up a bit.
This definitely isn't your run-of-the-mill bowl of chicken soup—it's simple but delicious and everyone loved it. Filled with chicken, rice, and vegetables, you can also mix in garnishes to personalize your bowl.
While the "right" way to make this is probably to simmer a whole chicken for a long time, this weeknight one-pot-meal is easy and quick to put together with boneless skinless chicken breasts and good quality chicken broth.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders (frozen is OK)