recipes for feeding the toddling masses...creating and posting happy and pleasurable eats for the mamas and the papas, the babies and everyone in between.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

happy holidays and x-mas feast!

this past week has been leading up until tomorrow...littlefoodie and i have been slaving away in the warm kitchen for days. we've emerged with snotty noses and stinky attitudes but a few boogers aren't going to break us. littlefoodie is roaming free these days with a nicely healed tibia so ain't nothin gonna stop us from enjoying.

i must share our bounty. recipes and delicious pics will be up in a couple days when the whirlwind of presents, food and busted guts wears down. for now i leave you with one tasty menu:

TIMPANO!!!!! (this is the shining star. ever seen the movie big night with stanely tucci? this dish is the a giant center to this movie. what is it? well, a giant pastry wrapped around layers of homemade red sauce, ziti, provolone, genoa salami, polpettes (meatballs), hard boiled eggs, and pecorino romano cheese. baked and sliced. timpano means big drum in italian. i make this each holiday come hell or high water. it is a hit!)

baked ziti- made from the leftover red sauce, ziti, cheese, and the reserved meat from the red sauce..yummy!

stuffed mushrooms

marinated veggies

cannolis- homemade shells and filling. fried pastry with ricotta, candied citron, dark chocolate and cinnamon.


caramel apple pie

pumpkin creme profiteroles

gingerbread men

mini pecan tarts

peppermint chocolate brownies

littlefoodies grandparents also insist on mexican for x-mas so while i slave away they order more food from a little mexican place by is wonderful. its usually tamales, enchiladas, chile verde-pork and beef, guacamole, salsa, etc.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


panforte is an italian dessert. its sort a cross between a confection and a cake...a little fruitcakeiness to it too. its yummy, gooey, dense and good. i haven't made this in years but we are having quite a x-mas and i always make italian for x-mas so hopefully this will be a new one added to my list! i got the recipe off of epicurious. it was printed in gourmet december of 2002. i changed it slightly, adding different fruits and fruits and some orange zest.


4 teaspoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder plus additional for dusting
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted and loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel and chopped
1 cup dried unsulfured apricots, cut into halves
1 cup dried mission figs, each cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/2 cup candied citron
zest or 2 oranges
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup honey

Special equipment: a 9-inch springform pan; parchment paper; a candy thermometer
Preheat oven to 300°F.

Line springform pan with parchment, using a round for bottom and a strip for side. Butter paper well and dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour, spices, salt, and 4 teaspoons cocoa in a large bowl, then stir in nuts and fruit.

Bring sugar and honey to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil without stirring until thermometer registers 238 to 240°F, about 2 minutes.

Immediately pour honey over fruit mixture and quickly stir until combined (mixture will be very thick and sticky). Quickly spoon mixture into springform pan, spreading evenly with back of spoon. Dampen your hands and press mixture firmly and evenly into pan to compact as much as possible. Bake in middle of oven until edges start to rise slightly and become matte, 50 to 55 minutes.

Cool panforte completely in pan on a rack, then remove side of pan and invert, peeling off paper. If making ahead, wrap panforte (see cooks' note, below). To serve, cut with a serrated knife into small pieces.

Cooks' note:
• The flavors of panforte deepen over time — it's best made at least 1 week ahead and chilled in a large sealed plastic bag. It can be made 1 month ahead and chilled, wrapped in parchment and then kept in a sealed plastic bag.

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orange oatmeal muffins and healed tibia

things have been busy over here with x-mas right around the corner. littlefoodie jr. had his cast removed monday. 5 days early but neccessary...see, there was a little incident with poop and believe me, no body part was spared, especially every crevace of his bright orange cast...yay!
so with the cast off i am hoping littlefoodie will return to normal since i believe that the cast held some sort of evil and was posessing him. he is happy to be free and his treat for being a brave boy was a rockin pair of bright red ruby slippers..just like dorothy. we are very obsessed with the wizard of oz over here at the moment...i love my boy for his imagination and little obsessions!!!!

so these muffins were delicious. i used a lavender sugar that i made not too long ago in place of regular cane sugar. littlefoodie wasnt too fond of the caramelized orange slices on the bottom but once i removed them he was fine and scarfing them down. sunday morning i made a wonderful recipe posted on tartlette (on the side in my links...i cannot get links to show up in my posts at the moment) called coconut honey...i canned a bunch and gave away most and saved a couple for us. i used that coconut honey in the bottom of the muffin tins instead of regular honey...resulting in yumminess.


2 oranges, zested and set aside
1/4 cup honey or coconut honey
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cooked oatmeal
1 tbl baking powder
1 tsp of cardamom
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pure cane sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup half and half or whole milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

zest oranges and reserve zest. remove outside, pith and all of oranges and slice about 1/4 in thick..enough to get 12 slices.

grease muffin pans. add about 1 tsp of honey to bottom of each muffin cup and lay an orange slice down.

mix flour, oatmeal, baking powder, spices and salt.

whisk together eggs, milk and butter. add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. pour into muffin tins and bake about 15 min. remove and eat!

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Friday, December 15, 2006

gingerbread pancakes with wild blueberries

no picture today of the pancakes but that is what littlefoodie was up to while mama was slaving away at the stove.
littlefoodie requested pancakes today for breakfast. apparently he really wanted them cause he ate three...either they were that good or he is racing to be a sumo wrestler...i am going with the later as of late.
these were super delicious and full of great wild organic blueberries i had in the freezer. they were spicy like gingerbread and full of healthy goodness! we like to dip them in unsweetened applesauce or have sauteed apples over them!


1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 flaxseed meal
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of cloves and nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup blackstrap molasses or unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup yogurt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tbl canola oil
1 cup wild frozen unthawed blueberries

stir together flour, oat bran, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

whisk molasses, milk, yogurt, eggs, and oil to combine. add to ddry ingredients and mix until just combined. fold in blueberries.

heat large non stick skillet over med high heat. grease with a little butter. add about 1/4 or more or less depending on taste and cook a couple minutes. flip over and continue cooking. remove and eat!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

littlefoodie jr.'s jambalaya

this is not an original jambalya recipe by any means. i know there are those who hold tightly to their versions of it but this is a straight up kid versionized recipe. not too spicy, not too bland...full of chicken chunks and andouille sausages. littlefoodie gave it two thumbs up! when the kids are away then i'd say spice it up all the way and don't forget the tabasco!
(pics coming soon!)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell peppers, (used the tj's frozen bell pepper medley)
2 celery ribs, diced small
1/2 cup carrot, diced small
2 tbl minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
dash of thyme
creole seasoning, about 1/2 tbl or more depending on taste
1 tbl tomato paste
1 lb pork andouille sausage (i used 1 package of trader joes fully cooked pork andouille), sliced
2 large chicken breasts, grilled or sauteed and cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 16 iz can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 cups brown rice

melt butter over med high heat. add onions, peppers, celery, carrots and garlic until soft. add bay leaves cayenne, oregano, thyme and creole seasoning. saute a minute.

add tomato paste and stir to combine it all. add sausage, chicken, broth, tomatoes, and rice.

bring to boil then reduce on low and simmer for about an hr. stir and eat!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

chocolate sandwich cookies with peppermint creme

yet another sugary confection from littlefoodie jr. we have about 19,234,986,3424 candy canes hanging around and just as much energy to throw into days and days of baking.
chocolate flaky cookies and a cream cheesy filling...oh yes!
i got the recipe off of epicurious a while back...the cookie part remains the same with a touch less sugar but i changed the filling up to suit our desires of candy cane and peppermint goodness. try these and i swear you will be in love! plus, they are so festive and cute right now!


1 3/ cup unbleached ap flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 lg egg

peppermint creme
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temp
4 peppermint candy canes, crushed

preheat oven to 350F.

whisk flour, cocoa and salt together. beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light. add egg and combine. add in dry.

put in the fridge about an hour.

scoop about 1 tbl or so of filling out and roll into ball. flatten and place on baking sheet.

bake 11 min. cool completley

peppermint creme:

beat butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. fold in crushed candy canes.

when cookies are cooled dollop filling onto one side of cookie and sandwich it with another! eat a million!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

candy cane meringue

littlefoodie almost healed broken footy and i have been baking fools. each day we make something new. now that he is old enough to "help" it is really fun to watch him have at it.

for a 2 yr old the kid has a pretty adventurous palate and is absolutley willing to try anything i make and nothing toasts this mamas heart than a not picky kid! since bigfoodie daddy and i will eat just about anything i shouldn't be too surprised!

i haven't made meringues in a long while and since everything has been so having in our baking lately i decided on these. we just discovered that littlefoodie booty LOVES anything peppermint...just like hims mama does! he got to help crush the candies and eat just as many as well as drop the batter onto the cookie sheet. per his request we tinted them pink and sprinkled little green sparkles on top. they came out soooo delicious its hard to stop after 4, heehee.


2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup white sugar
little bit of red food coloring paste
4 peppermint candy canes crushed
green sprinkles

preheat oven to 260F.

line baking sheet with foil or parchment or silpat.

in a clean dry metal bowl beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. add food paste until desired color and keep beating. gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks. fold in crushed candy canes.

drop by spoonfuls and sprinkle with some sparkles.

Bake for 1 hr until dry but not browned at all. turn off the oven and let sit a couple hours or until completley cooled.

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candied ginger and dark chocolate cupcakes with coconut frosting

each sunday i make a big dinner, complete with dessert for littlefoodie, daddy and i. this sunday littlefoodies grammi and papa were off and was he excited to see them. littlefoodie and i made grilled burgers, root veggie gratin with blue cheese, grilled zucchini and these cupcakes which he frosted and sprinkled and made into a x-mas tree!
the candied ginger in these was such a nice spicy touch with the dark chocolate and tiny orange flavor., next time i would do a dark chocolate frosting but we used coconut to add some texture for our cupcake x-mas tree. try these and you will not be disappointed!
i lifted and adapted the recipe from, a great source of recipes.


5 tbls unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
zest of 1 tangerine
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp mace
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup minced candied giner

preheat oven to 350F.

beat butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. beat in egg, zest, and vanilla.

sift flour, baking powder, salt, and spices..mix into butter mixture at low speed, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

fold in chocolate chunks and candied ginger.

bake 20-25 min. cool completley before frosting.

cream cheese coconut frosting

1 block cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp orange extract or vanilla
zest of 1 tangerine or orange
1 cup coconut

beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. beat in extract and zest. gradually add powdered sugar until combined. stir in coconut.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

sage and cranberry scones with lemon glaze


2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup organic natural cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon, minced
3 sage leaves, rubbed and minced
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
combine ingredients for glaze. set aside.
1 large egg

lemon glaze:
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbl cane sugar
4 tbl half and half or cream
1 sage leaf

preheat oven to 400F.

sift flour thru salt into a large bowl. stir in lemon zest, sage and cranberries. combine.

whisk together yogurt, vanilla and egg. add to flour mixture and stir to mix.

drop by large tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet. brush each generously with lemon glaze.

bake 15 minutes.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

sauteed pork with persimmons, figs and sage

i wrote a long post out...blogger is not working and killed it! ughhh. my energy is spent. try this recipe...if you like pork, persimmons, figs and sage this will be a big hit. littlefoodie loved it!!!!

i served it with a wild rice medley with cranberries and tossed with goat cheese and roasted brussel sprouts.

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed and diced into 1 in cubes
unbleached flour
garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 persimmons, peeled and diced
3-4 dried figs, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
juice of 1 orange
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup beef broth, (chicken or veg is fine)
2 tbl honey
salt and pepper to taste

in a baggie combine flour, salt and pepper and garlic powder. add pork and toss to coat. saute pork in olive oil until brown on one side. turn over and continue to cook on med low.

in a small saucepan add persimmons, figs, orange juice, broth, sage, garlic, honey and s&p. heat until boiling.

when pork is done turn heat to high and add the persimmon/fig mixture to it. deglaze the pan, scrape up bits and stir until liquid is evaporated.

now eat!!!!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

mothers little helper of the day...mrs.mays

these are far i've had the pumpkin and pecan and plan on trying more. they recently started selling them at trader joes but looking on their website tells me that they sell them at target, walmart, costco, cost plus world market, and whole foods.
they are lightly sweetened with organi cane sugar and rice malt. they are not processed, nothing refined...pretty much a whole nutritious snack. the only problem is that i can eat the whole bag which with the nuts can be high in fat...but good fat, right?

unfortunatley, there are not a whole lot in a bag and they can be pricey depending on where you buy for hte amount you get but they are DELICIOUS!
seriously, everyone must try them and support their efforts at an amazingly yummy and good for you snack!!

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Monday, December 04, 2006

snowman cake

due to the holiday decorating i had to make a yummy dessert to go with dinner. i came up with a little frosty the snowman cake since littlefoodie jr loves all things x-mas, now that he understands it. its pretty simple, nothing frilly and anything can be used to decoate it.

the cake itself was yummy and moist. i had a ton of eggnog leftover so i have been trying to make up some recipes with it...its adds a nice flavor a moistness. i frosted it with a simple cream cheese fact, so simple i have no measurements for it!


pumpkin, eggnong and cocoa cake

1 3/4 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup organic cocoa
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup eggnog
i can pumpkin

preheat oven to 350F. if using for snowman cake grease 1 8 in round cake pan and 1 9 in round cake pan. set aside.

sift flour thru salt in a med bowl.

beat butter in mixer until creamed. add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. add eggs 1 at a time.

beat in flour and eggnon alternately in 3 additions...beginning and ending with flour. (flour 3 x's, eggnog 2 x's).
batter will be thick.

pour into prepared pans and bake 20 min.

remove, cool and then invert onto a big platter.

cut a small crescent out of the bottom of the smaller cake round and place on top of the larger side to get a good snuggly fit.

cream cheese frosting

1 block cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp.
dash of vanilla extract
powderd sugar as needed (i use about 1/2-3/4 cup but i dont like it very sweet)
milk if needed

beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. add the powdered sugar until desired taste. beat in vanilla. add milk if its too thick.

frost the cake all over.
sprinkle with coconut all over, evenly to look like snow.
i used frozen blueberries for the buttons.
a small wedge of tangerine for the carrot nose.
chocolate chips for the eyes.
halved grapes for the scarf.
chocolate chips for the mouth.
a half a pretzel stick ofr pipe and a fig cookie for the top of the pipe.
pretzel sticks for the hands.

p.s we need all the good vibes we can get today! littlefoodie jr. is getting half of his cast off today. he will be able to move his knee now! i have a feeling i will be getting puked all over from the fear of the saw but i promised him the forbidden today...lollipops, chocolate chips and french fries afterwards! now that i think of it he is probably going to be happy due to my indulgent and bribbing ways.

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filet mignon, grilled asparagus, sweet potato and sage brown rice "risotto", snowman cake and tree trimming

longest title ever!

we bought our x-mas tree last night so it was tree trimming and good food night. we had some nice lightly spiced filet mignons from tj's and yummy grilled balsamic asparagus (on our grill pan...its allclad and its the best i've ever used.) the show stopper of the meal was the sweet potato and sage brown rice risotto style. we eat a lot of brown rice so poor arborio, which is what is used in real risotto would have been used once and lost in the abyss of other random foods in the back of our fridge. the brown rice was great, super creamy and still had that nutty bite to it.

after dinner it was tree decorating time....about 10 minutes of tearing the ornaments, garland and beads away from crazy littlefoodie jr. we began. we have the cutest little charlie brown tree and we love it. we love x-mas over here and having a child makes it way more fun...i think i may even believe in santa again. the stockings are hung, the garland is strung, the stairs are lit up and we are all ready to begin.

in honor of the tree trimming festivities i made littlefoodie almost half broken booty a cake shaped as a snowman. the cake itself was a pumpkin, eggnog, cocoa cake (i have a lot of eggnog left over) and a cream cheese frosting. i sprinkled some coconut to look like snow, used blueberries as his buttons, tangerines for the nose and a half pretzel stick with a fig cookie as his corn cob pipe..oh, and chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth and halved grapes for his scarf. yes, overly cute but you should've seen the look on little foodies face when i brought it out...soooo much happier than i thought and so worth it.

i have pictures today of the food as well as some photos of our newly decorated x-mas puked all over home!


spiced filet mignons

2 filets mignons
dash of salt
ground cumin
garlic powder
dried oregano
dash of chili powder

mix the rub up and rub all over one side of steak. i like to grill it on a hot grill pan on the crusty side until browned than flip over for a few minutes more...we like them almost still moo'ing over here.

grilled balsamic asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus, snapped and rinsed
balsamic vinegar
juice or 1 orange
chopped garlic
few drops of olive oil
salt and pepper

i mix a little of everything together and marinate the asparagus in it until i am ready to grill.
heat the grill pan and dump it all out. depending on the thickness of the asparagus it'll vary on how you cook them...i prefer them crunchy and not limp. maybe 10 min or so depending.

sweet potato and sage brown rice risotto style

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, small diced and roasted
1 tbl minced garlic
3 large leaves of sage, finely chopped
1 cup brown rice, rinsed
2 cups beef stock (chicken or veggie or water is just as fine)
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
8 oz mascarpone
1/4 cup grated romano cheese

roast the sweet potatoes in olive oil to coat until tender..about 20-25 minutes. remove and cool.

saute garlic and onion in dutch oven in olive oil or unsalted butter. add rice and finely chopped sage leaves.
heat up stock or water in a pan until boiling. toast the rice over med high heat for about 10 min. when stock is boiling add to rice, bring to boil again then lower the heat and cook about 40 min or until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed.

when rice is done add the white wine...turn the heat to med high again and stir for about 5 min. add the sweet potatoes, mascarpone and romano cheese. add salt and pepper to taste.

(snowman cake coming in next post!!!!)

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

spiced eggnog and cranberry muffins

things have been a bit slow in the kitchen of casa de littlefoodies. littlefoodie jr.s broken leg is kicking our butt...he is, to put it sweetly, ANNOYING. we know he is frustrated and all that but hey, what about the mama and the papa? good news is that monday is the 3rd week and that means he gets half of his cast off.
i have been explaining to him how its going to work and that its only half of the cast to which he replies "i no want half of my green sticker off...i want 2 parts of it off." somebody is going to be getting the smackdown come 1:45 monday afternoon and thats going to be me..(since littlefoodie daddy is being held captive and work and can't come.)
last week we visited gus fav grandparents and mommy got a little break time. but now we are back and ready to have 19237120 lbs and start our month of cooking!

these muffins are delicious. not low calorie though but so tasty anyway. if you're not a fan of eggnog go ahead and replace it with buttermilk only reduce it by 1/4 cup. the eggnog flavor is not too prominent just a subtle flavoring. little foodie loved them but camera battery is out so pics will come later!


1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of cloves and nutmeg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups eggnog
1 egg
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
wheat germ

preheat oven to 400F. grease muffin tins.

combine flour thru nutmeg.

combine wet ingredients and whisk to combine. add to dry and mix until moist. fold in cranberries. batter will be thick.

fill tins with batter and sprinkle tops with wheat germ.

bake 20 min.

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