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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

braised romano beans

romano beans were one of the yummy organic veggies that came in our delivery. every 2 weeks we get a crate of fresh, organic, locally grown veggies and fruits right on our doorstep. these long, green gems were delicious, and for a vegetarian this was a great meal with some wild rice or lentils. this is not my recipe...i found this recipe online and have given a direct link for it above. the only difference with my is i used yellow onion instead of red.


Marco Canora’s Braised Romano Beans
1 large red onion
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 hand-crushed Roma tomatoes (or 1 12-oz. can crushed tomatoes)
1 1/2 lbs. Romano beans
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped basil

(1) Trim stem end of beans and cut larger ones in half. Set aside. (2) Finely chop the onion, celery, and carrot, and sauté them in olive oil with tomatoes for about 20 minutes until the soffritto, or sautéed vegetable mixture, turns pale gold. (3) Add Romano beans gradually and stir to coat well. Cover and cook over low heat, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if the mixture appears too dry. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until very soft but not falling apart. Season with salt and pepper, and finish with chopped basil.


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baby back ribs made the easy way... bbq'd beans and salad.

we've been grilling a lot lately, like a lot of people around this time of year. i bought a rack of baby back ribs from trader joes and gave it a try. its my first time with ribs but they were pretty easy and came out super tender and delicious. while it did take time it didn't take effort... how great can that be when all you want to do is play outside, in the water, sucking on popsicles. the beans= equally as easy. and the salad featured the cucumbers and tomatoes from our beachgreens delivery. i know there are many who would fall over at the sight of someone basting those meaty little ribs with purchased bbq sauce but its hot and even though i do love to slave over a hot stove have some limitations.... stirring bbq sauce on the stove hit my limit of ughh, no thank you's. trader joe's makes a pretty good, slightly spicy kentucky bbq sauce.



1 rack baby back ribs
bbq sauce- used about 3/4 bottle
salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika

preheat oven to 350.

sprinkle ribs, meat side up, with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and paprika. bake 20 min.

baste with sauce and continue baking another 20 min.

baste with more sauce and continue baking another 30 min.

fire up the grill and keep it on low. baste ribs with more sauce and grill another 20-30 min.

carve up and eat.


1 can organic kidney beans
1 can organic pinto beans
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tbl dijon mustard
1 tbl organic ketchup

heat up until bubbly. reduce heat, cover and leave on low for 20-30 minutes.

beach greens bounty salad featuring ripe, blood red, sweet and juicy organic tomatoes and teeny, flavorful persian cucumbers.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

quick and easy veggie coconut curry with black beluga lentils...and beachgreens arrival today!

this is a quick and easy dish that you can throw together at the last minute. its hot and summertime and the last thing anyone wants, even those of us who actually prefer to slave away in a hot kitchen, is to slave away in a hot kitchen when there are remote control cars to kick ass, beaches to romp in and robots to build in the dirt.

also, we are receiving our first beachgreens crate of fresh veggies and fruit. is a local company in long beach, dedicated to bringing fresh, organic and sustainable produce from the southern california farms to your door. the prices are crazy reasonable and it seems with this deal i will be saving about 30$ of what i normally spend a month. plus, the variety is so exciting for this mama. according to my confirmation email we will be receiving a nice bounty of: red leaf lettuce, tomato, carrots, leeks, avocado, white nectarines, romano beans, zucchini, persian cucumber, murkott tangerines, yellow peaches and strawberries. i have a meaty rack of baby back ribs slow cooking its way to my belly in the oven right now and i am sure it will be smiling on a plate next to our new bounty.


2 sweet potatoes, diced
handful of trader joes frozen tri colored melange of bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of frozen organic spinach
1 can organic garbanzo beans
1 package trader joes black beluga lentils
1 onion, diced
3/4 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup veggie broth
as much powdered curry as you like
salt and pepper

saute onions, garlic and sweet potatoes until soft, keep on medium heat. add curry powder and salt and pepper. throw in peppers, spinach, beans, lentils and saute another couple minutes. add in veggie broth and coconut milk. cook about 25 minutes or until everything is soft and flavorful. enjoy!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

veg oil... it ain't just for fryin' anymore.

Bigfoodie daddy is the guest poster of the day, blogging his might about our all "new" vegetable oil fueled car. a simple and relatively inexpensive process can save the earth for our kids/grandkids as well as saving our bank accounts. come on people, make a difference!

reduce, reuse, recycle!

What you are looking at is a well maintained 1984 Mercedes 300D Turbo Diesel in black. What may not be as obvious, but definitely more interesting, is the funny business going on under the hood. You see this little wonder has been converted from a stock diesel/biodiesel fuel burner into a WVO/SVO miracle machine. Well, maybe that is overstating things since the first diesel engines ran on peanut oil. Maybe we should call this is a return to roots for this machine with the added benefit of now burning a "carbon neutral fuel that emits no additional greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than it consumed while it was growing."

Some background on the decision. For years the issue of Global Warming had been on my mind every time I sat in the driver's seat. But, when faced with a daily 50-mile commute there is not much you can do to get around driving. This is when I had first heard about people using vegetable oil as a fuel for converted diesel engines. At the time gas pricing had not escalated to the stratosphere and my pockets were not exactly overflowing. still aren't, so it seemed like a risky endeavor. Then time passed and soon enough conversion companies began popping up on the internet and customers of these businesses began posting comments offering the cautious enthusiast some foundation for making the decision to go vegoil. So, after much trawling I made my decision, and might I add at a great time economically. I mean just look at the ridiculously high price of gas.

I went with a conversion kit from the much internet-maligned company Lovecraft Biofuels (, and had i installed by a gem of a Mercedes mechanic named Frtiz Stutz. Now here is some info on why and how I made my decision.
1. Price. Lovecraft are the cheapest around. $695 for a kit. Had I been made of money I would have went for another company's kit based on their rep.
2. Warm Climate. Cold starting is the issue for veggie oil users nationwide. This is the reason for two tank systems (one diesel for starting and warming, then one vegoil to be switched to when the car is at operating temp). The SoCal Coast never freezes so this was not a concern for me.
3. Lack of concrete negative examples. I read a lot about how bad the Lovecraft conversions and how as a company they provided lousy customer service and were fascistic about censoring their message board, but I never found anything in concrete and certainly could not find any conversion users negative comments. All i could find was hearsay or the ramblings of folks who ran other companies. And all of their negatives revolved around frozen oil and cold starting, which I doubt I will ever have to deal with.
4. Mechanic feedback. I spoke with a couple of Mercedes Mechanics familiar with the process and they were very positive about the conversion and the use of a single tank. One even went so far to say he would never think of doing a two tank conversion because of the extensive additions to the car. Better to keep it as close to original as possible. I agree.

How does it run? Well, we have had the car, Mr. Bentley, running for about 1000 miles and so far I haven't taken a performance hit. The power is the same. On diesel it was getting 26 miles per gallon and on vegoil I am getting the same. The largest difference I can notice is the aroma. Gone is the chemical burn of Diesel as the car smells like whatever was cooked in the oil. I call it eau de frenchfry. And get this vegoil is actually better for the engine. it lubricates as it burns. How cool is that?

Anyway, so far so good. We are saving money, burning fewer greenhouse gasses, recycling and old auto, extending the life of that car and best of all riding in comfort. Did I mention the thing glides on the highway? For us the positives outweigh the negatives by a landslide. Hustling oil may not be fun with a reported 250,000 of us frybrid/greasers taking to the street but at the end of the day it has been worth it. And maybe even a little fun.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

chocolate ganache and raspberry tart

we barbecued for fathers day and stayed at home which was nice to get the drinking going and not having to drive anywhere! eating over rode the drinking though and this choco tart was the hit of the day. the daddy loves choco, dark chocolate to be exact so this incredibly simple tart was perfect and yummy next to the big fat burgers and creamy potato salad. the recipe is from the newest Bon Appetit but its nothing but a simple chocolate ganache topeed with sweet in season raspberries and a very flaky crust.

enjoy! (i just copied and pasted the recipe since i changed zero!)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Kahlú a, other coffee flavored liqueur, or strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups fresh raspberries (three 6-ounce containers)
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam


Using on/off turns, mix flour, butter, and sugar in processor until coarse meal forms.

Mix egg yolks, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in small bowl. Add to processor; mix until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface to 12-inch round. Fit dough into pan; trim overhang. Freeze 20 minutes.

Bake crust until golden, 25 minutes; cool.

Meanwhile, bring cream just to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth. Stir in liqueur and vanilla. Cool ganache 15 minutes.

Transfer cooled crust to platter. Spoon chocolate ganache into crust and smooth top. Arrange raspberries atop chocolate. Stir raspberry jam and 1 1/2 teaspoons water in small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Brush warm glaze over berries. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

blueberry and coconut muffins

3/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, or unsalted butter
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 lg egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pure cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg blueberries
1 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes

organic wheat germ
pure cane sugar
organic unsweetened coconut

preheat over to 400F. grease or line muffin tin with liners.

melt coconut oil or butter over low heat. turn off heat and whisk coconut milk, egg and yolk and vanilla.

with a fork stir together flour through salt. add to milk/butter mixture in saucepan. fold in blueberries and coconut.

spoon into lined muffin tin. combine enough wheat germ, cinnamon, sugar and coconut to sprinkle on top of each muffin. bake 18 minutes.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

no bake blueberry cheesecake and trader joes real vanilla wafers to die for!

it was party central here at littlefoodies dwelling. the grammi had a belated party with all the wild animals and we gorged on Domenico's amazing pizza in Belmont Shores and a creamy, dreamy food coma inducing blueberry cheesecake. the recipe hails from but we derailed from the original to make it all ours... littlefoodie was wholly insistent on making a blueberry cake and i was insistent on making some quick and easy.

oh, and i bought a tub of the Trader Joe's new cookies. i accidentally threw away the tub before i tossed it out but they'll be back. the real vanilla wafers, (as i believe they were called) had real flakes of madagascar vanilla and so rich and buttery.. they made the most amazing crust for the sweetness of the blueberries! try out these cookies and you will be hooked.. oh, and they don't taste half bad with a dollop of tangy lemon curd on top!


3/4 box of trader joe's real vanilla wafers (cause i had 1/4 of the box the night before!)
1/2 cup organic oats
5 tbl organic virgin coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted

-blend all together in the food processor or saucessor as littlefoodie calls it.
press into spring form pan and bake at 350f for 14 minutes.
remove and set aside.

1/4 cup water
1 tbl plain gelatin
8 oz organic cream cheese
4 oz mascarpone cheese (or you can stick with 4 oz cream cheese)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 bag thawed frozen unsweetened organic blueberries (again, trader joes frozen blueberries are out of sight!)

-pour water in small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over it. let sit for 10 minutes. heat pan on low and stir until gelatin dissolves. set aside.
blend cheeses through lemon juice in food processor. add berries and warm gelatin. pour into crust and chill overnight.

lemon curd ( i usually make it but i was in a pinch and used trader joes jarred which is pretty good.)
3-4 baskets of blueberries
blackberry jam

a couple of hours before serving spread lemon curd over top. melt jam in pan and toss with berries to make a glaze. pile on top of cake. put back in fridge for a couple hours.

serve and eat.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

cinnamon, banana and coconut muffins

i fussed with this recipe to get it to our was so fatty, which we aren't afraid of over here but i prefer the good fats. the sugar amount was way higher and 4 eggs was pushing it. a muffin should not conquer the thighs, it should provide something worthy right? i am all for a donut (or heavenly apple fritter) every once in a while but that's about twice a year. so i did some rearranging. coconut oil replaces the butter, 1 banana and an extra 1/2 tsp of baking soda replace 2 lg eggs and flax seed bump up the health factor. a little coconut for some extra lovin!
they came out soft, springy and delicate. they could easily be made vegan with another banana and another 1/4 tsp baking soda. next time we'll try that.

1 cup organic, virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 lg eggs
1 very ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups organic whole wheat flour
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil

preheat oven to 350F. line muffin tin with unbleached liners.

beat coconut oil and sugar together. add vanilla and eggs one by one. beat in banana.

combine flour and baking soda and cinnamon. add to wet ingredients slowly. stir in coconut. the batter is dry, kind of like cookie dough... its okay!

for the streusel: combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, flax seed meal and coconut oil with fingers.

pour a couple tbls into tin and top with 1 TB streusel. top with more batter over streusel. if you have left over streusel when you are done with this step then sprinkle some on the top before baking.

bake 20 min. and

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