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Entertaining

Flex Your Mussels
May 3, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

After tasting my first bowl of mussels, prepared with a spicy, garlic-laced tomato sauce in my early 20s, I was instantly hooked. It became my go-to appetizer whenever we visited a small Italian restaurant nearby.

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Baking

A Royal Breakfast
April 28, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

This week, Prince William is getting married and there hasn’t been an affair this grand since his mother, Princess Diana walked down the aisle. I’ll be in attendance this Friday morning. It’s perhaps the best wedding invitation too—no fussing with gowns, hair or make-up. My pajamas, fuzzy slippers and a pot of hot tea to enjoy with a fresh batch of English scones is all I’ll need to make my grand entrance.

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Family

The Food Dye Debate
April 25, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

A few weeks ago, artificial food colorings fell under scrutiny from the FDA. Parents around the country hoped the U.S. would come to its senses and realize our children don’t need the 15 million pounds of food dyes currently used in processed food annually. Yes—15 million, a staggering, and alarming, amount.

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Pantry Basics

Make Every Day Earth Day
April 22, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Reduce, reuse and recycle is how I normally approach life. Each day, week, and month, I build on that philosophy as I learn new ways to lessen my family’s carbon footprint. The same can easily be applied to food. Before you scrape leftovers into the trashcan, think about how you can make them into something delicious again.

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Baking

Easter Treats
April 20, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Come Easter dessert time, the last thing I want to do is serve another sugar-loaded sweet. This year I decided to make carrot cupcakes, figuring I could convince the kids they’re the Easter Bunny’s favorite too.

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Family

Earth Day Fun
April 18, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My two-year old says her ABC’s, mostly in order, and even counts to 20, more often than not. What makes me most proud, though, is she knows to ask what canister to put trash in. While she’s still too young to understand the concept of recycling, she does knows that paper, plastic, tin and glass do not go in the same bin as a banana peel or the scraps from our dinner plates.

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Baking

Passover Treats
April 14, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Next week is the start of Passover, and I’ve been thinking about what dessert I’ll serve for a while now. Not having been raised Jewish—I’m an Italian-Catholic gal who married a Jewish-Italian guy, I don’t have staple recipes that were part of my holidays growing up. A few years back, I came across a recipe that seemed a perfect marriage of my Italian food history and the restrictions from using flour and butter in kosher Passover desserts.

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Entertaining

A Tasty Twist on Hummus
April 10, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Rather than risk spoiling my daughter's dinner—and my hard work in preparing it, I try to have a healthy snack on hand to keep us both happy. Something filling, but not so much so that it stops her from enjoying dinner an hour later. A bowl of hummus with some pita or carrot sticks usually does the trick. One afternoon I happened to be fresh out of chickpeas. Rather than panic, I decided cooked navy beans could assume the role of garbanzos. The resulting hummus was smoother, creamier and now a regular on our snack time menu.

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Pantry Basics

A Better Butter
April 6, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Recently, at a local restaurant, my friends and I enjoyed the salted molasses butter that arrived in a tiny pot. One taste, and the oohs and ahhs flowed so freely, you’d have thought we were looking at baby pictures. Someone said “I wonder how you’d make it at home”. I promptly replied it’s easy—just whirl some softened butter with molasses and salt in a food processor. Turns out I was right...

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Family

Get a Grip on Portion Control
March 31, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Childhood obesity is a hot button topic, and for good reason. The way we feed our children sets the foundation for how they will eventually feed themselves. While we all know making healthy food choices is key, portion size plays a big role too. All portions are not created equal, and what’s appropriate for adults is different for children.

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Baking

Childhood Memories
March 24, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

We didn’t eat a lot of candy growing up, but I do remember my mom’s favorite were Chunky Bars. I found them intriguing, that dome of chocolate studded with raisins and nuts. I always thought there were peanuts, but a little research revealed it was really a mix of brazil nuts and cashews. The original confection was created right in my hometown in New York City, a fun fact I can’t wait to share with mom.

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Family

Homemade Kale Chips
March 21, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My three year old daughter topples into my lap most evenings, and greedily gobbles up my raw kale salad, lightly dressed with a lemon Parmesan vinaigrette. I know this is not normal behavior. Most kids’ reaction to kale follow that of my husband, though he is coming around.

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Pantry Basics

A Hint of Spring
March 17, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Four years ago this spring, my husband and I took a long awaited honeymoon to Venice. We hadn’t called it that officially, but with an almost three year old, we realized it was time for a kid-free getaway. Family graciously stepped in and our daughter was in good for care with her nana, uncles and aunts while we strolled the narrow, often confusing streets of one of the most romantic cities in the world.

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Family

First Foods: Hello Avocados!
March 13, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Making your own baby food is easier than it seems, especially if you think green. While apples and pears cook up quick enough, some foods require little more than peeling and mashing before serving. Such is the case with avocados. Baby will love the creamy texture of this easy-to-make first food, and you’ll feel good knowing she’s getting a dose of vital nutrients with every bite.

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Family

A Twist of Taco Night
March 9, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Taco night is popular in our family, but sometimes the clean up is daunting once you set out all the fixings. On busy weeknights, quesadillas are more my speed. The kids love it just as much, maybe even more, because they really feel like their helping mommy cook. My older daughter helps shred the cheese using a box-style grater—a very grown-up feeling task for a 7 year old. Her little sister sprinkles the cheese on top of the tortillas. I set out the remaining ingredients and let the kids assemble their own quesadillas.

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Pantry Basics

Quick & Easy Italian Flatbread
March 5, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

A few weeks ago I mentioned on twitter that I was making Italian-style quesadillas. Within minutes someone in Tuscany replied they really have a dish in Italy called piadina, and it’s very similar to what I was preparing for dinner. All it took was a few clicks and keystrokes, and bingo, the homemade flour tortillas I usually make just needed a few tweaks to become a quick and easy Italian flatbread.

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Baking

Time to Make the Doughnuts
March 1, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Light and airy, yeast-raised doughnuts were a favorite growing up, especially glazed ones with sprinkles. As an adult I became more partial to cake doughnuts. The sturdier construction ensured it stood up well to a few dunks in a mug of coffee. The problem, though, is those calories were much easier to burn as a kid than as a busy mother of two—chasing after a toddler is workout of another kind.

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Family

DIY Dinner
February 25, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Let’s face it, you can’t please everyone every night when it comes to dinner. On those nights when I want something with more grown-up flair, hot pots are the perfect answer. This isn’t a classic Japanese-style hot pot but it is filled with big, bold flavors that will leave you longing for seconds.

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Pantry Basics

The Heat is On
February 23, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The truth is there isn’t one definitive reason for high obesity rates or nutritionally void food choices. Schedules are busier than ever, processed foods are cheap, placed front and center at supermarkets—it’s a perfect storm of sorts. The most important change you can make to beat this battle of the bulge is to simply get cooking.

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Family

The Breakfast Compromise
February 21, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Ever since my oldest daughter could eat pancakes, they’ve been her favorite breakfast. I much prefer a protein-rich meal to energize me for the coming day. What we needed was a compromise—whole wheat pancakes fit the bill.

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Family

A Well-Balanced Diet
February 17, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I always felt a sense of pride that milk or water were the beverages of choice for my oldest daughter once she made the switch from breastmilk to cow’s milk. What I hadn’t prepared for was the onslaught of juice introduced to her diet when she began pre-school. Rather than forbid it all together, the last few years have been about teaching moderation.

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Family

This Little Piggy
February 12, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Parenting the second time around is an interesting experiment. I played it safe with my older daughter. Devoured and dutifully put to use everything the magazines said I should do. It wasn’t until my second child five years later, that I realized people have been doing this for thousands of years. Parenting I mean, and they didn’t have monthly cave drawing subscriptions to Parents magazine.

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Entertaining

Super Bowl Salad
February 7, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Early on in our courtship, my husband and I started cooking up a Mexican spread—or at least an American version of it, for Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not sure how it started, but as time went on it became tradition. This year I intend to mix things up a little, and put a twist on the salad portion of the evening.

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Family

The Rice Cereal Debate
February 2, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

First foods are an evergreen topic, and for good reason. Those early tastes help set the stage for good habits later on down the road. Recently, Dr. Alan Greene, a renowned pediatrician who has also written many childhood nutrition articles, made a heady claim on ABC’s Good Morning America show. Dr. Greene believes feeding white rice cereal is not only bad for baby, but thinks it’s the root cause of childhood obesity.

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Family

Tummy Time!
January 31, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I remember carefully cradling my oldest daughter in my arms with all those new-parent jitters. I’d never held a baby before, and was worried about properly supporting her neck muscles. Then suddenly we blinked, or at least it felt that way, and we hit an important milestone: tummy time.

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Pantry Basics

How To Make Oat Flour
January 27, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’ve never been one for resolutions, but as 2010 faded into my memory, I awoke with the goal of getting more whole grains into my family’s eating habits. Since I’m the head cook in our house, that is a very doable resolution. I’ve dabbled in whole wheat flours for years, but had never been wowed by any recipe to make it twice.

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Pantry Basics

Cabin Fever
January 24, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The holiday may be over, but these fragrant, spice-scented muffins are the perfect treat year-round with an icy glass of milk for the kids—and hot cup of coffee for mom.

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Pantry Basics

A Real Steel
January 20, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Oatmeal is one of those foods I didn’t fully appreciate until adulthood. My early introductions were granules poured from a packet and mixed with water. I know instant oatmeal is a booming business, but it doesn’t qualify as the real thing, and in my case turned me off the delicious nutty grain for a good 20 years

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Family

Baby's First Foods
January 13, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Ask any parent at what point you can start feeding baby solids, and you’re likely to get as many answers as people you ask. The best advice, though, will always come from your pediatrician. When my second daughter was born, I remember my surprise at her four-month check up when her doctor said the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had revised their guidelines and were now advising parents to wait until six months of age before starting solids.

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Pantry Basics

A Better Resolution
January 10, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I remember the first, and only, time I’d ever sipped fresh-made almond milk. It was a palate-opening experience, and I longed to recreate it at home. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.

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Pantry Basics

Cooking Under Pressure
January 6, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Winter is all about braising, but truth be told, I don’t have patience for traditional stew recipes. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be ready to dig into a hearty meal simply by using a pressure cooker

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Family

Baby, It's Cold Outside
January 3, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

It looks like this winter has the potential to be a long and cold one for more than just us folks here in the northeast. Places I once thought were free from cold and ice, like the southern United States, are getting hit with record-breaking temperatures. This season, play it safe with these tips for dressing your little ones before heading outside.

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Family

Getting to Know Your Roots
December 29, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Parsnips are a hard sell with many kids. An easy fix might be making a puree, except my daughters aren't fans of mashed textures. Instead, I turn to roasting, a simple technique that slowly coaxes out the natural sweet and nutty flavors.

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Family

Santa’s Little Helper
December 23, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

There’s been much talk in our house about what to leave out for Santa come Christmas Eve. Recently the conversation turned towards a healthier note. After discussing the merits of gingerbread vs. chocolate chip cookies, my two and half year old pointed towards the fruit bowl on the counter. I said “you want you leave Santa some clementines”? Not only did she say yes—she decided he might like some bananas and apples too.

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Family

Baking with Kids
December 20, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

This time of year brings out the baker in everyone—my oldest daughter has been helping since she was old enough to sit upright on the counter. Before you break out the butter, set a plan so you can all rejoice in mission accomplished and cozy up with a warm cup of cocoa to reward a day of baking fun. Here are some tips to make sure kids of all ages have a fun and safe time in the kitchen.

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Pantry Basics

Crafty “Cooking”
December 16, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

When people hear homemade during the holidays, thoughts jump to gingerbread and sugar cookies. While those are fun to both give and receive, some gifts needn’t require turning on the oven. In fact, everyday household ingredients and kitchen “scraps” can be given a second life without stepping foot near a compost. All you need is a food processor and some imagination.

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Entertaining

‘Tis the Season
December 13, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

This year instead of fretting about every last detail for your holiday party, put the focus on enjoying time with your friends and family by hosting a potluck party. Don't worry if everyone is not a top chef, non-cooks can bring beverages. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need to make sure your party is filled with plenty of jolly and holiday cheer.

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Entertaining

Thinking Outside The Box
December 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Everyone loves homemade holiday treats. This year skip the expensive cookie boxes, and use materials lying around the kitchen to add an extra special homespun look to your gift giving.

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Pantry Basics

Latkes 101
December 2, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

This week, Jewish homes around the world will be frying up latkes, also known as potato pancakes, in celebration of Hanukkah. Some foods are so delicious, though, they should be enjoyed year-round, and by everyone regardless of religion.

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Baking

Family Memories
December 1, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

During Hanukkah I find myself making doughnuts to bring to celebrations with our friends. Sufganiyot, jelly-filled doughnut, are a traditional sweet served during this Jewish holiday, also known as the festival of lights. Not only are they pretty easy to make—just make sure to allow proper rising time, it’s a very kid-friendly recipe too. They can help work the dough, cut it out and fill them too—leave the hot oil and frying to mom and dad.

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Entertaining

Let’s Talk Turkey
November 24, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Thanksgiving is filled with many emotions, and getting the turkey right helps keep the peace, or at least restores sanity for the eating portion of the day.

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Family

Traveling with Tots
November 23, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Whether you’re trekking by plane, train or automobile this holiday season, traveling with kids in tow adds another layer of planning. Use these tips to keep it safe, sane and fun for the whole family.

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Family

Baby’s First Thanksgiving
November 22, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

While dairy-laden mashed potatoes or bourbon glazed turkeys aren’t suitable for baby’s developing digestive system, there are plenty of ways to indulge her new appetite for solids in your Thanksgiving menu.

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Entertaining

The Right Stuff(ing)
November 19, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My first encounter with homemade stuffing was when I met my husband 15 years ago. Over the years we’ve tweaked that original recipe. I added finely chopped mushrooms to give it a “meaty” texture and threw in some fresh sage for a traditional flavor. Chopped pecans are a much easier alternative to chestnuts, and dried cherries lend a lovely aromatic note, making this a pretty tasty compromise for our Thanksgiving menu.

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Entertaining

Thanksgiving Sides
November 17, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Getting ready for Thanksgiving is like training for a culinary triathalon. Figuring how to plan which dishes get oven time makes jumping hurdles seem easy. Rather than regret having a kitchen with only one oven and four burners, I decided make ahead side dishes were the way to go. Instead of roasting or sautéing Brussels sprouts, I thinly slice them and serve with a maple syrup vinaigrette—a side and salad in one dish, brilliant if I may say so myself.

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Family

Movin’ On Up
November 15, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Switching from breastmilk or formula to solids is an exciting moment, for mommy and baby alike. Even more fun, is graduating to finger foods. By time baby hits the 8 to 10 month mark, she’s likely started showing an interest in what you’re eating. I remember when my little one, now 2 1/2 years old, would watch us intently spoon mouthfuls of pasta during dinnertime. It didn’t take long for me to realize a mutiny would begin if I didn’t move past solids and let her have in on the fun.

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Entertaining

Just Desserts
November 11, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Every year my family jokes we should start our holiday meals with dessert first. After a brigade of appetizers, sides and main course, the table once again disappears under a blanket of cakes, cookies and pastries.While it seems decadent to start dinner with a caramel pecan pumpkin pie, it’s totally the way to go when prepping for the big day.

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Family

It’s the Great Pumpkin!
November 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Everyone has a tried and true tip for getting their kids to try new foods. Parenting magazines are always touting how to please fussy eaters. But, what if we stopped playing tricks? What if we just told kids what they were eating?

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Family

A Very Happy Halloween
October 30, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My childhood is filled with memories of many a Halloween with our costumes cloaked in coats, barely visible to the neighbors we were politely shaking down for candy. So goes the weather in New York. You just never know whether to expect mild or downright cold temperatures for what many kids consider to be the most important day of the year. Luckily, all it takes is some planning to make sure your kiddies have a very happy Halloween.

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Entertaining

Trick or Treat
October 27, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I fell in love with making caramel corn a few years back. I’d planned to make some to fill Trick or Treat goody bags, except I hadn’t read the full directions. With only two hours until guests would start arriving, using the traditional oven method was not an option. I decided to improvise with my microwave. It was a unique approach to updating a classic, using a new method to deliver the same familiar flavor and crunch.

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Baking

Let Them Eat Cake
October 25, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

classroom birthdays, food allergies can feel like an obstacle for families not used to working with a new set of ingredients. Rather then fret over what you can’t use, embrace the ones at your disposal. Cooking is a source of comfort, and should be inclusive and fun for everyone. Here’s a recipe that proves you can have your cake and eat too.

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Family

Learning to Love Their Veggies
October 21, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

“Eat your veggies.” What mom hasn’t uttered that phrase, at least once, to their children? The best way to prepare for battle is to arm yourself with great tasting recipes. The best way to raise a good eater is to let them know what you’re really serving up. This way if they love it, they’ll know what to ask for, and eventually seek out as they get older.

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Entertaining

Pear Ricotta Crepes
October 19, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I suddenly found myself thinking of crepes a few weeks ago. Really, my mind had wandered to manicotti, the Italian version of crepes. Well, one thought led to another, and I wondered why not make a French crepe batter and use ricotta cheese in place of Gruyere.

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Family

Mother Knows Best
October 14, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Thirty years ago, my younger self would never believe I’m expounding the virtues of Brussels sprouts. Back then they were my arch enemy at lunchtime. What I didn’t know back then was that Brussels sprouts could be downright delicious if prepared properly.

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Entertaining

A Flash in the Pan
October 13, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Pumpkin and butternut squash seem to get all the attention this time of year. While they are indeed favorites of mine, it’s time we all get familiar with the smaller, quicker to cook variety: delicata. In need of a vegetable to keep my roasted chicken company, I decided to make my own take on the dish.

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Entertaining

Grape Expectations
October 4, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My original intention was to make a chutney, but too much multitasking resulted in a spicy grape-scented applesauce. Yes, a delicious mistake indeed. Cranberry sauce should be worried — this might just find its way onto our Thanksgiving turkey this year

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Family

Welcome Fall!
October 1, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The sight of apples and pears is a delicious one this time of year. When my daughter started eating solids, she had the great luck of it coinciding with the fall harvest. Apples and pears abound, and they’re gentle on little tummies just learning to digest foods beyond breastmilk and formula.

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Baking

Flatbread Pizza
September 27, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The crust was crisp, almost cracker-like, defying gravity, no matter what type of topping it needed to support. More than 10 years after my first bite, I discovered the answer in my very own kitchen. After creating a recipe for an easy butter crust using baking powder, it occurred to me that not only does this important ingredient add a bit of rise, it gives a little elasticity to the dough.

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Pantry Basics

Back to School
September 24, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

School lunch. In a perfect world, childhood nutrition would be a budget priority. All our kids would have access to healthful, tasty meals in their own school cafeterias. Until then, here are some time-tested tips for packing a healthy lunch your kids will actually eat.

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Family

Kids in the Kitchen
September 21, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

We all want our children to develop a healthy relationship with food. Instilling a true enjoyment of cooking will help ensure they know what to do with those ingredients once they leave the home cooked comfort of your kitchen.

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Pantry Basics

Under Pressure
September 15, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Between homework, shuttling to afterschool activities and playdates, dinner seems to be an elusive task this time of year. So what’s a busy person to do when they want home-cooking to be a regular part of their routine? The answer is as easy as investing in a pressure cooker.

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Pantry Basics

Breakfast for Dinner
September 7, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I love eggs. My kids love eggs. Besides their great taste, there are plenty of reasons to include eggs in a balanced diet. At a mere 68 calories, a single one delivers more than 5 grams of protein and generous amounts of essential amino acids. If you’re worried about cholesterol, take heart that as with any food, eating them in moderation can be a good thing.

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Entertaining

Cool as a Cantaloupe?
September 2, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’m not one for impulse shopping, except when I’m at the farmers’ market, especially when it comes to first of the season fruit. I wait all winter long to devour fresh berries, peaches, plums, but have learned to steer clear of melons. They tend to be pricey and rather disappointing in flavor. This year, though, I might have unlocked the key to sweet, juicy cantaloupes, honeydew and watermelon.

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Baking

An Easy Icy Delight
August 31, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I can’t think of a tastier way to counteract summer’s heat and humidity than with a frozen treat. Eating ice cream every day, though, isn’t the best choice for adults or children. Luckily I found a healthier answer while making smoothies one morning. We all prefer them on the thicker side in our house, so I start off with just a bit of milk, adding more as I pulse the blender until it reaches the desired consistency. That’s when it dawned on me. A quick, cooling fix was only a few pulses away—no ice cream maker required.

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Family

Just Peachy Popsicles
August 27, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Teething can be a headache for the whole family. Luckily, these soothing pops act as really cool edible teethers too-a treat children of all ages can enjoy.

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Baking

Summertime Shortcakes
August 26, 2010 • Posted by Olga Massov

Shortcake is typically thought of as something that’s accompanied by strawberries, right? But, why limit yourself, and only allow for the possibility of shortcake in the spring, when strawberries are in season? Why not continue the celebration year-round? Right now, while we are enjoying the peak of the summer and stone fruit truly shines, peaches make a wonderful accompaniment to the buttery biscuit. Heaped high atop your shortcake, and combined with freshly whipped cream, this summer dessert is not to be missed.

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Family

Breaking The Bottle
August 24, 2010 • Posted by Kim Foster

There comes a time when nearly every parent watches their toddler running through the house with a bottle hanging out of her mouth and wonders, “Maybe it’s time we move to a sippy cup”. You may know it’s the right time, but your child probably thinks differently. Here are some loving, supportive, child-centered things you can do to make the transition a little easier on everyone.

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Baking

Breakfast Sundaes
August 20, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Let’s face it, waking up for work or getting the kids ready for school is far from fun. On a Monday, it can seem downright cruel. Unless you’ve got a breakfast sundae waiting for you. The idea came to me while attending a business meeting. As I stared down at half a melon filled with yogurt and a sprinkling of cereal, I wondered what this would taste like if it was jazzed up. It didn’t take long before the wheels started turning, and I left that meeting with one thing on my mind. I added making some frozen yogurt to my list of things to do.

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Family

A Health Happy Ending
August 18, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Sweets seem to tempt our children every corner they turn. Even an active sports camp wasn’t a safe haven for this foodie mama. What I thought would be an afternoon energizer after a day of swimming, skating and dodge ball, turned out to be ice cream, ices and jello. All under the guise of snack.

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Baking

Primetime Paninis
August 16, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Sandwiches are a go-to lunch favorite, but come dinnertime I crave something with substance. What if I told you a satisfying meal is within reach without ever turning on the stove or oven? And it doesn’t involve chopping veggies to make a salad. All you need to do is plug in your Cuisinart Griddler. Paninis are a tasty way to enjoy a meal when you have little time or no desire to head into a hot kitchen.

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Family

Power Breakfasts
August 12, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Food truly is fuel for the body, and there’s no better way to jumpstart your little ones engine than a well-balanced breakfast. As they get older, this will be ever-important during the school years when they they’re expected to be alert and ready to learn for six to eight hours straight. Here are a few easy, no-cook ideas for getting going on busy weekdays.

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Baking

It's A Summer Squash Soiree!
August 11, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’m not sure what makes me more giddy about squash season—the slender green and yellow vegetable, perfect for slicing and sautéing, or the vibrant yellowish-orange blossoms that can be plucked and eaten before the vegetable blooms.

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Family

Baby Steps: Introducing Water
August 4, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Summertime reminds us all that drinking water is important for proper hydration. After all, it’s easy to monitor just how much our body is losing as we wipe the sweat from our forehead. But what about baby? Is she getting all the water she needs to stay well-hydrated?

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Baking

Crazy for Corn
August 3, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

All year long I stare at the half-shucked cobs of corn wrapped in plastic on Styrofoam trays at the grocery store, and my mind wanders to summer’s bounty of those sweet-tasting kernels. Well, no more waiting or staring wanderlust in the supermarket—corn season is in full swing here in New York City. While the window for these golden cobs is longer than say artichokes, which disappeared in the blink of an eye, I want to make sure I eat enough to satiate my dreams once the season ends.

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Baking

Basic Marinara Sauce
August 1, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

We can’t decide if sliced and tucked into a BLT or simply diced and tossed into salad is our favorite way to enjoy tomatoes. What we do know, though, is that nothing beats the just-picked taste of homemade tomato sauce.

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Pantry Basics

A New Brew
July 29, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

It’s ironic that most people need a cup of coffee to get going, yet putting up a pot requires a caffeine-energy boost. A good answer to this early morning java dilemma is cold-brewed coffee. Just set up a pot of French press with ground coffee and water from your Cuisinart CleanWater, and all you’ll need to do in the a.m. is pour and enjoy.

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Family

Just Peachy
July 27, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Imagine if we could remember our first taste of a juicy, ripe peach? Right now they’re bountiful at farmers’ markets, so if your baby is turning six months or older, it’s like hitting the edible jackpot. Besides being a good source of Vitamin C, peaches have a natural sweetness baby can enjoy by making a simple puree in the food processor.

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Baking

Zucchini Parmesan Hummus
July 25, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, especially when it comes to a fridge full of zucchini. This recipe hit a homerun with the kids, and it disappears quickly at backyard BBQs too.

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Baking

Pies on the Go
July 23, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Sometimes it seems a cruel twist of fate that berry season coincides with summer. I dream of making blueberry, peach and cherry pie all year long and when their time at the farmers’ market rolls around, the temperatures are so hot outside, turning on the oven for the hour or so they take to bake seems crazy. One such solution is hand pies.

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Family

Reading Labels
July 22, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Reading labels is perhaps the most important task when supermarket shopping these days. While manufacturers have responded to consumer concerns about the use of high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, there’s a new ingredient in the hot seat: palm oil. So, what is it all about and is this yet another ingredient we should add to our “do not buy” list?

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Family

Peanut Butter with a Twist
July 20, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Provided there are no allergy issues, peanut butter can be a mom’s best friend. When all else fails, and you find your life filled with finicky eaters, peanut butter is usually the universal food most every kid will eat.

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Baking

Homemade Hot Pockets
July 15, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The farmers’ market brings a surplus of bounty come summertime. In fact, some weeks I wonder how I’ll ever use up all I bought. Such was the case last week, and since my cooking week was cut short with a business trip, I went to work emptying the vegetable bin.

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Family

Veggie Spotlight: Broccoli
July 13, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

When it comes to broccoli, it’s tough to put together a short list of this vegetable’s powerhouse properties. Not many foods can boast record numbers in Vitamins C, K and A, not to mention a healthy dose of dietary fiber and folate—linked to healthy brain development. A simple puree made from steamed or roasted broccoli is perfect for babies 8 to 10 months old.

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Entertaining

Be Our Guest
July 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Whether you’re going to an intimate dinner party or summer soiree, showing your host a simple thanks is a sure way to get invited back. Here are some tips to secure your seat at this season’s backyard bashes.

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Family

Play It Safe
July 6, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

An ounce of prevention is all it takes to stay ahead of dehydration and other heat-related illnesses. Before you head out for a day of fun in sun, use these tips to keep your little ones refreshed all day long.

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Entertaining

A Spring Chicken
June 24, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’ve learned to stretch a tender pasture-raised 4-pound chicken into two meals by adding lots of grains and veggies the first night it’s served. I decided it was time to turn those leftovers into chicken salad— perfect timing with picnic season underway, right? All it needed then was some peppery greens which I plucked from the backyard and tucked with the chicken salad between a toasted sourdough roll from the local bakery.

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Family

How to Freeze and Thaw Homemade Baby Food
June 22, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Making your own baby food is a great way to help your family stay healthy - fiscally and physically. But to do it safely, you've got to master the ins-and-outs of freezing and thawing baby food in ways that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

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Pantry Basics

Farro: Whole Grain Goodness
June 21, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I love white rice, and so do my daughters. I’m pretty sure they’d eat a bowl of it every night if left to their own devices. Since moderation is key, it’s important to find more nutritional grains to help satisfy their regular appetite for grains. Right now, I’d like to introduce you to a new staple to stock in your pantry: farro.

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Entertaining

Hidden Treasures
June 18, 2010 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

A few days ago, I hosted a barbecue and was shocked to learn that none of my guests had ever tried two of my favorite foods - jicama and quinoa. These not-so-well known foods are easier than you’d think to find in stores and are nutritional and delicious.

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Pantry Basics

Tale of Two Mayos
June 17, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

It’s the small things we tend to take most for granted. The same can be said about garnishes and condiments. Take mayonnaise for example. Even high-end sandwich shops use the standard jarred stuff, lavishing all the attention on the main ingredients. Being a purist, I set out recently to make mayonnaise from scratch.

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Baking

Cocktail Cakes
June 15, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Imagine serving up some pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris or margaritas on a dessert plate at your next summer cookout? It’s easier than you think with Booze Cakes (Quirk 2010), a new cookbook out this month.

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Pantry Basics

Banana Split, Coming Right Up!
June 10, 2010 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

Are you one of those people who just can’t resist ice cream? Are you sick of feeling guilty for finishing that pint all by yourself? Not to worry, there is a solution, and it lets you eat as much ice cream as you want without thinking twice!

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Entertaining

A Cooler Cookout
June 8, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I find my recipe inspiration from many places. Some seemingly sensible, like memories of my Nana’s meatballs or remembering the fresh chopped garlic my mother would sprinkle atop grilled steak. Stumbling across my recipe for making frozen margaritas was totally accidental. In fact, it started out innocently enough as a kid-friendly recipe for strawberry slushies

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Family

Sweet Relief
June 7, 2010 • Posted by Vivian Manning-Schaffel

We've come up with a cool and nutritious way, in keeping with the spirit of the summer season, to safely soothe babies' painful, swollen gums - a homemade smoothie pop!

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Family

The Ice(cream) Man Cometh
June 4, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

As your little one gets older, the ice cream truck becomes something of a toddler temptress. In the evenings, as the truck trolls by, my 2-year old goes running to the window, like a nosy neighbor to see the commotion. Once he flips the switch for the music, she makes her way to the center of the living room and breaks out in her Mr. Softee dance. An adorable sight, yes, and harmless since she hasn’t started begging for a buck to run outside and get her fix.

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Pantry Basics

The Lean Green Smoothie Machine
June 3, 2010 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

In the early morning hours our metabolisms are just as sluggish as the rest of our bodies. So why make their jobs more difficult by feeding them complex carbs that are harder to digest? Before overloading your system with pancakes, waffles, and bagels, try drinking one of my Lean Green Smoothies to bring you energy that will get your day going in the right direction.

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Family

Better Butter
June 1, 2010 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

Peanut butter and jelly is truly a child favorite meal. Parents prepare this sandwich for their kids all the time; however, it is not exactly the healthiest meal on the planet. A subtle switch from peanut butter to almond butter can do wonders for your better health.

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Family

Granola on the Go
May 28, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

A few weeks ago I tasted the most delicious breakfast bar at a bake sale. I went home and started researching this new mysterious treat. Turns out they are a very popular tea-time staple in England. The only problem is every recipe calls for golden syrup, and I needed more of these flapjacks now. There was no time to wait for shipping. It was time this recipe assimilated, and so here you have it. English Flapjacks—Brooklyn style.

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Entertaining

Let’s (e)scape
May 26, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Garlic scapes are the shoots from, drum roll please…garlic plants. You can chop them up and sauté them as you would regular cloves, but another addictively delicious use is pesto. Instead of waiting for your basil plants to come full-bloom, get some scapes and you’ll be in for a real treat.

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Family

Snack Attack
May 25, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

As the weather gets warmer and your toddler gets more active, food is the last thing on her mind. When hunger does hit, it's usually too late, making it a prime moment for meltdowns. Luckily, this is one tantrum you can tackle before it happens by simply packing some healthy snacks as you head out for a day of play.

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