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Mother Knows Best
September 23, 2011 • Posted by Marisa McClellan

Years ago, I was on the phone with my mom when she said abruptly, "Just a second, there's a recipe I want to read to you." She had just re-discovered a pumpkin cookbook that dated back to her newlywed days and wanted to share a little of her culinary history with me.

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Pantry Basics

Apple of My Eye
September 18, 2011 • Posted by Marisa McClellan

Last year, one of my favorite orchards offered an incredible deal. For just $20, they’d let you fill a half-bushel crate of apples up to the very top. That’s approximately 25 pounds of apples. Being one who cannot resist the allure of a good deal, I indulged in this bargain.

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Family

Kids in the Kitchen
September 15, 2011 • Posted by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

If your little one is anything like mine, he probably doesn’t even need an invitation into the kitchen. Children are naturally drawn to the heart of the home because of the good smells, curious gadgets and, let’s face it, that’s where they find YOU most of the time. But those hands are fast, and attention spans are short. How does one get anything accomplished with a two or three-year-old ‘helping’?

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Family

Spotlight on Superfoods: Butternut Squash
September 10, 2011 • Posted by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque

Fall whispers its entrance with cool evenings, blushing trees, and the laughter of school children. With it comes an array of colorful squash, my favorite of them being butternut. Fall squash are not only pretty and decorative, but they are tasty and loaded with complex vegetable carbohydrates and dietary fiber. The butternut happens to be my favorite because its thin skin is easy to peel and there is a high flesh-to-seed ratio in each squash.

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Baking

In Season: Pears
September 6, 2011 • Posted by Marisa McClellan

Pears aren’t as eye-catchingly glossy, but they grab my attention far more than apples. They have a certain culinary humility and lack of flash that makes them good players in baked goods and preserves. Pears also dress up better than apples ever can, achieving easy sophistication simmered in honeyed wine or baked into an elegant tart.

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Entertaining

An End of Summer Feast
September 2, 2011 • Posted by Marisa McClellan

The secret to end-of-season party planning is keeping it easy. No need for complicated cocktails or loads of decorations. It really helps that there’s so much amazing food in season right now. Here are some ideas to celebrate the labor of summer’s fruits (and vegetables).

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Family

Tummy Time
August 29, 2011 • Posted by Jessica Shyba

Along with all of the other various trials that come with having your first baby, tummy time proved to be the first that challenged my instincts as a new parent. It seemed as though just at the moment when we got to know each other, I needed to place my son into this awkward position on the ground that made him more than a little uncomfortable.

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Pantry Basics

Preserving Tomatoes: Tomato Ginger Jam
August 23, 2011 • Posted by Winnie Abramson

Ever since I started growing my own tomatoes, I looked forward to making tomato jam each summer. I make all sorts of salads, salsas, and sauces, too, but there's just something magical about this jam: the spices and the ginger make it reminiscent of an Indian chutney, but it's thick, perfectly sweet, and spreadable.

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Pantry Basics

Tomatillos: Salsa Verde
August 18, 2011 • Posted by Ethan Adeland

Show me someone who has never heard of salsa verde (green salsa) and I will show you someone who will fall in love with the taste of it as soon as they give it a try.

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Pantry Basics

Cold Peach & Mint Soup
August 16, 2011 • Posted by Ethan Adeland

I know, I know, cold soups aren't for everyone. But I've found that most people don't like the idea of a cold soup because they haven't actually tried it.

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Baking

Save It for a Rainy Day
August 11, 2011 • Posted by Rebecca Marber

The other day as the sun crept behind the clouds, I could tell a storm was about to break loose. Most were troubled by this interruption of summer weather; however, I couldn’t help but welcome a night of relaxation. I cozied up onto the couch and flipped through some channels. However, I quickly realized that something was missing: the smell of fresh baked goods to replace the cold air taking over my apartment.

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Family

Summer Road Trips
August 2, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

In a few weeks, we’ll embark on our annual family vacation to Cape Cod. This is a trip my husband and I have been making for some 16 years, and the way we get there has certainly changed since children came into our lives.

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Pantry Basics

Corn on the Cob 101
July 30, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Farmers’ markets were not a full-time affair growing up, so in the off-season, most of our vegetables came from a can. Come summertime, though, I remember by mom rifling through mounds of fresh-picked corn on the cob. She’d gently pull back the husks to peek at the top kernels, making sure it was worth the asking price. Try doing that today, and your friendly farmer may start giving you the evil eye.

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Family

Got Water?
July 26, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

A dip in the pool seems the perfect cure for summer’s scorching temperatures, but water’s refreshing effects extend far beyond a few laps. Staying hydrated is especially important when kids are running around outdoors.

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Pantry Basics

In Season: Eggplant
July 21, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’ve been eating seasonally for some time now, and it certainly has its advantages. Every veggie and bite of fruit is bursting with flavor, having only been picked hours before, generally within 100 to 150 miles of where I live. The downside to this approach means I haven’t had eggplant parmigiana in the winter in about five years.

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Family

In Season: Cantaloupe
July 19, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Summer is the perfect season for so many reasons. School is out, meaning kids and parents can take a break from the daily homework grind. Pools, and sprinklers for us city folk, provide a fun reprieve from the sun’s melting rays. The best part, by far, though, is the sight of all my family’s favorite foods coming into season at the farmers’ market.

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Baking

Easy Summer Baking
July 14, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Turning on the oven is the last thing most people want to do come summertime. Sure there’s good reason to take dinner outdoors when the temperatures rise into the 90s, but with a little planning, baking can still be a part of your summer dessert strategy. After all, berry season means it’s time to make pies!

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Family

Got Calcium?
July 12, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

After years of being a voracious milk drinker, my oldest daughter has taken to sipping mostly water. On the surface, this may seem nothing to worry about since water is essential for proper body functions, especially during the summertime. My cause for concern was more about her calcium intake, and the August issue of Parents’ magazine shed some light on my worries.

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Entertaining

Cool Summer Sippin'
July 2, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

An icy cold beer is pretty perfect with a hot off the grill burger. On sunny summer days though, I’ve found a cooling refresher that doesn’t leave me feeling sleepy as the day progresses is sometimes a better pairing. We always seem to have watermelon in the fridge this time of year since it’s the kids’ favorite fruit. This July 4th, and the rest of the summer in fact, I plan to turn it into some fun mocktails the whole family can enjoy.

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Pantry Basics

Egg-free Homemade Pasta
July 1, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

One perk of my job as a food editor is getting a sneak peek at cookbooks before they hit shelves. While browsing through a new Italian one scheduled for release this fall, I was reminded there’s more than one way to make pasta at home. We often rely on eggs to make pasta at home, but there’s good news if you’re allergic to eggs. Next time you’re in the supermarket, read one of the labels and you’ll see most boxed pasta are made with semolina flour and water, not an egg in site. You can make this at home too.

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Family

Spotlight on Superfoods: Blueberries
June 29, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Kids will probably chuckle if you tell them blueberries are a superfood, especially boys conjuring up images of Superman. While they can’t make them fly, rest assured this is one fruit you want your little ones to become best friends with for life.

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Pantry Basics

A Berry Easy Dessert
June 27, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Here in New York, we wait for the short window of time when strawberries come into season. While the hope is that each batch is filled with juicy, sweet berries, it’s inevitable that some need a little help. My solution for the tart berries in the bunch is to make jam. Recently, I realized if I took this one step further, I could have a tasty way to the beat the heat too with homemade strawberry frozen yogurt.

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Family

Summer Sun Safety
June 25, 2011 • Posted by Kim Foster

Australians take their sun protection pretty seriously - a hole in the ozone layer over the country means that Aussie’s get a lot of UV radiation and presumably a higher rate of skin cancer than many other countries. That means they have adopted some of the best, more rigorous skin protection regimes out there.

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Family

Seasonal Spotlight: Zucchini
June 23, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

My eyes lit up a few weeks ago when I spied the first zucchini of the season. I decided to use roasted zucchini as a springboard for a new dip recipe. Since both the kids love hummus, I decided to add a familiar flavor and included tahini in my final recipe. A fresh squirt of lemon brightened the flavors too.

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Family

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
June 14, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Since I had my own phobias with rhubarb, I knew it would likely be a hard sell to my daughters too. Well, what kid doesn’t love pie? I made them kid-sized, so they could hold them and happily snack on a homemade treat and still have room for an icy cold glass of milk.

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Pantry Basics

A Fresh Take on Zucchini
June 8, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Every week I’m greeted with sightings of old favorites making a comeback at the farmers’ market. Recently, I blinked and rubbed my eyes in surprise to see the first zucchini of the season. June has snuck up on me, though, so perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise at all.

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Baking

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
June 7, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The strawberries are here! If you were anywhere near the farmers’ market at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn a week or two ago, you may have heard me singing the praises of the season. After what seemed like an endless winter, and more than three feet of snow here in New York City, those ruby red orbs of fruit were enough to make me do a happy dance.

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Pantry Basics

Sweet Pea Pesto
June 3, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Rhubarb was the first sign of spring, its ruby stalks brightening up the rows of root vegetables at the farmers’ market. Now strawberries have made their presence known too. Before long, sweet peas will also be in abundance—I already spied a few, but they were expensive. Thankfully I have one last bag of fresh-frozen peas from last year’s harvest. I’m happy I planned ahead too, though a bag of frozen peas from the supermarket is perfectly fine in a pinch.

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Family

Finger Foods
May 30, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

As the weather gets warmer, heating up the kitchen first thing with a home-cooked breakfast isn’t my favorite way to start the day. That doesn’t mean we survive on cold cereal Monday through Friday, though. A little planning on the weekends means breakfast comes together quickly, and easily, as I’m getting everyone off to work and school.

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Entertaining

Hot Off the Grill
May 27, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

This weekend signals the unofficial start to grilling season, so kick it off on a spicy note and add some zing to your usual burger line-up. A few months ago I took the plunge and tried a new ingredient, and since then harissa paste has become my new secret cooking weapon. A little bit adds lots of flavor, so start off small if this your first time cooking with it.

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Family

A Berry Good Breakfast
May 23, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

We’ve all been told breakfast is important to jump start the day, but as the weather gets warmer a hot plate of food isn’t always appealing. A sure fire way to get my daughters, ages 3 and 8, interested is by offering something frosty they can sip.

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Pantry Basics

A Savory Summer
May 19, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Before summer rears its hot, humid head, there are some winter dishes I’m not ready to bid adieu. While strolling the market a few months ago, I happened upon a pile of onions. Actually, it was more like tripped over them. Anyone who’s spent a winter season in the northeast knows January is the land of root vegetables and tubers.

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Family

The Ice Cream Man Cometh
May 16, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

The moment temperatures peek above 60 degrees you’ll find Mr. Softee waiting outside the schoolyard. I find no charm in his music. The fumes that release into the yard and neighboring park border on criminal behavior in my book. I wouldn’t call myself one of those moms. You know, the ones who forbid any sweets. Frankly, with my job as recipe developer that would be near impossible. I just don’t see why an ice cream truck should be allowed to park right in front of a school every single day.

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Family

Garden Days!
May 9, 2011

Gardening does not come as easy to me as cooking, so this isn’t exactly my comfort zone. Unlike the kitchen where things come instinctively, the yard takes a bit more effort and focus. Of course the kids just want to dig dirt, and I’ve finally come to accept it isn’t such a bad thing—as long as they stay away from my vegetables, flowers and herbs.

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Entertaining

Happy Mother’s Day!
May 7, 2011

What would be my idea of the perfect Mother’s Day? Not washing a single dish ranks high on that list. This means taking a break from cooking for the day too, but going out for brunch isn’t necessarily what I’d consider a peaceful Sunday morning.

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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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