Monday, February 7, 2011

And So I Leave You with Some Brownies...

I've been putting-off this post for a while...avoiding the inevitable if you will, but after over three months of slakerdom in this space, I am officially retiring Raising Foodies (for now, because you just never know...)

I kept thinking I would come back, I did, but it just never seemed to happen. It didn't happen after a holiday filled with cooking (and eating)... It didn't happen after I made an enormous six-layer rainbow birthday cake for Millie... It didn't happen after baking spice cupcakes, a cake, and the best brownies of all-time on the same snowy, house-bound day.

So I finally came to terms with the fact that it was never going to happen, and this is my attempt at closure. (I'm a fan of therapy, can you tell?)

I am proud of what "Raising Foodies" was. I loved interacting with you guys in this space, I loved that it made me think about how we were preparing and eating our food... that it was the catalyst for the girlies to try lots of new things they may not have otherwise.

But I think what I'm most proud of is how it's changed the way we approach dinner every night as a family. Our meals now are very different than they were pre-"Foodies". They're less harried, more mindful, more wholesome. We eat out very rarely (a major change), all four of us preferring to eat at home most nights. Sure some of this can be attributed to the fact that the girls are older, more independent and amenable, making cooking easier, but I believe when you put a goal out there, when you invite others to be a part of it, thus feeling some accountability to those people, it will change you.

So thank you. Thank you for being a part of our little food adventure, for helping us change.

And as a token of my appreciation, I've leaving you with (literally) the best brownies I have. ever. eaten. (and I have eaten a lot of brownies). I made them last night, and I'm not going to lie...they were a revelation.

Oh and they were super easy too. Enjoy!

Alice Medrich's Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts (via Bon Appetit)

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces


Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).

Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some Grown-Up Food

I spend a lot of time scanning menus, honing in on the items the girls will eat and enjoy (key to our entire dining out experience) while trying to avoid automatically resorting to the kid's menu dregs of chicken nuggets and buttery noodles.

In fact, I spend so much time thinking about what the girlies will consume that when I do find myself dining sans kids (it doesn't happen often), I still inevitably scan the menu for the "safe" choices. It's a hard habit to break.

A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I spent an weekend in Austin for our tenth anniversary -- with no kids in tow. We were (of course) excited about the alone time...the chance to hang out, meander in museums, go for drives without having to mitigate backseat dramas...but we were absolutely giddy with excitement about the food possibilities. We planned our meals with the precision of a general going into battle. (I even e-mailed this fantastic blogger for some restaurant suggestions, as while Bryan and I lived in Austin for many years, it was over a decade ago, and when we visit, we tend to frequent the same spots.)

While we ended up eating some admittedly "kid-friendly" fare -- namely lots of tacos (it was Austin after all) and a *huge* stack of pumpkin pancakes at Kirby Lane, we did revel in such adult indulgences as fresh arugula and heady gorgonzola pizza and an amazing, magical, wholly unique meal at Uchiko. It was maybe the best meal I've ever lasted almost 3 hours, involved a genius French waiter, prosecco with grilled thyme and lemons and insanely delicious food that I couldn't pronounce.

It was definitely not a kid's meal.

We need to do that more often.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Friends There Was Sushi...

I suppose I first have to address my utter and complete slackerdom when it comes to this blog. Honestly I'm not quite sure what's happening here...we shop for food, we cook food and we eat food (a lot lately in fact), but when it comes to writing about food, I got nothin, nada, zilch.

But here's the thing, I'm not going to overthink it, rather I'm just going to forge forward, as sometimes I think the best way to bust through a rut is to stop thinking so much and just do. Yes?

So now for our latest foodie you probably gleaned from the title, it involved sushi (which is well...huge) and Millie, who it should be noted, is by far the pickier of my two girlies.

As I mentioned in my last post, one of our all-time favorite reads is The First Book of Sushi... Audrey was obsessed with it as a toddler, and now the tattered and torn little board book is a daily read for Millie. But here's the difference, while Audrey loved reading it, she never once connected the words and images on the pages with food she would actually want to consume. Millie, on the other hand, is obsessed with both reading about and (the idea of) eating sushi. So much so, that for the past couple of months, every. single. time. we'd finish reading the book, she'd sigh really dramatically and say, "I want sushi."


Now a good "foodie"mom (especially one that loves sushi as much as I do) would have taken her kids to eat it early get their palettes used to the different flavors and textures, but here's the thing (and I know you know this) sushi is expensive. And I couldn't bear to throw down loads of cash only to have them whine and gag and partake in their usual "there's no possible way I'm eating that" dinner theater.... So I waited. But then Millie started asking for California rolls and miso soup and shrimp ebi, and it was officially go time.

I'd like to report that she loved it, that sushi has now become a go-to meal, that neither girl ended up eating giant bowls of cereal when we got home, but I can't. I can say that Millie was an excellent sport. She tried everything we gave her, didn't gag or spit anything out and seemed to be generally excited about the entire enterprise, which I have to say, is in and of itself a pretty big accomplishment...

Next up tripe. ;-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Foodie Books

It's been quiet on the foodie front friends. I suppose we've been on a bit of a hiatus -- pretty much "post our berry crumble video and bolt."

It wasn't intentional, really. I suppose matters of food have just been a bit on the back-burner. We've been cooking and eating (of course), but it's been awfully basic fare. Our current rotation consists of grilled chicken or steak, the feta roasted potatoes, roasted cauliflower, sauteed green beans, quiche, spaghetti and the occasional grilled Gouda with tomatoes and artichoke hearts. (That was the "exotic" night.)

There's no long-winded's just been hot, and we've been busy, and, well I've been a slacker. Case in point -- I made chocolate chip cookies for Audrey's class from pre-made dough (Central Market has the best) and bought her birthday cake.

Bad I know.

We have, on the other hand, been reading lots of books about food. I've been pouring through Jenny's genius Time for Dinner like I actually plan to cook something, and Millie is obsessed with My Foodie ABC. (Audrey's favorite book at three was First Book of Sushi, so it's fitting really).

It's good stuff...she cracks up over the xuxu every single time.

Every time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Winner + A Raising Foodies Video...

First up the winner of the Fanny at Chez Panisse giveaway... Congrats Elena!

I also owe you guys some truly heartfelt thanks, as I now have a slew of incredibly yummy looking sides to give a whirl. So thanks for that!

Ok now for something fun (and, well... a little vulnerable too). My dear friend Ben and my lovely cousin Erin filmed the girlies and me cooking up a little berry crumble* a few weeks ago and worked it into the very first Raising Foodies Video for your viewing pleasure.

Take a peek...

*When I first posted about the berry crumble it was a complete disaster...gag-fest 2009 for Audrey. But it is now one of her all-time favorite things. Amazing what can happen in a year.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I'm a huge fan of Debbie Carlos' photography (Millie is especially partial to her bunny poster), so I was jazzed to find her food blog, weekend (image above via Debbie). It's totally fantastic... definitely worth a peek.

Happy Friday friends...cook something yummy!

p.s. -- thanks for all the rockin' guys are the best!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stuck... (+ A Little Giveaway)

For some reason, the task of dreaming up good side dishes is vexing me lately. I keep going to my fall backs -- the fool-proof trifecta of goodness that is roasted asparagus, roasted cauliflower or roasted new potatoes with rosemary and feta (or a little salad; I do turn out formidable salads), but given our current heat wave, cranking the oven up to 400 is a death wish.

It's possible that I'm just not that inventive, but there's also the matter of how picky the girlies are when it comes to sides. There's just not much that they dig. I'm at a loss.

So I propose a trade...I'll give you guys the recipe for this crazy good corn salad that I made recently (but that the girls didn't like at all, sadly) and you give me the lowdown on your favorite side.

(For the record, I would have given you the corn salad recipe anyway...I just like you that much.)

So to further sweeten the deal, I'll pick one of you at random and send you a copy of one of my all time favorite foodie books, Fanny at Chez Panisse. Just leave your favorite side in the comments section of this post by next Wednesday the 11th and I'll announce a winner later that week!


Herewith the corn salad. It's truly yummy; my girlies are nuts...

  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced (wear gloves!!! I didn't and burned the heck out of my hands...)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta (2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Bring corn to a boil in a large pot of water (do not salt water but you can add a pinch of sugar) and cook for six minutes once water starts to boil. Drain immediately and set aside to cool.

Once cooled, cut kernels from corn and combine in a large bowl with the jalapeños, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the Feta before serving.