This is currently Ella’s favorite meal. Spaghetti gets twirled around a dead-simple sauce of bacon, sweet corn, garlic and shallots, and is then sprinkled with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese, chives and a drizzle of lime juice (which might sound surprising, but it acts like an Instagram filter, brightening everything up). Ella has asked me to make it almost every week since corn came in season, and since I’m an awesome mom, I’ve almost always obliged.
These crispy kale quesadillas, stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese and a sweet kale pesto, are quite possibly our favorite new way to eat greens. The recipe comes from the new book, Little Bento, by Michele Olivier (check out the free giveaway below!), and the timing couldn’t be better. Ella is going to be in first grade in a couple of weeks (WTF, that’s old! No; not her—me!!), and I’ve slowly started thinking about back-to-school. While there’s a lot to be excited about, there’s also one thing that’s hanging over my head like a load of stinky laundry. Packing lunches.
A few years ago we had friends over for dinner, and I assembled an ad hoc platter of grilled eggplant topped with a zippy shaved fennel salad, crumbled feta and a spatter of fresh mint. It was simple but unique, outshining the burgers and corn on our plates. I now make this grilled eggplant salad with fennel and feta several times a summer as a welcome departure from—or complement to—the predictable tomato salads and grilled vegetables that dress our table.
Reminiscent of our favorite spicy salmon rolls, these portable sushi burrito wraps are one of my new summertime staples. A ginger- and sriracha-spiked salmon salad gets wrapped in nori with sushi rice, cucumber and avocado. They’re portable, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make—no sushi mat required! (Watch how to roll them in the video below.)
“Ice cream sandwiches.” Are there three better words in the lexicon of summer? I think not. Several years ago we had a Fourth of July party at our house. I don’t remember much about what we had for dinner, except that Ella, who was three at the time, ate an entire watermelon by herself. But I’ll never forget dessert.
School is out as of this week, and that means summer is officially here! For me, no food represents the sweet freedom of summer as ice cream. In honor of Ella graduating Kindergarten (oh geez, I’m getting teary), I developed a strawberry frozen yogurt just for her. It’s sweet, creamy, bright and a tad sassy (just like her), and it gets whipped up without an ice cream maker. It’s made with frozen strawberries, honey and Greek yogurt (so it’s even nutritious!) with a soft serve texture that rivals anything you can buy at the store (check out the how-to video below). Not that I have an issue with the store-bought stuff. In fact, I have to get something off my chest.
Picture this: an individual chocolate cake with a rich, dense center and a feather-light crackly crust. Envision a cross between a brownie, a cupcake and a flourless chocolate cake with a delicate, light crumb. Introducing chocolate crackle cakes. I named the cakes after their crackly crust, which might just be my favorite part. Or maybe it’s the fudgy center…. Hmm… I leave that for you to decide.
These baked oatmeal bars are like a mix between a bowl of oatmeal, a muffin and one of these banana oatcakes. They’re portable, golden on the outside, soft in the center and irresistibly sweet. You won’t believe they’re made without any refined sugars, eggs or dairy! (Check out how I make them in the video below.)