Bottom Of The Barrel

Wondering what to do with those last few apples at the bottom of the barrel? I had about six bruised and battered apples left from our trip to the orchard. I hated to throw these forgotten few on the compost pile so I decided to make a batch of apple pie topping. This was so easy and it can be used on everything from ice cream to pancakes, to granola.

Apple Pie Topping

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp butter

6 apples, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Method

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples to the melted butter and stir to coat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Cook until the apples soften but are not mushy, about 5-7 minutes. Serve warm over some pancakes. Or let cool and top your favorite ice cream. Your kids will probably prefer the ice cream option…

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Put mine on the side!”

Liam (age 5): “Thumbs middle”

Dylan (age 5): “Just ice cream!”

Who cares about the verdict – I used up all the apples!!!

Any other ideas for cooking those last few apples? Please share!

Happy Belated Birthday to Us!

House of Bedlam turns 2 this year! We’ve been so busy with soccer and hockey we almost forgot to celebrate. We’ve jumped many food hurdles this past year and I’m looking forward to concocting more recipes for my little crew to sample. So far this year, we’ve mastered broccoli, tackled carrots, dabbled in tofu, made our own ice cream and cooked many stellar chicken nugget recipes. Our goals for the year ahead will be banning the words “yuck”, “disgusting”, and “eewww” from the dinner table. Still a serious work in progress but I’m hopeful it will happen one of these days…

In keeping with tradition this birthday post will be a recipe using, you guessed it, apples. Fall is picking season so we’re flush with fruit from our annual orchard excursion. And since my kids have begged me to stop giving them apples in their lunchboxes I have many to spare. As always, I face the same challenge; what to do with all this fruit before it rots? There are only so many apples you can bring to teachers. And our attempts to give a few to our neighbors did not go well – they have their own bushels to get rid of.

Instead of sweet, I went savory. And in the process I learned that hot fruit is not so kid-friendly. Although, in my opinion, this recipe is worth trying again, it was yummy. Maybe less apple though….

Pork & Apples Sausage

Ingredients

I medium sized apple, finely diced

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

1 lb. ground pork

1 ½ Tbsp. fennel seeds, finely chopped

1 ½ Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

Method

Heat a large skillet on medium to high heat and add 1 Tbsp. of the oil. Sauté the apples until soft but not mushy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove apples from pan, set aside to cool. Wipe out skillet.

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In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, fennel, sage, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and apples. Form into 1” balls and then flatten into patties.

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Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. In small batches (don’t crowd the pan) add the patties and brown on both sides. About 5-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness.

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Remove cooked patties and drain on paper towels. The pieces of apple that fall loose from the cooked patties will caramelize and are delicious. Scoop those up to garnish the sausage. Enjoy!

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Don’t like it”

Liam (age 5): “It’s too squishy”

Dylan (age 5): “Don’t like the onion part”

If your kids don’t like these, not to worry, save them as leftovers for Sunday breakfast, they are great with poached eggs!

To our followers, old and new (all 600 of you!), a big thank you for following along with us this past year. We appreciated every comment, Facebook like, and retweet!

Funny Food – Book Review

I’m always screaming at gently reminding my children not to play with their food. But that was before we met Bill and Claire Wurtzel, authors of Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts at their recent workshop at Fairway Market.

Author Bill Wurtzel displays his art

Author Bill Wurtzel displays his art

Bill and Claire Wurtzel have discovered a unique way to get kids to eat a healthy breakfast. And they have documented their creative approach in a colorful book worthy of the coffee table. Besides the stunning photography the book is filled with nutritional information, tips on healthy cooking and fun food facts. Can you guess what arachibutyrophobia means?

Inhaling our edible art

Inhaling our edible art

The chapters are broken down by food groups that are easy to cook and recognizable to children of all ages. But there are no rules – use your own favorite foods, as long as they are healthy and nutritious. You’ll be surprised when you see your kids eat their edible creations with gusto. Spinach hair or cucumber buttons will no longer be a dreaded vegetable but a thing of beauty that they made!

Goofing around at the workshop

Goofing around at the workshop

After attending the workshop we were anxious to put our book into practice and create our own silly art at home. We started with the egg section (anyone can boil an egg, right?) and things got off to a fantastic start. As with most things around our house, breakfast spun a little out of control, (our edible art made it to the floor as well as the plate) but in the end they did have a healthy meal.

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head

Egg & Bread man

Egg & Bread man

I would highly recommend this book to any parent looking for ways to get their kids into the kitchen and excited about food. Check for a Funny Food workshop being held in your neighborhood and meet the duo behind this wonderful book or visit the website to purchase a copy.

 

 

 

 

Boomerang Generation

I flew the coop over 20 years ago. At the time my parents lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My new apartment was a walk-up in a tenement across the park on the Upper East. It was far from fancy but it was all mine. I was finally independent, but if I ever needed anything they were just a crosstown bus away. Close but not too close. Fast forward to marriage and three children, and the coop is now coming back to me. Mom and Dad are moving to the burbs!

My kids could not be more thrilled to have Grandma and Grandpa as their new neighbors. For me, it will be an adjustment running into my parents at the local Starbucks, but it’s great to have a babysitter moving practically next door. Don’t worry Mom, we only need you to watch the boys every other weekend – :)

To celebrate their “return to the nest” we’re roasting a chicken this week. I’ve never roasted a whole bird before and it was surprisingly easy. This method was suggested by my local butcher. She said once I’ve got this mastered she’ll give me the secret to the perfect pork roast…

Citrus Roast Chicken

Ingredients

1 3/12-4 lb. whole roasting chicken, organic if possible

1-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper

½ orange, cut into wedges

1 lemon, cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3-4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1” chunks

3 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks

1 Tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Before cooking the chicken rinse in cold water. Then scrub the chicken inside and out with coarse salt. Then rinse again and pat dry. Make sure the chicken is completely dry, this will result in a crispy skin.

Rub the butter all over the chicken. And if you are feeling brave, gently loosen the skin on the breast side and add some butter underneath. It’s a little messy but I was told not to skip this step.

Once the butter is rubbed all over, liberally season with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the orange, lemon and garlic. Place in roasting pan.

Toss the carrots and potatoes with the olive oil and some salt. Scatter around the chicken. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Then add about ½ cup of water to the pan and roast for another 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending on size of chicken, basting once or twice. Add more liquid to pan if needed.

Chicken is ready when the juices run clear. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (Insert into thickest part of thigh)

Let rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.

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House of Bedlam Citrus Chicken

House of Bedlam Citrus Chicken

And the VERDICT is:             

Matthew (age 7): “Good chicken”

Liam (age 5): “Can I eat that lemon?”

Dylan (age 5): “Why is that lemon in there?”

Although not nearly as convenient, this was even better tasting than a rotisserie.

Mom & Dad, welcome to the neighborhood!

 

For my local readers:

Fairway Market presents Funny Food Art Workshop!

When: Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 1pm – 3pm

Where: Fairway Market in Pelham Manor, 847 Pelham Parkway, 914 633 6550

Fairway invites friends and families to come and have fun with their food as Bill Wurtzel, author of “Funny Food 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfast” teaches families how to create funny food art. Fairway will supply all healthy ingredients, including waffles, strawberries, raisins, pita, bananas and much more, as well as entertainment from the author, who is a jazz musician. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase. Cost per participant is $1. Register at customer service or online at www.fairwaymarket.com.

This promises to be a fun event – hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going Green

Ever wonder what happens to all the broccoli stalks in the world? Most of them end up in the trash or the compost heap. But don’t be fooled by the stalks ugly appearance, there’s delicious “meat” inside that rough exterior. And from a health perspective, the stalk contains almost the same amount of nutrients as the florets, they’re just not as pretty.

The next time you’re chopping some spears of broccoli, instead of tossing the stalk, consider adding them to your dish. Cut the stalks into small rounds and they can be roasted or used in a stir-fry. Or shave them with a vegetable peeler and add raw to a salad. My kids would probably not go for raw stalks so I cooked them on the grill, kebab style. Anything on a stick is usually a recipe for success in our house, especially if the stick is long enough to poke one’s brother.

When I served the kebabs, no one could even guess what they were eating. Since the boys are so accustomed to seeing broccoli in the form of “little trees” they didn’t even recognize it. But they also thought the mushrooms were chicken so I’m not sure if it was pure ignorance or if they were just pulling my leg.

Stalk Kebabs

Ingredients

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

3-4 large broccoli stalks

1 package baby bella mushrooms, approx. 15

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Salt & pepper

6-8 wooden skewers

Method

Soak the skewers in cold water for about 30 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside.

Meanwhile peel the outer layer off the stalks with a paring knife and trim off both ends.

Broccoli Stalks

Broccoli Stalks

Cut into ½ inch rounds. Cut large size mushrooms in half lengthwise, leave smaller ones whole. Place stalks and mushrooms into a mixing bowl and toss with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

Remove skewers from the water and thread the vegetables onto the skewers, alternating pieces of mushrooms and broccoli.

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Place kebabs onto grill and brush with marinade. Turn every five minutes and brush with more marinade.

IMG_0295Grill until vegetables are slightly charred and marinade is caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

 

House of Bedlam Stalk Kebabs

House of Bedlam Stalk Kebabs

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “I’m eating the whole thing”

Liam (age 5): “That is one good mushroom”

Dylan (age 5): “So bad! I’m not eating that”

Although Dylan was not a fan, he did taste the “chicken”.