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Pasta with Butternut Squash & Smoked Paprika (from Dinner: The Playbook)

I am talking about dinner ruts today. And I realize you are probably thinking: “Ha! Girlfriend has a FOOD blog. What the heck does she know about dinner ruts?” Dinner: The Playbook | But before I had a food blog, I had a really stressful desk job that kept me in the office 12, sometimes 14, hours per day. Kiwi did too. Our refrigerator was a graveyard for good intentions: wilted parsley, expired eggs, rotting apples. We dutifully stocked up on fresh groceries each week, as though they might magically turn into the Braised Short Ribs on Slow-cooked Polenta I had bookmarked in my Internet browser. And guess what? They never did. Instead, we ate dinner at our desks or frozen pizza in front of our television. I am embarrassed to admit that I once bought TEN (yes 10) of the same frozen pizzas because they were on sale for $3.99 a pop. To say we were in a “dinner rut” is probably an over-generous use of the word “dinner,” but let’s go with it. No doubt, however, that it was a rut of gargantuan proportions. Continue Reading →

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Cooking for Beansprout, Part 3: Pasta Recipes

Healthy Pasta Recipes for Babies & Toddlers | www.kiwiandbean.comThe Cooking for Beansprout series is back this week with a couple of pasta recipes fit for hungry babes and toddlers (and their parents, of course). If you are just joining in, check out Part 1 and 2 of the Beansprout series, where I talked about baby-led weaning (i.e. what the heck is it?) and shared a few baby-led weaning recipes for our favourite meat patties, sliders and meatballs.

Today I’m talking about pasta, pasta, pasta! Continue Reading →

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Crouching Turkey Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce

Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce | (Cooking for) Kiwi & BeanAmongst parents of young kids, the “hidden veggie” debate is just about as raucous as the co-sleeping, nanny vs. daycare and vaccination ones.

In one camp are the moms and dads who think that vegetable-feeding, and food generally, should be full-disclosure, and that kids should be taught to love veggies and not coerced to eat them. In the other are parents who just want their kids to eat vegetables (darn it!) and have no issue conducting covert cauliflower operations in order to make it happen.

I fall somewhere between the two camps, I think. I serve my kids lots of fresh vegetables at every meal: steamed, sautéed, roasted and mashed. But I am more than happy to sneak in a few extras for good measure. Not just for the kids’ health and longevity, but for mine and Kiwi’s too. There is no such thing as too many vegetables. Continue Reading →

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No-Cook Sicilian-Style Tomato Pasta Sauce

No-Cook Tomato Pasta Sauce |

I predict that you get about one paragraph into this blog post and decide that this dish is not for you. Or that, even if it might work for you, it definitely won’t please the littlest mouths in your house. I’m going to guess that if you skipped straight ahead to the recipe, and scanned the list of ingredients (resist; don’t do it!!), you’d click about as far away from here as you could go: “Oh, blech, no way not in my house,” you’d likely think, if not say out loud. Continue Reading →

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