granola, take 2


Homemade granola is so popular in our house that I decided to try a variation. In this version I used puffed wheat and rice (available at health food stores). The result is a lighter texture than my original granola recipe made with rolled oats. I use a mixture of butter and olive oil but you may use either alone as long as the total amount is 8 tablespoons (half cup). I think this may be a new favorite...the entire jar was devoured in less than a week.


6 cups puffed wheat

4 cups puffed brown rice

1 1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup maple syrup

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine maple syrup, olive oil, and butter in a small pot over medium heat stir to combine. Once butter has melted pour mixture into dry ingredients and stir until well coated. Divide mixture onto 2 sheet pans and spread into an even layer.  Cook for about 15 minutes then remove trays to stir mixture. Return to oven for another 15 minutes or until golden brown (switch the position of the trays so that the top tray is now on the bottom and vice versa). Set aside to cool. Store in an airtight container or large ziploc bag.


emily's farm


I met Emily for the first time eight and a half years ago when she interviewed to be our nanny. The boys were only 2 months old and I was looking for someone to spend the days with me as I tried to juggle 2 newborns and still manage to function...I fell for Emily immediately! Although much younger than me, she became one of my best friends. 



Now, all these years later, Emily is an organic farmer in Rhode Island and has 2 sons of her own. Her committment to growing healthy food is such an inspiration. Visiting her on the farm is a trip we all look forward to every year. She and her husband Craig welcome us despite their grueling schedule...while there we devour all the gorgeous vegetables they grow, get to see them in action at the farmer's market or running their CSA, chase chickens and collect eggs, have a tractor ride, and spend some quality time together. 



We are just back from our most recent visit. Walking through the fields and seeing all the carefully planted crops was so inspiring. It makes me want a garden of my own but I know I could never do all the work it requires, not to mention the fact that we have no land here in Brooklyn! 



This was the first time we visited mid-week so we got to see the CSA rather than their stand at the farmer's market. I wish I could find a CSA like this nearby...all the mounds of vegetables made me want to cook, and it was clear that all of their customers felt the same way.



washing the dishes


I nearly fainted when Bea insisted on washing the dishes after helping me in the kitchen one afternoon. She was even remarkably good at it! She must have enjoyed it too because she did it again a week or so later...if this continues she may just be my new favorite cooking partner!





For my kids quesadillas are right up there with mac & cheese and pizza on the list of favorite foods. We usually make plain cheese quesadillas and add on a variety of toppings at the table: fresh salsas, guacamole, sour cream, and sauteed zucchini and corn are among the favorites. You can also add beans, leftover roasted chicken or any leftover meat.


As an alternative you can fill the qusadillas with the extras but I find that more stuffed quesadillas are much harder to flip (you loose half the filling in the pan) and the kids love to make their own at the table. 





4 ripe avocados

juice of one lime

1/4-1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Sea salt, to taste


Peel and chop avocados and place in a bowl. Add lime juice and mash until well combined but still chunky. Stir in cilantro and salt.



1 large ripe tomato or 3 ripe plum tomatoes

1 small onion (or half medium onion)

finely chopped cilantro

green tobasco 

salt and pepper


Finely chop tomatoes and onion.

Stir together in a bowl.

Add cilantro, salt and pepper, and tobasco to taste.



1 or 2 small zucchini

4 ears corn on cob

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic


salt and pepper


Chop zucchini into small dice.

Cut corn from cob.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and onion and garlic. Saute until translucent.

Add corn and zucchini and stir. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of oregano.

Cook, stirring occasionally until zucchini is starting to brown.



roasted cod provencal


Once tomatoes and basil are in season this is a wonderful way to serve simple roasted or grilled fish. I serve it often on weekends when we have a houseful of guests. If you prepare the tomatoes before you start cooking the fish the flavors have a little time to meld. Dice 3 tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Chop basil leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of basil and add to tomatoes. Remove pits from about 1/2 cup olives (nicoise or calamata are good choices), halve them, and add to tomatoes. Add 1 clove of garlic, minced, the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of sea salt and set aside. Drizzle olive oil on 3 pounds of cod or striped bass on a sheet pan and roast in a 450° oven for about 10 minutes, or until fish is flaky and cooked through. It can also be grilled -- if you choose to grill, buy fish with the skin on and cook skin side down, with the lid on for about 10 minutes. Spoon tomato mixture over fish and serve. 



crisp topping


During summer months crisps are such a delicious and easy dessert. If you make a big batch of crisp topping you can keep it in the freezer and assemble a great dessert in minutes...all you need to do is bake it, which can happen while you are eating dinner. The recipe below is enough topping for an 8 inch square but you can double it if you want to keep it in the freezer. Just use some for an individual crisp, or a little more to make enough for 2 or 4 people. Like granola, you can vary the recipe to suit your tastes. A base of oats, butter, sugar and flour can be added to in any number of ways. I often add almonds, coconut, cinnamon and ginger (see amounts below) but I vary it based on what I have. I find that berries alone get a little too soupy but if you add some apple slices or rhubarb that adds some structure to it. Peaches and plums are some of the best fruits for a crisp, either alone or mixed with berries.


P.S. The soft ice cream on top is the result of a homemade ice cream mishap...but that is a post for another day! 



1 cup oats

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup almonds (can substitute pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts if desired)

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces


Combine everything except butter in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and continue pulsing until the mixture is clumpy.

For an 8 inch square crisp, slice about 6-8 peaches to fill dish. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour over peaches and stir. Top with crisp topping and bake in a 375° oven for about 45 minutes, or until top is browned and peach juices are bubbling. Set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes. 


theo's pillow


When my friend Jordana had her son, Theo, I was a little stumped about what to make for him. Jordana is an excellent knitter and I knew she would whip up blankets and sweaters easily. I decided that a quilted gift was one of the few things I could make that she might not make herself.


I have quite a stash of fabric samples, swatches, and in some cases rolls, in my basement that are left over from mr.tiny. I dug through them and pulled out some favorites in a nice array of blues and got to work. When mr.tiny was still in business I spent a lot of time daydreaming about products we could develop out of the surplus fabric we had after each season was produced. If we had continued maybe this pillow would have been part of the collection.


For the most part making this pillow required only the most basic sewing, but one thing I found helpful was using a lightweight interfacing (or very thin scraps of fabric) to back the buildings before appliqueing them on to the background. For example, to make the building with the pitched roof I sewed a triangle of fabric to a rectangle of fabric to make the basic house shape. Then I sewed it to a liner with the right sides of the fabric facing together leaving the bottom open. When turned right side out all the edges are neatly folded under and all I had to do was sew it onto the background tedious tucking and pinning necessary. I sewed on all the buildings first and then added the solid blue stripe at the bottom to finish it.







My kids love the beach and can entertain themselves for hours there. The boys are also really interested in Egypt -- they have favorite books on heiroglyphics and talk about pyramids and mummies with great detail. As a result, I knew they would be inspired by this post on momfilter. Sure enough, when we got to the beach and I showed them the technique they were off and running...within an hour we were surrounded by pyramids.



zucchini bread


When Lauren was pregnant with her second child she developed gestational diabetes. She really missed carbs and sugar and always had her eye out for things that would satisfy her cravings without hurting her blood sugar.


One day while I was at her house she was making this bread. The original recipe was from and can be found here. She made a few changes in an attempt to keep on her diet and the result was great. Just look at that bowl full of vegetables! No guilt required.




Recipe adapted from

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

3/4 vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 1/2 cups grated peeled carrots

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan and set aside. Sift together both flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Add zucchini, carrots, walnuts, and dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until top is springy and a tester inserted into center comes out clean. 


Allow bread to cool in pan for 15 minutes before unmolding.



veggie burgers


For many people burgers and hotdogs on the grill epitomize summer. It is nice to have a healthy vegetarian option to add to the mix, especially if you are having a crowd. The idea of veggie burgers has always appealed to me but I have not found one in supermarkets that I really like so I decided to make my own. I like the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and the crunch of the almonds in this recipe. My one disappointment is that they are not ideal for the grill since the mixture falls apart fairly easily. If you do want to cook them on the grill I think the best bet would be to brown them in a pan first, and then put them on a piece of foil on the grill to heat them and add that smoky flavor. I like to serve them with brioche buns, lettuce, tomato and guacamole or raita but traditional mayo, mustard, or ketchup all work well too.


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 pound crimini mushrooms, stems removed, diced

10 ounces shelled edamame, blanched

1 large egg

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons parsley or cilantro

1 teaspoon salt


Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and add onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and it has all evaporated, 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.


Place mushroom mixture, egg, and 1 cup of the edamame in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a course paste. Add remaining edamame, almonds, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, cilantro and salt and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl and divide into 6-8 burgers. Dredge in remaining breadcrumbs. 


Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet and brown burgers on both sides.