Recipes

The Scramblog

Let Kids Use Sharp Knives and Hot Stoves: 7 Ways to Let Go of Our Fears and Get Kids Cooking

Would you let your 2-year-old use a chef’s knife? Many people think that sounds not only dangerous, but INSANE. However, that’s just what my friend J.M. Hirsch, who is a prominent food writer and cookbook author, did with his son Parker. Just like our kids’ maiden voyage down a steep slide or the moment they wobbled away without training wheels on a bicycle, that first chop through a carrot is absolutely terrifying (for the parents!). We’re bound to question ourselves and picture them slicing off a fingertip (or two).  But if we want our kids to love to cook and do it with confidence, we parents need to put aside our fears and let them do more than we are comfortable with in the kitchen to really get kids cooking. If we REALLY want our kids to love good food and ultimately to be able to shop for and prepare meals when we’re out of the picture, we need to seek ways to give them confidence in the kitchen rather than (often inadvertently) driving them away. ...

Healthy Dessert or Energy Snack: Fudgy Figgy Balls

I’ve been on the prowl for more healthy dessert recipes that can satisfy my sweet tooth and my need for something portable and chewy but doesn’t have added sugar like packaged energy bars do. I received some lovely black mission and golden figs from California Figs (which represents California fig growers) and transformed them into these sweet and chewy balls that you can enjoy for a healthy dessert or high energy snack.  By the way, figs are as nutritious as they are delicious--they are high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants. Figs have many uses; I’ve found they are also a lovely addition to a cheese plate for entertaining guests, and I’ve also been tossing them in pasta with a savory cheese and toasted nuts. Fudgy Figgy Balls Prep (no cook) = 15 minutes Makes about 16 balls 1 cup dried black mission figs (about 14 figs), stemmed if necessary (just pull or cut the hard stem off if they have one) 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. water 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. almond butter 1/2...
  Apr 19, 2016   Recipes, salad dressing, salads, side dish

Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe

This homemade raspberry vinaigrette recipe is beautiful, colorful, healthy,  and simply awesome over salad or poached, baked or roasted vegetables. Unlike some raspberry vinaigrette dressings I've tried, this one is a little tart rather than sickly sweet. We like it over poached asparagus and in our salad of baby lettuce with pecans and avocado.

To poach aspargus, bring a large frying pan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus to a plate.  Aspargus is delicious warm or at room temperature and is beautifully complimented by the pink raspberry dressing.

Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp. honey 2 Tbsp. water 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/4 tsp. salt In a blender (or use an immersion blender in a cup), puree the ingredients. ...

Sorrento Seafood Stew

A chilly Sunday had me craving a flavorful seafood stew, especially when I saw beautiful shrimp and scallops at our farmer’s market. I daydreamed about it all day and when I set it on the dinner table, my family thought it lived up to my fantasies. You can use whatever seafood looks freshest at your market, or if you are using frozen seafood, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or in a warm bowl of water until it is thawed before adding it to the stew. Sorrento Seafood Stew Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 45 minutes 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 - 3 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup) 1 yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 – 2 cups) 2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 4 cloves) 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 28 oz. canned whole plum tomatoes, with their liquid 3 Tbsp. tomato paste 16 oz. reduced-sodium fish or vegetable broth, or use clam juice 1/2 cup white wine (optional) 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley,...

Great Make-ahead: Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata

It took me a few attempts, but I finally made the strata of my dreams. In case you aren’t familiar with it, strata is an Italian baked egg and bread dish. Recipe tester Alexandra Taylor said, “Even my spinach hating son ate a piece and gave it a thumbs-up.” This is a great dish to serve at a brunch, especially because you can make it in advance, but it also makes a nice change for a family dinner.

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This recipe can be found in my latest cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner. Take the stress and guesswork out of planning healthy and delicious dinners, whether you are cooking for 1, 2, or your whole family, including kids. The book, featuring color photos for every dish, includes 160 delicious recipes that require 30 minutes or less to prepare, and 32 weekly menu plans complete with main dishes and sides—and an organized grocery list for each week!

Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata

Marinate Time: 4 hours   Prep Time: 15 minutes  ...

  Jan 6, 2016   Family Dinner, Recipes

Butternut Squash and Yellow Lentil Stew

After 3 days of overindulgence in New York celebrating Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday, we were ready for some clean eating when we got back home. I hadn’t grocery shopped but I knew I had a butternut squash on the counter and several types of lentils to finish, so I came up with this Indian-inspired vegan stew.  Solomon, who was home from college for the weekend, said he was so happy to have a delicious meatless meal that wasn’t pizza or pasta.  Scramble recipe tester Bobbi Woods said, “Oh my goodness this was fabulous! We all had seconds!!! The LIME absolutely made the taste POP.” Serve it with naan or pita bread.
Butternut Squash and Yellow Lentil Stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 40 minutes    Total Time: 60 minutes
Makes 6 servings, about 2 cups each
2 Tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil
1sweet yellow onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, diced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2...

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Low-Sugar Orange-Ginger Cranberry Sauce I briefly forgot how incredibly easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce.  I couldn't resist buying a bag of beautiful red cranberries during Thanksgiving season. As I've been trying to eat little to no added sugar lately, I wanted to make a low-sugar cranberry sauce. This version of low-sugar orange-ginger cranberry sauce is tart but we love the flavor to perk up the muted taste of turkey. You can, of course, always add more maple syrup to taste. Makes about 2 cups of sauce, 8 servings, 1/4 cup each Prep + Cook = 15 minutes 1 lb. fresh cranberries 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or more to taste In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, juice and ginger, bring it to a boil. Partially cover it and simmer it for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are very tender and the sauce is thick. Stir in the...
  Nov 6, 2015   Easy Holidays/Entertaining, Recipes

Festive and Easy Holiday Cocktail Recipes

While some people know me as a family dinner expert, one of my favorite hobbies is mixology. I have a great time mixing cocktails and someday I hope to write a book of easy and fun cocktails and appetizers, which I have been developing for years. I am a member of a professional culinary organization called Les Dames d’Escoffier, and when they were looking for members to do a holiday demo in Washington, DC, I volunteered to teach people how to make some festive and easy holiday cocktail recipes. Because I too often don’t do things the easy way, I challenged myself to come up with all new cocktails for the event. In addition to daydreaming about the recipes, the most fun part was having friends over to concoct and test cocktails with me.  We came up with some wonderful combinations (although the sriracha margarita was very divisive) and these holiday cocktail recipes were the winners of the bunch. (Thank you to my talented friend and photographer Linda Wolpert for taking...

Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner Recipe for Halloween

Halloween is such a fun yet hectic time.  Cook this spooktacular recipe in advance or use your slow cooker to fill your goblins’ tummies with a delicious, nutritious fun meal. Our photographer Linda Wolpert whipped up these adorable mashed potato ghosts which you can serve on top of my Hearty Beef Stew for a Halloween-themed dinner before or after your children romp around on a chilly autumn night. Feel free to substitute other root vegetables like turnips and parsnips for the carrots and potatoes. To make the mashed potato ghosts, make our mashed potatoes or use your favorite recipe, adding extra water or milk as needed to make it smooth and creamy.  Put the mashed potatoes in a strong plastic bag (sandwich-sized Ziploc works well), snip 1 inch off the bottom corner of the bag on the diagonal, and squeeze out the ghosts. The eyes can be peppercorns, coriander seeds, pieces of olives or carrots; use your imagination! Hearty Beef Stew (Ghostly Beef Stew Dinner...
  Oct 5, 2015   Family Dinner, Recipes 2

Frittata with Red Potatoes and Greens

Eggs are the perfect protein—affordable and healthy, low in calories and saturated fat and high in protein and minerals.  Plus they can stay in the fridge for weeks so they’re always there for you in a pinch.  In this frittata recipe, the potatoes and greens provide great texture and color and make the meal extra nutritious and filling.  Serve it with whole grain English muffins and apple slices. Frittata with Red Potatoes and Greens Prep + Cook = 30 minutes 8 servings 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 red onion, quartered top to bottom and thinly sliced 1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, halved and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch) ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼-1/2 tsp. salt, to taste 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. black pepper 4 oz. kale, spinach or other greens, coarsely chopped 8 eggs 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese sriracha or salsa, for serving (optional) Heat a large heavy oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium to medium-high heat.  When it is...