Kid Friendly Recipes

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Bruleed Banana Cheese Gingersnap Treats (Croques Banane Brie Recipe) Recipe

I have Lulu to thank for inspiring me to prepare this snack. He was feeling a bit peckish, but there wasn’t a lot of food at home (the refrigerator is broken ). We had some brie leftover from my little munchkin’s birthday party, so he took a wedge of it and put it on a gingersnap cookie. Lulu was very proud of himself and offered me a bite.

The mixture of sweet and salty flavors and soft and crunchy textures was very pleasant, and it instantly took me back in time to my childhood. When I came home from school, I used to make myself brie and banana “sandwiches” with baguette or just sliced bread. It was probably my favorite snack. Given that there were some very ripe bananas in the house along with the brie and gingersnaps, it seemed only fitting that I should share a little bite of my childhood with Lulu and my little munchkin.

Of course, I’m not 7 anymore, so I decided to jazz it up a little. Caramelizing the bananas brought out additional flavors that really complemented the creaminess of the brie. And instead of white bread I used gingersnap cookies as the delivery device for the banana brie combo (thanks Lulu!). I’ve often found myself disappointed when I try to relive the memories of my favorite childhood dishes. This, happily, was not one of those times!


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Turkey and Cheese Sandwich Recipe Recipe

Since I arrived in America 5 years ago, I've been searching for the best deli-sliced turkey and I think I've found my favorite one of all. My little munchkin is home from school until next week as she will attend summer school. She only eats turkey and cheese sandwiches, so that's what we had today for lunch, with a pack of potato chips.

I think I've spoiled her a little too much, as she prefers hot turkey sandwiches so the cheese is melted. For today’s turkey sandwich, I made a Mornay sauce, which is a white sauce made of flour, butter, mustard and milk. I also add a pinch of nutmeg to enhance the flavor. I smothered the bread with the sauce, stacked many layers of greens adn the turkey slices and voilà, lunch was ready.

For the vegetarians in the family, I made the exact same version using tofurkey slices. It's the perfect meal when you're in a hurry!

Note: The sandwiches pictured on the left are made with tofurkey and the ones on the right with real turkey slices.


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Panini Sandwich Recipe (Grilled Cheese and Spinach Panini) Recipe

If not made properly, paninis can turn soggy and unappealing. The key is to choose a dense sandwich bread and apply a thin layer of butter to seal the outside and create a nice crust. The filling is up to you. In general, I like to use layers of different colors. I used a parsley-caper flavored cream cheese, roasted bell peppers, sliced mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and sweet basil.

The girls have been wanting to have a picnic for quite some time, but the weather here in Northern California has not been very accommodating. They’ve also had a craving for paninis, and luckily the weather this Memorial Day weekend has been spectacular, so it was time to scratch their itch. It was also a great opportunity to teach the girls about the art of making sandwiches. I made a pitcher of saffron lemonade to go with the sandwiches, and we all sat out in our vegetable garden and marveled at how much the fruit trees have grown. It’s been a wet spring, and the trees look unbelievably healthy. It looks like we’re going to have a lot of mulberries and donut peaches in our future!


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Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe with Chestnut Swirl Recipe

This recipe proves that vegan doesn't always mean healthy. Coconut cream, coconut milk, sugar, pure vanilla extract, chestnut purée and stabilizers combine to make a vegan ice cream recipe that tips the scales at about 3000 calories per quart (that's 375 calories per serving). But there aren’t any eggs or dairy products!

I recently received a request for a vegan ice cream recipe from Leslie. It was the first time I tried making a vegan dessert. I made use of the same combination of stabilizers I use in other egg-free recipes, namely soy lecithin and xanthan gum. I increased the quantity to improve mouth-feel though. Xanthan gum in particular inhibits the formation of ice crystals, which create a more pleasing texture.

After tasting the final product, everyone in the house agreed that the ice cream strongly resembled chè, a very popular Vietnamese dessert. I hadn't anticipated that at all. Since I swirled the ice cream with chestnut purée, I thought it would have a more French flavor to it, but that was not the case. That's one of the things I love about cooking. I really enjoy experimenting, and the results of these culinary adventures can add completely new recipes to my repertoire.

My husband Lulu has decided to leave the ice cream maker on the kitchen counter until the end of summer to encourage us to make ice cream more often this year. I’ll post our concoctions on here all summer, so at least some good can come out of my impending weight gain. Stay tuned!


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Aumoniere Recipe (Beggar's Purse) Recipe

Aumonière (also known as beggar's purse) is the name of an appetizer made of a filled crêpe bound in such a way that it resembles a drawstring purse. The tie is usually made of chives. I made the filling with a combination of roasted orange bell pepper, kumquat jelly (I'll post the recipe soon), sweet marjoram, lemon thyme, onion chives, non-pareil capers, cream cheese, blue cheese, lemon and pistachio oil.

I tested out the recipe today in preparation for Mother's Day next week. The dish is ultra simple to make and can easily be assembled by a child. It’s a wonderful way to get your kids involved in the kitchen and let them prepare a special meal that they will enjoy as well.


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