Sarah Jackson
In the Kitchen
So your kids don’t like beans — a protein source that’s also rich with iron? No problem! Just sneak them into these rich, tasty, flourless treats, which contain four times the protein and 10 times the fiber of boxed brownies. And they’re made with less than half the oil. Win! Black Bean BrowniesIngredients1 15-ounce can of black beans3 tablespoons vegetable oil3 eggs 3/4 cup sugar½ cup cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking powderPinch of salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup mini... more
Tots for tots
It’s zucchini season! Also known as summer squash, these green or yellow fruits are available at farmers markets now. Celebrate the season by turning them, skin and all, into kid-friendly tots — a great side for breakfast or dinner.Zucchini totsIngredientsOil or cooking spray1 1/2 zucchini 1 large egg, beaten1/4 medium onion,... more
Eat your greens!
Balsamic vinaigrette is a go-to recipe for many home cooks, but sometimes it can be overpowering and even a bit sour.This five-minute recipe solves that little issue with two secret ingredients (maple syrup and Dijon mustard), dramatically reinventing this go-to dressing for just about any summer salad.Maple-Balsamic... more
Get fresh!
Freezer jam is — hands down — the easiest and prettiest jam you can make.Traditionally canned jams involve first boiling the jam and the jam jars (in a water bath), effectively twice-cooking the berries. Blasphemy!With freezer jam, you can skip all that while also capturing the berries’ super-fruity, crazy-fresh flavors and bright, ... more
Pancakes that pop!
If you grew up using boxed pancake mix, it might seem fussy to make pancakes from scratch. But once you’ve done it, you’ll see (like we did) how surprisingly easy — and tasty — it can be! You’ll likely save money — and you’ll open the door to all kinds of experimentation, too.When you’re ready to break out of the box rut, try this ... more
Fresh start
As a working mom of four, I find mornings in our household can be a whirlwind. Breakfast is an important meal, but it can get bland with the monotonous repetition of boxed cereal, toast or, even worse, skipping breakfast altogether. Recently, I’ve been inspired by Kate Sullivan Morford’s new book: Rise and Shine: Better... more
Smart cookie
Virtually everyone loves a warm chocolate chip cookie. But hauling out the electric mixer, cleaning messy bowls and dealing with baking sheet after baking sheet of cookies? I can do without that part. Hence this miracle — a chocolate chip cookie mixed in a coffee mug and cooked in the microwave. Even the youngest kids can make... more
Spear it!
Need a french fry fix? Hold up (and hold the fast food potatoes) and go healthy with this crazy-tasty recipe by foodie author Chungah Rhee, featuring the soon-to-be in season delight that is asparagus.Baked asparagus friesIngredients1 cup panko bread crumbs1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheeseKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to... more
A fresh twist
Citrus, when you live in Minnesota,  is winter’s solace, a blast of sunshine in January.Clementines, satsumas, mandarins, Halos, Cuties, whatever you want to call them, they’re all in season now.Heavily marketed to parents and kids (usually in 5-pound bags or larger) they’re super sweet, mostly seedless, easily portable and usually... more
Veggie power!
Trying to get kids to eat broccoli has long been a parenting cliché. But not anymore.Today’s foodie parents don’t boil or steam veggies into oblivion. They know the power of roasting veggies quickly at high temperatures to bring out their sweetness.Not in the Candied Broccoli Club yet? Try this recipe.If you’re already a veggie-roasting... more
Candyland!
Williams-Sonoma is famous for its holiday peppermint bark. But if you don’t have $30 to spend on a pound of the stuff, why not make your own?In multiple at-home tests, this recipe turned out beautifully for us — and you can even let the kids help bash the candies, spread the chocolate, sprinkle the peppermints and break the bark into... more
Easy-prep dinner
Yep, it’s fall, the perfect time to break out the slow cooker for easy school-night eats.This recipe, despite requiring only about 20 minutes of prep time and just five key ingredients, delivers a surprising amount of flavor.Serve the chicken over cauliflower “rice” and sauteed zucchini or a simple salad. Slow-cooker chicken... more
Golden nuggets
Skip the frozen-section nuggets made with unpronounceable ingredients and try this down-home recipe.Instead of using an egg wash to adhere the breading, this recipe relies on — oh, yes — melted butter, along with Parmesan cheese and a few fairly common pantry items.It’s so simple, you can make it with the kids.And you’ll actually want to... more
'Dragon Slime' bread!
We love this recipe for a few reasons.It's an easy and surprisingly delicious back-to-school snack (or breakfast).It helps you incorporate veggies (zucchini), fruit (blueberries) and whole wheat flour into your kid’s diet.Local and organic blueberries and zucchini are easy to find in Minnesota this time of year.And the batter looks... more
Easy-to-make energy bites
Trail mix is out. And energy balls are in!And you can make them easily at home with this highly adaptable recipe, printed with permission from Maggie Brereton’s Smashed Peas and Carrots blog.Too busy? Check out the new local line of mixes, including energy balls that enhance lactation!  See the sidebar on this page for the story on... more
Berry bliss for kids!
Strawberries and cream parfaitIngredients1 cup chopped strawberries4 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided5 ounces Greek yogurt¼ cup cream cheese1 tablespoon milk, half-and-half or heavy cream1/4 teaspoon vanilla extractPinch salt1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs DirectionsPlace the strawberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with 2... more
Berry tasty!
June is peak strawberry season in Minnesota — and this no-bake pie really shows off those red orbs’ freshness and bright flavors. Check local grocers or see minnesotagrown.com for a list of local farmers markets and strawberry farms.Fresh strawberry pie Ingredients3/4 cup sugar3 tablespoons cornstarchDash of salt1 cup water3... more
Toad in the hole
To Brits, Toad in the Hole is a traditional sausage and Yorkshire pudding dish. To a Yankee, it could best be described as hot dogs combined with popovers. The resulting dish sort of tastes like a corndog hot dish! The tangy onion “gravy” elevates the flavor, but this is an all-around favorite for the whole family. Toad in the Hole... more
Grab-and-go granola bars
INGREDIENTS3 tablespoons butter, plus more for the pan⅓ cup packed brown sugar¼ cup honey1 teaspoon vanilla extract3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats¼ cup chocolate chipsMakes 12 bars DIRECTIONSButter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract... more
Skillet lasagna
INGREDIENTS1 28-ounce can diced tomatoesWater1 tablespoon olive oil1 onion, chopped fineSalt and pepper3 garlic cloves, minced1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes1 pound meatloaf mix10 curly edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths1 8-ounce can tomato sauce1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons,... more
Sweet candy bacon
I know what you’re thinking: It’s bacon. How can it get any better? Well, it can. Oh, it can. The best part, beyond the deliciousness, is how easy it is for kids to make something that will literally bring “oohs and ahhs” from anyone who eats it. That’s got to make a beginner chef proud and happy. Just thinking about these makes my... more
Meatloaf minis
Turn meatloaf night into a treat with kid-sized servings, filled with chopped veggies under a layer of ketchup and mashed-cauliflower “frosting.” This recipe’s combined prep and cook time comes to about 50 minutes. Ingredients1 teaspoon coconut oil½ cup minced yellow onion2 medium carrots, finely chopped1 clove garlic, minced1 pound... more
Baked apple chips
If you just came back from a Minnesota apple orchard with a 10-pound bag of apples (what a steal!) — and you’re not quite sure what to do with them all — try this recipe from the new cookbook: Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Snacks. Once you’ve made it, this recipe should be easy to remember: Bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees... more
Spider treats!
Food-crafting expert Ashley Fox Whipple — in her new book Super Cute Crispy Treats: Nearly 100 Unbelievable No-Bake Desserts — takes rice crispy treats to a whole new level with flavors like caramel and sea salt, peanut butter and jelly, pretzel and chocolate and even Kool-Aid, such as the grape-flavored spider recipe you see... more
Pea and parsley pesto with pasta
INGREDIENTS2 cups frozen peas (one 10-ounce bag)1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (see sidebar)2/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oilCoarse salt and ground pepper12 ounces pasta DIRECTIONSCook 1 cup peas according to... more
Quick lamb chops!
SUPER-QUICK LAMB CHOPSIngredients4 large garlic cloves, crushed1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves2 teaspoons fresh thyme leavesPinch cayenne pepperKosher salt, to taste¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil8 lamb chops, 1 inch thickVegetable oil for grilling InstructionsPulse the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne and salt in a food processor.... more
Cool pops!
WATERMELON-MINT POPS3½ cups seeded, cubed fresh watermelon¼ cup cold water1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice6-8 mint leavesPinch of sugar (optional) Place ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until firm (about 8 hours or overnight). LEMON-LIME BASIL POPS½ cup lemon... more
Cherry clafoutis
This baked French dessert (kla-foo-TEE) features fruit, traditionally black cherries, arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick, flan-like batter.Ingredients1 tablespoon unsalted butter2 eggs2 egg yolks½ cup all-purpose flour4 tablespoons sugar½ teaspoon kosher salt1 ½ cups heavy cream1 teaspoon vanilla extract8 ounces... more
Grilled pineapple
Inspired by the grilled pineapple side dish served at Brazilian steakhouses, these tasty spears pair well with grilled chicken or steak. You could also serve them with cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled vanilla ice cream and call it dessert. Going camping? Pineapple travels well. Before you go, place the dry ingredients in a large plastic bag,... more
Easy almond cookies!
IngredientsZest of 1 large lemon2 ¼ cups almond flour or meal¾ cup granulated sugar1 egg white1 teaspoon almond extract1 teaspoon vanilla extract½ cup powdered sugarMakes 2 dozen cookiesGluten freeInstructionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.Whisk together lemon zest, sugar and almond... more
Dinner inspiration!
Honey-mustard baked ham
1 (8- to 12-pound) bone-in shank-half ham1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup honey1 tablespoon Dijon mustard⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepperServes 12 to 14_________________________________Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove any wrappings from the ham as well as the plastic disk on the bone. Place the... more
Slow-cooker taco soup
Ingredients1 tablespoon oil2 pounds lean ground beef 2 cups diced onion 1 cup fresh peppers, seeded and diced (For mild soup, use bell peppers; for a spicier soup, use 1 poblano pepper, 1 jalapeno pepper and 1 green chile.)2½ tablespoons taco seasoning 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning (can substitute 3 cloves of garlic,... more
Sneaky smoothies
Looking for ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your kids’ diets? These smoothies are delicious with or without the greens. (But be sure to give the greens a try. You’ll be surprised how mild they are: You may even want to add more!)Each recipe yields approximately 32 ounces. Blend the ingredients thoroughly and serve... more
Super s'mores
S’mores are easy: Toast your marshmallow, then squeeze it — and a piece of chocolate —between two graham crackers.But there’s a serious problem no one ever seems to talk about with this traditional recipe: The chocolate never melts. And the result is a dry treat.Solution: Use Nutella — silky smooth chocolate-hazelnut spread —... more
Grilled peach and lentil salad
 IngredientsSalad:4 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered½ cup of uncooked black lentils, rinsed2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced1 yellow bell pepper, diced¼ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped3 tablespoons of pine nuts4 tablespoons of golden raisins⅛ teaspoons of cayenne pepper (optional)... more
Raw Kale Salad with Tamari Pumpkin Seeds
Raw kale salad Tamari pumpkin seeds more
Breaking Bread
Minneapolis baking superstars Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois are out with a new cookbook featuring more than 30 new recipes and a chapter devoted to gluten-free recipes. Much like their previous bestselling books, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, is designed to make it easy for people to make their own delicious bread... more
Crockpot Braised Short Ribs
Serves: 62 tablespoons vegetable oil1 cup diced onion½ cup diced carrot½ cup diced celerySalt and pepper to taste6 boneless short ribs (6-8 oz each)1 cup red wine3 cups beef broth3 cups root vegetables (large diced) (radishes, carrots, turnips, or any other braising vegetables)1 Tbsp oil1 Tbsp minced onion½ Tbsp minced celery½ Tbsp... more
Homemade granola
Once you make this delicious homemade granola, you'll have a hard time going back to boxed versions. Wheat germ is a nice addition, boosting protein and adding nutrition and great flavor. Plus, what a great host/hostess or holiday gift! Double or triple your recipe so there’s plenty to share, package in 16 oz. wide mouth Ball jars (... more
Breakfast bars
Makes eight servingsIngredients1 cup           old-fashioned or quick oats (not instant)1 bag           mixed dried fruit (7 ounces)1/4 cup        sugar1/2 cup        shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)1/4 cup     ... more
Egg breakfast bliss
Ingredients1 tube refrigerated pizza dough1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon red wine vinegar½ teaspoon dried oreganoSprinkle of salt & black pepper1 cup fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped1 cup fresh sweet red pepper strips1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (1½ ounces)4 eggsThis recipe makes four personal... more
Whole Grain Raisin Muffins
Whole Grain Raisin MuffinsIngredients:½ cup boiling water½ cup raisins1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats1 cup bran cereal½ cup all-purpose flourfile://localhost/Users/kathleenstoehr/Desktop/Muffin.tif¼ cup sugar1 ½ tsp baking soda1 tsp ground cinnamon½ tsp salt1 cup low fat or fat free milk¼ cup honey¼ cup canola oil1 tsp vanilla extract1 tsp... more
In the kitchen
Rigatoni with Asparagus-Pistachio Pesto Ingredient List1/4 cup pine nuts1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths3 medium carrots, chopped1 medium shallot, chopped1/2 cup packed basil leaves2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced1 tablespoon honey2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest1 teaspoon cumin1/... more
In the Kitchen
Vegan Tortilla SoupVegan & Gluten-Free // Serves 4Ingredients4 cups vegetable broth
2 avocadoFresh cilantro2 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with chilies)
Lime juiceSalt & pepper2 cup onion4 cloves garlic
Tortilla chips DirectionsToss veggie broth, diced tomatoes, lime juice, onion and garlic into blender and... more
In the kitchen
Turkey A La King4 tablespoons unsalted butter1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed1/3 cup sliced black olives1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley1... more
St. Patty's Day Green Food
THE LEAPING LEPRECHAUN½ cup strawberries1 banana½ cup spinach leaves1 cup waterCombine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until really smooth, not grainy or chunky or with bits of leaves floating about. It can be thick, as you can always thin with water, but it needs to be smooth. This should take only a couple of minutes. Blend... more
In the Kitchen
Recipe: Slow cooker steel-cut oats with maple syrup & bananas1 cup steel cut oats 4 ½ cups water½ teaspoon salt3 tablespoons butterMaple syrupBananasRight before you go to bed, mix oats, water, salt, and butter in your slow cooker. Cook on low for six to eight hours and your kids will wake up to a cozy, filling breakfast.... more