November 22 2011 • Posted by corene • 6970 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m in the brine camp.  You?

I’ve brined my turkey for the past 9 years and will never go back.  It truly makes a difference!  True - getting a 14 pound bird into the bag sloshing it around for 24 hours is a little nuts…but it’s worth it.  This is the recipe I’ve been using that I clipped out of a magazine all those years ago, modified a bit to suit our taste.  Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! 

Brine:
8 cups apple cider (or juice, just be sure it is unsweetened) 
2/3 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed  
1 tablespoon whole allspice, crushed
6-8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves

2 cups ice cold water

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.  Remove from the heat - add the 2 cups ice cold water and let brine cool COMPLETELY. 
Brine should be cold before using!  This is the basic brine solution…This recipe takes you through all the steps to complete the brine process and roast the bird. 

July 1 2011 • Posted by corene • 2814 Comments

My go-to rib recipe…every year for the 4th!

I love this recipe for espresso ribs, via Michael Chiarello.  Have a great long weekend Foodie Families!  Enjoy. 

June 30 2011 • Posted by corene • 3145 Comments

Another Orcas Island Summer

Another Orcas Island Summer

Our latest trip to Orcas Island included a repeat dinner at Allium Restaurant.  It was another triumph of taste, artistry and yummy.  Plus we learned that our daughter loves scallops!  Please share your vacation food experiences too! 

June 15 2011 • Posted by corene • 4018 Comments

One full year of school lunches

Well tomorrow is the last day of Kindergarten for my dear daughter.  That means it’s been one full year of packing school lunches and I have to give myself an A-.  I limited the pre-packaged stuff (mostly cheese sticks and apple sauce) and always tried to mostly use fresh fruits, meat and veggies as the main meal.  I think I over did it on cured meat/nasty nitrates but overall the kid ate well.  Can I help it if she loves really good salami?  You know you do, too. 
Toward the end of the year she did ask to buy lunch.  I let her - but I have to admit it was tough when the menu items included “chicken rings” and nachos.  I adore Jamie Oliver.  I am a full-on member of the food revolution.  But when my kid wants to buy the Mac & Cheese lunch with her friends on one particular day, I’m not going to

May 16 2011 • Posted by corene • 3138 Comments

Prefer Powder Mac & Cheese?

Give this a whirl - WOW!  Amazing. 

May 16 2011 • Posted by corene • 8003 Comments

Is gardening your thang?

Is gardening your thang?

OK - not just gardening… but Pacific Northwest Native Plant gardening?  Well you are in luck.  My husband recently started blogging about our new adventures living in the woods.  Even if this specific type of gardening isn’t your ‘thang’...his writing is both funny and informative.  I’m pretty darn proud of him!  Plus our family gets to do fun things like plant salal and Oregon Grape seeds together (see photo). 
I myself am still on the steering committee for our local Community Garden (P-Patch) that should be fully operating by next year.  It’s an exciting project that I love being a part of.  Are you growing anything fun in your yard or veggie beds this year?  I’d love to hear about it! 

March 18 2011 • Posted by corene • 7151 Comments

Kid food vs. Adult food

This is an old debate that I’ve just never really understood.  I get having a children’s menu for smaller portion sizes and price…but why this obsession with separating who eats what?  I’ll admit we are very lucky to have a child with an adventurous palate…but we have worked hard to make that happen! 
Last weekend our family had dinner at Lark - a lovely Seattle restaurant dedicated to the best in local Northwest cuisine.  We had one of those Living Social vouchers that was going to expire soon and decided to forgo date night and instead make it a Sunday supper.  I was very pleased to see other families with well behaved children there.  What did surprise me were the parents who lugged out several Tupperware containers of plain pasta, yogurt and milk for their twin girls who looked to be about 4-5 years old.  The wait staff was very accommodating and the parents did order a nice variety of dishes.  Perhaps the girls had allergies?  This clearly was the best option for their family it’s not up to me to tell others what works.  They looked like they were all having a great time together.  I just wanted to throw this scenario out there to see what others think.
I don’t force our child to eat anything but I do have expectations that she at least try.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on dining out at a ‘higher end’ restaurant.  Do you do it with kids?  How do you handle it? 

March 6 2011 • Posted by corene • 5844 Comments

Summer Camps?  Really?

YES.  REALLY.  Time to start thinking about Summer camps and getting the kiddos signed up.  Several camps we are interested in have wait lists already!  Please feel free to recommend any camps you are excited about - in the Seattle area or beyond.  Warmer weather will eventually be here! 

February 28 2011 • Posted by corene • 10954 Comments

Searching for recipes…

...just got a little easier!  Thanks to Google’s new search tool.  Cool huh?  I thought so.  Anything that makes life a little easier.  Thanks Google! 

February 23 2011 • Posted by corene • 8009 Comments

One year in, the mantra is still:  Don’t dumb down kids’ food

One year in, the mantra is still:  Don’t dumb down kids’ food

I’ve met so many wonderful folks who care deeply about food and kids in the past year.  There are awesome bloggers and chefs out there cultivating their own communities of food loving families.  Yes…this lil’ website has been up and running for an entire year now!  I still don’t have an official business or final direction on where things are going - but I’m so grateful for the relationships I’m building.  Fun things are coming, I promise!  It’s an honor to be a small part of such a big, important mission.
In the past year our family moved out to a suburb near Seattle.  The people we’ve met through our neighborhood school and activities are incredibly involved in the community - we are so lucky to be a part of it!  I’m often asked by other parents about how I ‘get’ my child to try new things or like vegetables.  Of course we foodie patooties know it’s a lot more than that.  My number one piece of advice for parents is still:  Don’t dumb down your kids’ food.  Bring the flavor and variety!  Try serving all kinds of world cuisines and flavors.  Cook with the kids in your life.  Processed, fatty foods may actually dumb down your kids anyway, so avoid it early.  We never go to McDonald’s so my daughter doesn’t ever ask for it.  Celeb-Chef Anthony Bourdain takes the stand against the “evil empire” to another level in his latest read
Now I’m no food snob - our family made a beeline for the famous giant corn dogs at Disneyland last year.  I’m all about the sometimes food theory. 
None is this is new news - but it’s what has worked for our family.  Do you have a unique family-favorite recipe to share?  Please share on our Facebook page!  Thanks so much for being a part of the Foodie Patootie community ~ Isn’t life delicious? 

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