Posts Tagged ‘kid-friendly’

This was a godsend for Shavuot. We eat dairy on Shavuot, and it needs to be OK also when reheated, without drying. Most gluten free foods tend to be inedible an hour after preparing 😦 To top it off, I’ve got picky kids who won’t touch anything that doesn’t look good to them, depending on mood, appetite and the phase of the moon.

Yes, today I don't like pizza and only eat fresh tomatoes.

Yes, today I don’t like pizza and only eat fresh tomatoes.

These cheese and pasta bites were perfect. They are great also a few days later, especially warm; they are versatile and easy to make, and the kids loved them. Definitely a keeper 🙂


250 gr rice pasta
splash olive oil
3 large eggs
250 gr cottage cheese 5%
250 gr grated yellow cheese, your choice (I used a mixture of parmesan and “regular” yellow cheese)
Olives (optional)
Mushrooms, cubed (optional)

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and mix with olive oil and a bit of salt so it doesn’t stick. Preheat oven to 175 °C. Mix the eggs, the cottage cheese, the yellow cheese and the pasta together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add olives and/or mushrooms if using. Spoon into paper muffin cups or directly onto a baking dish lined with baking paper. Bake for 18-20 minutes until brown on the edges and firm in the middle. Let cool and eat!

They're just standing there...

They’re just standing there…


Copyrights: Waxing Crescent Moon at Perigee – November 27, 2014 by Michael Seeley, creative commons

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For kid & computer safety, my kids already have a separate account with a password (our account is also password protected). On this account I used Microsoft Family Safety to limit web sites and programs. So far, so good.

I’m trying to find a way that my kids can see youtube without my being behind their shoulder all the time. You wouldn’t believe the weird videos you can get to from bugs bunny or Dora the explorer. There are options for safe mode in youtube, but from my experience it’s not sufficient. I read that you can embed a playlist in a separate web page, and in the embedded playlist only the playlist is shown. There is still an option to open youtube, but Family Safety web filters should take care of that.

So let’s test this with my playlist on youtube. This is simply a collection of good songs, classical, Israeli, pop, some alternative… feel free to listen if you like!

Good Music Rules!

If this works, I’ll do another post with my approved children’s playlist 🙂

Adding after posting:

It works! I can allow this particular web page in Family Safety web filters, and my kids can see the playlist, choose their video, and watch to their hearts content (well… for their allotted computer time, anyway).

Family Safety prevents the children from pressing on the “Watch in YouTube” button so I have no fear my kids will end up watching an overdubbing of Dora into sex and drugs (it actually exists :? )

I’ll sit with the kids and make a kids’ playlist soon, and I’ll post it. As it will probably end up being extensive, I’ll probably split into a number of playlists – smurfs, loony tunes, lazytown, Hebrew/English… The sky’s the limit!

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As part of the renovations, my husband realized one of his dreams, took over a balcony and bought a Weber gas grill. My husband loves BBQs, and loves inviting friends and family over for them. For me it’s even better, as I need to do minimal prepping of the vegetables and then I sit on the sofa looking pretty until the food is ready 🙂 Great for the last months of pregnancy!

My husband does the entire meal on the grill – meat (steaks/chicken breast/kebabs/sausages), potatoes, vegetables (squash, fennel, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, onion, celery, kohlrabi). The grill is big, so it doesn’t take much time. And everything tastes awesome!

Steaks/Chicken breast: He puts salt and freshly ground pepper on the steaks, and salt and paprika on chicken breasts.  The children love chicken breast on the grill as is, so we don’t even bother with a marinade.

Kebabs/hamburgers: we just use my basic meatball recipe: 1 Kg ground meat, 1 egg, 3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp mustard. Comes out tasty and succulent.

Vegetables: a bit of olive oil and salt, one can also add paprika, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, etc. I also tried a marinade of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sugar, olive oil and garlic and it also came out very nice.

Leek in marinade


The challenge actually came when we had a whole lot of celery to use up. Out of curiosity I Googled “grilled celery”. To my surprise, I found a few recipes. What intrigued me most was when I found a recipe for peanut sauce. I tried it out, and dipped the grilled vegetables (including the celery 🙂 ) into the sauce and it made the grilled vegeatables even more awesome!

And what was even more impressive, both my children ate the peanut sauce (with their chicken breast) and both liked it! Definitely a keeper 😉

I split the sauce in half and added chili only to half the sauce (mine! :mrgreen: ):

Peanut Dip:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used B&D)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed (to taste)
1/2 dried chilli with its seeds (about 1/4 tsp in all) (optional)

Mix the peanut butter with the chicken broth. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds to make it easier. Add other ingredients and heat for 30 seconds and mix. continue in 30 second stages until the mixture is smooth and is of a dipping consistency (the more you heat it, the denser and less liquid it’s going to be).  Use for grilled or fresh veggies and meat.

Peanut Sauce and Celery Pieces

In the picture, the celery is pre-grill, with only olive oil, salt and pepper.  After grilling it came out tender yet still crunchy. The left hand sauce is the spicy one, the right hand one is the regular. I cooked the spicy one a bit more, which accounts for the change in colour and consistency.

Happy grilling!

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I had fresh mushrooms, cottage cheese, and leftover pasta. I decided to make a mushroom pasta casserole instead of my regular pasta casserole. I also incorporated into it some frozen basil and froze from it 1/2 cup excellent mushroom stock.

The frozen basil:

I love fresh herbs. However, I don’t always use all of them in time. I used to chop basil small with a bit of olive oil and freeze in ice-cube trays, but it’s a lot of work. So I scouted the Internet a bit and tried a different method: freezing the leaves whole. I had a lot of fresh basil and fresh oregano. It’s very easy:

1. Remove the leaves from the stems. With basil, this is the longest step because you have to pick of each leaf individually. However, the leaves grow together so it isn’t a problem to grab a bunch and pick them all off at once. The oregano was easy – simply grasp the top of the stock firmly with one hand and with two fingers from the other hand pull the leaves off from up to down (against the direction of the leaves). They go out easily. If your oregano stalk has lots of branching stalks, this will remove the entire branch, and you can repeat on the sub-branches.

2. Wash well and let dry.

3. Place in freezer-safe boxes with a lid. Do not pack too much or you will crush the herbs.

4. Freeze.

5. When you want to use, take out the amount you want. They do not clump and thaw extremely quickly, so you can chop them up and put them in your cooking. Because they discolor and wilt a bit, they aren’t so good uncooked (in a salad, for example).

I froze oregano and basil using this method.

Mushroom pasta casserole


250 gr. fresh champignon mushrooms
about 150-250 gr cooked pasta
250 gr cottage cheese
1 egg
2 slices yellow cheese
2-3 handfuls frozen basil
handful Parmesan cheese (optional)

Wash and slice mushrooms. Place in microwave save cooking dish with a lid (a Pyrex is great, or I use the Tupperware microwave cooker). Sprinkle a little salt and microwave for 2 minutes on high (there is no need to add water or oil). If not cooked microwave another minute. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. This is quality mushroom stock. Use in risottos or anything else requiring mushroom stock, or freeze for later.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cut the yellow cheese into small cubes. Combine all ingredients into a large casserole dish (I use 22 cm by 22 cm). Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Mushroom Casserole

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All my family is sick with the flu. And my older boy wouldn’t eat. The only thing that he wanted was to “cook with mommy”. Well, why not?

Grilled Cheese in the Oven

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings)
4 slices of bread (I like whole wheat)
4 slices of yellow cheese
dried oregano in a shaker
Optional: 4 tomato slices

Preheat oven to 180 C. You and toddler cover a baking pan with aluminium foil. Have the toddler place the bread slices on the covered baking pan. Holding the ketchup bottle together, “draw” a circle or squiggle with the ketchup on the bread (if he is older he can do this himself). Have the toddler place each slice of cheese on each slice of bread. If using tomato slices, have the toddler place the tomato slices on the cheese. Then give him the oregano shaker and have him shake oregano over each slice. If there’s too much, simply move from one to the other. Place baking pan in hot oven for 5 minutes.

Toddler helps return the ketchup and the cheese to the fridge, throw anything away, bring his plastic plate and a spoon and a fork (he won’t use them, but who cares) to the table, bring his cup, etc.

Cut up grilled cheese (for toddler) and eat! And don’t forget to praise toddler for “Making dinner for Mommy and Daddy” 😀 😀

Note: Toddler washes hands before cooking. He does not go near hot oven. He does not go near any knives. Enjoy!

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