Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I'm Reading Today

The first official day of school is here. Thankfully for me today is a half day so I have another 24 hours to think about packing lunches. In the meantime, here's what I'm reading.

Speaking of feeding your kids, today's LA Times has a fantastic article on getting kids excited about healthy foods. I am a staunch believer in kids eating all kinds of foods from an early age, introducing them to fruits and vegetables often. I believe parents who say their kids wont eat anything but mac and cheese and grilled cheese are parents who don't make enough of an effort. I love the idea in this article about taking your kids on a scavenger hunt at the market. Let them pick out a fruit or veggie they don't recognize. Take it home, share it together, figure out what it is, how it grows, and what to do with it. When kids are part of the process you will surely be surprised about what they'll actually eat.

About 8 years ago I had a meal at WD-50 in New York. At the time, Wylie Dufresne's food was hyper experimental. I remember lots of surprises on the plates but, more than any other dish, it was a white gazpacho that stood out. I'd never had anything but the red variety of gazpacho so for me this was new. I've come to learn this version is one of the classic ways to serve the cold soup in Spain and I love it. I played with the recipe a lot before I came up with one I liked. In today's NY Times there is a recipe from Casa Mono, another fantastic NY spot. It couldn't be easier and is so refreshing any time if year. The combination of almonds, grapes, and bread is spiked with vinegar for a great balance of flavors. I like mine with cucumber too-feel free to throw some in if you want your soup to have a bit more body.

If you've got a gas grill, don't let the end of the summer stop you from using it all year round. In today's Washington Post they fire up the grill to make soup, yes soup! A Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder uses not only grilled chicken but grilled corn, onions, and peppers too. Combining these smoky ingredients with broth, basil, cream, and green onions looks like a perfect one pot meal. You could make a big batch and use the leftovers in a Thermos for your school lunch the next day.

I love braised Romano Beans. The flat green beans are best when cooked long and slow, especially with tomatoes. This recipe, from the SF Chronicle, adds baby eggplant to the mix which sounds fantastic. Hit your local farmers market for this one-you should find almost all the ingredients at their peak right now.

Happy reading and Happy cooking!

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