New Beginnings!

After a great vacation I'm headed back to the kitchen today to cook up some comforting macaroni and cheese and a cool, crispy salad for our new classrooms! I stopped by yesterday to check on the state of the kitchen and make a list of what we'd need to get through the week and, holy cow! The teachers and staff worked incredibly hard this past week of in-service. The center looks absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see the busy kiddos experiencing the new set-ups. Even the kitchen was organized and spotless. I love my job and my incredible co-workers!

I wanted to share a few links I've discovered over the past few weeks.
First, a great blog called Lunches Fit For A Kid, written by a Burlington mom who happens to be a friend of a friend. I am excited to try the pesto recipe, among others. Take a minute to look around, whether you cook for kids or not. She has wonderful lunch ideas (she's a devotee of the Bento thing) and includes recipes for other meals, as well as delicious things she makes for the grown ups.

I also wanted to mention Gruel for Dinner, written by my former neighbor and wonderful lady Kate. Though not technically about food for kids, it is a visually stunning, inspiring and instructive blog with lots of information about healthy, whole, local food in our wonderful Vermont.

Lastly, I just heard that BCS may be able to score a large donation of local tomatoes, which would serve the dual purpose of the wonderful fresh tomato pasta sauce by Jamie Oliver I've been wanting to try out on the kids, AND forcing me to can for the winter!
Happy New School Year everyone!


I have been on vacation this week, but I'm busy today baking lots of pizza and making fresh veggie platters. This afternoon is the graduation/moving up ceremony for all of our wonderful kids!
Our 5 year olds will be heading to kindergarten, and everyone else will be moving on up into their new classrooms on August 31st - after a week of preparation by our amazing staff.

The big kids are making fresh lemonade with honey to share at the event, which is taking place downtown at Contois Auditorium in City Hall on beautiful Church St.

A HUGE thank you to City Market for their help - we have funded this final family dinner of the year with part of their generous donation.

I can't wait!

I'd like to thank my incredible substitute Erika for holding the kitchen fort down for me this week!
She made some favorites like barbecue chicken, ravioli, turkey burgers, and sauteed green beans.

I'll be back on the 31st after a little time at the beach with my family, ready to cook it up for the new classes! Please make sure you follow us here, there are great things to come this Fall...

Sweet Potato Salad!

Last week I tried a new cold salad recipe I adapted from the Hannaford food magazine Fresh.
It was super easy - after you peeled, chopped and boiled the sweet potatoes anyway - but I peeled and chopped the afternoon before with my assistant Leah, then left them in a large pot of cold water in the fridge over night. On serving day I boiled them for just barely 10 minutes, until they were tender but firm, then rinsed them in cold water and put them back in the fridge. Then I chopped a large red bell pepper and a small bunch of scallions and added them to the potatoes. Next I mixed up the dressing. Instead of the pre-packaged spice mix in the recipe I used garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and a little salt. I mixed them all with a half cup of mayo and a quarter cup of orange juice for every 6 cups of potatoes. You can ramp up the spice of course, depending on what your family likes.
I'm not going to lie and say the kids went crazy for this. They all tried it, but it was a new taste so they didn't devour it the way I'd hoped. But it did get more thumbs up than thumbs down, and the adults loved it, including me. It will certainly be part of my summer dinner rotation.
I tried it at home with cous cous and black beans - delicious!!