pasta - 2Confession: I am not that into pasta. I can’t really put my finger on why, but it really just doesn’t get me excited about dinner. But my reality is that I feed kids every single night and they do get to weigh in on the weekly menu plan. Also, I am really fond of my sanity and what can possibly be easier than pasta?

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ugly tomahtoI am a fair weather tomato fan, and I mean that in the best way. I just think that the sad, cottony, flavorless orbs on offer in winter are simply not worth the trouble. I have learned to make due with grape tomatoes for the kids’ snacking and I am fine with tinned Romas for sauces. But I will never just buy a tomato from a grocery store in the winter and put it on a sandwich or a salad or anyplace else.

Flip the calendar to summer and I can’t get enough. All shapes, sizes and colors get thrown into salads, pasta, rice, eggs. Tomato sandwiches on toast with salt pepper and mayo? Perfection.

tomatoes, feta, arugula, basil, olive oil and sea saltThis salad is also perfection for me. Read More →

 

KHA_0913_2My friend Anna (of Lunch Box London fame) has worked in a lot of professional kitchens and has shared many time and effort-saving tricks with me since I have known her. Cooking with her is a pleasure — she cooks intuitively and creatively, has great taste and zero fear. Anna is also really efficient. If she can do something in two steps, no way she is going to take five. Or a burner on the stove. Or dirty an extra pan.

I am a complete convert to Anna’s low-effort method of prepping kale and other hardy greens:  Read More →

KHA_0776I make popcorn all the time.  Several times per week. It is a delicious snack that takes less than 5 minutes to make from start to finish. It is inexpensive, healthy and the ingredients are in my pantry whenever I need them. I know I am biased, but stovetop popcorn is so easy and delicious, why why why would anyone choose microwave popcorn?  Maybe it seems hard? Or bland?  Or maybe the “lite” popcorn has us convinced that regular popcorn is naughty? Well, stovetop popcorn is none of those things and it is dead easy.  Here are our go to tips for making stove top popcorn that will turn you forever from the chemical-scented imposter.

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Everyone in our home headed back to work or school today.  The weather here has been grim, so we’re getting off to the right start with the most traditional of English breakfasts: porridge.  Except that I am American, and I call it oatmeal.  Sorry, porridge just sounds so dreary.  Either way, it’s so good for you with its whole grains and protein.  But all of that warming nourishment is wasted if it is gluey, gloppy and boring.

Here are some of my tricks for keeping it easy and manageable. Read More →

When we moved to London on six weeks notice, we dropped the Fives (then Threes) into a local nursery school that was convenient, warm, kind and fun. This little nursery also had the most amazing lunch program, hot lunches cooked on-site every day. Real food — things like turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes and broccoli served family-style at a low table. They even gave the kids real knives and forks, trusting there would be no casualties. The most amazing bit, all of this lovely nutritious real food was being cooked by someone else.

But they don’t go to school there anymore.

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Back in the Spring, desperate for sunshine and warmth, I was so infatuated with my veg patch that I conveniently ignored that fact that I was leaving town for most of the summer.  I was in denial about the fact that the fledgling plants, already set back by the dreadful Spring of 2013, were going to have to go it on their own while I took the Fives back to the States to visit family and friends.

How did the crop fare?  Anything that grew faster than weeds thrived.  Anything that couldn’t was stunted.  Thought pretty much everything did survive.  Ain’t mother nature great? The biggest winners: rainbow chard, kale and courgette (zucchini for my American friends).  The Fives and I harvested bags full last weekend (along with twice as many bags full of weeds…).

Chard and kale will be with us for a while, but the curse of courgette is that when it is in season, it is so prolific that people run out of ways to use it.  So I offer you two ways to use up your courgette bounty without being bored to death.  First up, a simple salad that takes mere minutes to make and doesn’t require an oven or stove.  Tomorrow, I’ll share something a little more sophisticated. Read More →

Maybe it is the fact that the sun finally arrived.  Maybe it is the fact that Spring vegetables are beginning to show up at the market.  Maybe it is just that I have enough time to finally sit down and write a blog post.  Whatever it is, it is good.  And I know it isn’t just me because I just finished an amazing Saturday on Portobello Road making lovely food from fruits and vegetables that we bought from Portobello & Golborne Markets.  Three lovely women from Leiths joined me and the crowds were happy and social and enjoying the day and the market.

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