Archive for ‘The Picky Eater’

August 21, 2012

Food Trucks Invade The Beach

We love Ocracoke because it is beach and just about only beach. There is a town, but there is no boardwalk, and the beach is just beach. Like so. Usually a bit more in focus, but you get the  idea.

It’s been two years since we’ve been here, and since then, food trucks have come to Ocracoke. This is not a problem on my account.  In fact, all of the family foodie was ecstatic to see additional eating options.

The boys immediately got on their bikes and headed over to Eduardo’s Taco Truck after the beach yesterday,  but the gals decided that our first food truck adventure on the island would be the crepe stand. The Picky Eater is a crepe afficiando, and joins us at the market on Saturday morning precisely because she can have crepes. Given that, a rainy day at the beach was greeted with, “Can we get some crepes? Please?”

No way that we can say no to that.

The boys went off to do the rainy day clamming (so that we can make our Ocracoke Clam Chowder), and the gals went off to shop and eat crepes at The Corner Crepe.

Choosing required some deliberation.

Savory or sweet?

The adults went for the savory, Southpoint (avocado, bacon, jack cheese) and the Frenchie (spinach, mushrooms and swiss)

the girls, the sweet: the modified Elvis (nutella, bacon, and powdered sugar) and the Pierette (strawberries and chocolate ganache)

The modified Elvis was the favorite of all – sweet and salty is an amazingly good combination – and bacon makes everything better, right?  All of the crepes were lucious – and the boys, jealous that we went while they worked for our dinner! If ever you head down Ocracoke-way, do stop at The Corner Crepe.

June 23, 2012

A Fruittastic Market

It was a beautiful morning. The Eldest is still in Spain. The Berry Hater was playing at a jazz conference for future middle school teachers. And the Picky Eater asked to be woken up to accompany us to the Farmer’s Market. While she was really focused on getting a crepe, she was thrilled when she realized that  there were plums and nectarines and blueberries as well as peaches …


Just look at that face :)! Okay, she was a little embarrassed that I was taking a picture of her while she was eating.


We weren’t the only ones at the market this morning.  And no wonder. Look at all the beautiful fruit and veggies!





And here is what we came home with…



Lots to cook with – including the first corn of the season for us!

April 18, 2012

Soup Solutions

When all of your family turns to you at the dinner table and asks, “Is there more?”, you know you’ve hit on a meal solution that works. This has happened not only once, but twice, with soups I’ve made over the past two weeks. Let me start with the most recent…

Tortellini in Lamb Broth

I have become obsessed with making broth from the dribs and drabs of meals. What started with turkey and chicken carcasses has progressed to any bones that happen to be in the house and any vegetable or herb ends that are in my “soup” bag in the freezer. This obsession has meant that I always have what I need to start a soup in my freezer. So tonight I walked home from the subway and thought about how chilly and damp it was – how happy I was for the veggies growing in our garden – and how it would be a great night for soup.

After engaging in a spirited conversation about which wizard would win in a battle (Gandalf vs. Yoda vs. Dumbledore), I asked how my assembled crew would feel about tortellini in lamb broth. To my surprise, they all, including the Picky Eater, responded enthusiastically. That is all I needed to move into the kitchen, and put the broth on to boil.

As the broth defrosted, I pulled out some frozen meatballs and 2 packages of tortellini (not local or homemade – just on sale and in my freezer), added some salt and seasonings to the broth, and cut up about 5 spears of asparagus from the farmer’s market.

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February 20, 2012

Eating Local Can Be Easy…

A trip to a different farmer’s market on the way to Doughnut Day and a local dinner was the result!

Our normal farmer’s market day is Saturday. But with Friday being opening night of a play that the twins are part of, we have been at the theater for the past three Saturdays rehearsing and building and painting sets. But the play has now opened, so the set is built, and as we were heading to our Mardi Gras weekend party, we drove past one of the smaller farmer’s market in our neighborhood (just in our immediate Arlington/Falls Church area, we have three year-round weekend farmer’s markets — pretty lucky, I know!), and decided to stop in to see what was available. There were only about 8 stalls, but Smith Meadows was there, and there was a vegetable stall.

So, we g0t some sweet Italian sausage, some carrots, and some salad.

Quick boil of the carrots, served with melted butter and some local honey….

Chop up the onions (from the grocery store), cook the sausage in a frying pan with a little bit of water. When the water evaporates, add the onions, and enjoy the smell of frying onions!

Marry that with some red quinoa (organic) cooked just like rice in the rice cooker, some unsalted butter from South Mountain Creamery, … and voila, dinner!  Even the Picky Eater enjoyed it (especially once soy sauce could be added to the quinoa).

Sometimes, the SOLE dinner is the easiest one in the fridge.

November 30, 2011

What The Picky Eater Has to Say…

This is what my daughter posted on her Facebook tonight about dinner (no editing done on my part!).  I try, but I don’t always succeed….Sigh.

ok so my moms like “if u dont want to eat what we make for dinner u make ur own!” so i dnt want the soup they made so i had to make my own, u c, i suck at making most foods so i cudnt think of anything easy tht i wanted to eat to make a long story i got my dad to make me grilled ham and cheese 😉 ily daddy

More on the dinner we made tomorrow, but sometimes all I can say is “Really?”
July 21, 2011

It tastes like pumpkin pie….

…said The Picky Eater as she tasted the yellow and green summer squash at dinner last night. This was not what I had expected. First, that she was willing to try it, and second, that she would like it enough to have seconds. All I did was slice the squash imto medallions, brush with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with garam masala, and broil for about 10 minutes or so. Such an unremarkable preparation that I didn’t even take a picture!

And then I decided to press my luck even further and asked if she would try the fingerling potatoes from our CSA and garden. Simply boiled and tossed with butter. And you know what? She liked them. And took seconds.

This is why we garden and CSA. I don’t think she would have tried them if they’d come from the store.

Who knows what tonight will bring?

July 9, 2011

Corny Cupcakes by The Picky Eater

It was the 4th of July, and the Picky Eater wanted to make dessert.  As any self-respecting mom, I, of course, have copies of Woman’s Day laying about the house, and the Picky Eater, for the first time ever, picked up one with a melon granita on top, and began to talk about how much she wanted to make one.  We discussed what we had in the house, and realized that we really didn’t have any of the necessary ingredients.  So, I told her to look at some of the other magazines laying around, and she found another edition of Woman’s Day which had these crazy corn-like cupcakes on the cover.  And this is what she wanted to make.

Since we were doing much better on ingredients for this one, we decided to proceed.

First, she gathered all the ingredients, and read the directions twice.

Mixing the ingredients is hard work:

Although we had bought extra icing as back up, she decided that we should really make the Brown Butter frosting. So, while the cupcakes baked, we made icing.

And then, of course, we needed to add the “kernels” and the “butter pats.”

And, they were amazing and perfect and consumed rapidly prior to the fireworks….

For those of you who might be interested in making your own, the full recipe can be found here.

April 2, 2011

Maddie’s Marvelous March Market

is colorful,

and sweet,

and sour,

and sustainable,

and always makes us smile.

Here’s hoping your trip to the farmer’s market brought you happiness this week.  Spring is upon us, and produce will be bursting out all over soon!

January 1, 2011

Be It Resolved

…that the Family Foodie will explore the plethora of ethnic grocers that abound in our neighborhood, and consider how global can be local;

  • El Chapparal
  • The German Gourmet
  • Grand Mart
  • Vietnamese markets in/near The Eden Center
  • Halal and Lebanese markets
  • and many others that I can’t name off the top of my head.

…that the Family Foodie will CSA again, and expand into the fall season;

…that the Family Foodie will continue to reduce food waste in our house;


…that the Picky Eater will contine to expand her food horizons (okay that is actually her resolution, not ours…).

The plan, of course, is to continue to write about the food adventures that result from these.

Happy New Year All!

**Photo credits – thanks to Yelp and The Eden Center.

November 6, 2010

Friday Night Steak, Served with Simple Sides

Steak.  When I try to buy steak at the grocery store, I never know which cut to buy.  Sure I know that Strip steak is good, and that more fat makes for a tastier cut, but beyond that, I’m pretty hopeless.  Just ask the man of the house.  But the benefit of buying meat directly from a butcher means that you can ask questions (and read relevant FB posts).  So when Bruce Saunders, the Butcher at Westover Market and co-owner of EcoFriendly Foods said he had hangar steaks at the shop on Friday afternoon, and that they were delicious, I was there.  The pasture-raised, grain-finished,dry-aged beef came from Roseda Farm in Maryland (I didn’t realize how important each of those steps were…).

You can see the beauty in the beef immediately,


All that was required was butter from the farmer’s market, and a well-seasoned cast iron pan.


To accompany such a beautiful and simply prepared steak, we needed some sides.  We had some cheddar cauliflower gratin from the night before, and some purple bok choy in the fridge from our trip to the farmer’s market last Saturday.  So we chopped and sauteed the bok choy in sesame oil with fresh garlic and fresh ginger, and warmed up the cauliflower gratin, and savored every mouthful.

Garlicky Gingery Purple Bok Choy


1. Slice tops off of the bok choy.

2. Soak both tops and bottoms to remove grit.

3. Chop the stalks into bite-size pieces.

4. Thinly slice the really purple leaves.

5. Thinly slice, then chop 3 gloves of garlic, and 1/2 of a small head of ginger.

6. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in good sized pan over medium high heat.

7. Add garlic and ginger, let sautee until the aromas start to release.

8. Add the stems, cook until bright green, with periodic stirring.

9. Add the leaves.  Let steam without disturbing for about 2 minutes.

10. Sautee until the leaves are cooked.

11. Serve and enjoy the purpleness.

Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin


The color of this cauliflower is incredible.  Really incredible. And the flavor is definitely not vanilla.

This is my concoction based upon reading several different blog entries, and seeing what I had in my fridge.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.  Break cauliflower into bite sized florets.
  3.  Sautee/pan roast florets in a scant amount of olive oil.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of milk, mixed with 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of fontina and parmesan).
  5. Top with 1 cup bread crumbs.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake, covered, for about 25 minutes, or until florets are al dente (I know that’s a pasta term, but you get the idea, I hope).


Simple and Super. We all went to bed satisfied.  And the Picky Eater exclaimed with joy as she devoured the steak (of which she is not normally a fan) – Mom, this is the best steak EVER!!!


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