Any good recipes out there?

January 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Posted in family | 7 Comments

OK, all you cooks….. I’m in need of some good, kid-friendly recipes!   I seem to have fallen into a rut of cooking the same old stuff for about… um…. 20 years now.     So I’m looking for a ‘fresh voice’ in the kitchen these days.    Here are the requirements:

1) easy to make

2) tastes good

There you go.     Anyone able to help out?    Just leave your recipe in the comment section and share with us all!

Since I’m asking for your help, I’ll include one of my favorites in a show of reciprocity.   I love cooking so this one requires a fair amount of chopping – insists on fresh herbs to make it really work and has a little ‘kick’ to it, which isn’t always kid-friendly.     So…. this recipe doesn’t even comply with my own stated guidelines but I love it and it makes a ton of food – Most of my crew (all but the youngest) love it.   

Happy Ratatouille!


Ratatouille with Sausage

5 garlic cloves (minced)
5 medium button mushrooms (quartered)
1-2 diced medium zucchini
5 sprigs Italian parsley (chopped)
4 sprigs basil (chopped)
1 smallish – medium onion (diced)
1 can drained tomatoes
¾ cup chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium bell pepper (diced)
1 large egg plant (diced)
¾ pound of old-fashioned, hot sausage  (browned)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and sauté until the garlic smell intensifies, about one minute.

Add the diced onion and continue to sauté until the turn translucent, about 4 more minutes.
Once the onions are translucent, add 1 Tbs. tomato paste.   (The tomato paste will be in a clump and will take a bit of stirring and pressing to get it to spread out and cover the onions and garlic.)

As you work at spreading the paste out and mixing it with the onions and garlic, the paste will cook and darken in color.   Once some of the paste starts to brown, it’s time to add the stock.  (1 minute?)

Pour in a ¾ cup chicken stock and stir until the broth begins to simmer.  Using your spatula or utensil, scrub the bottom on the pan to release any browned bits of garlic, onion or tomato paste.

Add the diced eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms.  Stir to combine thoroughly and cook for 10-12 minutes (covered), stirring every couple minutes to promote even heating.

The eggplant will release a lot of liquid (slowly) into the pot and it’s in this liquid that you’ll want to simmer the other ingredients in.   To evenly cook all the ingredients, you’ll have to stir it to make sure the vegetables   The flavors mix amazingly well during this process.

The eggplant will mostly be falling apart at the point, but the zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms should be tender but not yet mushy.

Add the diced tomatoes and stir in.   After about a minute, the tomatoes will have heated through.   Turn the heat down to the lowest setting.

Stir in the chopped parsley and basil.  Add salt and pepper (to taste) and browned sausage.
Makes a lot — maybe enough for 8 adults.     I serve it over rice.


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  1. Hey Lisa! I got the cookbook Beyond Macaroni and Cheese by Mary Beth Lagerborg and Karen Parks for Christmas a few years ago and have found many recipes that my kids love. (I checked and you can get it on Amazon.) I use it weekly forsure!

  2. Not always simple, but always good tasting! Tested in our family and 8 years of the Stone Gate kitchen serving thousands of our guests; all free, just go to

  3. Take can of baked beans; open can; put can on burner until beans are hot; serve beans in can; when finished throw away the can. No fuss, no mess. 🙂

    • geez, Mike …. knew we could count on you for culinary advice! thanks, brother!

  4. There is this stuff that comes in a blue and yellow box. It is made by Kraft and they call it macaroni and cheese. Not even close by Southern standards but kids love it.
    Abigail thinks this is the “real” macaroni and cheese!

  5. You should check out the Better Homes and Gardens, Junior Cook Book. Not only are there kid-friendly meals but as your guys get older they can help participate in making the recipes.


  6. We do a lot of scrambled eggs– the kids love them, and it’s easy to add frozen veggies, meat, cottage cheese for a little variety. Often we’ll put the eggs on toast and top with cheese, or wrap them in a tortilla.

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