Showing posts with label kid friendly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kid friendly. Show all posts

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kid-friendly Porcupines

This month, I'm sharing all the recipes that are in LOST AND FONDUE. 

[By the way, thanks to all of you who have bought a copy or borrowed one from the library. L&F has done amazingly well this first week. Reviews have been lovely.]

Back to food - one of my favorite recipes in the book is one I enjoyed as a girl -- porcupines.

Often, when I am writing scenes with the twins, Amy and Clair, and they involve food, I am drawn to memories of my youth. When my mother and father married, my mother wasn't a good cook. Her mother had done all the cooking over the years and never thought to teach her. (Home Ec wasn't an option.)

When my mom died, I found keepsake letters from her to her grandmother. In them, my mother belittled her lack of cooking talent. But my mother was a smart woman, and she was eager to learn. She started with green Jell-o and advanced to meat loaf and spaghetti sauce. (Her spaghetti sauce was one of the all-time best I've ever tasted...except back then I didn't care for the mushrooms...NOW I adore mushrooms, but as a girl? Ewww. I would pick them out. That's another story.)

As my mother grew confident, she loved making "gourmet" items. Crab stuffed into filet of sole. A killer gorgonzola salad dressing. Angel food cake from scratch.

But for us kids, she stayed to the basics. And porcupines was one of those. Throw the mixture together, mold into little balls, and bake. Provide enough catsup and they are heaven!

They're called porcupines because the rice pokes out of the meat and looks like the quills of a porcupine.

* A fan wrote me this week and asked if the rice could be left out. I told her yes, but then they're just turkey meatloaf. If you're not a rice fan, you might consider using barley or bread crumbs.  However, using rice ensures they are gluten-free.

Hope your little ones (or big ones) enjoy the fun!


1 lb. chopped turkey
½ cup rice
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
[For spicy catsup]
6 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
[For Porcupines]
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix everything together. Easy.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts.
Place on cookie sheet, slightly apart.
Bake 30 minutes.
Turn the heat up to broil.
Broil for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven. Place baked porcupines on paper towels.
Serve with spicy catsup.
[For spicy catsup}
Mix catsup, Worcestershire, and horseradish and serve. [Really easy.]

Lastly...enjoy your kids. They grow up so fast!


And just in case you want to order the second in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, click here: LOST AND FONDUE

If you'd like to read the first chapter, click here: SNEAK PEEK

If you'd like to see the book trailer, click here: BOOK TRAILER

And for a lark, if you'd like to watch a how-to-make fondue movie, click here: HOW TO

And always smile and...say cheese.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tasty Taco Bake


If you’re a mom, you know that sometimes making a meal a hit is all in the presentation.

Presentation, if you’re cooking for adults, means making a meal pretty on a plate.

Good presentation, for a kid, means presenting a recipe in a way that either camouflages what it is, or presents it in a way that’s acceptable to the child in question.

My daughter swears she doesn’t like tacos. (I know. It’s odd. I don’t understand it—she eats spinach and broccoli happily. No tacos?) But she does like the taco bake casserole.

“Is there sour cream in it?” she asks suspiciously.

“Why no! No, there isn’t.”

“What’s that white stuff?”

“Melted cheese, sweetie. It’s melted cheese. White cheddar. Yes.”

I know, of course, that it’s horrible to intentionally mislead your child. Especially a sweet-faced nine year old. But I have forgiven my mother for perpetrating the same indiscretion in the 1970s…involving, in my case, mushrooms. I’m a proud fan of mushrooms now and I owe it all to Mama.

I like the black beans and corn in this recipe. There’s a good deal of shredded cheese on the top, but you could use less and use a low-fat sour cream and feel pretty good about yourself, I think. I used ready-made taco seasoning, but you could make your own if you have a little more time.


Tasty Taco Bake

Printer-Friendly Version

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 can black beans , drained
1 can corn
small bag of tortilla chips
2 T taco seasoning
2 medium sized flour tortillas
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
2 cups shredded cheese (I like a Monterrey Jack blend)

IMG_20110301_152354Brown beef and onions, cooking with the garlic. Drain and add black beans, corn, salsa, and taco seasoning to the meat. Cook over medium heat until heated through.

Press flour tortilla shells into the bottom of a greased, large Pyrex dish. Spoon the meat and salsa mixture over the tortillas. Top with sour cream, then a layer of cheese. Crumble tortilla chips over the top of the casserole and cook at 350 for 20 minutes, covered. Remove foil and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.


Sometimes when I cook it, the consistency is a little soupy when I take it from the oven, but it firms more as it cools a little. It’s a hit at our house, even with taco-haters. :)

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6 2010) Riley Adams
Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig