Easy dinner – cooking with kids!

I love cooking for guests but some days it seems like a chore. That is when I throw together the ‘easy’ meal. Here it is! And the kids can mix the marinade, also place the chicken in the bundt pan ( don’t know why but that seems to make them laugh) and scrub and wrap the potatoes!

Chicken in a BUNDT Pan – you can use a chicken cooker ( which is the same idea – a central column that holds the chicken upright, with a cavity around it).

Ingredients:

1 (3 -5 lb) organic chicken, whole
1/4 cup each of soy sauce, lemon juice, honey
2 teaspoons each of sesame oil and dry mustard and minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon each of grated fresh ginger and pepper
1 beer – add a cup at a time

Serve with:

1. Baked Potatoes –  One large yam, one large sweet potato and two large Yukon gold potatoes wrapped in foil and placed on the lower rack of the oven under the chicken/pan.

2. Green Salad – whatever greens you have ( spinach, lettuce, cabbage) chop and mix and add dressing ( one part lemon juice to three parts olive oil plus 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese mixed well with salt and pepper to taste).

Directions:

1. Mix together soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, sesame oil, mustard, ginger, garlic and pepper to make marinade in small bowl. Place chicken in medium bowl and pour marinade over it. Cover; place in refrigerator and marinate for as long as you can bear to do it, turning occasionally to coat all sides.- an hour is best but if I am too rushed to wait, even 30 minutes is fine while you are laying the table, and scrubbing the potatoes to bake in the oven.

2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Place chicken (Legs Down), on a center stem of the stoneware bundt pan. Pour 1/4 cup beer in pan filling with more as it evaporates if needed.

4. Bake in 350 degree oven roast until chicken is dark-brown about  1 1/2 hours until juices run clear. Rest for 15-20 minutes.

5. Serve with potatoes wrapped in foil and baked in the oven for the same time as the chicken.

Enjoy!

And below is our Rottweiler Sunny with eldest grandson Jack. Anyone who thinks that Rottweilers are not child friendly – has not experienced what we have – Sunny is our fifth Rotty and each one has been as loving and good with kids as the one before…he is a dog with the sweetest soul and adores all the grandchildren – adores all people actually!

Jack and Sunny in love March 2014

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Wonderful Noodle Pudding (Kugel) – not low calorie but so delicious! Great when cooking with kids!

I made this noodle pudding – and the good part was that I made it two weeks before going on vacation uncooked and then baked and served it after I returned and it was a huge hit! YUM! Yes it has lots of great ingredients – I used low fat – but it  is not a low calorie recipe – but so worth it! To make it kosher for Passover you can use noodles which are designated as such, and matzos meal – if not you can use regular noodles and flour.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 lb sour cream (2 cups) – low fat is great
  • 8 oz cottage cheese (1 cup) – low fat is great
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (1 cup) – low fat is great
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cinnamon and sugar for dusting
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray

Other utensils needed: large pot, food processor or blender, 9×13 baking dish

Directions:

  • Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Cover the raisins with hot water and let them soak to plump while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the pot, bring back to a boil, and let them cook till tender (not overly soft), about 5 minutes. Drain and return the cooked noodles to the pot.
  • In a food processor or blender, mix together the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sugar, melted butter, and salt.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the cooked noodles in the pot and stir till well combined.
  • Drain the raisins and pat dry. Stir them into the noodles.
  • Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking oil. Pour the noodle mixture into the dish.
  • Top the kugel by sprinkling generously with sugar and lightly with cinnamon. Alternatively, you can use your favorite kugel topping (streusel, crushed graham crackers, cornflakes, etc.). I like using the streusel recipe below. It is truly delicious.
  • Bake the kugel for about 60 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, till the center of the kugel is set and the tips of the noodles turn golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  • Let the kugel rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Kugel can be served warm or cold but I like it warm.

For the streusel topping

  • 2 cups matzoh meal ( or flour if not using this for passover)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teasp ground ginger
  • 2 sticks butter or margarine

Mix all together and crumble over the pudding and follow the cooking instructions above.

Below is a picture of my four grandsons eating ice cream one lazy Sunday afternoon – they loved the pudding!Jack Jonah Noah Gabe eating ice April 2014

 

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Fun in St Maartens with C200 Friends

Last year 5 CEO’s, all women and members of The Committee of 200 Global Women CEO’s group, bid and won a vacation in the Caribbean at our annual conference which was in New York – all the money going to the C200 Foundation that I chair, to pay it forward to foster and enable the next generation of women business leaders. Our host who is also the Chair of C200 Governing board ( I am vice chair) welcomed us with our friends and spouses into her gorgeous home and we had a great time with her, her husband and daughter, frolicking in the warm climes and waters of the islands. What a great holiday! With thanks all around. Don’t we look happy? And doing well by doing good for others felt good too!

Larraine Clive and gang St Maartens 2014

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Family and Holidays

Last night we celebrated with our little ones – and finally got them all to sit on the sofa together for a minute or two! 9 little Segils – 7 boys and 2 girls – how blessed are we!
Happy holidays everyone!Jack Jonah Noah Gabe Alex Sara Natalie Flynn Jameson Passover April 2014

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Picking and cooking beets at The Little Farm

Here our oldest grandson Jack is holding some of the beets that we grew this season.  Cooking beets could not be simpler – cut off the greens ( we don’t care for them in salads but some folks do) and wash the beets thoroughly. Light the BBQ and put them on the top shelf to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then peel – the skins will come off easily. Slice and eat! YEP! That easy – and they will have a lovely BBQ flavor.

Enjoy!

Jack holding beets from Little farm March 2014

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Pure Joy – Hugging all four grandsons at the same time! How blessed am I!

Here is a moment of pure joy – yesterday I was able to hold all four grandsons for one precious moment as I read them a story. What a pleasure! How lucky I am! Hope you ‘carpe diem’ and grab the moments of joy and imprint them on your mind to fill your heart all day and night! From left to right – Jonah (5) Jack (6) Gabriel (2.5) and Noah (2.5) and a very very happy smiling me with arms around all of them!

Larraine with all four boys March 2014

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Another scrumptious dessert – cooking with kids will be fun on this one! Tasting too!

My good friend Ilene made this last week when we had dinner at her home – and it was so good that I had to have it to share with you! Here it is!

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of peanut butter sandwich cookies such as Nutter Butters
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 4 tbsp of unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 Cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of salted roasted peanuts coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
  2. In a food processor pulse the cookies with the 1/4 tsp of salt until finely ground.
  3. Scrape the cookies into a 9 inch pie plate
  4. Stir in the melted butter, 1/2 tbsp at a time until the crumbs are the texture of wet sand; you may not need to use all the butter.
  5. Using your fingers press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of the pie plate. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes.
  6. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes until light golden. Let cool on a rack
  7. In a medium bowl combine the peanut butter with the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar and a 1/4 tsp of salt and mix until thoroughly blended. In another bowl whip 3.4 cup of the heavy cream until stiff. Whisk the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Spread the peanut butter filling in the crust in an even layer.
  8. Refrigerate until chilled about 30 minutes.
  9. Using the same whipped cream bowl, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 tbsp of sugar with the vanilla until stiff. Spread the whipped cream over the pie. Sprinkle the pie with the chopped peanuts, cut into slices and serve.
  10. You can prepare the pit through the refrigeration step 8 on the day before – and keep in the fridge overnight!

Tasting is SUCH fun! Here is Jonah enjoying the process!

Jonah baking and tasting cookie dough

 

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The most scrumptious and easy dessert – great for Cooking with kids!

This is so amazing that I blew my ‘diet’ for two weeks on it! But it was worth every mouthful. Look out! You wont be able to resist eating half this incredible dessert. Make it for your closest friends and family – and you will be asked to make it every time they come to visit!

It is called The Little Farm Cherry Pineapple Crumble

Ingredients:

1 Package of Big Valley Dark Sweet Cherries ( 16 ounces)

1 16 ounce can of Crushed Pineapple

1 Box of yellow cake mix

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup of salted chopped Marcona (or any kind of) almonds

Directions:

Mix cherries ( frozen) and pineapple in a large flan dish. Sprinkle the cake mix over the fruit evenly. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the cake mix. Top with the chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream ( Haagen Daz Dulce De Leche is our favorite) or cold with whipped cream.

Sublime!

IMG_6360

 

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Gluten free Chicken Casserole with Rice – oh my ! We could not stop eating it!

IMG_6356This is one of the easiest and most delicious dishes I have ever made. I know that you will LOVE it. It is juicy, tasty and gluten free! Amazing! My son is gluten intolerant-and we are having a dinner party where one of our guests is gluten intolerant – and so I decided to make the whole dinner without gluten. Not without its challenges – especially when it comes to dessert unless its a  fruit or flan or caramel. But that will be another post. In the meantime here is the main dish! Enjoy!

Little Farm Gluten Free Brown Rice Chicken Casserole with Yellow Beet salad and Green Salad 

  • 6 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • Lemon Salt or Lemon Pepper if you prefer
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 cups of chopped leeks ( light green white parts only , cleaned)
  • 2 cups of diced peeled eggplant – about one big one
  • 4 Tbsp of chopped basil
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes in puree
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of brown rice ( Gluten free)
  • 4 lbs of grilled chicken breasts and thighs cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of shredded Parmesan ( I got the wrong kind – got the finely grated kind – and that worked fine too!)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the chicken boneless skinless  breasts and thighs into pieces and put them with some lemon salt into your 9×13 baking dish with some olive oil under and a drizzle of olive oil on top.  Grill for 20 minutes until almost done. Do not let the chicken dry out – under done is better. Drain all the juice off and keep it to add to the rice mixture later.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic for 5 minutes, then add the leeks and saute until golden. Move the leeks to the side of the pan and put the hot part under the rest of the pan – and add the eggplant. Add more oil as needed. Cook until the eggplant is soft.
  3. Then mix the eggplant and the leeks together in the pan.
  4. Add the basil, tomatoes, chicken broth and liquid from cooking the chicken pieces, brown rice and mix.
  5. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and stir.
  7. Then turn the whole pan into the baking dish that you cooked the chicken in, and put that into the oven which you reduce to 400 and bake covered for the next 60 minutes.
  8. Depending on the brown rice and how you like it ( we like it soft not al dente) you may have to add a bit more time. I cooked mine for 70 minutes.
  9. Just before serving add the Parmesan and turn the broiler on for just 5 minutes. Then serve.

I made a Beet salad ( roasted yellow beets in the oven, peeled and cut them, added olive oil and balsamic reduction and salt) – here they are!IMG_6359I served this along with our normal Little Farm Greens with dots of home made ricotta, chopped carrots and cucumbers and cherry tomatoes – and a lemon juice, olive oil, Parmesan dressing.

Sigh.

It was sublime.

Enjoy!

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The Ducks Come to Swim – an Annual Event! Is Spring around the corner?

Once a year a couple of ducks arrive in our swimming pool and take a dip. It happens just before Spring – as they begin their courtship and mating . Sometimes they will come back with their babies and take a swim – we heat our pool so it must be like a spa experience for them.

I took this photo at 5.30 in the morning yesterday – so it was still a little foggy . I don’t know how long ducks live – but since the duck couple have been coming to visit one month a year daily for about 36 years which is the length of time we have lived in our Little Farm, I have to believe that they are passing the message down to more generations, and that is why every year around the same time, members of the Duck Family,  arrive.

It always makes me happy – since another beautiful season is on the way. Spring is here! And today is our 45th wedding anniversary – how did that happen? 5 years in South Africa and the rest in the glorious USA. How blessed we are to be part of this amazing country with all its riches of freedom and opportunity. We give thanks daily for all of our blessings and the prescience of the Founding Fathers who created the Constitution on which our liberty is based. As a former lawyer, I had the privilege of studying Constitutional Law – and am in awe of the benefits that it enables in a free society. Along with beauty in nature, loving family and friends and good health – ours has become a world of joy and real happiness.IMG_6336

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