a little of each

A family's cookbook

Creamy Corn Soup July 24, 2015

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 10:08 pm
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My two girls love to cook. Mostly it’s macaroni and cheese, but to help expand their culinary horizons, I got them each a book by Moosewood Cookbook author, Mollie Katzen. Five-year-old Alice got Pretend Soup, while eight-year-old Adeline got Honest Pretzels, and I have to say these books have been perfect for them and for us to cook together. The instructions are laid out as step-by-step pictures, but Katzen offers more detailed instructions for a supervising adult.  She also makes it clear which parts a child should be able to do on their own and which parts might require an adult’s help: uncovering the pot and deciding if the liquid is hot enough, setting up the blender, taking the pureed soup out of the blender. These are great reminders for me to go ahead and let them chop things up, stir things in a hot pot, mash the button on the processor. How else will they learn if not by doing?

When I manage to be organized and create a weekly meal plan (man, I feel like a rock star when that happens!), I ask the girls to each pick a recipe. For her first selection, Adeline chose Creamy Corn Soup.  And we made it together.

Look at that proud face!  She was thrilled to serve it to the family, and you know what? It was good!  Not made-by-my-own-child-so-I-have-to-act-like-i-like-it good. Like, honest to goodness tasty!  It was fresh, healthy, perfectly balanced between light and filling, and inexpensive.  Pretty much perfection, no?


1 Tbl butter

6 scallions, minced (just the white and lower half of the green part)

1 stalk celery, chopped small

2 cups corn (we used Trader Joe’s frozen white corn – it’s awesome! You can use fresh, frozen, canned.)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup milk

shredded cheese for garnish (optional)


Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan on low heat until melted. Add the scallions, celery, corn, salt and basil.

Increase heat to Medium and cook for about eight minutes.

Add the broth and heat until it begins to boil.

Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Let cook covered for five minutes.

Add the milk and then blend or process the soup until it is smooth. (We left some texture.)

Return to saucepan to reheat if needed and serve with a little shredded cheese garnish.


Cucumber and Melon Salad May 20, 2013

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables,Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:34 am
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In 2012, we joined a local organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Tampa.  Every other week, we’d pick up bags of wonderfully fresh vegetables, some of which I’d never heard of before.  Tatsoi? Dino Kale? Hakurei turnips?

Needless to say, our palettes expanded, and sometimes I struggled to find ways to use our produce.  Like the radishes.  One or two, I know how to handle (chop up in a salad – easy enough!), but eight? Ten? Thankfully, I found two different cold salad recipes through Pinterest that allowed me to use the radishes in really delicious ways.  This one is based on a Weight Watchers recipe and is such a wonderful and refreshing summer dish.  Tangy citrus, fragrant mint, sweet melon, crisp and slightly spicy radishes all combine into a beautiful and healthy salad.  While the original recipe calls for the veggies and melon to be sliced on a mandolin, I chose to dice the cucumbers and melon and thinly slice the radishes.  Scooping the melon with a baller would also work.  The recipe also calls for honeydew, and as you can see in the photo I sometimes use cantaloupe.  They are equally delicious.

melon salad

Sometimes I deconstruct the salad for little palettes that aren’t keen on radishes or mint yet. They inhale the melon and cucumber.



1 medium English cucumber

6-8 fresh radishes

1/2 medium honeydew melon

1/2 cups mint leaves, julienned

1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice

1 Tbl sugar



Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill for at least two hours before serving.



Cream of Tomato Soup May 16, 2013

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:33 am
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From America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

4 Tbl unsalted butter
2  cans (28 oz) each diced tomatoes, drained with 3 cups of the juice reserved
1 onion finely chopped
2  Tbl light brown sugar
1 Tbl tomato paste
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups  low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the drained tomatoes, onion, brown sugar and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the broth and the reserved tomato juice, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender  (or food processor) until smooth.

3. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the cream. Bring to a brief simmer, then remove from the heat. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste and drizzle with a little balsamic glaze before serving.


Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette May 15, 2013

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:32 pm
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1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbl sugar
3 Tbl rice wine vinegar
2 Tbl olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper


Whisk together all ingredients until blended.


Waldorf Salad March 28, 2013

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:18 pm
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Mary Kay grew up with this side dish as a Thanksgiving staple made by her mother, Josephine. She continued the tradition by bringing it to Thanksgiving at Debbie and Ken’s in 2004. The amounts can be altered depending on personal tastes.



2 apples, cored and diced

1 cup seedless red grapes, can be sliced in half

½ cup celery, sliced thin

½ cup walnuts

¼ – ½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise

A little milk

1 tsp sugar



Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Mix the mayonnaise, a little milk to thin in and the sugar together and toss over the salad.


Bean Salad

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:14 pm
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1 cup wax beans

1 can green beans

1 can red kidney beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

½ cup oil

½ cup wine vinegar

½ cup sugar

1 tsp basil

1 tsp tarragon

1 tsp parsley

½ tsp dry mustard

salt and pepper, to taste



Drain and rinse all beans. Put beans in a bowl and add onions. Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, basil, tarragon, parsley, dry mustard and salt and pepper. Pour over beans and onion and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.


Broccoli Salad

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:13 pm
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The ingredient amounts in this salad are completely flexible, as are the ingredients themselves. Dried cranberries instead of raisins, or almonds instead of sunflower seeds make interesting variations. The dressing is the same as the dressing for the Waldorf Salad, but it should be a bit sweeter and not as thin, according to Mary Kay.



Broccoli florets, raw and cut small


Sunflower seeds

Cheddar cheese, shredded

Bacon, crumbled

¼ – ½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise

A little milk

2 tsp sugar


Tomato Salad #2

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:12 pm
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8 oz grape tomatoes, halved

4 oz mozzarella cheese (solid)

fresh basil leaves

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar dressing



Chop up the cheese into rough cubes or slivers. Slice the fresh basil leaves. Combine the cheese and basil with the tomato halves. Toss everything with the dressing. It can sit or be served immediately.


Tomato Salad #1

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:10 pm
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5 medium tomatoes, sliced

4 oz crumbled feta or blue cheese

½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup wine vinegar

2 Tbl finely chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper



Arrange tomatoes and cheese in a 13×9 dish. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Pour dressing over tomato mixture. Cover and chill at least four hours.


Spinach Salad with Apples

Filed under: Soups and Salads — alittlemoreofeach @ 9:08 pm
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¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 (10 oz) bag of baby spinach

½ Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

1-2 cups sharp cheddar chesse, grated

¼ cup pecans, chopped and toasted



Mix together the first three ingredients to create the dressing. In a salad bowl, toss spinach with the prepared dressing. Add remaining ingredients.