Yum-o! The Family Cookbook by Rachael Ray
Rachael knows that every family wants to make the best possible food choices–and get the very most out of their food-budget dollars. The recipes here feature more whole grains, use less fat, and make the most of fresh fruits and vegetables so they are as good for you as they are delish, and they’re all quintessential Rachael–fun and creative.
You’ll also find notes on how to get even very young kids involved in the cooking process; great ideas for everything from breakfast to the lunchbox to dinner; wholesome snacks; and loads of new double-duty dinners that let you cook once, then eat twice or more.
Actually, last night’s dinner came from this cookbook, which made me think of it. Ray is trying to get families to eat healthy dinners together. There’s no way myAmber will eat all the recipes in this book, but some of them she will. And she loves to help in the kitchen, so this is a good reminder to let her help, that she can do a lot. It’s not my favorite of Ray’s cookbooks, but it’s definitely useable.
Here’s the meal we had last night. We used one whole regular cucumber and Romaine lettuce straight from our garden, and left off the sesame/poppy seeds because we didn’t have any. It was delicious. My family’s slightly crazy, though. Amber took the sausage out of the pastry, ate them both seperately, didn’t use the dip, and only wanted the cucumbers and oranges, no lettuce and no salad dressing. David took the sausage out of the pastry, ate the pastry, then dipped the sausage, but we all agreed that it was worth cooking again. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture.
Chicks in a Sleeping Bag and Crispy Salad with Mandarin Oranges
Forget pigs in a blanket – check out these chickies! The apricot preserve sauce does double-duty in this recipe as a dip for the chicks and a tangy salad dressing.
- 1/2 cup apricot all fruit spread
- 1/4 cup honey (eyeball it)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar – cider, rice wine or white wine
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons spicy brown, Dijon or yellow mustard – whichever you prefer
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)
- 1/2 sheet puff pastry dough, such as Pepperidge Farm brand
- 4 pre-cooked chicken sausages (1 package), any flavor, available in the packaged meats case near the keilbasa and hot dogs
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 can Mandarin orange segments (6 ounces), drained
- 1/4 English (seedless) cucumber, sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the apricot preserves and honey. Pour 1/3 of the apricot mixture into the bottom of a salad bowl. Whisk in the soy sauce and vinegar, then stream in the oil for your salad dressing. Stir the mustard into the remaining apricot-honey base for the chicks in blankets and dipping sauce.
- Cut the pastry into four rectangles. Spread a little apricot honey mustard on each rectangle, then roll up the sausages in the blankets and pinch at the seam to keep the chicks in their sleeping bags. Brush the tops of the sleeping bags with a dab of the mustard for gloss and color, sprinkle with seeds, if using, and arrange on a nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake according to the puff pastry package directions, or until golden brown all over, about 12-15 minutes.
- While the chicks are in the oven, add lettuce, mandarin oranges and cucumber to the salad bowl. Toss with the reserved dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the chicks from the oven, place on plates and pass remaining sauce for topping or dipping. Pile up the salad alongside chicks in sleeping bags.