How to Cook with a Baby in the House

I’m continuing my series about cooking with children. Part I: 9 Great Reasons to Cook with Your Kids

I once took a counseling call from a mother having a hard time with her new baby. She complained that the baby starts to cry while she is doing important tasks. When I asked her for an example of a something she has trouble finding time for, she mentioned chopping onions for lunch.

I suggested that the onions could be prepared early and stored in the refrigerator until needed. If she has six hours until lunch, couldn’t she find five minutes when she is not caring for the baby? “Wait until the baby goes to sleep, then take care of the onions immediately,” I offered. She said, “You’re saying that I need to plan in advance. I don’t like to do that.”

So I told her that I have six children.

9 Great Reasons to Cook with Your Kids

This post is the first part of a series on cooking with kids. See also: How to Cook with a Baby in the House How to Cook with a Toddler in the House Cooking with Preschoolers: Distraction or Interaction? A child’s strongest need, even more than food or affection, is to imitate adults. That is […]

10 Creative Ideas for Cooking Pasta Frugally

We love pasta around here. But the package directions, and most cookbooks, call for huge amounts of water. Boiling all that water takes time and money. The cookbooks are wrong. Here are ten creative ideas for making pasta frugally. Cook as usual, but use less water. Start with half the amount you usually use. The […]

Ten Essential Tips for Preventing Kitchen Accidents

Last Friday evening, after I lit the Sabbath candles, we heard a sudden deafening noise from the kitchen. I headed over to investigate despite my husband warning me away. He was sure the kitchen was about to explode.

Twelve Tips for Getting More Vitamins from Your Food

Cooking at home is the best way to make sure that your food is high in quality and nutrition. Just by cutting out extra salt, fat and sugar and preservatives in processed foods, you’re ahead of the game. But all home cooking isn’t equal. Some techniques preserve the vitamins and minerals in your food, while others destroy them.

It’s not always practical to follow every technique each time. But the tips below can help you make better decisions.

1. Wash vegetables shortly before cooking or eating, and avoid soaking.

Reader Interview: Yours Truly

Today I interview myself. If you’d like to be interviewed, leave a comment below. Find out more at the About Me page.

  1. What do you remember about family meals and your mother’s cooking style when you were growing up? My mother ran a tight ship in the kitchen. One reason she had such good control is that my father only stepped inside to make himself a cup of tea when no one else was available. She trained me, the youngest, to do everything exactly as she wanted.

Tips on Stretching Food for Company

In this classic episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show, Mary throws a dinner party. Her obsessive-compulsive friend Sue-Ann offers to make dinner, but prepares exactly six portions. Watch the first minute or two of the scene, when a guest takes more than his share.

Has you ever run out of food for your guests? As hosts, we have to balance preparing more than enough with having to throw out leftovers. And just like at Mary’s party, the unexpected can happen: Someone who offers to prepare food doesn’t bring enough, extra guests turn up, or one guest is unusually hungry. Maybe a dish you plan to serve gets ruined.

Here are some tips for when you realize that you may be short on food when company comes.

On Cookbooks and the Internet

In her interview, Penny explains why she prefers the internet to cookbooks:

I don’t believe in cookbooks because I want recipes for the foods I have, as opposed to buying ingredients for recipes. Unlike cookbooks, the internet allows me the flexibility to find recipes based on a list of ingredients.

Penny makes a good point. When you start with a recipe, you’re stuck with a list of ingredients. But you can search for new recipes by plugging your ingredients into a search engine.

I personally wouldn’t give up my cookbooks.

When Using Up Leftovers Is a Waste of Resources

Tesyaa left this comment on Why You Should Eat Everything on Your Plate:

Another thing about waste – quite often I’ve tried to avoid waste by making, say, a banana bread with overripe bananas, or using up rice in some other type of dish. Those items use energy to cook, and use other ingredients. If there is no real need for banana bread, making it to use up old bananas just wastes oil, eggs, sugar, & flour.

To me, avoiding foood “waste” is only helpful if it frees up other food items. If not, it’s not doing anyone any good.

I’m not sure what you mean when you write “there is no real need for banana bread.”

Reader Ruth and Roast Vegetable Soup

Please welcome reader Ruth Kilner for this week’s interview. Name, location, family: Ruth Kilner, originally from Scotland, currently from Jerusalem, married to James and mother of 3 adorable girlies: Esther (6), Shira (4 1/2) and Tehilla (3). Tell me about your mother’s cooking style and your family meals as a child. Meals were always eaten […]