There used to be a show on the Food Network a few years back called Simply Homemade. The hostess was a little too perky for me, but she often had good ideas and tips on taking basic pantry staples and turning them into a homemade meal or using them as a starting point for a homemade meal. I also liked watching the holiday shows for tips on what she called "tablescapes". I don't think this show is still on the air, but the concept is something that is definitely alive and well in our household! While we do always try to use local and fresh ingredients and offer a variety of foods to the kids and not rely on "kid food". Sometimes, that is just not possible and you need to use what you have on hand.
This afternoon, my three little ones and I made a chocolate cake. We started with a regular box mix and added in some chocolate chips. We were going to also add in the zest of a fresh orange, but were all out! We substituted with a cap of orange extract. We also decided to use a bundt pan instead of a layer cake - saving on the sugar and calories in icing! My girls also liked the pretty pan! It is in the oven now and I will let you know how it comes out! (I'm looking forward to my oldest coming home from school to the house smelling like baked goods - it is chilly and rainy here today!)
Monday night for dinner we also made a simply homemade-ish recipe: Pizza Dip! We used refrigerator dough to make bread sticks. For the dip, we layered in a small casserole dish: softened cream cheese, tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni (regular is fine, too), mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes - until the cheese is all gooey and bubbly. This is something that my kids love and I usually have the ingredients on hand. It is quick and easy to make. The best part is that my kids can help with the preparation and enjoy eating it. Also, when they are not looking, I can sneak some extra veggies into the tomato sauce! Please try this recipe out and let me know what you think!
Let me go check on my cake and figure out what to make for dinner tonight!
Please be sure to check out the Spring Issue of Multiplicity Magazine at www.multiplicitymag.com and read my article on page 14!
Have a great afternoon!