I love it when I read an article in a magazine, or find a book, that gives me a pat on the back for what I am doing right and offers up ideas that are realistic. One of my more recent finds on this front is Lisa Barnes’ new cookbook, “Petit Appetit – Easy Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages”. There are lots and lots of cookbooks out there, but I like hers because she does a good job of explaining what types of foods you should have on hand to easily create child-friendly homemade meals (similar to what I offer clients on my grocery shopping trips), she talks about how to instill good habits from the start and how to integrate your children in the cooking process. While I consider myself an excellent cook who is savvy in these areas, it’s always nice to have a refresher!
I recently made the boys Mango Chicken Quesadillas from the cookbook…but since I was hosting my book club that night (and my husband, achem, happened to be off on the ski slopes with college buddies which meant chaos between 5-7pm as I fed, bathed, and read to them and then quickly tidied up the house, opened the wine, lit a fire and put out a couple of apps in preparation for my friends’ arrival…) I needed a recipe that could multi-task. So after making two basic whole wheat tortilla brushed with olive oil/chicken/cheese/black bean/mango/cilantro quesadillas for them I doctored up the ones for my girlfriends.
For the mom ones, I added some mango chutney, more fresh cilantro, some finely chopped pickled jalapenos and a dusting of cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika. I baked all of the quesadillas at 350 until they were crisp, and then sliced them into quarters for the kids, more manageable eighths for the moms (who don't want to put their wine glass down for too long). They were delish. I served them room temp with a dipping sauce I quickly whipped up (since whole wheat tortillas are fabulous, but a little dense) of Greek Yogurt + Mango Chutney + Chili Powder. The child dinner/hearty adult app was so good that I made it again the following week for my kids and my husband…then the next day brought the extra quesadillas over to a friend’s house so the mommies could enjoy a delicious lunch while the kids played.