I was recently in Boston and tried a marinated mushroom salad, but found the vinegar flavor to be overpowering. So I cam home and created my own version, using some dainty-yet-flavorful chanterelle and bunapi mushrooms. You really can’t go wrong when you’re working with such fabulous ingredients.
This fabulous mushroom salad is beautiful and simple – with a spectacular flavor that is definitely worthy of your next dinner party. Or, just class up an everyday side dish like I did. (Let’s be honest, I need more dinner parties in my life right now.) It’s also a great way to introduce your kids to mushrooms, because the earthy flavor is more subtle.
Best part of all – you need very little time and skill to whip up this beautiful dish. It’s so easy, and truly looks and tastes like a salad you’d get at a high-end restaurant.
Enjoy the salad, and the company of whoever you share it with. 🙂
Marinated Mushroom Salad
This is a beautiful, elegant salad or side dish of marinated mushrooms that is spectacularly savory. I served it to my family on a random Tuesday, but it's definitely worthy of a dinner party! It's fast to prepare and can be made in advance for easy entertaining.
Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
3.5oz100g chanterelle mushrooms, rinsed
3.5oz100g bunapi mushrooms, rinsed
1small/med shallot30g, finely chopped
1/3cupplus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3cupapple cider vinegar
1/2teaspoonheaping green peppercorn
1/2teaspoonheaping coriander seeds
Cut the very base of the bunapi mushrooms, so the stems are all loose (vs connected at the base). Quarter or halve any larger chanterelle mushrooms, so each piece is roughly the size of your average bunapi mushroom.
In a nonstick pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat, for about 1 minute.
Add shallot and garlic to pan. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients except mushrooms, and continue cooking for 3 minutes, allowing mixture to boil/simmer gently.
Add mushrooms and stir to coat. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and place in a bowl, then in the refrigerator until cool.
I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been busy loving life and enjoying my family. (Fortunately nobody seems to have noticed, which is one of the things I love about blogging – it’s okay to take a break!)
I have a job outside of this account/blog, plus two amazing and very demanding little kids. And once work is over for the day, taking food photos just hasn’t been as much a priority as enjoying a warm fire, cooking dinner with the family, learning the ukulele, having a glass of wine with my hubby, and just generally being happy.
A few months ago I decided to be more positive and happy in life – not because things were going wrong, but because our country is super fucked up and the amount of anger and negativity is just unbearable. I was sick of feeling like many of the frustrating and stressful aspects of my life were not under my control. So I’ve been trying to be the best person I can be and infuse joy and positivity into the lives of others.
At work and home, with family, friends and coworkers, I’ve tried to identify big and small ways to improve my world and the world around me. And I must admit, it’s working and paying rich dividends. People around me have noticed, and it has inspired them to be more positive. Best of all, I’m a happier person at the end of each day.
It’s amazing how happiness, positivity, encouragement and love are contagious – put a smile on the face of someone else, and you can’t help but feel good.
I hope I’ve inspired you to get out there today and BE HAPPY & SPREAD JOY. And if you can’t be happy due to your circumstances, think about how you can make someone else in your life happy – I think it will ultimately have the same impact.
Let me know how it goes…
📸: Clewell Photography, for the best photos in Minnesota
This creamy, fruity smoothie is so bright and tropical, it’s the perfect way for the family to start the day – and a perfect pairing for the Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes I posted about. This recipe makes enough for 2 adults and 2 kids to have servings.
BONUS DAIQUIRI RECIPE for the adults: Add 6 shots of light or coconut rum and you’ll be magically transported to a tropical beach… or at least it will taste like it!
1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup frozen peach slices
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey (use agave nectar if serving to a child under 1 year of age)
DIRECTIONS: Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, then serve immediately.
I whipped these up the other morning when both kids were awake and ravenous, and I wanted a recipe the whole family could enjoy. Blender prep was critical because ravenous toddlers don’t have time for 10+ minutes of prep time.
My mind immediately went to banana pancakes since Riley could easily eat them. I’ve also been trying to get some peanut butter in her diet – and naturally it’s a great pairing with bananas – so I tossed some of that in a blender with my go-to eggs and banana recipe. I’m not a huge fan of the traditional banana pancakes because they’re too soft, and not quite filling enough for a toddler. So I added some rolled oats for a bit of substance.
They cooked up evenly and quickly, so within 15 minutes breakfast was on the table. PERFECT. Enough for the whole family when paired with the most delicious, bright and tropical smoothie imaginable (recipe to follow).
Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
These tasty peanut butter and banana pancakes are soft enough for all ages to enjoy! They’re made with healthy ingredients, so you can serve to a baby or just devour them all yourself without feeling guilty. Best of all, they’re fast and easy to make – just pop the ingredients in a blender, cook and enjoy.
Servings: 12small pancakes
2heaping teaspoons peanut butter
1tablespoonhoneyuse maple syrup if serving to a child younger than 1 year old
1/4cupmaple syrup or honey
Combine all pancake ingredients in blender until smooth.
Warm a large nonstick pan over medium heat for 2 mins. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and allow to melt; spread around the pan.
Cook 4 small pancakes at a time, for 1.5 minutes on the first side until slightly browned.
Flip and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add 1 more tablespoon butter to the pan and cook the next batch of 4 pancakes, until the batter is all gone. You may need to adjust the cooking time as you cook additional pancakes. Just keep an eye on them and flip once they are lightly browned.
Serve with a handful of blueberries. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey.
I love a beautiful bouquet garni. It infuses delicate flavors into anything from beef bourguignon to steamed vegetables.
Today’s aromatic bundle of herbs is simply rosemary, sage and thyme plucked from our planters. I’ll be using it for a beef roast, cooked in a French oven (aka a Dutch oven with the cast iron coated in enamel). My toddler helped me pick and prepare this bouquet garni; it’s such a simple technique that is fun and easy for kids to help with.
A classic bouquet garni is a few sprigs of thyme, a few stalks of fresh parsley and some bay leaves, bound with unwaxed kitchen string. But when it comes to a bouquet garni, there really are no rules and any herbs can be used. I like to bind my herbs using a sprig of thyme instead of kitchen string (although you must be quite delicate).
What are your favorite herb combos / bouquet garni ingredients? Tell me in the comments below!
YOU. GUYS. After 10 months, our daughter Riley finally slept through the night… 2 nights in a row.
This is particularly great news for Genevieve, who shares a room with Riley (and somehow manages to sleep through the crying most nights). And also good news for me and my husband, who just yesterday got a new king-sized bed and memory foam mattress, and actually got to enjoy it with a restful night’s sleep!
We’re all celebrating with a trip to the orchard and a tasty smoothie (already planned but a lot more enjoyable when we are rested). Also, a straw and flower, because what type of celebration would it be without that.
Perfectly Pink Morning Smoothie
10 frozen strawberries
5 chunks/cubes frozen pineapple (large handful)
5 chunks/cubes frozen mango (large handful)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
Combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth! Makes 4 servings (2 adults, 2 littles).
Fall is headed our way, which means tasty soups and warm comfort food are just around the corner. At the top of my list this coming season: Ramen!
Ramen gets a bad reputation because most recipes are packed with sodium – which isn’t great for little kids. This recipe pares back the sodium (simply add to taste) in favor of flavorful aromatics and healthy ingredients. There are quite a few steps, but ultimately, each element of this classic ramen recipe is simple to prepare.
It starts with a spectacular, savory broth seasoned with sesame and soy, plus aromatics like shallot and green onion, and some earthy mushrooms that add a touch of yumminess and umami to the soup base.
Next I’ve added some fabulous protein in the form of an egg and chicken – feel free to double these ingredients! They make for great finger food for your little ones, and can rest in the broth for a while for some added flavor.
And last but definitely not least, ramen noodles! The package we used has five servings, but we split it across four bowls, because noodles are the BEST part of ramen soup, in my opinion.
Our toddler had no problem diving right in to the bowl of deliciousness, but she is definitely picky when it comes to “mixed up” foods. If your kid is the same way, do what we did! Serve the broth and noodles in a bowl (including shallot and green onion), and separate out the egg, chicken and mushrooms. Boom. Deconstructed, toddler-friendly ramen.
Classic Chicken Ramen Soup
Savory ramen soup with mushrooms, chicken and egg will warm your belly and make you rethink comfort food! This classic recipe is restaurant quality at a fraction of the price. Even your littlest family members can get in on the fun – just separate some of the cooked ingredients for soft, healthy finger foods.
4ozpackage of baby bell mushroomssliced
Sea saltto taste
1package ramen noodles9 oz
To Prepare the Broth
In saucepan over medium heat, cook butter, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
Once butter is melted, add shallots, mushrooms and half of the diced green onions. Sauté 3-5 minutes, until softened.
When shallots, onions and mushrooms are softened, add chicken stock, cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 -7 minutes, turn off heat and leave covered.
Salt the broth to taste.
To Prepare the Eggs
In separate saucepan, bring water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water next to the pot. (Exact measurements are unnecessary when it comes to the water – use your best judgment to cook and cool the eggs.)
Gently add eggs and boil for 6.5-7.5 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolks. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place directly into the ice water when complete.
Reserve boiling water over heat.
Once cool, remove eggs from ice water and peel.
To Prepare the Chicken
While cooking the eggs, grill your chicken thighs using a grill, stovetop griddle or cast iron pan.
Oil your grill surface or add 2 tablespoons oil to your griddle or cast iron pan. Cook the thighs over high heat, for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove chicken from heat and allow to rest on a cutting board while you cook your ramen. Then, slice your chicken thighs into long ½-inch-thick slices.
To Prepare the Ramen
Add ramen noodles to boiling water from the eggs. Boil for 4-5 minutes, then pour into colander and run under cold water.
Toss with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and set aside.
Fill each bowl with ¼ of the ramen noodles and ¼ of the grilled chicken. Pour broth over the top.
Top each bowl with the remaining green onion and 1 egg, sliced in half.
This flavorful blackberry applesauce is more than just a sweet pretty-in-pink snack. It’s loaded with Vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber, and has anti-inflammatory and digestive health benefits. And it’s packed with flavor that your kids – as well as the adults in the house – will love.
We often thing of applesauce as being just for toddlers and little kids. And sure, toddlers will do just about anything for a serving of this delicious, sweet snack. But when you add blackberries, ginger and cinnamon, applesauce becomes absolutely heavenly. Now it’s an elegant, healthy treat that will satisfy adults at snacktime, with a texture that’s smooth enough to serve to a baby. Perfection!
It’s also a great recipe to get your kids involved with cooking. Genevieve loved to help with this recipe! She started by washing all of our apples.
Cleaning is a lot of fun when you’re 2!
Then I let her help me push on the apple slicer and discard the cores. She also pushed the buttons on the food processor, which was probably the high point of this entire recipe (and any other).
Toddlers can easily help push down the apple slicer – just be sure to hold the handles!
Pushing buttons = the best.
When it comes to adding spices, Genevieve was a pro. The sweetener is optional (we skipped it this time around since I gave some to the baby), but once Riley is over 1 year old I’ll definitely be using honey. Apples and honey are such a spectacular pairing!
I like to serve my applesauce with toppings because it looks beautiful, enhances the texture and adds a pop of flavor. Some great toppings for this recipe include blackberries, sliced strawberries, pomegranate arils or even mango coulis.
In terms of storing your applesauce, you can definitely go through the traditional sterilization and canning process, and this stuff will last you FOREVER. Or you can be lazy and do what I do, which is leave a portion in the refrigerator, and then freeze the rest. It defrosts well when left in the refrigerator overnight, and the smooth texture is not compromised.
Since it’s got lots of blackberries in it, this applesauce is likely to stain – so use a bib or avoid white clothing when feeding it to your kids. 🙂 Pictured here: The clean before the storm.
Enjoy the recipe! Do you have any favorite applesauce combinations? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Blackberry Applesauce with Ginger & Cinnamon
Servings: 5half-pint jars
4lbsapplesmixed varieties like pink lady, fiji and honeycrisp
1tablespoonfreshly grated ginger
2tablespoonsmaple syrup, agave nectar or honey - optional(do not feed honey, even cooked, to children under age 1)
Add water to a large pot. Insert a steamer basket, cover the pot and bring water to a boil.
As water is heating, core apples and cut into large chunks or slices.
Add apples to the pot of boiling water and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add blackberries to the pot. Cover and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.
Remove from heat as soon as apples are all soft (if necessary, continue cooking for a while). Discard water and add apples and blackberries to a food processor. (Or, use a blender in batches as needed.)
Grate fresh ginger so that it's paste-like, reserving any liquid/juice from the ginger if possible.
Add ginger, cinnamon, lemon juice and optional sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar or honey). Blend everything thoroughly in the food processor (or blender) until you achieve a smooth, uniform texture.
Store your applesauce in clean, sterile canning jars (or a few tupperware). You can follow a traditional canning process, or you can store the leftovers in the freezer. Anything that is refrigerated should be consumed within 2-3 weeks.
This post was sponsored by Driscoll’s & TheFeedFeed. Thank you for supporting the awesome brands that support La Petite Foodie.
Our family loves raspberries. From berry burritos to raspberry rose gelato, these yummy, juicy berries are the perfect addition to my favorite recipes. (You can also go the route of my toddler, put a raspberry on top of each fingertip, and eat them dramatically while calling yourself Genevieve Raspberry Hands.)
Raspberry jam is a refrigerator staple in our home, so I thought I’d try my hand at making my own version, with a gourmet and kid-friendly twist. Cardamom adds a subtle pop of flavor and is the perfect pairing for the sweet-tart berries. I used honey instead of refined sugar, although you could skip the sweetener entirely if you’re open to a tart spread (or swap in maple syrup if a child under age 1 is getting a taste). And rather than pectin – a thickening agent that’s commonly used in jam – I used chia seeds, plus a bit of orange juice (oranges are a natural source of pectin).
The end result is a scrumptious, pudding-like raspberry jam that can transform a simple dish into a spectacular recipe that’s perfect for sharing. And ultimately that is what Driscoll’s new #BerryTogether campaign is all about – the fact that berries, meals and most great things in life are better when they are shared.
I used the jam on Brie, in a PB&J sandwich, and even ate it straight off the spoon, and each bite was spectacular. We also decorated slices of baguette to make cute kid-friendly canapés.
However, my absolute FAVORITE combination includes Raspberry Cardamom Chia Jam and juicy whole raspberries, sandwiched between flaky pastry and chocolate hazelnut spread. Due to their supreme tastiness, you may have a tough time sharing these mini croissant sandwiches… but what better way to show someone you TRULY care? Whether you serve them for dessert, brunch or an appetizer, these adorable sandwiches are a guaranteed hit.
I definitely think the quality of the raspberries plays a role in how tasty this jam (and sandwich) is. Driscoll’s has exclusive patented berry varieties that are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods. They never genetically modify their raspberries, and they follow the sun so the berries are available year round. Plus they have traditional and organic options, to suit each family’s preferences.
Beyond the natural goodness of Driscoll’s raspberries, the message of their #BerryTogether campaign really resonates with me. Driscoll’s advocates the idea that the simple act of sharing creates a positive change in perspective: when we share something as delicious as a Driscoll’s berry, everyday moments become just a little bit more special. How great is that?!
We live in the Twin Cities, which was named by Driscoll’s as the raspberry consumption capital of the U.S. In fact, we are all such huge raspberry fans that Driscoll’s has created a Minnesota-exclusive #BerryTogether sweepstakes, with a grand prize 4-night getaway at Madden’s On Gull Lake! Four first-prize winners will win Driscoll’s berries for a year. If you’re a Minnesota resident, visit www.berrytogether.com between now and August 31 for the chance to win.
If you’re located elsewhere in the U.S., don’t shed a tear – just whip up a jar of jam or one of these spectacular sandwiches. Your family and friends will thank you.
Raspberry Cardamom Chia Jam
This flavorful, healthy raspberry jam is rich and delicious - but uses no refined sugar or artificial preservatives or thickeners! Swap in maple syrup for the honey if you want to give some to your baby (under 12 months).
Breakfast, Dessert, Jam, Lunch
Servings: 1jam jar
1/3cuphoneyor maple syrup
Combine raspberries, orange juice, honey, cardamom and salt in a food processor and combine until smooth, about 15 seconds.
Add Chia Seeds and pulse a few times until combined.
Allow mixture to rest for 10 minutes, so the Chia seeds have time to absorb the juices.
Transfer mixture to a large pot and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is boiling throughout (like molten lava).
Reduce heat to medium, ensuring that mixture is just boiling. Use a slotted cover if available to keep mixture from splattering out of the pot.
Continue to cook (uncovered or only partly covered so the steam can escape) on high heat for up to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by about half.
Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool entirely, about 1 hour. Transfer to jam jar and store in refrigerator.