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Posts tagged ‘Carrots’

labeled stew

As I’m sure you’ve noticed I love to cook. I cook all sorts of things from entreés to desserts to of course cocktails. But I can’t cook anything if I don’t have the right tools; and while I have plenty of tools, there’s no rule that says I can’t have more. As a matter of fact, whenever I get the chance to test out new tools I jump. So, when Melissa’s Produce invited me to meet the people from Chefs’ Toys and test out their tools, I ran to their test kitchen.

salad

It was a very fun event with some delicious food and some awesome tools! The company is appropriately named because all the tools Chefs’ Toys brought, to people like me, really are toys. I mean they had a variety of peelers, cutting boards in different colors and whisks bigger than your head: all these cool tools that I just wanted to pick up and play with. For hours. But those few tools don’t compare to the Chefs’ Toys warehouse which is like the Home Depot of cookware.

I went to the one in Torrance and was blown away by the aisles and aisles of amazing cooking equipment. There were bowls bigger than my body, wooden spoons in every shape and size, cookie scoops, pie plates, cocktail shakers, ice cube molds… I could go on and on. They even had an aisle dedicated to commercial stoves and mixers. The guys at Chefs’ Tools say that you can come and buy everything you need to start your own restaurant; and after walking their aisles, they’re not kidding. The place is huge. I could’ve spent hours in there. But more than that I also could’ve spent hundreds of dollars. I’m serious. It’s entirely possible to go into Chefs’ Toys for one or two things and walk out with dozens of instruments. The place is that cool.

tools

Afraid you won’t be able to experience this awesomeness for yourself? Don’t worry, you can. Turns out Chefs’ Toys isn’t just for professional chefs. It’s for anyone who cooks. You don’t need to be in the food industry and better yet, you don’t need to be a member. You just have to enjoy cooking. And if you’re anything like me, you not only love to cook, you love buying cooking gadgets.

As soon as I got home I put my new gadgets to use. I tested out Chefs’ Toys’ awesome peeler and whisk when I made this delicious Blackeyed Pea Stew from Melissa’s. They worked perfectly. This stew was so good when I first sampled it in Melissa’s kitchen, I just had to come home and share the wealth with my family. Although it may be a little too warm for stew right now, it’s supposed to cool off in the next few weeks and nothing is better in cold, rainy weather than a thick vegetable stew, and this stew… it’s the bomb.

overhead shot

Blackeyed Pea Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry
  • 1 cup baby dutch yellow potatoes, diced
  • 1 – 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 package Melissa’s Steamed Blackeyed Peas
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the carrots and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the sherry, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken stock and continue to simmer until potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the blackeyed peas, zucchini, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until the flavors combine and the veggies are heated through, 5 – 10 minutes.  Stir in the butter until melted. Ladle into bowls and serve with a nice crusty bread.

Carrot Fries

I realized the other day that the subhead for Kitchy Cooking is “a blog for newlyweds and parents who like to entertain” but I don’t have any specific baby/toddler food recipes on the site.  There are a few recipes that not only feed adults, but can also be fed to your little one like the Tomato Soup or the Chicken Taco Salad, but I don’t have anything that’s specifically baby-based.  Well, this post will change that.

Thankfully, my little guy is not a fussy eater.  If I’m making something for me and my husband, 9 times out of 10 my son will eat it.  But sometimes, I’m not making a nice meal for the three of us.  Sometimes, all I want to do is scrounge around in the fridge for left overs or make a sandwich.  And while that’s fine for me and my man, it unfortunately, won’t work for the little guy. 

Since Aidan can only do peas and hummus so many nights in a row, I’m always on the lookout for another easy meal I can whip up.  Well thanks to Parents.com and Itty Bitty Bistro I found a recipe that was simple, quick and a huge success: crinkle cut carrot fries.  If you don’t own a crinkle cutter, don’t fret.  I don’t own one either.  And since straight cut french fries are just as good as the crinkle cut kind, I figured plain old straight cut carrot fries would also be just as yummy.  I was right.

Aidan couldn’t get enough.  Every time he stuffed one in his mouth he was pointing at the plate asking for another. If your toddler won’t eat his veggies, I guarantee this recipe will make him change his mind.  It’s only 4 ingredients, takes no time, and the best thing about it, they make a great side for a nice chicken or steak dinner for the parents.

Carrot Fries

  • 1 lb of carrots
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut the carrots length-wise in 1/2 inch thick sticks with your crinkle cutter (or straight if you, like me, don’t own one).  Toss the carrot sticks with the thyme, olive oil and salt.

Spread the carrot fries on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until soft.  Pull out and let cool for five minutes for the toddlers. (Serve immediately for adults.)

*These carrots are great for babies 8 months and up who have at least 4 teeth or more. You may need to bake them a little longer so they’ll be soft enough for them to gnaw on.*

**As always, this is based on my own personal experience. Please check with your baby’s pediatrician on introducing solid foods, as these suggestions may not apply to your infant. **