Youth Group Cooking Class

Right before the holidays, we had the pleasure of hosting a Food Jules Cooking Party at my daughter’s youth group. It was so much fun! The girls really enjoyed baking some yummy sweet treats for those in need.

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The girls baked Cranberry Orange Muffins with an Orange Glaze, Pumpkin Muffins with a Maple Glaze, Oreo Truffles and Holiday Funfetti Cookies. The girls were so happy to be baking for the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport. We hope they enjoyed their goodies, the girls (and boy) really put their love into them.

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To celebrate at the end of the party, the girls got to enjoy some of the cookies along with some Hot Cocoa.

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Our Food Jules parties are a lot of fun and a great learning experience for kids. If you are interested in hosting a party, please email us at liz@foodjules.com or call us (203) 414-6346 and we’ll give you all the details. You can also find more information here on our website.

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Cooking Birthday Parties

Are you looking for a NEW and FUN idea for your child’s birthday party?

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Well, your child will LOVE hosting his own Food Jules Cooking Birthday Party!

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These parties are a great success! The kids have so much fun in the kitchen with their friends; cracking eggs, measuring ingredients, mixing batter, rolling dough and best of all, eating all their delicious food! Not only is it exciting cooking and baking, but it’s a GREAT learning experience too.

Your child will design his/her own menu based around one of our Birthday Party Themes. Our parties are hosted in the comfort of your own home. We don’t need much space, just a large empty table and we do all the work, from organizing the recipes, purchasing and prepping all the ingredients, setting up the cooking party area, teaching and guiding the kids through the cooking and baking process and at the end of the party, we do all the clean up. You don’t need to do anything, except sit back and relax as your kids enjoy this fun and educational experience.

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Call or Email us today to book your Food Jules Cooking Birthday Party and let the creativity, learning and eating begin!

 

Smoothies

Maybe this is MY way of hoping Spring and Summer will be here soon. Frankly, I have had enough of the cold and snow. I am ready for the warmth of the sun and wearing my flip flops!

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Smoothies are a favorite snack here in our house, especially for Lilliana. We have one of those little “bullet” type of blenders  which makes it super easy and quick to make a smoothie when she gets home from school. It’s a lot of fun experimenting with different fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are so versatile, so delicious and so very good for you. Her favorite is the Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie, which is also Lucas’ favorite. Since I love berries, my favorite it the Very Berry Smoothie. I buy a bag of frozen mixed organic berries, throw in a frozen banana, some almond milk and flax seed  and it tastes just like a sorbet.

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Yesterday, Lilliana tried a new recipe for an Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie and it really tasted just like an oatmeal cookie, without any added sugar, sweetened naturally with the frozen banana, raisins and cinnamon.

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Join me in welcoming Spring with these great tasting smoothie recipes!

Chicken Pot Pie

In one of our After School Cooking Programs, we are learning all about Comfort Foods. The children are having so much fun filling up their little bellies with warm, nutritious and absolutely delicious foods from Turkey and Bean Chili to Pasta Fajioli, Morning Glory Muffins, Buttermilk Biscuits and Corn Chowder, just to name a few!

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Well, in yesterday’s class, we made Chicken Pot Pie. OH MY! It was so scrumptious that some of the kids were licking their plates, seriously, I saw them. I don’t blame them, I had a tiny bite of the bottom of the casserole dish and wanted to lick it all up myself.

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First of all, this makes me so proud. Some of these students have really become expert little chefs and they have all grown such an appreciation for good quality, fresh food, I just love it!

This recipe for Chicken Pot Pie is superb, so easy to make, just please be sure you make the pie dough from scratch, like we did. The recipe for the Homemade Pie Dough is so simple, just five ingredients from your pantry. It literally takes just a couple of minutes to put together and it makes all the difference in these recipes. Besides, the list of ingredients in the store bought pie dough is a mile long, many of which I can’t even pronounce.

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I know you will all enjoy this recipe and you too will be licking the bottom of your plates!

P.S. If you are a vegetarian, you can easily substitute the chicken for other vegetables such as mushrooms, cauliflower or broccoli and it will taste just as good!

My Oat Flour Obsession

As most of you know, I have been on a gluten free cleanse for over 30 days. I have gradually started adding it back into my diet to see how my body reacts to it. So far, it really seems to depend on what and how much of gluten I am eating, smaller portions is definitely better and most times, I prefer keeping it gluten free as it makes me feel a bit more energetic.

When I first started exploring a gluten free diet, I did as probably most people with wheat allergies start, I purchased some gluten free products from the local supermarket. I quickly realized these products are mostly made of starches and white rice flours,  which isn’t the healthiest option for your body. Potato, tapioca and corn starches are full of carbohydrates and refined ingredients which quickly turn into sugar in your body and they don’t provide as many essential vitamins and nutrients found in whole grain ingredients.

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Then, one day, I discovered a recipe for banana pancakes made with oat flour. That was the beginning of my Oat Flour Obsession! Oat flour is made from ground up rolled oats. It was so easy to make. I poured a cup of whole rolled oats into my food processor and pulsed until I got oat flour, so easy! However, if you don’t have a food processor or the time to make your own oat flour, you can certainly purchase it. My family and I loved the pancakes and I have to admit, I liked them better then wheat floured ones.

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Oats are a natural gluten free, whole grain ingredient. Oats are  full of fiber and can help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease and it makes a perfect substitution for gluten flours, such as all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Plus, you don’t have to add any xanthum gum or guar gum.

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I was so excited to find a great tasting, whole grain, gluten free option and quickly started transforming all of my muffin, bread, pancake, waffle, cookie and cake recipes using oat and almond flours.

So, now I want to share some of these delicious recipes with you so you can substitute some of your wheat baked goodies into whole grain, gluten free baked goodies. Remember, it’s a good idea to keep your metabolism going strong and a little change and balance between foods is always a good idea.

Today, I’m going to share some of my new favorite breakfast baked good recipes from Chocolate Zucchini Bread, to Banana Maple Oat Bread, Cinnamon Crumb Muffins, Morning Glory Muffins and Oatmeal Pecan Breakfast Cookies. These are truly some of the most delicious, wholesome breakfast foods and I hope you love them just as much as I do.

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As always if you have any gluten free or allergen free recipes or tips that you’d like to share, please let us know. I am always excited to try new things!

Italian Wedding Soup

When it’s cold and snowing outside, I like to fill up my belly with a warm, savory bowl of Italian Wedding Soup, a true comfort food.

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I love this soup, it is one of our favorites! My friend Lisa introduced me to it a couple of years ago and I’ve since made my own adjustments to it. For example, instead of using the traditional escarole, I use chopped frozen organic spinach. It’s easier and full of iron and fiber. I also add beans to my soup. I really enjoy a nice hearty soup that can suffice as our entire meal. I guess you could say it closely resembles a minestrone soup with mini meatballs.

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For the meatballs, I keep them light and healthy, by using ground turkey instead of beef and adding grated onion, carrots and zucchini. This keeps the meatballs so moist and full of flavor. I use this exact same recipe for traditional meatballs that I cook with marinara sauce. Absolutely delish!

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If you’re gluten free, you can substitute the whole wheat bread crumbs for brown rice bread crumbs and the regular pasta for corn pasta. If you’re vegetarian, you can substitute with tofu meat or omit them all together. Your options are endless.

This soup is a winner in our family and in my Food Jules classes. The kids enjoy it so much that they ask for it each semester. It makes me very proud that they are so excited to eat such a nutritious meal.

Hope this delicious soup warms you up on this cold, winter day.

Blog Refresh

This weekend, I spent a great deal of time refreshing our Food Jules website. I am not sure if it’s the “new year, new you” feeling but ever since the holidays ended, I have been refreshing a lot around here, a little “pre-spring cleaning”. It gives me such a feeling of satisfaction and comfort when things are clean and organized, makes things seem new again. It helps bring me a step closer to the spring time.

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If you look around the website, you’ll find I’ve re-organized it a bit, while still keeping it simple and clean. I’ve revised our bio, added a few new recipes and updated the cooking class information. I will continue to bring you new recipes and tips as the weeks continue. I have lots to share with you, especially in the gluten free arena. I am on Day 13 of my GLUTEN CLEANSE and am feeling absolutely wonderful. I have more energy, more appetite and no digestive issues. I am still having trouble sleeping at night and the nightmares continue, but I expect that will continue for some time. It all started with Julian’s passing so I am sure my subconscious and conscious mind still has lifelong healing to do.

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Go ahead and check out our REFRESHED website and stay tuned for more to come. Keep those comments coming too, I really enjoy reading them.