flourless black bean chocolate cake. yep.

black bean cake

I HAVE A LIST OF TOP 5 FOODS. In fact, on one of our first dates, I asked Paul about his. With a sort of deer-in-the-headlights look, he shrugged and explained that he didn’t have such a list (he politely left out saying anything like “because I’m not 9″). No matter. Mine, I announced, were:… 

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Why I replaced the kids’ plastic dishes: out with the plastic, in with the porcelain

new plates and cups

THE TIME HAS COME. There are two things that I keep reading about: an inspiring Montessori approach to eating, and weird news stories about BPA. That’s why I decided to pack up the plastic dishes this week. The new ones are glass (gulp), porcelain (double gulp) and metal (actually, good for gulping). They’re designed to… 

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Chocolate pumpkin muffins two ways (both involve white beans, both are very good)

chocolate pumpkin muffins two ways

THIS BREAKFAST WAS ORIGINALLY A DESSERT, but if there’s an option to wake up to chocolate I have only one thing to say, yes please! It’s also packed with white beans, oatmeal and pumpkin, so there’s enough good-for-you ingredients to keep a kid going all morning long. (Mom, too.) First we redid Chocolate Covered Katie’s… 

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4 ways to make a boxed brownie mix healthier (and still every bit as delicious)

brownies with raspberries

THERE’S SOMETHING FANCY GOING ON HERE and it’s not brownies. We’ve got a couple of new features on Foodlets and one of them is the “Your Favorite Posts Right Now” list, which now appears on the right side of every page. This measures the most clicked on posts of the last 30 days, and vying… 

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5 ways to make any dessert recipe a little healthier

Cupcakes

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR. Once the tree goes up, the Christmas cookies come out and most of us, my pregnant self included, aren’t kidding around when it comes to enjoying the festivities! But if you want to avoid a sugar-induced meltdown (or two, or seven…) for the smaller members of the household here are… 

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pumpkin spice mini muffins

Two pumpkin spice mini muffins

DON’T GET ME WRONG, I STILL LOVE my Barefoot Contessa. But today’s makeover recipe from Paula Deen looked so good — and had so many amazing reviews (766 and counting!?) — on Food Network.com that I couldn’t really resist. They’re both big ladies with even bigger personalities, and all that laughing. Come on, it’s joy… 

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Fatty acids make babies smarter

THIS IS NO FISH TALE. A new study came out last week making it official. Fatty acids are beneficial for babies. Tue, Sep 20, 2011 (HealthDay News via BabyCenter) — Whether they’re fed by bottle or breast, babies seem to turn out smarter when nourished with healthy fatty acids found in breast milk and some… 

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Zucchini mini-muffins with dried cranberries

fresh zucchini

LET IT BE SAID THAT COOKING WITH FOUR KIDS under three is crazy ill advised. A fact, now burned clearly into my brain, was somehow unknown when I went into this project last week. A fellow ex-pat brought her toddler and baby over for some pint-sized baking at my suggestion. Along with my own toddler… 

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Pesto shrimp pasta

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I WAS EXHAUSTED. It turns out that having a toddler and a baby (plus a husband, house and job) is tiring. I just needed a quick dinner but it had to be healthy. We’d been relying too heavily on pizza around here, being Rome you can imagine how often this possibility comes up, and I was craving something more fresh. That’s when I saw these giant shrimp at the store. Sold!

Spinach berry brownie cups

Brownies with frosting

WE GOT LOCKED OUT. It’s happened before. Back when I was pregnant with Phoebe, my mom came to visit from Washington state. Something about the key in that door just wouldn’t work. It didn’t turn no matter who tried. I tried. My mom tried. Then we called Paul at work. He came home and tried…. 

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a garden birthday party with low sugar “dirt cups”: happy 2nd birthday phoebe!

lightened-dirt-cups

THE DIRT CUPS WERE a process. For Phoebe’s second birthday I set out to create a garden party in Villa Ada, Rome’s largest park. And the star of the show, other than the birthday girl’s pretty fabulous tutu, was the “dirt cups”, aka, brownies and pudding mixed together in tiny terra cotta pots with worms,… 

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7 ways to get toddlers to eat more green vegetables

No thanks

How about eating some veggies? Right. I’M PRETTY SURE THAT getting kids to eat more veggies has been a struggle since the advent of dinner itself.  So when Marie submitted her question–I’d love to get my son Lex (2 years, 2 months) to eat more green foods — broccoli, zucchini, peas, maybe even attempt a… 

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How to cook millet

IT’S NOT JUST FOR BIRDS, but that’s probably where you’ve heard of millet. As birdseed. Unless you were in the Peace Corps like my friend Molly who said, “Oh. That was a staple for people in Niger when I was there.”  It makes sense though, because millet is easy to grow in places with extreme… 

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