Taiwanese Fried Rice

A few months ago, my mother and I took my boys to Taiwan for an epic summer vacation. My family is from Taipei, and I wanted to make sure the kids had a chance to make a connection with their ancestral roots. Turns out, it was pretty easy to do, starting with – no surprise here – the food. Taiwan is known for its cuisine, and we ended each day with the full bellies to prove it. We had one particularly amazing meal at 三分俗氣, a restaurant run by Mama Tsao and her husband. Her vegetable rice packs a punch of flavor: it’s savory and completely addictive. She told me her secret is infusing the oil with aromatics like chinese ham and bacon.
Fried rice is one of those guilty pleasures a lot of us associate with our neighborhood Chinese delivery place, but try this recipe and I think you might find yourself tossing that takeout menu. It’s easy, filled with layers of flavor, and probably quite a bit healthier than anything in those little white cartons. Give it a shot and customize with any meats or veggies you wish!

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Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes & Basil

In the summer, I make this pasta sauce at least once a week. It’s fresh, tomatoe-y and vibrant, and the best part – it’s a cinch to make! This was the first recipe I learned when I started cooking in college. I was missing home and my Mom walked me through the steps over the phone. It’s still one of my favorite recipes and my boys LOVE this meal so much that they always end up dancing a little in their high chairs after the first bite. Really!! The tomatoes really are the star ingredient: make sure you buy the most flavorful ones you can, and after that everything will be a piece of cake….errr pasta.
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Tips for Getting Kids in the Kitchen

Ever since the kids were born, they’ve been with me in the kitchen. I’ve gotten so used to having a baby on my hip, I feel like I’ve mastered the art of one-handed cooking. Lots of times this can be overwhelming; toddlers are like little tornadoes, so there’s not a lot of time for nuanced cooking. But, if you go in prepared, leave your perfectionist tendencies at the door, and roll with the punches, it is absolutely one of the most rewarding experiences you can have with your family.
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Homemade Popsicle Blueprint

It’s amazing how freezing a bit of fresh fruit on a stick can turn healthy food into the BEST. SNACK. EVER. Homemade popsicles take advantage of the ripe fruit of the season, are so so tasty, and dare I say, a bit healthy. The best part is, once you know the blueprint, the possibilities are endless. Just start with the basics: fresh fruit, your favorite sweetener, and you’re good to go.
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