Three Food Things

1. Square Meatballs.

I got this from Better Baby Food, which is my favourite cookbook these days. In the book it's a recipe but here I will just describe the idea: square meatballs. Instead of making little round meatballs, which involves lots of time spent with your hands coated in raw meat (not so good when the baby gets into the Choking Hazards), you pat your meatball mixture in a thin layer (three-quarters of an inch?) in a baking dish, and then bake them for twenty minutes at 350F. Yes, it's basically a thin meatloaf.

After they are done, use a sharp knife to cut them into little squares for the kids and bigger squares for the grown-ups. Genius!

2. Thing

My in-laws make a dish called Zucchini Thing, which is really so unlike anything else that the only possible name for it is Thing. I have the recipe, but I am loathe to make anything that calls for Bisquick. To my delight, though, I found a recipe in a magazine for the very same thing, except without Bisquick:

3 C grated zucchini
1 small onion, chopped
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C grated provolone cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 C vegetable oil
4 T grated Parmesan
2 t chopped fresh basil
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

Mix it all together, slap it in a greased pie plate, cook it at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown, let it cool for 10 minutes, and voila! Thing!

The nice thing about Thing, though, is that it is forgiving. Substitute some other pureed vegetable for the zucchini (provided it is about as moist as grated zucchini, which is pretty moist). Stick some other kind of cheese in! And best of all, kids love it and it has three (3) food groups. Cut it into little squares and let 'em pick it up in their fingers.

3. Chocolate charoset

I just made this up today. I was making charoset for Passover dinner tonight (I know, we're late) and I did it Sephardic style, in little balls rolled in cinnamon. After I had done a few I thought they looked like truffles, and my mind wandered to truffles coated in cocoa. "Hm." I thought. "I wonder..." So I tried it, and they're really tasty. Dessert charoset!