“What’s for dinner?” – the dreaded question for many busy parents, especially when trying to accommodate picky eaters, meat-lovers and vegetarians in the same meal.
Katie offers adaptable recipes with easy variations so that everyone at the table is happy, including the cook. She also offers side notes on how to get your kids involved with the dinner process, what can be made ahead, as well as leftover solutions and finding endless ways to reinvent a family favorite recipe.
Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals.
I recently met Katie and sampled a few of her recipes at a Melissa’s Produce media luncheon.
Her recipes are straight-forward, easy to follow, delicious and kid friendly. Here are a few that we enjoyed.
Deviled Eggs – Avocado & Bacon, Goat Cheese, Chive & Jalapeño & Classic with Smoked Paprika (p.48) & Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto (p. 66)
Honey-Glazed Carrots (p. 276) & Kale & Quinoa Salad with Dried Cherries (p. 78)
Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp with Smoked Paprika (p. 65) & Bacon, Sage & Provolone Chicken Rolls with Marsala Sauce (p. 129)
Chocolate Chunk and Crystalized Ginger Oatmeal Cookie (p.323) & Honey-Roasted Peanut Cookies (p.315)
Because I don’t have kids or picky eaters in my household I choose to make her delicious dip for our regular Sunday afternoon BBQ. It was a huge hit.
Katie admits hot artichoke dips are not exactly revolutionary, but this one is lush with Parmesan cheese and a sparkly shot of lemon to make it more modern.
I made this recipe with both the artichokes and crab and blended it all in a food processor for a slightly smoother consistency. You can split the recipe in half and add crab to one half and artichoke to the other, making both vegetarians and pescatarians feeling indulged.
Serve this decadent dip with crackers, chips or raw vegetables. You can also spread it on crostini (toasted bread) or, for a really great alternative, serve it with leaves from steamed large artichokes.
You can prepare the dip following Step 2 up to a day ahead and refrigerate, covered. Either bring to room temperature before placing in the oven, or add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
What the Kids (or others) Can Do to Help
Measure the ingredients, zest the lemons (if they can handle the grater), mix up the ingredients, spoon the dip into the baking dish.
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, regular or low-fat(Neufchatel), at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk, half-and-half, or heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 scallions, white and light green parts, minced
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cans (7-ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed,and chopped or 1 lb crabmeat
- Kosher or coarse salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Stir together the cream cheese, milk, bell pepper, Parmesan, parsley, scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper in a medium-size bowl until well blended. Blend in the artichoke hearts. Taste and season with salt.
- Transfer the mixture to a small shallow baking dish and bake until bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. You may want to pass it under the broiler during the last few minutes to give it a beautiful golden top. Serve hot.
“Picky eaters, vegetarians, the spice-averse-there are ways to make everyone at the table happy without feeling the need to turn into a short-order cook.” – Katie Workman
If you need help getting dinner on the table in a timely manner Dinner Solved is a cookbook for you.
…and then, she paused for thought.