09 Dec 2016
in books, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: art, children, experiments, family, games, life, nutrition, reading, science
I enjoyed participating in a few holiday craft sales this year, showing off my book Cook Up A Story. I met many wonderful people who bought up most of my stock and all of my aprons and chef hats.
I only have a few copies left. In Canadian dollars I can offer a better price than that at the Blurb Book store, which quotes American dollars. Because of the current exchange rate, Canadian prices are lower than those quoted on Blurb Bookstore on-line. And conversely prices are 33% lower yet if you are paying in US dollars. As of Dec 17, I’m down to my last three copies: More
22 Nov 2016
in books, Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Snacks, stories
Tags: art, children, Christmas, family, healthier recipe, party food, wine
‘Tis the season, whether we like it or not. I personally love it! So much fun getting together with old friends, sharing some sparkly, sampling baking made at special times of the year, remembering happy days from years past… and meeting new neighbors! I even love the whole shopping thing, searching out little baubles to put under the tree and surprising the people I love.
That’s why I happily agreed to help my daughter Kristina host an open house at her place this year to launch the holiday season. More
26 Apr 2016
in Appetizers, Breads, Desserts, Drinks, food, health, recipes, Salads, science, Soups
Tags: bananas, cakes, children, chocolate, family, fennel, nutrition, nuts
Vinny’s been updating older posts recently and putting them up on Yum Goggle. Yum Goggle features food photography from contributors around the world. The photos whet your appetite for the recipes you can get simply by clicking on the pictures or the words GET THE RECIPE. It’s a great site and we’re proud to be a part of the team. More
11 Apr 2015
in books, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: activities, children, cook books, family, nutrition
Healthy eating is all about balance
If you have ever been tempted to buy a copy of Sharon Rudnitski’s book Cook Up A Story: Good Food Sets the Mood… now is the time.
For the next 3 days (until April 13), you can get it on-line for 35% off… the largest discount I’ve ever seen. Use the promo code APRILFLASH35 at checkout.
03 Feb 2015
in Desserts, Drinks, food, health, recipes
Tags: children, eggnog, eggs, meringue
Dali’s hen house
In my previous post, I talked about making eggnog from scratch using fresh clean unbroken eggs, cracking them carefully, and allowing them to cure in sugar and alcohol. Raw eggs are generally safe for healthy people.
If you are cooking for young children, pregnant mamas, the elderly, or people with weak immune systems, though, you won’t want to risk serving them raw eggs. But hey, you don’t have to ditch your favorite recipes. More
24 Jun 2014
in Appetizers, Breads, food, Snacks, stories
Tags: barbecue, cheese, children, easy recipes, foil, meat
Little Tommy Tucker sings for his supper, What shall we give him? Brown bread and butter. How shall he cut it without a knife? How shall he marry without a wife?
Isla was entertaining us for the 17th time one morning with her latest ditty, as I took my sharp, serrated blade from the rack and a round, seedy loaf of whole-grain bread from the cupboard. She stopped and raised her shoulders, palms out. “Hey, Vinny, why doesn’t Tommy have a knife?”
“I suspect the poor kid was on the streets,” I answered. “The poem was written… like 200 years ago. If you didn’t have a family to look after you then and you More
12 Dec 2013
in books, food, health, science
Tags: children, friendship, low-fat milk, reviews, shyness, smoothies
The many faces of milk is what Chapter 5 of the print version of Cook Up A Story is all about. The story, More Milk Please, offers a time-honored recipe for getting along with people—especially people of the opposite gender. Izzi’s best friend Jill and a jug of milk is all it takes to help her overcome her awkward shyness. More
29 Nov 2013
in food, health, Holiday foods
Tags: Advent, avoiding sugar, children, education, family, games
News flash – Vinny celebrates his third anniversary on WordPress today!
It’s December! Many people start counting down the days to Christmas with an advent calendar. Each day comes with a thought, a scene, and/or a chocolate candy that brings us closer to the real meaning of the holiday. More
26 Nov 2013
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, stories
Tags: avocados, children, chocolate, fruit, mangos, mousse, omega 9 fatty acids, omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, pudding
A healthy chocolate dessert
Instead of the suspicious fats usually lurking in rich desserts from heavy cream and butter, this chocolate pudding hides a secret agent known far and wide for his success in fighting disease. His name? Detective Avocado. More
23 Nov 2013
in books, food, health
Tags: baking soda and baking powder, cake, children, education, family, fiber, humor, labels, prunes, reviews
Make magic with prunes
Chapter 4 of the print version of Cook Up A Story is all about fiber… a subject that can sometimes veer sadly toward the gross. The story, Prune Puff, doesn’t disappoint. It’s all about how ridiculously wrong things can go in the kitchen. It starts when Clark tries to come up with a good science project. But you can do better than Clark. Follow Vinny’s simple recipe and concoct a delicious light luscious delectable cake… full of healthy fiber. Then, test your food science know-how. Take a quiz on fiber and do an experiment on the ingredient that puffs cakes up – baking powder.
The story underlines how important it is to label foods carefully. And not just in your own kitchen. All processed foods we buy have to be labeled. Vinny shows us how to understand the information on food labels. Everybody can take a minute to refresh their know-how in this area – so important! More
19 Nov 2013
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, banana bread, bananas, cake, children, coconut oil, preventing waste, whole wheat
Turn waste into want with moist banana cake
Waste not want not
“Yes, we have no bananas…,” Vinny said to his friend Will, who turned up the other day wanting some of his favorite fruit. “We have bananas, but you won’t want to eat them,” Vinny explained, showing Will the goods. The black, squishy fruits resembled bananas only in shape. More
11 Nov 2013
in books, food, Holiday foods, Main dishes, stories
Tags: children, Clementine in the kitchen, cook books, Dad, family, oxtail, Remembrance Day, reviews, slow cooking, stew
Lest we forget…
In honor of Remembrance Day, on what would have been my dad’s 94rd birthday, I’m re-posting a feature that touches on times during the Second World War. More
07 Nov 2013
in books, food, health
Tags: children, education, nutrition
Please pass the word to your friends 🙂
Howdie! If any of my faithful readers are in downtown Toronto on Saturday, November 9, why don’t you drop by for a visit?
Sharon and I are in town for a child-development conference sponsored by Sick Kids, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, talking about our book Cook Up A Story. We’re at the Novotel Toronto Centre, 46 The Esplanade, second floor, from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Come by for a chat. It will be so nice to meet you! More
02 Nov 2013
in books, food, health
Tags: bannock, biscuits, celebration, children, education, family, family tree, history, labels, meat pies, reviews, scones, tourtiere
Chapter 3 of the print version of Cook Up A Story offers kids a family ghost to scare them silly. Little Miss Ellie and the princess’s pie makes for a tasty Halloween treat. Then bake two delicious dishes from Ellie’s past. Ellie’s mixed French and Native background helps us learn to appreciate foods from other cultures. Sit down for a cozy chat with your folks and unmask recipes that conjure up your own family’s skeletons. Vinny uses Ellie’s Native roots to discuss food labels we see at the store: natural, organic, local, large-scale producers… We soon see that no one size fits all. There’s a lot to learn and the choice is up to us. More
26 Oct 2013
in books, fitness, food, health
Tags: chicken wings, children, education, exercise, family, friendship, frogs legs, responsibility, substituting foods
The outdoors and exercise go hand-in-hand
In Chapter 2 of the print version of Cook Up A Story, read Birthday bumps. It’s a hair-raising adventure about boys on the river, frogs, and wishes gone bad. Then make two delicious campfire treats: wings on a stick and birthday cupcakes baked in orange skins. Use a campfire, a barbecue, or your oven. Flip and Tigger introduce the idea of food as fuel. Vinny targets carbohydrates and suggests ways to gear up for active lives. Exercise is the chapter’s theme. More
22 Oct 2013
in books, food, health, stories
Tags: children, cook books, education, family, humor, reviews
Happiness often slips in through a door you never knew you left open. That’s my calendar’s message this morning, and it’s proving true in many ways. Here’s one example. Vinny’s pleased to announce that his first attempt at a give-away is all tidied up. His prize, a copy of his book, goes global! More
19 Oct 2013
in books, food, health, science
Tags: children, education, family, friendship, frozen dessert, rice cereal, shyness, water, yogurt
Wauna’s ice krispies
CHAPTER 1 – BODY BASICS
In the print version of Vinny’s book Cook Up A Story, read Vinny’s original fairy tale, Wauna’s Song. Then cook up some Ice Krispies, mentioned in Wauna’s joke to the evil Snow-Woman. Wauna makes it easy to learn about your body, how it works, and how we need balanced meals to make it run smoothly. More
15 Oct 2013
in books, food, health
Tags: children, cook books, education, family, nutrition, reviews
Making nutrition fun through stories
I’m helping Vinny set up a new page in his main menu, called Study Guide.
The plan is to present a guide to healthy eating at home and school, for parents and teachers, based on Cook Up A Story.
Cook Up A Story started out as a way to introduce kids and their families to healthy eating ideas. I hoped to make nutrition fun through stories.
I began with a print book of six adventures for kids, where food is a part of the plot. The stories make bridges to nonfiction articles on the basics of nutrition the whole family can enjoy. The book also features recipes with healthy ingredients, so families can cook up the dishes that star in the tales. More
16 Jul 2013
in books, food
Tags: children, cook books, family, give away
Oh, go ahead. Tell everybody. Vinny is doing his very first give away! More
15 May 2013
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: baking, cake, carbohydrates, children, eggs, humor, nutrition, Stevia, sugar
Angel food cake iced with avocado cream
If a kid can read, he can likely cook. But the watchful eye of experience is a wonderful thing. Witness the action in Vinny’s one-act play and decide for yourself… More
09 Apr 2013
in food, health, recipes, Soups, stories
Tags: balanced meals, children, family, nutrition, protein, thrifty, traditions, vegetables
DIY with a different soup every time
The story of how bone broth came to be
On a winter’s night after a long day’s walk, a ragged beggar finds himself in a quiet farming village. He dreams of a warm fire and a hot meal. He knocks on the door of a tidy house. A pair of eyes peer out at him from behind the printed curtain. But no-one opens the door. At the next house a young woman with a crying baby tells him she has nothing to spare. He is even turned away from the Ukrainian church, where a few women are sewing together on a patchwork quilt. More
19 Mar 2013
in Breakfast foods, Desserts, Drinks, health, recipes
Tags: balanced meals, children, curd, custard, eggs, icing, lemons, topping
Daily cup of warm water with lemon… a Miracle Worker?
I don’t like sour. But Dr. Mike of 17-day diet fame advises a glass of warm water spiked with the juice of half a lemon every morning…the minute we get up.
At first this sounded dire… like voodoo… a magic-potion sort of thing straight out of the pages of Lemony Snicket. But in the interests of scientific experimentation, I gave it a shot.
17 Mar 2013
in Breads, Desserts, Drinks, Holiday foods, recipes, stories
Tags: bananas, cabbage, carbohydrates, children, fruit, nutrition, potatoes, tea, vegetables
I’ve never tried reblogging before, but thought I’d give it a try this 17th of March. It’s St. Paddy’s day! Vinny’s Irish tea party from last year has lots of great links to recipes, songs and stories to help you celebrate the day with your family. Erin go bragh!
Cook Up a Story
“It’s Saint Paddy’s day tomorrow,” says Vinny, “Let’s throw an Irish tea party! Get out your top hats and Irish bowlers, invite Tiger and Firefox, and set the table.
“But what should we serve?” ask Will and Isla.
View original post 741 more words
15 Jan 2013
in Breads, food, health, recipes, science, Snacks, stories
Tags: carbohydrates, children, fiber, nutrition, stone-ground, wheat, whole grain, whole wheat
Our little friend here may not be Tinkerbell… but she does have wings!
Processed white flour
If flour lived in Never-Never Land, enriched white wheat flour would play the part of Captain Hook. Arrrr… it’s bad to the core. In fact, it’s bad because it has no core.
After milling, only the endosperm remains. More
09 Jan 2013
in food, health, recipes, science, stories
Tags: baking, balanced meals, best recipes, chemistry, children, index 2012, mood, nutrition, reviews, traditions
A year in review, through Vinny’s favorite pictures. The pictures are a fun way to index some of the posts you liked best. Should old acquaintance be forgot… click through and remember! More
02 Jan 2013
in fitness, health, Holiday foods, recipes, science, stories
Tags: best recipes, children, education, family, feedback, index 2012, New Years, nutrition, reviews
Vinny goes back to school
Yak’s Sherpa pie
Kale and coconut oil
Click the pics to view the posts The carrots are cooked! Thanks to the WordPress gurus, we now know our blog, Cook Up A Story, got 11,000 views in 2012. People from all around the world logged on to read Vinny’s 41 stories over the year and to check out the 242 pictures we uploaded. I know there are lots of blogs out there with far bigger readerships, but I’m thrilled with the faithful following we’ve grown over the past year. Thanks so much to our readers who make blogging such a lot of fun! More
25 Dec 2012
in Desserts, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: apricots, avoiding sugar, children, Christmas, custard, eggs, fiber, ginger, mood, Stevia, vitamins
Tell us to go out and buy!
So says Tom Lehrer, mathematician, teacher, lyricist, pianist, composer, singer/songwriter and all round great guy. He wasn’t much impressed with the consumerism that Christmas often embodies. His little holiday ditty from the 1960s is just as relevant today as it was when he penned it:
Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don’t say when.
This year we’re trying to fill our cups and plates, not with folly, but with great-tasting foods that feed our bodies and minds with goodness. Our host of angels are made from More
01 Dec 2012
in health, Holiday foods, stories
Tags: Advent, avoiding sugar, calendar, children, chocolate, Christmas, family, mood, reviews, traditions
Here we are, boys and girls, December First! It’s that magical time of the year when we start celebrating all things family, beginning with that special couple 2000 years ago who rejoiced together in a stable over the birth of their new-born son.
One fun tradition of the season is the Advent Calendar. Kids everywhere will be More
27 Nov 2012
in Desserts, fitness, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, baking, beets, cake, children, chocolate, family, mood, nutrition, Stevia, teeth
“Woe is me!” sighs Marie.
How Queen Marie learns to dance
Marie Antoinette found herself bored silly. She had everything she wanted. If she clapped once, her servant would come with a tray full of chocolate cake. Twice got her steaming mugs of cocoa and cream. Three times and she went mad over baskets of truffles and éclairs. But she wasn’t happy. More
07 Nov 2012
in Desserts, food, health, recipes
Tags: avoiding sugar, baking, brownies, children, chocolate, eaTracker, fats, nutrition, nuts, Stevia
Happy occasions demand chocolate!
A very chocolaty recipe jumped right onto my screen just after Halloween, from Chew Out Loud.
Vinny, however, found this recipe a tad high on sugar (2 1/2 cups). So we experimented with stevia in place of sugar. More
30 Oct 2012
in books, food, health, science, stories
Tags: children, cooking classes, education, feedback, home ec, nutrition, reviews
This spring Cook Up A Story caught the imagination of a public school teacher in Burlington, Ontario. John Highley, who teaches at Mohawk Gardens Public School, said, “If we can get the word out to schools, this thing might take right off. I see teachers using Cook Up a Story as a resource in their classrooms for nutrition/health units from grades 1 to 6, as well as the grade 5 chemistry unit.” More
16 Oct 2012
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes, stories
Tags: casseroles, children, leeks, meat, nutrition, potatoes, protein, trivia, vegetables, yaks
Recipe for eternal youth – Sherpa’s pie
In my last post I told you the tale of how a girl named Yackity came to live on a yak farm in Canada. Although she was far from her home in Tibet, it was a fine life. Yackity learned how to grow many kinds of food and make delicious and healthy meals. But there was one dish that her mother had made for her, which was always her favorite… Sherpa’s pie.
We can imagine the life-ever-lasting Tibetans of the mythical Shangri-La baking Yackity’s one-dish dinner for their pampered guests. Its healthful ingredients likely held the key to their long lives. More
11 Oct 2012
in food, health, science, stories
Tags: biology, children, farmers market, fats, local foods, meat, nutrition, protein, Tibet, traditions, yaks
Let me tell you the strange tale of how a Sherpa girl called Yackity ended up on a ranch far from home and got to the meat of the matter. More
18 Sep 2012
in food, health, recipes, science, Side dishes
Tags: anemia, antioxidants, brain, children, corn, digestion, fiber, nutrition, okra, prostate, seeds, stroke, vegetables
Annie Okra hits the target every time when it comes to scrubbing out our innards. Also known as “lady finger,” this nutritious green pod is rich in fiber as well as some other gluey stuff. This duo helps digest your dinner. More
04 Sep 2012
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, Snacks
Tags: apples, avoiding sugar, baking, cake, carbohydrates, children, digestion, fiber, minerals, nutrition, Stevia, vitamins, weight control
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
This little rhyme is one of the first things kids learn about healthy eating. One of baby’s first solid foods is apple sauce. And as kids grow, they often choose apples as a favorite snack. But are apples really so good for us? More
13 Aug 2012
in food, health, Snacks
Tags: anticeptic, antioxidants, children, currents, family, fiber, fruit, grains, grapes, nutrition, nuts, raisins, seeds, snacks, sugar, sultanas
A whole bunch of raisins!
Once upon a time there was a bunch of grapes. They spent way too long in the sun and ended up as raisins. Did you know? More
01 Aug 2012
in Appetizers, food, health, recipes
Tags: children, escargots, fats, French, garlic, goat cheese, gourmet, herbs, meat, milk, minerals, nutrition, protein, snails, traditions, vitamins
Bon Appétit !
Escargot, if you don’t already know this, boys and girls, is French for snail. Many of the best restaurants offer escargots on their menus. They’re delicious!
I know one little girl who ordered escargots whenever she had a chance, which was most often when we were traveling in Quebec or France. She liked her snails with lots of garlic butter, washed down with chocolate milk. Servers shook their heads in wonder when she placed her order. More
17 Jul 2012
in food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: acorns, children, chocolate, dried fruit, family, fats, fruit, Native American, nuts, pemmican, safety, seeds, tannin, trail mix
Ke-mo-sah-bee! “Trusted friend”
The power of nuts
In a recent blog we talked about the goodness of hazelnuts. We even used hazelnuts to make some healthier homemade Nutella!
Acorns are nuts, too. But are they a food? Sure! Hazelnut and Acorn are friends. More
09 Jul 2012
in Drinks, food, health
Tags: artificial sweeteners, avoiding sugar, brain, calories, cancer, children, desserts, diet soda, honey, maple syrup, nutrition, Stevia
Princess of sweet
Once upon a time, there lived a magical sweetener, named Stevia. Cousin of Chrysanthemum and sister of Sunflower, Stevia was incredibly sweet. The truth is Stevia was 300 times sweeter than her ugly stepmother, Sugar. Better yet, Stevia was sweet without any added calories. And best of all, Stevia was so much kinder than any of her catty artificial friends, who promise the same calorie-free hit but deliver nothing but trouble. More
22 Jun 2012
in books, Drinks, food, recipes, Side dishes
Tags: British, children, cook books, custard, drinks, eggs, fruit, reviews, shrimps, tea, traditions, vegetables
Cooking up stories from Redwall Abbey
These traditional recipes were born during the scarce years of the Second World War… but many probably go back much farther than that, handed down by mothers and mother’s mothers in Britain ever since they began to grow potatoes and cabbages. More
09 May 2012
in Breakfast foods, health, recipes, science, Snacks
Tags: bananas, carbohydrates, children, diabetes, digestion, fiber, gluten free, heart, low glycemic, Native American, nutrition, oats, pemmican, sugar, traditions
Banana oat cones are healthier than ice-cream. They are also ridiculously tasty!
“Why do Mares and Does eat oats?” asks Will. “Oats look like dry little bits of paper. Ugh. Does Bambi’s mom know something we don’t?” More
25 Apr 2012
in Breakfast foods, food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, children, chocolate, fats, hazelnut, nutella, nutrition, nuts, palm oil
Our elf Hazel is deeply wise.
Love her and she’ll quench your thirst for knowledge.
Then, she’ll bless you with a silver tongue,
for teaching others what you’ve learned.
So it’s said. But is there any truth behind the power of Elf Hazel?
What we know for sure: Hazel harnesses the strength of her namesake, the hazelnut. Like some other nuts and seeds, hazelnuts feed the brain. More
04 Apr 2012
in food, recipes, Side dishes
Tags: British, Brussels sprouts, bubble and squeak, cabbage, carbohydrates, carrots, children, left overs, nutrition, potatoes, rumbledethumps, traditions, vegetables
Rumbledethumps, without its coat of grated cheese (so you can properly see the filling).
British kids like Harry and Hermione find foods with the strangest names on their school menus. Which of these dishes isn’t like the others… Is it Bubble and Squeak? Rumbledethumps? Hash? Or Spotted Dick? Here’s a hint: Think potatoes. More
27 Mar 2012
in food, health, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, cactus fruit, children, dragon fruit, fiber, fruit, minerals, nutrition, presentation, tasting, vitamins
Great bowls of fire!
There’s a strange new animal stalking the aisles of the produce section of our grocery store these days. It’s beautiful and a little dangerous looking… with long, scales tipped in green overlying a glossy, red, leathery skin. It’s almost as if it’s breathing flames at you… or getting ready to stab you with poison darts!
Oh No! It’s Dragon Fruit… Hide!
Of course it’s not an animal at all. It’s a delicious but sinisterly attractive food called the Dragon Fruit. I say ‘sinister’ because you do have to be a little careful. More