Category Archives: Bettering Relationships

5 Back-to-School Dessert Recipes for Kids

The end of August marks back-to-school time in Delaware. And the thought of a new year may be met with excitement…or groans. But no matter how your family feels about the end of summer, the best way to earn a smile is with a sweet treat.

If you’re looking for delicious dessert recipes for kids, I have lots of ideas you can make at home. Cooking with your kids will get them excited about their what’s in their lunch box—especially when it includes dessert.

My favorite back-to-school recipes for kids have something for everyone, from gluten-free options to all-out decadence. Get in the kitchen and try something new.

Try These Indulgent Dessert Recipes for Kids

Healthy Rice Krispie Treats
A modern twist on a timeless snack, these Rice Krispie treats from Running with Spoons nix the sugary marshmallows in favor of brown rice syrup or honey (you decide). The recipe also contains almond butter, so you can get a bit of protein with every bite. Top it off with a drizzle of melted chocolate for a stunning presentation!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Who wouldn’t love to find a peanut butter-filled chocolate cookie sandwich in their lunch box? Easy to make (and fun to eat) these whoopie pies from Elana’s Pantry are sure be a winner with your kids. The cherry on top? They’re gluten- and dairy-free. But don’t worry; no one will know the difference!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Everyone needs a classic cookie recipe—and this one from Ina Garten fits the bill. Full of chocolate chunks and walnuts, it packs some serious flavor and texture. Be sure to serve your warm cookies with glasses of cold milk for dunking!

Lemon Bars
If you’re looking for non-chocolate dessert recipes for kids, try these easy lemon bars from Dinner Then Dessert. The sweet-tart combo is both refreshing and elegant. Pack ‘em up for lunch. Or, bring them to the school bake sale for an easy A.

Cook with Chef Bianca
Want to learn how to make even more amazing recipes for kids (and adults) under the guidance of a professional chef? About the Table offers customizable cooking classes. Contact us for details or to book us for a class.

Too Hot to Cook? Try These No-Cook Meal Ideas This Summer!

Has it become too hot to cook in your kitchen this summer? The thought of turning on the oven or stove is less than appealing when you’ve been out in the sun all day. But don’t let the heat spoil your appetite. There are plenty of light, no-cook meal ideas available to beat the heat while keeping your family well-fed!

Key Ingredients for No-Cook Meals

1. Seasonal Veggies: When building a meal that doesn’t require the stovetop or oven, think veggies first. Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a variety of raw veggies, from sugar snap peas to bell peppers. Invest in a spiralizer to make fresh “noodles” out of zucchini, carrots or beets. Avocados are incredibly diverse and can be transformed into anything from salad toppings to creamy sauces. Try this recipe for Caprese-Stuffed Avocados for a light twist on traditional caprese salad.

2. Pre-Made Proteins: This is also the perfect time to use canned meats such as tuna, chicken or salmon. Any of these proteins can be combined with mayonnaise, diced veggies and a few spices for a wonderfully flavorful salad. Scoop it onto crackers or into butter lettuce leaves for a crisp, refreshing meal.

3. Leafy Greens: Salads can easily become the centerpiece of the meal if you’re dreading turning on the oven. A southwestern-flavored salad with corn, black beans and tomatoes lends itself to a variety of other toppings like peppers, guacamole and salsa. Or try a Greek salad with feta cheese, kalamata olives and cucumbers.

4. Gourmet Items: Who says dinner needs to be plated? Fill up the table with platters of gourmet deli meats and cheeses, raw fruits (like figs) and veggies. Add your favorite dips, and let everyone gather around the table and build their own meal. This could easily become a picnic dinner if you want to venture to a park to eat.

Too Hot and Tired to Make a Meal?

Let us help! About the Table can prepare light, refreshing cold meals for you and your family to enjoy all summer long. Contact us here to set up a weekly meal plan.

Already a client? Ask us about including more cold meals on the menu!

Father’s Day Dinner and Gifts for the Foodie

My favorite memories of my dad are the ones we spent enjoying a meal at the kitchen table or a restaurant. When I would visit my hometown in New Jersey from Delaware, we’d bond over food—or, more specifically, a bowl of black olives or breadsticks wrapped in prosciutto. It was our special time to catch up. And we both agreed that anything is better with a good cocktail and delicious dinner!

I attribute my business and my culinary success to my dad. He certainly cultivated my love of food. He taught me how to order steak, “as rare as the chef will let it go!” He even showed me how to truly appreciate the finer things in life, like a Tanqueray martini. To this day, I still utter his words after the first sip: “Ah, nectar of the gods!”

Not only was my dad a food connoisseur, he was also an entrepreneur. Because of him, I was able to turn my passion (and these cherished moments) into a career that lights me up day after day. The sheer joy that I get from sharing a meal is what motivated me to start About the Table. For this, and countless other reasons, I am forever grateful for my dad.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I encourage you to treat your dad to something personal to create lasting memories. At About the Table, this time is extra meaningful, and we’d be honored to help you plan the perfect day for Dad.

Father’s Day Dinner and Gift Ideas

Special occasion dinner: Don’t worry about making a reservation in Delaware for the big day. Instead, let us prepare all of your dad’s favorite foods. Whether you’d like to enjoy Father’s Day dinner just with Dad or the whole family, we’ll bring seasonal dishes right to your door. No one has to cook. No one has to clean. Everyone gets to eat!

Cooking class: Roll up your sleeves and learn something new! Is Dad interested in baking or does he love pub fare? Has he always wanted to make pasta from scratch? We can tailor a class to suit his interests and preferences. It’s the perfect gift for the foodie in your life.

Personal chef service: Is your superdad super busy? Is he trying a new diet? Does he deserve a little relaxation time at the end of the day? Consider the gift of About the Table’s personal chef services. We’ll cook customized meals for him (or the family) so he doesn’t have to. Check out sample menus and options here.

Contact us now to book your Father’s Day dinner or special service!

Traveling This Summer? Order Meals to Go!

When beach season hits in Delaware, it’s time to head to the shore. Whether for the weekend or your annual weeklong getaway, there’s nothing better than summertime at the ocean. In addition to towels, sunscreen and those cute gladiator sandals, you can now take meals to go from About the Table!

We all know the foundation of every good beach day (or party) is the food. But heading straight to the grocery store when you arrive, and then cooking all your meals, will seriously cut into your relaxation and family time. Besides, who wants to do all that work on vacation?

Pack Travel Meals To Go

Our team is happy to prepare a luxurious picnic lunch to keep you full and satisfied between building sandcastles and surfing. We can also send you off with marinated steaks and vibrant salads for BBQs at the beach house. Need breakfast to start the day? How about homemade muffins or cheese and asparagus quiche?

We can prepare meals that are fully cooked or require minimal cooking, such as a few minutes on the grill. Just tell us about your trip, and we will help you decide what will work best. We’ll also give you simple heating, serving and packing instructions, as needed.

And it’s easier than getting a reservation…

Here’s How It Works:                 
                                                        
If you’re a current client, there’s no need to skip a week of regular service if you’re going out of town. Instead, let us know when you’re traveling and we’ll plan a menu you can enjoy on the road or at your destination. Call or email about 2 weeks in advance so we can plan accordingly.

If you’re not a current client, call or email us to learn how we can prepare meals for your getaway—or start a regular service. 302-365-0143

Sample Dishes:

• All-American Burgers
• Marinated Steak
• Tequila-Lime Chicken
• Garlic Roasted Pork Tenderloin
• Family-Style Baked Ziti
• Farmer’s Market Salad
• Quinoa Tabbouleh with Fresh Herbs
• Mini Muffins
• Egg Quiche and Casseroles

No matter your adventure, About the Table can fuel your summer excursions with customized meals to go. While you’re slowing down, we’re just heating up. Contact us for details.

Unique Mother’s Day Gifts for the Garden and Food Lover

Mother’s Day is one of my favorite holidays because it brings my family together for fantastic food and company in (usually) nice weather. There’s nothing I love more than enjoying a great meal outside with the people I care about most.

I have a close relationship with my mom, and some years I struggle to come up with unique Mother’s Day gifts that accurately express how much I appreciate her. Flowers, candy, a nice card. My mom is always grateful, but I like to surprise her with something really special (she deserves it!).

That’s why I’ve created this list of unique Mother’s Day gifts that will surely be a hit with your mom, aunt, grandmother—or whoever deserves your affection!

Gardening Tools: Does Mom dream of cultivating a garden, but lack the proper tools to make it a reality? A tool bag or carrying case full of gardening tools (don’t forget the knee pad!) and some organic seed packets may be the catalyst for getting her out in the garden. Pair the kit with a wide-brimmed sun hat and some pretty gardening gloves, and offer to spend a day helping her prepare the garden beds.

Herb Tower: If Mom lives in a city or needs to conserve space, an herb tower is a great way for her to grow herbs indoors or on a balcony. She won’t have to buy fresh herbs from the grocery store anymore, and the tower will provide a nice splash of greenery in her living space. A small watering can and herb seedlings would make a nice accompaniment for this gift.

Teatulia Tea Gift Set: Tea makes a lovely present, and I’m a big fan of Teatulia. Their organic tea gift sets are 20% off with promo code LOVEMOM through May 14. Mom will enjoy sipping a special blend, while having some much-need “me time.”

About the Table Gift Certificate: Give Mom a break from cooking with a gift certificate for personal chef services with About the Table.* From beef stroganoff to spinach and butternut squash lasagna, our menus are customizable and gift certificates are available in any amount. And what home chef doesn’t appreciate a from-scratch meal made just for them? Take a peek at our sample menus here.

Be sure to call me (Chef Bianca) for more details, and to get your gift certificate in time for Mother’s Day: 302-365-0143

*Price paid for a personal chef gift certificate is good for 1 year. Not redeemable for cash. If redeemed after 1 year, there may be additional grocery charges due to increased food costs.

Trade Phones for Food

Trade Phones for Food

My business is called About the Table, because I truly believe that the table has the power to unify us. It’s a place where we can relax, connect and nourish our bodies. It offers an opportunity to leave our worries behind and focus on enjoying a homemade meal, sweet treat or cup of tea. It’s where we break bread and ask our loved ones, how was your day?

Unfortunately, in our modern lives, texts became more important than talks and Facebook became more popular than face time (and I don’t mean the app). There doesn’t seem to be much etiquette around the table when cell phones are invited to the party. The phone pings or rings and our attention is instantly diverted.

Now, I’m not preaching here. It happens to me, too. Phones just have that affect on us. That’s why I devised a new rule in my house: Trade Phones for Food. During meals, the phones are put to the side and replaced with something irresistible, like a warm bowl of beef stew, a pile of crisp chicken cutlets or a fresh-baked loaf of zucchini bread.

It may not be so simple to tell your family to turn off the electronics because dinner is ready. You might experience a bit of resistant. So I came up with some fun ideas and games to help you along:

Trade Phones for Food (and Conversation)

The Basket Bribe: Leave a basket by the kitchen table and stock it with your family’s favorite treats: small bars of dark chocolate, individually-wrapped truffles, packets of peanut butter, or fresh fruit from the farmer’s market. Then, have them drop their phones in the basket in exchange for a treat. Once the meal is over, they can reclaim their electronics.

Social Media Game: If your family has trouble disconnecting with social media, then bring it to the table—sans the phone or laptop. The trick is to make a game out of it, so it’s actually more fun than their favorite app. Can your family tell you about their day in 140 words or less? Who can come up with the best hashtag to describe dinner? How would you style your plate for Instagram?

Trending Conversations: We all know how important trends are and how much we love to discuss them. So have each person jot down a few topics or questions on individual index cards. The topics can be something that’s trending on social media, in the news or in their personal lives. Mix up the cards and have each person draw one. Next thing you know, you’ll be engaged in meaningful conversations about issues that are specifically important to you and your family. You never know what you’ll learn or discover.

Your Turn: These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you try one or have your own creative way to trade phones for food, let me know in the comments below.