Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cookbook Thursday: July Fourth fun in the kitchen with the Andrews twins

Identical twins Lilly and Audrey Andrews have been interested in cooking since they were 3 years old and saw their first food show on the Food Network. They started in the kitchen during kindergarten, working their way up to cooking side-by-side with mentor chefs like Bob Blumer, TV food personalities like Wolf Gang Puck and Michael Chiarello, and talk show hosts including Ellen Degeneres. Now, at age 13, they have published their first cookbook, "We [Heart] Cooking: Totally Tasty Food for Kids."
The book includes more than 80 of their favorite recipes that are guaranteed to please kids and their parents, items that range from easy banana almond butter French toast sandwiches to more intricate dishes such as crepes and paella and pad Thai spring rolls. In addition, the book contains tips for making recipes easier for kids to prepare, plus ideas on how to riff on dishes by using different ingredients.
            Here are some fun recipes the twins created that make for fun July Fourth offerings.

Grilled Hot Dogs with Fresh Vegetable Relish
6 organic uncured beef hot dogs
100 percent whole wheat hot dog buns
1 1/2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
Brown mustard (optional)

Fresh Vegetable Relish
1 1/2 cup finely chopped Kirby cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Directions: Heat a small pan to medium and add vinegar, honey and salt, bring to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer the mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes until reduced and starting to thicken. In a heat proof bowl toss together the cucumber, sweet pepper and red onion, pour the pickling mixture over the top of the vegetables to coat. Add the dill and toss again, place in the refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Heat a barbecue or a grill pan to high heat and grill the hot dogs until golden brown on all sides and starting to plump. To serve, evenly distribute the chopped romaine into the bottom of each hot dog bun. Add a small amount of mustard if using it, place a hot dog in each bun. Top with desired amount of fresh vegetable relish and serve. Serves 6, 1 hot dog each.

Sparkling Lemonade and Berry Ice Cubes
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup organic sugar
4 cups sparkling water, chilled
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries  

            Direction: Place berries in two ice cube trays and fill the rest of the way with water. Place in the freezer until frozen. In a 2-quart pitcher add the lemon juice, sugar and stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, stir the lemon juice and sugar together and add sparkling water. Pour 1 cup lemonade into 4, 16-ounce glasses and add the ice cubes until glass is 3/4 full, serve immediately. Replace any unused berry ice cubes back in the freezer to refresh drinks.

Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at