Chicken zucchini skulls patties

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It’s always tricky to find interesting ways to offer meat to your kids, sometimes you have to play it around…like in today’s recipe!

Tender and tasty chicken patties shaped like spooky skulls. Maybe because it’s Halloween time, maybe because he’s a boy, but my little Luca loved them!

To keep the chicken more moist and sneak in some vegetables I added one grated zucchini to the mix…huge improvement!

The chicken skulls are baked, not fried…even more healthy ;-)

That’s all you need to prepare 20 small skulls:

skull ingred


And that’s how I did:

– grate the zucchini. Place the pulp in a colander, adjust with a pinch of salt and with a fork or a spoon press the zucchini in order to remove the extra water. Let the zucchini pulp drain for 5 minutes.



– Place the chicken breast already cut in big pieces in a food processor. Mix for one minute in order to ground it.


– In a big bowl add the ground chicken, the zucchini, the ricotta cheese, the parsley, a pinch of salt, the grated parmesan cheese and the eggs



– Mix everything with a spoon in order to obtain a very smooth paste. Add the breadcrumbs. I added only 1/2 cup as the zucchini were very well drained. You might have to add from 1/2 to 1 cup of breadcrumbs pending how watery your zucchini will be.  The final mix will be sticky but compact like in the picture.


– Prepare a baking sheet with some parchment paper on top and grease your hands with some oil of olive.


– Take one tablespoon of chicken mix and start shaping it with your hands in order to form a skull. Place it on the parchment paper and keep going with the other skulls. Gently press your finger in the top part of the skull to form the eye holes.



– final decoration. Using some baby carrots and few zucchini slices form the eyes and the mouth of the skulls.



– Drizzle the skulls with some breadcrumbs and oil of olive. Bake them in the oven at 400F/200C. for 20 minutes. Add 5 extra minutes in broil mode.



Let them cool down for 5 minutes and let your kids choose with skull to eat first!!



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posted on October 27, 2014

Chocolate strawberry scream – Halloween

I’m a mom with a huge huge passion for food. I’m not a chef . Maybe that’s why the recipes that I love more are the healthy + easy ones with a spectacular final result. Today’s recipe is a perfect example: sooooo easy and incredibly beautiful. A perfect treat for an Halloween party or just to have fun with your kids. Healthy snack or lunch box idea to surprise. You decide!

This is all you will need:

strawberry scream ingred

and this is how to prepare them:

– you will need medium/large strawberries with nice and long leaves. Try one strawberry before buying them. The sweeter, the better. Gently wash the strawberries and let them dry very well otherwise the chocolate will not stick properly.

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– melt the white chocolate. I used the microwave, faster and less messy. Place the chocolate in a glass or porcelain or ceramic container (I prefer not to use plastic) and microwave it for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each time in order to spread the heat and melt the chocolate evenly. In less than two minutes your chocolate should be melted and smooth.

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– hold one strawberry from the leaves (that’s why they should be big and long!!) and immerge it in the white chocolate with a slow and smooth movement in order to create a nice and uniform white coat all around the strawberry

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– place the strawberry on an aluminum foil or a parchment paper to dry for 5 minutes. keep going with the other strawberries.

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– melt the dark chocolate in the microwave like you did for the white one. considering the small amount of chocolate you will need less than one minute. transfer the melted chocolate in a plastic bag, trying to fill a corner of the bag. Cut the point of the corner in order to form a tiny hole.

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– when the white chocolate will be dry you can start the decoration. An oval movement of your hand will create the screaming mouth and two small dots will be the eyes. Done!!! I told you….easy recipe!!

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Considering that here in Los Angeles the weather is still very warm, I kept my screaming strawberries in an air tight container in the refrigerator as they would have melt outside ;-) I would suggest to enjoy the strawberry screams within 2 days from the decoration.

If you are really picky you can cut out the extra white chocolate at the bottom of the strawberries with a sharp knife. I didn’t want to waste a single drop of chocolate and I left it ;-)

ciao ciao!


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strawberry scream



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posted on October 23, 2014

Meringue bones with plum jam

How scary can be to eat a broken bone with some blood on it? Enough to create a spooky (and healthy) snack for your kids!!

The merengue recipe comes from my best friend Francesca’s mom, grandma Tina. Every time I go to visit them, grandma Tina is in the kitchen cooking amazing dishes like it’s always Christmas ;-) There is always a fresh baked cake for the kids to enjoy and 90% of the ingredients come from their garden and animals. Last time I was there she was preparing some meringues for her nieces and she gave me the recipe to try…so simple and so perfect! Thank you grandma Tina, you’re the best!!!

Being Halloween time I decided to use the recipe to create some scary shapes…like bones, but you can use the meringue recipe every day of the year and shape them in any design you like!

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Here you are the ingredients to fill a baking tray with meringues (I prepared 20 bones):

meringue bones

How to proceed:

Divide (very well) the egg white from the yolk. If you do not know what to do with the yolks, what about a custard cream? or a homemade mayonnaise? or a homemade lemon curd? just some ideas for you.

Place the egg whites in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and using an electric beater beat the egg yolks in snow. It will take less than 4 minutes. They will be done when you will have obtained a thick and firm cream and the egg white mix will stay still on the electric beater without falling (see picture).

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Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to avoid any egg flavor in the final meringue.

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Using the electric beater slowly add the sugar. Mix for 2 minutes up until obtaining a shiny sticky mousse.

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Transfer the mousse in a plastic bag and cut one corner

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On a non stick baking sheet (you can use a parchment paper on top if you have a standard baking sheet) start creating the bones, one next to the other. I started making two circles one next to the other and a vertical line. Other two circles on top and my cute bone was done!

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Place the bones in the preheated oven at 250F / 120C  for 2 hours.  We are not technically baking but dehydrating the meringues. As I used brown sugar the meringues came out beige and not bright white, still spooky!

Final touch: I heated some homemade plum jam to make it more liquid and I let some drops fall on top of the bones creating a blood effect. My kids were extremely excited about it!!!


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merengue bones

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posted on October 16, 2014

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