Recipe: Herb-lemon Zest Butter

I found this idea when reading through a recent Bon Appétit magazine (October 2011 issue).

You can put compound butters on top of steak, fish, chicken, rice, pasta, and veggies to enhance flavor and provide some variety to your dishes.   Compound butter can be made on-thhe-fly with leftover herbs and frozen for later use.   I thought that this helpful trick could be a way for busy working mothers to add some last-minute diversity and creative fun to our meals.   Tell me what you think.   

A basic recipe goes like this.   

Herb-lemon Zest Butter


  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, etc.)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt (for seasoning to taste)


  • Put chopped herbs on a work surface
  • Add butter and lemon zest
  • Using a large knife, finely chop together until well combined
  • Season with salt
  • Place butter on the front edge of a sheet of parchment paper (waxed paper or plastic wrap also works).   Bring the edge of the paper up over the butter and roll mixture tightly into a cylinder.
  • Twist the ends to compress the log
  • Wrap airtight in foil
  • Chill until solid
  • Cut into slices and apply on food at end of cooking

Butter will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up up to three months

Other flavor ideas:



Porcini-Red Wine

Turmeric-Mustard Seed


Photo by Diane fields

Recipe: Tandoori chicken with yogurt sauce

This recipe was submitted from a Mama all the way in India!!!! So you know this one will be exotic… sounds great! Thank you so much Mama S!!! Keep them coming and post some pics on the Mama In Motion Facebook page!

You can find this recipe at her own blog “What I Eat”. Check it out!

“I first mentioned this recipe from Everyday Food a few weeks ago because it inspired the apple yogurt slaw I like to serve with other dishes. Sometimes though we like to do this complete recipe.”


  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

[Mama K comment: I use jarred minced garlic, to save time]

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

[Mama K comment: you can also find ground ginger in small jars that keep in the refrigerator, to save time]

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts halves (10 to 12 ounces each)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro [Mama K comment: you can also try Trader Joe’s spice cubes of cilantro – they are in the freezer section of the store and essentially are little cubes of real spices already chopped up real fine – saves time]



1. Preheat oven to 475°. In a large bowl, mix together 1/2 cup yogurt, garlic, turmeric, ginger, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; turn to coat.

2. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 160°, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, peel apple; coarsely grate into a medium bowl. Add cilantro and remaining 1/2 cup yogurt; season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce alongside chicken, with rice, if desired.

“I like to use 2 boneless chicken breasts instead, for faster, easier cooking. Also, I use whatever apples I have on-hand and I like to add lime juice to the apple slaw. And we always make rice for the side.”

Prep time: 5 minutes, 10 minutes for slaw while chicken is cooking

Cook time: 30 minutes

THANK YOU MAMA S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let us know how you are doing over in India! And post some pics!
Mama K


Update on 12/28/2011:   I made this dinner tonight.  It was sooooooooooooo simple, and simply amazing.  A good amount of flavor for the kids.  My boys loved it but the girls, not so much.  Me and Hubby were raving about it.   And seriously, very, very, very simple.  I used jarred garlic, dried turmeric and ginger, and also cubes of cilantro from Trader Joes.   It was FAST FAST FAST and YUMMY.

Thank you again Mama S!!!!

Staying Sane: Easy things to do with your kids during the Holidays

OK, it’s Sunday. I usually post a “Staying Sane” piece but this week I’m going to cheat and “borrow” someone else’s terrific idea and add to it. I came across this blog entry and shared it on the Mama In Motion Facebook page. But I think it’s worthy of posting here as well – since we have 2 weeks to go until Christmas, and tensions at this point may be running high for you as a working mother. We all can use any ideas to help stay sane.

Try to take it easy on yourself. Outsource the shopping to your computer and/or Amazon. Do your cards through USPS and they can put them in envelops and stamp and send them for you. If you are like me, we try too hard to do everything for everybody; BUT, I don’t think we need to put pressures on ourselves to be super-women when it comes to providing a good, memorable experience for our children.

I saw the below list (Source:; and so much resonated with me — there a lots of fun things to do with the kids that aren’t huge projects but could create memorable traditions. Take a look and maybe you’ll see something new; I’ve added my thoughts at the bottom. Add yours too!

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K


50 Things To Do With Kids in December:

  1. Go out and look at Christmas lights
  2. Bake cookies
  3. Pick out and put up the Christmas Tree
  4. Decorate the Christmas Tree
  5. Make an Ice Wreath
  6. Make Cinnamon Applesauce and/or Salt Dough ornaments
  7. Make and decorate gingerbread houses
  8. Sing Christmas Songs
  9. Visit Santa
  10. Buy and donate toys for Toys For Tots
  11. Help to wrap presents for friends and family
  12. Act out the Christmas story
  13. Make Reindeer Food
  14. Make homemade Christmas color/glitter play dough (and scent it with peppermint) to give to friends
  15. Make and decorate gingerbread people
  16. Make popcorn and cranberry garland
  17. Go on a sleigh ride
  18. Make paper chains for the Christmas tree
  19. Write a letter to Santa
  20. Watch a holiday movie
  21. Check out holiday books at the library
  22. Leave out shoes for St. Nicholas
  23. Eat Candy Canes
  24. Hang stockings on the mantle or banister
  25. Put out the Nativity Scene
  26. Address and Mail holiday cards
  27. Pick a special family ornament for the year
  28. Make a special plate for Santa’s cookies and the reindeer’s carrots
  29. Go to see The Nutcracker
  30. Go to a holiday parade
  31. Go to a candy store for a holiday treat
  32. Tie bells with ribbons and hang them around the house
  33. Make cards and gifts for teachers
  34. Go to the dollar store and pick gifts for family
  35. Make special cards to send to cousins
  36. Have a Random Acts of Kindness Day(s)
  37. Make cards to send to troops or to bring to a nursing home
  38. Grocery shop just to take to a food bank or donation boxes
  39. Learn a Christmas song on the guitar or piano
  40. Make a present for Santa
  41. Celebrate the Winter Solstice
  42. Make Winter Tea
  43. Make/Put out food for birds and squirrels
  44. Make orange and clove pomanders
  45. Look through favorite Christmas Cards from friends and family from years past
  46. Start a garland or photo album with your own family holiday cards from years past
  47. Prep and freeze a special breakfast for Christmas morning
  48. Make hot chocolate balls
  49. Make snow globes
  50. Do research on holiday traditions around the world and choose one to add to family traditions

Mama K’s additions:

51. Have the kids draw a picture for Santa to leave out on Christmas Eve

52. Have the kids dress in red and/or green on several days leading up to Christmas

53. Make Christmas socks (simpler than shirts) — white socks with red and green dye; who cares what they’ll look like, the kids will probably love them anyway

54. Have your kids draw the present they would like Santa to bring to them

55. Have your kids make cards for their teachers

56. Make home-made hot chocolate and put a candy-cane on the top for them

57. Get red and green ice-cream — strawberry or vanilla (and add food colooring) and mint or vanilla with food coloring)

58. Go to a downtown area where you live and visit office building lobbies and look at their decorations

59. Go ice-skating

60. Get Santa hats and wear yours after work until they go to bed…. while cooking, eating dinner, helping them get ready for bed, etc

61. Get clown “red ball” noses and put them on so you all can be Rudolph; buy headband “antlers” and do the same…

62. Find a picture of you as a child sitting on Santa’s lap and see what kind of reaction you get

63. Get some string and some clips and have the kids help you string up the holiday cards you receive from others

64. Buy some jingle bells and have your kids wear them in their jean pocket

65. Dress up your pet

66. Use those big Amazon boxes and let your kids decorate them as Santa’s sleigh


And what else can you think of to add to the list????

Recipe: Mustard-Rosemary Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

This receipe was submitted by Mama L from Boston, MA. Thank you! She says it’s “super easy and you don’t have to dirty a ton of dishes!!” The prep time definitely seems easy but there is a longer cook time, so this might be best for Mamas who are working from home or save it for a weekend night. Sounds yummy! Thank you Mama L!!

(from Martha Stewart Living)


  • 12 thin carrots, greens trimmed but left intact
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh Rosemary, plus 3
  • sprigs
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 skinless chicken drumsticks
  • 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Toss together carrots, 1 tsp oil, and 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl.
  • Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until carrots begin to soften and caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine mustard, garlic, chopped rosemary, and 2 tsp oil in another bowl.
  • Rub mixture over chicken pieces to coat.
  • Toss together remaining 1 tsp oil and the potatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/8 tsp salt. I like to add a touch of cayenne pepper here.
  • Remove baking sheet from oven, and add chicken, potatoes, and rosemary sprigs to carrots. Bake until chicken is slightly golden and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165, about 45 minutes.
  • Squeeze lemon on top, and season with pepper.

Prep time: 10 min.

Cook time: 1 hour or so

serves 4

%d bloggers like this: