The Family Groove


The Family Groove
December 2006


Hey, good lookin’, whatcha got cookin’? THE FAMILY GROOVE is in the
kitchen with nine top mom entrepreneurs. These woman can bring home
the bacon and fry it up in a pan—as evidenced by these delicious dishes.

Gigi Lee Chang

Fresh Goat Cheese and Crispy Shallot Dip
by Gigi Lee Chang, president and founder of Plum Organics

Active time: 35 min
Total time: 50

Makes about two cups


1 pound large shallots, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups peanut oil, for frying

6 pita breads, split horizontally


Cayenne pepper

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring the shallots and oil to a boil. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallots are deep golden, about 18 minutes.

3. Strain the shallots, then drain on paper towels and let cool. Reserve the shallot oil.

4. Meanwhile, brush the rough side of the pitas with some of the shallot oil and arrange on baking sheets, oiled side up. Reserve the remaining oil for another use.

5. Sprinkle the pitas with salt and cayenne and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

6. Let cool, then break into large pieces.

7. In a food processor, puree the goat cheese with the sour cream and milk. Season with salt and cayenne; process until smooth.

8. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in three-quarters of the shallots and the parsley.

9. Top with the remaining shallots and serve with the pita crisps.

Make ahead:

The crispy shallots and pitas can be stored in airtight containers for three days. The goat cheese mixture, too, can be refrigerated for three days.

Tip: Instead of making your own pita chips, use Stacy’s Pita Chips original and toast in oven for 1 minute.

A Dash of Gigi
Gigi Lee Chang is the vision and driving force behind Plum Organics, an organic frozen baby food company dedicated to offering the finest, best tasting and healthiest organic foods for babies, toddlers and children. Gigi parlayed her previous business world experience (she led strategic planning at strategy consulting firms and advertising agencies where she developed and executed business and marketing strategies for Fortune 100 companies), into a fruitful business of her own. Gigi and her husband, Vincent, live in New York with their three year old son, Cato, the inspiration for Plum Organics. To get healthy, go to

Christmas Champagne Cocktail and Lobster Canapé

by Vanessa Knox-Brien, co-founder of Isabella Oliver

1/5 cointreau

1/5 mandarin vodka (Absolut or Smirnoff)

3/5 chilled champagne

1 sugar lump

For a savory and low fat treat, lobster canapés make the perfect companion to my champagne cocktails.


12 toast rounds

1/4 fat free tartar sauce

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1 chopped garlic clove

¼ water

1/8 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cup cooked, chopped lobster

Paprika to sprinkle

1 1/2 tbsp horseradish

3 tablesppon fat-free Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise



1. Spread tartar sauce on the toast rounds and set aside.

2. Sauté mushrooms and garlic in water and white wine until the liquid has evaporated.

3. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes.

4. Transfer contents to a bowl and mix mushroom mixture and lobster together.

5. Spread mixture equally over each toast round and sprinkle with the paprika and chill for 45 minutes.

6. Now combine horseradish, cheese and mayonnaise and mix well.

7. Press mixture through a pastry bag to create a border around each round.

8. Garnish each canapé with a sprig of watercress.

A Sprinkle of Vanessa
The former head designer for Natori and Victoria’s Secret, who struggled to find stylish clothes while she was pregnant with her daughter Isabella, met her partner, Baukjen, who was pregnant with her son Oliver, on weekend holiday. Vanessa, Baukjen and her husband Geoff started Isabella Oliver (out of a front room in Hampstead, London) to not only solve their dilema of how to have a career and raise children, but to bring simple, stylish, sexy basics to moms everywhere. Three years later the company has a thriving mail/Internet order business and a great celebrity following in the UK and US. To get in fashion, go to

Lisa SpiegelPotato Latkes
by Lisa Spiegel, founder of SoHo Parenting


5 lbs potatoes

1 large onion

Vegetable Oil

Salt and pepper

1. Wash and peel potatoes.
2. Hand grate potatoes and onions.

3. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat vegetable oil in skillet.
5. Take a handful of the hand-grated potato/onion mixture and squeeze out excess liquid.
6. Place carefully in skillet.
7. Fry. Flip over when edges are crisp.
8. Place on paper towel to drain.

9. Serve warm with a side of sour cream and/or applesauce.

A Handful of Lisa
Lisa Spiegel, M.A., LMHC is the co-founder of Soho Parenting, a nationally renowned parenting center. Lisa received her B.A. from Vassar College and Master’s degree from Columbia University. She has been featured in a variety of media such as the Wall Street Journal, Child Magazine, People Magazineand ABC News. Her unique combination of information, insight, empathy and humor has enriched the lives of many families. Lisa specializes in children’s sleep issues, separation and divorce, and the adjustment to parenthood. She is the co-author of A Mothers Circle: An Intimate Dialogue on Becoming a Mother and serves as a member of Child Magazine’s Advisory Board.

Julia BeckRoasted Butternut Squash Soup
by Julia Beck, founder of Forty Weeks

Great color, taste and texture. Tastes like sitting next to a roaring fire. Fills your house with exotic yet homey smells. Does its own dishes—ya know…

1 small butternut squash cut in half
1 acorn squash cut in half
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks

½ cup sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300°.

2. Lay the squash halves cut side down on baking sheets and roast them for 45
minutes or until the flesh is soft.

3. When the squash has cooled, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Then with a large spoon, scoop out the flesh of the squash into a bowl. Set aside.

4. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
5. Add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion softens.

6. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

7. Add the apples and the sherry and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the apples soften.

8. Add the broth and squash flesh to the saucepan and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

9. Using a hand-held blending wand, puree the soup, leaving some chunks if you desire.

10. Stir in the salt and pepper to taste and let cook 5 to 7 minutes.

Two Cups of Julia
Julia Beck founded Forty Weeks, a leading-edge content and consulting firm with an exclusive focus on the expectant and new mother, in 1999. Ahead of the trend, Julia birthed maternity and new motherhood as lifestyle years before the mainstream media followed suit. Julia teams up with companies to design a strategy and message so that their products effectively reach this powerful, niche market. Forty Weeks writes the ultimate insiders roadmap for modern motherhood: From Melrose and Madison to Main. Julia lives in Potomac, MD with her children, Lila, 8, and Samuel, 4.

Uli BelenkyHomemade Cranberry Relish
By Uli Belenky, co-founder of Zutano

My husband Michael is the real chef in our household (and also co-founder, photographer
and president of Zutano), but during the holidays I get inspired to add my part to the big family feast.

1 whole orange – a navel or a seedless variety

1 cup of sugar

1 lb of cranberries

1 teaspoon of ginger minced fresh or powder—your choice

Put all of your ingredients in a blender.

Blend until pureed.

Three Tablespoons of Uli
When designer and art director Uli Belenky and her husband Michael Belenky, a professional photographer, gave birth to their first child, a wholly new sense of artistic purpose and creative desire was born as well. Suddenly aware of the meager offerings in the children’s clothing market in 1989, Michael and Uli came to a well-researched conclusion: even in the Big Apple, choices of style, fit, originality and color when dressing their new baby Sofia left much to be desired. As their company grew, so did their family with the birth of their second daughter Ella. Now living and working in Cabot, Vermont, Uli and Michael’s company is a standout in the children’s marketplace, offering comfortable, fun, stylish and unique clothes to kiddies across the world. To dress your kiddie in the best, go to

Amy Beth SestitoGroovy Crustless Quiche
by Amy Beth Sestito, publisher and co-founder of THE FAMILY GROOVE

8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 eggs
¾ cup flour
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup milk
1 10-oz package chopped broccoli
1 8-oz can mushrooms, drained (optional)
½ tsp oregano

1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Reserve 1/3 cup of cheese.

3. Beat the eggs vigorously and add the cheese.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
5. Pour into a well-greased 9-inch pie plate.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
8. It is better to underbake than overbake this quiche.


A Sprig of Amy
Amy Beth Sestito co-founded along with Jillian Swartz. It was the perfect synergy: Amy with a finance background and Jillian with an editorial one. Together, these two moms created the hippest parents’ place in cyberspace. As Amy puts it: “a groovy magazine you don’t have to buy or recycle.” Amy is the mother of two boys: Joseph, five and Brendan, three. She loves to cook and her boys love to help. This groovy quiche is not only fun to make (Amy’s boys love to grate the cheese), it is a great way to sneak some broccoli onto your child’s plate.

Amy AbreuWhipped Potatoes
by Amy Abreu, owner and designer of Oopa Baby

My favorite holiday recipe is my grandpa’s whipped potatoes. Simple, indulgent, yummy for the whole family.

A bunch of Yukon Gold potatoes, 1/2 bag or so
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup whole milk
3 cloves garlic
1 onion
1/4 cup sour cream

1. Boil potatoes, garlic and onion, chopped into chunks.
2. Drain water.
3. Add milk, sour cream, salt and pepper to taste (be generous)
4. Heat on low flame, mashing together with a spoon or fork.
5. Whip until smooth with a hand-mixer.
6. Let cool a bit before serving, taste as it cools to see if you need any extra seasoning.

A Hint of Amy
Amy Glovsky Abreu is a work-at-home-mom with two children, Tiago, three, and Francesca, 18 months. She is the owner and designer of Oopa Baby LLC, a company she started in 2004 when she became increasingly disappointed with many of the “must -have” carriers her friends raved about, finding them either uncomfortable or unattractive. To satisfy her craving for a baby sling that she could use to carry around her kids and complement her outfit at the same time, Amy began designing slings for herself and friends. Oopa has since branched out to include other baby accessories, but Amy continues to focus on designs and products she finds missing when shopping for her own children. To sling in style, go to

Nicole DonnlellyScratch Biscuits
by Nicole Donnelly, founder of BabyLegsThis recipe, handed down three generations, has a new Vegan
option, too. My mother, Grandma Sheets, and I still make these
biscuits. They are a family favorite, winning first place ribbon at
a county fair, too.

Ingredients for biscuit mix:
(Make 12)
8 cups unbleached wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp baking powder
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups Crisco Butter Flavored Shortening or 2 cups Spectrum Shortening

Directions for biscuit mix:
1. Mix together all ingredients

Directions for biscuits:
1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. 3 cups biscuit mix
3. 1 egg or for Ener-G Egg Replacer (1 1/2 tbsp + 2 tbsp water) or 1/2 cup applesauce
4. 2/3 cup buttermilk or 2/3 cup almond, soy, or rice milk
5. Mix together ingredients
6. Let rest 10 minutes
7. Roll out dough and cut with cookie or biscuit cutter
8. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, let rest again
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown

A Pinch of Nicole
Nicole Donnelly, stay-at-home mom to Sara, started making BabyLegs to keep her dear daughter’s legs warm whilst allowing for nakedy butt time. Well, it turns out that these leg warmers are great for crawling over all surfaces. Now that Sara is toddling around, she biffs it quite often but her knees stay soft and scarless thanks to her BabyLegs. Nicole started selling homemade BabyLegs out of Sara’s diaper bag every where they went, the coffee shop, swim class, moms’ groups in and around Seattle. Nicole sold over 100 pairs in the first 2 weeks. BabyLegs was officially born in April 2005 and is now sold in more than 15 countries worldwide. To get a leg up, go to

Lynne TapperSnickerdoodle Pinwheels
by Lynne Tapper, co-author of baby daze®
From Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies
Photo by Lorraine Greenfield

Who hasn’t ever bought a log of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie dough only to find it half eaten before you even slice the cookies? There must be a refrigerator elf who eats the raw dough because you would remember if it was you, right? Well, I know that I am guilty a hundred times over of eating the raw cookie dough log. So I have now banned them from my house because I cannot handle the temptation. I do, however, love cookies. When I found this recipe for Snickerdoodle Pinwheels, what I loved most about it was that I have to make a log of dough and then I slice them and bake them. They come out so professional looking that your family and friends will think you got them from a bakery.

Makes about 56 cookies—that is if you aren’t tempted to eat the raw cookie dough log

1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ cup butter, softened
1 3-oz package of cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 2/3-cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. In a small bowl combine the 1/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Set cinnamon-sugar mixture aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl beat the ½ cup butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the 1 cup of sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
5. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
6. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
7. Divide dough in half.
8. Roll half of the dough between pieces of waxed paper into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle.
9. Brush dough with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
10. Beginning with one of the short sides, carefully roll up dough, using the waxed paper to lift and guide the roll. Moisten edges, pinch and seal.
11. Repeat with remaining dough, butter and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon-sugar mixture.
12. Roll each roll in the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.
13. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper.
14. Chill for 4 to 24 hours or until firm enough to slice.
15. Cut rolls into ¼-inch slices. Place the slices 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
16. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm.
17. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute.
18. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

A Tablespoon of Lynne
Lynne Tapper is a professional organizer ( who specializes in helping new parents find powerful and simple techniques and tools to ease the chaos that accompanies the arrival of a new baby. She is the co-author of the log book, baby daze®: An organizer for tracking your baby’s first few months. To get your act together, go to (