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posted: 3/12/2014 5:30 AM

From the Food Editor: Going green, a kid-friendly route

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  • Leprechaun Lemonade

      Leprechaun Lemonade
    Courtesy of McCormick

  • "Whole Grain Mornings" by Megan Gordon

      "Whole Grain Mornings" by Megan Gordon

  • Quaker Warm and Crunchy Granola is available in three flavors.

      Quaker Warm and Crunchy Granola is available in three flavors.

 
 

It took nearly 12 weeks but I finally accomplished one of my New Year's resolutions -- the one to try green smoothies (see story on Page 1).

I've totally enjoyed the smoothies and green juices I've made over the last few weeks but the rest of my family hasn't been quite as enthusiastic.

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So while I'd love for my boys to drink a kale-laced smoothie on St. Patrick's Day, I'm going to be realistic and put Leprechaun Lemonade, a recipe from the folks at McCormick, in their lunches.

To a pitcher of 4 cups prepared lemonade add one-half teaspoon raspberry extract and 15 drops green food coloring. Just stir it all up. Serve over ice if desired.

For my husband, I might add a splash of vodka.

Going with the grain: Meet writer, recipe developer and culinary educator Megan Gordon at a special brunch Sunday, March 16, at Farmhouse restaurant in Evanston.

The event, sponsored by Chicago Gourmets, starts with a reception featuring a Bloody Mary flight and artisanal cheeses. A three-course brunch inspired by recipes from Gordon's newest book, "Whole Grain Mornings," will be prepared by chef Eric Mansavage using Midwestern fare from local purveyors.

Brunch begins at 11:30 a.m. at the restaurant, 703 W. Church St., and costs $47. (Join Chicago Gourmets for $45 a year and the event price drops to $37.) For reservations, email DonaldNewcomb@att.net or call (708) 383-7543; reservation deadline is Friday, March 14. Gordon's book will be available for purchase ($22) and signing.

Speaking of morning: During cold weather we often eat oatmeal for breakfast in my house, so as you might imagine, we've consumed many a bowl this winter.

Just when we thought we couldn't look at another bowl of oats, Quaker comes to the rescue with Warm and Crunchy Granola. It's sold in a box of packets just like instant oats and contains as much fiber and whole grains as a serving of instant oats. Pour the cereal into a bowl, add one-quarter cup milk and heat in the microwave for 25 seconds. What comes out is a deliciously warm bowl of al dente-cooked clusters. We've tried all three flavors -- Cranberry Almond, Apple Cinnamon and Honey Almond -- and would be hard pressed to name a favorite. It's the best of creamy oatmeal and crunchy granola.

While we've had a bit of a warm up, I'm not convinced we're done with freezing temperatures just yet, so add a box ($3.99 for 8 packets) to your cart and start the next chilly morning off on a warm note.

Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at dpankey@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4524. Friend her at Facebook.com/DebPankey.DailyHerald or on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter @PankeysPlate.

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