What’s that scent in the air at the Little Italy Mercato? It’s Hatch chiles roasting! And, at home, we’re baking with the kids, with help from "The Kids-Did-It! Cookie Bookie."
You don’t have to visit Hatch, New Mexico in the fall to fall under the spell of the scent of roasted chiles. "Hatch" chiles aren’t a specific variety of chile. They’re simply the name of the various long green chiles grown in the region. They do have a distinctive sweet flavor and some good heat that make them delicious in stews, potato salads, casseroles, muffins, and salsas. They have a short season, though, so catch them now in San Diego at Whole Foods and Bristol Farms, or already roasted and peeled at Richie’s Chiles at local farmers markets. To roast your own, set your oven to broil and place the chiles on a cookie sheet and into the oven. Once they’ve blistered, let them cool. Then put them in freezer bags until you want to use them. When the time comes, defrost, peel, seed, and chop – or use whole for dishes like chile relleno casserole.
The Kids-Did-It! Cookie Bookie: A Cookie-Baking Cookbook for Kids, Illustrated by Kids
If you have little ones in your life and want to encourage them to help in the kitchen, there’s nothing better than baking cookies together. Point Loma cookbook authors Michelle and Glen Abrams have an adorable little paperback out that features cookie recipes illustrated with vibrant animal watercolors from their Kids-Did-It! Designs art collection (yes, the kids earn royalties, too!). There are 14 recipes, such as Peanut Butterflies, Chocolate Chipmunks, and Monster Mish-Mashes, plus an initial page on baking basics. The book is available at Great News Discount Cookware & Cooking School, The Rockpile Bookstore, Point Loma Cabrillo Drug or online at and Amazon.com.