p.s I'll be back in April with lots of good recipes from Brazil
If you could be eating something right now what would it be?Shrimp chips, cheese cake, salad and lilikoi mousse
Table manners. What table manners can and can not be broken?We don't have to eat at the table every single meal. Burping can not happen at my table, when it does my meal is over.
Longest time you've ever spent making a meal and what was it?
I started making Enzo's brithday party food 3 days in advance and seriously cooked 3 days straight. The cake had too many complicated steps that required refrigerating some of the filling for a couple days, making the cream a head of time but not too a head of time. We also had lots of salad that was very time consuming to make. My neighbor spend hours just chopping things for me. We made hamburgers with every possible thing you could ever want and probably not want in your hamburger. I spend way to long making excessive amounts of caramelized onions. I am stoked that my mom and aunties have been planning Enzo's second birthday for months and that they are doing all the cooking.
Most money you've ever spend on a meal and was it worth it?
We went to a very fancy expensive Japanese restaurant to celebrate our anniversary in Brazil a couple years ago. We had actually spend out anniversary apart, I think, but then celebrated it later. Totally NOT worth it. We were mad at each other for some reason that I can't remember. the food was good but the mood was terrible.
what is the most uncoventional thing you've ever tasted?
My grandma used to love making Chicken's heart soup. I never liked it I like it even less now that i know it was chicken's heart. When ever we have a family BBQ my uncle always grills Chicken's heart. It's the first thing to go, people love it. I hate it!
What would you NEVER put in your mouth?
Christian talks about how he ate Monkey when he was at the Amazon. It makes me not want to ever go visit the families he stayed at because if they offered it to me I would have to eat it. The thought of it makes me feel sick.
When you walk into the supermarket you always want to buy ______ but you never do because ______.
The biggest bag of ranch Doritoes. I never do because I know I would eat it all in one sitting and feel totally bad about it afterwards. Plus it's more than I want to pay for chips.
If you are what you eat what are you?
If you had to eat the same thing everyday what would it be?
Hands down green salad with tomatoes and olives, lime, salt ,and olive oil on top. I hate all the store bough salad dressings.
you haven't lived if you haven't tried this: (share a recipe)
Petit Gateau- I am borrowing this recipe and picture from a Brazilian food blog called a taste in heaven I translated it from Portuguese to English in less than 5 minutes. Sorry if it sounds weired.
But Petit Gateaus are my favorite dessert in the whole world. I've never seen them here in the U.S so I only found recipes in Portuguese.
120 g dark chocolate (cut in pieces)
100 g butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolk
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons flour
melt the chocolate using bain marie method (put a small sauce pan inside a skillet. Put water in the skillet and simmer. Water CAN NOT get inside the pan).
Add the butter.
beat the eggs, the yolks, and sugar until it is well mixed.
slowly add the melted chocolate to the egg sugar mixture.
mix until all the ingredients are integrated.
Add and mix the flour slowly.
coat a muffin pan (8 muffins) with butter and flour and bake for 7-10 minutes at 450 degrees
serve with ice cream (my case frozen yogurt)
Enzo was a champ nurser and a champ eater. At 6 months he started eating solids and loved it. At that time I was a stay at home mom who used all of his nap time to cook. Back then he took two naps. The first nap was dedicated toEnzo food and the second nap was dedicated to grown up food. Enzo's food consisted of mashed veggies, rice, beans, tofu, flax seed, and pretty much anything that I thought was healthy. I would make a big pot and puree it and he would love it. I would also freeze the puree in it in little ice cube trays. I would then take the ice cubes put it in a zip lock bag and label it. This whole system of freezing in ice cube trays started when we had access to insane amounts of basil and made more pesto then we could eat before it would go bad. It turned out to also be a great system for baby food because the portions are small. This way I didn't have to cook every single day and he didn't have to eat the same mush three days in row. As soon as he went to one nap the cooking ordeal became a lot more difficult. I was absolutely paranoid about having him in the kitchen. I was scared he would hurt himself with hot water, hot pots, knifes, getting his fingers shut in the fridge door, opening the oven, and so on.Enzo wanted to be with me, I wanted to be in the kitchen, so we were going to have to make some adjustments. I tried my best to move the dangerous things out of his reach but mostimportantly I tried to relax. Another thing that happened was that Enzo began to have more opinions about the food we gave him and was no longer eager to eat butternut squash with tofu and beans. Again another adjustment needed to be made. So now that he's taking a nap and I am thinking about what to feed him when he wakes up I decided to share some of my experiences with cooking for him and with him.
6 months- 12 months
I carried him around in a sling a lot and used a sling in the kitchen. I DO NOT recommend this. I realized how dangerous it was. I was close to the stove so consequently he was close to the stove. I was cutting veggies at the cutting board and his little fingers were right there. I moved him to a high chair where he could still see me and I would give him a pot and spoon to play with. It was also at this time that I started to always play music in the kitchen. It would relax me and remind me that this was supposed to be fun.
I don't want to push any products on you but there were a couple things that made cooking for him so much easier. The first is this.
This is called a baby food mill or baby food grinder. I seriously used this every single day for months! I can not stress how much I love this little gadget. It works great and is very easy to clean up. If you have a food processor you can use that to puree the food, however some people claim that food grinders and blenders take important vitamins away from food. I don't know if that is true and if I had had a food grinder at the time I probably would of used this. If you don't have one this is cheap and very useful.
the second indispensable item that I used was this book.
It explains step by step how you can make your own baby food. It is WAY cheaper and WAY healthier than buying jars of baby food. Plus all those little jars are totally disturbing to the environment. If you buy jars of baby food I really recommend making your own. It is not as time consuming as you think and it really is much healthier for you kid. It is well worth the sacrifice. I still use this book because it has recipes fortoddler finger food and other great nutritional information. I suggest checking it out of your library or buying a used copy. Better yet, if you live in Santa Cruz area I can let you borrow mine.
Enzo decides that finger food is fun and mainly wants to feed himself but will still let us feed him. The hard thing about this age was that Enzo would (he still does this) go into phases of eating like a truck diver and then eating nothing. It drove me crazy. This was emotionally very hard for me. I would get extremely worried when he didn't eat anything and so happy when he did that I would try to stuff food on him all day long. When he ate he didn't mind being stuffed with food but when he didn't want to eat it made our relationship hard because I was nagging him all day long and I seriously felt like a bad mom, like I was starving my child. After taking him to the doctor on several occasions I was assured me that this behavior is normal.Enzo was gaining weight, his body was changing and he was not starving himself. So, if you are now in this phase my advice is to relax and talk about it with other parents. I would e-mail my friend constantly so she could support me with stories about how her daughter also refused to eat.
Enzo will be two in the end of this month and I have never had this much fun with him. He wants to do everything we do except eat his veggies. My previous experience about obsessing whether he ate or not taught me to notobsess about him not wanting to eat vegetables . I have taken a different approach. First I think it's crucial for him to see us eating together. So we always have dinner together and I make vegetables and the mostimportant thing is that I want him to see Christian and I eating healthy. He wants to serve himself so we let him always put some on his plate even if he doesn't eat it. Usually as soon as he puts that broccoli in his mouth he screams "ca ca" and will either put it back on his plate or throw it as far away as possible. We just go on with our dinner and hope that one day he'll like his broccoli. Christian's cousin has lots of kids and she's developed this really cool thing called the "no thank you food". She expects her kids to try a little of everything and they can pick 1 thing on their plate that they don't want and can say "no thank you" to. I this this system is great but Until then Icontinue to make little ice cubes broccoli puree and other vegetable and will just mix it in with his beans, or something I know he likes, and he's happy that he didn't eat the broccoli on his plate and I'm happy because in reality he DID eat broccoli but it was mixed in with something else and he never new.
Here is evidence that sneaking veggies in your kids food works.
there is this new book that teaches you how to make recipes that your kids will want to eat but that also has veggies. It's by JerrySienfield's wife Jessica Sienfield . I'm only stating this because I think she got this thing published more for popularity then because it's that useful. Don't get me wrong it's a fun book with EASY recipes and great pictures but the concept is totally basic.
to give you an idea of what's about here's a recipe
Chocolate Cake with beets
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, or trans-fat-free soft tub of margarine spread
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup beet puree
- 1/2 cup lowfat (1%) buttermilk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar with the oil or margarine until creamy. Add the whole egg and egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate, beet puree, buttermilk and vanilla.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and beat until smooth.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool 5 minutes in pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese with the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth. Slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread the frosting over the top and between layers of the cooled cake.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
COOKING WITH TODDLER
Now this is where it gets fun. Once I started incorporating Enzo into my cooking the whole experience as a whole has been much more delightful. I say as a whole because there are times where I just want to be alone and not negotiate hot stove and rambunctious toddler. But because of how our schedules are set up so the only time I can cook is when I am watching Enzo I have had to incorporate him in my kitchen activities. I know Christian also does this a lot with him so he gets the best out of both of us. Christian is the baker in the family so often times he will make bread and pizza with Enzo. I think hands down Enzo's favorite food to eat and make is pizza. He gets to participate in the whole process of making dough and he also gets to asassemblethe pizza. This really is much easier then it sounds. At his age he can help with the dough (or think he's helping), he can pour tomato sauce, and he can lay out the toppings. Of course none of this is mess free. But it's not as messy as most things I make with him. The other great thing about pizza is that you can load it with veggies. The cheese helps hide the veggie taste. He falls for this occasionally
My favorite these days is cheese with eggplant .If you put the veggies on top of the cheese then the veggies get crisp and not the mushy soggy texture we all hate.
1 c. warm water
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. oil
2 1/2 c. flour
Dissolve the dry yeast in the warm water. Mix all ingredients together. Let raise 5 minutes before rolling out.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cooking with toddlers can be frustrating for sure but it can also be really rewarding especially when they realize that they helped, it makes them want to eat what they made. There are times where I have no time and can't really give Enzo the attention he needs while I cook to make sure he can help and also be safe. However, if he still really wants to be in the kitchen then I give him his own project. His favorite is making stone soup. I tell him that mommy needs to cook alone and it's his time to cook alone. This took some persuasion but he is starting to understand and ends up having a good time and giving me a good 15 miutes where I can finish dinner. He makes very yummy stone soup, he said it was o.k to share his secret recipe. You can thank him later.
- little differerent colores rocks
- little containers
- as many spoons as you can get
- 1/4 cup water
- put the rocks in container number one. Mix with spoon
- repeat step 1 about 20 times changing the containers and spoons as often as you want
- don't throw rocks at mommy while she cooks. This makes her mad. don't put any rocks in your mouth this results in an instant "all done".
- have fun!
Recently I've been in love with the blog bake or break. I go mainly for the pictures, because I think they are so fabulous. The recipes are probably good too but I haven't had time to try any of it. This month the blogger of bake or break held the contest Does my blog look good in this which is a foodblogger contest with scrumptious photos of food. I decided to not borrow any of the photographs and put it here because then I will have this one amazing photograph and all the other pictures from my blog will look less appetizing and you'll never want to try my recipes. Just kidding. I figured to just send you to the site with all the entries so you can indulge and enjoy looking at food as much as I do. It's almost as good as eating, almost.
Our friend returned from Japan with some goodies from the the Tokyo Palmers. I felt inspired to try and make Enzo a Bento. He got this cute little Bento box.
This is a close up of my Bento making experience.
If you are addicted to scrapbooking or card making as I am, let me warn you that it totally felt like scrapbooking on food. It could potentially become very addictive. The star shaped rice is pretty cute but the egg shaped fish was my favorite. The pear halves have heart shaped fruit leather on top. The cool little gadgets plus a few of my own scrapbooking supplies are what made the whole thing come together.
I was given instruction to place a hot hard boiled egg inside the fish mold and then place the whole thing in cold water for 15 minutes. I think my eggs are too small because after 3 failed attempts I decided to try something else. I put a raw egg inside and boiled the whole thing for about 20 minutes and then placed it under cold water. This process might be slightly carcinogenic. oops. Cute things though huh? I can see myself moving from stamp obsession to egg mold obsession.
I was bummed that Enzo was freaked out by the fish egg. He has a thing about texture and abandoned the Bento.
Christian on the other had loved the Bento. Success!
Every March 8th my mom would buy each of us (3 girls) flowers. We always celebrated women's day in Brazil and I am so proud of being a woman that I loved the holiday. To honor my favorite cook and my favorite woman in the whole wide world I wanted to share a picture of my grandma, Aurea. I was trying to find pictures of just her but it's impossible since she refuses to ever be alone. I thought this was a sweet yet powerful picture that shows the influence that she had and continues to have. These are all of her granddaughters.
As a present for women’s day I am going to give you a super easy yummy recipe we made today. I should give you one of my grandma’s special recipe but I am not in the mood to translate, plus the time factor is weighing heavy these days.
I am calling this surprise sauce because we kind of just threw it together and surprisingly it was very delicious. Don’t worry I wasn’t thinking in terms of surprise school lunch meats or anything nasty like that where you never really know all the ingredients. In fact the ingredients for this sauce is basic.
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup eggplant
- ¼ cup pesto
- 3 tablespoons yogurt
- cook the bacon, broccoli and eggplant in a medium size skillet.
- mix the pesto in with the bacon and veggies
- take the skillet of the burner and add the yogurt and stir
- serve over pasta
I already love Jack Johnson's new C.D. I went last year to the Kokua fest and it was one of my favorite days ever. I took this picture when Jack and and Zach (the genius musician from ALO) played on the kiddie corner of Kokua fest. this is a great story I have to tell it. Chris was working at Kokua fest right at the kiddie corner. They had a stage and there were some performers but overall it was pretty empty. I went on a walk when Christian called and informed me that Jack Johnson was playing at the kiddie stage. I didn't believe him until I heard the music on the background. I sprinted to that kiddie stage as fast as I could and when I got there I saw Jack and Zach playing some tunes for the little ones. Kids were on stage dancing and parents were hysterically trying to get as many pictures as possible. I just couldn't believe I was so close to them and decided to take a few pictures of my own. This whole experience added to Jack's coolness of being such a down to earth person.
This year Dave Mathews will also be there. I want to go SO bad. I need to find someone to sponsor this worthy cause of allowing me to dance outside of my kitchen to the music of Jack and Dave. Does anyone want to sponsor me?
* Biscuits, Scones & Muffins (3rd session) Saturday, March 8 8 am -12 pm
* Biscuits, Scones & Muffins (4th session) Saturday, April 12 8 am -12 pmcall the non-credit registrars at 734-9211 if you’re interested or e-mail Frank Gonzales who is the non-credit coordinator at KCC firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope some of you get a chance to go. I'm jealous! (o.k back to homework now!)
I take birthdays very seriously. Most people my age couldn't care less about their birthday but I start counting down the day after my birthday start planning a party. This year I had decided to do a 1983 (year I was born) dance party. My friend was going to D.J, my other friend was going to help me organize, it was going to be fabulous. But then I broke my foot and reality sunk in. You can't dance with a broken foot. The party planning stopped and I decided to dedicate my planning time to school work. This whole past week I had decided that my birthday was going to be lame. There are no redeeming qualities of having a birthday on a fast Sunday and a birthday where nothing was planned. Christian has been super busy all week and when I kept suggesting he plan something he was being very blunt about his desire to be kept out of it. I was devastated. Meanwhile he was planning a surprise party. I don't believe in celebrating your birthday a day before or after but ever since we've been married Chris has taken me out to Japanese food so on Saturday he got dressed up and dressed Enzo up (without prompt) and took me out to a very yummy sushi place in Santa Cruz. I was a little nervous about taking Enzo with us. He can't sit for longer than 5 minutes and has never had Japanese food before. Chris told me to not worry because he had done his research and picked a kid friendly place and besides Enzo loves sticky rice so he would be fine. We had a wonderful time. I even got mochi ice-cream with a candle on top. Yum! After dinner Chris dopped me off at a spa where I got my first professional massage. I used to think these things were a waste of money but ever since moving to spa central and going to hot tubs every so often I now am a fan.
Yesterday i got to sleep in but was bummed I couldn't eat for most of the day (bad way to think about fasting for sure). I got a basket with the usual presents, flower, kitchen stuff, tea and chocolate, a new poem, and my favorite a new pair of earrings (coupon form redeemable when Musi comes back). I also always buy myself a gift and earlier in the year I had bought myself a pair of Musi earrings 'cuz she would be gone to Peru until the end of March. So now I get to pick another one out. I am SO excited and feel totally spoiled. I am also excited about my new knife!!!
Chris made a wonderful crock pot dinner, hist first crock pot dinner ever. He made pork with vegetables and olives. I LOVE olives. He was also making a lot of dessert. I should of suspected something was up but just thought he wanted to have cream puffs for the whole week. At 6:00pm people started trickling in. It still didn't totally sink in that Chris had organized a surprise party until some of my friends from my class started coming. I was so excited I felt pretty silly. I had such a wonderful time. Chris made cream puffs and cinnamon rolls from scratch. The cinnamon rolls were topped with the white chocolate ganash with rosemary that I had previously made. The birthday that was pre-destined to be lame turned out to be wonderful! I kept on keeping Christian up because I didn't want to go to sleep and have the day come to an end. Even though I was totally bummed my birthday was on a Sunday I realized yesterday that it was perfect because I wasn't busy with school and had the whole day to relax and enjoy my boys (and later my friends). Today is Monday so now I get to start the countdown...365 days left till my birthday. Monday also means back to reality and getting EVERYTHING done before we go to Brazil. I'm going on an internet diet. I won't be blogging or doing any of the fun internet things that distracts me from school. Here are lots of pictures to make it up for all the time I'll be gone.