Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not for Sharing

Sometimes I wonder if I did myself any favors by training my kids to eat real food -- I mean, adult food.

I mean, I do appreciate the fact that we can take them to any restaurant and find them something they enjoy or not make a big fuss when invited to anyone's home for a meal.

But when I make a nice steaming, bowl of clam linguine with all it's garlicky, slurp-worthy wine sauce, it makes me think twice. Or maybe three, four times.

Do I really want to share?

Once again, I slightly modified the Linguine with Clams recipe from Nigella Wilson's How to Eat cookbook (ie added butter!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peas and Quiet

We shucked fresh peas from the market.

We roasted an entire head of organic garlic (from our CSA share) for close to an hour.

Not to worry, we also roasted a lemon herb chicken for dinner, too... How wasteful would it be to turn on the oven just for a little garlic!

We also made some crostini, while we had the oven on... There was enough space.

We, minus one particular individual, whirled all the ingredients in the Cuisinart.

We, once again including the loud-sound-adverse individual, picked some mint in the garden.

And we all really, really enjoyed Nigella Lawson's green peas and roasted garlic crostini from her How to Eat cookbook.

Yum. So. Yum.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Play Dough

Projects to keep the kids busy during those long, summer days -- days without camp or playdates?

Homemade pasta and pasta sauce, anyone?

Why yes!

Messier the project, the better for my two boys.

This time, we tried this pasta recipe and this sauce.

It was quite delicious and we devoured it, so you won't see any photos.

Next time, we'll try to be patient and roll the noodles thinner -- they puff up quite a bit so we ate very, very thick noodles. Oh, and we'll try to remember to take some photos.

But still, nothing beats food that we made with our own two hands (times three).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet Life

You know you are slowly getting your life back and emerging for the baby fog (because it really does take me three years to recover...) when your entire family has a great day berry picking.

Sweet, organic strawberries? He has exactly three.

How about the not-so-sweet olallieberries?

And you are certain things are going to be okay, when both of your kids can help with the hot gooey mess of making preserves without shortening your life by 10 years or so...and they still want to spend time with their mommy.

I am reaching the (temporary) end of the tunnel where I get to bask in the light of the post-terrible two's (and three's...and almost four's).
At least until the difficult teenage years.

Life is sweet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

College Food

I bawled when I saw Toy Story 3, you know, the part where Andy is packing to go off to college....

I know my kids are only 3.5 and 7 years old. They are still babies, really.

But I can't help it.

I know I'll be such a wreck when they go off.

And when I am being loopy thinking about years and years into the future, I always stop and think, "What will they eat when they start living on their own?"

I'm like a good Jewish/Chinese grandma.

Except, I'm not.

I'm Japanese.

But I can't help it -- I often wonder about the go-to foods my boys will make for themselves when they first start living on their own. I know they aren't going to be making peanut butter sandwiches or reaching for that box of mac 'n cheese -- they haven't grown up eating much of that.

I do; however, have a feeling it will involve some type of rice. Being a Japanese mama who cannot go without some type of rice dish at least once a day, I will surely send them off to college with a rice cooker.

And as the quality of rice is so important to us Japanese, surely a better than decent rice cooker with a timer so that the perfect rice can be ready right at the perfect moment they want to sit down for a meal. Perfection.

But I digress....

When I have very little time or on those very lazy days when I just don't feel like spending an hour (plus) in the kitchen making dinner, this is my go to meal: fried egg and avocado over rice with a little drizzle of soy sauce.

You already know how passionate I am about good rice. It has to be fresh or frozen and microwaved (which is surprisingly delicious). None of that sitting-in-the-fridge-for-too-long dried out rice, please. You can transform that into delicious fried rice!

Fried egg -- a sunnyside up fried to perfection... And you don't need a whole lotta oil for this if you fry the egg for a little bit first, then sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and steam it with a lid on.

Avocado -- if you've got kids, it's pretty likely that you have an avocado or two lying around the kitchen? We often do.

Chop up the fried egg and avocado and put it over the rice with a little drizzle of soy sauce.

On days when I'm feeling a little less lazy, I roast some sesame seeds on the stove and sprinkle it on top to make it look (and taste) a little fancier.

Not that my boys care about looks. They gobble this dish so fast and always ask for seconds.

I suspect this will be their go-to meal they'll be "cooking" for themselves in their first apartment... in between responding to their mother's annoying text messages -- "Are you eating regularly?" "What are you eating?" "Do you need me to bring (send) you some home-cooked dishes??"

Sorry, boys.... in advance.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tell Me Why...?

Kids, you are able to eat and, in fact, REALLY enjoy, surprising things like roasted crab, salmon roe over rice, fried calamari with crispy tentacles, smoked salmon and even raw oysters.....

Then why must I endure a GAG-FEST over a dinner of Sloppy Joe's? It's such a simple and traditionally kid-friendly meal... I was so excited to try out this new recipe from -- Everyday Food: Great Food Fast -- with so many delightfully simple, yet healthy and tasty recipes.

Come on, give your mother a break!

What is there not to like about Sloppy Joe's...? It's got carbs (I know you love bread of any kid), cheese (you know you are craving it right now) and the meat which is basically the meat sauce of your favorite "spaghetti with meat sauce"...

Please explain all the gagging I had to witness during this meal.

Oh, and while you're at it, can you also explain why you were both gagging on the Hasselback potatoes I served with the ginger pork the other night???

They are fun! They are tasty! They are basically potato chips that look like potato accordions...!!

I know everyone thinks I am lucky because you both eat "grownup" food.

But you know what? Sometimes, I wish you would occasionally partake in a little bit of Mac 'n Cheese or Sloppy Joe's.... and other traditionally kid-oriented foods.

...because geez, I miss it myself.

I'm Back. Hopefully.

It's a bit daunting to get back into the swing of things -- like an overly neglected blog.

Don't get me wrong, my over-a-year absence in this space doesn't mean there hasn't been any cooking or crafty endeavors. The problem is this -- caring for my children and their busy schedules, putting a decent dinner on the table majority of the evenings (keyword: majority = a tad bit more than half), knitting and maintaining my personal blog... and remembering to be sociable with other people out there in my life (hello, Hubby! hello, friends!) and this blog has fallen by the wayside.

I've gotta change that somehow. Because there has been a lot going on in terms of trying to work at my "mission" from here.

Remember that?

What the heck was I thinking? My babe was not even two and I, the person who takes at least three years to come out of the baby-fog after childbirth, decided to be adventurous with our dinner menu.


But where would we be if we couldn't laugh at ourselves? I'm glad I can entertain you.

Well, the kids are now 3.5 and almost 7 years old now. I really have no excuse to be so frazzled all the time now. Do I?

Glad to be back.