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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I must say, and I’ll try not to harp on this too much, but being without a camera truly makes posting difficult. I find it so hard to post without a photo… So I’ll just put up one I don’t think I’ve posted yet.

I don’t remember what we were making, but she obviously enjoyed herself!

Somewhere (in a box, in the garage) there is a picture of me ¬†when I was 3, standing on a stool by the stove with an apron on, stirring a pot of something. If I can dig that out, I’ll have to repost these. We look so much alike. ūüôā

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I really cannot handle not having a camera. And I cannot post without pictures. Though we’ve been back in Columbus for several weeks now, our camera remains in Vancouver. Hence the lack of posts.

It’s quite ridiculous how much I miss it. ¬†I actually started a post titled “Ode to a Missing Camera.” ¬†But don’t worry! You will not be forced to endure reading through such lines as “perfect constant in my palm, humble witness through my eyes…” ¬†(it wasn’t that bad, I made that up just now) ¬†Because Peter and Kristen have lifted the clouds from my soul! They found it, my beloved little Cybershot!

And just to tide things over until it arrives back where it belongs, (“in my aching hand, yada, yada”), here are a few snapped from my friend Lianne’s camera.

And, if you really do miss the regular posts, email, call, drop in on, etc. Peter and Kristen. ¬†ūüôā ¬†And beg them to send it ASAP! ¬†

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Whenever I read about something (a book, a project, etc.) on both Amanda Soule’s blog and my friend Emily’s blog, I know it’s something I need to sit up and pay attention to. ¬†Hence my newest cookbook obsession, Feeding the Whole Family. ¬†I had never even seen what it looked like until I picked up my reserve at the library and, oh the joy! A Nikki McClure cover! ¬†Can you imagine how that just pushed me over the edge? I adore Nikki McClure. I first discovered her artwork gracing the walls of our local¬†Family Place in Vancouver (i.e.¬†keeper-of-all-Eastside-parents’-sanity). ¬†I’ve loved her work ever since.And behind the cover, there are some fabulous looking recipes that I can’t wait to try. ¬†My first attempt is humble and slightly embarrassing, Vanilla Nut Cream. ¬†As usual, I have a confession to make. The only semi-healthy attempt here is the cream on top. The brownies are pretty much my standard concoction of sugar, butter, cocoa and eggs that I’ve been making since I was 7. I did attempt some maple syrup sustitute but only because I was all out of that awful refined sugar that I really shouldn’t be using anyway…

But the cream! It is so simply and unapologetically nutty. Pure maple syrup and cashews, just the right amount of sweetness.  Perfect.

Now I’m off to share these with friends at a summer barbeque. Sounds wonderful? Because it is. Why do I ever complain about my life?

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This fabulous treat of creamy perfection began as a milkshake from Your Vegan Mom. But something about using frozen strawberries or not adding enough liquid and suddenly- we had a raw foods ice cream. Oh, and was it tasty! So, here’s what I did (the spinach water is my own addition, since I had it sitting around anyway):

1/2 cup of cashews

1/2 cup spinach water (“green juice” from the sneaky chef. I just boiled frozen spinach for 10 min, then poured it in fine strainer, saving all the water. I ate the spinach myself with lemon juice and salt. Not bad.)

1/2 cup water (+ or – depending if you’re going for shake or ice cream)

1 Tbsp agave necter

Put the cashews in a blender with the water and let it sit for a few hours (I did it overnight. And if you use spinach water, the fridge is probably the best place). In the morning, add the berries, agave nectar and additional water if needed. Blend until smooth and the consistency you want it. I loved it at the “ice cream stage” so I stopped adding water and dished it up to waiting hands.A perfect Sunday afternoon treat. ¬†Oh, ok, it was her lunch… And, yes, we also ate it for breakfast, but may I remind you how hard it is to get my kids to eat anything!!!! ¬†And it has spinach juice in it!

*muttering to myself, “I am a good mom, I am a good mom…”Naturally that darling little boy climbing out of his highchair wouldn’t even touch the stuff. ¬†I’m trying so hard to get my kid to eat ice cream but he just won’t believe me when I tell him he’ll like it.¬†¬†Go figure.

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This film review has to come with a disclaimer/confession.¬†¬† As a Peruvian who has lived far from my home for so long now, I loved this film before I even saw it. And every single dish reminded me of my childhood. I cried through the whole thing. ūüôā

That said, I do believe anyone would enjoy this film, especially if you have an interest in cuisine. Ernesto Cabellos¬†(whose¬†previous film, Tambogrande, documented a Peruvian village’s struggle against¬†the injustices of a¬†gold mine) has given us a mouth-watering tour of the Peruvian table. With an introduction that pairs his own thoughts on food and culture with a montage of a variety of dishes from around the country, the film dives into Peru’s people with one element that he claims holds them together. It’s not soccer, music, and definitely not politics. It’s the food.Though the plates are presented as the protagonists, we do become drawn into several of the¬†people behind the dishes.¬† A group of Lima’s best chefs around a table engage in a lively discussion that brings a whole new dimension to the world of fine cuisine.

Gaston, an award-winning chef, asserts that they do not just cook for the rich. They must cook for the hungry as well. “Hunger and gastronomy are incompatible terms,” he claims.¬†

Soon we are watching as young adults stand in culinary institute set up in a poverty-stricken¬†part of Peru’s cordillera, learning to cook from the masters. Gaston continues throughout the film to affirm the connection between cooking and social justice, and as the other chefs join with him an inspiring picture of a movement emerges.

The rapid jumps from place to place, focusing on various cooks and dishes in Peru as well as Peruvian cooks abroad (L.A., London, Spain…) can be somewhat disjointing, but the nearly tangible aroma of wonderful cooking holds this film together.

And the best part? Toronto has a fabulous Peruvian restaurant. So I was able to enjoy a lomo saltado afterwards. (I was embarrassingly giddy about every single item on the menu).

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Ok, I need some horror stories. If dinner is your least favorite time of day as a parent, please, please, tell me!!! I need to hear it! I need to know that we aren’t alone!
We are going crazy here, and so far it would seem that all of our friends are blessed with children who eat anything that holds still long enough. Matthew is convinced we are doing something wrong. I am convinced our darling children just happen to be the worst eaters in the universe.

Dinner tonight (Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Peppers, Carrots and Brown Rice. A sure winner, right?):

I put Mateo in his highchair and offer a bite. He pushes it away.

I offer again. He starts to wail.

I stop offering and try to eat my food.

The wailing intensifies. I offer something different.

He gets progressively angrier.

We go through rice, chicken, veggies… He refuses to even try any of them.

Offered as finger food.

No.

Offered on a fork.

Nope.

Airplane?

Are you kidding me!?! What do you take me for?

How about if I just give you some time to calm down. I’m sure as soon as you realize that this is the food we have and if you want to eat anything you’d better- Hey! Sit down! You can’t climb out… Ok, fine. You want to get down? Here…

Now there is a screeching boy on the floor, clinging to my leg while Matthew and I try in vain to enjoy our dinner…

To be fair to my daughter, she ate this meal very well. An unheard of circumstance. If it had been a typical meal, she would also have refused to eat. No wailing, thankfully. Just complete loss of interest in nutritional sustenance, trumped, naturally by whatever imaginary illness her doll is suffering from, and there she goes, off to the sickbed…

"picnic" in the living room

I have tried everything. Involving them in cooking, creating attractive meals, offering dips and finger foods, cutting back on snacks and juice in the afternoon, “hiding” veggies, not hiding veggies- but it’s not a veggie problem. It’s an everything problem. If it’s not Mac and Cheese or some form of bread, Mateo’s out. For Gracie you can add chicken to that. And the occasional carrot.

His reaction after his sister convinced him to try a carrot.

No tacos. No omelets. No sloppy joes. No burgers. No sandwiches. Even hot dogs, spaghetti and fruit are hit or miss!

Much as I love to cook, dinnertime has become the most oppressive time of day for me. I’m just clinging to the hope that this will soon pass…

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