Wednesday, November 16, 2011

textures change

Once I had a son to feed, I started changing my cooking a bit.  I like cooking, but sometimes I get tired of it, or bored with 3 meals every day, plus packing lunch boxes for me and the husband, plus parties and potlucks, and social group get-togethers and cookie exchanges.  Sometimes it's just nice to open a package of something or eat cereal for dinner or buy a bag of salad.  Well, now that I'm serving a toddler all day long I have to think about the texture of the foods, the size, the choking risk, the appeal of flavor.  Unfortunately I think I've lost a bit of crunch and rawness to my diet.  I don't want to make separate foods for all of us, so I usually make foods that my son can enjoy with us.  Soft, pureed, casseroles, soups, veggies all mixed together with the meats, and so on.  Today I miss eating raw vegetables, salad, and cereal.  I just want to look at my own food and eat it, uninterrupted, without worrying about what is being consumed over there in the high chair.  However I must say that my son is a really adventurous and good eater.  He tries anything and actually prefers foods with lots of flavor and seasoning.  Eating with your children is so important for them, so that they develop skills and tastes for real food, and not just think that eating is a chore they do while a parent observes.  And I'm proud to say that my boy will eat leftovers, so at least I've got that going for me!  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Surprise!! Jalapenos!

Well I had a package of gluten free corn bread that someone gave me to try out.  I also had some left over "mexican 4 cheese blend" from some tacos I made earlier in the week. I combined them and cooked it.  It turned out so fluffy and tall!

I glanced at a recipe for black bean soup earlier this week in a magazine.  I cooked up 4 cups of red or pinto beans, not sure which.  (My bean pot is a huge mixture  I got out my largest cooking pot and started making my own version of black bean soup.
4 cups of any kind of beans----cooked on a separate day
1 cup of chopped peppers----from my freezer from a sale back in September
1/2 onion chopped
several garlic cloves chopped
2 teaspoons of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
sprinkling of ground coriander
1 very small can of creamed corn with the liquid
1 can of chicken broth
1 can of corn
1 large scoop of homemade green tomato salsa-------made last weekend (

It was very liquid-y and so I cooked it down for one hour until it was more like chili.  I sat down to enjoy what I expected was going to be pretty mild and tasty.  WOW!  It was so hot and spicy, I could barely eat it.  What a surprise!  I try not to make food that is too spicy.  I know my green tomato salsa was spicy and I know chili powder and cumin can be spicy, but my best guess of what happened is this;  back in September I bought a large bag of peppers from my local produce market (  And I'm thinking  now, that one or more of them was actually a jalapeno and not a sweet bell pepper.  I simply chopped them all up at that time and froze them in bags.  So last night I just tossed a bag of frozen peppers in.  Hahaha, well, it made me laugh, knowing that I make food without even really knowing what I'm putting into it!  Oh well, the cornbread helped and we all survived.  However, I did not feed this one to my son.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fried Plantains

The most gigantic banana I'd ever seen:

It's a Mexican Plantain!

I recently spent 8 days in Acapulco.  My parents invited us to their condo time share and my mom asked me if I would do most of the cooking and help her with meal planning.  With 4 adults and one toddler, it just made sense to eat in, rather than eat out for every meal.  I had fun trying out my Spanish in the grocery store, when trying to find certain ingredients.  When I asked for "taco seasoning" they had to get 3 employees before someone understood me well enough and pointed something out to me.  I bought it without looking at the ingredients and cooked with it, before realizing it was soy sauce!  

We were busy swimming, body surfing, walking, and playing, so we were very hungry for our meals.  The most fun thing I cooked was a plantain.  It's a giant banana.  I picked out the biggest one I could find.  It looked as if two plantains had joined like Siamese twins, at the center and grown together.  (see photos above).

I sliced the plantain and started some butter melting in a flat fry pan on medium.  I placed the plantains in the butter and allowed them to cook for 10 minutes before flipping.  Then allowed another 10 minutes for the second side.  If you rush them, it would not be as creamy and sweet.  The end result was delicious and everyone enjoyed it.  We served it as a side dish with dinner and then I made it again for breakfast.