Thursday, February 23, 2012

Easy meal for the baby and the whole family-Parmesan and Cod Fish Cakes

Introducing Morgan to solids has thankfully been a very good experience so far. She has already proven to be a good eater and has loved pretty much everything we have given her.  I have been very adventurous on what to feed her and have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly she has taken to it. I think we don't give babies enough credit for how quickly they learn. Being that she is only seven months old and doesn't have any teeth yet you would think that she wouldn't be able to chew her food and yet she has somehow mastered it. It is remarkable to watch her feed herself and to work on her problem solving skills.

I have also enjoyed the different meals that I have been trying so that she can eat dinner with my husband and I. This meal for example was the first time I had ever made fish cakes and I was excited at how delicious and easy they were to make. I think it is important to introduce your little one to a wide variety of foods as early as possible so hopefully when the toddler years come around they will be less likely to be a picky eater. I don't know this for a fact but it makes sense in my mind so I am sticking with it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An easy and cheap way to enhance your homemade Chinese Meal-Scallion Pancakes

It is yet again one of my favorite days, Pancake Day! This year I learned why Shrove Tuesday, which is the day before Lent, is also called Pancake Day. In most traditions the day is known for eating pancakes before the start of Lent because pancakes are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent. Now I don't participate in Lent but I have no problem participating in Shrove Tuesday by eating pancakes.

But one thing that also love to do is to find a different way to celebrate instead of the traditional sweet pancakes. So today I decided to highlight a delicious, savory pancake that I use to enjoy when my family lived in China, Scallion Pancakes. This was always a favorite of mine when we would go out, but sadly I haven't had a lot of success finding a Chinese restaurant that serves them. I never thought about making them myself because I imaged that it would be a difficult task. I am here to say that it is incredibly easy! And it uses such simple ingredients that it is an easy and cheap way to compliment your home cooked Chinese meal. I found the inspiration for this recipe from a blogger that I deeply respect and admire, Nicky from Delicious Days. If you are a food blogger you really need to read her blog, not only is the photography and writing wonderful but she has a lot of good advice about how to grow and develop your food blog.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Discovering two different meanings for biscuits

My home has becoming quite an infusion of traditions ever since I married a Brit, and I love it. Marrying someone from another culture has helped push me to try new things and has has opened my eyes to new tastes and even new names for ingredients.  If you said you were having a biscuit to someone here in the UK they would think of what as an American I would call a cookie. But when someone says biscuits to me I immediately think about this buttery, warm pastry with strawberry jam; one of my favorite breakfast treats. Thankfully my husband agrees that these are a must keep tradition so now in my home we have two different kinds of biscuits. For me this is the best recipe I have come across and I am delighted to share it with you. I hope for all of my UK readers that you too can enjoy too different kinds of biscuits in your home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Valentines Cookies

Happy Valentines Day to you. Up until now I had never really paid much attention to this day. A day that was created for the sake of commercialization just didn't scream love to me. But my sister pointed something out to me that has changed my attitude about this day. She said it is what you make of it. Yes there are commercials on tv that tell you what this day is about and how you need to celebrate it, but today is a day to celebrate love, no matter how that love looks like. My sister for example, she works with special needs kids and her and her teachers are trying to teach the kids to love each other and giving them creative art projects that are helping them express that love. You see it doesn't need to be an over commercialized day, having a day that we set aside to remind us to show the people around us that we love them can be a very good thing. 

Today I wanted to make sure that I let my amazing husband know that I love him. But today was also a difficult day as I only arrived home at 6am after a 21 hour traveling journey with a seven-month-old. So I knew that I wouldn't have a lot of energy today. So on Sunday I spend some time making these Valentines Day cookies so that when I arrived today I was able to present a token of my love to the one I love very much. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Bacon Stuffed Burger

There is something about the smell of charcoal on a hot summer day that creates such a perfect day for me. So even though it has been a rather mild winter, I can't wait for the cold weather to go away and for the sun to feel warm on my skin again. At the first hint of good BBQ weather I plan on throwing a party so I can enjoy this delicious burger hot off the grill.  This is an easy way to make in impressive gourmet burger and you really could use any stuffing ingredients that you want. The key is to make sure the pieces are small so it is easy to fold into the patty.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Aubergine Parmesana

A little over three years ago I was visiting my, then fiance's, family in England. We were traveling to a family wedding and to pass time on the drive we played the game 20 questions. It was my turn and I decided that my word would be 'eggplant'. So the questions began, they had it narrowed down to the fact that it was a vegetable and that it was purple but still no one seemed to be able to guess it. After a while of being confused as why it was stumping everyone my mother-in-law asked, 'is it an eggplant?'. Exasperated I said yes, that is when she informed me that in this country it is called an aubergine. They had answered aubergine several times but seeing as how I had no idea what that was I didn't realize that they had answered correctly. Funny how we can speak the same language and yet still sometimes fail to understand each other.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Simple Chicken Enchilada Casserole

On Friday I am taking Morgan with me to visit my parents in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be my little six-month old's first plane trip and I am doing it solo so I am a little nervous. Right now going through my mind are all the times that I have been on a plane with a small baby who wouldn't stop crying, I remember thinking to myself that I wished the parents would just make it stop. Now that I am a mom, I have so much empathy for that parent. I guess you don't really understand until you are a parent yourself. All I can do is prepare as best as I can, bringing her favorite toys and food, and hope that mommy cuddles and breastfeeding itself will help keep her calm.

With all of that on my mind, I am in need for some distraction; good, simple, comfort meals. The first one that came to my mind was something that is going to get me ready for my trip, Mexican Food!! I am so excited to step off that plane and eat my fill of Mexican food as well as enjoy some El Salvadorian food as there is an amazing place in Nashville that makes Papusas. Latin American food is not a cuisine that can easily be found here in the UK and it isn't all that surprising as it isn't a huge immigration destination. I have a secret that I will share and that is I have decided that I am going to open a Taco Restaurant here in Newbury. I will start off small at first, opening a taco stand in the market but in the next three to five years my gold is to open my first restaurant! Which is very exciting.

But now I have gotten myself distracted; today's recipe is a simple Enchilada Casserole. When I was living in the States I would always buy my Enchilada sauce from the store, but being that I live somewhere that doesn't have that I had to do some research on how to make it from scratch. I am happy to say it isn't hard at all and to be honest even if I could get enchilada sauce at the store I think I would choose to make it from scratch any way.