Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘cooking


As of today, my tiny entourage and I have a month of recipes under our belt. Just 11 more to go!

Today’s treat?

Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake!

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen (via Pinterest) for the recipe.

YUM!

Note 1: We doubled the recipe and added a tbsp of poppy seeds. But like the title says…anything goes! Dee-lish!

Note 2: I was actually envisioning/hoping for a lemon loaf of sorts, but I now realize that baking in a loaf pan, does not necessarily a loaf make. Ha well. Still dee-lish (for a cake…)

Note 3: Weeks 1, 2 and 3

Note 4: See bottom pic – Niko is eating outside in a t-shirt and it’s March! We are having some record breaking temps this month!


Who doesn’t need help with a new baby? Yes, it’s true, all mamas of newborns can use an extra pair of hands. When it’s your first baby, it’s just all so overwhelming and new, and it really seems impossible. And when it’s your second those extra hands help oh so much with the the first little babe who is now at least two or so – not to mention the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning (that is if you’ve got really good help, like the kind that took residence at my place this past January!) Thank you Mom (AKA Gramma)!

Yes my mom swooped in from Singapore to help out while we adjusted to life as a family of four. She was pretty much my personal assistant for almost a month taking on even the most menial of tasks, say for example when new baby Stella projectile pooped on my bedsheets at close to 1 in the morning. Why was I changing her on my bed? Convenience of course. She sleeps in a bassinet only about a foot away! Why was I changing her without a change pad? Who knows…

Anyway, once I saw what had projected onto my white sheets, I gently rapped on the neigbouring door…just to relay the situation. But out of bed pops Superwoman, alert and ready to take charge: “Oh dear! Well, I’ll go do the laundry then.” In my head I was both surprised and delighted – afterall I hadn’t knocked on her door to ask her to do the laundry, but that leads me to wonder why had I knocked at such an early hour? In my head it was merely to tell a sympathetic listener what had happened. And the result, sheets without permanent stains. Thank you Mom. Thank you.

Note: Below is a series of photos taken when Niko was learning to bake cookies, but mostly just reaping the rewards of doughy beaters and bowls, and the final product of course.


One thing about a toddler is that they like hanging around with their parents. Whatever the task, however meaningful or menial, these little tykes can be found lingering underfoot, just looking for ways to get involved. In these situations there are two options: include them or don’t. But whatever you decide – to include or not to include – their little hands will find things to occupy them, and if it’s guided by you, you might appreciate the outcome a little more than if they’d gone off and say just decided to colour on the wall or something (but I’ll leave that particular story for another post).

Anyway, Thanksgiving was upon us last weekend, and the cooking escapades started around 9:30 am, with just enough time to enjoy a couple cups of coffee before the labour began. Of course little Niko was lurking, literally squeezing his way in between me and the counter and doing his best to see what was being chopped and diced on the area just above his eye level. (See pic in top right corner: Innovative Niko standing on a makeshift stool – a.k.a. ice cream container – just trying to get a glimpse of the action.)

At first I sort of let him do his own thing, which involved rummaging through his favourite kitchen cupboard, and pulling out whatever caught his eye. Which on this particular day was the empty ice cream container. Oh the fun a toddler can have with an empty, ice cream container. He carried it around with him, doing laps, banging a spoon on it and eventually ended up putting it on his head in an attempt to sing Happy Birthday (see video clip 0:17). How does he think of these things? It was then, when I saw him donned his make-believe birthday hat, that I decided to get him involved in helping, and didn’t he turn out to be a willing set of extra hands. Mind you the tasks did take a little longer, but having him there and focused with me, just enjoying his company and still getting the stuff done that needed to be, was all worth it.

That day I was thankful. Thankful for those little hands that just wanted to help – or colour on the wall, whatever the case may be. Love you big guy!

HOW MY TODDLER HELPED WITH THE THANKSGIVING PREP…

He blended,

picked up the squash rinds,

and put them all in the compost! What an environmentally conscious little guy.

Break time: Snacks replete with complimentary dance moves and giggles (see video clip 0:22).

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Yesterday I headed to the grocery store, armed with a list and a mindset to buy the particular ingredients needed to create some new flavours for my Little Man. The world of internet blogging has introduced me to a site called Carrots are Orange where you can basically find a different baby food recipe each day. This lovely blogger (creator of Carrots are Orange) has a knack for kitchen creativity and I, or should I say Baby Niko, is reaping the benefits.

Luckily for Niko, I’m expanding and improving my culinary skill set since the Campfire Squash incident. Yes, I’ve stepped up my domestic game a notch and my repertoire now includes: skinning tomatoes (easier than it sounds), poaching sole (although my poaching technique is questionable) and thus creating “Sole” Mate Puree, all in the name of making baby food for my Little Man. Now wouldn’t Borys like it if I put so much effort into making adult food for my Big Man. Actually to be fair, here’s a conversation that transpired the other day:

Borys: I’ve noticed you’ve been cooking more lately. I like it!

Me (with an air of contentment and pride): Yah, I guess I have been cooking a lot.

Borys: Whoa there. I didn’t say “a lot”, just “more” than before. But I still like it.

Me (somewhat dejected): Oh…

B and Me: har har har 🙂

Yes I’ll admit it, for quite some time PC frozen lasagnas and countless other PC varieties made daily appearances at Chez Alli & Borys. But now, and maybe in part due to the years (yes, years!) of eating them, those frozen entrees just don’t have the same appeal. Thank goodness…

So today I will continue on my baby making, nix that, on my baby food making adventure. And what lies ahead, you may wonder: Chicken Pot Pie and an Avocodo, Banana, Blueberry puree (ingredients, at least at this stage in the game, I would never have dreamed of combining!) So, thank you Marnie, from Carrots are Orange – Niko’s taste buds are happy and all the while I’m honing my cooking skills.


The other day Heather came over and we brought our kiddies, plus Frasier for a walk out back. We had our little ones secured on our chests in the trusty Baby Bjorns and as we were getting ready to leave, Heather asked if Lena could borrow a soother clip (you know, one of those things that attaches to the soother and then clips onto the baby’s outfit). Anyway, of course she could borrow one, Niko has two and he wasn’t using either of them. Now, at the time the only place I could think where there was one, was in Niko’s room: the one that had fallen behind his dresser the week before and the one I had not yet gotten around to finding. So, with my winter coat on, and Niko secured in the Bjorn I headed upstairs to get the soother clip.

Yes, I could have unstrapped baby N (this definitely would have made the task easier), but that would have taken time and we were ready to go. So instead I pulled a limbo move of sorts: I got myself crouched down on the ground as low as I could, and reached under the dresser. But it was to no avail; I couldn’t quite reach it. So I crouched a little lower, until I ended up flat on my back, still wearing my winter coat, Niko completely bundled for winter and still strapped onto my chest, one of my arms secured around him, while the other reached and searched blindly under the dresser. It would have been quite the site had anyone other than Niko witnessed it, but it was in this position that I had success and was finally able to reach far enough under the dresser to get the clip. So, with clip in hand I shimmied my way back to an upright position (go quadriceps!), went back downstairs and we all continued on our merry way.

This little episode got me thinking. It’s amazing how being a stay at home parent sort of forces you to hone a whole new single-handed set of skills. Things that in the past had always required two hands (cooking, laundry, everything…), can now, for the most part, be completed quite adeptly single-handed. So kudos to all those parents who have become skilled one-handers!

Beyond reaching for the soother clip, a few other tasks which previously would have been two-hand chores, but can now be completed while little N is secured in one of my arms, are as follows:

1) Showering after swimming lessons. Washing slippery little N’s hair and rinsing him off.

2) Swiffering the floors. (See pic.)

3) Transferring cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer. (Well if Niko makes the mess, he might as well see how to clean it up, right?)


I roasted a chicken!

I made chicken soup from scratch!

And they both received seals of approval from all buds who tasted them!

Note the exclamation points after each of the above statements. They are there for a reason, for cooking really isn’t in my regular repertoire of daily activities and thus deserves the exclamation kudos.  But this week with a special on at Loblaws, – 5$ for a whole chicken – I couldn’t resist.

I have mentioned before what type of housewife I am, and on most days this just doesn’t guarantee a hot meal ticket. I know some stay at home parents are all about the cooking, but I for one, do not fit into this category. I don’t particularly enjoy it, and furthermore find it hard to coordinate a meal while little N is lingering in the background. But seriously, cooking this chicken and making this soup was, as my mother so often says, “really easy” – thanks in part to her long distance phone guidance: Supercook Extraordinaire just a phone call away. (Although if there is a gene for this, I don’t seem to have inherited it.) One thing’s for sure, these bouts of spontaneous cooking have helped to build my culinary confidence and succeeded in providing me with a few moments of domestic glory!

Borys: Who are you and what have you done with my wife?

Me: There are many facets to my personality, dear. Some smaller than others, and some so small you rarely see them, but surprise surprise, they are there!

Borys: I like it!


The other day I was walking Frasier out back in the field behind my house.  It’s a great place to bring him because there are a handful of other dog owners that also bring their pooches, and if they’re there when I go it gives Frasier a chance to run around with them and burn his banked up energy (although that’s one bank that never seems to be empty). Over the last several months since we have had Frasier, I have gotten to know a few of the dog owners and will often end up chatting with them while our dogs romp around.

On one particular day last week I got to talking with this girl Julie, and we were discussing maternity leave and I was saying how I loved it and that ideally I would love to stay off and be home with Niko and any other babes that may come along in the future.  She agreed, and although she doesn’t have any kids yet, said that she too would love to be a stay-at-home mom and raise her family when that day comes.  She went on to say: “I mean, I would be at home and keep the house clean and make dinner every day.” Make dinner every day?, I thought. Hmm… To which I replied, “Well, yah, staying home is great, but personally, I’m not the dinner-making kind of housewife.” To which we both had a few chuckles.

But this led me to wonder, then what kind of stay-at-home-mom am I?  Well in the year 2010 I find myself to be the kind that, loves spending time with my son Niko, the kind that tries to stimulate him on a daily basis, the kind that changes about seven diapers a day – not to mention single-handedly doing all the laundering that goes along with cloth diapering, the kind that gets up patiently one, two or three times every night to feed him, the kind that keeps the bathrooms clean, the kind that loves my husband and our son (but just doesn’t always prepare dinner for the former of the two…), the kind that has maintained being in a book club and going to cardio-kickboxing classes despite having become a mom, and the kind that documents our family’s adventures in my blog. I guess the old adage rings true: to each his own! And for our family, this is what’s working right now.

Note:

The Yummy Mummy Club

As posted on their website:

“Yummy is a state of mind.

A true Yummy Mummy struggles to find the impossible balance between the [woman] she used to be, the woman she’s become, the professional she works hard to be, the wife she aspires to be and the mother she [is].

Forget CEO. THIS is the toughest job in the world. Why didn’t anyone warn us? Can you relate?

Then Welcome to the Yummy Mummy Club….So, what’s this club thing all about?  It’s a place where you can celebrate and commiserate the rollercoaster ride of modern mummydom, win great prizes, find books to stimulate your brain and read eclectic and cheeky articles written for and by other yummy mummies…because mummy needs to play too.  We’re unabashedly un-exclusive”


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