Archives for posts with tag: recipes

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There is a mound of toys in the living room of my 900 square foot Manhattan apartment.  It grows. It shrinks. Sometimes it remains untouched. There are 67 episodes of Little Einsteins downloaded on my Apple TV. (Please Disney, please bring this show back.)  We have been to the Children’s Museum,  Natural History Museum, MOMA, The Met, Children’s Museum of the Art, the Carousel in Central Park and a show featuring the real-life Angelina Ballerina and her friends.

And yet, despite all of the time and money I spend trying to keep Madeline stimulated – I learned last week that all I really needed was a 5 lb bag of fresh peas from the GreenMarket.

She had come back from a weekend with her dad. We set about preparing our dinner with the vegetable of the week – fresh peas. We had a lot of shelling to do. I grabbed her stool and brought it into the kitchen. She can see above the counter now. We organized our workspace and started shelling. I held her little hand and showed her how to open a pea pod, how to take the fresh peas out and where to throw away the pod.  We talked. We examined the sizes and shapes of peas. We counted how many peas were in each pod. We laughed at the baby ones. We were amazed at the big ones.  We both ate raw peas and talked about how they tasted. We both wished we had more peas when the bag was empty.

In two words: we reconnected.

My dear Maddie, this is a moment I will never forget. No matter how many days you are away, I will always be your mom . You will always be my daughter. We will always find a way to smile and a reason to hug each other.

I will also never forget that ridiculously amazing fresh linguine carbonara we made with those fresh peas and fava beans. Damn, that was good bacon.

So, to all those moms and dads out there (especially the NYC ones), here are just a couple of Madeline and my tips to finding your pea pod moment:

  • Have a special Sunday dinner – Slow down on Sunday and plan a fantastic simple meal. Think of something that you can make together and identify small tasks that your child can do that aren’t too messy and that will hold their attention such as cracking and whisking eggs, snapping green beans, shucking corn or stirring some red wine vinaigrette.
  • Throw some pennies in a fountain – Find a beautiful foundation and stop by once a week to make a wish. Tell each other what you wished for. Try to count all the wishes in the bottom of the fountain.
  • Smell the roses, literally – Stop by some flower beds. Look at all the different colors. Inhale.
  • Hang out on a bench – And talk to each other. Look around and make observations. Find something silly and laugh about it. Sing some songs.
  • Just sit on the floor – Turn off the TV. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Sit and play with each other until it dings. Play pretend. Build a block tower and knock it down. Or just giggle.

We are off to find this week’s fruit or veggie today. Hopefully, we’ll find some QT along the way.

Happy shelling.

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Delicious dinner courtesy of the GrowNYC GreenMarket – Young Onions or Spring Onion from Kernen Farms in Bridgeton, New Jersey, one bunch of spinach from 5lbs of Dirt, and wonderful bath of Shitake mushrooms from John Madura Farm in Pine Island, NY and some ridiculously delicious pork from Grazin Acres– all stir-fried together in a toddler-friendly way that made Madeline say “Mmmm”… or did she?Was it just my imagination?

I know that food was ingested, I know that she ate the pork and spinach, but I’m unsure about the Spring Onion. Given that it’s Spring Onion week, I’m going to say – yes, yes – indeed – she ate it and liked it.

I must say that I’m beginning to enjoy this little experiment. What’s my favorite part?

Definitely not watching my beautifully prepared dinners rejected with a look of malice and disdain (see asparagus and radishes).

It’s going to the Green Market every weekend. I love feeling like Miss America walking home with my bunch of seasonal and local Rhubarb. I’ve always cooked based on what I wanted to eat and making it happen. Now, I’m deciding what to prepare based on what looks good at the market.

Although it’s early on in the year, I wanted to share some quick things I’ve learned about my weekly shopping trips:

  • Do a once over – It’s like perusing the buffet when you are on a diet – don’t just jump at the first thing that looks good. Walk through the entire market first to see what looks good, and then start buying.
  • Decide on one meal – Buy food for one meal, not the week (unless you have some sort of plan)
  • Get ready to Google – As you start selecting items, start googling to figure out how you can put them together.
  • Set a budget – You can drop some serious coin at the market so have a number in mind and stick to it.
  • Eat raw stuff – Taste the fresh produce.
  • Bring a bag – This will make you look cool.
  • Enjoy it – Yes, this is so much more fun than battling the crowds at the grocery store – especially if you in NYC.

Happy shopping.

(Photo from Evan Sung for The New York Times)

Young toddler meets young onions.

Tonight’s dinner. Pray for me.

The T.V. needs to go to sleep. The babies need your binky. The sandbox is closed. Mommy is allergic to dogs.

Yes, that’s ketchup.  Special “rhubarbian” ketchup courtesy of Jean-Jorge Vongerichten.  And you just smeared it all over your sweet potato fries.  And ate them all with a smile on your face.

No, I didn’t take it personally when you ate a total 3 of my tiny homemade radish chips Saturday morning. It only took me over an hour artfully slicing farmer’s market radishes on a dangerous faux-mandolin from a kitchen discount store.  And I only almost sliced off my entire right palm a couple of times.  Guess what? It only took about 75 radishes to make a half a cup of chips — but who’s counting?  Who would have thought that radishes would dehydrate to the size of M&M’s like shrinky-dinks in the oven anyway?

So when we decided at the Upper West Side farmer’s market that Sunday would be the Imagestart of “rhubarb” week, maybe I did harbor a little ill will.  Chalk it up to post-traumatic radish-induced stress disorder.

And maybe I was a little afraid when I saw that the stalks of rhubarb were half the size of me and thought there was no way on God’s green earth that it would fit in your mouth, let alone that you would put it in your mouth.  So when I saw Vongerichten’s Rhubarb Ketchup recipe, I passively accepted the fact that I would just have to smear the truth to get you to try it.

So I mixed that rhubarb with an almost inconceivable amount of sugar…and you ate it.  And you liked it.  And now you like rhubarb.  You like it a lot.  And that’s how it’s going to be.

Here’s to rhubarb week!

Stay honest.

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