Friday, 23 May 2014

Little people need good eats too! (And big people need quick & easy eats!)

Cooking for Finley has been a riot!  It's so fun to try new things & see how he takes to them.  I am truly amazed and sometimes a little disgusted by what he will eat.  I am thinking of contacting Chobani's to introduce a new line of yoghurt inspired by Finley: kale, butternut squash, egg yolk, tofu to name a few.  I'm sure they could be a hit!

Increasingly I am able to feed him what we have, sometimes with the odd modification.  If he's got his parents' palate he is probably ready for the spice, but I haven't been brave enough to chance it!

Eating one of my favourites: Quinoa, chickpea & roasted yam salad

But Finley needs his variety, it can't be Mommy's special yoghurt all the time.  So I decided it was time to put our baby book to the cookbook challenge.

Cookbook Challenge #21: Cheesy Broccoli Casserole from The Baby & Toddler Cookbook

An old friend of mine gave this to me now that her little man is almost 4.  It has a a few "duh" recipes, such as teaching me how to puree random fruit & vegetables.  But it also has a few actual recipes.  I decided to make a special meal for Finley.

He likes cheese, broccoli & rice, so this seemed like a good recipe.  It also called for mushrooms, which he hadn't had before, but I wasn't too worried as for the most part, he will eat ANYTHING.

Looks pretty tasty fresh out the oven.  

I wasn't home when he tried it for the first time, but I left it for our nanny to feed Finley at lunch.  She leaves us nice little notes about how Finley's day was.  I was so excited to see what he thought of this special dish.

Spat out!!!  What a little monkey!  It must've been the mushrooms.

I tried it myself and I thought it was pretty tasty.  So I fed it to him again the next day, and second time around it was much more to his liking.  He disappeared the entire ramekin!

Cookbook Challenge #22: Steamed Fresh Vegetables & Tofu with Soba Noodles and Miso-Almond Sauce, from Still Life with Menu Cookbook

The recipe is a mouthful (har-har, what a punster!), but the preparation is super easy.  This cookbook is by Mollie Katzen of Moosewood fame.  It is a vegetarian book with a great variety of recipes from around the world.  I like books like this that put recipes together into menus.  That way if I ever get a chance to entertain, I have a good sense of dishes that will go nicely together.

If you are really good with your timing, your veggies are steaming while the noodles are cooking and you are mixing up the miso-almond sauce.  So simple, so quick.  If you are not good with your timing, like me, some of your veggies are overdone while others are underdone... but no biggie!

Throw your veggies on the noodles, toss with your sauce & some chopped nuts & you have a healthy, hardy dinner.  And bonus - it's Finley friendly too!

Monday, 19 May 2014

2014 is almost half over!?

Hello!  Did anyone miss us?  We didn't mean to take such a long hiatus, but life has been busy.  The weather has been glorious and warm, and we've been enjoying time outside.

The view from a recent hike

My flower garden

We are almost 6 months through the year, and so to keep myself honest, I thought I'd take this moment to take stock of my progress (or lag of progress) on my new year's resolutions.

Free the Mind in 3 Easy Steps

I have tried a few different approaches to the daily meditation, but was not succeeding at doing 5 minutes per day. One of my colleagues at work has done a ton of work in mind-body health and she taught me a quick easy technique that she uses & teaches her patients.  Breath in for the count of 4, hold for a count of 4, then out for a count of 4.  I do this as I'm drifting off to sleep & think of all the things I am grateful for.  Sometimes I imagine myself giving a hug to all the people I love.  It is very relaxing.

I was really struggling with reducing my screen time, until I stumbled on my new guru, The Hands Free Mama.  This awesome blog talks about exactly what I'm feeling - that our society has become so distracted by gadgets & tasks that it becomes harder to live in the moment.  With some of her suggestions, I've made some improvements & we now have dedicated "hands free time" around our house.  The phones etc get put away & stay away!

With any luck, Finley will enjoy his toys over my iPhone.... but only if I can break my fascination with it!

The Body is a Temple

 I do sometimes enjoy more than one treat per day, but overall we are eating healthy meals & I stop when I'm full (most of the time!)

I'm still running, but I will not be doing the 8km trail race next weekend - that would be too much for me to bite off.  Still, I'm doing 35 minute runs & I'm back at my old gym, Challenge By Choice, once per week for some weight training.

One treat per day (not the whole cake, though technically that is only one cake, so one treat!)

I resolve to have fun bird watching

I am still an amateur bird nerd.  I have recently ID'ed our local woodpecker, who is a Pileated Woodpecker.  We've had a few Steller's Jays take a shine to our patio, so we see them often.  Last week on my run I saw a gorgeous water fowl that I have not identified to my satisfaction. It was either a Harlequin Duck or a type of Loon... I hope to see it again so I can make the ID!

Bad photo of a new bird

I resolve to have fun reading

I read a lot while we were in Maui, but was struggling through  few heavy books since we got home.  I decided to revisit an all-time favourite series - Harry Potter.  I started with The Philosopher's Stone and now I'm at The Order of the Phoenix.  I'm going to read them all straight through then I'll have a movie marathon!

I resolve to have fun cooking

We are cooking more in this house & I'm excited that BBQ season is upon us.  I've been working away at the Cookbook Challenge, including some exciting new baby recipes... but I will share those in a separate upcoming post.

I resolve to have fun skiing

I had a ton of fun!  After a dreadful start, it turned out to be a fantastic ski season.  I got 10 days on the hill, including a day with Dad and a few days of chasing around some super-fun hot-shots.  I had a really memorable day with some friends of a friend  - the visibility had been bad all morning, but the snow was nice.  The conditions seemed to drive a lot of people off the hill and we were still getting fresh tracks at 3pm.  I was doing some fun little airs & skiing as well as I could to keep up with the group.  I could barely walk the next day, but it was so worth it!

I resolve to have fun blogging

The creative juices seemed to have dried up for the past month, hence the hiatus.   But with great visits with both sets of grandparents, new recipes and an upcoming birthday, you had better believe there will be some posts coming up!