Whole Foods cooking class

The cooking class was lots of fun, but I forgot to take pictures AND I forgot to ask if it was OK to post the recipes, so you’re all out of luck – sorry!

It was great, though – the enchiladas were stuffed with roasted, shredded chicken, onion, carrot and potato and then had red chile sauce and queso fresco on top. The chile sauce would be FABULOUS over eggs for breakfast. Mmmmm….

The Mexican chocolate cakes were delicious – they had a touch of cinnamon and almond extract.

I would also definitely make the jicama salad again – it had some chili powder, orange juice, mandarin oranges. I might try a really mild, light vinaigrette on it next time, though, for a little more “tang”.

The kids had fun, but were really tired. Boy went upstairs to bed as soon as we got home and fell asleep before he brushed his teeth or took off his shoes. Poor guy.

Probably no new recipes tomorrow – we have lunch plans (Dim Sum here) and then will spend the rest of the afternoon taking down the last of Christmas decorations.

“Helping Hand” bags for the homeless

This idea originally came from a community service project that Girl’s Girl Scout troop did a couple of years ago. I like this idea, because while we want to help those in need, it would be naive to ignore the fact that a lot of these people in need have substance abuse problems that giving them cash would enable them to pursue. This project, I believe, is a more suitable way to help. I am nervous about giving someone cash that they may use on booze or drugs, but I would never begrudge anyone food. This project was such a hit that we’ve adopted it and done it several times, as a family. I was worried, at first, that the intended recipients of these bags might be rude: “What do I want with this, Lady? Just give me money!”, but that was not the case at all. Every single person that we have given one of these to has responded graciously and gratefully.

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The kids bundled up 29 of these bags this morning. We are going to give some to our family and friends this holiday season, in the hopes that they will keep a couple in their car, to hand to someone in need of assistance. If you are interested in trying this yourself, this is what we packaged in the bags (this is “survival” food and needs to be non-perishable, so I know that it’s not the most healthy, but it’s necessary) :

one individual pop-top can of fruit
one pop-top can of Vienna sausages
one granola bar
one plastic spoon
one paper napkin
one sanitary hand wipe
one small water bottle
one individual package peanut butter crackers
a printed card with information on places to go for help
(If you are in the Austin area and would like to use our list of Austin-area resources, you may download it here.)

All of these items were packaged in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.

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Happy Holidays, everyone!

Decorated Gingerbread Houses

Photos of the Gingerbread Houses that Boy and Girl decorated. This is how we use up any leftover Halloween candy (and we bought a little more extra Christmas candy, too). The little foil gift boxes are specially wrapped chocolate “presents” that I found. Perfect. They had a lot of fun doing this. I can’t believe that I forgot to take photos of them actually decorating the houses – Bad Mom!

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Boy’s Gingerbread House, complete with licorice swag and candy cane supports and roof beams

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Girl’s Gingerbread House with candy cane/gummy Life Saver tree

BOOT CAMP!

I have started a new “boot camp” like exercise program and have been EXHAUSTED for the past couple of days and not cooking. I have to put “boot camp” in quotes, because Hubby is a former Marine and says that this couldn’t POSSIBLY be anything like REAL boot camp. Maybe not, but it’s plenty hard-core enough for me – there was actually ICE on my workout mat yesterday (we meet outdoors at 5:30 am).

We don’t have much in the way of after-school activities today, though, so I’m planning on cooking something blogworthy. Haven’t decided what yet. It will either be Butternut Squash, Sage and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown-Butter Sauce or Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Blue Cheese Risotto. I have some roasted, mashed butternut squash that I prepared a while back and froze and I want to use it up. I made even do a simple Butternut Squash soup with some ginger.

I bought some plain (undecorated) gingerbread houses yesterday, too, and there may be enough time this evening for the kids to decorate them. I’ll post photos of them when they’re done, too. Will depend upon how much homework they have tonight.

Stay tuned!

The most spoiled cats in the world!

I apologize for the self-indulgence; I know this isn’t food-related, but I was just so envious, looking at my cats today, that I had to share this image:

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Wouldn’t you love to be able to lounge around aimlessly like that?

These cats are all siblings (we adopted the whole litter from some friends that found themselves with an expectant mama cat). Ace is the guy with the white feet on the left, Jack is the big guy on the right and Queenie is the fluffy girl on the bottom. They are 6 months old and provide us with endless hours of amusement.

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog! I will be posting descriptions and photos of meals that I serve to my family. I will post as often as time allows (it’s unlikely to be daily). Check back frequently, though, because I will be adding some “About Me” info, interesting links, and advice for convincing your kids to eat healthy foods. I will be including some recipes, as well. Thanks for reading!