Mommy’s Quiet Time | Cooking

February 24, 2009

I love to cook and to do as much as I can by scratch, and I thought it would just naturally extend into baby food and baby cookbooks, etc. Yeah, whatever. I spent all this money of containers for baby food, baby food cookbooks, baby food cooking flashcards of recipes, blenders, freezable trays. I went ALL out! I was going to cook for this baby and she would love it and we would have a grand old time.

Then reality set in. Mina barely ate any solid food, predominantly nursed and when she wanted food, it had to be store bought. I tried so hard to replicate Earth’s Best sweet potatoes! Mina would have none of it. I think the best advice to a new mom when considering baby food books is this: go to the library, check out ALL the books you can find, try them and then when the baby likes more than ONE recipe from a book, go and order it at TKE ( it will come in faster than Amazon!) and be satisfied that you didn’t waste a ton of money.

Now that Mina is a toddler, we cook together and she LOVES to cook and make up her own recipes. Just the other day, we made cookies and she decided on what to put in and which spice to choose. “Mama, I need to SMELL them! Mama, I need to TASTE them!” I look at toddler cookbooks with an eye of caution. Right now we read my cookbooks together and we make up our own recipes without cookbooks.

Fortunately or unfortunately, some of our lastest food creations have been influenced by Elmo or Pooh. We now put lots of honey in our cookies in honor of Pooh and spiral pasta is now called “Tigger tails.” I guess, if it helps to get her to EAT something, I will buy more “Tigger tails”. Sesame Street also introduces new food to Mina, through books, not TV. I got a coloring book last month and she would rather “read” it than color it. In it, Ernie, Bert, Zoe and Grover are around a campfire cooking hot dogs. Mina sees the picture and asks “What are they cooking?” To that I reply, “Hot dogs.” Of course, the next comment is an immediate, “I want a hot dog.” I tell her that we can get them at the market when we go, and end up wishing that you could buy just one hotdog instead of a pack of whatever it is. She ate her one hotdog and I spent the next week eating chicken hot dogs until I couldn’t look at them anymore! We were at a bookstore the other week and they had the Big Block Party which contained about 6 recipe cards. Yes, I bought it; I figured it was worth a shot. We went home and made Zoe’s Pink Tutu smoothies with bananas and strawberries. She ate some of it. Was it a waste of money? Not really, we still read the story out of it and we talk about the recipes. I think for right now, we will just cook together and bake together. When she begins to eat more and more consistantly, then I will probaly go with a backpack to TKE and buy out the whole shelf of children’s cookbooks! ~ Elif

Author Update | Marguerite Henderson

February 18, 2008

Last Friday the 15th, we were graced not only with Marguerite Henderson’s presence, but with her food as well! Marguerite came to the store to celebrate the release of her newest book, Small Parties:

Close friends, a bottle of fine wine, and a palate-pleasing menu comprise the ultimate ambience for a perfect evening of entertainment. Small Parties presents a guideline for all types of entertaining, from simple buffet fare to elegant dinners with several courses, offering tips and hints on advance preparations hours or even a day ahead. The menus found in have a hint of elegant simplicity for a year of celebrations and can be made by both the ambitious home chef or the novice cook with limited kitchen space. Whether a romantic party for two or a holiday gathering for twelve, Small Parties offers menus for all types of smaller group gatherings as well as helpful tips on food presentation, garnishes, decor and much more.

She made two recipes from the book: Puff Pastry-Wrapped Spanish Olives and White Chocolate Coconut-Dusted Strawberries. Wow, is about the sum of it. I definitely ate more than my fair share. If you haven’t met Marguerite yet, you’re really missing out. She’s smart, savvy, oh-so-approachable, and ready with advice on everything from which zester to buy, to what you should and should not cook in your convection oven (cookies, yes; lasagna, no). It was a really fun night — good food, good conversation, and lots of laughs.

Sad you missed it? You should be! But don’t worry, we’ve got signed copies of all her books on hand, and she teaches cooking classes as well.