A Day To Be Grateful

photo (1)Sometimes it’s hard to count our blessings.  We get blindsided by everyday BS.  We get caught up on the things that just aren’t quite the way we’d like them to be.  We worry about things outside of our control.   We complain about things that don’t deserve so much thought put into.  And then something happens and we open our eyes.

Today was one of those days.  I woke up at 6:20 am when my monkey 2 cried out for me.   I thought, not early waking again.  I need to do something about it.  Gave him milk, cuddled, fed him breakfast.  Heard  monkey 1 wake up and go: “ I want cookie”, the same refused request he had gone to bed whining about.  Here we go again, another tantrum.   Went in to get him, calmed him down as he cried for a cookie, served him breakfast and went on to get ready for my doctor’s appointment.  I showered to the screaming cries of Monkey 2 banging on my shower door for “mama mama”.   Got dressed and sneaked out of the house without them noticing.

I went on to doctor for a routine yearly check up.   Before seeing the doctor I stopped to think, I do hope all is good.   Everything seems fine Dr. says.   I said my good byes and got on the elevator to go down and leave.  And then as the doors opened, I saw in the distance a little child, 2-3, in a hospital gown.  Holding on to his IV post, getting on another elevator followed by a nurse and whom I presumed was his father.  I only saw the back of this little angel, he had no hair and I thought, cancer.  And my heart broke into a million pieces.  I felt shattered.   Since becoming a mom, I feel such a sense of sadness whenever I see other children sick, in pain, sad or in any way affected.   I feel such a hole in my stomach as I write to tell this story and just the thought of it can bring me to tears.

That one scene lasted no more than 5 seconds but that’s all it took to shake me out of my funk.   All I wanted to do was go home, hold my boys, kiss them and thank god that my boys are healthy, alive.  They can run and jump.  They can scream, whine, cry and have tantrums that last for what feels like an eternity.  Either for something like a cookie or because their mama is in the shower and they just don’t want to be without me.  Thank god, they are not having to fight for their life.

So I hope this little story helps bring some perspective into your life as it did to mine.  Sometimes we need something like this to shake us out of our funk.  And see the good in life not the negative.

So with a new perspective here is a bit about my morning again.

Today Monkey 2 woke up at 6:30.  He just couldn’t wait to come cuddle mama.  Gosh, I am lucky that he wants me so much.   Thank you god it’s another day that he wakes up and is alive and that he adores me so much.  I bring him to bed.  Enjoy the cuddle as it is the only moment of the day he will sit still and cuddle in my arms.  I close my eyes and treasure this wonderful moment with Monkey 2.   I watch him eat and get excited about holding food, touching it.  I enjoy his smiley face whenever he gets the spoon inside his mouth or whenever he can get some food on the floor.  I am so lucky he has such a strong appetite.   I hear Monkey 2 wake up and cry “cookie”; I laugh and think to myself, gosh he can be persistent and stubborn.  Who can blame him, I guess he got that from his mama and papa.   I get him, show him all the cabinets so he can understand that we don’t have cookies around.   He calms down and I let him have some white bread with his eggs.   When he is done I treat him to some granola.   I give him one he says 2, I let him have both.  I shower while Monkey 2 calls for mama.  I jump and make silly faces from the shower and tell him I will be out in just a sec.  As soon as I am dry I hug and kiss him.  I go on to my day and thank god, the universe and all the higher powers for giving me these 2 wonderful boys, so close in age.  Who love each other and keep each day as interesting as can be.  I think to myself, today is the day.   I have everything I need.  I am one lucky lucky girl.

And as I head back home, I stop buy Monkey 1 a cookie and know that although Monkey 2 can’t have one yet I will find a way to make him a dairy free soy free oat free yummy treat instead!!

Beetroot Mango Strawberry Popsicles + Martinis!

Hola!!!  This post is all about beetroots + mango + strawberries and how you can make popsicles, a martini and some fresh baby food or fruit mash snack for your little ones!  But first a little bit about the weekend.  

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Last Saturday the family and I ventured into little India over in our new hometown of Singapore.  It was so nice to have some Indian food again, I was definitely missing that since we left London.  Toddler TC who is now 2 + 4 months had his first taste of restaurant Indian food.  We ordered him some “non spicy” chicken but it still felt hot for him.  So off we left him enjoy poppadoms, naan and rice.   Toddler MB (just turned !) slept through most of lunch, luckily for us, as he will scream for food at the first sight of it and we were not about to try the chicken on him!!!  We asked the restaurant owners if they fed young children spicy food and matter of fact they said “yes, from very little.  They cry the first few times and then they get over it”.  Just like that.  Sounds like many things in the parenting world and so interesting to hear their perspective.  

So off we went into the vegetable markets where I found some gorgeous looking beetroots. I had been buying a natural beet and fruit juice back in Panama and making popsicles for the kids, so I decided I would get some and give it a go.  

I not only manage to make popsicles, which the boys absolutely loved by the way, but squeeze in a little beetroot martini for myself and then feed the left over fruit pulp mash to my 1 year old.  So there, 3 recipes in 1 go!  

You will need

  • 1 beetroot
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 mesh strainer
  • blender
  • (gin + club soda if you want a martini!!)

To make, peel beetroot and cut into squares (raw – no cooking needed).  Peel and chop your mango and chop your strawberries in half.  In a blender mix the beetroot with the water until smooth.  Add the mango and strawberries and blend. Now the trick here for me is, that knowing my toddler he would not eat the popsicles if the pulp/stringy fruit is mixed in.  So I strained the liquid through a mesh strainer (reserve all that stringy pup if you have a little one that will eat it!).  Pour juice into popsicle molds and freeze! Now if you don’t have them, you could also make them in ice cube trays and use wooden sticks (you can find them in the craft section at most supermarkets).  

For the martini, use 2 parts of the juice with 1 part gin, shake with ice in a shaker and serve with a splash of club soda.  

And off you go! Who says moms can’t have fun too?  See you soon and be sure to follow us on Instagram @foodiewithkids to not miss our tips and foodie updates!

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The Best Steak Sandwich – The Eagle Style!

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This is the best steak sandwich I have ever made.  What a difference to marinate the steak for so long.  It was such a simple marinade yet so good.  Hmmn.  I am hungry right now and getting hungrier as I remember eating this.  We had this while still in Bordeaux, France blessed by some amazing summer like weather in the middle of fall!   We used the marinade recipe from The Eagle’s gastropub cookbook and changed the onion for a shallot and 1 small dried chilli with the cayenne pepper.  For some reason it says to not marinate over 8 hours but we did for 12 and it was still great!

  • 500 g / 1lb 2 oz rump steak thinly sliced
  • 2 large crusty rolls

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINADE / SERVING 2 ADULTS

  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf broken up
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Add the meat and mix together.  Seal the plastic Ziploc bag and let marinade from 8-12 hours in the fridge.  Heat some olive oil in your pan (very hot) and add the meat (make sure you have left all the marinade and onions in the bag).  Cook for 5 mins on each side for a medium/medium rare steak. Remove the steaks.  Add the marinade (onions and all) to the pan and heat for about 5 minutes.  Slice your steak and layer into some bread.  Drizzle with the marinade sauce and onions.  ENJOY!

Caldeirada de Mariscos – Portuguese Fish Stew

Caldeirada

Hello from France!!! FWK and family has come to Bordeaux for 2 weeks and we are hoping to cook a lot everyday! We brought not one, not two but three new cookbooks along… Now if I can only get to our computer to write down these recipes I will be so very happy!!!  I will do my best.  So while little baby sleeps and my almost 2 year old plays in the yard I will attempt to tell you about the mouth watering Caldeirada de Mariscos (Portuguese fish stew) that I made for hubby and myself last night.  It was not a meal to be prepared if you are short on time but well worth the work if you have time to hang out with a few glasses of wine and good company while making it.  The result was sooo good I cannot even begin to tell you.  We followed (mostly) the recipe from The Eagle’s gastropub cookbook, so if you have ever been there, you can imagine how good this was.  The Eagle is said to be the place where the London gastropub revolution started.  I give this book all thumbs up as the meal we had was as good as if we had had it at the restaurant.  Hubby absolutely loved it… we think we’ll be making it again next week when my in laws arrive to stay with us in Bordeaux.

We paired this with a bottle of Chateau Le Bourdieu 2009 Medoc.  For dessert we had a some Bleu D’Auvergne Aop Cheese and 2 glasses of Cru de la Fontaine d’Augey Sauternes 2006.  WOW! I loved that dessert wine! Wine 1 Wine 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recommend to start chopping the ingredients for the stock and get started with that.  Then you can chop everything else while the stock cooks.

INGREDIENTS / 3-4 servings

For the fish stock

  • 1 celery stick roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1 litre of water
  • the heads and shells of the shrimps/prawns used below

For the Caldeirada ( + 5 slices stale bread)

  • 200g big shrimps/ prawns (about 20)
  • 600g mussels (+/- 6 handfuls)
  • 200g white fish (we used filet fletan noir – sea bass should work)
  • 200g cleaned sardine fillets chopped into chunk size pieces
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper cut in stripes
  • 3 small potatoes peeled and chopped
  • half can of tomato puree (or 200g canned plum tomatoes)
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pull off the heads and shells of the shrimp/prawns and set aside.  Remove the black vein from each shrimp with the tip of a knife and rinse through with water.  Put the heads and shells in a pan with all the ingredients for the stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 45 minutes.  Skim off the scum with a ladle.  Pour stock through a sieve and reserve for later.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and fry onions and garlic until onions are softened (about 10 mins more or less), stir throughout. Add the bay leaves and saffron and cook until onions are lightly brown.  Add the peppers and potatoes and fry for another 5 minutes.  Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and fry for another 3 minutes.  Add the stock and cayenne pepper and stir.  Boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 mins.  Increase heat and add the prawns, after 2 mins add the mussels, white fish and sardines.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  Serve in bowls with some toasted stale (old) bread.

Hope you enjoy…I can’t wait to have the leftovers later!!!  I leave you with the view of my writing space of today!!

garden bordeaux

Thai Red Fish Curry

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This thai red fish curry was really good and fast to make, great recipe if you don’ have much time to spare in the prep time!!!   I made it for me and hubby as the  red curry past seemed quite spicy for our toddler boy.  We devoured it and there were no left overs! Some rice or bread would have been great to soak up the curry sauce but it really is not necessary to get you full as there is a lot of crunchiness going on with the baby corn and sugar snap peas to make you feel like it is a heavy (yet really light!!!) meal.  I used a recipe from Donal Skehan’s Homecooked Kitchen Blog as inspiration and modified it a little bit.

INGREDIENTS / SERVING 2 ADULTS

  • 1  tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 limes
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  •  150g (5oz) sugar snap peas
  • 100g (31⁄2oz) baby corn, sliced lengthways
  • 1 courgette (zucchini) cut into triangles
  • 3– 4 fish fillets (360g in total), cut into cubes
  • Good handful of basil and coriander leaves

Heat oil in a sauce pan, sauté zucchini for about 3 mins.  Add red curry paste and stir for 2 minutes.  Add coconut milk and vegetable stock bringing to a boil and then simmering for about 10 minutes.  Add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar snap peas and baby corn and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add fish and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped coriander and basil leaves a few minutes before serving.  You can sprinkle some more basil and coriander on your plates too!  Buen provecho!

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