yorkshire puddings

Today, I’m sharing a British cooking recipe and¬†one of my husband’s favorites things:¬†Yorkshire Puddings.

The main “secret” to get this recipe right is that the oil in the muffin pan (in this case) has to be HOT. So please, prepare this with caution!

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 4 large organic free range eggs
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • canola oil, for cooking (about 3 tbsp)
  • salt & pepper

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Heat the oven to 400F.

Pour a little bit of the canola oil in a 12-whole non-stick muffin pan and place the pan in the oven to heat through.

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You need to make the batter quickly because the muffin pan is getting ready in the oven.

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To make the batter, pour the flour into a bowl and beat in the eggs until smooth.

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Gradually add the milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free.

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Season with salt and pepper. Pour the batter into a jar or a batter bowl.

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Remove the hot tins from the oven. Handle it with caution because the oil might be VERY HOT!

Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes.

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Place it back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned.

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Take a picture and serve immediately!

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I also made an additional and different version adding some ground beef that I cooked before in a skillet with onions, red bell peppers, raisins, olives and oregano.

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For this version you’ll need to pour a little of the batter.

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Then, add a spoon full of the beef mixture and cover it with a little bit more of batter. Remember that they will grow in the oven so cover just about 3/4 of the whole in the muffin pan.

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Enjoy!

why routines are good for my whole family ‚ÄĘ por qu√© las rutinas son buenas para toda mi familia

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

If you’ve been reading my blog, you might already know how creating a routine helped me with Marco. Today I want to share a little more about this.

IMG_0407Heading to Barnes & Noble for story and play-time

When I used to work as a Children’s Psychologist at a¬†Psychiatric¬†Hospital in Buenos Aires, I had patients with very severe pathologies. During that experience, I¬†really¬†learned the extreme importance of¬†creating and keeping a routine and how this helped kids -families and professionals- to go through their days the best they could.

But then, in the private practice with adults patients (not severe pathologies as in the hospital), I also noticed that, at the end, we all benefit when we have a routine (even-though there were some important differences like the rigidity and exact repetition).

Since this blog is not about my Psychologist’s experience but my parenting’s, I’m not going to expand on the explanation, but just think about how routine affects us, i.e. how many times we say something¬†like “I don’t start my day until I have my coffee” or things¬†like that?!

IMG_0409“If you spend your entire work day mastering new tasks, you appreciate your regular coffee breaks” (Dr. Karp)

The issue is that when we have a new baby at home, the routine that we used to have…¬†is gone and we try to do all the tasks that we have to do whenever we can do them, even without a schedule.

But friends, routine can be our ally!

In my experience, routine was useful for:

  • having less meltdowns during the day
  • less drama when changing¬†from one activity to another (specially on that 1-2yr stage)
  • bedtime got¬†easier
  • soothing him when an unexpected situation was present (specially when moving, this is our 4th new place!)

Now, let’s be honest. We don’t have the same activities during the day, neither the same time and that’s fine.¬†Let’s embrace our differences ūüôā

Each family has its own rhythm but, we all can create routines according to our own rhythm! We can all organize our day so it’s easier to navigate thru and not ending the day stressful, tired.. exhausted. You might see it now, not having a routine affects everyone in the family ūüôā

That’s why, for me and in my experience, it’s important to create a routine, a schedule that fits our own time. Because at the end… Happy parents help to have¬†happy kids ūüôā

IMG_0424Crafts and free-play after nap-time

*There’re tons of books about the importance of routines, but my favorites¬†are¬†still Dr. Karp’s books (“The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block”)


ESPA√ĎOL

Si siguen mi blog, ya sabrán cómo el establecer una rutina en el día me ayudó en la crianza de Marco. Ahora quiero contarles un poquito más acerca de las rutinas.

Cuando trabajaba como Psic√≥loga con Ni√Īos con patolog√≠as severas en un Hospital de Buenos Aires, aprend√≠ la extrema importancia que ten√≠a¬†la rutina en la vida de esos pacientes¬†(incluso para sus familias y para los profesionales).¬†Pero despu√©s, trabajando con adultos en la pr√°ctica privada, me daba cuenta que a pesar de algunas diferencias -principalmente en la rigidez y repetici√≥n exacta- al final es a todos que nos hace bien tener una rutina.

IMG_0422Ayudando a mami a hacer la cena

No voy a explayarme aqu√≠ acerca del tema porque esto no es mi blog como psic√≥loga sino de mi etapa de mam√°, pero si quieren piensen en todas aquellas cosas que hacemos que ya est√°n casi “naturalizadas” y que nos hacen emprender nuestras actividades. Piensa en¬†las frases como¬†“hasta que no tome mi caf√©/mate no arranco¬†la ma√Īana”¬†por ejemplo.

El tema es que cuando nace un beb√©, la rutina que ten√≠amos… desaparece y empezamos a tratar de hacer las actividades que tenemos que hacer cuando podemos hacerlas, ya sin llevar un orden o ritmo a veces… “tapando agujeros“.

IMG_0438Pizza casera, la receta *aquí*

¡Pero la rutina puede ser una gran aliada! En mi caso y experienca, encontré que el hecho de tener una rutina nos ayudó a que:

  • hayan muchas menos rabietas/berrinches
  • la hora de ir a dormir sea m√°s f√°cil
  • pasar de una actividad a otra sea algo m√°s llevadero, con mayor fluidez y menos stress (sobretodo en la etapa¬†entre 1 y 2 a√Īos)
  • pueda estar tranquilo durante¬†una¬†situaci√≥n inesperada (por ejemplo en nuestro caso, mudanzas… √©ste es nuestro 4to hogar)

Ahora, es bueno que nos sinceremos. No todos tenemos las mismas actividades ni horarios y eso est√° bien¬†porque cada familia tiene su propio ritmo. Pero todas las familias tienen¬†un ritmo con el que puede¬†ordenarse… Sea que en mi casa se cene a las 6pm o en la tuya a las 9pm, todos podemos organizar nuestro d√≠a para que sea todo m√°s f√°cil de llevar y no terminemos exhaustos, cansados, agotados al final de la jornada. Tal vez puedas ver ahora c√≥mo no tener una rutina afecta a¬†todos¬† en la familia ūüôā

Por eso, para m√≠ y en mi experiencia, es importante crear una rutina, la que sea m√°s acorde a los tiempos de nuestra familia. Porque al final¬†de cuentas, padres felices… ayudan a que haya¬†ni√Īos felices ūüôā

IMG_0214Lleg√≥ la hora de leer cuentos y a dormir… ¬°Buenas noches!

*Hay much√≠sima bibliograf√≠a acerca de la importancia de las rutinas en el desarrollo de los ni√Īos, pero mis libros preferidos siguen siendo “The Happiest Baby on the Block (El beb√© m√°s feliz del barrio)” y “What To Expect: The Toddler Years

sweet potatoes dumplings

Since I love to cook and eat new things, God sent me the kid who doesn’t like to eat veggies or some food because of their “texture”.

Nevertheless, my son is not going to win this war, he might try to appear as a picky eater but sooner or later, mommy is going to win! I’m confident!

Since he already love my spinach dumplings (knödel), I tried the same idea but with another ingredient: sweet potatoes!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 organic large egg
  • 1/2¬†cup unbleached all purpose flour

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Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. Once the potatoes are cool enough to work with, remove thee peels.

Mash the sweet potatoes and add the mix to a large bowl.

IMG_4857Add the egg and the vegetable oil and stir.

Mix in the salt and stir. Add the flour already mixed with the baking powder  a little at a time until you have soft dough. Use more or less flour as needed.

Transfer the mixture to a floured surface.

Roll the dough out in several long rolls.

Cut little pieces of the rolls using a knife (add some flour to the sharped part of the knife so it doesn’t get sticky).

 

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Is you want to freeze your preparation, this is the time to do it (just remember to add a little bit of flour to the base of the container¬†so they don’t get sticked to the base!). Note: You don’t need to thaw the dumplings, just put them in boiling water straight from the freezer.

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If you’re going to prepare them right away, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop¬†the little pieces of dough into the boiling water.

Allow them to cook until they float to the surface.

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Remove the floating pieces with a slotted spoon or drain using a colander.

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Serve with butter and pecorino cheese or with a sage butter sauce ūüėȬ†

Enjoy!

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introducing: summer deliciousness

In the last weeks, I’ve been studying a little bit¬†about creating patterns and today¬†I want to share with you a new product that I have for sale: scarves! (a *must* for our Northern California weather!)

The illustration is a simple line drawing inspired in the summer deliciousness: cherries & strawberries.

It’s available for sale here.

Soon, it will also be available as a fabric, wall or gift paper here.

*I’d love to have your feedback on this! Feel free to leave your comment below!

easy black beans (feijoada style)

I was born and raised in Posadas, the capital city of the state of Misiones, in the extreme north east of Argentina.

During my childhood years, our holidays used to be in one of Brazil’s southern beaches: Cap√£o Da Canoa, a small village in the state of Rio Grande do Sul where habitants¬†from Porto Alegre used to go for a beach getaway.

We even had an apartment, so we used to go very often. And in every visit, we ate at small local eateries where all of their dishes were first serve with a hot, flavorful and delicious: feijoada with white rice.

Originally, it’s a stew with mostly black beans and meat (pork feet, bacon, sausage, etc) that takes a lot of time to cook, as any stew!

So today, I want to share¬†my abbreviated¬†version of feijoada. This one, you’ll see,¬†¬†it’s an easy recipe and even though¬†it doesn’t include all the ingredients of a traditional feijoada from Rio Grande do Sul… it’s still¬†delicious!

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb California Grown Black Valentine Beans
  • 1 large organic yellow onion chopped
  • 3 thick slices applewood smoked bacon (always try to choose¬†products¬†with no antibiotics and humanely raised)
  • 1 bavarian sausage fully cooked (I used this one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 organic red bell pepper
  • 1 organic garlic clove without the sprout
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp spices (I used Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning¬†salute¬†but any oregano, parsley, dried garlic, etc will work)
  • salt, pepper
  • water

First, let’s talk about what beans I used. I bought 1lb of Black Valentine Beans and I let them in a bowl covered with water on my kitchen top overnight. ¬†Then, I drained the beans, gave them a quick rinse with cold water and set them aside.

In a large sauce pot over medium heat, pour the olive oil and add the chopped onions and garlic. Let them cook for 2 minutes and add the bacon and the red bell peppers.

Add the sausage, stir. Finally, add the rinsed beans and enough water to cover all the ingredients.

Add the spices, the salt and pepper. Stir and cover.

That’s my shadow, hi!

Cook on low heat for about 1.30 h or until beans are tender.

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You can serve right away, or like I did, let it cool and freeze in different bowls so you can enjoy this dish on other days!

Usually, you this dish is served with white rice and a few drops of lemon juice over it.

Since we’re a multicultural family, I decided to serve the feijoada with some “tajadas” (fried plantain) and “arepas” (venezuelan corn flatbread) and everything was delicious!

IMG_4580Enjoy!

We have a winner!

Congratulations

Thank you everyone for participating in this special giveaway! I deeply appreciate your support, it means a lot to me ūüôā

Congratulations to @diegosubovsky who won this cute art-print from a list of 201 participants! I’ll send you a PM to send you your prize.

Thanks everyone! Have a great week and a very happy Mother’s Day!

andreacomenta