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 • por qué las rutinas son buenas para toda mi familia

LÉELO EN ESPAÑOL

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.

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?!

“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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

*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”)


ESPAÑOL

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 Psicóloga con Niños con patologías severas en un Hospital de Buenos Aires, aprendí la extrema importancia que tenía la rutina en la vida de esos pacientes (incluso para sus familias y para los profesionales). Pero después, trabajando con adultos en la práctica privada, me daba cuenta que a pesar de algunas diferencias -principalmente en la rigidez y repetición exacta- al final es a todos que nos hace bien tener una rutina.

No voy a explayarme aquí acerca del tema porque esto no es mi blog como psicóloga sino de mi etapa de mamá, pero si quieren piensen en todas aquellas cosas que hacemos que ya están casi “naturalizadas” y que nos hacen emprender nuestras actividades. Piensa en las frases como “hasta que no tome mi café/mate no arranco la mañana” por ejemplo.

El tema es que cuando nace un bebé, la rutina que teníamos… 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“.

¡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 más fácil
  • pasar de una actividad a otra sea algo más llevadero, con mayor fluidez y menos stress (sobretodo en la etapa entre 1 y 2 años)
  • pueda estar tranquilo durante una situación inesperada (por ejemplo en nuestro caso, mudanzas… éste es nuestro 4to hogar)

Ahora, es bueno que nos sinceremos. No todos tenemos las mismas actividades ni horarios y eso está 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 día para que sea todo más fácil de llevar y no terminemos exhaustos, cansados, agotados al final de la jornada. Tal vez puedas ver ahora cómo no tener una rutina afecta a todos  en la familia 🙂

Por eso, para mí y en mi experiencia, es importante crear una rutina, la que sea más acorde a los tiempos de nuestra familia. Porque al final de cuentas, padres felices… ayudan a que haya niños felices 🙂

*Hay muchísima bibliografía acerca de la importancia de las rutinas en el desarrollo de los niños, pero mis libros preferidos siguen siendo “The Happiest Baby on the Block (El bebé más 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 😉 

Enjoy!

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: Capão 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!

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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 🙂

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