homemade bagels

One of the things that one can surely miss from living in New York is, definitely, a fresh bagel.

Last¬†Sunday, I woke up at 6am (that’s the latest that we get up ever since Marco was born hehe!) and started preparing the dough for the bagels. By 9¬†am we were enjoying some great bagels!

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2¬†cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1¬†tbsp organic sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup¬†warm water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1¬†tablespoon water

In a large mixing bowl add the sugar, salt, undissolved yeast and 1 cup of flour. Stir gently.

Attach the kneading hook to your kitchen aid and slowly add 1/2 cup of the warm water into the bowl while mixing on medium speed.

Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the water gradually. Scrape the bowl if necessary. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dry kitchen cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. This dough will rise but it won’t double in bulk.

After that resting time, transfer the dough to a floured surface. Cut small balls of the dough and make the bagel shape by creating the whole in the middle of the ball using your thumb.

Place the bagels over a baking sheet using parchment paper below.

Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 more minutes.

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After the resting time, bring water to a boil in a big sauce pan. Simmer bagels for 3 minutes on each side and remove them.

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Place them on the parchment paper covered baking sheets. Let it cool for 5 minutes. If your want, this is the moment when you can sprinkle some sesame or poppy seeds to the bagels.

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Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove them and brush them with the slightly beaten egg white with the tablespoon of cold water. Return bagels to the oven and bake for 12-15 more minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool.

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Enjoy with some cream cheese and scallions!

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Or…¬†Maybe some homemade organic jam ¬†or, like Marco in the picture… with salted butter!

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argentinian sweet aniseed breadsticks

These sweet aniseed breadsticks were one of my favorites back in my childhood.

If I’m right, they are actually Spanish but, as so many other things, we adopted it from our Spanish immigrants and make this sweet bread a classic at any bakery (specially in the Northeast of Argentina).

For this recipe, you’ll need:

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp dry yeast
1/3 cup organic sugar
2 tsp aniseed
3/4 cup water
4 tbsp unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold, made from grass-fed cows, the most similar to the Argentinian butter)
1/4 tsp salt
1 large organic egg

In a small sauce pan bring to a low heat the water with the aniseed. Don’t let it boil, it has to be just a little bit warm.

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In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar,  dry yeast. Stir Gently.

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Attach the mixing hook to your kitchen-aid and pour the warm water with the aniseed slowly into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

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Add the egg and the butter. Feel free to add a little bit more of flour if the dough needs it (in this case I added about 1/8 cup more). Once the dough is sticky but uniform, cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen cloth and let it rest for 1 hour.

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After its resting time, put the dough over a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes.

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Cut pieces of the dough and shape them into little sticks. if you turn them two or three times, you’ll get the shape of traditional breadsticks.

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Put them on a non-stick cookie pan or use parchment paper below. As you see in the picture, I used both methods. I prefer the parchment paper because it’s less messy afterwards.

 

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Cover them with plastic wrap and let it rest for unless 30 minutes.

 

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Take out the plastic wrap and bake them at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

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Optional and delicious: You can glaze them with a light syrup made with 3 tbsp of sugar for 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp of aniseed.

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Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving these sweet breadsticks.

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They go perfect with a latte or capuccino!

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Enjoy!

argentinian marinated eggplant

Hello friends!
This week I’m sharing another recipe from Argentina, marinated eggplants or “berenjenas en escabeche”.
I’ve learnt to appreciate this kind of “pickles” while I was living in Buenos Aires. While¬†I was working at Turner (CNN, Cartoon Network, etc.) I used to go to a little food shop on my lunch break where a very grumpy old lady sold the most delicious sandwiches with cheese, chicken milanesa (kind of a fried breadcrumbed chicken) and these marinated eggplants.
Going to that little shop was something like the soup nazi episode from Seinfeld.¬†The sandwiches were amazing, so we used to ordered quickly, pay and leave before the old lady yell at us ūüėõ
So, here’s my recipe for the marinated eggplants. Nowadays, I used them on¬†a grilled cheese sandwich. It gives it an extra special garlic-oily-spicy flavor that it’s amazing!
You’ll need:
  • 1 large organic eggplant
  • 2 organic bay leaves
  • 1 organic garlic
  • 1¬†cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Peel and cut the eggplant in thick slices (about 0.4 inches each).

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Put the slices in a colander and sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over them. Let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

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Prepare the spices and the olive oil.

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Mix the spices -oregano, garlic, red chili pepper- with the olive oil in a bowl and stir it with a spoon.

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Remove the slices of eggplant from the colander, quickly run some cold water over them and pat dry with a paper towel.

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In a medium sauce pan, mix the vinegar with the water.

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Bring the water already mixed with the vinegar to a boil and add the bay leaves. Cut slices of the eggplant and add them to the boiling water.

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Let it cook for about 5 minutes and remove the eggplants.

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Let them drain.

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In a sterilized jar, add about 1/4 cup of the olive oil and spices mixture.

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Add part of the eggplants and some more of the olive oil mixture.

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Continue doing this until, layer by layer, until finished.

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Let it cool at room temperature and then save it on the fridge.  You can eat them the day after if you want, but the more days go by, the more tasteful it will be!

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Enjoy!

cute animals: baby fox

Today, I want to share some images of a little fox that I drew for a dear friend who is expecting a new baby.

baby fox final artprint copy

I used the illustration as an art-print but also on a onesie.

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Since I also enjoy sewing and creating things with my hands, I chose to use the same baby fox illustration as an embroidery.

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I drew this little fox thinking in this new baby that’s coming to a dear family of friends of mine and all¬†that love made it an extra special and enjoyable project!

<3

cucumber pickles

Summer is here, what means… pickling cucumbers are available at the farmers market!

My mom, being of German heritage, used to almost always prepare this huge jars with pickles. Not only cucumbers, she also used other vegetables, like onions and carrots, she even used to make pickled eggs (that one was not my favorite, but still, we had a lot of these pickles jars at home).

You’ll find a lot of different recipes calling for a lot of ingredients, specially seeds or spices that -unless you cook a lot with them- are not always at just any home.

This is like… “the easiest version”. A quick illustration to make a summary of the recipe.

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Now, in detail. For this recipe, you’ll need:

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  • 1 large sterilized jar and lid (wash well the containers, rinse and then boil them in water for 10 minutes. For more details,¬†click¬†here)
  • 3¬†pickling cucumbers
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 organic garlic cloves
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tbsp organic sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • *Optional: If you have dill, add it to this recipe. It gives that particular¬†taste of¬†cucumber¬†pickles.

Add the sugar, salt, garlic cloves without the sprout, bay leaf and some grains of pepper into the sterilized jar.

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Add the sliced cucumbers and pour the cup of white vinegar and finally the cup of boiling water.

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Close the lid while the jar is still hot.

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Let it rest at room temperature for about 2 days.¬†Once it’s opened, you can keep it in the fridge for about 2 months.

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Add these delicious pickles to your burgers or tuna sandwiches. They are yum!

Enjoy!

argentinian sweet ricotta cheese pie

This week, I’m baking another of my favorites argentinian pies!

We’ll use the pastafrola¬†pie crust but this time, we’ll filled it with ricotta cheese and honey. Delicious.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pastafrola pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups organic ricotta cheese (if you find the Organic Valley made from pasture-raised cows, better. The taste it’s pretty similar to argentinian ricotta cheese).
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 1 tbsp honey

Put the yolk, the ricotta and the sugar into a medium bowl. Stir all the ingredients.

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Add the honey and stir.

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Grease and flour a pie or cake baking pan.

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Put the pastafrola crust in the pie/cake pan; the pie dough must be at room temperature to use it.

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Use the leftovers of the dough to garnish the pie.

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Bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes at 350F.

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Let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

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Prepare some “cortado” (machiato) and imagine yourself in any Caf√© Porte√Īo (coffee shop from Buenos Aires).

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Enjoy!

quince pastafrola

I LOVE pastafrola. It’s an italian dessert that it feels like argentinian to me because I have it all my life and it’s a pie that you’ll find in any bakery in Argentina.

The pie crust for this recipe was adapted from the “Baking with Julia: Sicilian Desserts” TV shows. I made some changes, of course.

The rest, it’s my family recipe, what my dear grandma taught me about pastafrola.

For this amazing pie, you’ll need:

  • 2¬†cups¬†unbleached¬†all purpose flour
  • 1/3 organic sugar
  • 1¬†stick organic unsalted butter
  • 1/4¬†tsp salt
  • 1/2¬†tsp baking powder
  • 2 organic large¬†eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1¬†lb quince sweet (dulce de membrillo, Trader Joe’s usually sells one but otherwise, the best argentinian membrillo is this one). Note* This time, I used the Esnaola brand but¬†I didn’t know it has high fructose corn syrup until I got it on my door from Amazon.¬†I won’t use it again, I rather stick to the Arcor brand which doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup.

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First, add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) to a large mixing bowl and mix them together.

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Ad the butter already cut in cubes and keep on mixing until it gets like a crumble.

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Add the eggs, one at a time.

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Keep mixing on low until the mixture become mostly one dough, something like the picture below.

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Transfer dough to a floured surface.

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Knead just a little bit until it becomes one ball.

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You’ll now need a¬†a rolling pin and some flour.

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Give the dough a pie shape.

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Here there are 3 ways to do this. You choose was best for you.

The first and most difficult one: wrap your dough in plastic wrapping paper, let it chill in the refrigerator for about two hours. Let it rest then at room temperature for 10 minutes before using it.

The second, since this dough will make 2 small pies, you can freeze one!

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Just roll one of the pies dough using parchment paper in between, then cover it with plastic and put it in the freezer to use in some other time. IMG_6870

When you need to use it, just thaw overnight or let it at room temperature for about 3 hours.

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Now, the third way to do this. Let’s just use the pie crust¬†right away!¬†For this, you need the pie pan to be greased and floured.

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A friend of mine gave me this idea and it’s great! You can use the tin of the quince/sweet potato as a pie pan! (yes, you can do pastafrola filled with argentinian creamed sweet potato and the flavor it’s absolutely different from american¬†canned¬†sweet potato).

Now, put the pie crust on the pan and filled it with the membrillo/quince sweet.

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This is another useful idea. Sometimes the dough sticks to some parts of the surface where you were kneading it. Use a knife¬†-if you don’t have a special spatula- to help you pick it up without breaking it.

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To prepare the quince for the filling, you’ll need a fork and about 1/8 cup of hot water.

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Just add the water and smash the quince until you get a texture similar to the picture below. Some people add a little bit of cognac to this part, others add lemon juice. For us plain hot water is perfectly fine.

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Fill the pie with the quince.

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Us the leftovers of the dough to garnish the top of your pie.

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And voil√°! This pie is ready to go to the oven at 350F for about 35 minutes.

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Now, brew some coffee and enjoy it as an afternoon snack.. or how we call it in Argentina: Merienda.

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Quince Pastafrola it’s my favorite!

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Enjoy!

marco’s 3rd birthday party: cars & trucks || fiesta de cumplea√Īos de marco: autos y camiones

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

So my “baby” is 3 years old now!

Wow! I still feel that the 1st year went super slowly, from that moment to the 2nd birthday it went a little bit faster but let me tell you… From his 2nd to this 3rd birthday time flew!

We are still new to San Jose, CA so we didn’t throw a party this year but still we decorated the house and prepare a special cake for him.

The theme for this celebration was: Cars and Trucks.

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I prepared everything the night before so he could wake up and find the surprise (that’s why the picture has no natural light!).

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I designed some silly signs for the juices and the cars.

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In case you like this idea, I’m giving away¬†the free downloadable the Interstate 3 Sign¬†file¬†and also¬†the Yellow Sign¬†(this last one is in spanish).

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The wooden name-train from his 2nd birthday party¬†was still useful for the table but I didn’t¬†display the¬†main engine.

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This little guy was so surprised in the morning when he found his “birthday table”…! The picture¬†is terrible but that’s the best I could do at 6am!

The trucks candles from Wilton were great addition to the most amazing buttermilk “tire cake”.

 

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Happy birthday my sweet boy! <3


ESPA√ĎOL

¬°Mi “beb√©” tiene 3 a√Īos!

Yo a√ļn¬†siento que su primer a√Īo de vida fue s√ļper¬†despacio;¬†luego entre el primer a√Īo y los dos a√Īos fue un poquito m√°s r√°pido pero entre los dos y los tres… ¬°Guau! ¬°El tiempo pas√≥ volando!

Todav√≠a somos¬†nuevitos en San Jose, California como para hacer una fiesta de cumplea√Īos con invitados, as√≠ que decidimos celebrarlo entre nosotros solamente, decorar la casa y preparar una torta especial.

El tema de su cumplea√Īos fue: Autos y Camiones.

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Prepar√© toda la decoraci√≥n la noche anterior para que Marco despertara con una linda sorpresa de su “mesa de cumplea√Īos”.

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Dise√Ī√© estos cartelitos graciosos para pegarlos a los jugos y a los autos.

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Si les gust√≥ la idea, se los doy gratis para descargarlos e imprimirlos directamente. Los carteles amarillos en espa√Īol lo descargan en este link¬†Yellow Sign¬†y¬†los carteles de la Interestatal 3 gen√©ricos que cre√© lo descargan en este link¬†Interstate 3 Sign.

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El trencito de madera con su nombre de su fiesta de 2do cumplea√Īos¬†me sirvi√≥ tambi√©n para la mesa pero le quit√© la locomotora y el vag√≥n trasero.

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Mi peque√Īito estaba super feliz con su sorpresa! El cami√≥n de cart√≥n y los autos porta-cupcakes son de la colecci√≥n Construction Party¬†de Meri-Meri.

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Las velitas de camiones de Wilton fueron perfectas para la torta-cubierta ¬°m√°s deliciosa que jam√°s he hecho!

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¬°Feliz cumplea√Īos mi dulce y hermoso Tot√≥!

white cake recipe

During my last years in Buenos Aires, I used to bake and sell muffins, cookies and cakes. I had very good recipes that made delicious treats.

But then I moved to the US and everything changed. My cooking changed completely. Flour, sugar and butter weren’t the same quality and what is a dessert without those primary ingredients? The final product was never the same as the one I used to get.

So I had to learn, everything. Even how to bake in electric ovens (that was the easy part for desserts and breads, not for savory recipes involving meat!) and now I was trying to get a very very good white cake recipe.

I looked so much for a good for it and I finally can say that I found a very good recipe for a white cake here.

The only thing that I didn’t like from this recipe is that it contains vegetable shortening and I don’t like the ingredients that the companies use for shortening… Not at all healthy!

But, since we were going to eat this cake just once in this whole year, I went ahead and made it. Also, even with shortening a cake made from scratch at home is always better than any one that you can buy.

First, I prepared the ingredients for them to be at room temperature; grease the cake pan and turn on the oven at 350F.

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Afterwards, I put the soft butter (1 cup) and the shortening (1/2 cup) in the mixing bowl and starting mixing them until light and fluffy. IMG_6227

Then, I added the organic sugar one cup at a time (3 cups). Then, the eggs one at a time also (5 eggs at room temperature) making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.

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In a separate bowl, I put the 3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (always in patisserie you need to sift the flour first…) with 2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt.

In another bowl, I prepared 1/2 cup of low fat buttermilk with 1 cup of whole organic milk and 2 tsp of vanilla extract.

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After all this preparation, I carefully started adding alternately the milk mixture and the dry ingredients a little bit every time to the butter/shortening mixture while still mixing on low speed. The recipe also says that you have to begin and end with dry ingredients.

Once the mixture was combined with no lumps, it was time to pour the batter into the baking pan.

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Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven.

I baked it¬†for 25-30 minutes at 350 and about 20 more minutes at 325F¬†(remember also that you can always check inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean.. it’s ready!)

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This cake doesn’t grow much but it’s the perfect point of tender and moist.

 

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After it was at room temperature (about 1.30 h later) I cut it in the middle with a knife.

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Filled it with strawberries and Chantilly (beat heavy whipping cream and sugar for that!)IMG_6280

Covered it with more Chantilly…

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And we enjoyed this cake at Marco’s school when we celebrated his birthday with his little friends.IMG_6295

The construction candle is from Wilton Cakes on Amazon; 3 and the star from Dollar Tree.

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Someone really enjoys blowing candles!

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Let me know if you try this recipe or if you get a perfect recipe for a white cake without shortening ūüôā

Enjoy!

 

the most amazing buttermilk chocolate cake

Folks, my friend Hello Truelove was totally right. This is -by far- the most amazing chocolate cake I’ve ever made. Period.

So, if you’re a chocolate lover like us… go for this recipe.

I made just a few changes to¬†the recipe¬†for this cake and also I added were some raspberries when I filled it with the ganache. You’ll see the pictures below. I thought it was a good combination… the sweet cake, with the dark chocolate ganache and¬†the acid of the berries

So, what I did was that I placed 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 2 1/4 cups organic sugar, 1 tbsp + 1tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder sifted (I used one I bought at Trader Joe’s) in the mixing bowl and started my kitchen-aid on low so all the dry ingredients mix well..

Then I added 1 1/3 cup canola oil, 1 1/2 cup LOW fat buttermilk, 3 large organic eggs (1 at a time) and keep on mixing. Then I slowly poured 1 1/2 cup of hot coffee (I used my espresso machine, so I brewed one lungo and two small shots) to the mixture. Finally, I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract and I mixed it until the batter was smooth. It was the thinner batter that I made for a cake.

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I pour this mixture in an already greased and floured cake pan and baked it at 350 for 30 minutes and then 235 for 20 more minutes. This is tricky because the original recipe calls for only 35 minutes… I think it depends on your oven. Anyway, if you’re hesitant use the¬†toothpick trick to know if it’s ready. I let it rest for about 30 minutes.

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For the ganache, I used 18 oz (1lb) of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s and 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream.

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I let the chocolate melt a little bit using a double broiler and then started stirring slowly using whisk.

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First, my little helper tested that the ganache was fine.

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Then I filled the cake with the ganache (when it was at room temperature) and I added some raspberries in the center.

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And used the rest to cover the whole cake.

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Since my son is a total fanatic of cars and trucks, I wanted to give a “tire” look to the cake.

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So, I used a toothpick to draw lines like the ones you see on some tires.

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I bought these trucks candles from Wilton at Amazon and let me tell you.. This little one loved his cake so much! IMG_6093Blowing up the candles!

The cake was absolutely delicious. Moist, smooth, sweet with that special taste¬†of the raspberries… And a lot of chocolate!

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We loved this cake! Thank you Katie for the recipe!IMG_6154

Enjoy!

the most delicious brioche recipe I’ve ever tried

Friends,

After I tried this brioche I was amazed at the quality of what I baked. This is an excellent recipe that I found here but it says that belongs to my beloved american chef Julia Child!

It takes a long time, it’s not easy but it’s not difficult.

You just need to have your mise en place (everything measured, ready to use and at room temperature) and dedicate yourself to this preparation… In 16 hours or so, you’ll enjoy the most delicious brioche that you’ever tasted and you’ll feel super proud of yourself!

I’m sharing the recipe that you can also find here¬†plus my own¬†comments and recommendations¬†for the mere purposes of keeping my cooking recipes available for me (I’m my own reader!)

Like many other bread recipes, first we start with the sponge. These are the ingredients for this part:

  • 1‚ĀĄ3cup warm organic whole milk (100- 110 degrees F)
  • 2¬†1‚ĀĄ4teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1¬†large organic egg
  • 2¬†cups¬†unbleached all-purpose flour

Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Put the milk-yeast mixture, the egg and 1 cup of the flour in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Start mixing the ingredients with a spatula until everything is blended.

Sprinkle over the remaining cup of flour to cover the sponge and let it rest uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

After this resting time, the flour coating will crack, that’s indicating¬†that everything is moving along properly (the yeast is alive and working!)

Now let’s move to the dough. Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1‚ĀĄ3cup organic¬†sugar
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†¬†salt
  • 4¬†large organic¬†eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 1¬†1‚ĀĄ2cups¬†¬†unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6¬†ounces grass-fed¬†butter, room temperature (I use Kerrygold)

Add the sugar, salt, eggs, and 1 cup of the flour to the sponge and mix on low speed for a minute or two, just until the ingredients look as if they are about to come together.

Now sprinkle 1/2 cup more flour.

When the flour is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 15 minutes, stopping to scrape down the hook and bowl as needed.

Before incorporating the butter to the dough, we first need to work it until it has the same consistency to the dough.

I did this using a rubber spatula. The original recipe says “you can bash the butter into submission with a rolling pin or give it kinder and gentler handling by using a dough scraper to smear it bit by bit across a smooth work surface” but the rubber spatula was enough for me ūüėČ

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When it is ready, the butter will be smooth, soft, and still cool- not warm, oily or greasy.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time.

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At this is the point you’ll see that the dough will appear to fall apart… don’t worry, carry on.

When all of the butter has been added, raise the mixer speed to medium-high for a minute, then reduce the speed to medium and beat the dough for about 5 minutes. Clean the sides of the bowl frequently as you work.

When you’re finished, the dough should feel somewhat cool.

It will be soft and sill sticky and may cling slightly to the sides and bottom of the bowl.

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Now it’s the time for the first rise.

The recipe calls to transfer the dough to a buttered bowl and cover it in plastic wrap. I didn’t do this.

I just covered the bowl that I was using with the plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 2 1/2 hours.

Now let’s move to the second rise. Wait.. What? Yes! I told you that this will take a while!

Deflate the dough by placing your fingers under it, lifting a part of dough, and then letting it fall back into the bowl.

I also took another shortcut after this part and after deflating it, I put it straight to the buttered baking-pan that I was going to use later. I covered it with plastic wrap and sent it to the refrigerator overnight.

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I woke up next morning at 5 am and took out of the fridge the bread and let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature (still covered in its plastic wrap).

After those 2 hours, I didn’t brush the brioche with egg neither I shaped it in the traditional way. Enough calories already and with all the butter that it had it will get¬†brownish.

After the resting time, I took it out of the plastic wrap and put¬†it in¬†the oven at 375 for 30 minutes (please remember to have your oven at the temperature needed when¬†you’re going to bake the brioche!)

When the 30 minutes where done, I let it cool at room temperature for about 15′ and served it.

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The brioche was absolutely delicious! I felt like I bought that brioche from the most fancy bakery that I could find in New York, San Francisco or Buenos Aires (or in any street vendor in Paris of course!).

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And let me tell you, I felt so happy and proud of what I made that I wanted to share with you the joy sharing the recipe.

Baking is amazing! <3

 

IMG_4605  Enjoy!

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

IMG_5124

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.

IMG_5123

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

IMG_5125

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

 

more about soothing a baby ‚ÄĘ m√°s acerca de calmar a un beb√©

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

I learnt how to swaddle my newborn baby at the Brooklyn Hospital and I have to say that it was a very useful technique during Marco’s first months.

This technique helps them to soothe, not to be disturbed or interrup their sleep because of their reflex movements and even gets them the cozy and warm feeling that they used to have when they were in the womb.

There are a lot of videos and guides on how to do it properly.

I often recommend to my friends the book The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp -there are some videos available onlineРwhere you can learn a little bit about his amazing technique on how to soothe a fussy baby using swaddling, shh (white noise), side/stomach position, swinging and sucking.

I used to swaddle Marco until he was about 2 months but the truth is I should done it for more time!

Did you read¬†Dr. Karp’s book or used his technique? I’d love to know your experience!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Holding my newborn Marco @ The Brooklyn Hospital, NY


ESPA√ĎOL

Algo que me ense√Īaron en el Hospital de Brooklyn¬†y me fue muy¬†√ļtil durante las primeras semanas de vida de Marco, es la t√©cnica para envolver a un beb√©: swaddling.

El envolverlos de ese modo¬†con una manta ligera los ayuda a calmarse, a no despertar por sus propios movimientos reflejos e incluso les da una sensaci√≥n de seguridad similar a la que ten√≠an cuando estaban en el √ļtero.

Hay videos y guías de cómo hacerlo correctamente paso a paso.

Si a√ļn no lo conocen, les recomiendo leer el libro El Beb√© M√°s Feliz¬†del Dr. Harvey Karp -hay algunos videos online¬†pero con¬†subt√≠tulos en portugu√©s- donde pueden aprender de su t√©cnica que es casi¬†m√°gica¬†para¬†calmar a un beb√©: el cual incluye envolver al beb√©, el ruido blanco, la posici√≥n en la que ponerlo, el movimiento y, obviamente, la succi√≥n.

Yo solía envolver a Marco hasta que tuvo como 2 meses pero la verdad es que ¡debí haberla recordado y usado mucho más!

¬ŅHas le√≠do alguno de los libros del Dr. Karp?¬†

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Friends, I am very happy to host¬†a giveaway for Mother’s Day!

You can win this art print (my favorite one!)

8651490_8948600-prn01_lz“Mommy & Me – Whales.”¬†

To participate, just pick one or more of these:

You have time until May 4th, 2015 at 00.00 Pacific Time (yeah! May the force be with you all!). Valid for US residents only.

Specifications: Art print / Mini (10″ x 8″).¬†Gallery quality gicl√©e print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. No exchanges. No valid for cash value.

honey mustard salmon

Hello friends,

First of all, let me tell you something: I love salmon! And even-though I prefer it raw with my chirashi, from time to time I like to try new ways to prepare it.

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp melted organic unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp organic mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 organic dry crumbs (available at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tsp lime juice (or lemon)
  • 1 tbsp chopped organic green onions (I’m so happy that I grow¬†these in my garden now!)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey and set aside.

In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs and the chopped green onions.

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Prepare your fillets on a non-stick baking pan.

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Brush each salmon fillet lightly with the honey mustard mixture and then, sprinkle the bread crumb mixture.

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Bake salmon 12 minutes in the preheated oven and then use the broil for 2 more minutes (if you you oven doesn’t¬†have a “broil” function, just bake the salmon¬†for 15 minutes).

Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_4534

Enjoy!

DIY gift wrapping paper

For this DIY gift-wrapping paper, you just need some markers -I use microns from Sakura and a calligraphy pen- and plain paper.

I had to prepare two very special gifts so for the first one, I chose a Beatles song lyric.

I started writing a phrase in the center of the paper and after that, I completed the empty spaces using different hand-styles and sizes of the lettering.

IMG_4270_2“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

Then, I just used it as a regular gift-wrapping paper.

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Another option that I like to create a special paper from a plain white paper is to draw botanicals on it.

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Finally, I added the name of the person who was going to receive the gift using a calligraphy pen.

IMG_4281_2Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers.

Calligraphy pens and markers are always a good idea. They add a special touch to your everyday lettering even when you don’t know much about calligraphy. I encourage you to try it!

Here’s another DIY gift wrapping paper idea.¬†

best advice on routines and kids ‚ÄĘ el mejor consejo acerca de las rutinas y los ni√Īos

Hello fellow moms! Today I want to share with you the best advice that our doctor in New York gave us about routines and kids.

‚ÄúThe routine can be broken by you, not by your kid”

The advice was great for us. Let me give you an example. Each time that we have family visiting us (most of them live abroad or in other cities around the US), we -as parents- decide that we can break the routine.

IMG_6429My mom and Marco around Brooklyn, NY

This means that Marco doesn’t go to sleep at 7pm as usual, naps are on “on the go” and¬†sometimes he even doesn’t attend preschool. But… In those days,¬†he gains an amazing time with his extended family, his life becomes richer with new experiences and lots of love¬†and fun.

IMG_1693Marco wearing pajamas and playing at Goofy’s House in Disneyland at 8.30pm. No routine while at Disneyland!

So, how do we¬†manage those days when Marco decides he doesn’t want to go to sleep at 7pm? ¬†We continue to take him to his bed, with love and patience, how many times as needed, because mommy says… It’s time to sleep.

See you on the next post!

ESPA√ĎOL

¡Hola amigas y mamás de la web! Hoy quiero compartir el mejor consejo que me dio una vez una doctora en Nueva York acerca de las rutinas.

“S√≥lo t√ļ puedes romper las rutinas, tu ni√Īo no”

Ese consejo fue muy bueno para nosotros. Les cuento un ejemplo. Cada vez que tenemos familiares de visita -nuestra familia vive en otras ciudades de USA, Argentina y Venezuela- nosotros como padres decidimos que podemos romper la rutina.

IMG_9883¬ŅQui√©n puede dormirse temprano cuando est√° nuestra querida Puli de visita?

Eso significa que Marco no se va a dormir a las 7pm como es habitual, las siestas son “donde sean y como sean” (cochecito, en el auto andando, etc.) e incluso hay veces que no va a su escuelita. Pero, en esos d√≠as √©l gana un tiempo incre√≠ble compartido con familia; su vida se enriquece con nuevas experiencias llenas de amor y diversi√≥n.

IMG_1294Marco dormido en los brazos de mi sobrino en el tren de regreso de San Francisco.

Yo como mamá, puedo romper la rutina y el hecho de que sólo nosotros los padres podamos hacerlo también hace más fácil el volver a adaptarnos cuando las visitas se van y tenemos que volver a la vida cotidiana.

IMG_1801¡Las vacaciones en Disneyland merecen romper la rutina y disfrutar todo lo que se pueda!

Entonces ¬Ņc√≥mo hacemos¬†cuando Marco en un d√≠a cualquiera decide que no quiere dormir a las 7pm aunque hayamos hecho toda la rutina para ir a dormir?

Lo seguimos llevando a su cama, con amor y paciencia, las veces que sea necesario, porque mami dice… Es hora de dormir.

¡Hasta la próxima! 

israeli couscous recipe

I fell in love with this dish while I was¬†living¬†in Brooklyn, NY. So, if you’re ever in¬†Downtown Brooklyn, head to the Brooklyn Fare, they sell a delicious Israeli Couscous.

But, since I’ve moved from my beloved Brooklyn in 2013… I had to learn how to cook¬†it myself!

This is what you”ll need:

  • 1 3/4 cup israeli couscous (you’ll find a decent quality one at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 3/4 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup¬†saut√©ed¬†fennel and/or¬†roasted brussels sprouts (Trader Joe’s sell some great ready-to-eat brussels sprouts)
  • 1/2 cup organic dried cranberries
  • 1/8 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional: ground black pepper

For the couscous:

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat.

Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Pour the hot water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Add the sautéed fennel or roasted brussels (or both, why not?), the dried cranberries and the almonds.

IMG_3831

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the organic apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.    

Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

 

I usually¬†cook this couscous for Thanksgiving as well, since it’s a great side dish for the turkey roast!

20141128_Thanksgiving_byLorena_18Our 2014 Thanksgiving table photographed by the coolest Bay Area Photographer ByLorena

Happy cooking!

my favorite baby carrier ‚ÄĘ mi cargador de beb√© preferido

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

Each time a friend of mine is expecting a baby, they would ask me about which baby carrier I recommend.

Without hesitation, my answer is: in my experience, Ergo Baby Performance.

IMG_5793

It’s so comfortable and adaptable for different stages. We used it since Marco was about 3 months, you can use it with the infant carrier for younger babies,¬†until Marco was 2 yrs old.

It was super comfortable for the baby and gentle, specially, with my lower back. I mostly used it on the front until Marco was a toddler when we use it as a backpack for some hiking days in the parks of our beloved Northern California.

IMG_6969

Ergo has different models, visit their website to check them!


ESPA√ĎOL

Cada vez que una amiga está esperando un bebé, me preguntan qué cargador (o mochila como le dicen en Argentina, entre otros nombres) recomiendo.

Sin duda mi respuesta es: en mi experiencia, Ergo Baby Performance.

IMG_3369¬°Bebito durmiendo!

Este cargador se¬†adapta a distintas etapas. Nosotros lo usamos desde que Marco ten√≠a como 3 meses,¬†pero¬†se puede usar desde reci√©n nacido con el soporte para infantes, hasta que Marco tuvo 2 a√Īos.

IMG_7545¬°Para bajar de las colinas de San Francisco era m√°s seguro usar el cargador que el cochecito!

Era¬†muy c√≥modo para Marco¬†y muy suave, especialmente, con mi espalda y cintura. Lo us√© principalmente de frente hasta que Marco tuvo m√°s de un a√Īo, momento en que empezamos a llevarlo montado en la espalda en algunas caminatas por parques de nuestra querida California del Norte.

Ergo tiene muchos modelos, si quieren conocer m√°s de sus productos, pueden chequear su sitio web.

#nowreading

I always enjoy learning how other people¬†bears with their own life, since there’s not exclusively one way to live,¬†and that’s might be the main¬†reason why I love reading¬†autobiographic novels.

Last week, I finished reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.

I enjoyed Cheryl’s adventure through the Pacific Coast Trail, all those thoughts and feelings she unravels with the challenges of every mile in the PCT.

Cheryl Strayed is a talented writer because, even though her life story is far from my own, she made me relate to hers and even feel like walking in her shoes.

Illustration inspired by Wild

I enjoyed this book¬†and I’m certainly ready to watch the movie (huge fan of Reese Witherspoon here!).

Last, my #nowreading quote chosen from this book + design created for it:

wild

Other memorable quotes from this book:

“I could only be who it seemed I had to be”

“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? (…)¬†What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?‚ÄĚ

Have you seen the movie or read this book? 

carrot cake

Friends, I need to say it… I’m so proud of this recipe!

This carrot cake is moist and¬†fluffy… It’s just great, one of my favorites.

Today, I’m also adding to this post a short video to show you how easy this recipe is.

Now, friends, this is what you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4¬†cup sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp¬†salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cup grated carrots

IMG_3687

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.¬†Grease a¬†9×5 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla.

IMG_3699

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix.

IMG_3712

Add the grated carrots and fold using a spatula.

IMG_3720

Pour mixture into prepared pan.

IMG_3721

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

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Let cool in pan for 20¬†minutes, then turn out onto a plate¬†and until it’s¬†completely cool.

IMG_3733

Enjoy!

creating a sleep routine ‚ÄĘ construyendo una rutina del sue√Īo

L√ČELO EN ESPA√ĎOL

I was about 17 years old when I read “The Nausea” by Jean Paul Sartre¬†and¬†who would have thought that I would find useful a phrase from that novel during my motherhood experience!

Those who know me, must have heard me saying it a lot of times. I always say it something like these: “Habits are like nurses, they wash me, dry me, dress me…” ¬†Read the complete quote here.

During Marco’s first 3 months, I was kind of a “hippie”,¬†I didn’t mind about schedules¬†but soon I found myself paying the consequences of not being creating the foundations of a routine.
It was about that time, when I started reading a lot about baby sleep and I found out that at 4 months Marco needed to sleep 2 or 3 naps during the day and not 10 naps of 5 to 10 minutes .
IMG_2265-3Marco in his bassinet
How did I start creating a daytime sleep routine? After learning how many hours of sleep he needed to sleep, I helped him to get to sleep when he had to. Remember, this was three times (3 naps) during the day.
Resources? Everything that could be useful: using the stroller; walking around the house with him in the ergo carrier; rocking him in the bouncer or my legs; white noise… Whatever helped him to get to sleep (and again if he woke up too soon).
IMG_3416Fussy, sleepy baby
So after about a week we had a consistent daytime routine and Marco started to be sleepy around the time I have been helping him to sleep.
Which is the secret? The same that you use anytime you want to create a habit: repetition and consistency.
And this is when Sartre’s quote comes to the scene, because as you will see, once the habit is created, it’s like a nurse that carries you to repeat that action.
IMG_2594Sweet dreams!


ESPA√ĎOL

Ten√≠a entonces, 17 a√Īos. Le√≠a, durante una adormecedora siesta posade√Īa, “La N√°usea” de Jean Paul Sartre.

¬°Qui√©n imaginar√≠a que en una frase de aquella novela existencialista encontrar√≠a una ense√Īanza que me servir√≠a para mi experiencia como mam√°!

¬†Aquellos que me conocen, la habr√°n escuchado hasta el hartazgo. Siempre viene algo as√≠ como¬†“Los h√°bitos con como nodrizas. Me ba√Īan, me visten me peinan…”¬†Pueden leer la frase exacta y¬†mucho m√°s detallada aqu√≠.
Durante los primeros 3 meses de Marco, puedo decir que fui muy “hippie”, no ten√≠a ni una rutina diaria, sobretodo en relaci√≥n al sue√Īo, pero pronto… me encontr√© pagando las consecuencias de no estar construyendo dicha¬†rutina.
Fue entonces cuando le√≠ acerca de la cantidad de horas estimadas de sue√Īo que los beb√©s necesitaban y me enter√© que a¬†los 4 meses mi beb√© necesitaba dormir¬†2 o 3 siestas durante el d√≠a… No como hasta entonces, 10 siestas de 5 a 10 minutos,¬†sino 2 o 3 siestas de un sue√Īo consistente.
¬ŅC√≥mo hice para crear una rutina del sue√Īo durante el d√≠a? Despu√©s de saber cu√°ntas horas de sue√Īo necesitaba, lo ayud√© a que se durmiera cuando le tocaba. En este caso, tres veces al d√≠a (y m√°s si despertaba luego¬†de dormir muy poquito).
¬ŅRecursos? Todos los necesarios: mecerlo en el coche, caminarlo¬†rapidito¬†en el cargador (en Argentina mis amigas le dicen “mochila”); mecerlo¬†en el bouncer (sillita que se mece para beb√©s); ruido blanco y mecerlo en mis piernas… Cuando se trataba de ayudarlo a que se duerma, me val√≠ de todo lo que ten√≠a.
IMG_4839A veces cuando no se dormía y ya no sabía qué hacer, salíamos en el coche. El frío ayuda a dormir.
As√≠ despu√©s de aproximadamente una semana, Marco empez√≥ a tener sue√Īo en los horarios en los que hab√≠a estado ayud√°ndolo a que se durmiera durante el d√≠a.
¬ŅCu√°l es el secreto? El mismo que el de la construcci√≥n de cualquier h√°bito: la repetici√≥n y la constancia.
Y es aquí donde toma protagonismo la frase de Sartre porque, una vez que el hábito está instalado, es como una nodriza que te ayuda a repetir aquella acción.
IMG_5662
¬°Dulces sue√Īos!