Try it….

Try it….If you don’t like it….You don’t have to eat it….This is something I say on a daily basis.  It’s usually at dinner time, because that’s likely when we try some new foods or my kids have friends over.  Growing up, I only heard the “try it” part.  My siblings and I spent plenty of meals sitting and finishing something we did not, and still do not like.  It was clean your plate or you can’t leave the dinner table.  I laugh now, but it really sucked.  Anyhow, my kids are great at trying new foods.  A lot of times they like what’s for dinner.  If they don’t, I’m certainly not going to make them eat it.  For instance, my son does not like melted cheese.  Only on pizza.  Fine with me.  Melted cheese is greasy and actually ruins the flavor of a lot of good food. The try it part is a must in our house.  I don’t want my children to grow up being what I call, “adult baby / picky eaters”.  Seriously, there is nothing worse that an adult who eats with their eyes and claims not to like something / everything when you know they’ve never tried it in their life.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing  adult picky eaters simply were never made to try anything.    Continue reading “Try it….”

Falafel….

Falafel is one of the most delicious meals we make in my household.  It’s absolutely one of everyone’s favorites.  I had never had Falafel or even heard of it until I started dating my husband.  Middle Eastern / Mediterranean food was not on my radar.  My husband had lived in Michigan for a few years, so he was exposed to a lot of delicious Middle Eastern food.  Michigan (Detroit area) has a large Middle Eastern population, so Falafel is as common as Pizza is in New York.  I am pretty sure Dan made it for me back then.  We wouldn’t have known where to find it in the Albany / Capital area.  Now there are several restaurants all over the place.  Mediteranian inspired foods have really been on the rise for the past 15 years, especially Falafel.  In my opinion, making it yourself, always taste best!  

Continue reading “Falafel….”

Cookbook Club….

Cookbook Club - Moroccan Lentil Salad
Cookbook Club – Moroccan Lentil Salad -“Run Fast, Eat Slow”

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.  Happy father’s day to all the dad’s out there.  Friday night I attended my first “Cookbook Club”.  My friend Erin put the local club together and has been inviting me for months.  This past Friday was the first time I was able to go.  It was a lot of fun and I met some great new people and enjoyed a ton of fabulous food.  The concept of the club is simple.  Whoever hosts the party, chooses a particular cookbook as the theme.  Everyone pick’s a recipe from the book, and brings it to the party.  We discuss the approach to making our dishes. Where to best find some of the unusual ingredients, using alternative ingredients, putting your own twist on a dish, etc….  Continue reading “Cookbook Club….”

Flag Day Birthday….Summer cake….

Yesterday, June 14th was my birthday, as you all know it was also Flag Day here in the U.S.A.  Growing up my Mother always made me a Flag cake and Flag cupcakes for school and my birthday parties.  It was great and always brings a smile to my face thinking about all the time and effort she put in to making my day special.  Of course in the 1970’s and 1980’s when my mom was making cakes the ingredients were heavy chocolate or vanilla cake with thick and sugary butter cream frosting.  Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious and a kids dream!  Now when I make cakes in the summer for my kids, I make them a little lighter and utilize fresh whipped cream and seasonal berries….

Continue reading “Flag Day Birthday….Summer cake….”

Turnips….Delicious Experiment….

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Sunday morning I was experimenting in the kitchen.  I had a few turnips left that I needed to do something with before they went bad.  It was 90 degrees and I really wasn’t in the mood to use them in a soup or roast them in the oven.  We had a busy day and grilling was not on the agenda either.  So I decided to boil and mash them like potatoes.  I know mashed cauliflower is all the rage, why not mashed turnip?   Continue reading “Turnips….Delicious Experiment….”

Crazy Cravings….Eating under pressure….

Crazy Cravings!  I refer to mine as having a “salt attack”!  It happens from time to time.  What I’ve realized over the years is, the salt cravings and eating fast go hand in hand.  I consider myself a “stress eater”.  When I’m under pressure or stressed about something, I tend to crave the bad stuff.  Which for me is anything salty.  Chips & dip, cheese & crackers, anything slathered in mayo etc….  And I can’t just have a small portion, I want to gobble a bag of Utz chips with heluva good horseradish & bacon dip like it’s going out of style!  Who can relate to feeling like this?  You may have a salt tooth like me or sweet tooth.  Put chocolate chip cookies or gummy bears in front of you and forget it!  They’re gone in 2 seconds.  It’s all about being self-aware of what you’re doing to yourself.  Easier said than done, right?   Continue reading “Crazy Cravings….Eating under pressure….”

Take it easy…It’s ok…

This morning my alarm didn’t go off, and I didn’t automatically wake up between 4:30 – 5:00am.  I actually slept until 6:45am.  At first, I woke up in a panic! By 6:45am, especially a weekday, my workout is done, lunches are made, I’m drinking my coffee and almost finished getting myself ready to start the day.  Then I realized, I must have needed the extra sleep.  Missing a grueling workout and breaking the routine once in a while is ok.  You don’t always “lose when you snooze”.   Continue reading “Take it easy…It’s ok…”

Ladder Shelf Project….

If you recall my post last month “Curbside Treasures”, you may recall me mentioning an old paint ladder that I found on the side of the road.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.  There are actually plenty of ways to turn old wooden ladders into decorative beauties for your home.  With this particular ladder, I decided to refinish the wood and turn it into a decorative shelf for a bedroom.

Continue reading “Ladder Shelf Project….”

Kimchi….

The first time I tried kimchi, I was a 20-year-old college student, who was lucky enough to get a summer job waiting tables at a Korean restaurant.  I had never heard of kimchi before and I didn’t realize how much I loved “hot, spicy” food! I worked the lunch shift which offered a buffet.  Suki (restaurant owner) let me eat whatever I wanted for lunch.  When you’re a poor college student, getting a free meal after work, major deal.  Anyhow, I would eat from the buffet, which did not offer traditional Korean dishes.  It was similar to your standard Chinese restaurant buffet.  That’s what the public wanted.  On occasion people would come in and order off the menu for example; Bulgogi Steak, Mung Bean Pancake, Madu Dumplings etc…. I was fascinated by it all! One thing I noticed, regardless of the dish, it was served with kimchi on the side.  I noticed Suki and Young-ae (chef) ate the same thing everyday.  Brown Rice, kimchi with a fried egg on top.  After a few weeks of working there, I asked if I could try what they were eating. The dish is called a “Hot Pot”.  So simple, so full of flavor, I was hooked.  There are all different heat levels of kimchi.  I happen to like the “hottest”. The richness of the fried egg complements the heat and vinegar taste of the kimchi and the brown rice adds a nutty flavor. It is still one of my favorite go to meals.  Suki would joke and ask me if I was Korean, because I wasn’t supposed to like super spicy.  The extra spicy kimchi was only served to patrons if specifically requested.  Which was almost never.  Continue reading “Kimchi….”