Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fine Dining with a Toddler in Tow - Newport, RI

Ha! Is that really possible? I swear it is! We made it through relatively unscathed over the Christmas holidaze. We were double teaming L (ie the parent to toddler ratio was in our favour, so this may not work for those of you who are reading that are outnumbered).

Key tips for semi-relaxing toddler dining:

1) Go early (ie brunch or lupper) and scope out the scene before hand. Since we were dining in Newport, I used my "friends" on Chowhound to probe for recommendations. Reservations are your friend because waiting and toddlers = oil and water. Not miscible.

We tried 22 Bowen's for dinner at 5:30 pm and the Grill at 41 N for brunch. Both very child friendly - both offered high chairs without blinking an eye and the servers were all very accommodating. Food was very good at both places. 22 Bowen's had a kid's menu but L just ate whatever we ate cut up in small pieces, so no need for the traditional dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets!

22 Bowen's:

The Grill:

2) Bring a lot of toddler accessories. Toys, books, placemats. L's new favourite is "The Snowy Day". Also feeding baby a few snackitizers before the real food comes helps avoid a potential meltdown.

3) As much as you can, clean up the vittles that inevitably fall all over the place or apologize to your server profusely and leave a big tip. You do want to be able to go again don't you?

4) Order alcoholic beverages for mom and dad. Increases the likelihood that you will feel relaxed and which in turn makes your kid feel more zen... or at least it seems that way!

5) If all else fails, go to a coffee shop. These are perfect for loud and messy because these are usually populated by teenagers, college students who are equally or even louder than a well-behaved toddler.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Crunchy, Salt, Pepper and Vinegar Kale Chips

We got a huge bunch of kale from Boston Organics on Friday and I wasn't totally psyched about it, until I saw this recipe for Kale Chips.

I modified it a little by not adding very much salt (used sea salt) and also adding pepper for some spiciness. Pretty tasty, I must say. I bet I could even get L to try it because she loves all things crunchy... all the better to crunch with (using all 8 of her choppers!)

But right now, she's too busy playing with her cardboard box from Target.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Year?! Birthdays-giving

L is ONE!! Last year at this time, she was smaller than our turkey that was prepared for 2. This year we had a bigger crew of 6 adults and she definitely outweighed the turkey. In fact, she started at a mere 5 lb 8 oz and now weighs in at 19 lb 8 oz.

I didn't want to have a whole cake to accompany the ridiculous amounts of Thanksgiving food, so I opted for cupcakes. Everyone says that you should have a "smash" cake for the birthday peanut anyway so cupcakes make sense.

What is better than having the cupcakes delivered right to your door in a van decorated with a cartoon panda? You can order them online and this satisfies my desire to never speak to a real person when making purchases. One of L's baby friends even called at the last minute to have her 1-year old cake special ordered and they were able to deliver (and deliver!). Great!

This was essentially L's first encounter with a confectioner's sugar and butter melange, so when we first placed it in front of her, I think she was unsure whether or not it was edible. Once I broke it up, she figured it out quickly.

The adult favorite was definitely the red velvet. They have lots of unique flavours like the "boozy" themed which is on our list to try next.

Thanks for helping us make birthdays-giving extra special!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 4th Fruit Pizza

This is about as patriotic one gets when one is a Canadian living in the U.S.!

I made a tasty tasty fruit pizza with refrigerator pizza dough, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, shredded fresh ginger, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The recipe that I modified called for grilling the pizza dough on the BBQ, but I thought it would give the pizza a strange meaty smoky flavour, so opted to do it in the oven instead.


Then Linnea got to try some cherries for the first time which made her look like some sort of patriotic blood sucker.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Stay cool!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Danish Pastry House: Baby Friendly Cafe!

I was alerted to the existence of this awesome bakery/cafe by this blog. Please take note of the great chalk drawing of the very Scandinavian boat on the menu.

Oh course I had to try it, but trying things has become a little more challenging due to the need for planning. I finally remembered that I should try it (reference the mommy-mind-is-like-a-sieve syndrome) and figured Memorial Day Weekend should be a good time to check it out because:

a) the place is in Medford very close to the Tufts undergrad campus, which meant that with graduation having taken place last weekend, it would be less busy and I would be less likely to be overwhelmed by students (although I did run into one of my students, which was weird because I teach on the downtown campus! It was also weird because as I introduced her to E, she kept on bowing to both of us. E thought this was hilarious because he thought that meant she had the utmost respect for my teaching ability, while I am pretty sure it was just cultural)

b) people were beach bound because that is what people tend to do when it is 85 degrees out and it is a long weekend. Since our delicate baby skin is not good at the beach and E hates the beach, that is where we were not!

We love all things Euro as you may have noticed from my posts about Karl's Sausage Haus! So this place rocked! So much room for a stroller, loud enough to drown out the baby noise, but not so loud to freak out the baby and self-busing tables, so very casual. Even had Danish gossip magazines for you to peruse if you were so inclined!

And the food! So fresh and so tasty. E and I shared a sandwich with goat cheese I think and a salad. I had a chai latte which was not too sweet so I loved it.

The desserts were great too -- we shared a potato cake (marzipan I think with cream filling and a big juicy strawberry inside -- it doesn't look like much from this picture, but it was darn tasty)

And this awesome raspberry chocolate cheesecake which again was not too sweet, so appealed to my non-sweet tooth!

I also got a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a couple of macaroony things (pistachio and vanilla). Unfortunately, we left them in the hot car while we went into the evil BabiesRUs and also to the pet store to buy L her first biorb fish tank, so the macaroons got mushy but were still tasty and the cookies just got out of the car-oven fresh!

As you can see, L really loved it!

So for those of you with kids or just with taste buds... give it a try!

Preview of Things to Come.

Check out L's love affair with her newest "food" puzzle!

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

1st two times for Nom Nom Nom

Boston Organics Avocado and Breastmilk Mash!

Can I get a woot woot?!

Next step = Mum Mums with Momma...

Wanna try mah mum mum?!

Now I can smear mum mum AND avocado on mah face!

Wanna see me in action???!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Own Little Boston Organics Baby

It's dreary and I have so much work to do that I don't know where to start. But to reverse the blues I'm listening to "B is for Bob" - a Bob Marley CD that I got at the BPL -- L likes Bob Marley because it is upbeat and kind of like a lot of peppy kid songs is it not?

Instead of doing the easiest thing first like I usually do - I'm right now working on something that is going to distract me from the blahs -- my own little organic baby and thinking about what I should feed L first instead of MIIIIILLKKKK!

Here is what the Boston Organics box looked like before she jumped in...

I hate Anne Geddes vegetable babies, but who can resist my own little organic cute peanut butter banana!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Friendly Mexican Breakfast Brunch - Tu Y Yo

So L does not look as impressed with our Mexican Fonda dining experience as me... but let me tell you momma loves the Chilaquiles Toluqueños at Tu Y Yo, so we tried to see if the peanut would sit in her car seat without screaming and disturbing the other brunch diners.

We happened to get to the restaurant at a time when she would have rather been napping -- oops! Parental timing mishap... but she dealt with us eating with minimal squawking and we have become more adept at eating with one hand, or taking turns eating.

Since the service is very quick here and very friendly, we didn't feel too bad about delaying L's nap time and she was mildly entertained by the music and the ceiling fans. This is the second table service restaurant we have taken her to -- the first being IHOP where it is so noisy that no one cares if a baby screams the whole way through breakfast (although she snoozed in her car seat for that meal!). She has successfully "eaten" at Chipotle as well, but I don't think that really counts as a restaurant, does it?

I'm thinking that before she becomes mobile it will be easier to go to restaurants... as long as we can find places that have enough room for all the ridiculous accessories babies come with these days, don't have a wait or slow service... any suggestions for us, from other Boston-area people who like to dine with infants?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring has Sprung - It's time for Baby BBQ!

Spring was here briefly in New England which prompted us to break out the BBQ for the first time this season. Unfortunately it snowed again a couple of days after we BBQ'd, so I haven't been out on the patio since.

And don't worry, I didn't BBQ the baby, but I just noticed looking at these pictures that there were a lot of "baby" foods in this BBQ -- brussels sprouts = baby cabbage, baby corn and baby shrimp! Well these shrimp aren't really baby sized, but they are considerably smaller than the super jumbo shrimps I usually splurge on.

How can you not love any type of food called "Mr?". Although I don't really like "Mr. Sub" for all of my Canadian readers out there.

I have discovered that BBQ is a good way to cook when you have a baby because:
1) there is usually minimal clean up because it is done outside, so who cares if it's messy
2) daddy is more likely to help out because BBQ'ing is considered to be more "manly" than regular cooking
3) it forces you to go outside for some fresh air which sometimes is hard when you spend a lot of time with a cranky baby and don't want to be embarrassed by her "bad" behavior

Monday, March 15, 2010

This weather is making me crave SOUUUUUPPPP!!!

It is nasty in New England right now. Thankfully I can telecommute for most of my job because E, L and I all got colds this Friday. Since we've been cooped up I haven't had a chance to get groceries, so E was nice enough to venture out to Pho Pasteur and get me the Vietnamese food I've been craving. Here is me housing some Pho Dac Biet yesterday afternoon.

Fun fact about Pho Pasteur is that it is in the space formerly occupied by a strip club in the old "combat zone" of Boston's chinatown. So E and I refer to it as "Pussycat Lounge" and it's actually programmed into his cell phone that way!!

This morning I had leftover Banh Xeo for breakfast! Mmmmm....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lactivore getting set to become omnivore...

chomp chomp chomp -- I love BPA free hooves made of natural "caoutchouc"

uh oh... I guess it's time to start reading those homemade baby foods books and to buy a bunch of food making accessories from diapers.com!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Baby's Breath Smells Like Fajitas

Okay, so here is why I have been MIA for the last 3 months or so... 2 days after my last post I had my first baby girl! You can check out her awesome moves here.

She was born around Thanksgiving and here is a picture of her with her first feast. The roast beast is bigger than her and yes, she is a girl despite her blue "slanket"

Needless to say, I have not had much time for cooking creatively or eating out, so there hasn't been much to write about. The food that I think about most is breastmilk and this may be a bit too much information for some, but it seems like many days lil' L's breath smells inexplicably like fajitas. E thinks her breath smells like tacos, but that is close enough to fajitas to make me think that I haven't gone crazy.

I haven't eaten fajitas in the last 3 months... perhaps it's the copious amounts of Thai take out we have been eating?

Anyway, I feel the direction of my food blog (and the rest of my life for that matter) changing considerably due to the arrival of the peanut. Stay tuned for adventures in baby food making and many pictures of food ending up all over the place!