Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Potée Lorraine

In addition to being Mr. Big Sweet Tooth, my husband is also a Big Meat Eater. While I could go for weeks without eating meat and feel great, he, on the other hands, NEEDS meat more than once a week! That's why I have come to cook more meat than I would otherwise (hey, that's a small compromise!)... The other day, I asked him what he felt like eating (already anticipating that he was going to answer something with "meat")...Because we had just bought a large green cabbage at the Farmers' market, he said "une bonne Potée".  A  Potée Lorraine is a stew of smoked meats and sausages, with cabbage and root vegetables that is originally from the Lorraine region , in Eastern part of France.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carrots and Fresh Mint Soup - "Build Up Recipe"

I had carrots (lots of carrots) in the fridge and I did not know what to do with them. It also happened that I had fresh mint available. I thought that I could make carrots puree (mashed carrots) but since it was really cold outside, I felt that a soup would be more appropriate. I called this recipe "Build Up Recipe" because you could feed infants, picky eaters, children and adults without changing the recipe a lot.  Friends of mine have asked me to publish more recipes that could feed picky eaters... and even if my children are not too picky, there are days when I adapt my recipes to make sure dinner will be pleasant for everybody....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In Search of the "Perfect" Baby Bottle (ie, anti-colic, BPA free, PVC free, etc..): the MAM Bottles.

When I was trying to wean my children, I tried different brands of bottles, hoping that the different shapes and textures of the nipples would make it easier.... Little did I know... it was really hard! For my second child, I was in France and my niece was drinking from a bottle that I had never seen in the US before : the MAM bottles. The ultra-soft silicon nipple was really different from the "round" ones I had tried before (even the ones that supposedly mimic the natural nipple). We tried it with my child and it was an immediate success. I later recommended them to my sister who was looking for bottles for her child and she has been really happy as well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pear Tartelette with Chocolate

You might have noticed that I had yet to publish a dessert recipe... I have no sweet tooth (given the choice between a savory crepe and a sweet one, I'll choose the savory)... but it does not mean that I don't enjoy sweet desserts once in a while. My husband, on the contrary, is Mr. Big Sweet Tooth. He has somewhat taken over the baking in our kitchen (because he finds that I don't bake enough!!); he now has a few very good recipes (I'll publish them when he makes them.). Because he does not have that much time to bake, I have come to bake, mostly easy things that I can do with the children on a rainy day...

Monday, October 26, 2009

REMINDER - Last week for the SIGG Voluntary Exchange Program

Just to remind you that the SIGG Voluntary Exchange Program ends at the end of October. Go and exchange your old bottles if you have not done so already!
For more information, read my previous post on the SIGG Voluntary Exchange Program.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pork Roast with Prunes, Apples, and Potatoes

This is maybe one of my favorite dishes! I don't know when my parents or grand-parents cooked it for me but I have always liked it. Every year, I can't wait for Fall and Winter to arrive to be able to make it! I like it because it's sweet and savory at the same time, because you don't really know whether you are going to eat an apple or a potato (children can't be picky!!) ... and also because the prunes are adding a nice sweet taste to the pork roast. Simply delicious...

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Moussaka

I first had Moussaka while in Greece a LONG LONG LONG time ago...My friend's grand-mother had made it for us and I can still remember it today...  It was De-Li-Cious! I decided to start cooking my own home-made Moussaka not to try to recreate what I had then (impossible!) but as another way to eat eggplant. I am always purchasing eggplant at the (super/farmer's)market and beyond Ratatouille and grilled, I did not really know what to do...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swiss Chard Soup

My grand-mother used to grow green Swiss chard in her garden. I therefore grew up eating a lot of Swiss chard, mostly au gratin. However, I never eat red or rainbow chard until I came to the US.  They do taste differently that the white-stem chard I grew up with, but all of them are delicious. The only problem with chard is that it is extremely perishable. You have to be careful when purchasing chard and you can't keep it in your fridge for too long...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuna Curry with Yellow Squash and Rice

A lover of Indian and Thai food, I frequently cook curry for my family. It's always a hit with my children unless I make it really too spicy!  I find that it's an easy way to cook fish, shrimp, pork or chicken with vegetables. I like it with tuna because coconut milk balances the dryness of tuna.Unlike some curry recipes, I don't use potatoes as I always serve the dish over rice or couscous...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

I am big soup eater! I grew up eating soup as an appetizer for dinner in colder days. Nowadays, I would eat them for lunch and dinner anytime of year! I started feeding soups to my children early on and they are now good soup eaters as well.
The following recipe is an adaptation of a soup my husband's maternal grand-mother used to make with her garden-grown pumpkins...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grilled Salmon with Wild Rice and Spinach

I discovered wild rice—that has nothing to do with rice—while living in San Francisco. I had never had it before and liked it immediately. I bought some on my next trip to the supermarket and the pack sat in my pantry for months! I just did not know what to do with it. A salad? A side-dish? A risotto-like dish? The day I decided to cook it, I just could not believe how much time it needed to fully cook!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SIGG Bottles Voluntary Exchange Program

If you are like me, trying your best to improve the environment you (and your children) live in, you might have switched from plastic sippy cups and water bottles to stainless reusable bottles. Congratulations!
I bought my first child a SIGG bottle in 2007. I found them more fun than the Klean Kanteen ones. For my second child, I did not even use a sippy cup, I purchased a SIGG bottle for water. I also bought myself and my husband one, all of them before 2008.
I was therefore a little bit taken by surprise to read about the whole BPA issue in the SIGG bottles...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Oh no, I am not going to comment on the Disney-Pixar movie by the same name. That said if you followed the movie to the end, you remember that Remy cooked Ratatouille to impress Anto Ego, the famous food critic. Here is your chance to impress your family with this easy recipe of ratatouille.Ratatouille is a great dish to make because you can serve it vegetarian (with couscous, rice or polenta for instance), as a side dish with meat (chicken, pork) or with fish (white fish or tuna). You can even eat it cold....

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken with Mushrooms , Fresh Peas, Carrots and Basmati Rice

I grew up going to the Farmers' market every week, even twice a week sometimes. "Faire le marché"  is a social event, an activity rooted in the life of (some) French people: people get to know each other and exchange the latest news; customers have their favorite vendors and tend to be very loyal; politicians come to shake hands and discuss their latest projects, etc...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grain of Salt on Salt...

Having been on a low-iodine diet for 10 days, I have had to cut my sodium intake. [Low-iodine does not mean NO-iodine or No-sodium: you just have to know if the sodium has iodine or not. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to know which type of sodium is used in processed food... so basically low-iodine means cutting processed food, including dairy products, condiments, bakery-made breads, etc... No FUN!].

The bad news is that 75% of sodium comes from processed food. Only 7% comes from the table salt (which is 60% sodium and 40% chloride) pinch you add to your broccoli or home-made soup!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lentils with Fresh Vegetables

We are lentils lovers in my family (at large) and I have been cooking them on a regular basis (at least once a month, if not twice). Lentils come in different colors and textures. I prefer the French Blue/Indigo lentils, which take more time to cook than brown or Indian pink lentils but are firmer and therefore better keep their shape. Also, contrary to other beans, you don't have to soak them the night before!! A big plus for me!