Champagne Cake? Oh My!

I just HAD to reblog this. If you know anything about me, then you’ll know my affinity for all things bubbly. It doesn’t hurt that it makes child rearing a lot more fun (in moderation…)

Enjoy reading and making this!!!

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Blueberriest Muffins

Tomorrow, my baby turns 5. “She’s not a baby!” I hear you exclaim. Let me explain. To me, she will always be the gorgeous 4 lb chica who came just a bit early and surprised us with her sassiness, persistence, brilliance and beauty from day 0. I will never forget my fear of having her, my joy of realizing that my long difficult pregnancy journey led to such a great kid. She’s amazing. A little tough to take at times, but an amazing human being.  

With that said, we have a birthday tradition of breakfast in bed which started when she turned two. She LOVES that she gets to eat WHATEVER she wants, in her bed, surrounded by her stuffed animals watching a show. Childhood perfection. One of the things she wants on her tray is the “blueberriest muffins ever”. Challenge accepted. So today, I had her make the muffins, almost by herself. She did fabulously and they turned out great. I’m sure I’ve posted about blueberry muffins before, but these are for sure the “blueberriest.”

This is what you’ll need;

3 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar 

3 tea baking powder

1 tea baking soda

1 tea salt

2 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 stick melted butter

2 pints freshly washed blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

In a medium bowl mix buttermilk, eggs, zest and cooled melted butter. 

Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps. Fold in blueberries.

I made a mix of mini and regular sized muffins. I sprayed the mini tin and used cupcake liners for the larger muffins.

Bake mini muffins for 8-10 minutes and large muffins for about 15-20 minutes or a tester comes out clean.

  
I let Z take the picture of her creation. 

Happy Birthday Z! 

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Tortellini Primavera

Per my last post, I’ve been doing some “soul searching”. So far, I’m not on the other side. It’s hard wrapping your head around change and then jumping in feet first. It’s also hard breaking away from a traditional lifestyle, or what we’re trained to think we should be doing when. My husband and I have somehow stumbled across a traditional existence.  But neither of us are feeling very comfortable in that existence. So what next? Really? Who knows. For now, Z and I cook, and take it day by day. Life has gotten crazy and busy! 

Speaking of cooking (and the obvious reason for this blog), Z and I came up with a delicious and fast dinner. She was very excited about it as it’s the first time I let her chop things up using a real knife. I live on the wild side (and was super cautious).

We had a ton of veggies in the fridge and in an attempt to get B to eat more than raisins and pasta at dinner, I thought this would be a great way to go. Zara will eat tortellini for every meal if she could so it’s a pretty safe go-to at our house. So it seemed like a brilliant idea to add beautiful vegetables to the tortellini with a light sauce to go over top.

This is what you’ll need:

1 bag frozen cheese tortellini

1 leek, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly

1 red bell pepper diced thinly

1 red onion, sliced thinly

2 carrots, washed, peeled and sliced thinly 

1/2 cup whole sugar snap peas

1/4 cup button mushrooms, sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced thin

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

2 lemons, zested and juiced

4 tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste

Start boiling a pot of water for your tortellini. Cook per bag instructions.

Sauté all vegetables in 1 tbsp of butter until softened. First cook onion and carrots for 5 minutes. Next add mushrooms, pepper and leek. Next add lemon and butter. Toss in cooked tortellini and add dill, peas and butter. When butter is melted season with salt and pepper to taste.

There you go! Easy, kid friendly weeknight meal!

 

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Sometimes It’s Personal

I get sidetracked often (as you can tell by the frequency and then dropoff of my posts). When I started this blog, it was meant to be a space where I could talk about how Zara and I were cooking together (instead of killing each other haha) the daily grind, a good (or bad) recipe experience, eatery, blog post whatever as it related to cooking or child rearing (read: alcoholic beverage), even the occasional recipe review or edible science project or craft. That was fun. It started as a way for Z and I to connect after I quit my full time job to be a full time mommy. A way for me to  meet other like minded foodies or mommies who may share a similar passion for cooking, or eating, or drinking or, well the list is endless really. And it was FUN to blog. I looked forward to it! My pictures were definitely awful but they got better. But then, maybe the inevitable happened. I got complacent. I felt like I had to blog, and the recipes had to be different, and great and it became a chore to post. So I didn’t do it as often. I lost my patience more with Z. I lost a bit of myself. I stopped doing things that fulfilled me, to do things that excited her. I thought I was doing it to be a good mom. And then I went through a baby craze. and it wasn’t pretty. But I did have another baby, and I started to realize that I really didn’t remember who I was anymore. Am I a mother? Yes. But I wasn’t always that way.  There were questions that used to keep me up at night, songs I used to sing at the top of my lungs to, often while having crazy dance parties with Z. I used to like myself. I used to not be afraid of what people thought of me. Of how I dressed or what crazy academically inclined ridiculousness would spout from my mouth. 

Yesterday Zara asked what I did for my job. I turned the question on its head. I didn’t like her response. I’m realizing that part of being a good mother is to NOT lose myself. To let her know I’m not just a product of them. To actively teach her through my passions, and to find them again. I love this blog, I love cooking with my kids, I even like staying home with my kids. But that’s not all of me. 

Yes, this is a personal post, yes, some of you may be turned off by this. But I think on identifying this in myself, I make myself available to others who are like me. We were raised to be smart women, who contribute, who climb corporate or other ladders, who stand up for themselves and their beliefs. I know I have dissolved into pinterest mania. Into identity crisis bullshit mode. into terror. Into too scared to make a change mode. 

Roar. It’s time to make a difference AND a change.

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I know…it’s not actually a post but…

 I know I haven’t written in awhile and really, I had the best intentions of getting a real (what’s that? Dandelion Jelly?) recipe to you but…I almost peed my pants when I read http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Paleo-Diet-Experience-37631676 this. Read it. You’re welcome. 

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Foraging: Dandelion Greens

So what have we been up to at Zara’s Hungry? Foraging my friends! It’s that amazing time of the year when we can actually supplement our diet with things we find in the wild (if you know me, wild is a relative term).

I desperately wanted to start the season with wild ramps and garlic, but could not find any local (We now have a place in Privincetown thanks to Lola!)

Instead I decided to focus on an easy forage. Dandelions. Everyone hates them right? SO WRONG. If you knew of the deliciousness they contained…you would never sneer at another one again. So with promises of playgrounds and homemade soda, Z, B and I dug up all the dandelions in our yard by the root. We’re visiting two neighbors yards tomorrow. We also stopped by Forges Field. The town doesn’t spray the areas that aren’t playing fields so we gave it a wide berth and picked about 6 cups of dandelion heads. More on that another day. As for today, the greens. Similar in taste to arugula (if it married watercress) with an amazing crunch. I added these greens to our bean and cheese burritos. They are also fantastic as a salad (think slightly wilted with goats cheese, walnuts and bacon with a lemon dressing…yum!).

Z loved every minute of our foraging, I can’t wait for what’s next!!

  

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Weekly Round Up

Today was BEAUTIFUL out!! We spent the day cleaning out gardens, tilling our brand new fairy garden for Miss Z and…running away from a fisher cat. Yup,it was a little crazy. But we seem to be the yard where they like to hang (this is our second sighting). 

I decided some comfort food was in order so I made chicken noodle soup while the kids facetimed with grandparents. 

Anyway-this is what my week of meals looks like…

Sunday-Chicken Noodle Soup

Monday-Grilled lime steak tips with coconut rice and plantain 

Tuesday-Bean and Cheese burritos

Wednesday-Chicken and Onion Tagine

Thursday-Tuna Melts

Friday-Ham Omelette

Saturday-Ham and Pea Pasta

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Chicken Mahkani Revisited

I made this dish for probably the millionth time but this time…Zara ATE IT ALL! And said it was the best curry. I’m psyched! I’m looking forward to the Panang Curry I’m making next week… 

Want the recipe? Check it out here http://zarashungry.com/2014/03/17/chicken-makhani/

 
    

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Naanchiladas: Curry-Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Enchiladas

Originally posted on food to glow:

Naanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glowAs with some television shows, where an entire episode seems to be based round a joke that came up in a production meeting, this recipe was a weird idea of mine that grew into a recipe. I started with the hybrid name and it kind of went from there.

But unlike some TV shows, this works. No joke.

Just a couple of notes: about the sauce, if you wish to use garam masala or another curry powder that you like, that would be just fine. Use about two tablespoons, but be prepared to add more if the flavour seems “thin.” And as for the naan, use roti or chapati if you wish, or even commercial naan, although the latter may be too thick and will tear/break (and really aren’t very nice when compared to homemade). Heck you could even add curry spices to a bought red enchilada sauce. Whatever way you do this…

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Weekly Round Up

Sunday-Pizza two ways (Hawaiian & Chicken and yellow pepper)

Monday-Tortellii Soup

Tuesday-Asian Pork Buns & Fried Rice

Wednesday-Tuna Melts

Thursday- Ham Omelette

Friday- Tom Yum Soup

Saturday- Lentil Salad

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