New York part 2 (turning 40)

I decided in March that I really wanted to spend my 40th birthday in New York. I wanted to spend the day at a museum with Alder and my parents and then go out for dinner with my cousins. So I guess you could say that I got everything I wanted for my birthday, though the dinner out ended up being the night before. I really wanted to go to the MOMA but the line was an hour and fifteen minutes to get in the front door. Instead we went to an Japanese Noodle House that has been around for fifty years, then we headed to The Center for Book Arts to see their exhibit Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here which was both moving and motivating. The entire time I was there I was wishing that I could sign up for one of their week long intensive bookmaking classes. After the museum Alder and I decided we needed some alone time so we wandered until we came across a glowing cupcake shop and ate cupcakes at a white enamel table with red edging.

The rest of my birthday was another dinner, this one I cooked with the help of my cousin. It was quick and amazing. Fettuccine with steamers, mussels, scallops, and shrimp, with a big salad and asparagus. There were giant cookies for dessert and then Alder and I fell into bed full and happy.

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Cupcakes
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WIndow Dressing
At Ilili
Harald and Amanda at Ilili the night before. Such good food and company. (just thinking about it is making me hungry)

Still more New York to come.

A Spring Meal

Despite the unusual late season snows Denver seems to have finally accepted that it is spring. After a morning of yard sales with Alder (he is on a search for a skateboard) and an afternoon in the garden all I wanted to do was welcome the Spring with a little bit of a feast.

Menu

Spinach Bacon Brie Bruchetta

Steamed Asparagus

Salmon with Dijon Dill Sauce

with pan fried capers

Guinness

Strawberry Everyday Cake

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Strawberry Everyday Cake: (vaguely based on this Smitten Kitchen cake)

Ingredients:
1 cup of white flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 egg
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of sugar (I use evaporated cane juice is less sweet) plus 4 2 tablespoons separate.
2 cups of strawberries cut small
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400
Tuck a piece of parchment paper into a 8 inch round pan.
Mix cut and rinsed strawberries with 2 tbl of sugar, set aside [note: if the strawberries are fresh forgo the sugar].
In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and lemon zest and mix until incorporated.
Beat in egg well.
Add milk and dry ingredients beating until smooth.
Add strawberries and liquid to batter and mix for a minute.
Pour into pan.
Bake for for approximately 20 minutes, but start checking at 10 minutes.
Bake until poking a chopstick comes out clear.
Let cool in pan (for a gooey cake) or on cooling rack.

The Not So Picky Eater

[Two posts in one day? What can I say? I’m on a roll this week.]

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I have spent years defending my son’s eating habits. Primarily telling people his isn’t a picky eater. He has been known to refuse a bowl of mac and cheese or a ham sandwich, and he isn’t much for chili or chocolate. Even his father struggles making dinners he will eat sometimes (and Kevin is a great cook). I was getting tired of throwing together a different meal for Alder after not cooking dinner a few weeks ago so I decided to make a list for the fridge door to remind us what Alder will eat. Funny thing with this list, it is long, really long. It is also very healthful, sure he likes hot dogs occasionally (though he usually requests brats instead) and in a pinch if we’re traveling he will eat chicken tenders, what he really wants is vegetables, more vegetables, and a little meat. Oh and don’t forget the pasta. It is safe to say if it is a vegetable and it has been steamed or sauteed with garlic he will be in heaven.

He is pretty aware of how healthy different foods are. When he was three and we were passing a McDonald’s he asked me why people went there if it just made them fat and sick. Even with vegetables he really rather eat from the farmer’s market, he likes knowing the farmer who grew them, or from our own garden. If he had his way, and we had the bank account, we’d being eating meat the same way. So we spend days processing foods for our freezer in August and supplement with some fresh ones as well.

What other people see as picky is really a kid who doesn’t like kid foods (with the exception of peanut butter and jam sandwiches), he doesn’t like the Midwestern casseroles, and he isn’t too keen on anything doused in sauce. Guess what, if we ate what he likes everyday we would be a lot healthier (says the woman sitting here with the cup of coffee and brownie).

And as he likes to remind me, if there is soy sauce in the house then everything is okay.