Category

Home Made

15
May
2017

Party Idea: Team Building with Taste

Have you always wanted to be on Master Chef or Chopped? Last week, I got a taste of cooking show stardom at Team Building with Taste with my DFW Bloggers group. Located in North Dallas at Frankford and Preston, this team building facility was full of fun, excitement and food! The mission is to put together a dish, cook it, plate it, then present it before a panel of judges with a team of people in an hour. Are you ready for the challenge?
13
May
2017

Mother’s Day Musings

"Mama did you know that when you hug someone, you add five minutes to their life?" asked my 9 year old, Lollo. "I'm going to hold you forever," he adds. I want to cry. Be still my heart. Tomorrow will the be first Mother's Day since I had my tumor removed last June. What a special day it will be! A year ago, when I was diagnosed with a rare tumor, I had no idea if I would live or die. So when people ask what I want for Mother's Day, I've already got it. It's there everyday I wake up and watch the sunrise. All I want is time. Time with the four lads in my house -- my husband who went on this crazy lifelong journey in sickness and in health and our three boys, who made me "Mama".
9
May
2017

Family Days at The Samurai Collection

Our weekend soared to new heights as IttyBittyFoodies hosted Kodomo no Hi, Japanese Children's Day at the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection. The collection located at Harwood District features Family Days on the first Saturday of each month. In samurai times, Children's Day commemorated a samurai's coming of age. Today, Kodomo no Hi is Japanese national holiday. The day honors growth and happiness of all children and is often spent flying Koinobori, or carp-shaped kites. According to a Chinese legend which tells of a carp who swims upstream and transforms into a dragon, the carp is a symbol of strength and success. We spent the day making our own carp kites and flying kites at the Rockefeller Gardens located on the 12th floor of Harwood International. What a spectacle it was to fly kites against a backdrop of skyscrapers. Click to view our fun Kodomo no Hi video highlights!
4
May
2017

Lotus Root Chips Recipe

I just attended a macrobiotic cooking class today taught by Mami Ogata. The Japanese native who is a florist in Dallas -- you may have seen her creations at Yutaka Bistro in Uptown -- also teaches flower meditation and macrobiotic cooking lessons. I first learned of her macrobiotic cooking when she brought over an bento box for me after I had my tumor removed. Like so many of my tribe, she lovingly prepared a healthy, vegan meal that fed me and my spirits. Her interest for macrobiotic cooking was piqued when her husband got leukemia and she wanted to cook more healthfully for the family. The Japanese macrobiotic diet consists mainly of whole cereal grains (like brown rice), vegetables, miso soup, sea vegetables, beans and legumes. It is a clean diet and recommends fish and seafood, other animal proteins sweeteners, fruits, seasonings and sweets occasionally. Our menu today consisted of lotus root chips with guacamole, home-made beet dashi soup (made with dried shiitakes and kelp), vegetarian sushi made with brown rice, beans, carrots and cucumbers, sauteed burdock root with carrots and a chocolate avocado mousse. It encompassed all the elements of a macrobiotic meal. But the lotus root chips were so delicious! Mami made them with a Texas twist and paired the chips with guacamole. I just had to post a quick recipe as it will change your guacamole for Cinco de Mayo or any gathering. Click for the recipe.
31
Mar
2017

Spring into festival season in Dallas!

Spring is festival season and there's so much to do. I hope you all had a great Spring Break. If you're on our Instagram, you would have seen the IttyBittyFoodies' Instastories spent in Dallas. The week's theme was reconnecting with friends and rediscovering our favorite museums like the Perot Science Museum and Dallas Museum of Art, lots of outside time at Klyde Warren Park and a trip out to Dallas Aboretum. We even found a museum that we've never been to before, Samurai Collection at Harwood District (more to come in a future post on this). As we move into April, I wanted to highlight some wonderful events coming up and hope you'll join us. Some are food events, others for the whole family or just date night ideas. If you spot us, come up and say "Hi" we love meeting our readers!
6
Jan
2017

My New Year’s Resolution is all about rekindling my relationship with my first husband

"You know, I'm her third husband," I heard my husband joke with my mother last summer when she was visiting. "Third husband?" my mother queried, raising an eyebrow. At first I thought he meant because we got married three times: first was the Vegas wedding when we moved to the US, then went home to Australia for a 'proper' wedding with the formal dress and then to Malaysia for my extended family. "First comes the children, then her writing and then me," he continued. Everyone laughed but I took the statement to heart and started delving deeper into why my sweet, sweet FIRST husband felt this way. Do you ever wonder, what happened to "US" after the kids come?
17
Dec
2016

Why I’m giving my kids their old Christmas toys for Christmas…

This year, my kids are getting a TON of presents under the Christmas tree. I'm so excited, just look at the great big pile! There's 8 Nerf Guns (because one for each child just isn't enough), two Sphero SPRK + STEAM education robots (yep... one for each of the older boys), Lego Mindstorms (because my oldest has been pining and asking for this since he was 4 years old), a rock tumbler and crystal growing set (for my budding geologist/gemologist), Circuit Scribe Kit (for my budding engineer), Pokemon cards (about 600 of them total but who is counting) and Basketball cards (just shy of 300 cards I believe). I can't wait to see their surprised little faces when they open them all up and find that these are their old Christmas toys from previous years.
4
Nov
2016

5 things I learned from having a thymoma tumor

You may have noticed a lull in posts over the past summer. It wasn't because we were busy with kids and vacation. I wish so much that was the case. In fact we had just planned a 2 month journey through Asia for a trip of a lifetime. Instead, the doctors found a thymoma tumor in my chest cavity. It was "the size of an orange", my doctor described. And just like that my life was never the same again.
1
Nov
2016

Battle of the Pies coming to Good Local Markets

Ah fall... it's the season of falling leaves, pumpkin everything and pie. Oh my ... so much pie. Are you a pie magician or have a young budding pie maker at home? Then Good Local Markets is calling for you. Good Local Markets 8th annual Fall Pie Contest will be held Saturday, November 12th 10:30pm - 12:30pm at the Lakeside Baptist Church location (9150 Garland Road). 2016 introduces the Good Local Kids Pie Contest for bakers 12 and under in addition to the adult category. Entry fee is $10 per pie. Come and join us for the Battle of the Pies!
17
Oct
2016

Red Rooster Cookbook by Marcus Samuelsson

New York City is full of exciting boroughs, each with it's flavor and diversity and Harlem is no exception. The large neighborhood located on the north end of Manhattan, Harlem boasts a vibrant history and is rich in music, arts and culinary culture. When chef Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, he envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighborhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way. In conjunction with Samuelsson's long awaited release of The Red Rooster Cookbook, Macy's Culinary Council will be hosting a cooking event. Find out how to get your free copy of The Red Rooster Cookbook and have it signed by Samuelsson.
6
Jun
2016

The Strawberry Shortcake I never knew

Summer is here and it's time to celebrate America's favorite summertime dessert -- the strawberry shortcake. June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. But for a girl who grew up in Australia without this iconic American dessert, I don't have a point of reference for strawberry shortcake, except maybe images of a doll my sister used to play with. Our IttyBittyFoodies boys are Americans so we're adding strawberry shortcake to our list of American traditions (see Macy's Culinary Council's Strawberry Shortcake with Slow Roasted Strawberries and Chantilly Cream below). To kick off our summer plans, we'll be zipping off to Union Square in San Francisco this June 14th for Macy's American Icons event to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day!
13
May
2016

Taste Addison is back this weekend!

Taste Addison is back after a hiatus. Eat drink and make merry as Taste Addison dishes out delicious food from local Addison eateries. The three day festival lets you stroll and sample cuisines from all over the globe from restaurants like Sanabel Mediterranean, Kampai Sushi and Grill, Taste of Cuba, Thai Orchid, Texas de Brazil, Los Lupes to May Dragon. Held May 13-15, 2016, Taste Addison is located at the pretty outdoor space, Addison Circle Park.
9
Mar
2016

Meatball recipe by Kenny’s Italian Kitchen

Today is National Meatball Day and to celebrate, Chef Kenny Bowers of Kenny's Italian Kitchen is sharing his Kenny's Midnight Meatballs recipe with Itty Bitty Foodies. The recipe aptly named after he spent many a night making meatballs till midnight after work as a way to relax. And to show his meatball love to customers, every Sunday as well as National Meatball Day, Kenny's Italian Kitchen offers $1 for an order of Kenny's 1/4 lb meatballs. A deal like that makes Sunday family suppers at the Italian-American eatery doubly delicious. Read on for the secrets to his meatball recipe.
7
Mar
2016

How to cook barramundi

Today we are celebrating #Barramunday! You know the feeling you get when you see something from your childhood and how excited that makes you feel? That's how we felt when we spotted barramundi, a fish we used to eat as we were growing up in Australia. We bought some barramundi to share a bit of our Australian heritage with our Texan-born boys. Barramundi is known as Australia's seabass. It is a white, flaky fish that bears well with different cooking methods. You can steam it with a little lemon and butter or pan fry and roast it if you like crispy skin or simply grill. It eats low in the food chain and is high in Omega 3 content. Back in the day, I remembered how expensive the wild-caught fish was. My family would pay $50-70 for a whole fish at restaurants. But now, Australis is farming it, making it more affordable and sustainable. I recently paid $9.99 a lb from Whole Foods.
23
Feb
2016

Dining at The Ravens: vegan recipes

Whoah! Have the Itty Bitty Foodies turned vegan you ask? No not at all but we jump at the chance of finding new ways to become healthier. When we were invited, along with a few select food bloggers to host the Dining at the Ravens blog tour, we enthusiastically raised our hands! The new vegan recipe book, "Dining at the Ravens" by Jeff and Joan Stanford was an exciting discovery. As we flipped through the first few pages, we discovered that the Stanfords owned a unique vegan eco-inn in Mendocino, California called the Stanford by the Sea. It is the perfect family hideaway for those who want to unplug from the world and just smell (and eat) the flowers. "We think of ourselves as a garden with an inn, rather than an inn with a garden," quotes the Stanfords in their book. The organic farm sanctuary is what we call a magical kingdom on ten acres lush with organic produce, herbs and edible flowers for the inn's gourmet vegan restaurant, named The Ravens.
1
Feb
2016

Plant-Powered Families

A couple of weeks ago I had braces put in and I've inadvertently become a vegetarian. My teeth hurt so much, it has put a clamp on meat eating for a while. After days of being on a smoothie/soup diet, things got serious as I needed more calorie dense (but healthy) diet that was soft enough for me to chew. That where "Plant-Powered Families"* by Dreena Burton came in. "Plant-Powered Families" has over 100 kid-friendly, whole-foods vegan recipes and I found it useful to rally the troops to get them on board with eating more fruits and vegetables. Whether you're thinking of dabbling in veganism or just want to add more plant-based dishes to your daily diet, "Plant-Powered Families" is a healthy resource.
28
Dec
2015

Lobster Linguine & Champagne Cocktail: Easy Recipes for the New Year

The Itty Bitty Foodies won't be staying up past midnight this New Year's Eve but that doesn't mean there won't be a celebratory meal to ring in the New Year. There's nothing like lobster to jazz up a simple pasta dish to make it into festive family meal. This lobster linguine is another one of fast and fancy recipes that can be made by beginner chefs. If you can, use fresh pasta and herbs and be generous with the butter. After all... diet only starts on the first of the New Year. For those who love their bubbles, I've also slipped in a quick Bees Knees Royale Champagne cocktail recipe at the end of this recipe. Cheers to a New Year!
11
Oct
2015

How to slow cook duck legs

Cooking duck legs is deceptively easy and yet it's so intimidating for many because it's considered "fancy food". We love eating gourmet food but as a family of five always on the go, we need a quick recipe (at least with very little prep time). Using the slow cooker is the best way to cook duck legs especially if you're a beginner chef. This easy weeknight dinner recipe allows me to put all the ingredients in the Crockpot and then forget about it till we come home for dinner. Here's a basic recipe on how to slow cook duck legs but I've added an Asian flair to it by using soy sauce and a few Asian spices. Just know that you need about 1/2 cup of liquid in the slow cooker so if you're not up for soy sauce, substitute it with a simple broth and add your own vegetables in the last 30 minutes. It goes to show that you don't need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to eat well. Once you've figured out your slow cooking, you'll be Crockin' it!
2
Oct
2015

Easy Baked Frittata Recipe

Weekends should be leisurely and relaxed. Our Itty Bitty Foodies are crazy about eggs and we love this easy baked frittata recipe. "Frittata" meaning "fried" in Italian is usually done in a skillet and then finished off in the oven. We had such a positive response with our Oven "Fried" Chicken Wings, we decided give this recipe a healthy tweak and do more baking than frying. Frittatas are a great way to add more vegetables in our diet as well as help clear out the fridge of odds and ends. Have a few leftover rashes of bacon or a few handfuls of spinach? Toss it in. Found a lone zucchini you didn't know what to do with? No problem. The recipe is flexible, so get your kids to add in what they like and get them cooking with you in the kitchen. This 'everything but the kitchen sink' recipe is excellent for beginner cooks. Here's what we added in our frittata recipe.
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