Category

Home Made

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.
13
Sep
2015

Easy oven fried chicken wings

Football season is here and it's Cowboys fever at our household. Whether it's Friday nights lights or Sunday night football, it all equates to one thing for me: fried chicken wings. Our boys can eat their weight in chicken wings so I make it healthier with this oven fried chicken wings recipe. Chicken wings already have high fat content and my version uses very little oil as opposed to the traditional fried version. The skin comes out crisp and it's just as delicious hot or cold. This recipe is great for tailgating, a quick weeknight recipe or weekend picnics. As with all Itty Bitty Foodies recipes we try to keep prep time low and it's so easy the children can make it themselves.
10
Aug
2015

Healthy Caprese Lollipops

Summer months are tomato season. Whether you're buying from your local farmers market or at the store, this is the time to enjoy this summer fruit. Botanically, tomatoes are fruits because it contains seeds of the plants. Vegetables are edible parts of the plant but in cooking, most of us see tomatoes are vegetables as they are used in savory dishes. This weekend, our kids made Caprese Lollipops armed with a basket of mini heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil leaves from our garden and a mozzarella ball. The recipe is easy like summer should be and our kids will feel great because they made the family meal.
6
Aug
2015

Thrive Market $1000 shopping spree

It has never made sense to me that food that is unprocessed, unaltered and natural costs so much. It makes eating healthier so challenging especially for families. This is one of the reasons why we're excited to partner with Thrive Market, a new online marketplace with a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. Thrive Market works like Costco with an annual membership and offers wholesale prices (25-50% less than retail) except it only sells healthy, natural and organic products. Read on for your chance to win a Thrive Market $1000 Shopping spree and get a free trial month and 25% off your first order.
9
Jul
2015

Grilled Bananas with Chocolate

Grilled bananas you ask? We've all eaten cooked bananas in desserts like Bananas Foster or banana cake but until recently I never thought of grilling bananas. This recipe is from my grill-extraordinaire husband who made this when he was growing up. It's great for camping trips or summer cookouts. With just two ingredients, grilled bananas with chocolate is simple and quick. We let our Itty Bitty Foodies choose their favorite chocolate bar and then they make their own. With all the cooking out we're doing during summer, this grilled bananas with chocolate is a no-brainer recipe. Just throw them on the 'barbie'. Here's what you need:
18
Jun
2015

English peas pasta with lemon and mint

As the weather heats up, our suppers are becoming lighter. This English peas pasta recipe is brightened with hints of mint and lemon. For summer we want refreshing so we buy fresh on the herbs, pasta and peas. However, we often call on this ’emergency’ recipe and substitute with frozen peas and dried pasta as we have these ingredients in our pantry, most times. If we don’t have fresh mint, we just omit it from the recipe as the dried version pales in comparison. Fresh English peas give an extra bouncy pop than frozen. English peas come in big pods that are easy for the Itty Bitty Foodies to shell. Even 2 year old Googie gets into the prep work. Aside from a quick an great tasting meal, it’s also fun for the whole family to make this English peas pasta with lemon and mint.
1 2 3 5