Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kitchen Adventures: Cooking with the Bear

It was just a matter of time (and ability to stand on a step stool) before Alain joined me in the kitchen.  Despite his allergies, he's just as enthusiastic about food as I am. After a summer spent picking tomatoes and berries almost daily in g'ma's garden, he was ready to take the next step with food prep. So, he stands next to me at the counter (on said step stool) and plops (not throws!) chunks of potato into a pot of water, or pieces of broccoli into a colander. He was also somehow involved in helping g'pa make lemonade recently. And he helps set the table for most meals by at least putting his fork and sippy cup on the table.

Of course, there are no photos of my newest kitchen helper in action (or the food we've made) because 1) I haven't uploaded any all month, and 2) trying to take selfies while your 22 month old stands on a step stool and you have a large knife nearby is not a good idea. Some favorites he's helped with so far are black beans and rice*, sautéed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. I wish he wasn't allergic to everything in cookies and cakes (flour, butter, milk, eggs, etc.) but I suppose it's for the best that his taste for delicious baked goods isn't developed yet.

(Taison caught us cooking and snapped a shot-selfie problem solved!)

Coconut is also a new favorite, but he prefers eating it straight up to cooking with it

*He's obsessed with my black beans and rice. We just made a batch today and he hugged my legs as I was serving his because he was so excited to eat it. He insists on having a squirt of lime juice on top of his. Here's the recipe, modified from Epicurious:

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with a garlic press
1-2 strips bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper (any color), seeded and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 cups water

lime and hot sauce for serving, optional
We were lucky enough to have it alongside grilled shrimp with mango salsa : )

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