My husband’s mother, Josefa, is from Madrid, Spain. Charlie’s family all still resides in Spain and we were lucky enough to go and visit them some years ago (that is why Charlie and I look so young…this was BEFORE we had wee ones).
We spent three weeks touring across Spain and I’m looking forward to a visit again soon. I was thankful to be apart of the real culture there, as we stayed outside of Madrid with Charlie’s family and no one spoke English (which was interesting at times). We had our own tour guides, as Charlie’s Uncle Andres drove us all over and we enjoyed the family environment found at the local bars.
Three foodie teachings I picked up in Spain that are now incorporated in my food “Must Haves” include: Anchovy Stuffed Olives, Prosciutto and Paella. The olives are a MUST HAVE in your pantry. Perfect light meal option with some cheeses, crackers and sliced apples…and of coarse a local wine pairing for one of Missouri’s great wineries.
Find these items and more at the Global Market on S. Grant Street in Springfield, Mo., or order online through Latienda.
There are always new gizmos and baby gadgets to choose from, and for the most part, I stick to the basics. I mean they’ve worked for years and for many mommies before me, why not?
Teething…it’s hard stuff. On mommy, daddy, baby and siblings. All you want to do is take away the pain and help the little one through it quickly and painlessly. With my son frozen washcloths were the ticker. I would have at least 4 frozen in the freezer and we would switch off when one would loose it’s icy cold effect. But, with Cora – she hates frozen washcloths.
I tried everything for her to naw on, but nothing seem to pleased her…until the Chewbeads I ordered online (from the suggestion of my friend Lindsay) arrived in the mail.
I will always give credit, when credit is due…and these Chewbeads have been not only a lifesaver for the teething trials, but a fun toy to also help Cora with her grasp and reach.
Chewbeads are trendy jewelry that mommy can wear and baby can enjoy! I highly suggest putting it on your gift registry if you are expecting or if you are looking for a great mommy-to-be gift.
When I told folks I was going to make my own homemade baby food..they laughed. “Yeah, we will see how much time you have for that after the baby comes…” Mind over matter people! This was back in 2010, when my now 3-year-old son, Caston, was ready to begin solids. He NEVER ate any jarred baby food and now I’m on my second little bundle of joy, Cora, and she’s just started on solids.
Well, come on over to my house and see the bags of baby food I’ve made over the past couple weeks – in a very short amount of time I might add. Only the best for Cora!
I made sweet pea puree the other day and looked at how brightly colored the peas were. The jarred stuff looks like a brown-green color and I’ve never known a baby to like peas. Well, mine does! It’s hher favorite thus far.
I’m also making sure Cora has an adventurous palate by incorporating things like avocado, salmon, pumpkin, butternut squash and even kale. I think kids are picky eaters bc they aren’t shown how fun food is! Caston is an incredible eater and love fruits and vegetables…I think in part to all tasty and diverse foods he was introduced to at an early age.
Plus, making your baby’s homemade food is not only healthier and tastier-you save money! Trust me on this and read this.
I whole-heartily believe this is the best food for your baby….no preservatives and additives- just fresh and healthy food! Give it a shot, you will be so happy you did this for your baby! Recipes to come…
One special homemade gift my mother and I enjoy making together is Jalapeno Jelly. We always have plenty of Jalapenos from the garden and it seems like we always have to find something to do with them. Plus, I have this amazing job that gives me quite the hook-up on local produce at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks.
Making jelly isn’t as difficult as most believe- it’s actually quite simple. Just be sure and wear gloves when preparing the peppers so your hands aren’t burning for a week. And yes…they will burn for a week – trust me on this! And whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes without throughly washing your hands, or-you-will-be-sorry.
This jelly makes a perfect holiday gift for neighbors and friends. Serve this jelly with a cream cheese topped cracker for your holiday gatherings! Simple and easy appetizer.
Yields: about 5 half pints
¾ lb jalapeno peppers (or more if you want more heat)
2 pouches liquid pectin
2 c. cider vinegar (divided)
6 c. sugar
Green or red food coloring
Wash peppers; drain. Remove stems and seeds. Puree peppers and 1 c. vinegar and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Stir constantly.
Stir in liquid pectin and return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, while continuing to stir.
Remove from heat and skim foam if necessary. Stir in a few drops of food coloring of choice. Ladle hot jelly into jars in a boiling water canner.
NOTE: When cutting and seeding the peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.
Don’t know how to can? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Check out the University fo Missouri Extension website for info on how to can.
They are both pretty beautiful, aren’t they? My mother and Lil Miss (my nickname for Cora) are quite the pair. At Thanksgiving while my mother and I were rolling out pie crusts and preparing the 20 pound fresh turkey I purchased from a local grower I, confessed to her how I was really adjusting to having two little wee ones.
“Mom, it’s mentally and physically draining,” I said. She laughed and said, “Boy isn’t that true. But – enjoy them, they are only this little once.”
She’s right, they are only little for a little while, however, there are the days when the tantrums, the crying and the non-exsistent listening skills are all too much and I’m ready to throw my hands up. Then, there’s the times where Caston calls me his “cupcake”and gives me one of those great big toddler messy kisses or when Cora gets so excited she’s done something new like experienced the taste of blueberries…and then I know that being a mommy is God’s truest gift.
What I’ve Learned Since Becoming A Mommy:
And, as my mother said, “Enjoy them while they’re young.”
Looks tasty, huh? Working on actually writing this recipe down to share with you friends!
Nothing fancy about this recipe, it’s simple and easy – BUT classic. I’ve tasted the Chocolate Pecan Pies before and they are good, but sometimes it’s just best to keep it simple and go back to the basics.
That’s what the recipe is, basic and scrumptious! And you will notice I use pancake syrup, instead of the dark Karo syrup that most pecan pies consists of. That makes the pie not so sugary sweet.
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 C butter
1 C. syrup (1/2 pancake syrup and 1/2 white Karo syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of whole Missouri Pecans
Beat the eggs well, add sugar gradually, salt, melted butter, syrups and vanilla. Do not mix hard for a long time or mixture will become foamy. Pour onto unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle with whole pecans (about 1 C.) Bake at 375 degrees until nicely set and browned on top. Normally 40 minutes. The pie will be a little jiggly in the middle when you take it out, not to worry though…it will set up.
Perfect Pie Crust
(makes 4 single crusts)
5 1/4 C. of flour
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 3/4 C. shortening, chilled (Crisco)
1 C. ice water
Place flour and salt in large deep bowl and stir. Cut cold butter up and then with your fingers or a pastry cutter crumble the butter and flour together. There should be no lumps in the mixture and it should resemble coarse crumbs. Next, cut up the cold shortening and cut it into the mixture as your did with the butter. The dough will come together and you’ll be able to form a ball. Take the ice water and pour into the mixture. You will be worried that it’s too much water, but keep mixing with a spoon or your hands, and eventually the water will absorb into the dough. Roll dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Keep in the frig for at least 2 hours.
Rolling The Dough Out
The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. When you are ready to roll out a pie, cut dough ball into four quarters. Take one quarter out at a time and place the rest back into to he frig. This dough needs to stay cold. Roll out dough on a well floured surface and when dough is the correct size for the pie plate, roll it up around your rolling pin (see link for images of this). The link I’ve included gives great images on how to roll out dough and putting it into your pie plate.
How to Give Your Crust the Perfect Final Touch
Ever wonder why some people’s pie crust are perfectly golden and shiny? Well listen closely, I’m going to let out the secret: 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water or heavy cream. Whisk together and you have a perfect baste for your crust. Baste just the tops of the pie crust with the mixture before placing your filling into the pie and place in the oven. I guarantee you’ll have a beautifully golden crust when it comes out. And, for your fruit pies, I like to sprinkle the tops of the crusts with raw sugar for an added crunch.
Merry Christmas, hope this pie brings smiles to your family’s faces.