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Again this week, I have a lot of food pictures to share, and again, I'll be a bit on the chattier side.
Last Thursday was a really cool day for Team Odette. We drove up to Fort Lauderdale for a quadruple-play traveling lunch-into-dinner mystery shopping tour. Here, Sophia was doing the spoon-on-the-nose trick at a semi-upscale cheesecake restaurant chain we all (probably) know. That's us, keeping it classy!
When we finally arrived home that night, we were pretty pumped and not yet ready to end the day. While Hubs and I sat outside watching the sunset, the kids rode around the neighborhood on their scooters. It's such a blast watching them whip down sidewalks and around sidewalks like they've been doing it all their lives and not just a week or two. Chloë hopped up on the hood of Miguel, our car, after sunset for one last snap.
We've been getting food delivered from Hello Fresh, on their vegetarian plan. It's awesome, because they send us everything we need to make enough meals for the week and then some, with the recipes included in the package. I love the food, but it's pricey now that our introductory offer is over, so I need to cancel it. Worth a try, though... Anyway, these black bean-and-rice cakes over a corn and pepper relish with lime sour cream were excellent.
We've also been getting all our eggs and produce from a local farm stand nearby, which is by far what I prefer to do rather than have it shipped to us. I've been trying to incorporate as many new foods into the kids' repertoires as I can, and encouraging them to choose the recipes and help me prepare them seems to make it more likely they'll actually eat those newer foods. I had guava, mango, and papaya to use, so we made what turned out to be just regular rice pudding with those fruits and some blueberries on top - but it was still really good.
(Not pictured: A delicious mango bread loaf or two we made the same night but gobbled down before I remembered to photograph it.)
I'm still really, really loving this pizza dough recipe from a recent issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine. The latest batch a day or two ago was the best yet. I keep meaning to freeze the dough to pull out for whenever, but it kinda just keeps getting used and eaten! This first one was beautiful, both visually and gustatorially. (Is that the right word?!) I used cherry tomatoes, both red ones and orangey-yellow ones, separately blanched, peeled, and puréed to make a color-blocked sauce topped with extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt. Bits and blobs of goat cheese topped it off. That one didn't last a New York minute on the kids' plates!
The kids turned their noses up at this thinly-slivered eggplant parmesan pizza I made up next, but I still made 'em each try a bite. No go. Oh, well, introduce it six times and maybe they'll say "Yum!" on the sixth try, right? Funny story: Sophia walked in on me later that night, helping myself to a square of this pizza but tossing the eggplant before I ate it. Haha! Busted.
I don't do meat, and Rob is trying to give it up as well, but we're still using up what's been in our deep freezer for a few months. The last pizza was ALL Rob, and he found it to be quite delectable. A simple tomato sauce for the base, topped with browned spicy Italian sausage and fresh green and red peppers from the farm stand, along with mushrooms and green olives from Publix. I'd made a similar one without the peppers for him the week before, but he said the peppers really made the pizza, so we had a WIN with this one.
Jack wasn't thrilled with ANY of the pizzas, because he's pretty much a meat-and-bread boy. He doesn't like tomatoes in any form, cheese in any form, or pretty much anything else in any form. Picky, picky. I had a recipe for turkey meatballs from chef Mario Batali in a recent issue of People magazine in mind, so I offered to make some up for him. I don't like to play short-order cook, but since he's a 45-pound 11-year-old, I don't like him to not eat, either. (Put down your phone; he has pituitary dwarfism and will always be tiny!)
I made some without sauce for him and the ever-hungry Sophia, and the rest were cooked in an amazing red wine, rosemary and garlic sauce for Rob. Jack ate a whole two golf ball-sized meatballs, as did Sophia, and Rob ate a half-dozen after his meatzza. He was so full, he could scarcely walk, so he sat at the table for a while after that, completely unable to move. Hee.
Nothing local or fresh about dessert that night, but Chloë had been asking to bake some chocolate chip cookies with me for a while, so I accepted her request. We were out of flour after my pizza crust binge, and we needed milk to go with the cookies (duh), and I have been all about the eggs lately, so another trip to Publix was in order. I rode my bike while Jack and Chloë rode along on their scooters. (Sophia was having a bath and was quite annoyed we went without her.)
The kids have only ridden around our neighborhood, and they have been delighted with that because the nabe kids have been home from public school. They've made half a dozen new friends this week, and they keep knocking on our door asking if my kids can come out and play. However, a trip outside the 'hood was a new experience, and along the way to Publix and back, I heard lots of woos and shouts of, "This is exhilarating!", "I can't believe we're doing this!" and "I feel so alive!" that made for a wonderful mom-moment for me, too.
(P.S. The Publix cashier was shocked when I told her I was on my bike and proceeded to put the flour and a gallon of milk on the bottom of my backpack, and then the carton of eggs on top to ride home. But I was right; they survived just fine. Did not try this with bread!)
Still in baking mode this morning, I woke up the family around 0900 with freshly baked blueberry shortcakes and fresh Florida grapefruit halves from the farm stand. Rob laughed at me when I complained that my cream wouldn't whip, before he reminded me that I was using half-and-half and not heavy whipping cream. Oops. Publix again.
Last but definitely not least, dinner tonight was another meal provided by Hello Fresh. I roasted the onions, cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, and garlic in some EVOO while boiling the rotini. Tossed it all with some fresh basil and parmesan cheese, and voila! Rob and I adored it; I was kind of grumpy that I couldn't fit more in my little gastric-bypass pouch because it was that tasty. Simple; I'll make it again but with local food.
Thanks for stopping by!