Broccoli Tahini Pesto Pasta

The thing that no one talks about when introducing solids to babies is how much work it is. We did baby led weaning which is definitely less work than starting with purees, namely because after a month or so the baby can eat whatever you eat so you don’t have to go out of your way to prepare anything special. But it’s still a lot.

Not only do you have to make sure that all food is cooked and prepared in a way such that baby is less likely to choke on it, but you also want to make sure that they are exposed to a good variety of fruits and vegetables, introduced to as many allergens as possible between 6 and 12 months of life, AND once said allergens are introduced they need to keep being exposed to them at least once a week for the first 4-5 years of life in order to get the maximal benefit out of this early exposure.

Worth it, considering that now Nico literally eats everything and is so excited about mealtime.

But, yes. It’s a lot.

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A rich and saucy tomato and barley risotto topped with marinated feta from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook.
Saucy Tomato and Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

It’s kind of hysterical when you think about it, but the “me” before kids actually found the process of making risotto¬†relaxing. All the casual stirring, glass of wine in one hand and wooden spoon in the other, mood music playing in the background. Who cared if we ate dinner at 9PM? There were no bedtimes, no rules – it was adulting at its finest.

Now it’s more like an extreme sport where I try to get in as many stirs as possible while running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room to make sure Nico hasn’t stuck his finger in an electrical socket under his sister’s “supervision”. With wine in one hand (non-negotiable) and Cocomelon playing in the background (hence the wine).

Needless to say…I don’t make risotto much anymore.

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Better-than-takeout creamy tomato chickpea and cauliflower masala from Smitten Kitchen Keepers – a richly spiced curry that’s easy to make at home even on busy nights.
Creamy Tomato Chickpea and Cauliflower Masala

In today’s edition of The Winter That Never Ends, it is March 14th and we are getting our FIRST snow of the year.

As I say (literally) daily: I quit. (Usually screamed in a fit of rage after one or both of my children has done something so egregious that resigning as a parent feels like the only logical option.)

But then I’ll do what I always do, which is pick myself back up by my bootstraps and make dinner.

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A luscious lemon raspberry layer cake – a light white cake brushed with tart lemon syrup and filled with layers of lemony buttercream and homemade lemon curd – a lemon lover’s dream!
Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake with Lemon Buttercream

It was my birthday last weekend so I did what any totally sane newly 36 year old with a 10.5 month and a 6-going-on-16 year old would do – took on a multi-day, four component layer cake baking project for my birthday cake!

Normal, right?

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A zucchini kofta curry made with savory zucchini and chickpea flour dumplings that are served over rice with a richly spiced tomato and fenugreek sauce.

When life gives you a picky eater for your first child, you react totally appropriately and make curry every week to ensure your second child eats all the things (but especially the spicy, boldly flavored food that your first child rejects on sight).

That’s the saying, right?

In all seriousness, I know that so much of picky eating is a combination of normal development with influence from an individual child’s temperament and has absolutely nothing to do with how or what you feed them. Remy was exposed to plenty of different cuisines and flavors as a baby, yet subsists on cheese quesadillas, pizza, and PB&Js to this day. As a new parent I was probably overly concerned with whether or not she was eating and so I was quick to make her something I knew she would like when she rejected our meal, so that’s on me. But also she’s stubborn.¬†

Live and learn and show no mercy when serving food to your second child – you eat what mom makes or you can eat nothing.

I can be stubborn, too.

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