Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bring on the Soup

I love soup year round but as it starts getting cooler, I want it almost every day. One of my favorite cold weather meals is tomato soup and grilled cheese. This is what Samantha and I made for dinner on Friday night. Normally we cook together on Thursdays, but she was out of school on Friday so we had a sleepover and then spent the day together. I have been taking pictures of her cooking with me for the past year or so. I have decided to make her a scrapbook for Christmas with the pictures and I will include the recipes as a keepsake for her. Doesn't she look perfectly at ease at the stove with her hand on her hip? I just love that photo of her. She still isn't quite tall enough to stand without a stool to boost her up but she is getting there. If she isn't using a knife or working at the stove she will not use the stool, but as a matter of safety when she is working with something sharp or hot she does. New thing she learned: why it is important and how to heat cream before adding it to simmering soup. She has tempered eggs before but this was the first time we have added cream like this.

The recipe I used for this soup is found here. The only thing I changed was the fact that I used a quart jar of canned tomatoes from my Dad's garden and to smooth out the tomatoes I used and immersion blender before adding the cream. This was an easy recipe to make and simple enough so that I know there will be no more canned tomato soup at my house!

This was the final plate. When we cooked her mother's birthday dinner back in September, she asked what kind of dinner it was. I wasn't sure what she meant so I answered a birthday dinner. She said no, it is a fancy dinner? The reason she wanted to know was that she wanted to use my china and a full table setting laid out with cloth napkins, ,silverware and the good glasses! Ever since then since she knows where the cloth napkins and napkin rings are she sets the table for every meal she eats with us! I do use my china often, especially on Sundays. She also discovered that I have lots of dishes to choose from so we have been having fun actually "plating" our dishes too. We are both having fun doing this too and I am using all my dishes a little more often.

I think she was happy with her end result! That soup was delicious and will be made here very often.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday's Bento

this is the bento lunch that I made for Samantha and myself today. In the top tier is a salad with mushrooms, cucumbers and tomatoes and the little clear container on the side is some dressing that I made last night. The bottom tier is some hummus in the little purple container, sprinkled with green onions, some mini pitas and a ham/turkey/pepperjack roll and some grapes on the little bee picks. On the side is a container with pumpkin seeds and the top is a banana smoothie. Samantha hasn't seen the new tiffin boxes or the bees yet so she will be surprised.

I LOVE World Market stores but there isn't one very close by me so when I am near one I have to stop by and do some shopping. The tiffin boxes are from my last trip a week or so ago. Of course those aren't the only things I bought, but the only bento related stuff. We have a local cake decorating supply store that I have recently discovered and when I was in there I picked up a bunch of cupcake pics, including these adorable bees.

I have noticed that when I go to school to eat with her, I am the only adult that is not carrying a fast food bag. On Fridays there are lots of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles eating in the cafeteria and I am the only one that doesn't bring fast food. Knowing how kids don't necessarily like to stand out as different, I asked Samantha how she felt about that and she let me know that she definitely prefers the bentos. She did let me know if I didn't have time to make a bento that take out sushi would be okay. We have been doing the bento thing every other Friday or so since last school year. I think it is interesting that so many of her classmates are fascinated with the food that I pack. One little boy in particular always comes and takes a look and says "you are so lucky" every week. Samantha has always eaten a wide variety of foods, ever since she was a tiny thing. Green onions have always been one of her favorite things. When she was two or three and would see us pull out green onions to go with dinner she would get so excited! that's why the hummus has green onions on top as well as blended into the hummus.

Want to see lots more cool bentos? I have linked my post to "What's for Lunch Wednesday". Lots of great bento ideas to be found there!