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Filipino Soups for Dinner and Getting Baby to Sleep FINALLY- a quick update, while I am exhausted and my back is having spasms

Maisie makes getting things done nearly impossible

Tried to get as much done as humanly possible today. Was down one human helper, due to his curious habit of going to a JOB…

Maisie has been a HAND FULL today. We had visitors on our porch all day from about noon til late afternoon, just out of the blue! My cousins, parents, a girlfriend and her 2 yr old twin boys from up the street… my little child is a social butterfly and LOVES to have company over.

Maisie and one of her ‘boyfriends’- he and his fraternal twin brother are ALMOST EXACTLY one year older than she is

Maisie and the twins going hog wild on my porch 🙂

Her manny called from Florida and I put him on speaker. Maisie cried and said “Baba- num NUM… EAT!” and sobbed as if she’s being starved in his absence. Eating together was their ‘thing’. He loved hour long, leisurely meals with her and they’d gab and gab. I don’t have the patience to spend an hour or more eating and sitting (mostly, because my back and tailbone cannot take sitting on hard seats for very long). The kid eats like a horse- she’s a true gourmande. I enjoy watching her eat…

I made a super late Filipino dinner, a sort of Pochero/Bulalo/Nilagang baka hybrid- which is a sort of pot au feu, or soup, very similar to a light Vietnamese Pho, minus the noodles, and chock full of fresh veggies. It’s origins are from when the Spanish owned the Philippines. One can find similar recipes for Puchero/Pochero in other Latin countries all over the world. I’d go into greater detail, but I am knackered.

The girl dropped off to sleep at 12:30 am. I am purposely keeping her up later so that I can sleep in later now that the help is gone. I am a night owl and it makes no sense to have my kid wake up at the crack of dawn when I can’t function well during the early hours. Keeping her on MY schedule makes for a happier mommy and happier baby.

Tomorrow (well, actually TODAY since it is past midnight now) is her daddy’s birthday. I woke up this morning to this and though it was ADORABLE:

woke up to this- Daddy and Maisie

she looks so much like him… and my mother

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My 10 month old is way too smart for her own good

Maisie lost the Fisher-Price baby already and when I questioned her about it she went to her toy box and pulled out a tiny teddy bear to replace it!

She decided that Teddy would be the baby's changeling

She decided that Teddy would be the baby’s changeling

...and artfully puts the daddy next to it, like I wouldnt notice the difference

…and artfully puts the daddy next to it, like I wouldnt notice the difference

“See Mom, nothing is amiss here”

I finally found the hidden FP baby- When she saw that I had it, she snatched it and put it back where she’d hidden it.

*SMH*

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Maisie’s Newest Silver Baby Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

New Silver Cuff Bracelets from Claire Lush Designs!

 

Got more baby jewelry swag in the mail today from Claire Lush Designs!

In today’s package, she received a V-shaped silver cuff and a heavier silver patterned cuff, plus two thin silver cuffs for a friend’s daughter.

They look ADORABLE on Maisie.  I had to move the Puravida bracelets over to the other hand, which is no mean feat when you have a squirming 10 month old.

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

A happy Maisie with Papa (my dad)

My parents were here visiting, so photos were snapped with the kid only in her diaper and jewelry. She’s going through a “MAMAMAMAMAMAMA” phase and doesn’t want anyone but me usually, so it’s a good thing when people visit and she goes to them- gives me a slight break, which I sorely need.  She refused to nap for 2 days and finally went down for one this afternoon.

She only seems to have 2 speeds lately:  “Pick ME UP!” or “DANCE TIME!”

Here is a video of her dancing with my parents in the background:

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White Truffle Stracotto (Italian Beef Pot Roast) with Fresh Sage, Mushrooms, Fig Balsamic, and Brandy

Truffled Stracatto with fresh sage, mushrooms, fig balsamic

Truffled Stracotto with fresh sage, mushrooms, fig balsamic, and brandy

I was fascinated by this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, but did not have everything on hand, so I improvised (recipe provided after the history lesson):

I am OBSESSED with food history.  I have to search for the history of every bit of food that I eat.  I don’t know if there is a name for this particular oddity, but I am sure there is one somewhere.

Per this page I learned the following: http://www.inparma.it/english/parma-food/traditional-products/who-invented-stracotto-pot-roast.aspx

History of Parma Cuisine
Footnotes to Parmesan Gastronomy
“Who invented Stracotto pot roast?”

That braised beef or Stracotto (pot roast) is a typically Italian dish, savory and worthy of the best in our culinary tradition, goes without saying. One might debate its origins, if it comes from Piedmont and the way they prepare it in Saluzzo with Barolo, or from Tuscany, in which case it is called “stufato”, or whether it is from Parma. Obviously, because the famous anolini of Parma require Stracotto in their preparation, it could be solemnly stated, once and for all, that Parma is the home of this dish. In any case, among collections of old recipes, I found one that is also listed by Cougnet and which, perhaps to make everyone happy, is simple called “Stracotto all’Italiana”.

Here is that early version of this dish: “Lard a nice fillet of beef, marinate it in a dish with marsala, salt, pepper, fines herbes and truffle trimmings for at least four hours. An hour and a half before serving, in a casserole with butter and lard, brown thinly-sliced onion, carrot, celery and bouquet garni, add the fillet, moisten with the marinade garnish, add rich meat stock, cover with greased paper and simmer, basting occasionally. Remove the fillet, place in a oven-proof dish and pour the braising juices, pour over the meat and add two cups of velout? sauce, place in the front of the oven and moisten to reduce the temperature.

“Prepare a long elegant bed of rice, artfully sculpted and place on a long serving plate. Cut the center piece from the fillet, leaving a base one centimeter high, return the cut piece to its original place, place the fillet on the rice, edged Italian-style with spinach, celery and carrot, alternating the colors. Toss with Madeira sauce, white truffles and serve with the rest of the sauce on the side.”

It goes without saying that Moreau de Saint Mary, Napoleon’s governor of the Parma States from 1802 to 1806, also found it difficult to resist the joys of Parmesan cooking and its stracotto and anolini “dont on est très friend dans les Etats de Parme” and of which he was very fond. He certainly was not the first Frenchman to be won over by the delicacies of Parma.

From G. Gonizzi, Le memorie del Ciambellano. Storie di cucina nel Ducato. I, in Parma Capitale Alimentare, 43, 2000, pp 45-61.

Although I had red wine on hand, I ALSO had a 10 month old child pulling all the pans out of the cupboards as I tried to cook. I *did* have an open bottle of brandy and some truffle oil and balsamic fig vinegar in my ‘vinegar, cooking booze, and fancy schmancy oils’ cupboard, so I improvised.  I also have fresh sage, chives, thyme, and other herbs growing outside in my garden.  I opted for sage today, because it’s delicious paired with fig and truffles… and the sage in my garden looks beautiful right now.

sage

fresh sage from my garden, growing in a wild tangle of arugula- my mom smuggled the arugula seeds back from Italy in her underwear some years ago and now it’s a delicious weed.

The result was a delicious, savory, melt-in-your-mouth/knock-yer-socks-off pot roast that I served over basmati rice.

  • White Truffle Stracotto (Italian Beef Pot Roast) with Fresh Sage, Mushrooms, Fig Balsamic, and Brandy
    adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
  • 4-5 lb. beef chuck roast
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper (mine was brought back from the pepper farms in the Philippines by my mom)
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 16 ounces of low sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 c. brandy
  • 1/4 c. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 package of sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage
  • 4 tablespoons white truffle oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously season the beef on both sides with salt and pepper. In a heavy 6-quart pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the brandy and balsamic fig vinegar and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the broth and sriracha. Return the beef to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Add mushrooms about 2 hours into cooking time- Cook until the beef is fork-tender, about 3 hours, turning the beef over halfway through and adding more beef broth, as needed.

ready to come out of the oven

ready to come out of the oven

Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spoon any excess fat off the top of the pan juices. Using an immersion blender, place about 1/2 of the pan veggies and juices into another bowl and blend the remaining pan juices and vegetables until pureed but with a good texture. Add the sage and truffle oil and the reserved whole veggies and juices. Bring to sauce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Additionally, you can drizzle more fig balsamic on as well…

the pan veggies and juices all whizzed together with the stick blender

the pan veggies and juices all whizzed together with the stick blender

Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces and place on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce over the meat and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

ready to be cut in 1

ready to be cut in 1″ pieces and drenched in the sauce

I served this over basmati rice, with a wild arugula salad on the side (I needed to weed the beds and wild arugula is my primary ‘weed’).

this arugula became the accompanying salad...

this arugula became the accompanying salad…

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Miss Maisie Update: Today the separation anxiety was OFF THE CHARTS. How Do You Handle Separation Anxiety?

Maisie was 10 months old this week and the separation anxiety phase has been in full swing for a while now. I am never more than a few feet away from her at any given time. We have been practicing attachment parenting with this girly. She’s not a great fan of carriers. She NEEDS TO BE IN A ROOM FULL OF people. This girl LIVES to entertain.

If anyone tries to leave the room or go home or pee, she melts DOWN.

Today she was in rare form, poor baby.

Exhibit ONE, when my dad attempted to leave the porch to refill his coffee cup:

Papa returns, but she is still ticked off that he left… I think my dad is onto something when he says she doesn’t want to lose any of her entourage:

The world finally ends when her father leaves for work:

I am open to ANY suggestions regarding how to survive this stage.

How do/did YOU handle this separation anxiety phase?

I don’t recall it being this difficult with her brothers.

If you have any advice or war stories to share, feel free to leave a comment.