Cooking at Casa Granade

It came to me sometime this week that I don’t talk about cooking on the site, which is weird since I actually cook during a huge percentage of my waking time. Presently, I’m making something like nine meals a day. Eli only eats Eli-approved food and Liza has her pureed fare, and then I make adult food for Stephen and me. Sometimes Liza’s food and our food are the same–I just remove her portion before I add too many seasonings or pepper. Sometimes Eli and Liza share a banana or a pear. We never all have the same food.

I realize now that I made a mistake with Eli by not feeding him more table food when he was Liza’s age. I was afraid that table food would somehow be dangerous for him or that I had to make special baby food instead of just chopping up whatever Stephen and I were having. Since Eli only eats about four foods, I decided that I ought to keep Liza’s options open by feeding her lots of different kinds off foods now while she eats like a goat in hopes of her eating, say, ten foods when she’s Eli’s age.

Yesterday I opened a can of mandarin oranges and cut them up for Liza. She loved those slippery little things! She also had chicken, potatoes, and some Cheerios that meal. One morning she had biscuit, banana, and bacon. She really liked the bacon, although that could have had more to do with it being a non-white food than its actual taste. I’m still feeding her baby food, but if I’m making food that she can have some part of, I’m cutting it up and putting it in front of her and it’s so much fun to watch her eat.

Who knows, if she learns early to eat a few different foods maybe she can talk Eli into trying something new soon.

I got sidetracked. What I really wanted to talk about was recipes. I cook out of magazines. I have several cookbooks that I use a few recipes from. But I also have this giant fabric-covered 3-ring binder that my family put together for me when I got married. My aunts and grandma and in-laws and mom put recipes in it of foods that I grew up eating and stuff that Stephen grew up eating. I work from it all the time and use it to store things that I like and want to cook again. So when I cook something from a magazine and like what I’ve made, I rip out the page, put it in a plastic sheet protector and stick it in my notebook.

The big thing for me lately is finding recipes so that I can use up ingredients that I already have on hand. I made this stollen from Good Housekeeping yesterday and it is awesome. I had bought too much ricotta for lasagna earlier in the week, so when I saw this recipe called for ricotta I jumped on it. I used dried figs (again, had them on hand) instead of cherries and it turned out great.

The downside to magazine cooking is I usually have to have the magazine on hand. I find it very hard to use the internet for this purpose. My one shining example of this working well for me was during Christmas at my mom’s house. We had a handful of ingredients on hand and I wanted to make tetrazzini so I went to the internet and searched until I found a recipe that used the ingredients that I had. It turned out great!

I’m going to try and start putting some things up here that I cook regularly. Try them if you are interested and heckle if you aren’t. Regardless, it’ll give me something to put here when I don’t actually have any ideas of my own and I’m too tired from cooking.