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.

14 thoughts on “Cooking at Casa Granade

  1. I am definitely interested in Casa Grandade recipes! I have that leftover ingredients problem, too, and usually they sit in my fridge til they go bad 😛 Or else I get a vicious cycle of leftover ingredients: the lasagna needs ricotta, the leftover ricotta goes into muffins, which also need buttermilk…the leftover buttermilk goes into gingerbread, which needs molasses–now what do I do w/ the leftover molasses?? It never ends!

  2. I would be interested in recipes as well! And I know what you mean about kid-only food versus adult food. Somehow my wife & me ended up with the pickiest eaters on the planet. I can’t remember the last time I ate the same thing as my kids (I get really tired of chicken nuggets).

  3. We’ve been feeding Z the same stuff we have pretty much since he started eating solid food, so at this point he’s pretty good. This weekend was different, though. Both days, I asked him, “What do you want for breakfast? Eggs or pancakes?”

    His answer: “Chee-ree! Chee-ree! Kola!” Which, translated from Bengali/Toddler, is “Cheerios and a banana”. So I’m a bit worried!

  4. I’d love to read more about the grazing habits of Granades in their natural habitat. (And I suspect no one needs to read any more about the Amster-Burton grazing habits.)

    Has Liza shown an aversion to seasonings or pepper? Iris at that age would refuse to eat things unless they were spicy enough. Now, it’s just the opposite.

  5. I’ve been going through this lately too. Ivy only eats Ivy food – ‘nanas, ham, perogies, mac’n’cheese, waffles and grilled cheese. Anything else doesn’t count it seems.

    One way I’ve found to get her to try to broaden her horizons is to make a fuss of food I like – then she’ll try it. Often I get a “Mmm..taste good.” But she won’t eat another bite.

    She loves fries and dip (ketchup) but if she just got to eat those all the time her weight gain wouldn’t be all that healthy! 😉 Try explaining that to a toddler.

    I’ve been popping recipes I’ve tried up on my blog, linked in my name, but mostly they’re Mom and Dad recipes, not so much toddler ones.

    I’ll try your recipes too Misty. Look forward to seeing some.

  6. No surprise from this peanut gallery: uh, YES please! Region-specific (whether Southern or Huntsvillian or what have you) recipes that don’t take all day and don’t involve deep-frying (I like fried stuff, but don’t bother cooking it) would be particularly welcome.

  7. Uh, Wow! I had no idea people were this “hungry” for new recipes. I’ll start a new category (by start, I mean make Stephen put a “recipe” category in the “In the Armory” section on the left of the blog) and get some recipes in there.

    Vika, I don’t think I do particularly southern food unless working from Southern Living magazine counts.

    Jeanetta, I’d love to use that book except in looking at it, Eli doesn’t eat half the things in there that I might be able to hide veggies in.

    Jeff, Ivy has three more things on her list than Eli so hey, she’s gourmet in comparison! Aren’t you glad you have me on the internet to make you feel better about your parenting?

    Matthew, hush up for now! I was going to flaunt in a later cooking post that a.) I know you, b.) that I’ve cooked from your book before it even hits the bookstores and c.) that I got to read your book and send feedback on it.

  8. Matthew,

    “Has Liza shown an aversion to seasonings or pepper?”

    Now that you mention it, last week we had some spiced potatoes and tofu from a local restaurant. We cut up some of the potatoes and Liza began shoveling them in. Her eyes turned red and she coughed, but kept on eating happily.

    Of course, the next day she ate a few bites of the potatoes before deciding that she really wanted banana instead.

  9. I think they should start a competitive cooking show sort of like “Iron Chef” but called “Mom chef” instead. It would go like this:

    “You have a package of raw chicken, half a head of cabbage, some carrots, a pack of macaroni and 15 minutes to get dinner on the table. Now, GO!”

    Anyone can cook with unlimited time & resources. I want to see what people can do with a few minutes and a half-dozen leftovers sitting in their refrigerator. Maybe I’ll send that to Food Network & ask to be the first competitor.

  10. Missy:

    Great idea, but you left out the half-weaned baby and the picky toddler. 😉 Maybe for the bonus rounds we could add in a barking dog and a husband working late.

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