big girl, big stuff

Mina’s always been eager to do things on her own, even as a baby! Only a few months old, her first favorite play was to hold on to Papa’s index fingers and pull herself up to a standing position (a 9-pound baby, she was big and strong from the day she was born)! She’d have a BIG smile, and look so proud of herself. She figured out that if she could communicate with us, she’d get what she wanted. So, she learned the sign for “milk” and “more,” and to roll over and scoot from very early on. She’s definitely ahead of her game! And now, she’s constantly telling us, “Mina do!” She sure thinks she’s big stuff 🙂 !!

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Family dinner menu on Oct 12

My husband and I both LOVE to cook (one of the lovely things we share!). Last week, with work being hectic AND adjusting back to Cali time (from Tokyo time, a 16-hour difference), he cooked all our dinners…and yes, I was feeling bad and very guilty, so here’s my I’m-making-it-up-to-you-guys dinner menu:

Zuppa di Cavolfiori | Cauliflower Soup

Photo: Soup simmering on the stovetop (love our le creuset!!)

Veal Scallopine Piccata | Veal Scallopine in Lemon-Caper Sauce

My husband loved both these new recipes; he’s a big fan of olives (me not so much…the things you do for love!); these are a keeper!

Mina loved it, too, especially, the cauliflower soup; she even had seconds! The soup is super healthy with onions, carrots, lentils, and of course, cauliflower!

Happy Cooking! Happy Eating!! Happy Loving!!!

Recipes are from Lidia’s Italy:

Zuppa di Cavolfiori: http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/1104

Veal Scallopine Piccatahttp://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/783

meals, desserts, and snacks for Mina

Gallery: Photos of meals I made for Mina this year from May – October! Click on a photo for details or to enlarge and view as a slideshow.

I love food. I love to eat, to cook, even to watch cooking shows or browse our cookbooks for hours on end! I owe this to my mom, or Mama as I call her. She’s the best cook I know and she does it so effortlessly (wish and aspire to be as great a cook as she)! Thanks to her, I love vegetables and fruits just as much as anything else (I don’t understand the concept of not liking vegetables; they’re so delicious!). So when I got pregnant, it was very important to me|us to offer our baby a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of flavors. I read and believed that what I eat not only nourishes the baby, but also shapes their palate and food memories while in the womb. What I ate affected the flavor and scent of the amniotic fluid. I didn’t change my diet during my pregnancy as we’re healthy eaters to begin with, but I was conscious to eat and expose my baby to a wide variety of flavors that I love. I’m a third-generation Korean, born and raised in Japan, and have lived in the States since college (quite complicated to say the least!), so I made sure to expose her not only to Japanese and Korean flavors (yes, even spicy! only when she was in my womb) but also to American, Greek, Italian, Indian, Persian and other flavors. Once Mina was about 5 months, we started solids because she was staring and moving her mouth during our meals! Inspired by Mama, I did my best to make fresh foods for her every day. Fresh vegetable and fruit purees. I have to note that the Beaba Babycook was amazing (it’s a small food processor-blender-steamer in one) and I still use it to this day for smoothies!! She was, and still is, a great eater! She loves food just like Mama!

My love for food has been the bestest gift from Mama. I, too, want to give this gift to Mina. So I do my best…but I hate to admit, I don’t do it every day; I’d like to think I do most days.

Happy Cooking! Happy Eating!! Happy Sharing!!!

P.S. If you’d like a recipe for any of the meals, please let me know in the comments and I’ll do a post (if I can remember how I made it 🙂 haha)!