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Growing Up Gourmet

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby Barnes Gets Gifted!

It's so exciting to be a mom-to-be!

Of course, I am surrounded by kids and moms every day, sharing my love for healthy kitchen fun in schools and homes throughout LA. But somehow everything feels just a little bit different now as I make my way into the final month of pregnancy. I find myself looking at the world of baby and mommy gear in a whole new light!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing the Boom Boom Room celebrity gifting suite, presented by Jayneoni and promoted by Melissa Rappaport and Mikey Glazer. The Kitchen Kid team met fabulous vendors and sampled innovative, chic, and beautifully designed gear for every mom and mom-to-be!

Our favorites..
...The beautifully knit and comfortable baby sling from Serene Sling. Despite my baby bump, I loved testing it out with the 8lb teddy bear! The fabric is lovely and immacuately designed and developed by a 90 year Japanese man!

...Bright Starts' InGenuity automatic bouncer that features the softest fabric and yes, an ingenius bouncing mechanism that mimics mom's natural movement.

...Reusable pocket diapers by Happy Heinys that are soft, eco-friendly, economical, and adorably cute! They are even "dad approved", something my husband will no doubt appreciate when he begins to change BB's diapers 10 times a day!

...Go GaGa's gondola diaper bag is ideal for the active, busy, and practical mom and dad. The ergonomic, sleek design holds everything from the included changing pad to a 14" laptop, and features two insulated side pockets for water or bottles.

...We also loved the piggy knee pads for crawling around the house, made by Bare Bottoms. Audrey, our 11 month old tester loved them so much she tried to escape and make a 'crawl for it'. Fortunately we just followed the oinks!

Other great finds included the lovely Baby Silk lotions for moms and babies from MD Moms, which were a huge hit with Kitchen Kid's non-mom legal team! We also liked the made-from-corn silverware and organic baby toys from Dandelion earth friendly goods. I can't say I look forward to recovering from childbirth, but I am looking forward to wearing the Abdomend to help me get my jeans back on quickly! Kitchen Kid's art director loved the non-toxic Treasure Dough filled with hidden goodies. The stylish diaper clutch from the Patchwork Bear boasts the most colorful and fun designs. And Baby Audrey just loved playing in Red Mohican's gym box.

Many, many thanks to all who sent us home with these fantastic goodies!!! Just a few weeks until Baby Barnes arrives, and then I can actually put our awesome gifts to use!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Tasty Tribute to Sheila Lukins

I was filled with great sadness upon reading that Sheila Lukins had passed away this week. She was 66, and had been diagnosed with brain cancer just 3 months ago.

Lukins' most famous cookbook, the best-selling and hugely influential Silver Palate Cookbook, sits prominently on my bookshelf, an original edition "borrowed" from my mom. Its pages are dog-eared and worn; hand-written notes from the early 80's fill the margins.

Tonight, a few friends will gather at my house for dinner and to watch Top Chef. I've been contemplating what to make... and now, having read Lukins' obituary, it seems only too obvious.

The always delicious and timelessly classic chicken marbella.

Fortunately, Lukins' recipes are forgiving and adaptable, as I'll have to make some changes. I won't have time to marinate it overnight, which is a marbella essential. And, since it's nearly noon and I haven't gone grocery shopping, I certainly won't have time to follow my mom's notes from 1983: "better warmed over next day. Very good at room temperature." (And speaking of mom's notes, I wonder if prunes will still be 32 cents... as she has fastidiously penciled-in.) no doubt, when my oven is set to 400 degrees for an hour in this smoke-filled Los Angeles heat, I'll certainly wonder why I didn't fire up the grill instead.

But, as we sit down to watch America's future culinary leaders compete for the title of Top Chef, I really can't think of any better way to honor such an influential cook who transformed America's palate during the last three decades. A scrumptious bite of moist chicken, salty olives, and sweet, melt-in-your mouth prunes is the tastiest tribute I can image.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Eating-In on Labor Day

Are you attending the National Day of Action to Get REAL FOOD in School Lunch?

You should!!

And chances are, there is a local Eat-In happening in your community.

The Time for Lunch Campaign is a national project sponsored by Slow Food USA, to encourage support for dramatic change to the Child Nutrition Act, which is up for re-authorization by Congress this fall. Rather than feeding kids USDA commodities (tator-tots and canned corn), Time for Lunch is built on this comprehensive platform:
1. Invest in children's health.
2. Protect against food that puts children at risk.
3. Teach children healthy habits that will last through life.
While encouraging President Obama and Congress to
1. Give schools the incentive to buy local.
2. Create green jobs with a School Lunch Corps.
You can read the complete platform here.

Show your support for changing the way American school children eat lunch, by sharing good food with new friends at an Eat In this Labor Day. A map of national locations is available here.

At the very least, sign the petition to get REAL FOOD in school lunch. They are searching for 6,000 more signatures before September 7.

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LIVE, from Santa Monica TV!

Kitchen Kid on CityTV Santa Monica from Kitchen Kid on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kitchen Kid TV!

Santa Monica residents... don't miss the chance to see Kitchen Kid on TV!

Four adorable young chefs have a blast cooking up quiche cupcakes and rainbow salad. But in the kids' own words, the best part of class is "eating!"

The show, Get Out! airs daily at 11am, 5:30pm, and 10pm on Channel 16 and 99 in Santa Monica.

We will also be posting the segment here, and at soon.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Farmers' Market Iron Chef Challenge!

Kitchen Kid Summer Camp is deliciously underway at the First Presbyterian Church Kitchen in Santa Monica! The highlight of each week includes a farmers' market field trip and Iron Chef Challenge.
Week one: Peaches! The kids were inspired by the market's sweet, juicy, and freshly picked peaches. Tasting many varieties throughout the morning, kids brought back pounds of donut, white, and bright yellow peaches to cook up:
~Peach Gazpacho
~Flank Steak Sandwiches with Peach Chutney
~Arugula Salad with White Peaches
~Peach and Nectarine Crisp
Week two: Summer Squash! Zucchini is in abundance, and the kids met this challenge in true Bobby Flay and Cat Cora fashion. After an introduction to the market by Dara Adler, Education Coordinator for the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, the kids hit the stalls with all five senses. Tastes included citrus fruits, avocados, fruits, figs, honey, and pistachios! Persian limes and wild strawberries were new discoveries for these eager chefs.
Back in the kitchen, Farmers' Market Coordinator Laura Avery joined us while the kids created a zucchini feast! We enjoyed:
~Zucchini Risotto
~Curried Zucchini Couscous
~Baked Zucchini Fries
~Grilled Vegetable Paninis
~Zucchini and Market Veggie Mini Frittatas
~Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs
~Zucchini and Ricotta Farfalle with Herbs
~Warm Chocolate Zucchini Bread with Freshly Whipped Cream
Next week's camp theme is All Day Buffet, so we'll be cooking up breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! And look for us Wednesday at the Farmers' Market for another great culinary adventure.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Summer Angelenos Can Be Proud Of

No sooner did I walk out of my doctor's office, boasting my healthy ways, and proudly admitting "I don't eat junk food" did I find myself staring at my guiltiest pleasure in the world.

Unfortunately that was at Costco. And now my family has the daunting task of eating 24 ounces of these:

Our 4th of July picnic can't come soon enough.

This is the quintessential chip of my childhood. These crispy, light, perfectly salted chips taste of beach picnics, BBQ's, and poolside lunches. Each bite is filled with memories of salty summer air, from dockside picnics with Food Buoy sandwiches in Woods Hole, to birthday parties at Amelia's house in Cambridge, and fresh mozzarella and Kathleen's Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies at Kate's in Bridgehampton. These are the chips of good friends and great memories. The chips even filled our guests' welcome bags at our wedding last summer. And that was no small feat. We got married in Utah. (Indeed, as the boxes of chips arrived on my mom's doorstep, shipped dutifully from my mother-in-law straight from Hyannis, I began to ponder my life as a bootlegging importer of all things delicious.)

I've lived in LA now for 4 years. And each year I wonder, desperately, "how on earth will I make it through another summer without my beloved Cape Cod Potato Chips"? If they can import water from Fiji to every continent around the globe, and turn San Francisco sourdough into an American staple, why, on earth, aren't Cape Cod Potato Chips sold in SoCal!?

Thus, every summer I return to the East Coast for weddings and reunions, each time happily gorging on Cape Cod Potato Chips from the moment I land at Logan. (Eventually, I eat so many chips it seems like a good thing they aren't sold in LA.)

But that's all about to change. Armed with 24 ounces of my favorite summer snack, this summer I'll be making new memories, one crispy chip at a time, right here in sunny Santa Monica.

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