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Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Raising a Picky Eater


Pancakes with maple syrup, hold the blueberries

My 3 year old son is a very picky eater, with an emphasis on “very.”

It’s obviously a common problem amongst kids his age, but I feel like it’s getting increasingly worse. He refuses to try new foods and often pushes his plate away, complete with a look a disgust and “blech” sound effects.

The Monkey was great with food until he was about 2 years old. At 2, he stopped drinking from a bottle, which was primarily used for milk. Since he associated milk with a bottle, he stopped drinking milk altogether. He started to push meals away, especially if vegetables were seen on his plate, and started to ask for specific foods. My child, who once devoured my roasted Brussels sprouts, scrambled eggs with veggies, and beet salads, now wants to live on chicken fingers, pizza, and pancakes.

We established a rewards system that is very hit or miss.  We would reward him with a small soy ice cream sandwich or a few organic chocolate covered pretzels as a treat after he ate his dinner. However, as for trying new foods, the reward system doesn’t even work. He would rather skip a treat than try something new. He has been known to throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get what he wants or simply refuses to eat. (continues…)

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Foodie Friday: A Date with Cooking Class

The opportunity to combine my love for food and cooking with spending quality time with the Dude is my kinda date. The Dude and I love to cook together at home but we also enjoy the occasional outing to a cooking class. It had been a while since we’ve been to a cooking class together, so we recently headed to a local SoCal culinary school called Epicurean.

With about a dozen other couples, we picked out a recipe to create for the family style meal we would all share later in the evening.  We had a variety of menu items to choose from: crostini with fresh mozzarella, butternut squash soup, Caesar salad with homemade croutons, chicken piccata, grilled skirt steak with garlic mashed potatoes, homemade pasta with fresh tomato basil sauce, and chocolate souffle for dessert.

I think the point of cooking class is to challenge yourself with something new and to create a dish you have never made before. However, we were slow to sign up and the most challenging menu items were already taken (read: souffle). We signed up for the pasta dish even though one of our own specialties is homemade pasta. So, we weren’t going to be challenged much but, with our bottle of red wine handy, we knew that we would at least have a lot of fun.

(click on pics to open and expand)

We had a great time cooking, taking silly pictures, and meeting other cooks in the kitchen. The couple that made the crostini appetizers passed them around while the rest of us finished our entrees.  When our meals were ready, we placed our dishes on a long buffet table. With the hard work complete, we were all able to sit down, relax, and enjoy our wine and everyone’s dishes.

Cooking classes can be as challenging or easy as you want them to be, but you will likely have an enjoyable time nonetheless. Whether you’ve been formally trained or don’t even know how to boil water, cooking class is a fun date night with your significant other or with a group of friends. Plus, you’ll hopefully learn something new!

Homemade Pasta and Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce
Epicurean School of Culinary Arts (continues…)
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Foodie Friday: Southern CA Whole Foods Markets Deals & Giveaway!

Whole-FoodsAttention Southern California Whole Foods Shoppers!

There is a 3-day sale going on this weekend (Dec. 10-12th) across all Whole Foods Markets in Southern California. With the holidays upon us and festivities in full swing, Whole Foods Markets is offering a variety of ways to make it easy to celebrate.

Need some ideas for a side dish to bring to a holiday party or a hostess gift? Here is a sample of some of the specials going on:

  • Mini Dungeness Crab Cakes are 10 for $10 (regularly $1.59 each)
  • Organic 100% Grass-Fed Ground Beef will be $4.99 per pound (regularly $7.99 per pound). Here’s an easy recipe for Beef and Quinoa Meatballs!
  • Wild Caught, Frozen, King Salmon Filet will be $15.99 per pound (regularly $22.99 per pound). Impress your family and friends with this simple recipe for Grilled Salmon Spread with Fennel and Chives

Everyone brings wine or champagne for the host/hostess. Instead, gift something different and eco-friendly like reusable Sigg Bottles, which will be marked 50% off.

One great feature about Whole Foods Markets is how easy is it to order holiday menu items online. I know, because I order my turkey online from Whole Foods every Thanksgiving! If you’re in Southern California and would like to sample some of their prepared holiday dishes before ordering, all SoCal Whole Foods will be offering a tasting event this Sunday (Dec. 12th) from Noon- 3pm. Don’t miss out!

As a special treat to my readers to help prepare for Whole Foods holiday grocery shopping, Whole Foods Markets has generously offered one of my readers a $10 gift card. To enter the give-away, just leave a comment below and let me know what you enjoy most about the holidays. For additional entries, you may: subscribe to AYMB, tweet this post, or post on your Facebook page.  Please leave an additional comment for each entry.

I will select a winner on Tuesday, December 14th via

Good luck!


FTC Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Whole Foods Markets for this post or give-away.

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Foodie Friday: This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Turkey


Brined and cooked to perfection!

Around this time last year, I posted a guest feature from one of my favorite professional chefs, Chef Ryan, on how to cook the perfect turkey. I have now used this recipe several times and, without fail, each turkey turns out amazing. If you’re looking for the perfect turkey recipe, don’t look any further! Please note, this recipe takes some prep time, so be prepared to get started a few days before T-Day. It’s worth it, though. Your guests will most definitely be thankful.

See below for the original post!



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Foodie Friday: A Happy Ending to Happy Meals

happymealThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban the distribution of toys with fast food meals that have a calorie count of more than 600. Fast food chains and other restaurants are allowed to include toys with meals as long as they do not exceed 600 calories and include fruits or vegetables. The ban will go into effect in December 2011.

I, for one, applaud San Francisco.

Having once worked on a public health-driven task force with the SF Board of Supervisors, I wasn’t surprised about the ban. The health of San Francisco’s residents, especially among children, is a big issue among city officials. With childhood obesity on the rise and the growing number of Type II diabetes cases among children, I agree that it’s important to put an end to enticing children with a fun item for an unhealthy product.  I liken the use of toys to promote and sell Happy Meals to the use of cartoon images to sell alcohol or cigarettes. The death of Joe Camel was a good move among advertisers and I believe that an end to the inclusion of toys with unhealthy meals for children will be a good thing as well.

Some people are up in arms about the ban because they don’t want government telling them what their families can and cannot eat (doesn’t the FDA do that already?). This ban does nothing of the sort. This ban is ultimately about marketing and advertising unhealthy products towards children. As a parent, it’s also about rewards. I want to see our society go back to a healthier era when it comes to the consumption of food. Children used to be rewarded with a treat if they ate their healthy dinner. However, in the past few decades, we’ve been rewarding children with toys when they eat an unhealthy fast food meal.  If parents and fast food chains want to really reward a child, put a toy in a bag of carrots. Give a small portion of a dessert after a child eats green beans with dinner. To me, that sounds like the happiest meal of all.

What do you think about the ban? Would love to hear from you.

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