Sweet Potato Chronicles - THE NEVER ENDING STORY OF THE WELL-FED FAMILY… - page 2

Strawberry Week: Frozen Strawberry Cream Pie


Dear Pin­ter­est,
Some­times you really make me crazy. With your sand­wiches that look like panda bears and your women whose lifestyle allows them to end­lessly slouch around look­ing skinny in chunky sweaters and knee-ripped jeans. And do not get me started on the rooms. Where do those peo­ple keep all their crap?! Are there really peo­ple liv­ing with kids who do not have their puz­zles, art work, teenysharp­plas­tic­toys and socks cov­er­ing every sur­face? A girl can feel a bit stabby about it, you know?

But then you turn it around and deliver some­thing really good. Not merely pretty and aspi­ra­tional, but some­thing action­able. Like a recipe that I already have the ingre­di­ents for (okay, I had to pick up whip­ping cream but no bigs). Like, this Frozen Straw­berry Cream Pie that my kids say would win on Chopped. It's much faster and eas­ier than mak­ing ice cream and looks incred­i­bly pretty. So pretty that it exists on many, many Pin­ter­est boards.

And it hap­pened just as I was feel­ing like I needed a break from the tyranny of Pinterest-perfection. This pie is good enough to redeem even the panda sand­wich that I must get through to find it.

So thanks Pin­ter­est and I'm sorry about all the things I said. I was never really going to leave you. But you knew that, right?

See you soon!
@SweetPotatoChronicles Read more

Giveaway: Children's Health and Development Assessment at Medcan


As a par­ent, there are so many lit­tle wor­ries that tie me into a knot. I never really thought about how much space would be taken up with worry before I had my daugh­ter but then they hit me like a ton of bricks. As a new mother (and a cham­pion worry wart), I had a lot of advice and resources out there for my con­cerns. There was basi­cally a book for every­thing from "How do I fig­ure out this sleep­ing through the night thing?" to "What's the best way to dif­fuse a tem­per tantrum." My good­ness, even Ceri and I started this very blog to help us (and other busy par­ents) with the whole nutri­tion part of the game. But with an ele­men­tary age daugh­ter I'm find­ing my ques­tions and con­cerns about the right school, peer related issues and whats the appro­pri­ate amount of con­cern and anx­i­ety for a lit­tle girl not eas­ily answered in a tidy chap­ter of the lat­est cool par­ent­ing book. So I started to look for more com­pre­hen­sive ways to deal with my con­cerns through school and other organization's youth sem­i­nars. I'd even heard about Medcan's Chil­dren and Youth Ser­vices after attend­ing a few of their par­ent infor­ma­tion nights at a local club.

Medcan's Health and devel­op­ment assess­ment is the first pro­gram of it's kind in Canada and was designed to give par­ents answers in five cat­e­gories of well-being includ­ing Med­ical, Fit­ness and Nutri­tion, Social Well-Being and Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment. These assess­ments are meant to be done in one of the three key stages of devel­op­ment Ele­men­tary (5−9), Mid­dle School (10 –13) or High School (14 — 17). This unique overview of your child arms par­ents with all the infor­ma­tion they need to make edu­cated deci­sions on all areas of their child's med­ical and men­tal well-being. And today Med­can and Sweet Potato Chron­i­cles would like to give you the oppor­tu­nity to WIN 1 Health and Devel­op­ment Assess­ment for a child (val­ued at $1,600). You can read about the full assess­ment here. All you have to do for the give­away is please like The Med­can Clinic Face­book page and write a com­ment below with your num­ber one worry about your child or (chil­dren). Don't worry, it can even be just one word like "nutri­tion". And, no, you are not allowed to write "I have to remind her 10 times to brush her teeth." Don't we all do that?

We've also part­nered with Med­can to bring you more about children's health and well-being. My daugh­ter Scar­lett recently had an assess­ment and, in a few upcom­ing posts, you'll be able to hear about our expe­ri­ence with the process. In addi­tion, we've got advice from the company's head nutri­tion­ist about what you should be focus­ing on in terms of your chil­drens' nutri­tion, the best way to deal with those picky eaters, what you really need to pack in those lunches and how to get the most out of their meal­times. So come back and visit us to get all your nutri­tional advice in the com­ing months.

Summer Lunch Week: Tuna White Bean Salad


I was evil in an ear­lier life. (If you have known me to be evil in this life, I'm sorry) It's the only expla­na­tion for the fact that two weeks after return­ing from hol­i­day to find our air con­di­tioner non-functioning, that we still don't have a/c. Lots of guys com­ing over to look at the unit, tak­ing it apart and mak­ing a mess of the place, a lot of head shak­ing and head scratch­ing, but fix­ing the damn thing? Not so much. And of course it all went down on the hottest days Toronto has seen in about a mil­lion years. I counted no fewer than five a/c repair vans on our street one day last week. I know these are first world prob­lems in the extreme but it was HOT last week. So hot. I couldn't form another thought other than — My God, it's so hot — all of last week. This woman became my best friend.

This week is bet­ter (and cooler) and I am allow­ing myself to hope that the fourth main­te­nance appoint­ment I've got booked for tomor­row will be the one to save us. Please send any spare good juju you've got my way. Mean­while I'm in need of meals that do not require the stove, the oven, or any heat source at all. This salad is per­fect for lunch or din­ner. It's so sim­ple to make yet cre­ates a really sat­is­fy­ing salad. Esme and Julian are both start­ing to really come around to salad and this is full of many of their favourite ingre­di­ents. I don't know how much we'll like to eat this salad in the Arc­tic, where we'll be mov­ing if our air con­di­tioner does not get fixed tomor­row, but I'll keep you posted. Read more

Fish Week: Best Fish Sammie


I've been crav­ing a fish sand­wich all sum­mer. And this sand­wich is not it. What I've been han­ker­ing for is some­thing much less healthy than what I ended up with. I thought about try­ing to make a home made Filet 'O Fish with tar­tar sauce but you know, even if you lighten it up it's still going to be a deep fried mess. Some­times I amaze myself with my own restraint. Although it wasn't what I ini­tially wanted, this sand­wich rocked. The corn meal made a nice thin crust that you could spice up any way you like and the toma­toes and — hello! — the spicy mayo madee it moist and juicy to bite into. Plus, Tilapia is a fish you can feel good about in every way — it's super healthy and envi­ron­men­tally Kosher. It's also nice and light and cooks quickly.

This sand­wich is more of an assem­bly job than any­thing else. On a hot sumer day, isn't that exactly what you want? I made a lit­tle cole slaw of car­rot, cab­bage and bok choy to go with it. I was shoot­ing with our lovely pho­tog­ra­pher Maya on this day and thought I'd make it last so we could have one each for lunch. Just then Laura and Scar­lett arrived for the after­noon shoot. It was lucky I had enough for sand­wiches they were such a hit with every­one. Scar­lett didn't find the mayo too spicy at all — although I noticed she took a pass on the toma­toes! Oh, well, you can't win 'em all.

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Seafood Week: Halibut Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

Fish Tacos

"I'm hun­gry" are, I swear, the only words Scar­lett can seem to say lately. And they are repeated to me with the annoy­ing suc­ces­sion of a jack-hammer. I think it's a growth spurt or maybe a tape worm but either way I can no sooner feed her a meal and she's hun­gry again. I feel like a wait­ress. It's also made worse by the fact that she's started to become bored with our usual snacks. "Well, have a banana," I say. Her reply, " I don't want one. I had one yes­ter­day." Really? Are bananas only for odd days? So I tick down the list of avail­able snacks and she nopes them all. "Well, what do you want?" Then she hits me with the reply that makes the hair on my arm stand up with frus­tra­tion, "Umm­m­m­mmm, I don't know." Do your kid's say that? Don't get me wrong. I some­times feel lost for an idea for what I'd like to eat but that usu­ally occurs when I'm past the point of being hun­gry. I'm actu­ally starved and my brain is fuzzy with hunger so I can't land on an idea for my meal. It doesn't hap­pen after I've eaten a full meal. In those cir­cum­stances, when I just need a lit­tle extra nib­ble, I usu­ally have a decent idea about what I'd like to eat. When Scar­lett gives me an "I don't know" I feel like it's her twisted game try­ing to make me crazy. Ok, you're right, she's not try­ing to do that but I can feel like a squir­rel look­ing for a nut, on a con­stant search for the food that will sati­ate this child. It's sim­i­lar to the way I feel about din­ner ideas–I'm always on a hunt for din­ners that will sat­isfy my fam­ily.
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