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?
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.
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
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.
"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.