Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 1

This summer my 11 year old daughter said she didn’t want to go to camp and so I said well then you are in charge of the family dinners. Although this may sound a bit like child labor I should mention that Lila LOVES to cook and loves all things about food (except of course what she hates). She has been reading cookbooks for years – just for fun, and she is truly a first generation child of food TV as well. So there you go. She also loves going out to eat especially to priceyish restaurants but we are kind of broke these days hence the cooking. Our grand experiment begins today. I’ve been trying to get her to make all the dishes I would if I had all day to cook. I should also mention here my 5 year old son is allergic to nuts and dairy and I am now wheat intolerant. So the real challenge (which I am happy to give up after being the main cook in the family thus far) is how to cook meals the whole family not only can eat, but might also actually enjoy. My son of course is incredibly picky and really only loves fruit and candy and avocado sushi (Lila taught me how to make sushi by the way – ok her and my friend Nick who is an adult).

Tonight’s menu:  
Penne with basil pesto
Arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.  
The toppings including goat cheese are all on the side and of course optional. I went for them all. I should mention here that our pesto is of course nut free so we just use lots of basil, a small amount of garlic, olive oil and salt. That’s it. Lila, my husband and myself all add parmesan and I like to add chopped fresh tomatoes.

All I did for this dinner was to give some instructions on washing basil (must wash 3 times!), ingredients for pesto (not portions), and how long to cook the pasta, then I was in charge of poring the boiling water and pasta into the strainer. Lila did everything else. I did make my own rice pasta (my friend recommended Tinkyada  brown rice pasta, spaghetti style, which is really pretty good. The trick is to turn down the flame and cook the pasta on medium rather than high).  I must say the dinner was delicious! Lila is already the queen of salad dressing in our house.

Lila will not be cooking for the next couple of days (so many social engagements) so the next blog post will be on Thursday. Now back to the season premiere of Weeds (premium cable TV is one of the many reasons we are broke - sigh).

tedious work. Getting ALL of the sand off of the basil.
All of the black and withered basil that is going in the compost ( my mom is very enviromentally  friendly.)


  1. Way to go Lila! Sounds delicious. What a wonderful adventure.

    and Ambika... genius idea -- just love it!

  2. This is so cool, awesome idea!! But wait, we're not OFFICIALLY 6th graders yet! Just kidding! Rockin blog yo!! :)


    1. thanks juju! can' wait to see you at school next year!!