#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Feeding the Kids, Food, Hello.IAmPhat, Nutrition

{N}osh…The Little Ones Eat: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Feeding the Little Ones today is much more exciting than yesteryear!   Today we allow the Little Ones to get in there,  roll up their sleeves and unleash their creative juices.  One thing for sure,  if you want to keep the ‘picki-ness’ and the prickly food attitudes at bay,  get those young chefs engaged and involved!

You know, they’ll never turn their

faces up at their creations.



Instead,  they’ll be nosh-ing everything in sight!



 In all fairness to the years gone by, there wasn’t the amazing social media outlets that virtually puts cooking with children on autopilot.  Perhaps if there were,  we would have the likes of these nutritious delights:







Do you have a Little  One who loves to create yummy meals to nosh?

Do tell……

Next. The Letter {O}


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{M}is en Place: #AtoZChallenge 2016



The first time that I heard these words was while watching the Food Network’s ‘Worst Cooks in America‘.  *I told you that I am in  love all of the cooking shows*.   After first, learning how to correctly pronouncing the darn word! – {MEES in plause}…… Thank You Siri.  

About this strange word. It’s French. It’s used primarily in culinary speak.  It looks nothing like the way it’s spelled  *I guess that’s the ‘French-ness’ off it all*.   And, it translates literally to “Everything in place”.  In practice it means that, before a dish is prepared, all the ingredients, supplies, and appliances needed are in one space.

Here are a few examples :






Although used in the world of food, I bet if  I use this whole mis en place principle in other aspects of my life,  I’ll, at most, be super organized and at least, be very spicy!

What in your life can benefit from. ‘ being in it’s place’?

Do tell…..

Next.  The Letter  {N


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{L}unch Box: #AtoZChallenge 2016

One habit that I’ve picked up since doing this cooking thing is, packing (and carrying) a lunch to work.  Lunch is usually the leftovers from the dinner of the night before.  I used to think nothing of dropping nearly ten dollars a day for lunch – and sometimes a little more if my work hours crept into the dinner hour!  I don’t even want to begin to do the math on how much money I’ve wasted on other people’s food  *gasp!*



Dare I say that this business of packing lunch has awakened a new obsession (?).  The lunchbox.  Here’s a peak at a few of the ones in my ‘lunchbox rotation’:


This one is made of  candy wrappers.  I fell for the shine, the texture from the basket weave and the bright colors.


This one had me at the graphics.  It has that ‘Where’s Waldo’ kinda look. Never a dull moment.


I carry this one when my lunch isn’t so big.  This was a definite ‘must-have’.  Oh the memories of a simpler time!  Who can pass up Dr Seuss?


This one is pure nostalgia.  It’s the size of the ones I  carried as a little girl.  It doesn’t hold alot ….they seemed soooo big back then.

Besides,  it’s Audrey!

So there’s a sneak peek into my new obsession.

What are you  obsessing about these days?

Do tell. ….

Next. The Letter {M}



{K}nife Skills: #AtoZChallenge 2016

How do they do it?

Have you seen the lightening speed of the hands of chefs as they slice and dice onions, tomatoes and the like?



Making the proper cuts can make the difference between seeing food prep as a chore or as a joy. Proper cuts can mean the difference between unevenly cooked dishes, poor flavor development, and standing ovation meals!

Who knew? *head scratch*

The art of properly holding the knife and producing uniformed cuts of food is so vital that knife skill is usually the first skill course that culinary student learn.



Try as I might, I just can’t seem to get my hands coordinated enough to ‘make it work‘ *blink!  blink! *.  The whole knuckle-thing is so unnatural. My fingers have a mind of their own and staying tucked is not ‘on the menu’.



I’m not going to give up. I’ll have to do loads more reading and watch a sh!t- load more videos!!!!!

I’m going too have …..  if I want to keep my fingers!

Have you aced  the knife?

Do tell….

Next. Letter {L}


#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food

{J}icama: #AtoZChallenge 2016


2016-04-13 15.07.32


Okay.  I have to admit that my first experience with this (what I have come to learn) root was a couple of years ago.  While having lunch with one of my Philippine colleagues, she pulled from her lunch sac what looked to me like a potato, and began to peel it.  After watching her get all of the tough, bark-like skin off,  I couldn’t image what she was going to do with this ‘potato ‘.

2016-04-13 15.49.39


Not afraid to ask a question, if it means that I will learn something new,  I asked her about this ‘potato’ that she seemed content to eat raw.  She gave me an abridged cultural lesson that included a brief intro of the veggie before offering a taste.  Can I say that I was pleasantly surprised!  What I expected was the starchy taste of a potato. What I got was the juicy hybrid flavors of a savory apple, the crunch of water chestnut and the sweetness of a pear.  Yep!!!!  Couldn’t believe it!  This was reeeally good!

Native to Mexico (but no stranger in Latin America and South-East Asian countries) the plant is a member of the bean family.  It grows on vines that can reach up to twenty feet in length.  The root is the only edible portion if the plant;  its leaves and seeds contain a mild toxin!  WHOA!

 Here’s a little more about the WHAT



And WHY of this food



Today, Jicama is a stable on my ‘must have‘ grocery list.  I’ve even learned to pronounce it correctly – [HEE ka ma].


Have you cooked with Jicama?

Do tell…..

Next. Letter {K}



#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food, Hello.IAmPhat

{I}nfusion: #AtoZChallenge 2016

Infusion is the process and the result of, steeping an aromatic substance into a liquid – hot or cold – until the liquid has absorbed the added ingredient’s flavor .



The beauty of infusion is that,  not only do the flavor(s) being extracted from foods infiltrate the liquid, the flavors of the liquid is transferred into the food.  Think of it  as one hand washing the other!



Flavored vinegars and oils, milk, and tea leaves and  herb and spices – lavender comes to mind – are common ingredients used in the infusion process.



One of the most common and well-known types of infusion is used in the process of preserving food.  The berries and fruit are placed in alcohol or vinegar allowing them to be stored, without spoiling.



Now,  you’re always ready for that unexpected houseguest!

Don’t think that you’ve used this technique?   Have you added fruit to your water?  How about lemons slices?  Cucumbers slices? Mint leaves? Thyme? Rosemary?

Fruit & Herb - Infused Water... Pretty


Infusions are all around us!  There are endless ways to create them!  Today’s infusions techniques helps me turn, what can be, a multi-day/month process, into a few hours work.

When it comes to infusions,  you are only limited by your creativity!  Have fun!

Coffee and business strategy


What have you infused lately?

Do tell…

Next.  The Letter {J}


#AtoZChallenge 2016, A-Z Challenge, Challenges, Food, Recipe

{H}ash: #AtoZChallenge 2016

At one time or another you’ve had a meal that included hash.  I consider hash a ‘dump meal’ *and I mean it luv-ingly. Really*.  Got left-overs in the fridge? – Veggies? Meat? Onion? Garlic?  (or both). Add a potato.  Throw it all in a well- oiled skillet with your favorite seasonings


And there you have it. Hash.

The corn beef  version is the most well-known but once you realize that this is reeeally a meal made from anything in the fridge, it’ll soon be in the rotation for breakfast,  lunch and dinner.

No. Really. Just remember these few simple steps:

☆ Choose your Meat. Not a meat eater? Skip this step.

This is where you throw it into a skillet with a little oil. Cook until crisp.  Transfer to a plate – when done. Use a spoon with slots so that you leave the fat and juice.  The fat is where the flavor lives!


☆ To the fat left in the skillet, add anything that had an ‘onion-y’ taste.  Yep!  That means shallots,  garlic,  leeks even onions.  Season to taste (that’s if the fat is not already flavorful enough for you).  

☆ Remember to add in your potatoes.


Cook to your liking.  Want more veggies?  Add them now.

☆ Remember that meat that you cooked earlier?  Yep!  It wants back into the party.  Add it back into your skillet of goodies.  Again, cook to your liking.

{Didn’t use meat? Skip this step}


For more protein, add an egg.

Finish with your favorite cheese topping .

☆ Plate



I’d luv to know your favorite Hash recipe

Do tell….

Next.  Letter {I}