Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This is what summer in NYC looks like.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Sunday mornings, I strap Malanga Baby onto my back and we go to the local farmer's market. I wander the stands dreaming up Malanga Baby's next meal. Sometimes it's a hit, other times it's an absolute miss, like last Sunday when I fried up some zucchini and tomato in olive oil and served them with baked scallops. I thought it was a delicious meal (and so easy!), Malanga Baby thought otherwise. I think the texture of the scallops was too difficult to chew for someone with only 7 teeth, but I'm still puzzled about the aversion to the zucchini. She used to love it pureed months ago and she'll eat tomatoes in other mixes.

Nonetheless, every Sunday morning is an exercise in possibility. Once Malanga Baby was eating table foods just like the rest of us, I fell into the routine of making the same tried and true dishes for a while- baked fish, roast beets, Spanish tortilla, soba noodles with chopped carrots and edamame, cheese tortellini tossed with peas and parmesan cheese, and arroz con pollo (chicken with rice, cooked in vegetable broth). All of these are Malanga Baby's favorites and of course, I make enough for both of us to enjoy. But my goal now is to introduce her to at least one completely new food per week, dusting off my recipe books or looking for ideas online based on what I've purchased at the farmer's market. Malanga Baby is napping right now while I have some lamb simmering on the stove with onions, garlic, paprika, lemon juice and parsley. It smells heavenly. I wonder what she will think.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My first llama

We went to two zoos this week- the Central Park Zoo where Malanga Baby was enthralled by the penguins and the Queens Zoo where she met her first llama.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mamey Mornings

Behold the mamey. I ate half of one of these every morning when I last visited Cuba in 2007. They were fresh from my uncle Carlos's backyard out near Bejucal, in the outskirts of Havana. My sister sliced them and served them with love and I did my best to eat my share, despite how thick the fruit felt in my throat. Before that 2007 trip, I had only ever eaten mamey in smoothies, mixed with lots of milk and sugar and served by waiters in Miami who called me "reina" or "princesa." Eating chunky slices the consistency somewhere between avocado and sweet potato was a challenge. My brother had to help sometimes when my sister wasn't looking. There we were, full grown adults acting like kids over breakfast. I love the memory of it and couldn't resist picking up a mamey for Malanga Baby when I saw them at the local supermarket this week.

It's a big fruit, as you can see, and has served as baby breakfast for several days in a row now. Malanga Baby gobbles it up, my good little cubanita.