Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Perfect New York Day

Kevin Bacon said hi to Malanga Baby today when he sat down next to us at City Bakery. This is yet another reason I love City Bakery, a great spot to pop in for their yummy baked goods, fantastic baked mac & cheese, and the toy kitchen tucked under the stairs next to the high chairs. In fact, a friend of mine and I planned an entire day out today around the prospect of a visit to City Bakery so our children could play with the toy kitchen and we could relax and chat over coffee. Kevin Bacon was a bonus.

We also hit Books of Wonder, where just about every volume on the shelves makes me swoon. They have a pretty decent foreign language section (which includes a version of Ian Falconer's Olivia entirely in Latin), but it's their English language book selection I love the most. Last time there, I picked up a copy of Eloise in Moscow, which I proceeded to read right away sitting in the bookstore's "Cupcake Cafe" while munching on a cupcake. I realize Malanga Baby is still too young for the Eloise books, that purchase was entirely for me. Today, I had to stop myself from buying yet another book Malanga Baby isn't quite ready for: Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words. I paged through it and fell in love on the spot. It listed "dapper" as one of the words! (I couldn't resist inserting the picture here of the dapper man street-crossing sign I saw in Madeira while 3 months pregnant with Malanga Baby.)

Once we finally made our way home after a few other stops, I got down to the business of making a quick dinner for me and Malanga Baby. I saw a recipe for Balsamic-Glazed Lamb Meatloaf in Real Simple magazine this month and am happy to report that it was just as easy to make as it seemed. I modified the recipe a bit, serving it with steamed broccoli and carrots instead of cannellini beans, but the meatloaf itself was delicious. Malanga Baby was quite happy with her dinner. Here's how to make the meatloaf:

2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
1 pound ground lamb
1 large egg
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, combine the bread and 3 tablespoons water. Add the lamb, egg, garlic, thyme, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
2. Place the mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet and shape into a 6-inch loaf (about 3 inches thick). Bake, brushing with the balsamic vinegar several times during cooking, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 150° F, 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Reyes Came to Town...

There was no Three Kings' Parade in Brooklyn this year, but we celebrated "El Dia de los Reyes Magos" today anyway. There are so many traditions associated with this day, including leaving grass out for the kings' camels the night before and eating a Roscon de Reyes, but until Malanga Baby is old enough to understand that, it's only about getting more presents. She certainly knows how to rip wrapping paper off of boxes like a professional.

Speaking of Brooklyn, however, if you're a parent in the area looking for resources on raising a bilingual child, be sure to check out the upcoming fair that takes place Sunday, January 10.