Monday, March 30, 2020

Global Cuisine - Ecuador

So, Ecuador ended up being a family affair.  A few kiddos helped out in the prep and I was in the kitchen with DJ most of the day.  It was actually nice to be in there with him, but I told him that if the weather was warmer, I would have bailed on him!  I also secretly wanted to eat at a decent time and get ahead of the mountain of dishes that are always staring at me at the end of the night.
Here is Belle rolling out the dough to make the sweet rolls.  However, when I wasn't looking, half of the dough was missing and she was eating it!  #whereweretheparents

Kui and Belle helped shuck the corn.

Kui was in charge of flipping the corn on the grill.

So, I had to take a picture of this because I was laughing so hard when I turned around and saw this!  Now, I have seen it all.  He was trying to melt the sugar for the suspiros.  
Here is the menu.  Wow, my handwriting looks a bit terrible and slanted.  I decided to use the markerboard side of the easel this time.  We also found the flag downstairs.  The kids ended up spending too much time outside and didn't dress up or prepare any song/play.

Arvejas con guineo
This is traditionally supposed to be split pea and green banana soup, but DJ couldn't find split peas.  He used black eyed peas instead with the green bananas.  I have to admit that this soup doesn't look very appetizing, but it is a very hearty soup, especially good for our meatless Lenten dinners.

Pan dulce de Ecuador
I ended up helping my boo with these sweet rolls.  Don't mind the crazy distorted shapes.  They went a little crazy in the oven.  These were scrumptious.  After they came out of the oven, I slathered them in melted butter and sprinkled them with sugar!  I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to double the recipe.  It made 30 rolls!  Enough to feed our large family.

Llapingachos con ensalada de tomate y cebolla con aquacate
This Ecuadorian salad was a little iffy for me at first.  It called for avocados.  I wasn't sure how those would do with the tomato and onions.  I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was and it paired great with the potato cakes (Llapingachos) that are seen in the picture below.

Maiz a la parrilla con cilantro queso fresco salsa
This picture has a few things, but I spoke about the top two above.  The grilled corn was absolutely delicious.  It was a special treat to have grilled corn so early in the year.  DJ made this delicious sauce for it that had garlic, cilantro, and sour cream I think.  Either way, I could have eaten 3 ears of corn, pregnant or not!

Empanadas de verde con queso
Ok.  So these are empanadas made out of green plantain dough stuffed with cheese.  OMG!  I'm not sure what this man of mine was thinking, but these were an absolute disaster.  He was putting raw hunks of plantain into the food processor mixed with grated plantains.  The food processor didn't know what the heck was going on and just started making this horrible noise, stinking up the joint, and I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you could have seen smoke coming from the motor!  Disaster, disaster, disaster!  He added water and oil I think to make it into a mush he called dough.  Then he bailed on it and gave it over to me to try and salvage it.  I added almost 3 cups of flour to make it into something I could work with and then spent another 30 minutes picking out hunks of raw plantains.  I mean how can you roll out your dough with huge hunks.  Anyway....I was polite about the matter and just did my best.  I managed to be able to roll them out a bit, stuff them with beans, cheese, and green onions, and fry them.  We had to improvise and pour some of the sauce from the corn on them because they had an indescribable flavor.  Yikes!

Ahhh.....dessert.  DJ decided to make two for this country.  He said that's how much he loves me.  Ha! I made the cake below and he made these.  P. U. R. E. sugar is all I have to say.  These were delicious straight from the oven.  They tasted like cotton candy.  They hardened a bit and became a little less chewy the next day, but equally delicious.

Tres Leche Cake
So, don't laugh at this picture.  DJ said that we need to spiffy up our pictures so he told me to take it next to the flowers (as if I'm going to become some professional food blogger or something!)  Anyway, at least you can see the cake.  It was very interesting to make.  I wasn't sure what to think when I poured my milk mixture over the cake and it started to float in the casserole dish!  After quite a few hours, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the milk had soaked into the cake leaving it very spongy.  I toasted some coconut to go on top of the delicious whipped icing.

Mumbs has the next choice of country and guess what she chose?!?!  CHINA!  Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Global Cuisine - Portugal

The kids were excited that we were doing Portugal because the Fatima children are from there.  This picture has Our Lady of Fatima and the three children: Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta.  Hopefully one day, we will be able to visit the city of Fatima.  Until then, let us experience Portugal through the hands of DJ!

Ok, so I apologize for the pretty lame pictures since I don't show my kids faces.  The girls ended up looking more Jamaican than Portuguese, so I just included a few boys!   Nito has really been playing his guitar more and wanted to include it.  Since we had dinner guests, their song, "Palma, palma, palma" was forgotten!  It was a repeat from when we did Brazil anyway.  Perhaps, if they ever end up doing a song, I will record it and post it to the blog.

Here is our menu for this week.  I have to say that my hubby is quite ambitious every week.  I wouldn't dream of cooking so many things, but I cook almost everyday so that could be why.  However, it is smart in the sense that I never have to cook on Mondays since we usually have leftovers, even after feeding our army of children. 

Massa Sovada
My husband knows that I'm a carboholic and always makes a point to get some sort of bread into the menu.  This is a Portuguese sweet bread.  They came out nicely, but I found them a bit dry.  Although, that can easily be resolved with a little butter!  

Bacalhau com Natas
I believe this was the most popular dish and there were very little leftovers.  This is salted cod that is baked and mixed with fried onions, potatoes, and other goodness.  We had some friends over for dinner and one of them gave it away that this was fish.  I actually would have tried it on my own thinking it was gooey potatoes.  Now, I have to admit, I was eventually FORCED to try this.  I fell into the peer pressure of the whole table telling me that I had to try it.  Gag!  I am not a fan by any means of fish and I mixed it with every carb on my plate!  I was still traumatized from the weekend before when DJ and I went out for our anniversary. He told me that if I tried a fried oyster that he would get me an order of mozzarella sticks!  If anyone knows me, they know how much I absolutely love mozzarella sticks.  So......I agreed.  Well, when the order came, he cut me off a piece of the fried oyster and black stuff started to ooze out of it!  I said, "What the heck is that?!"  He said just eat it!!!!  I literally almost threw up on my plate.  So, needless to say that I was a bit skeptical to eat this fish.

Batatas a Murro
These were a huge hit.  Portuguese smashed potatoes.  They were covered with fried onions and blue cheese.  Now, the moldy cheese could have been switched for a better one, but they were still good nonetheless.

Salada de feijao garbanzo com alino assade
I was very thankful for this fresh element of the dinner.  It is a fresh salad with tomatoes, chickpeas, and fresh herbs.  It was definitely different, but very tasty.

Caldo Verde
Portuguese kale soup.  This soup had great flavor, but I am not a fan of kale, collard greens, or spinach in soup.  It's just weird!  And our darling baby, Belle, calls everything like that a leaf!  She screams and says "Weaf, weaf, weaf" and refuses to eat it.  However, the other children enjoyed it. 

Mistura Vegetariana
Ok.....I just have to say what everyone else is thinking for this picture.  It looks like cat throw up!  DJ said that I need to get better at taking pictures and I agree!  I'm clearly an amateur.  Even though this would not pass the presentation part on Chopped, his flavor was still there.  It is a vegetable hash with cabbage, potatoes, herbs, and olives.  T-Man devoured almost all of the olives before DJ could add them to the dish!

Arroz de Tomate
Portuguese Tomato Rice.  This was a simple nice side dish to compliment the meal.  It is essentially rice and beans with tomatoes.

Bolo de Amendoa
OMG!  This was I think one of my favorite desserts.  I think it might actually trump the Italian Pear Cake he made for Italy.  Portugueses Almond Torte.  I recently got him some new spring form pans and he was excited to use them.  I made the syrup for this cake and it smelled so delicious.  Plus, we had it on Sunday so I was able to enjoy this with tea.  Soo good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Sensorial Exploration of Distributive Law

Nito was presented with an extension of the Distributive Law today.  This brought in the idea of arithmetic exploration.  I apologize in advance for these pictures.  I didn't really how bad the glare was until I put them on the computer.  So, for your reference, the brown cards are 3 and 5 respectively.
The first set of parentheses has the 7 bar and the 2 bar that he will be multiplying by the brown 3 card and the 5 card.  

He first turns over the brown 5 card so that he can multiply both bead bars by the brown 3 card.  He then places his beads below.  

Now, he turns the brown 3 card over and multiplies by the brown 5 card and places the beads below on the right hand side.

He then totals the individual columns and places that below.

He pushes all of the beads together.

Then he simplifies and trades in beads for the final answer.  He ends up with the answer of 72.


So the great thing with the Montessori way of learning is that the child always has some way to check his answer.  He doesn't really have to rely on the teacher to know if his answer is correct or not (which is great because I'm not always available!)  For this problem, he can check his work using the communicative law.  

Nito basically just flip flops the beads and the cards.  He now has the 3 and 5 beads on the left with the brown 7 and 2 cards on the right.  The same process is done as before.  The brown 2 card gets turned over and the bead bars get multiplied by the brown 7 card with the answers being placed below.

The brown 7 card is flipped over and now the bead bars will be multiplied by the brown 2 card, placing the beads below.

Sum the columns individually.

Push all of the beads together.

Simplify and trade the beads in for the final answer.  72!  Yay, his answer checks out.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Global Cuisine - Israel all started in the early morning with Sufganiyot stuffed with dulce la leche and delicious tea.  DJ managed to whip out some Israeli donuts before Mass today.  I'm not sure how he manages to pull all of these things off, but he did and they were delicious.  

Kui wrote down all of the menu items for us this week.  Time was not on DJ's side by late afternoon for all of these and the cauliflower didn't make an appearance.  The baba ganoush made a late appearance very close to dessert and I actually don't have a picture.  It resembles a hummus that you can eat with pita bread for those who are interested.  It is made out of eggplant.  Interesting.... is really the only word I have to describe it!

Israeli Salad
I was put on a few tasks this Sunday since some last minute things popped up at church for DJ.  This was one of them.  Lots and lots of chopping, but it was well worth it.  This salad had tomatoes, cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, fresh mint and parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice.  A great fresh element to the dinner for sure.  Kui, who would rather eat a snake than tomatoes, said she actually liked this.  Woohoo!!

Squash Gallette
Another task I was put on.  Let's say that this was definitely a first for me.  I have never made a dough using coconut oil and I think I never will again.  It was not the consistency I was expecting and very hard to work with.  I think I sort of pulled off what the pictures look like online!  Don't mind the hunk missing in the crust at the top of the picture.  DJ tore off a hunk to taste it and I said, "Seriously, I didn't get a pic first!"  This gallette has butternut squash, carrots, apple, and red onion.  It has a maple syrup and lemon drizzle.  
Falafel on pita with tahini sauce
Here is a picture with everything mixed together.  The way my hubby likes to eat it.  There is falafel made from chickpeas, tahini sauce made from sesame seeds, the salad, and some filling from the gallette.  

DJ showing you how to eat it (or perhaps he was just about to take a bite and I thought he was posing for me!)

Marzipan Chocolate Rugelach I'm writing this, I'm sensing a pattern.  This was also one of my tasks.  Now what did DJ actually make for Israel one might ask?!  Apparently it was the falafel and tahini sauce.  But hey, that's how it goes some weekends depending on what is going on.  We are all part of a family and many of the children pitched in to help cook or clean the dishes.  Ok back to the yummy dessert.  This was very time intensive and I would have preferred it been made with milk chocolate rather than dark, but very good though.  

The children had costumes and a play all ready, but then a certain child decided to cause drama for everyone and everything was called off by the head honcho in charge, Kui!  She called it off once one of the cast members left and so we have no pictures or a play to show for Israel.  However, the kids did have a surprise visitor, their pediatrician made a house call!  Mumbs has not been feeling well so her doctor stopped by after Mass and it ended up being perfect timing for dinner.  She joined us for dinner and made our night special.  They shared all about our tradition and the previous countries that we have done. 

Next week, Portugal!  Stay tuned.