Picnic "En Papillote" (in paper)

Hello fellow foodie friends. Chef Izabella (aka Chef Izzy) here. I recently turned 3. I'm loving it so far! I'm learning new techniques in the kitchen. I'm having fun experimenting with fun food combinations: sweet and savory foods together and I also really like pairing sweet foods with a hint of spice (I know it sounds weird, since I'm only 3, but my taste buds want what my taste buds want).
I really love living in Southern California, as we have access to delicious, fresh, locally grown produce all year long. Seriously, this is an incredible blessing!

Lately, my mom and I have been making creative  dishes like mini frittatas, empanadas, risotto, quiches, soups (with fresh stocks), mini muffins, biscotti, tarts, slow braised meals with fun sauces and more. We cook together in the kitchen at least three times a week. I am always supervised by my mom or dad when I'm in the kitchen, and I always adhere to the safety rules and guidelines that my parents set for me while I'm in the kitchen (important reminder for all of my younger readers).

I highly recommend that you spend quality time in the kitchen with someone you love, at least two to three times a week! You can share the yummy stuff you make, with loved ones, friends and neighbors. Shared homemade food is like a big warm hug for the soul.

Well, back to this post. Sandwiches are great for picnics, but I recommend trying something creative, tasty and new for your next outdoor meal. As the title suggests, I'll be talking about cooking "in paper". In Italy, they cook in parchment paper and it's called "al cartoccio". In France, they cook in parchment paper and it's called "en papillote". This is a really cool technique in which you can bake veggies and meat or just veggies in parchment paper.  You place the food inside the paper and fold the edges of the paper so all the air stays inside the paper, creating a steaming effect. The flavors are bold, delicious and incredibly healthy. I recommend using chicken, pork or shrimp. Almost any vegetable would be fine. Keep in mind that you want your veggies to be cut in similar sizes, so that the cooking time is the same. For instance, if you are going to use carrots, potatoes and squash, I recommend that you julienne the pieces. You can throw some frozen peas on top if you want. I like to place a fresh sprig of some type of herb on top. Make sure that your meat is cut into thin, little strips and keep them all about the same size (if using shrimp, just clean, devein and place a few pieces of shrimp in a row; no need to slice the shrimp). Always wash your hands well and have your parent or caretaker clean the work surfaces really well after handling meat, seafood or eggs.

Dress It Up!!!

Hello my fellow foodie friends. Chef Izabella here. I'm also known as "Chef Izzy". I turned 3 recently. Oh, the sage that comes with age. I'm feeling more wise every day. With this newfound wisdom, I can safely say that my most sagacious advice that I can impart to you today, is that it is vitally important to have fun while cooking in the kitchen. One way I like to have fun in the kitchen is to "dress it up". First, dress it up - meaning wear your best gown, tiara and glass slippers, while you cook. Wear an apron of course! It's always more fun to impersonate a princess while baking or cooking with loved ones. Secondly, dress up your food with accessories, flare and fun as well. I recently helped my mom bake a jelly roll cake with a strawberry fruit and freshly whipped cream filling. We made a cream cheese frosting. We transformed the frosting into my three favorite colors, purple, pink and aqua (using food color gels). We also purchased fun candies in which to decorate my birthday cake. The one thing my mom said was "there are no rules when it comes to decorating". She let me put all three frosting colors on the cake.** She let me place the candies wherever I wanted. I had such an absolute blast helping my mom make my own birthday cake. We laughed the entire time. In fact, she asked me "what do you want to do for your birthday today?". We could have gone to the beach, to the zoo, to the movies... anything. My reply was, "let's bake my strawberry cake". We wore dresses, tiaras and jewelry with pizzazz and flare! We dressed up our cake with vibrant colors, candies and lots of love! So what are you waiting for? Grab a loved one,  pick out a fun recipe, put on a fun costume or gown, accessorize your outfit and your food*. Play some funky music. Have fun. Laugh a lot. And, as my mom always says, "Cook Out Loud".

*Note, you can accessorize your food dishes with fresh herbs, edible flowers, creative candies, pinches of ground spices or dried herbs, fun sauces with multiple colors, and more. Get creative!

** Note, We decorated the cake with frosting and candies with carefree abandon. We decorated on a preparation tray and then transferred the final cake to the pretty serving tray. You can also wedge pieces of wax paper under the sides of the cake. Frosting will fall onto the paper (not the serving tray). Once finished decorating, simply pull the wax paper away, leaving a beautiful cake and a clean serving tray underneath. Either method works great!

I'd love to hear your ideas and input on how you like to "dress it up" in the kitchen. Write a comment on my blog, www.CookingWithIzzy.com

Salute and Cheers, Chef Izabella


Spice Up "Taco Tuesdays"

Hi, 2 year old Chef Izabella here, also known as Chef Izzy. As the title of this post suggests, I'm going to be talking about spice! In the obvious sense, one can spice up tacos by adding delicious spice to the sauces on one's taco platter. For instance, one can add some chile peppers, jalapeƱos, or cayenne pepper, to one's salsa or tomatillo sauce. One can slow braise the meat with hot spices as well.
In a more figurative sense, I am suggesting that you add spice, flare, fun, and color to your taco Tuesday dinner, with one creative, yet easy step.

Just add colored food gel to your homemade tortillas!

Make the tortilla dough and portion it into 16 pieces. Roll the small dough pieces into little balls. At this stage, add just a hint of colored food gel to each little dough ball and work the colored gel into the dough with your hands.
If you want more than one color in your tortillas, then add a unique color to each dough ball.
You can mix a couple of the dough balls together, but then divide them into smaller dough ball portions before you flatten them.
Using a plastic food storage bag (that is cut into two square pieces) place the plastic sheets over each hard plate of your tortilla press. Then press each tortilla ball into a flat tortilla shape. The plastic will do two things: 1) protect your tortilla press from staining from the food gels and 2) Keep the dough from sticking to the  tortilla press itself (great for easier clean up).
Then toss the tortillas back and forth in your hands to lighten the dough.
Place the tortillas on a hot griddle or comal for about 45 seconds on each side.
Place the cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer between a towel.
Enjoy the colorful tortillas any day of the week but get especially creative and spicy on Taco Tuesdays.

Keep it creative, colorful and fun in the kitchen.
Salute - Chef Izabella (Chef Izzy)


My Favorite Gadgets in the Kitchen

Hi, Chef Izabella here. I love cool gadgets. My dad is an engineer. My mom is a rocking culinary guru. Clearly, I have inherited a passion for using cool gadgets in the kitchen. I wanted to share a few of my favorite kitchen tools with you.
These 5 gadgets are absolute must-haves in my kitchen.

1) Citrus Reamer. This affordable and easy to use tool is great for getting the most juice out of citrus in a fast and efficient manner. My mom slices the citrus in half. I hold one half of the citrus in my right hand. I hold the reamer in my left hand and I squish the fruit flesh, releasing the juices into a bowl below. Sometimes we put a small strainer over the bowl, to catch the seeds. Note, if we were going to juice 40 oranges, we'd probably use a larger juicer. This tool is great when one needs to juice 1-3 pieces of citrus for a particular recipe.
Here is a link to a reamer: Citrus Reamer

2) Microplane Zester. My mom has been teaching me how
to cautiously and safely use a microplane zester. We use this for citrus zest, grating nutmeg, or shaving chocolate. I make sure to wrap my fingers up around the object that I'm grating, to avoid hurting my fingers. I gently move the food across the grater. We usually place the grater over a bowl, to catch the zest, grated nutmeg or tiny slivers of chocolate. If you are zesting citrus, flip the zester over, and push your finger along the bottom (non sharp) edge of the microplane, to get the extra zest that has built up. For my younger readers, this is an acquired skill. Please do not attempt to try the zester until your care taker allows you to. We like to rinse our microplane right after each use, and set it in the drying rack. If we wait to clean it, the food tends to stick to it. This is a key tool for adding fresh, delicious flavor to our dishes.
Here is a link to a zester: microplane zester

3) Digital Food Scale. Keep your recipe consistent each time you make it. Did you know the common "dip and sweep" way you use a measuring cup to measure your flour, can add up to 10% more than the recipe actually calls for. When we bake, we use very precise measurements. Having a digital food scale, is awesome at ensuring accuracy. Most scales will allow you to convert grams to ounces (if you need it). You can also zero out the weight of the plate or bowl that you want your food on and then slowly add the food ingredient to the scale (this is called the tare function). I couldn't imagine our kitchen without a digital scale.

4) Food Processor. My mom is the only one who handles the sharp blades in our kitchen. She'll help me set up the food processor. We measure out all of our ingredients. I am allowed to carefully add the ingredients into the top part of the food processor (so I don't get near the blade). Once the lid is safely on, mom lets me push the pulse or start buttons. I love pushing the off button too! I am allowed to safely scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula. My mom removes the blade and I get to transfer the yummy sauce or dough to a  serving bowl or preparation container. A food processor makes making sauces or doughs super quick and easy! For example, we make a pate brisee dough, pesto, hummus, dressings and more... in 5 minutes or less. Plus, for a pate brisee dough, a food processor is great, because you aren't handling the dough as much (over handling dough with hands, warms up the dough). You want all of your ingredients to stay as cold as possible. We use our mini food processor to quickly chop up nuts, chunks of chocolate or dried fruit (like banana chips).

5) 24 Mini Muffin Tin. I love to make mini treats. We use our 24 Mini muffin tins to make mini muffins, mini quiches, mini tarts, mini cupcakes and more. You can line them with adorable mini muffin foil or paper cups. Or, you can spray the tin itself with a non-stick spray, and simply put your food directly into the muffin tin itself. We have a lot of tea parties at my house. Our mini muffin tin gets used at least once a week.

Your input and thoughts are always appreciated. What are your favorite 5 gadgets in your kitchen?

Chef Izabella (aka: Chef Izzy)


Mise En Place (Putting In Place)

Hello Everyone. Chef Izabella here. My friends and family call my Izzy for short.

My post today is intended to encourage everyone to have more peace, fun and confidence in the kitchen. This one easy step, as the post title suggests, is "Mise en Place". Put everything in place, before you start cooking (this is a French phrase), and everything will fall into place effortlessly. You can set out a large baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Measure out all of your ingredients into preparation bowls or plates. Place the measured ingredients onto the baking sheet and set it aside. Once you start to bake or cook your food, bring out the "mise en place" tray. Be sensitive to things that should be refrigerated right up until you cook it. You can still pre-measure it and place it back in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Most restaurants implement the "mise en place" trays in their kitchens. This keeps everything organized and running smoothly.

I recommend that we all do this in our own home kitchens. My mom does this any time we are going to cook or bake together. I like to help her prepare our "mise en place". This way I can simply pour the ingredients into the mixing bowls or dishes and voila... our cooking and baking is effortless. Sometimes we transfer the items off of the tray onto the counter, where we are working, simply to save space. You figure out what organization system works best for you, and then do it! There is nothing worse than being right in the middle of cooking or baking something, but not being able to find an ingredient. Then one runs around the pantry or the kitchen like a silly goose, looking for an ingredient that could have been prepped or measured in advance.

Save yourself time and agony, and prepare and measure your ingredients out before you start cooking or baking. Be prepared. Be organized. Have more fun!!!  Thank you for reading my thoughts for the day. I hope you are enjoying yourself in the kitchen! Cheers, Chef Izabella (aka: Chef Izzy)


Tea Parties are More Fun With Mini Treats

Hi, Izzy here. I've been cooking up a storm with my mom lately. We've been laughing a lot and enjoying our time together in the kitchen immensely.
I'm 2.5, so naturally, I'm totally into tea parties!
I love to have tea parties with my friends and family members. We like to put water, juice, milk or room temperature herbal tea, into our sophisticated tea cups. We feel like big girls. I like to serve delectable, edible treats at my tea parties as well.
Lately, my mom and I have been making bite size treats (also known in French as an "amuse-bouche"). One can eat them in a few bites or less.
Two treats in particular that I love for our tea parties are mini quiches and mini scones. Here are links to a couple great recipes:
My Mom's Mini Quiches
My Mom's Strawberry Scones
I like to serve a savory treat and a sweet treat at my tea parties. I like to appeal to everyone's palette. Let's face it, some of us have sweet-tooth's and some of us crave salt!

You can modify most recipes and make them into mini-treats, by adjusting the portion size and baking time.
For instance, if we are taking a regular sized recipe but baking it in mini-size-portions, my mom and I usually start by cutting the baking time in half and then we add more time in increments of 2-3 minutes at a time (to avoid burning).* For instance, our regular size scone recipe bakes for 18-25 minutes. Our mini scone recipe bakes for 11-16 minutes. We use the same exact ingredients, but we cut the large scone loaf in half and then portion the two loaves into 16 wedges instead of 8. So, it's really easy! You can experiment with cooking times or just look for recipes that offer mini portion serving sizes. You can find several recipes on-line.

The bottom line, is that life is short and it should be celebrated with beloved family members and friends. My mom and I like to show people that we care about them, by cooking or baking for them. If someone you know is going through a difficult time in life, maybe you and your caretaker can bring them some food. I've never met anyone, who received a home baked or home cooked treat, who didn't smile as a result. So spread the love. Spread the smiles. Share some food!

* Note, fellow toddlers, I always let my mom handle the hot oven-related stuff in the kitchen. She also deals with all the cutting and blade-related tasks. You must adhere to the safety laws of the kitchen!


Homemade Dressing Rocks!

Hi, Izzy here. Most of my fellow foodies out there would have to agree, that although making homemade dressing takes a little bit of time and energy, it is well worth the effort! I like to help my mom whisk up homemade dressings for my vegetables. I like to eat vegetables in several different forms: raw, steamed, mashed, sauteed, as a salad, grilled, etc. The common denominator, regardless of how the vegetables are prepared, is that I love to have fresh dressing with my vegetables. Sometimes I drizzle the fresh dressing over my vegetables. Other times I like to dip my veggies into a bowl of freshly made dressing. Here is a link to an easy recipe for GINGER, ORANGE DRESSING. As a rule of thumb, I usually use a 2 to 1 ratio. I use 2 parts vinegar, to 1 part olive oil. I think the key to great dressing, is to use good quality ingredients. I like to use fresh herbs, alliums, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, good grainy mustard (to get a good emulsification in my dressing), great quality vinegar and olive oil, and usually fresh citrus juice and zest in my dressings. You can mix it up though and use whatever you have on hand. My mom does all the dicing (I don't use real knives yet, since I'm only two). I use a large bowl and I whisk all of the ingredients together for a few minutes. Then my mom hands me the sieve or strainer and I strain the dressing. Sometimes we opt to keep the chunks in the dressing and we avoid this step. Other times, I do prefer to strain the dressing through a sieve for a smoother texture. We transfer the dressing to a cute airtight dressing jar and then we serve it alongside vegetables. We usually store our dressing in the airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. Well, it usually doesn't even last that long, because we eat it all up! I hope I have encouraged you to be bold with making homemade dressings at home. Sure, it's easier to use a store bought dressing. It's more fun though, to get creative and to use bold, fresh flavors with every snack or meal.

Here's a quick tip to my fellow toddlers out there: When you are shopping in the grocery store, help your caretaker find a few fresh dressing ingredients and encourage him or her to keep them on hand in the refrigerator. For instance, a chunk of ginger, a few sprigs of thyme, a shallot and an organic orange, will last for a couple weeks in your refrigerator. If a good quality olive oil or vinegar goes on sale at the store, pick an extra bottle up for your pantry. You and your caretaker will be more inclined to make fresh dressings if you already have the ingredients on hand. As my grandpa Sergi used to always say, Salute!


Go Green With Fresh Herbs

Hi, Izzy here. As a two year old, my palette is still developing. My taste buds seem to change every few months. One thing that has remained the same for the past several months, is my love of the homemade sauces that my mom and I make together. We make homemade tomato sauce, hummus, pesto, bechamel, and more. My favorite sauce to this day, is fresh pesto. I love the vibrant green sauce with its bold flavors. We like to plant fresh herbs and use them in our sauces. We usually make our pesto using fresh, organic basil as the star ingredient. We'll usually add a small bunch of additional herbs, just to balance out and spice up the flavors a bit. In our last batch we used sweet basil, arugula, dill, and water cress with pine nuts, olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and fresh Parmesan cheese. Because the cheese is very salty, we like to taste the sauce, before adding any salt. I take a small spoonful, taste it and then tell my mom, "more salt please" or "no more salt please". If I am going to add any salt, I add a small pinch at a time. You can always add more salt, but you can never take it back out. My mom lets me carefully add the ingredients
to the top edge of the food processor. I'm very careful to avoid getting my hands even remotely close to the blade at the bottom.We pulse all the ingredients together (except for the oil) and then I slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor, through the opening at the top. Once everything looks like it's incorporated, my mom takes the blade out so it's safe for me. She lets me scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula. I stir in any remaining bits into the mixture, so everything gets combined. We transfer the pesto into a bowl. Sometimes we just dip vegetables or crackers into the pesto (a tray of raw vegetable is called a crudite; we dip the vegetables in pesto and a vinaigrette that I help my mom whisk up too). Other times we spread the pesto onto bread and dress up an ordinary sandwich with it. My favorite thing to do with pesto, is to mix it into my pasta. Being true to my Italian roots, I absolutely LOVE pasta; all kinds of pasta. I recommend a good angel hair pasta for the pesto. The shallow surface area of the angel hair allows for more pesto per bite. It's delicious! If you have left over pesto, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Note, if the left over pesto starts to turn brown, then the air has gotten to it and it's gone bad. I'd recommend tossing it. We usually don't end up with left over pesto for very long because when we make fresh pesto, we put it on everything within a few days. You can put a little spoonful in an omelette to add some flavor. You can add a teaspoon of pesto to a bowl of homemade soup.
The possibilities are endless. My number one recommendation is to simply try making some homemade sauces of your own. Sure, the store down the street sells pesto and sauces, but with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can Go Green with Fresh Herbs in your very own kitchen. Your taste buds will thank you! Your comments are welcome. Salute, Izzy


Learn to Count While Making Pizza

Hello my fellow foodies. I've had an epiphany with regards to the benefits of cooking in the kitchen.Yes, I have a blast cooking in the kitchen. I love it. I enjoy learning about new foods. My sense of smell and taste is enhanced every time I'm in the kitchen helping my mom. With that said, a truly invaluable benefit of cooking in the kitchen is that I learn about spatial awareness and I enhance my counting skills. As a two year old, it's really important to learn how to count. My mom lets me flour the island counter while we roll and stretch out the pizza dough. She lets me spoon the sauce all over the dough. I get to sprinkle the cheese, mushrooms and olives all over the dough too. This helps me to learn about portion regulation and spatial awareness. Ya see, I cut the ingredient portions in half with my hand and then in half again before I sprinkle them onto the pizza dough. I visualize the pizza in four sections.
Then I take each of the four piles that I've divided out and sprinkle them evenly onto each section. Since I'm only two and I'm still a new cook, this helps ensure that I have enough cheese, olives and mushrooms to cover the entire pizza. I also really enjoy counting! I get to count out the pepperoni slices while I'm placing them on the pizza. I'm getting really good at counting one through twenty. Occasionally I'll eat a slice of pepperoni while I'm working, so then I have to start counting all over again. I'm a beginner ya know. I realize that if I were in a professional kitchen, I couldn't eat the ingredients as I prepared the meals, but this is a luxury of being a home cook. One more piece of advice: start with really good quality ingredients. This way, the likelihood that the end product will taste great, is pretty much a sure thing. As I always say, remember to have fun in the kitchen. Laugh a lot. Smile with the adult who is helping you in the kitchen. Always, always, always prepare your food with the ingredient of "love" in your heart. Love is the most important ingredient we can offer one another. If you can, invite a neighbor or a friend to share the meal with you. In Italian, Salute means health or well being. I hope you have good health and great wellness this week. Salute, Izzy


Italian Biscotti are a Family Favorite

Hi, Izzy here. Have you ever tried biscotti? You probably have.
Knead Your Dough with Love
Celebrate a Job Well Done!
You may have just forgotten what they were called. They are the crunchy, oval-oblong shaped biscuit like cookies that you'll often times see in the indie, local coffee shops. They are sometimes known as the "twice baked" cookies. They were first made in Prato, a province in Tuscany, Italy. You can find biscotti in specialty markets. I think you can also buy them in bulk at larger chain stores as well. Well, I see them often, because I make them with my mom at home, a lot. They are absolutely delicious and they are not that hard to make. I'm part Italian ya know, so I love an opportunity to eat a delicious Italian treat, and celebrate my Italian heritage at the same time. You can find dozens of recipes for biscotti on the internet. I love the ones with nuts, dried fruit and fresh citrus zest (orange zest is my favorite). You can also make chocolate and nut versions. Sometimes we like to dip them in a ganache and let the chocolate harden on the cookies.
Making homemade biscotti, you end up with a really sticky dough, so flour your work surface and hands well. You portion the dough out into two or three loaves. You bake the dough and remove it from the oven so it can cool slightly. Then you reduce the oven temperature. You slice the loaves width wise into half inch pieces. You turn them cut side down on a
parchment lined baking sheet and you bake them for about 15 minutes.
Measure with precision
You remove them from the oven, flip them on the tray so the alternating cut side faces down. You bake them for about 15 additional minutes. I let me mom deal with all the hot oven stuff. She always asks me to stand back while she's moving the trays in and out of the hot oven. It's important to follow the rules of the kitchen, since I'm only two. I recommend that my peers and fellow toddlers out there, listen to their parents carefully in the kitchen. You'll keep your parents happy. You'll stay safe. As a result, you'll end up doing more cooking in the kitchen and having more fun.
My favorite things to do with biscotti are to eat them and to pass them out to friends and neighbors, so they can enjoy them as well. My recommendation to you is to get in the kitchen with your parents. Try something new. Biscotti might have seemed difficult before you read my post, but now don't they seem totally approachable? Cook with confidence and laugh a lot while you're in the kitchen! Cheers, Izzy


Make Homemade Tortillas

Hi, Izzy here. We like to make homemade tortillas in our house. They make the house smell great. Everyone can get involved. I like to help my mom knead the tortilla dough after we mix the ingredients together. Then we section the dough into little balls. I love rolling the dough into little balls. It's fun! Then we flatten the little tortilla balls in the cast iron tortilla press. We then throw them from hand to hand in the air (to lighten the dough a bit). Then we put them on the heated comal to cook them. My my mom handles flipping them on the comal for me (since it's hot). I always try to adhere to the safety rules in the kitchen, since I'm only two. Some day though, I'll look forward to flipping the tortillas on the comal myself. It's fun to think up fun fillings for the tortillas. Sometimes my mom
slow cooks pork ribs to fill the tortillas with. Sometimes we just fill them with rice and beans. My favorite thing to do is to enjoy a nice warm tortilla, hot off the comal, with a little bit of real butter. Yum! Check out the recipe on the back of the Maseca package. I've had some of my friends over to help me make tortillas too. I had them bring various toppings and we had a tortilla party. Most of all - have fun and spend lots of time laughing in the kitchen! Share some of your stories with me in the comments section. Have you ever helped your parents
make homemade tortillas? Cheers,  Izzy.


Rainbow Cookies that Sparkle

Hi, Izzy here. I want to show other youngsters out there how to have a blast with cookie dough. My mom helped me make a basic sugar cookie dough recently (you can find a number of easy sugar cookie recipes online). I had to adhere to mom's warning to avoid eating the delicious dough until the cookies were baked (due to the raw eggs in the dough). Your parent can help you find a recipe with or without eggs in it, but I recommend waiting to eat the
dough until the cookies are fully baked, either way. After our cookie dough was completely mixed together, we divided the dough into 4 sections. We mixed in a pinch of edible food color gel to each section (we ended up with a red section, a blue section, a green section and a yellow section). We pulled little pieces of each of the colored dough sections and rolled the gathered dough into little balls. We placed the little dough balls on a cookie sheet and baked them. Each cookie turned into a unique piece of artwork. Some of the cookies reminded me of impressionist paintings I had seen in
my mom's art books. We also added sprinkles to some of them to enhance their sparkle. We had an absolute blast making these cookies. I can't wait to make them again soon. My suggestion to other kids out there is to one - wash your hands first, two - get your hands dirty in the kitchen, three - laugh a lot while you're doing it. Laughing a lot makes your caretaker smile too! Oh, and most importantly, share the delicious cookies with your friends and neighbors. Nothing draws people together more, than a shared snack or a meal.


You're Never Too Young, Thanks Mom.

Hi, Izzy here again. Just a reminder that I'm two years old. Today I was reflecting on how grateful I am that my mom exposed me to the kitchen when I was younger. Here is a picture of me at 6 months old. She used to cut fresh vegetables and fruits and let me smell them and suck on them (big pieces of course, so I wouldn't choke on them). She also supervised me the entire time. I remember smelling the large, freshly diced, rounds of yellow and green zucchini, carrots, parsnips, purple potatoes and sweet potatoes. I liked the tangible aspect of holding onto the different vegetables. I also liked being able to smell the sweetness and uniqueness of each vegetable. Plus, she started teaching me the various colors: purple, green, yellow, orange, red, etc. In fact, "purple" was one of my very first words. My mom used to also set cooking utensils and objects on my highchair tray. I used to grab the measuring spoons, measuring cups and little bowls. I always enjoyed sucking on a freshly picked lemon. Anyways, I just thought I'd blog again today about my love and passion for food, which was engendered largely by my mom, when I was only 6 months old. I've always enjoyed smelling freshly made food in my kitchen at home. It just makes me feel "at home". Thanks again, mom. I love you. Izzy.


Young Chef on the Rise

Hi, Izzy here. I'm 2 years old. I love to help my mom in the kitchen. Cooking and Baking are passions of mine. I like to dance, draw, kick the soccer ball, play with friends, read and build with blocks too, but being in the kitchen is the ultimate highlight of my day. This week, I helped mom bake mini banana muffins. They are delicious to eat, but even more fun to make! I really believe that a mini muffin is superior to a large muffin, because you get more muffin top per square inch in a mini muffin, hence my preference for mini muffins. At any rate, here are a few pictures of me in the kitchen. I'm working on getting my videos, more pictures and more recipes up as soon as possible.

Hopefully I can get more toddlers and young kids
excited about helping their parents out in the kitchen too. I love to help my mom shop for local, organic, fresh ingredients. My mom and I share awesome quality time together in the kitchen. As a toddler, I learn to follow her instructions. I also learn about the importance of abiding by certain rules, like not touching hot or sharp things in the kitchen. It's really important to listen to mom and dad. But, because I am such a good listener, I get to do the really fun stuff in the kitchen, like: knead dough with my hands, roll out homemade tortilla balls and flatten them in the tortilla press, whisk eggs, sugar and butter together, and on and on. 

Well, you're catching me in the early stages of my culinary journey. If you want to join my blog as a follower, that would be cool. Just click the "join this site" underneath the "members" button in the right column of my blog. Thanks for supporting my effort to get my peers and friends cooking in the kitchen with their parents!

Cheers for now.