Families Welcome & Foodie Approved… Part 1

Raising a silver spoon

I’ll be the first to admit, I am one of those moms. I’m a party crasher. I show up with my kids at the restaurant where you are having your first awkward date or a stuffy business meeting.  I’ll be wearing yoga pants, have a buttload of cheerios stuck to my shirt, a crazed look of hunger in my eyes. I’ll be eager to sit down at the next available table and take some food photos all while bouncing my 11-month-old and entertaining my 3-year-old. I swear, I’m not nuts. I’m just a mama squirrel tryin to get some nuts *wink *wink. For me, meal time is family time.  With the exception of date night with my hunk-of-a-man, eating out is an all inclusive affair and I like my lil nutty love muffins to be included. I’m all about raising my kids to be shiny, happy silver spoons (minus any pretension). Not to worry, I got ‘em well trained. They do pretty darn well at restaurants and they enjoy the experience as much as I do, especially when there’s rice involved.

Yes, I picked this up before leaving. I also see why some people are anti-kid for this reason and this alone. But let’s give rice and peas a chance, right?

What is Foodie Approved?

Foodie Approved: Somewhere i can get this

I’d like to re-invent the idea of “Kid-Friendly” into “Families Welcome AND Foodie Approved.” As much as I love a playground and good food. I’ll take the food over the playground. During my journey to feed my children gourmet goodies I have noticed two things: First, even folks who are so called “foodies,” sometimes  give their kids mystery meat with a side of red dye #5. Why?  Convenience, low cost, or maybe just too many hairy eyeballs at the cool spots?  I write this without judgements.  Heck, I go to the Starbucks drive-thru at least 3 times a week due to convenience and living in the burbs. Secondly, when visiting a new city with my children and asking a seemingly food lovin’ local for a lunch recommendation more often then not they suggest mass produced muck (Friendly’s, Denny’s or IHOP).  Three words: Yuck, Gross and Disgusting!  Just because I come encrusted with crispy cheerios does NOT mean I want to feed my family junk. I want the place where the food enthusiasts roam, where the local meat is being tenderized, where the beef is as grass-fed as a hamster, where the walls look like the 60′s we born again, where the hipsters are a plenty, you get it.

Where am I going with this? If you’re a parent with a mountain of Mickey D wrappers in your minivan, I invite you to join me as we re-invent the family foodie wheel.  Or if you’re recommending a restaurant share the good spots not the grease spots.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Be honest. Let’s stir the organic soup pot. Either, I’m as loony as a bag of fruit loops or are you are on the “foodie approved” bandwagon?

If you’re with me please sign up for the FAST FOOD FREE petition, (no worries: Chipotle is not considered fast food) you can sign your name by commenting below.

If you think I’m coocoo for cocoa puffs and should shut my food lovin’ pie hole, kids n all Please dish…

*Check back soon for more information and a list of certified, “Family Friendly and Foodie Approved” places.



Tastefully Balanced

For the past 2 weeks I have lost my sense of smell and TASTE! Damn you Texas Ceder. Even after a plethora of Neti Potties I still I wake up each morning and run down stairs sniffin’ anything I can get my hands on and chuggin’ OJ to see if I can taste it. I admit it I’m desperate. A foodie loosing her taste/smell is like Dolly Parton loosing her Tatas voice. My master palate has been put on pause and my master love affair with the edible on hold.

(Oh-Beautiful plate of food. I cannot taste, there for I am not.) I know I’m really deep.

As much as this has been a curse it has given me time to reflect on how much my senses of taste and smell mean to me. As much as food, flavor, taste, smell, and chasing food dreams rules most of my life. This month I asked myself, “at what expense?” Truthfully, I have yearned for a ripe grape to burst into my mouth or to indulge in my rich dark morning coffee, or even to smell my babie’s fresh-from-the-tub hair. Yet I notice that I have been much more easy-going. *Gasp* I know it’s hard to believe.

Full Disclosure – some of you may have seen me throw a food tantrum when my food dreams are spoiled by mediocre food or bad service.  I shamefully remember dragging my family around NYC with a crazed, hypoglycemic look in my eyes so angry that I couldn’t find a real smoothie when I craved one.  Let’s not forget how often I send dishes back to the kitchen for being slightly burned, under ripe, or drenched in dressing.  And I wish I could take back the dirty looks I shot at my hubby when he forgot the butter on my blueberry pancakes.  I know for a fact I have made some of you cringe when eating out with me.  Perhaps, there is room for a new balance of having high standards without the tantrums or melt downs and keep some chutzpah.

As much as I miss my tastes I have a new committtment to my love affair with the edibles. Deep breath…Ok, I think I can..I think I can…

Dear Food, If I’m really hungry…I will love you even if you’re not perfect. I will eat you even if you’re not exact. I will cherish the moment and still keep my standards high without costing me my friendships or my marriage.

Fewww it’s nice to get that one off my chest. Ok, universe I promise to behave… now can I have my senses back?

Where does your balance of annoyance and high standards lie? Bring your shame game up a notch or two. For me, I see loosing my sense of taste has gained my sense of perspective. Is being a hungry witch-on-wheels really worth the perfect bite?  I think not.

 Tastefully balanced,

One Saucy Mama.

 

Life Lessons From Lil Bean Sprout

Here’s my sweet Lil Bean Sprout exploring food for the first time (I know he is one Delicious little man, isn’t he?) I could just eat him up.

I have a serious confession.  As he experienced the colors, the tastes, the smells and the textures of good food my mind was spinning like a dradle in the middle of Chanukah.   My heart skipped a beat every time something landed on the floor or rolled off the place mat.  I was as nervous as a long tailed donkey in a room full of rocking chairs. Me, a Mama who prides herself on her passion for the edibles was turning into a meat ball of stress.

Yikes!

Let me explain… My Lil Bean Sprout was happy for about 15 minutes playing with his green salad and his banana-in-a-mesh-bag-thingy.  In baby time this is equivalent an 8 hour day marching around the San Antonio Zoo.  I bet you’re asking yourself… Shouldn’t she have been happy that her son was content for a full 15 minutes?  Unfortunately, No!  I was fighting a battle with my inner-self.  As the beautiful food chaos blossomed my maternal urges for cleanliness and order surged and I just about swiped that lettuce out from under him.

Oi Vey!

( Key words here, Just About)

Instead I had a small victory over my Type Anal personality. I tried to sit back, relax, and let nature take it’s course.  He was tasting, looking, touching, licking, slapping, drooling, gripping and twisting; and it really made this Food Lovin’ Mama proud.

There is a life lesson in this post.  My fellow Food Lovin’ Mamas out there, let’s make a joint pact: No crying over spilled salad.

Deep Breath. We can do it.  We have vacuum cleaners and/or husbands.  These spontaneous moments of joy can only be captured for a short time.  Let’s sit back and let our little sprouts play with their food.  Trust me it’s worth it, even if you do end up stepping on something slimy at 2am.  Let Go and Let Food.

Until next time…