It’s going too fast!

Kids grow up so fast. It may sound cliche, but enjoy them every day, because soon they’ll be adults going off to college and getting married. My 7 yr old (soon to be 8 yr old) daughter grew almost 4″ since her last birthday and before you know it, will be the same height as me.

It feels like just the other day when I was taking her to preschool, crying in the car because I didn’t want her to grow up so quickly and now she’s finishing second grade and my little Lucas is going to preschool in September. I was hoping that our little baby Julian would be here to keep me occupied so I wouldn’t focus on the sadness of seeing my baby Lucas off to school already, but now I have to face it straight on!

I’ll just have to keep holding them and kissing them as much as possible, soaking them all in each and every day. After all, they ARE STILL my babies even if they are school age children now.

 

It’s a Black Bean Fiesta

We love black beans at our house. They are loaded with protein and fiber and are so versatile for any dish. Our favorites are Black Bean Soup, Black Bean Burgers and Black Bean Cheesy Enchiladas, just to name a few!

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Enchiladas

Once you start eating these delicious black bean burgers, you’ll wonder if you’ll ever need to eat a meat burger again! Serve with your choice of bun, lettuce, tomato and condiments. YUM-MO!

Black Bean Burger

Oh, and how can I forget the famous, delicious, hearty Vegetarian Chili. A Cerrato household favorite!

Vegetarian Chili

See recipe tab at top of page for these three Black Bean dishes, along with other delicious recipes. Let me know your thoughts once you’ve had a chance to eat them!

The wrong Toyota Sienna!

A woman, with her little girl and little boy standing beside her, along with a little baby boy curled up in her arms, walked towards her Toyota Sienna right next to mine and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “I guess I bought the wrong Sienna because I wasn’t granted that beautiful family of three children.” They were all smiling and enjoying each other. It made me so sad as I watched them and remembered the emptiness inside of me every single moment of every single day.

As they left, another woman came into the shop with her four small children, including a newborn baby, a little younger then Julian’s age, sitting in his baby car seat, smiling at his mommy. It is all around me. I can’t escape it. I wish God would at least grant me some peace from all of these situations. At least he could give me that.

Cast your Vote!

My dear friend, whom I’ve known for years and worked with in the past, was so kind in designing a logo for Food Jules. She is an amazing graphic artist and has done a remarkable job, yet again. I am very grateful to you, Jane, for all of your help and patience with this adventure of mine.

All of the logo renditions were great. Here are the final two picks. I need your help in deciding which one works best for the business. So, cast your vote by April 9th and be part of our official logo design.

option #1

Option #2

Ahhhh, the sweet smell of “the soap”

I know, it may sound strange, but I have a particularly fine sense of smell…. not only when I’m pregnant, but all the time.

Right now, I am smelling the scent of the Tide soap on my shirt. I will be enjoying this scent all day long because it reminds me of Julian. This soap was given to me by the nurses, while I was at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital with Julian. I used it to wash his little baby onesies and socks and my own laundry, there at the hospital. This scent brings me back to those days with him. I miss those days and I wish I was still there with him. They were not the best days because of his illness and all that was going on around us, but they were great days because he was here with me and I could still lay next to him and kiss him and hold his little hands. I just can’t stop smelling my shirt. Why did he have to go? What does all this mean? Why is this all happening? I am floating around without any real meaning in my life, without anything to look forward to, without my little baby who was inside my belly for nine months. The one that I waited for my entire life!

I wish that you all got to meet him. He was such a sweet, adorable little baby. I was so lucky to have him. I just wish I was luckier enough to keep him.Missing him more each day!

 

Julian being held by his big sister

What would you do for Chocolate?

It’s 10pm and you have a craving for chocolate, so what do you do? Do you eat leftover Halloween candy? Do you eat chocolate icecream? Do you send your husband out to get you a hot chocolate at Starbucks? Well, those all sound great but we all know the husband isn’t going to run out to Starbucks for you at 10pm and in my house, there isn’t any chocolate icecream, as it’s all been eaten and frankly, the halloween candy doesn’t sound that appealing.

Well then, there’s only one more option…. and it’s what I did tonight!

I made Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Muffins! I know. I watched them as they baked in the oven and as soon as I took them out, I ate them all warm and gooey straight out of the oven with a nice glass of milk! Now, that’s how I like to eat my chocolate! I know, I’m not normal for baking so late at night but can you blame me? Don’t they look so yummy? I am muffin crazy! Now, the question is what would you do?

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pass the salt

Salt. There are so many different types of salt, which one is better to use for cooking and baking? The main difference between salts seems to be their texture. There are three major types of salt.

Iodized Table Salt has fine granules that dissolve quickly, making it the preferred salt of bakers.

Kosher Salt is an additive free salt and has larger, course grains, preferred by cooks.

Sea Salt has a milder flavor then table salt and is preferred by cooks for table use. I use Hain’s all natural Iodized Sea Salt for everyday cooking and baking, as it accentuates other ingredients in the dish/baked good without overpowering it with a salt flavor.

Most recipes that call for salt refer to table salt which has additives like iodine, to prevent a thyroid disease, and an anti-caking agent so the salt won’t get lumpy in humid weather.  However, salt connoisseurs, often prefer to use Kosher salt for cooking, and sea salt for table use, claiming they have a softer flavor.

Salt in an essential component in baking.  Of course you only add 1/2 teaspoon at a time to your baked goodies, but don’t take salt for granted! Salt accentuates the overall flavor, enhancing the flavors of butter, flour and even chocolate! By the way, when baking, use unsalted butter to help control the amount of salt used in your baked good. You wouldn’t want to make a batch of salty cookies!