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Jake’s Foodie Adventures

November 30, 2013

You see, Jake is a rather picky eater (understatement). We tease him that he doesn’t like anything that has flavor, because well…he doesn’t. In fact, there are quite a few times that I’m enjoying some awesome new dish, gushing about it and stating “You would hate this”.  I am far from the World’s Most Adventurous Eater, but my list of foods I love is much more extensive that his. In fact, Jake doesn’t love food at all. He’s just as happy eating a burger from Burger King as I would be eating lobster from a 5 star restaurant in San Francisco.  He is the polar opposite of a Foodie. This was a fairly difficult concept for me to grasp, because my family tends to revolve around food. Someone does you a favor? buy them a meal. On Saturday mornings, my dad would make a huge breakfast for everyone.

Anyway, over the last couple of years, I’ve asked Jake to try various foods that I think he might like or at least be able to tolerate. We’ve created three tiers. Tier 1 – Jake likes this, Tier 2 – Jake will eat this and Tier 3 – Jake wants to run away screaming. Here are the results of our experiments so far:

Tier 1 – Crab, Fish & Chips, Lobster, Uncrustable PB&J sandwiches, Chipotle burritos (he gets just steak & cheese), Portuguese Sweet Bread and Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie

Items between Tier 1 and Tier 2 (because sometimes life doesn’t fit in boxes. Also known as a gray area. Jake doesn’t like gray areas.  Shh! Don’t tell him.) – Lamb from a Persian Restaurant in Livermore, CA and Thai Yellow Curry Chicken

Tier 2 – Corned beef, Pho, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Ya-Ya, and Roasted Acorn Squash

Tier 3 – Japanese Ginger Sauce, Spicy Mustard

The trick is to find foods that don’t combine a ton of flavors, but also don’t have an overpowering flavor (see Japanese Ginger Sauce and Spicy Mustard). I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things for the list, but really it’s a good start!

So let’s go back to that Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie. We got the recipe from here. Then we modified it. The “we” in this context is Jake as he is the Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pie maker. First, he doubled (tripled) the cheddar. We go through lots of cheese, particularly cheddar. It’s actually a bit of a problem because we are trying to be hormone-free in all of our dairy products. This wasn’t a problem in California where Tillamook was abundant and reasonably priced. The fact that we were considerably closer to Tillamook, OR than we are now is not lost on me. But fear not! Out here, we have Cabot! Which is awesome stuff made in Vermont but not all of their stuff is hormone free. Hiland Dairy is another brand we have out here that is hormone free, at least in their milk. I’m not 100% sure about their cheese. My confusion comes when their website says they’re hormone free in all of their dairy products and that the milk comes from dairies near each of their plants in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Then the cheese has a “Real California Cheese” sticker on it. So, which is it? It’s really neither here nor there because they don’t make the extra sharp aged stuff.  We’ve obviously still got a few kinks to work out.

Back to the pot pies. Jake will mix extra sharp cheddar with medium cheddar and the total amount is at least double the 4 oz but realistically probably closer to triple. We like our food really cheesy. Again, Jake likes cheese. He likes cheese more than my dad, which is saying something. When he has people over, my dad will pull out of a block of cheddar, start slicing off slices and handing them out. It’s also his cure for any type of stomach ailment. Stomach ache? Eat more cheese. We decided he’s a Cheese Dealer.  Have a slice of cheese. Don’t want any? You sure? Have it anyway.  Until you give in and eat the cheese. See, he’s like a drug dealer except with cheddar. Hence, Cheese Dealer.  I am my father’s daughter and I have a very healthy appreciation for cheddar.  So between me and Jake? We eat a lot of cheddar.

Look! Pot Pies! You knew I’d get back to these at some point, right? So yes, Jake uses two types of cheddar and we’ve switched out the puff pastry for Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. They’re cheaper and easier than puff pastry. I’m sure they contain some preservative that’s horrible for us, but one battle at a time. I love these pot pies. We make 4 at a time and will eat two. Then I take the others to work for lunch. The guys at work get jealous of my homemade pot pies. I’ve tried telling them it’s just filling topped by a crescent roll but they’re still so impressed. You know, I had this grand plan to make these and take pictures of each step but yeah. Hasn’t happened. Usually I’m starving while Jake is trying to make these and pictures are the last things on my mind. The bottom line is this: Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pies are awesome and you should try them.

Now for what you probably actually came here for – Annabelle.  Annabelle turned 7 months the day we left for CA, so her giraffe pictures were slightly delayed. She’s 14 pounds according to our scale (which is known to be indecisive), loves food and is thinking about crawling. She also has the smallest feet at her daycare. Yes, even smaller than the itty bitty 2 and 3 month olds.  Sorry kid, looks like you’re taking after me. The shoes she wore for her Santa pictures are newborn size and while snug, we didn’t exactly have to shove her foot in it like she was one of Cinderella’s step-sisters.

Waiting to see Santa! Jake loves that dress and thinks we should have bought it in every size. I thought that was a little much.

Did I mention that she’s obsessed with shoes? I thought it might be because shoes cover her socks and make it so she can’t pull them off and play with them. But the first thing she does when Minnie appears in her play pen is inspect her shoes. Every time. Girls will be girls.

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