I know that dinner time in many homes is not easy. Even in my own house I would say at least once if not twice a week dinner is actually a struggle. Whether it’s coming up with what to make, or finding something to make that everyone will eat, or actually getting people to eat the food that they normally love, it can be really challenging.
After months of arguing with my kids about dinner times I finally hit a wall and realized I needed to fix things. That’s how Kitchen Destinations started. Once I tested the concept and realized how effective it was I knew I had to incorporate more of them into our routines.
So, at first it started out with just different locations. Luckily, there’s no shortage of countries with unique cuisines. Truthfully though, sometimes, I’m just not in the mood to start looking up facts, trying new recipes and doing everything that goes along with it. But, what I learned from my week-long culturally themed dinners, was that my kids were so much more excited and willing to try new foods that we, as a family, learned about and “experienced” together, that as long there’s a topic and something to discuss that we can sort of connect to food, dinner will run so much more smoothly.
That’s when I realized, that I’m not limited to only “Kitchen Destinations”. As long there’s a topic and something to discuss that we can sort of connect to food, dinner will run so much more smoothly. I can come up with tons of different “themes” that we can carry out through out the week. I just need to genuinely excited about it, build it up a few days before and get the kids will feed off my energy, get involved and they’ll love it.
Now, although I still haven’t found way to solve my food-all-over-the-floor, tomato-sauce-covered-freshly-bathed-kids, and before-bedtime-crankiness, at least getting my kids to COME to the table and taste the food has been dealt with.
Now, onto BRAZIL.
I am little embarrassed to say this, but in all of the different places my children and I have visited through out our “kitchen destination” journeys we have never done a single South American country. The only reason I can even come up with is that in my limited knowledge of South American cooking I really didn’t know there was anything more besides rice and beans or their version of barbecue.
Once I got to talking to my friend and neighbor Nomi and her visiting sister-n-law Malki, I realized how crazy it was to have never taught my kids about an entire continent! After Nomi and Malki agreed to be our culinary “tour guides” through Brazil, everything else fell into plus. Especially, how fitting it was that the first country we should choose to represent South America would be its largest!
After having tasted their “simple” rice beans, I am know completely mortified that we waited so long to learn about Brazil. Although they require very few ingredients they are absolutely delicious and were only matched by the amazing Brazilian dishes we learned to make.
Getting into the kitchen with friends and family is always a recipe for good times and good food. Everything was sooooooo delicious!
I think for my family the highlights were the Beef d’milanese, the recipe we adapted from Leah Schapira and the Pao de Queijo (cheese balls). I don’t think anyone was surprised that the cheese balls would be good, but who knew you could make them gluten free and bake them and they would be just as yummy as the best fried mozzerella stick.
The oven fried beef steaks though, those were a huge shock! hen I forwarded the recipe from Leah to Nomi, I was secretly hoping Nomi would say we shouldn’t make it. Instead she spoke to her mother, adapted the recipe and said it was on. I was nervous that we were basically going to ruin three beautiful bone-in rib eye steaks. Not only were the y not ruined, it was one of the most delicious pieces of steak I’ve ever eaten! So, moist and tender on the inside, but perfectly crispy on the outside. I mean, what more do we really need?
This was the first time we got to experience our Kitchen Destinations with other families and have them come into our kitchen to cook their authentic food right along side of us. It was so fun and special and we are truly so grateful to Nomi and Malki for giving up their time to us. We learned so much this week about Brazil and the Amazon and we really hope you incorporate some of our Kitchen Destinations into your own homes.
If you have any fun ideas or input for other places we can visit through our kitchen be sure to reach out through email or any of my social media platforms. Would love to hear from you!
Peas and Love,