Thursday, January 17, 2008

watch the wheels turn.

Csilla and I had fun baking cookies today. It was a recipe out of Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook. Yes, that Seinfeld, of yadda yadda yadda fame. Jerry's wife wrote a cookbook all about how to secretly sneak healthy vegetables into your kid's food. Csilla is a notoriously picky eater so I bought Jessica's story hook-line-and-sinker (expertly plugged on Oprah none-the-less.)

Each of Jessica's recipes feature a secret ingredient such as pureed beets, pureed carrots, pureed spinach and my personal favourite, pureed cauliflower - very stinky, but it's white, so it's easy to hide in the new millennium organic mac and cheese of choice - Annie's Bunny Noodles. This is not your mama's Kraft Dinner! Csilla falls for the cauliflower in the noodles every time.

However, with the exception of the cauliflower in the noodles trick, every recipe I've made out of this cookbook has been a total stinker, literally and figuratively, and Csilla's not buying any of it.

Today though, we made Jessica's chocolate chip cookies featuring the secret ingredient - drum roll please - chick peas. And, even better, they were... delicious!

In fact, Csilla loved them. They were basically your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a little less sugar than usual and some healthy oats added in and then the chick peas. Now this isn't any huge great excitement for me, because of all the things Csilla hates, she actually likes chick peas, so getting her to eat them isn't any great feat. But I guess at least if I'm going to give her a treat like chocolate chip cookies, I may as well sneak some uber-healthy chick peas into her too.

Here's a little aside, chick peas are incredibly good for you. Check this out (from - great site btw):

"If chick-peas (also known as garbanzos or ceci) aren't a regular part of your diet, you're missing out on one of nature's truly perfect foods. Inside these cream-colored, mild-flavored, marble-size legumes, you'll find hefty amounts of protein (but very little fat), slow-burning complex carbohydrates, fiber (including the soluble fiber that may lower cholesterol), B vitamins--especially folate (folic acid)--and minerals. The phytochemicals in chick-peas include isoflavones and protease inhibitors."

Who knew? We eat a lot of chick peas around here. Cold and straight out of the can. Yummy!

Anyway, back to the cookie story. We baked them up and had fun doing it. Of course, Csilla could barely wait long enough for them to cool before she wanted one. Don't you just hate the way chocolate chips stay extra hot and burn your tongue if you're too quick to eat them out of the oven? Such a cruel way to teach a lesson in patience. Burned by chocolate no less!

When Csilla was finally allowed to eat a sufficiently cooled cookie, she absolutely wolfed it down and was jonesing for a second before she could even swallow the first. But, being the good Mama that I am, and as it was nearing dinner time, I told her she would have to wait until after dinner. Just then, Daddy arrives home. Sweet as she is, Csilla is very quick to offer Daddy a cookie.

"Heeerrre. I'lllll carry one to Daddy. I can do it. I'll give Daddy a cookie."

But this Mama wasn't born yesterday and I recognize Csilla's very kind offer to be a very thinly veiled attempt to get her hands on another (currently out of reach) cookie. She has absolutely no intention of the cookie ever actually reaching it's intended destination. Under the guise of generosity - very clever - Csilla really just wants another cookie for herself. You can actually see the wheels turning in her head. And when I don't fall for it, she moves quickly to plan B.

"What about Nana? I bet Nana wants a cookie."

My mom, Nana, lives upstairs and is currently on a no-sugar diet, but Csilla pays no attention to such trivial details. Nana most certainly needs a cookie. Yet again, this Mama's no dummy and Csilla's plan to get her hands on another cookie is shot down.

I have, however, stupidly moved the cookies back into reach to move them off the cooling racks and into a container when Csilla starts picking them up and moving them into position in front of her.

"One for Mama, one for Daddy, one for Nana and one for Csilla!" She looks up at me with the sweetest, cutest, most innocent face and then quickly launches into a count of the cookies which is very smart of her because she knows how much I love to hear her count. This kid is no dummy.

And so we count the cookies multiple times until Mama finally puts her foot down and says dinner's ready. No cookies until after dinner. After Csilla finishes all her dinner and all her bunny noodles (laced cauliflower no less!) a cookie may be eaten. She concedes and eats her dinner, but ends up too full to want the second cookie tonight. Score one for Mama.

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