You mean haven’t heard about the new chewable Dora the Explorer birth control?


Ok, maybe those are just vitamins.

But Dora the Explorer birth control does exist.

And it comes in the form of…

IMG_2839Gigi! (Otherwise known as, and mistaken for, Dora.)

For any new readers who’ve not yet had the pleasure of “meeting” Gigi, she’s my sassy five-year-old quasi-hermanita (translation: little sister). I say quasi because she’s not really my sister. She’s my dad’s girlfriend’s daughter. But she’s been en mi vida since the very first day she arrived to America when she was 10 months old (she’s adopted from Guatemala), so I consider her familia.

Why, you may wonder, am I referring to a beloved familia member as birth control? Well, last week, I had the pleasure of spending an entire día with Dora because she had a day off from escuela. Note my use of the word pleasure, which is not meant to carry any tones of sarcasm. I truly enjoyed my Dora-filled día, but it was utterly exhausting. Kudos to las madres who muster up the energy to deal with kiddie chaos day in and day out, but un día with Gigi was enough to confirm that there will be no mini foodies en mi futuro for a very long time.

Mi día con Dora kicked off with a desayuno disaster.

The previous night, I’d dreamt up a decadent bowl of oats. And we all know what ensues when you conjure up a creation in the midst of slumber. (This is assuming that everyone dreams of food. Right?) You awake fully intent on making that delicious dream a reality.

Or maybe I’m just a foodie freak. But when I dream of Jeannie foodgasms, I make ‘em happen.

So, let’s get to the bowl of my dreams. The base was my standard banana, egg white oat bran. The topping was the culprit behind the drool on my pillow. I envisioned my creamy oats drowning (in a happy way) in a pool of strawberry pomegranate syrup.

I’ve never made any sort of fruit syrup before—but I had my first pint of seasonal strawberries and some POM samples that Kristen generously sent my way a few weeks ago—so I figured it was worth a shot.

The only problemo? I had to pick Dora up in 20 minutes—and didn’t have the time to simultaneously stir a pot of oats and an experimental pot of syrup.

A normal person would have abandoned Plan Oat Bran and thrown together a quick yogurt mess. But I’ve always been next to normal. At least on the food front.

So I convinced myself decided that creating my very first fruit syrup in the microwave was entirely plausible.

The strategy? 1 cup of fresh strawberries sliced + 1/2 cup POM Wonderful + 1/2 cup water + 3 tbsp. sugar. Microwaved for 8 minutes.

Needless to say, this wasn’t what I was going for.


Yep. 1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of liquid came out looking like this.


I’m guessing 8 minutes was a little too long. Woops.


That was really fun to clean.

I’d already made my oat bran (1/2 cup Hodgson Mill’s oat bran + 1 cup water + 1/2 sliced banana + 1/3 cup egg whites)—which thankfully made it out of the microwave in fine form. So I plopped my “strawberry pomegranate syrup” on top and called it breakfast.


Except my 2 tbsp. of strawberry gunk looked depressingly meager on my big bed of oats.


So I decided to douse it in almond milk and cinnamon.


I can’t remember the logic behind that decision—I was frantically packing snacks and getting myself in order for mi día con Dora—but it was a great call.


Super creamy oats with a hint (italics, bold and underline necessary to emphasize the word hint) of strawberry and pomegranate. Not the bowl of my dreams—but I didn’t hate it.

I scooped Dora from her madre, and then we were off.


Places to go, people to see…

By that, I mean supermarkets to visit, supermarket workers (who admittedly know me by name/think I’m suspicious for spending so much time perusing the aisles) to see…

Sí, Gigi and I were off to do some grocery shopping!

Gigi’s madre hates grocery shopping, especially with Gigi because—for some strange reason—Gigi behaves terribly during supermercado trips with her madre. We discovered that Gigi not only behaves during—but enjoys—grocery shopping with me—and we need not address my amor for food shopping. So I volunteer my grocery store services whenever Nancy (la madre de Gigi, la novia de mi padre) is in need.

One thing I’ve learned regarding Gigi and food shopping: She always “gets hungry” on the way. I guess the idea of entering a magical mundo of food-filled aisles whets her appetite. Can’t blame la chica.

I packed provisions.


We had a riveting discussion about the difference between Special K bars and Clif Z bars—wherein Gigi learned that Z bars are not only healthier, but also more filling. She assured me that no bar was too filling for her big girl appetite.

Somehow, a quarter of her way into the bar, she went back on her word and declared fullness.

And, so, 3/4 of a Z bar ended up on my lap.


And by in my lap, I mean in my mouth.

Maybe this “mommy” thing isn’t so bad after all…

We got our goodies…


…and headed home to get our lunch on.

At this point, I was again reminded that I’m definitely not ready for mommydom. This sounds entirely trivial—but I’m not used to catering to anyone’s cravings but my own. And mommydom means your cravings come segundo. No me gusta.

You see, I’m big on the whole intuitive eating thing. I’ve not read the book—but I avidly practice the “eat what you’re in the mood for” principle.

I was in the mood for an omelet. Gigi was not. I wasn’t up for making separate lunches—nor was I interested in force-feeding an omelet to a stubborn five year old.

So I got creativo and made the following pitch:

Gigi, what if I told you that we could turn eggs into cupcakes?

Dora signed off on this proposal, and we set out to make Caitlin’s mini quiches egg cupcakes.


We mixed up 5 eggs, 1 cup of broccoli, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, poured the mix into cupcake tins and baked them at 350° for 35 minutes.

Gigi didn’t like the whole waiting 35 minutes aspect of our egg cupcakes—so we had a lunch appetizer of Jarlsberg nachos and hummus.


You know I never speak badly about my beloved Sabra—but the Chipotle hummus was disgusting. This is the only Sabra flavor I’ve met and not liked. It was weirdly smoky and just very awkward tasting.





Good thing we had other Sabra options.


Greek Olive saved el día.

Actually, egg cupcakes saved el día.


These were incredible—and so kid-friendly.


I threw some mozzarella and parmesan on top of mine and broiled them for an additional two minutes.


Gigi went the straight-up mozzarella route.


Egg cupcakes? ¡Delicioso! Foodie & Dora-approved :).

After several more horas of chasing Gigi, I was happy to drop her off with her madre and unwind by making myself an unrushed, non-kiddie cena.

First up, roasted broccoli.


Simply tossed in EVOO and sugar, then broiled for 8 minutes.


Luckily 8 minutes turned out beautifully this time around ;).


I also roasted my last kabocha squash of the season :(.


See you next fall, mi amor…


And whipped up a big bowl of cold sesame noodles.


I don’t have a recipe for this one because I was ravenous and just threw together a basic combo of soy sauce, peanut butter, almond milk, garlic, sesame oil and honey.

And garnished with sesame seeds and crushed peanuts :).


I knew how Gigi felt waiting for the egg cupcakes earlier. It was not fun waiting for these to get cold. But SO worth it.

I think I really needed my precious kitchen time after a day of running around with/after Gigi because post-cena, I got the baking bug.

As usual, I embraced it.


I finally made April’s low-carb sweet bread, which was AMAZING.


Even more so topped with cream queso and strawberry preserves.

I guess the strawberry craving from my dream was still lingering… ;).

Preguntas: Do you dream of food creations? Por favor, tell me I’m not the only one. Do you have kids? If so, how do you manage ENJOYING EATING while catering to kiddie taste buds and an on-the-go lifestyle?

Feliz lunes, foodies! I hope you’re all enjoying fantastic weather, wherever you may be!