Monday, September 29, 2014

New Year! New Look! New Adventures!

Shana Tova! A happy, healthy & sweet new year to everyone! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Rosh HaShanah, and that all of your prayers are answered for the good! 

What better way to start off the New Year, than with a fresh look and new adventures?! Welcome to the new Itsy Bitsy Balebusta! Since starting this blog almost 4+ years ago, so much has changed. I'm now wife to M, Mommy to a delicious baby boy and more sleep deprived/overwhelmed with love/ and excited about cooking than ever before! It was time that this portion of my life also had an update! 

I am so excited for this year and look forward to, Gd willing, watching Y continue to grow into the yummy boy he is, to M continuing to grow in his new role as an amazing Daddy & husband & to sharing the new lessons and adventures in our life with you! Of course bringing you more delicious recipes, reviews & more is at the top of the list as well!
I hope to add more to the Beyond the Kitchen section, from links and articles that keep me entertained and sane throughout long sleep deprived nights, to sharing little tips and tricks that I've picked up as a New Mommy! Posts with recipes and meal prep that make getting dinner on the table with an energetic little boy scooting around possible, are on the horizon as well!  

Thank you for sticking with me and for being a part of my journey! This blog started off as a way to cope with my grief and has flourished into a place of growth where I look forward to sharing all our good, bad, overwhelming and exciting moments! I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us and can only hope it's as delicious, cuddly and fulfilling as last year! 

Can't wait to share it all with you!

Friday, September 19, 2014

On A Stick!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Even though this is the first September since I went off to kindergarten, that I'm not going back to school, I still can't help but feel like summer fun is over! I've been incredibly fortunate to spend this summer with our new Little Man, going for walks, hanging out at the park and watching him grow every day! I'm in awe of all the parents and caregivers who balance taking care of everything at home and doubling up with work responsibilities too. Having said that, I have honestly realized that staying home is no breeze either. At one of Y's appointments last week, the doctor asked what my husband and I did and when I responded with, "I'm just home with the baby" he immediately stopped me and told me to remove "just" from my response, before continuing to tell me how important that role is. Needless to say, I was incredibly appreciative! It is a big task, and while there are days where the laundry just keeps piling and is only overshadowed by the pile of dishes, I'm learning to balance it all and to care less about the mess and more about the little bundle of boy who's now scooting everywhere and smiling brighter and brighter each day!

So, happy Friday everyone! Whether you've been surrounded by piles of memos at work, or piles of laundry at home, it's time for a treat! And what better than a cookbook that just screams, lay back, relax and enjoy!

Matt Armendariz's cookbook, On A Stick! is not only a perfect go to cookbook for the quintessential host/ hostess, but it's also perfect for bringing an extra element of fun to your family meals as well! So rarely is there a cookbook that really, really appeals to everyone. On A Stick!  has recipes that will appeal to anyone and the presentation is fun, friendly and leaves you with the confidence that you can create these party perfect treats!

While the cookbook appeals to a broad spectrum of people from host/hostesses to kids, the recipes themselves are equally inclusive. Yes there are plenty of recipes that require frying or breading, but they're balanced out with salads and healthy options as well! While there are Corn Dogs, there are also Caprese Sticks. This book balances out your traditional options, from fondue to the aforementioned Corn Dogs, while also providing new possibilities. Think Deep Fried Ravioli or Deep Fried Mac n' Cheese! If you'd prefer something not fried there are Antipasti Skewers, Stuffed Olives and Panzanella!

Also, I just have to mention the Pizza On A Stick recipe! Back at the beginning of our story, M treated me out to a day at the CNE (for those of you unfamiliar, the Canadian National Exhibition, or The Ex, is basically a theme park/ carnival/ show/ exhibition in Toronto from mid-August to Labor Day). I had never been, despite being born & raised in Toronto! While there were some memorable moments that we still laugh about today, one that stands out was walking past all the various food vendors and stopping in our tracks when we saw pizza on a stick! Not being kosher, we couldn't try it, but we were amazed. When I came across the recipe, it really solidified how much I enjoy this cookbook and how it really accomplished exactly what I think a great cookbook should. It provides recipes that bring back memories, help build new ones and help you create possibilities for conversations and memories as well as for your menu!

The recipes are innovative, fresh and fantastic! And it doesn't end with appetizers, sides and mains. You can also have dessert on a stick as well! The many sweet recipes appealed to me right away from traditional stick desserts such as Cake Pops and Frozen Bananas, but also Caramel Popcorn Balls, Chocolate Covered Cheesecake and Grilled Fruit Skewers!

I can't wait to take this book off of the shelf many, many times. Whether it's whipping up a quick weekday side dish to add a bit of fun to our plate, or creating various dishes for a dessert table, these recipes are as versatile as they are delicious!

Disclaimer: This cookbook was generously provided to me by the kind people at Quirk Books. The thoughts and opinions presented in the review are solely my own.