Coconut Tapioca Pudding

A great, super easy recipe for any deadbeat mom trying to tap into her Southeast Asian Martha Stewart. On second thought, make that the Southeast Asian ‘Two Fat Ladies.’ Let’s face it Martha’s dull and this recipe ain’t.



2/3 cup dried tapioca

1 can coconut milk

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

Fruit for topping



1.        Soak tapioca in cold water for 1 hour. Drain.

2.        In pot, heat coconut milk, sugar and water bring to a gentle simmer.

3.        Pour in tapioca and stir.

4.        Cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

5.        Serve with fresh tropical fruit on top.



Recipe for a Good Mommies Group

I must confess: I’m not really the mommy group type. Sure I like to cook, but that’s really where Martha Stewart and I part ways. I’m not into scrap-booking, failed Grade 8 sewing and am generally turned off by all the “oohing and aaahing” over china patterns and pressed flower arrangements.

 Which is why I dropped the first mom’s group I went to like a very wet diaper. Before I get any hate mail, let me just clarify: I like doing crafty stuff (I suck at it, but that’s what makes it kind of fun). I’m even thinking about making my own baby food. But while all the women at the mom’s group seemed very nice, I couldn’t crack their veneer. They were too nice. Too happy. Too damn pleasant and perky. 

 There I was, making a baby foot print shadow box for my in-laws and I gotta say: I wasn’t feeling the love. I was tired, cranky and dammit, my nipples hurt. Sure I love the bejesus out of baby N but I was having a bad day.  Apparently, I was the only one.  Everyone around me was all smiles and hugs and “oooh that paper is just the cutest!” and “I’ve already made two scrapbooks to commemorate the first two weeks of little Janie’s life!” I left there feeling disconnected and glum: maybe mommydom wasn’t for me after all.

 But a great thing happened. My neighbour (who I didn’t know all that well) invited a couple of new moms and I over for lunch and yes, even a glass of wine (before I get more hate mail about being a deadbeat alcoholic mom, breastfeeding guru Jack Newman says it’s okay to indulge now and then). The four of us sat there, babes in arms or tucked away in a vibra chair and something amazing transpired: we dished it out straight, even though we barely knew each other.

 We all, it turns out, have moments of sheer love, panic, joy, insanity, peace and frustration over being new moms. We sat there and laughed and bitched and laughed–about sleepless nights, stupid things our mates sometimes utter, the cute little things our babies had started doing, the consistency and regularity of poop, the crying, the cooing, the hormonal up and downswings, the fact that we felt unprepared. And then we laughed some more until we realized we’d been sitting there for over four hours. All without having made one shadowbox, assembled one scrapbook page, or having decided on which ‘special guest’ we could bring in to tell us how to feed, bond and burp our babies.

Yet something was acheived that day: we all found a place where we could be our messy, complicated new mom selves without judgement and without having to accomplish any task other than to enjoy each others’ company. And now a group of six, we’ve decided to do it every week.

 It’s real, it’s raw, and I must say, it’s something I look forward to every Tuesday!

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Yikes!  Want to add a little zing to your breastmilk? This recipe (which was a hit at my deadbeat mom’s lunch) is tasty, easy and, you guessed it, garlicky!

Hint:  This tastes better if made the day before and if you use chicken on the bone. To make it even faster, buy pre-peeled garlic at an Asian market. Got the recipe from Bonnie Stern’s Simply HeartSmart Cooking book. Serves 6 

1 3lb/1.5 kg chicken cut in pieces skin removed

2 tbsp olive oil

40 cloves garlic peeled

10 shallots peeled

3 tbsp cognac or brandy

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3/4 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp chopped chives or green onions

1.        Pat chicken pieces dry. Heat oil in large deep, non-stick skillet. Brown chicken in batches about 8 minutes a side.

2.        Add garlic and shallots. Shake pan to move cloves under chicken. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until garlic and shallots are lightly brown.

3.        Remove fat from pan. Pour in cognac or brandy and flambé using long match.

4.        Add salt, pepper and wine. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chives or green onions

Sean’s Easy Chili

I don’t know who the heck Sean is, but his chili was pretty tasty at our last deadbeatmom lunch. Thanks Kara! 

Sean’s Easy Chili   

  • 4 Tbsp. veg. oil
  • 2 green peppers, chopped in 1/4″ pieces
  • 2 medium onions, chopped into 1/4 ” pieces
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped in 1/4″ pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 5-6 Tbsp. chili powder 
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. marjoram.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano2 tsp.
  • Durkee hot pepper sauce
  • 2- 19 oz.  Delmonte canned tomatoes (Italian)
  • 2-10 oz.Campbell’s tomato soup
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Diana Original Chicken/Rib BBQ sauce (or substitiute – this is not a very hot sauce)
  • 2 – 19 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed. 

Heat oil in large pot at medium heat.  Add peppers, onion, celery and garlic.  Cook until light golden in colour.  Remove from heat and stir in chili powder and cumin seed, salt and marjoram. Meanwhile, fry ground beef in non-stick pan until cooked.  Drain fat if necessary.  Add beef to vegetables and add the rest of the ingredients, except the kidney beans.  Simmer for approx 30 min.  Add kedney beans, and simmer for 15-25 mins.