Cooking with my mom was one of the highlights of my childhood, even if she was doing all the chef work and I was just her sous-chef. I actually told my husband that I wanted us to cook most of the time (even if ordering out was more convenient) because I wanted to create more heartwarming memories - like my mom cooking for us during my younger years.
Making new memories in my kitchen
Now that I have my own kid, I’m trying my best to cook simple and easy recipes like carbonara or any pasta dish.
We don’t have a household helper, so I need to do other chores besides cooking, like cleaning and washing the dishes. Many pasta dishes have ingredients I can prepare in under 15 minutes, and I’d only need another 15 minutes of cooking time. It’s also a bonus that my son loves noodles – pasta, ramen, sotanghon, misua— any kind of noodles.
Customizing a recipe to your children’s tastes
You know how children can be picky eaters, right? At first, my son actually didn’t like the usual pasta sauces, so I tried feeding him just noodles alone. Then I realized that if he wasn’t a fan of red sauce, I could try using white sauce instead.
Since my son likes milk, when I first served him carbonara I told him that it was basically milky pasta. Like your usual child, he cautiously used the tip of his tongue to taste it. I let him critique my recipe… and I’m so happy that it was a win! He liked it so much that whenever I cook it for him, he can finish the whole plate of carbonara by himself.
Since then, Carbonara has become our go-to dish. I found a recipe online and I just modified it a bit for my son’s palate. Since he’s still developing his taste for new food, I removed strong flavors like onion. I also skipped the mushrooms used in the original recipe, just to make sure that my son would eat it. Eventually, as he discovers more of the food that he likes, I can reintroduce more ingredients—but for now, the simpler the dishes, the better.
Creamy Carbonara Recipe
- 500 grams linguini, or any pasta of your choice
- 100 grams bacon, chopped
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 piece chicken broth cubes
- 1 pack all-purpose cream
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- Pan-fry bacon in pan until brown and lightly toasted. Remove bacon from the pan and chop into bite-sized pieces, then set aside.
- Using the same pan and remaining bacon fat, add butter and minced garlic. Cook over low heat. Add 1-piece chicken broth cube.
- Pour all-purpose cream and add cheese, then mix thoroughly. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour over cooked pasta. Garnish with the chopped bacon.
Customize the dish for your own family!
Pastas are versatile dishes which you can always tweak according to your family’s preferences or whatever ingredients you have in the kitchen. For example, some carbonara recipes include chicken strips and green peas with the sauce to make it a complete meal with protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. It’s really up to you.
For me, as long as my son loves it, I’m good. There are times that I bring him to the kitchen so I can show him how I prepare or cook a meal so he can appreciate the dish more. He also has his own mini kitchen where he can play ‘pretend chef’. It’s so funny when he mimics how I cook, reheats something in the microwave, or even says, “Five minutes…wait.”
I love that I’m somehow passing on the tradition of “cooking together”, just like how my mom did for me when I was younger.
About The Writer
Ashley Dy-Pineda is a 30-year-old lifestyle and travel blogger. She’s married and a new mother of a 1-year-old baby boy. She started blogging in 2009, mainly about her daily outfits. It evolved to a personal and travel blog when she moved to Japan. She lived there for 6 years and traveled to most of Japan’s 47 prefectures before returning to Manila for good. Currently, she’s blogging about lifestyle and travel, but her favorite topic is her baby’s monthly milestones. Her interests revolve around fashion, cruelty-free beauty, travel, Japanese & Korean culture and now, motherhood.
Articles written for parenTeam:
• Best Babymoon Destinations
• Travelling Light with a Toddler: Practical Tips for Less Luggage and Less Stress
• Kid-Friendly Carbonara Recipe
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.