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Hello from Southern Ontario!
Even though it's not technically summer here, the past couple of weeks have been sunny and warm, and we've spent our days sipping beer on the patio, eating ice cream, and playing on the beach, it practically feels like summer. We left Seattle 3 1/2 weeks ago, just when the weather turned warm and the rain finally stopped and we flew to Toronto where it was rainy and cold, and a small piece of me was crying on the inside because I was longing for some sun. Anyone who's spent this past winter in Seattle can probably agree that it was the wettest and dreariest in a long time. When we arrived at my parent's house (which is situated near a marsh), the mosquitos were so bad that we had to run from the house to the car and vice versa in a complete panic, flailing our arms and screaming. But after a week or two, the weather has warmed, the mosquitos have mostly disappeared, and we have now completely forgotten about the rain.
We've visited every park in town, the beach, the caves, and the indoor playground. Our trip has definitely been guided by the toddler agenda, which is ok by me. If there are any activities that will tucker out Sebastian, I am the first one to sign up, because that boy has some energy. I like to tell people that toddlers are sort of like tornados. They destroy everything in their path and then some. Rather than walk, Sebastian gets from a to b running in a very unsteady manner flailing his arms and squealing.
It's always a bit of a challenge traveling with a toddler. Changing up their routines, changing time zones, sleeping conditions, meals, etc. Meal times are less consistent and the types of foods eaten are often a bit different, although, I often feel like it's more of a blessing, getting him exposed to new foods that I probably wouldn't offer him at home. For the most part, Sebastian is a real trooper, trying anything that is put in front of him, unless it contains vegetables.
Foods that I can always consistently count on Sebastian eating are avocados, bananas, french fries, and seafood. He's always been particularly fond of those foods, and as a true Pacific Northwesterner, he has a real love for seafood. Brent and I both really love seafood as well so I can see where he has picked it up. For Sebastian's first birthday, I spent two days slaving over a cake. On the day of, I made some grilled salmon, hummus, veggies, and other snack foods, and in true Sebastian-form he was much more excited about the salmon than his pink cake.
I love that he enjoys seafood. During the summer months, it is so convenient for me to turn on the BBQ and grill some fish and vegetables, and I find that it takes no time at all. I like to grill fish with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, on medium heat, just a few minutes on each side, and serve it with an accompanying sauce or dip. Marinating is also another option, but I am such a last minute type of cook, I like the convenience of just tossing a piece of fish on the grill and having dinner ready in minutes.
One of my favorite sauces to use with grilled seafood is chimichurri. It's similar to a pesto, but much tangier and often with a little heat. It's a combination of chopped parsley, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. I'll usually make a batch the night before I want to use it, to allow all of the flavors to develop and infuse overnight. This, in turn, cuts down the amount of time you need to prepare the following day. Dinner is usually the meal that I have the most troubles with. I'm often so exhausted and burnt out at the end of the day, grilling is such a low maintenance option!
GRILLED COD WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
serves 2 people
prep time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups packed fresh Italian parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb fresh cod, with skin
- 1 cup cooked rice