Adventures with AnnaLiza

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv34946-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4823756347nu0mrjOnce upon a time lived a family of three, Papa Antoine, Maman Layla, and daughter Delarai. They lived in a small but gorgeous house. God had blessed them with many things including good health, lovely neighbors, and loving friends. There was only one thing that was missing. All members of the family, especially the daughter, wished every night upon a star, that they could have a new addition to their family. A nice little sister for Delarai.

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On March 3rd, a beautiful baby girl was born in a magical little city called San Francisco. She was 5 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches tall.

She was ready for a new home. Maman Layla, Papa Antoine, and daughter Delarai rushed to the hospital to meet the gorgeous little princess. During the drive to the hospital, Delarai chose a name for her little sister, “Annaliza”, which meant a gift from God. As soon as the family entered the hospital room, AnnaLiza turned around & gave a gorgeous smile to her new family. It was love at first sight.

In the first weeks, AnnaLiza loved to sleep. Delarai would stay next to her crib and sing lovely songs for her in French, Farsi

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and English.

She was called Annalisa by her sister, Poussine (French nickname) by Papa Antoine, and “Gomboloo” (Farsi nickname) by Maman Layla. AnnaLiza had lots of FANS. From that day on, Annaliza was called in many loving ways. Annaliza was sure special. So many people loved her.

AnnaLiza was sure a personality of her own. She was naughty, kind, and gentle. She sure knew what she wanted, and she was not afraid to ask for it.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-357-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;-57347nu0mrjAnnaliza had a lot of style. She looked good in any color and any outfits her sister would choose for her. She had a real sense for fashion, and she insisted on wearing the same outfits as her big sister. Annalisa sure loved to eat; she could not wait till the day she could start on solids.

On March 21st, AnnaLiza celebrated her first important holiday. That was the Iranian New Year. The family celebrated by cleaning the house, making a Hafsin, dressing in new clothes, and visiting special friends and family.

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Annaliza became really chatty when she turned two month old. She would talk for hours, her mother and the neighbors heard her say “Hi” at an early age.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-2-8-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;9-6347nu0mrjAnnalisa and Delarai shared a very strong sisterly bond unmatched by anyone except maybe Elsa and Anna.

She also had a real sense for adventure, mountains, forests, and the park, nothing scared her at all.

When Annalisa turned three months, Mammy and Pappy came all the way from France to meet her. They brought her beautiful toys and clothes. She specially appreciated French Fashion, and had a great bond with Mammy who promised she would take her on many trips.232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-4-8-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;-6;347nu0mrj

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At 4 months old, Delarai and Annaliza began planning a secret trip to the kingdom of Tonga, the land of Annaliza’s ancestors. Delarai suspects Annaliza could even the future Queen of Tonga. Located in Oceania, Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, directly south of Western Samoa and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. AnnaLiza began learning how to swim as soon as she heard the kingdom has 177 islands, so she can be prepared for their first trip. Luckily they had a pool with pleasant warm water where AnnaLiza could swim as much as she likes. She also likes to sunbath with her sister Delarai. Oh the beauties of a California summer!232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37353-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4857292347nu0mrj

On the day Tupou VI and Nanasipau were crowned the new King and Queen of Tonga; Annaliza celebrated being an American at her first 4th of July neighborhood parade!

Annaliza began eating solids as soon as her Doctor said she could. (Just a few days short of her 5th month birthday). She was a real gourmand, and absolutely loved everything given to her. Her favorite dishes were: Rice cereal, celery juice and mashed carrots.  She also loved to help cook!

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37267-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4993-59347nu0mrjAnnaliza even taught us some recipes from Tonga, like this watermelon drink Otai, and Kale Moa which is a chicken vegetable dish. She also loves pineapple.

Over all, Annaliza had a lovely first few months. Her family is looking forward to her six- month birthday, and her sister Delarai is planning many surprises for her to come. Annaliza has many aspirations for the near future. She hopes to try at least one new food each day, learn how to say hello in four different languages, and get a passport so she can go on an exciting adventurous holiday. She is currently deciding between the Kingdom of Tonga, Canada and France.

 

Where do you think she’ll end up next?

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Tuna Pie in Mariano Castro Elementary School

We have started our series of lessons in the Castro Mariano Valley Elementary School! This week the kids prepared a delicious and healthy Mexican recipe contributed by one of our team members. Check out the recipes and the photos of the interactive class!

elemetray tuna

Country we are exploring: Mexico (Population: 122 million)

Capital: Mexico City

Continent: America

Official Language(s): Spanish

English Recipe Name: Tuna Pie

Name of dish in native country: Pastel de atún

Type of dish: Appetizer

Recommended season or holiday: The following recipe is very popular at children’s parties in Mexico, specially in the Mazatlán  region. And one of our team members from Mexico mentions is traditional for her family holidays!

Serving Size: for 6 people

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When it comes to health, Tuna fish has it all. It is rich in protein, low in fat, and is an excellent source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which make your brain smarter!

Ingredient spotlight: Tuna

Fish are vertebrate animals that live in the water. Vertebrate means they have a spinal cord surrounded by bone or cartilage.

When it comes to health, Tuna fish has it all. It is rich in protein, low in fat, and is an excellent source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which make your brain smarter!

Tools (optional): knife, blender, glass vessel, spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of white bread
  • 1/4 of cream
  • 6 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 tin medium of bell pepper
  • 2 cans of tuna in water or oil
  • 1 can of vegetables for salad
  • mayonnaise to taste

Little Chef Duties: Measure all of the ingredients

Big Chef Duties: Mix all the ingredients in a blender

Little Chef Duties: Cut the edges of the bread and mix the ingredients for the salad

Learn while you wait:

Science: we discussed today the difference of mixtures that are homogeneous and heterogeneous, and asked the kids whether they know which mixture our food mixture became.

Heterogeneous and homogeneous refer to mixtures of materials in chemistry. The difference between heterogeneous and homogeneous mixtures is the degree at which the materials are mixed together and the uniformity of their composition.

A homogeneous mixture is a mixture where the components that make up the mixture are uniformly distributed throughout the mixture. The composition of the mixture is the same throughout. There is only one phase of matter observed in a homogeneous mixture.

You can’t pick out components of a homogeneous mixture or use a simple mechanical means to separate them

(Our tuna and cream mixture)

A heterogeneous mixture is a mixture where the components of the mixture are not uniform or have localized regions with different properties. Different samples from the mixture are not identical to each other.

Math: Can you cut your sandwiches in different shapes, (rectangles, triangles), circles?

Also if this recipe asks for 6, and we need to make food for 12, how much more of each material do we need?

Presentation:

Enjoy a sandwich with your favorite cup of soup or beans

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe: disfrute de su comida

Did you know?

One of the biggest issues affecting kids in Mexico is the increase in child abduction.

Conversation Igniters:

Do you know what abduction means?  What are some ways you can help help find missing children?

Take Action:

Read about some ways you can help with the problem of child abduction, and come to class next week prepared to talk about what you can personally do:

http://www.missingkids.com/HowYouCanHelp

Here some photos of the fun day we had at the Castro Elementary School!

 

 

We are hiring our very first employees!

Cooking Class Teacher/Leader

Chef Koochooloo Early Stage Startup

Are you passionate about creating a fun and educational experience for children? Do you love cooking and tasting recipes from different countries? Are you looking to enhance your experience working with children while being involved with a Silicon Valley Startup? Then join our team! Chef Koochooloo is a mobile + social + educational platform that teaches kids about math, science and geography through cooking.  We have been piloting our curriculum in various Silicon Valley schools and received exceptional feedback.


WHAT YOU’LL BE DOING:
Deliver the cooking session to a group of approximately 15 children ages 4-10 following the syllabus created by the Chef Koochooloo Product Development team
Guide the kids in preparing recipes from different countries while discovering the world
Actively engage in suggesting and planning activities, such as “learn while you wait”, fun facts and games

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Demonstrated interest and experience with children ages 4-10
  • Commitment to safety and well-being of the children
  • Understanding child development
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Passion for cooking and travelling
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability to work as a member of a team
  • About this company

WHAT YOU GET:

  • Experience working with children
  • Work with an innovative company committed to creating global citizens that care about the world.
  • Hourly remuneration

The classes are scheduled to begin in November 2014 and will take place in the Mountain View School district as well as various restaurants.

Yenegah Bakery Lessons – Tuesdays from 4:00 to 5:30

Mariano Castro Elementary School – Tuesdays from 3:05 to 4:05 & Wednesdays from 2:05 to 3:05.

Email resumes to Layla@chefkoochooloo.com
Please visit some of our classroom sessions via our Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/chefkoochooloo

 

Attire for little chefs

Arguably, one of the most important ingredients for any serious chef is their attire. For little chefs, like our Chef Koochooloo, that includes aprons, oven mitts, and a chef hat to top off the look.

Though, the options are endless for big chefs, little chefs have a harder time finding attire that is suited for them.  We were able to identify some of the best apparel out there for any budding chef!

  1. Happy Chef Kids CookCool

Happy Chef has a wide array of standard chef apparel suitable for young chefs. Their selection is high quality and resembles what you might see a professional chef wear. Another great thing about their lineup is that it is customizable. However, even though the styles are customizable their sizing options are limited.

http://www.happychefuniforms.com/800-347-0288/order.cfm?ProductID=8140&Ref=Also

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  1. Chef Works Junior Chef Collection

Like Happy Chef, Chef Works has a great starter line for someone looking for traditional and premium culinary attire. Though their styles are not customizable, they have more color and design options. They also gear their clothing for children of all ages.

http://www.chefworks.com/?page=shop/dev200908_browse_coats&category=coats_juniorchefcollection#.

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  1. Chef Wear – Pint Size

Chef Wear is a relatively well-known apparel supplier but disappointingly their “Pint Size” line only featured one apron. Despite this lack of availability, the apron came in multiple fun colors and patterns. These fashionable patterns really made them stand out and on top of that, custom embroidery was an option as well.

http://www.chefwear.com/pint-size-du-chef-apron-8650-/

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  1. Growing Cooks

Conversely, Growing Cooks was the supplier that had the greatest availability for young chefs. Not only did they have clothing, their store included kid-sized cooking tools and fun sets. Because of their variety, they had something in store for everyone, from disposable aprons, to cute customizable ones. Their sets also seemed like a great option for little chefs!

http://www.growingcooks.com/

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After searching for the right product, and not being quite happy with the selections we saw, we decided to create our own  line for Chef Koochoolool! What do you think? How much would you pay for this locally hand made apron? If we receive positive feedback from you, we will hire our first official employee and have her focus on making more of these adorable options!

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Kid Friendly Kitchen: The essentials to make your kitchen a perfect and safe place for kids

As many of you know I am now leading the startup “Chef Koochooloo” where part of our mission is to empower families to engage in fun, interactive cooking activities and help parents safely involve their kids in preparing a healthy meal. You can read more about our vision and mission in our last post.

When I started cooking with my daughter I came to the realization that I did not have a kid friendly kitchen. Sadly most of my cooking supplies were adult size, extremely sharp or simply not adequate for my daughter, so I moved fast and bought the appropriate supplies, changed my utensils and made my kitchen a safe and fun space for my girl.

It took me a while to find the perfect kids cooking tools that I wanted my daughter to use during this cooking journey. I spent a lot of time browsing online and found some amazing utensils. Believe me I would have liked to buy them all and make my daughter’s cooking experience something she could safely enjoy at every step, but I had to prioritize based on what she would use the most often. With this in mind, I made a list with the essentials and substituted those for kid-friendly versions, which provided both safety for her and peace of mind for me. Here are some of the items that can be safely substituted and can be used by kids.

  • Cutting tools: Disposable plastic knives are a solution when you first start preparing your kitchen for the little chefs. There’s no risk in giving a young child a plastic knife and it allows them to start getting involved with the hard steps of cooking a recipe, but if you don’t have plastic ware at home or you simply don’t like to use plastic utensils, then you can try the plastic knife from Zliss, is a lettuce knife that allows your kids to be safe while cutting. I use kid-friendly knives I bought from IKEA; they come in a variety of fun colors and they have been very useful for our cooking adventures.

IKEA-plastic-knives

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  • Spatulas and Spoons: I have found that silicon spatulas and spoons are better for the pots. This material is safe for kids and is very common. The only recommendation I have is to buy it in a friendly size for the kids to use while making their favorite recipe! Remember that these ones come in a wide range of colors and sizes, pick your favorite one! I haven’t completed my spoon collection but soon would like to have spoons and spatulas from www.cookincolor.com

cookincolor-spatulas

  • Measurers: These are a classic for children, and very easy to get, a lot of companies make them in a variety of colors and with fun shapes. But sometimes just a quick visit to your local store will pay off with fun colored measures in a variety of sizes; just keep your eyes open.

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  • Mixing Bowls: No kitchen is complete without the mix and match “mixing-bowls” the ones in the link are from Trudeau. The ones that I have are from my local store.

Trudeau-mizing bowls

  • Cutting Boards: Of course if your kids are going to be cutting, they need a safe space to do so. At home we have plastic cutting boards, since crystal, wood or ceramic ones are just too heavy for my daughter. Recently, I saw these flexible, cheap and small cutting boards from For Small Hands. Aren’t they adorable? Definitely the next acquisition for out child-friendly kitchen!

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  • Oven Mitts: There’s more variety for oven mitts. They usually come in different shapes and sizes, but if you want specific kid-size then you may want to try Growing Cooks since they seem to be quite small, perfect for little hands! I’m looking forward to order these ones next time we buy oven mitts.

oven-mitts-growingcooks

I also came across this brand: Curious Chef, and I have to say they do have a lot of great cooking items for children. Next time I’m buying something my daughter needs to cook I will certainly purchase it from their website. I can’t wait to try some of their utensils soon!

There are many more items that a kid can use in the kitchen, funnels, timers, fun spoons, containers with different shapes and more! Share with us if your kids have any preference for kid friendly cooking utensils!

Outback Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup main ingredients, the carrot, is a great source of vitamin. Lear more about it reading our recipe here!

Carrot Soup main ingredients is… the carrot! And carrots are a great source of vitamin. Lear more about them reading our recipe!

Country we are exploring: Australia

Continent: Australia

National Language: English

English Recipe Name: Outback Carrot Soup

Australian Name: Outback Carrot Soup

Did you know that Australia has been through many droughts, which is when there is not enough rain for a very long period of time. The worst recent drought lasted from 1995-2009 – that’s 14 years! When there is a drought, there are also water restrictions, which means you can only use a little bit of water. If you were a kid in Australia, you would have to forget about taking long showers and running through sprinklers for fun.

Discussion questions: How would you feel if you knew that your country was running out of water? What would you do differently to help save water?

Click here to take action and save water! 

Kids love this country because…

Australia is the only place where koalas live. They are not bears, but they look like cute and cuddly teddy bears with grey fur and big, round, black noses. Koalas live high up in trees, sleep all day, and only wake up for 4-5 hours at night. They only eat eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous to most animals. Koalas are hard to see in the wild, but you can pet them at the zoo!

Carrots have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and your tummy. Many years ago, carrots were originally purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Over time, humans grew carrots on farms and mixed together different colored carrots to get orange ones.

Carrots have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and your tummy. Many years ago, carrots were originally purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Over time, humans grew carrots on farms and mixed together different colored carrots to get orange ones.

Ingredient Spotlight

Carrots have a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and your tummy. Many years ago, carrots were originally purple, red, yellow, and white, but not orange. Over time, humans grew carrots on farms and mixed together different colored carrots to get orange ones.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 12 servings)

  • 8-10 carrots, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of sour cream
  • Whole wheat bread rolls, sliced
  • Low fat vegetable oil spread or butter
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
  • 1-2 cups hot water
  • 1 jar of vegemite (If you can find it! Vegemite is a popular dark brown spread that Australians usually eat on bread or crackers. You can find it in some specialty food stores that sells international foods. If you don’t have vegemite, this will still be a delicious classic carrot soup. As they say in Australia, “No worries mate!”)

PREPARATION

Little Chef Duties:

  • Wash carrots and celery
  • Grate ginger and lemon rind
  • While the veggies are cooking, spread butter on each piece of bread and arrange them on a plate (If you can get vegemite to make it even more Australian, spread a tiny bit on the buttered bread).
  • Once soup is in bowls, add a spoonful of sour cream to each one.

Big Chef Duties:

  • Chop up the onion, celery, and carrots
  • Sauté onion, garlic, celery, ginger, carrots, and lemon until onions are transparent
  • Pour in broth, 1 tbsp vegemite, salt & pepper, and simmer until carrots are soft (about 20 minutes).
  • Pour into food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add hot water until soup is desired consistency.
  • Use a ladel to pour soup into bowls

Presentation:

  • Add a sprig of rosemary on top of the sour cream as a garnish.

Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact to your kids while the food is ready!)

Name 5 more foods that grow under the ground like carrots do!

Possible answers: Potatoes, Beets, Onions, Yams, Ginger

As they say in Australia, cheers mate!

carrotsoup

Possible substitutions:

  • Yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Crackers instead of bread

Finally we want to thank our incredible contributor Holly, she made this recipe to share with all our Chef Koochooloo readers and she did an amazing job sharing fun, interesting and important facts about Australia, the country and the culture.

Thank you Holly for the delicious recipe! We would’ve love to have more recipes from you soon!

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A different educational and learning experience: Cooking with little hands

Why is important to educate your kids, but make it a fun learning experience?

There are different opinions about how learning should take place, especially at a young age, but now more than ever is proving true that long-term learning is related to a fun, engaging and entertained learning experience.

Discovery, experimentation and interaction make kids go ‘aha’ when they figure out knowledge on their own, and this is exactly what we are one step closer to accomplish with ‘Chef Koochooloo’  an educational learning experience that is fun, exciting and that kids will enjoy.

I want to share a special thanks to the Bahararestan Kids, Persian Immersion & Culture team who let us conduct a first interaction session with ‘Chef Koochooloo’ at their school where kids cooked ‘Khagineh’  a traditional Persian Omelet, all while learning about Persian, Iranian tradition and culture.

Here we share some pictures and the video of the day! Thank you all for your participation during this fun activity!


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Co-Sleeping vs. Crib Sleeping

You and your baby dozing off together: The image is adorable, but co-sleeping, or sharing your bed with an infant, is often frowned upon in Western cultures.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warn parents not to put their infants to sleep in adult beds, arguing that the practice puts babies at risk of strangulation and suffocation. According to the CPSC, at least 515 infant deaths between January 1990 and December 1997 were linked to children sleeping in adult beds.

Despite the risks, many new studies showcase the advantages to co-sleeping, and the practice seems to be a rising trend. In his book on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, pediatrician William Sears cites co-sleeping as a proactive measure that parents can take to reduce the risk of death in infants. Sears stresses that co-sleeping babies learn to imitate healthy breathing patterns and spend less time in a state of deep sleep, in which the risk of apneas increases. In Japan co-sleeping is the cultural norm, and rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are among the lowest in the world. Harvard psychiatrist Michael Commons and Notre Dame anthropologist James McKenna state that babies who sleep alone are more susceptible to stress disorders.

Three years ago, users on Yahoo! Answers France initiated a question about where babies should spend the night (hyperlink http://fr.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080316081500AA0tiRr), and the question remains popular on Yahoo! Answers globally. Especially heartwarming, I thought, is the latest discussion in Australia, dating back three months. I also found great advice from our Malaysian Answers community.

As with most controversial topics, there are convincing studies to support either side of the debate. The important thing is to find the right decision for you and not to be intimated by advice of those who hold opposing viewpoints. Remember, co-sleeping is not for everyone, and all experts agree that anyone sharing a bed with an infant should apply the following safety tips:

• Never smoke in the room where your infant sleeps.
• Do not take any drugs or alcohol that can affect your sleep.
• Do not share an adult bed with more than one child at a time.
• Never leave your infant alone in an adult bed.

If you are a parent who has shared the bed with your infant and you want to transition him or her to the crib, there is a great discussion on Answers India that can guide you on this process.

Lastly, I thought it would be fun to take a poll and see what those of you reading the blog have decided.