Homemade Baby Food

01/24/2012

It sounds really complicated but really Homemade Baby Food is just fancy words for softened (steamed, baked, mashed), blended food frozen into small portions. It’s easy and it’s inexpensive. For Christmas, Precious got this wonderful Baby Bjorn bib that my friend recommended. It’s made from a stiff silicon-ish material so the food catching lip doesn’t collapse. Also, the neck is adjustable so it will fit for a while. Perfect for Precious’ reintroduction to solid foods. (We started on rice cereal at 4 months old but neither of us was really ready yet. Now, at 6 months she’s ready. And I am, too.)

She also got some great Oxo Tot baby food freezing containers for Christmas. Oxo is my all-time favorite kitchen gadget brand. This Oxo Tot freezer tray pretty much just looks like any old ice cube tray but it has a lid—a pretty green lid—with a special function. It’s curved at the ends so you can dump just one ice cube out at a time. Smart, huh? It makes 1 oz. portions. Perfect for introducing new foods. Once the cubes are all frozen, I’ve been popping them into freezer bags so I can label and date them.

The Oxo Tot baby blocks six pack tray and 2 oz. containers are handy for taking larger portions on the go. I haven’t seen these in action yet but the first batch of pureed carrots is freezing right now. So far I have made avocado, carrots and bananas for Precious. Next on my list are sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, apples and pears. I’m curious to hear from you: What were the first foods you fed your kids? What foods were their favorites? Did you make baby food at home, blend up whatever you were eating or buy baby food pre-made?


Beautiful Cereal Box

01/18/2012

I know it’s silly but for the past 36 hours, since I first saw it at Kroger, I’ve been in love with Mom’s Best Naturals cereal. Now I’m not typically a cereal lover. Lucky Charms was the only cereal I would eat growing up. My breakfast of choice in high school was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I’m a graphic designer by trade and what-can-I-say, I was sold by the packaging. I walked 3 steps past the end cap in Kroger, pulled out my camera and went back to take a picture. As I walked away, posting it on Instagram, I decided I should buy a box and try it. Back at the display for the third time, I was pleasantly surprised that it was only $1.50 a box. I  found raisin bran to try. I’m happy to report that it tastes as good as any raisin bran I’ve ever had, though I’m admittedly not a cereal connoisseur.


Phone Photo Friday

01/12/2012

Ok, so it’s not Friday, I know. But I have today’s blog post (about our new home plans!) only half written and no time to finish it. Welcome to Phone Photo Friday on Thursday!


My New Favorite Snack

07/25/2011

I dug up a quick blog post idea since I didn’t have anything prepared for this morning. (Sorry.) This is my new favorite lunch or afternoon snack:

Wheat crackers
Cheese (I’ve used hot pepper cheese or havarti)
Sweet basil (fresh from our garden…LOVE!)
Tomatoes (also from our garden, mmm…)
Sprinkle of salt & pepper

It’s kind of a quick cross between bruschetta and caprese salad.


Phone Photo Friday

07/22/2011


Classic, Spicy, Delicious Breakfast

05/17/2011

Poached eggs are the new fad around this mid-century modern ranch. Jason, who is a wonderfully creative cook, came up with this twist on the classic poached egg and toast.

Poach an egg the way you always do. We use a deep skillet with a few inches of water and a splash of apple cider vinegar and gentle slide the egg into the water when it’s at a gentle boil. Figuring out when it’s done is not an art we’ve perfected yet. Place the poached egg on a piece of buttered toast. Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese, dill, salt & pepper, and a few drops of Louisiana Jalepeño Hot Sauce. (Side note: Best brand of hot sauce EVER. I thought I didn’t like hot sauce until I had Lousiana Hot Sauce. Great flavor and not overly hot.)

Easy peasy. And it’s truly yummy! In fact, I want one right now just thinking about it…


Frosting a Cake

05/03/2011

I am a cake connoisseur. I am not, however, a cake decorator. In face, I made my first ever layer cake the other day for my mom’s birthday. Frosting it was no piece of cake. Later that day, I came across this video from The Kitchn: The Easiest Way to Frost a Cake. I think part of my problem is that the tops of the cakes were a bit sticky. Maybe I should have left them uncovered overnight rather than covered. I wish I had thought to flip the cakes over. That’s just plain old smart.

Oh, and icing the cake? I need a tutorial on that! I have some ancient (I mean “vintage”) cake decorating tools. I bought a new tube of red icing from the grocery store. I envisioned some lovely red tulips (mom’s favorite flower) with green stems. The red icing + the born-before-my-mother tools worked OK. I had a tube of leftover green icing that was too thick. I tried to water it down and well… not a great idea. The top of the “B” almost ran right off the top of the cake. Help me, Rhonda.

Next time I think I’ll make my own icing so I can get the consistency and color however I like. Do you have any suggestions for cake decorating? A favorite icing recipe?


Butter Dish

03/30/2011

We need a butter dish. I saw this super cute one from West Elm via Making It Lovely. I like owls. $16 seems a little steep but I’m not ruling it out.

Dear blog readers, do you have any suggestions? Have you seen any beautiful mid-century modern butter dishes out in the interwebs?

 


Fruit (Veggie, Grain) Smoothies

02/21/2011

Lately my breakfast of choice is a smoothie. I’ve been experimenting with many different combinations of fruits and vegetables and I haven’t found one I don’t like yet! Recently, the Pioneer Woman had a post about smoothies and after skimming the comments, I got some new ideas for smoothie ingredients. I thought I’d share my favorites.

Frozen Berries
PW used fresh fruit and ice in hers but we prefer to use frozen fruit. Fresh fruit can be frozen when it’s in season and out of season fruits are usually cheaper to buy already frozen. I buy bags of blackberries, strawberries or mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries plus the former two).

Frozen Bananas
I prefer the texture of a frozen banana in my smoothie to a fresh one. (Too slimy.) I peel and freeze my own bananas. You may be able to buy them already frozen, I’ve never looked. Frozen bananas are also great for cooking. Bananas also add sweetness to the smoothies.

Milk or Yogurt
I often add a splash of milk to thin out a thick smoothie or to lighten it to a more appealing shade of pink. It’s true. I’ve used yogurt for the same purpose in the past. Obviously skip this if you’re looking for a dairy free smoothie.

Applesauce
This was a suggestion I saw from a comment on PW. Applesauce can be used instead of milk or yogurt. Apples alone hurt my stomach so I like the idea of mixing applesauce into other recipes. Applesauce also adds sweetness.

Honey or Sugar
If I make a smoothie without applesauce or banana, I like to add sweetener. I prefer the taste of sugar but I try to be good and use honey instead. We always purchase local honey and supposedly having a spoonful of local honey everyday is good for building an immunity to local pollens and allergens.

Spinach
Add a handful of fresh green spinach to a smoothie. It’s undetectable!

Oatmeal
Another addition I’ve tried based on a comment from PW’s post. The first time I added a spoonful of dry oats I couldn’t taste them at all. The texture is a little bit gritty but with all the berry seeds it’s hard to tell. The second time I added way too many oats. That’s all I could taste. I gave Jason the other half and he couldn’t detect the spinach or oats. Maybe it was just psychological.

Carrots
The other day I was making a salad for lunch at the same time as I was making my smoothie so I threw in some matchstick carrots. I couldn’t see them or taste them in the smoothie at all.

Mango, Guava and other fruit purées
I’ve only tried mango so far, though I have guava in the freezer right now. I bought a package of 4 pouches of mango purée from Trader Joe’s. Running the pouch under hot water for a minute or two thaws it enough to mix into the smoothie.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions. If you try any of these, let me know what you think!


Tea on my Doorstep!

02/14/2011

One of my favorite blog readers read about my trouble finding my favorite tea and sent me a canister as a surprise. I am so blessed! Thanks Mama, for making my cubicle time a little more fruitful!