Tag Archives: busy mom

Mommy and Me Hummus Recipe

I have been accused of being a little too cautious when it comes to introducing solids to my son.

My response? Well, I’ll let you guess. :x

I care...really care…about the relationship my son has with food, so yes, I’m pretty careful. The way I see it, that’s my job as his mother, so he doesn’t get a bite of french fry or a lick of an ice cream cone just to elicit a cute reaction. He’s 8 months old now, and so far his diet has consisted of:

  • Breastmilk
  • Water, as long as it doesn’t interfere with nursing
  • Oatmeal (at 5 1/2 months), organic
  • Veggies (at 6 months), organic
  • Fruits (at 6 months), organic
  • A total of 4 organic maple oat teether cookies
  • I’ve not yet introduced wheat, dairy, eggs, meats, soy, citrus, juice, sugar, salt …well, you get the idea.

But, I’m not a big meanie, either, and lately I’ve noticed my son noticing my plate. He always has, but it’s getting more obvious and he’s definitely getting more vocal about it. This tells me two things: I have to be super aware of the example I’m setting, and I need to start letting him try some new things.

So, a few days ago, while eating hummus on pita chips, I caved in and gave him a little taste.

How did he like it? Well, I think we may have a little hummus monster on our hands.

It was fun to share my food with my boy. Exploring healthy new foods together is one of the things I’ve been looking most forward to. But, as soon as I gave him a few smidges of my hummus, I immediately regretted it when I remembered that sesame, which is in most hummus, is a common allergen and should be avoided until about 12 months. ACK!

When I snapped back into reality and realized that one taste wasn’t going to hurt him, I set my mind to making some baby-friendly hummus that we could enjoy together, and that I could feel good about.

The recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked organic chickpeas
  • scant 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon

Add all ingredients into food processor and process until well blended and smooth. Add water to thin if needed.

There seem to be different schools of thought about citrus fruits and babies under one year in age. The acid in oranges, lemons, etc. can cause reactions and rashes, but I am not freaking out over a small squeeze in a bowl of hummus. I think WholesomeBabyFood.com put it best:

There is a big difference in using a drop or 2 of lemon juice as a preservative in a fruit purée, as the drop or 2 is spread throughout the purée and your infant will not be consuming the drops with each bite of fruit purée that is taken.  It is entirely different than offering your baby a few slices of oranges or chopped tomatoes for example.

Little did I know when I started making this that my husband had already unearthed our garden garlic and had it drying in the sun. This bulb was so warm and fragrant,  it felt like it had been in the oven! Heaven!

Looks pretty bland, huh? Well, it is. But that’s OK…it’s supposed to be, at least for now. Just a hint of garlic, and the cumin is barely detectable. I believe in introducing herbs and spices early, but little tummies are sensitive so they have to be introduced slowly and carefully. Besides, what seems bland to me is a whole new taste exploration for my little guy.

Since Mommy likes a little kick, we discovered a fun way to share our little pot of hummus so that we’re both happy…he eats his plain and unadulterated, and I keep a bottle of hot sauce nearby and drip a drop each time I pop a chip! Perfect!

The new hummus won rave reviews (or big smiles, at least.) He’ll never go through this whole bowl, but it was a good practice run. Next time, I’ll remove his portion and add some peppadews or sun-dried tomatoes to the rest, to be enjoyed by Mommy and Daddy (with some wine, after he nods off at night. ;)

The best thing about this recipe (besides the fact that it’s cheap, easy and healthy, of course) is that it can grow right along with your baby! Veggies, spices and any other flavors you want to introduce can be added as his palate develops, and for toddlers, it’s right at home spread on whole wheat toast or nestled in a heated quesadilla, served with salsa. 

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What’s your favorite “Past Purees” baby or toddler recipe?

How do you respond when/if others challenge the way you feed your child? Would you ever challenge the way someone else fed their child? 

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Cloth Diaper Update: I’m a FuzziBeliever!

What a difference a week or two can make!

When I last checked in with a cloth diaper update, I had given the covers and prefolds a whirl, but the majority of my attention was being given to the gDiapers, which I had so badly wanted to like. Fit issues were pretty much handled and I was trying to teach my husband and my mom how to properly fit the G so that my boy didn’t end up with red chafing around his hips. 

That probably should have been when I called it quits (it just shouldn’t be that difficult to learn how to use a diaper. Who had that kind of time?) but I persevered! Then, I noticed the issue with the velcro.

After a little research, I found that gDiapers has had an ongoing issue with weak velcro that doesn’t stay attached. I’ve found lots of comments about it online, and I was (un)lucky enough to get 4 pairs of gPants that were manufactured before they found a better velcro with a more dependable “stick” (I guess it’s the hook part of the velcro that was the problem.) 

Just magine what could happen with a poopy diaper and velcro that won’t stay stuck!

So I contacted the company, for the third time, and they happily sent me an envelope containing this:

A pile of little velcro pieces to sew on the diapers, instructions, and 3 coupons that were set to expire in exactly 7 days. 
:x

OK, so you can’t really say that you support small business and then complain when they can’t give you the world, and I don’t mean to bash gDiapers because their customer service is pretty good, but what mother of a 7-month-old baby has enough time to sit, uninterrupted, long enough to sew that many pieces of velcro on, by hand no less, and do it well enough that these things aren’t going to come loose after months of diapering? (I can’t even have a glass of water without my son climbing up my body to get it; I can’t imagine a needle and thread!)

…and the coupons? Come on, now. :|

So, at this point I was really on the fence. And then IT arrived.  

My package from Kelly’s Closet. I ordered some liners and a few odds and ends, and used a coupon code for a free one size cloth diaper of the company’s choosing.

What did I get? A MAC AND CHEESE FUZZIBUNZ!

As soon as I opened the package, I got excited.

Soft? Yes. Cute? Yes. Easy to understand construction? Yes. It even came with an extra insert (inserts get stuffed into the inner pocket) and extra elastic!

I couldn’t wait to put it on his little bum! But I had to wash it first…Boo. (at least I didn’t have to wash it 6–8 times like my prefolds and gCloth inserts…that’s a lot of laundry!)

When I had the diaper washed and ready to go (these air-dry really fast–a big plus!), I put it on with ease. There are lots of sturdy-looking snaps and adjustable elastic to ensure a really good fit.

Here’s a look at the little man, showing off his fluffy bum. (Can you believe my son is the only child I’ve ever even seen in a cloth diaper? The only one I can remember, anyway…)

We used our Fuzzibunz for a few hours, then for naptime, then overnight with a doubler, and we have not had a leak yet! Even when it was really, really wet, no leak. 

Why didn’t anyone tell me it could be this simple?

At this point, I’m a believer. I’ve since ordered three more Fuzzibunz in some really cute, bright colors and I can’t wait for them to arrive (pretty smart sales tactic on the part of Kelly’s Closet.) I have plans to increase our stash to at least 12 or 16 before long (the recommendation for full-time diapering.) Each Fuzzibunz runs right around $19.95 in most places I’ve seen, but a little time online can yield great coupon code savings. Be sure to take advantage of free shipping when you find it! Kelly’s Closet also offers rewards points: the more you buy, the more points you get!

I am sad to see my gDiapers go, but I just couldn’t spend that much time trying to make them work, when the one-size Fuzzibunz just work. As all you mommies out there know, there are better and far more important things to do with your time…

Will I find any problems with my new Fuzzibunz? Maybe. Am I open to other brands? You bet! But I think I’m sticking with the one-size all-in-ones or pocket diapers. Sure, I’d like the perfect diaper, one made in America, with organic fabrics and no synthetics, but I’m getting closer all the time, and I’m really not out to save the world. I just want to find a diaper I can feel good about for our family and our little pooper. 

I think we just may have found it! 

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If you’re on the prowl for cloth diapers, too, the hunt can get expensive! Check out these giveaways and maybe you’ll increase your stash for FREE!

Fluff Friday 85 Giveaway at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

The Willow Store’s Sprout One Size AI2 Diaper Giveaway and Savings Code

The Cloth Diaper Report’s Real Nappies Giveaway

Me and My Boys Summer of Fluff Smartipants Giveaway

BTW, I’ll be posting a fun baby bathtime giveaway in the next couple of days…be sure to check back and enter to win!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family

The rest of the day has to be better, right?

Ugh! What a morning!

Let me tell you one thing I know for sure: Automatic door locks are NOT as much of a convenience as you would think. I was at the gas station today, in the midst of a mayfly swarm, and I shut my door, only to hear a click and realize my keys, phone, wallet, etc. were locked inside. 

Again, ugh. 

Needless to say, I was an hour late to work and now I am in super-overdrive. I apologize if this post seemed a but rushed…

Silver lining: Baby was NOT in the car. See…something to be happy about :)

Anyhoo, let’s rewind to the much more relaxing yesterday:

My little man and I got up early and shared a smoothie! Well, he only licked the spoon because he can’t really have strawberries yet (they are a common allergen, so the recommendation is 1 year.)

The mash-up: Kale (from Grammie and Pop Pop Garden Pea’s garden!) strawberries, fresh bloobs from the yard, a nanner and some coconut milk.

Sideshow included a Food for Life sprouted grains bread heel spread with coconut butter. Dipping: YUM!

It had a few more chunks than I’d like, but pretty, I think. I had to make it in my food processor since I broke my faux Magic Bullet-ish puree machine. I’m thinking that what I need for a truly smooth smoothie is a Vitamix, but not so sure one is in the budget any time soon. I’d like to get the healthy smoothie habit started early with my boy, though, so I may have to do some shopping…

During naptime, I cut up this watermelon to snack on after dinner. Not fancy, just functional. Kind of feels like summer…

After naptime, we were both ready for playtime! You just can’t beat a blanket in the grass and a $.99 bottle of bubbles. 

Dinner included these zucchini fritters, adapted from a recipe in this month’s Food Network Magazine. (I’ll always take a new zuke recipe!)

  • 1 beast of a zucchini, shredded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 small onion, chopped

I shredded the zuke and tossed it into a colander with the salt for 10 minutes, then pressed out the liquid. I then combined all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed well, and dropped the batter by the large spoonful into a bit of olive oil to pan fry until brown and crispy. Easy as that!

I’m thinking these would be good with a yogurty dipping sauce, or served with a dilly salmon. Next time…

Fritters alongside a plain old tuna salad, served in Belgium endive leaves, and some kale massaged with lime and sea salt. A simple, satisfying dinner that did not require a trip to the store.  :D Goal accomplished yet again!

Sadly, the lovely lunch of leftovers I packed for today lost its life in this morning’s keys-in-the-car-for-4-hours-on-a-hot-morning debacle. So, I ended up with chocolate chip cookies for breakfast (I was not entirely disappointed… ;) ) and this “veggie bowl” from the convenience store for lunch. Can you believe this was $6.65? It was totally plain–not even salt or anything–so I added a packet of Parm. This time, I was entirely disappointed.

…and hungry. :(  

I will not be locking my keys in my car again!

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What kind of appliance do you use to make a smoothie? What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

6 Comments

Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Rainy Day Squash Boats

I’m all for rain, but what’s with the threatening skies every time I have a day off!? Not being able to hang laundry outside really throws a wrench into the rest of my week. 

Rrrrr…. :x

Oh well. It’s good for the garden, right? Besides, a rainy day is the perfect time to take care of some things on the To-Do list and spend some playtime in the kitchen!

To-Do for Today? Baby food!

Back when I was prego, I got a lot of cr*p from people when I said I wanted to make my own baby food (among other things…) I never said I wanted to make every single bite of it, but I did want my baby to eat homemade food whenever possible. You should have heard all the comments I got…“You just wait…you won’t have time”…”Must be nice to have that much free time on your hands”…”Ha ha…I said that, too, and then I woke up to reality.” I heard ‘em all. Some people just laughed at me and rolled their eyes.

For those people, this is for you.

I timed it, and it took me all of 20 minutes during my son’s midday nap to turn one organic mango and 3 organic peaches into 7 servings of fresh, healthy, beautiful baby food. I mean, come on…it’s not rocket science.

Only the nice fleshy parts are included.

One for the next day at Grammie’s house, and the rest for the freezer. He’s not eating a whole lot at once right now, so I’m still making small batches. Once we graduate up to big batches, it will be even more efficient. 

I paid a total of $5 for the lot, and I don’t have to worry about all these scary recalls. Priceless, in my opinion.

It’s that easy, and believe me, I don’t have ANY spare time on my hands these days.

Note to self: People will always tell you YOU CAN’T. Always know that YOU CAN. (especially when little eyes are watching your example and taking notes…)

Once that was done, the sun came out so grilling came to mind. I have vowed not to shop for a few days because I want to use up some of the masses of random groceries taking over my kitchen, so I started rummaging…

Hmmm….a few yellow summer squash from the garden. Those are fresh and perishable, so they definitely need to be involved here…

Quinoa needs to be used up….have a can of black beans….some tomato sauce…garlic, sea salt….hmmm….

Squash boats! Sort of. They were too small to dig out the middles and stuff, but they were happy to be topped with a yummy quinoa something-or-other.

Olive oil, salt and pepper.

Oh, too dark. Nope! Turns out they were just right.

Pot full o’stuff. More than enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches!

I feel like this was missing something green, but my kale was buggy. Eek! A good dousing of hot sauce kicked it up a little.

In the end, I feel like I accomplished a few things: I spent very little, I used up some neglected pantry items, and I fed my family the way I want to without much time in the kitchen. 

Feeling like a pretty good mommy today… :D

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A lot of people say that they can’t eat a healthy made-from-scratch diet because they don’t have time. What’s your response to that excuse?

The zucchini/squash onslaught has begun! What’s your best recipe?

Reminder: don’t forget to enter to win free products from Turtle Mountain! I’ll be picking a 2 winners on Saturday, 6.26…

4 Comments

Filed under Home & Garden, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

A Simple Father’s Day

Dinner is done, baby’s in bed…phew. Time to sit for a minute.

This was our first Father’s Day, and we’re not big fancy-shmancy people, so I planned a bunch of small things which all added up to a pretty perfect day.

First, we visited the Shade Mountain winery in Middleburg, PA. We had our wedding celebration there, and many of our pics were taken in the vineyard (see My Story.) Now that we have a tiny new family member, we thought he deserved a few pictures among the lovely grapes too…

After a bit of misty reminiscing, we grabbed a bottle of Shade Mountain’s spearmint wine and headed to the Selin’s Grove Brewery for sandwiches to take on our picnic. If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to stop in…they have great beer, and they find themselves towards the top of many “Best Brew Pubs in the US” lists! Bonus: Much of the menu is locally grown or made, and they have a fun veg selection. :D

And off we were to drive up to the Mt. Pisgah altar. It’s a long, bumpy drive, but it’s totally worth it if you’re looking for the ultimate picnic spot.

**FUN FACT: When we first started dating (again), we drove up this mountain and saw 36 dead porcupines!

It’s like a big beautiful piece of art right in the middle of nowhere…

The view is stellar…

Daddy and his boy…

You-know-who…

The official Father’s Day photo.

Silly me…I nearly forgot. You can’t have a picnic without food!

He: The Chipotle Turkey Wrap. Chips were stale. Boo on that.

She: The Sunflower Sandwich (Cheddar cheese, mixed greens, tomato, red onion, honey mustard and sunflower seeds on locally baked bread. It seemed to me that there should be apples in there, so I added them on. It was perfect with a side of zingy apple slaw and a fat pickle. I don’t eat a lot of pickles because I have high blood pressure, but I didn’t want to be wasteful ;) )

We washed it all down with cocktails of spearmint wine and iced green tea, garnished with a sugar cane swizzle stick! Too cute! They went down waaaaay too easily…

We ate, we talked, we played with our boy and we thought about how lucky we are. Then, I relaxed on the blanket with one love of my life while the other hunted for wild blueberries.

It was a good day, for a good daddy.

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How did you spend Father’s Day? 

What is your favorite picnic food?


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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday