Tag Archives: homemade baby food

Mommy and Me Recipe: Fall Veggie Crisp

Since returning to work full-time, I’ve learned one thing for sure: Anything I can do on the weekend to help myself out during the week makes me my own best friend when workdays kick my butt. So, Sunday has become the day to cook!

Today, I made this yumminess with some of the last garden tomatoes, to be delivered to my father-in-law…

…and these belated birthday cupcakes for my very understanding husband…

(although I do admit to using this, enhanced with some applesauce and dried cranberries:)

Also in the lineup: the filling for our favorite Quesadilla Casserole, so the huz can just layer it with tortillas in a casserole dish tomorrow night and bake. What a team we make! :D

But my favorite creation of the day was a new Mommy and Me Recipe

So many fall veggies, so little time…what to do? For some reason, fall makes me crave a crisp, crumb topping on everything, and apple crisps are so last week. So, why not a veggie crisp? 

My handy dandy food processor made quick work of 1 butternut squash, 1 large sweet potato, 3 parsnips, 5 carrots and 1/2 large sweet onion. (Nice, even slices make for nice, even baking!)

I set aside some of each veggie to be baked for little man, and added just a little water. (Hold the onions and broth, please! At least for now…) 

I poured one can of  low-sodium veggie broth into the dish until it was about 1/2″ below the level of the vegetables. 

The “cross your fingers and hope it’s good” topping consisted of: 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats, a Tbsp of amaranth (just because :) ), a light handful of chopped, fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Both dishes were baked at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, covered (or until the broth bubbled up through the crumbs and veggies were soft.)

I just love filling the house with the scents of fall, and this recipe did just that. It was easy, yet satisfying and comforting, and made use of lots of different veggies. It also made lots of beautiful puree, although the orange was INTENSE, so I added a bit of applesauce to take it down a notch. (Just sounded good to me, and baby boy seemed to agree!)

Which brings me to my Bonus Tip of the Day: When baby flings a big spoonful of pure orangetasticness onto your white carpet, try a little bit of Lulu’s in the Fluff!

Good as new! ;) Let the workweek begin!

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How do you balance home and work life? Do you do anything on your days off to help yourself out on busier days?

Does the onset of fall make you crave anything specific? 

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

Mommy and Me Butternut Apple Crisp

Lately, my life is all about sharing. I share just about everything with my baby boy: my body, my bed, every waking moment…but I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

One of my favorite things to share with him is food. As a family, we grow it together, we go to farms to buy it together (Ok, so we don’t exactly cook it together, but that’s OK) and, now that he’s 10 months old, we can eat some of it together, too!

Eating the same foods also makes it easier to multitask with meal preparation with what I like to call “Mommy and Me” recipes (and that’s a good thing, because spare time is a seriously hot commodity around here, lately, and I do not want to give in to the temptation of more prepared foods.)

Today’s Mommy and Me was inspired by our butternut squash crop and the hint of fall that’s crept into the Central PA air…

Apple crisp is an autumn classic, so I thought, Why not put two fall favorites together and put an apple crisp inside a butternut!?

I knew what I wanted to make, but I did a little looking around the blogosphere anyway. I found inspiration in a post by The Hungry Housewife. (Go ahead and check out the recipe–you won’t be sorry! )

I changed the recipe a bit to suit our tastes (a little less sugar) and what I had on hand (Oops…no pumpkin pie spice.) 

Here are the my steps (I’m not much of a measurer, so they aren’t overly specific):

  • Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.
  • Chop apple (I used 5 small organic Granny Smith apples) and mix with cinnamon to taste. 

  • Fill hollow of squash with apples, then top the rest of squash with any remaining apples. (I chose to cover the whole squash so I could slice it and each piece would have a nice, crisp topping.) Drizzle with a touch of pure maple syrup.
  • In a small bowl, cut together 1/2 stick softened butter and 1/2 cup flour until mixture forms a coarse crumble. Mix in 1 1/2 T sugar, 3 T old fashioned rolled oats, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. 
  • Mound topping over apple mixture, covering as much of squash as possible. Top with toasted pecans.

  • Bake at 375 degrees until soft when pierced with a knife. If topping starts to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil. 
  • Serve squash while warm with an extra drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Since this was a huge squash, I decided to make one half for me and Daddy, and use the other half to make a roasted butternut squash and cinnamon apple puree for baby. (I just topped one half of the squash with apples and cinnamon and roasted both halves together. No butter or sugar for baby! You could add soaked oats, however, if you wanted to make it a little heartier.)

Once cooked, I just gave it a quick buzz in the food processor with enough water to thin.

The crisp itself was a little more decadent than I had intended (I got a little out of control with the topping, but I felt good about every ingredient, so I didn’t sweat it too much.) There was very little added sugar and only a little drizzle of maple syrup, and most of the sweetness came from the squash itself. This recipe is definitely going into the ‘Favorites’ file! A little sticky and syrupy on top with pillowy soft butternut underneath, served with a fresh pot of Canterbury Naturals Organic Split Pea Soup – it was a heavenly way to fill the house with the first aromas of fall!

One squash yielded enough for us to have it again tomorrow night (and ten servings of baby food!) I’ve been gardening most of my life, and I still find it pretty darned amazing that we can actually grow food ourselves. I just think it’s really cool, and  I probably always will. And, judging by the response I got at dinner this evening, someone else thinks it’s pretty neat, too…

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Branching out a little…

Hi all!

Today, I’m guest blogging over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Blog!

Check out my post here and let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend,

~w

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

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

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…

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