Tag Archives: natural baby

Mommy and Me Spinach Mozzarella Bites

My little man is definitely a veggie eater, and I couldn’t be happier. But I’ll admit I’ve been lacking in the creativity department lately. A little boy can only be expected to eat so many lentils and sweet potatoes. So, I challenged myself to find a way to get more greens in that sweet little tummy…the result? Mommy and Me Spinach Mozzarella Bites!

I’m really excited about this recipe for a few reasons. First, it’s super easy to make, and loaded with fresh spinach. It’s also toddler-friendly without being messy. We barely even had to wash hands after these! And, given that we always have extra spinach from our garden during the growing season, these are an easy way to use it up without having spinach salad every. single. day.

(Please note: I’m sure there are other similar recipes out on the web. This one was simply born from the ingredients that happen to be on hand in my kitchen. :) All ingredients are estimated, so you may need to tweak to suit your tastes.)

Mommy and Me Spinach Mozzarella Bites

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup Organic Valley shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Organic Valley egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (use panko, whole wheat, seasoned or whatever you may have on hand.)
  • 1 dash salt (or omit if you prefer)
  • 1 dash garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. (I used a baking stone, which I highly recommend for even baking.)

Chop spinach in food processor, or finely chop by hand. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Form into patties of desired size (we chose slightly larger than silver dollar size.) If patties do not stick together, add more bread crumbs until mixture seems a little more solid.

Bake 6 minutes on one side; turn, bake 6 minutes on the other side until lightly browned. (Cook times may vary slightly due to oven variations.)

Remove from oven and serve.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with a yummy toasted cheese flavor. And perfect for little fingers!

Wondering why I included them as a “Mommy and Me” recipe? Because they are terrific floating on top of a bowl of soup! I will definitely be packing a few of these in my lunchbox. Mommy needs her greens, too, right?

My little man gobbled down 5 of these while they were still warm from the oven. Can you tell they were a hit? ;)

How do you get your kids to eat more greens?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food

A Blogtastic Extravaganza Baby Bundle Giveaway! Enter Now!

Welcome to A Blogtastic Extravaganza!

Featuring:

Go Natural Baby is a great resource for organic baby toys, clothes and bedding, and they offer free shipping and a free crib sheet when you purchase a Naturepedic mattress, my pick for the #1 green baby product!

Best of all, Go Natural Baby has offered my lucky ABE winner an organic baby prize bundle featuring 7 snuggly soft baby items, including clothing from their own Zah Organics line!All items are 100% organic cotton and fair trade.Winner will receive:

one Zah™ Organics kimono set (pink or blue)

One Adventure Blanket to match kimono set (pink or blue)

One Zah™ Organics Portofino set with matching reversible hat (in a pretty gender-neutral blue)

One Zah™ Organics Riviera reversible vest to match Portofino set

one handcrafted organic cotton doll with attached teether ring

and one Happy Lion doll!

Estimated Retail Value: Over $100!

Doesn’t this bundle of prizes just make you want to snuggle with a baby?!

To enter: just subscribe to my blog via email and leave me a comment letting me know you are a subscriber.

(I only update a few times a week, so you will not get an email every day! I’d also love it f you’d like me on Facebook using the link in my sidebar, but it’s not mandatory ;) )

That is the only mandatory entry! If you missed the early entry opportunities, don’t worry, they are still open! Just click here to find my early entry post for 3 more chances to win (and please, go thank Go Natural Baby on Facebook!) Early entries will be added on to the entries below to increase the number of total entries. Contest open to US residents only. Thanks for entering, and good luck!

Now, click the link below to enter all the other Blogtastic Extravaganza Giveaways!

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Happy Hopping!

Giveaway begins on January 18th, 2011 and ends on January 22nd at 11:59pm EST. Please be sure to leave an email address in your comment so I may contact you if you win! The winner will be chosen via random.org and notified immediately. Winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. ONLY.

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Filed under Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday

ABE Sponsor: Go Natural Baby!

A Blogtastic Extravaganza is just one short week away…so it’s time to introduce my sponsor!

I couldn’t be happier with my sponsor for this event! From baby toys and cute clothes to Moses baskets and nursery furniture, Go Natural Baby offers everything you need to keep your baby snuggly, soft AND safe, at the prices you want. Add in price matches, great customer service and FREE SHIPPING, and you just can’t beat it! I really could go on and on and on…

So how did I find Go Natural Baby? When I was planning my son’s nursery, there was one item I knew I had to have: the crib mattress.

Even though our son sleeps with us much of the time, he still spends a good amount of time in his crib. I just couldn’t bear the thought of that precious little face sleeping against a conventional mattress that would release toxic chemicals into his environment. It had to be natural, it had to be non-toxic, and it had to be Naturepedic.

But Naturepedic mattresses are more expensive. It’s true. Although in my opinion, if there is any one item on which to splurge, it’s this one. But you still have to try to save money where you can, right? That’s why, after lots of shopping around,  I bought my mattress from Go Natural Baby. It was simply the best deal I found anywhere.

The price of the mattress was much easier for us to handle with FREE SHIPPING, no sales tax, a price match guarantee, and even a FREE GIFT! On top of all that, it was a mom-owned business (always a plus!) with fantastic customer service. All my questions were answered quickly and happily, and my mattress showed up in no time!

Somewhere along the way, I also fell in love with their Zah Organics line of baby clothing. It’s not only adorable, but also made with low-impact dyes and organic cotton. All Zah Organics items are made in India using fair labor practices.

Did I mention how cute they are?

GO. BROWSE. SHOP:

Go check out Go Natural Baby! Current deals include:

  • Receive a free crib organic cotton crib sheet with any mattress purchase! (a $29 value)
  • Receive a rocking Moses basket stand with any Moses basket purchase (I SO need one of these if we have another baby!)
  • As always, FREE Shipping on orders over $45

WIN!:

And now for the really fun stuff: Go Natural Baby has very generously offered my lucky ABE winner a Deluxe Organic Baby Bundle featuring 7 prizes valued at over $100 – all 100% certified organic cotton and fair trade. (Prize is suitable for babies up to 24 months!) All prizes will be announced on the first day of the giveaway, but I will tell you that one of them is pictured in this post! ;)

To give you all a few more chances to win, I’m offering 3 bonus entry methods! That means you can enter up to 4 times total! Just make sure you stop by my homepage and submit your mandatory entry between Jan 18 and 22. YOU MUST COMPLETE MY GIVEAWAY’S MANDATORY ENTRY DURING A BLOGTASTIC EXTRAVAGANZA FOR THESE BONUS ENTRIES TO COUNT! (open to US only)

(I will be adding these on to the end, so they will be the higher numbered entries.)

3 Pre-entry methods – Leave a comment on this post for each one that you do:

  1. Like Go Natural Baby on Facebook – leave me a comment with your Facebook name. (It’s not required, but I’d love it if you’d tell them I sent you!)
  2. Follow @GoNaturalBaby on Twitter – leave me a comment with your Twitter handle.
  3. Sign up for the Go Natural Baby Newsletter – leave me a comment letting me know you signed up!

See you all on the 18th! :)

_____________________________________

I received no compensation for this review. The sponsor has agreed to supply a prize to the contest winner, but all opinions shared are my own, based solely on my experience with the company and the products I purchased from Go Natural Baby :)

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday

Bumbledoo Review: Converted Prefolds!

When I first started exploring the world of cloth diapers, I really wanted to use prefolds. Not only were they inexpensive and one of the most natural choices, but there was something about the look, feel, and very idea of a prefold that made me feel a little bit more connected with so many generations of moms before me, ones that didn’t have the luxury of snaps, aplix or PLU.

Call me old fashioned, but hanging prefolds out on the line just gives me the sense that I am part of a tribe bigger than I can imagine! <<happy sigh>>

But when it came time to use my prefolds, my plan fell apart a little. I either bought diapers that were too big or I was just really bad at folding them, and my poor Little Man was left nearly unable to walk with the wads of fabric under his diaper cover. Poor kid. :(

So, I tried a few pocket diapers and the rest is history. I was hooked, and Dada and Grammie loved them too (which is SO important!) But, as all cloth mommies know, pocket diapers can get expensive…and I had a bunch of nice, soft, practically new prefolds just sitting around…

That’s when I found the talented Malia at Bumbledoo!

Malia does prefold conversions, so I sent her 3 of my prefolds to have them converted into fitted diapers. I thought it might make them easier to use, and WOW! It really did!

As soon as the holiday spending is done, I’m having 5 more converted!

But what IS a converted prefold? I’ll show you…

Here is one of my standard unbleached Indian cotton diaper service quality (DSQ) prefolds, before conversion:

And here’s what it looked like after conversion:

SO much easier to use! No folding, no need for pins or a snappi…just put it on, snap a cover over it, and go!

There’s even an extra soaker layer sewn in, and some snug elastic around the legs to keep messes in (we’ve had no leaks with these.)

Here, you can see how trim the diaper fits now (under a Thirsties cover.)

No lumps, no wadded up fabric. Little Man is totally comfy!

If you have any prefolds laying around that just didn’t seem to work for you, I urge you to have them converted to fitteds! Malia’s prices are very reasonable (some as low as $3.50!) so it’s a great way to increase your stash of fluff for only a few bucks! Or, if you’re just starting out, you could buy a few new prefolds and have them converted right off the bat. You’ll still save a lot over traditional fitteds (some run close to $20 each!)

If you’re into something a little fancier, Malia offers lots of customization. You can have colored fabric or even PUL added! Needs snaps? No problem. She’ll do that, too. For a full list of prices and offerings, along with Bumbledoo’s full range of products, visit Bumbledoo.com

Look for:

  • Diapers
  • Diaper Accessories
  • Bumble Pockets
  • Bumble Booties
  • Toddler Aprons
  • Mama Pads
  • Nursing Covers
  • Nursing Pads
  • Wee Pouches

Every time I reach for one of my converted prefolds, I get a little twinge of satisfaction knowing I made use of something I already had instead of buying something new. Love that.

Tell Bumbledoo that ABCs and Garden Peas sent you! ;)

________________________________________

Do you use prefolds? Do you find them easy to use? Difficult? Would you consider having them converted?

Malia had an auction on her Facebook page and I bid on my 3 prefold conversions at a reduced price. I received no compensation for this review and the opinions mine, based solely on personal experience with the products/services mentioned.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Product & Service Reviews

Sweet Potato Casserole, with a Sunny Twist!

Shhhh...don’t tell the Santa. I’ve been a very naughty blogger.

I’ve been just terrible about taking photos lately, and it’s been an eternity since I’ve passed along a good recipe.

But I’d like to make it up to you with my favorite sweet potato casserole recipe!

As a kid, I love the toasted marshmallow casserole that came loaded with brown sugar. But now, I’m kind of over it. I’ve replaced the candy-fest with a casserole that’s just different enough to pique everyone’s interest at the holiday dinner table, and just traditional enough that everyone will welcome it as a familiar favorite. It has the warmth of autumn’s sweet potato harvest and the bright, sunny taste of orange, nestled under a sweet, tangy topping with just a little crunch.

Yom. :D

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but it actually comes from Eating Well Magazine. (Brilliant folks, they are. Eating Well never lets me down!) To find the original recipe, click here.

Those familiar with my blog will know that I couldn’t just leave the recipe as is, untinkered with, so I made a few small changes to suit my tastes. (I cut the salt in half, substituted agave nectar for the honey, left out the eggs and butter, and used coconut oil rather than canola. I also added some dried cranberries for texture and a tangy kick of flavor.)

But I did leave ALL of the freshly grated orange zest. In fact, I may have gone a bit heavy on it. It’s my favorite part of this recipe, and one of my favorite ingredients in general because it adds SO much fresh flavor, eliminating (or cutting down) the need for less healthy ingredients like fat, sugar and salt.

And although I don’t have a recipe photo for you, I do have a photo of the very beginning of the taters we used to make this casserole for Thanksgiving. (A small reminder that colder weather will NOT last forever…the green will come back someday!)

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe, with a Sunny Twist!

adapted from Eating Well Magazine

Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk (may substitute coconut milk for a vegan recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Topping

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate (frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preparation:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
  2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″ square (or similar 2-qt) baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Whisk oil and agave nectar in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Add cranberries and stir to distribute evenly throughout mixture. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish.*
  4. To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and oil in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35–45 minutes.

*A note to those with toddlers: I think this is a great toddler recipe, but there are many differing opinions on when to introduce nuts and/or tree nuts to your child. If you are concerned about reactions with the pecans in this recipe, reserve a small amount of sweet potato mixture for baby before adding the cranberries and pecan topping.

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Filed under Green Living, Recipes & Food, The Everyday