Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Solid Gold{en Anjou Pear Puree}

My sweet mother has told me the story over and over and over.  Baby Food Fest 1982.  How she and one of her good friends decided to make their own baby food...and the catastrophe that ensued.  How she slaved over the food...how it turned out miserably...and how I refused to eat.

This story is running through my mind as I prepare to undertake Baby Food Fest 2011.  And you know what...

...it was so easy!

I mean ridiculously easy.  So easy anyone can do this.  Really.

Start with 4 ripe pears.  I used Anjou and bought the ripest ones at the store...so ripe their skin was tearing easily.  They smelled heavenly.

Next, fill a pot with 1-2 inches of water and put on the stove to boil.  While that is coming up to a boil, quarter and core your pears.

Feel free to feed the pooch your scraps.

Pile your pears on your steamer tray...

And place the steamer tray in the pot of boiling water.  Make sure the water does not touch any of the fruit.

Add the lid to the pot to make sure you retain all those yummy nutrients.

Twiddle your thumbs...change poopy diapers...whatever you gotta do...for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes check your pears with a fork.  If the fork glides through the skin easily they're done.

Remove the pot from the stove and let the pears cool.  Do not dump the extra liquid.

Once the pears are cooled to the touch {I gave them a full 30 minutes} peel the skins off the flesh and toss the flesh into your food processor or blender {or food mill}.

This is where my child got fussy and I left the pears to cool even more for awhile.  And thus the beauty of this recipe.  You can walk away for awhile if you need to.  You don't have to babysit the pears.

Puree your pears until the consistency looks right to you.  If you need to add some of the reserved cooking liquid you can.

Pour your puree into your storage containers.  I used these silicone freezer trays and measured out 2 tsp. portions.  

When I ran out of tray space, I poured the rest into a glass jar to store in the fridge.  

The jar has 10 teaspoons of puree in it...or 5 servings for my first-time-foodie.  

You can use this basic recipe for just about any fruit or veggie you want to puree.  Purees will keep in the fridge for 4-7 days and in the freezer for 3-4 months.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Ready or Not...

...solids here we come!

I found and fell in love with this cookbook last summer.

I read it cover to cover and could not wait to cook for my little one.  Under our pediatrician's guidance, we decided to wait until the Kiddo was six months old to introduce solid foods.  This was not a difficult decision to make on our part...we firmly believe this was the right decision for our little one.  But the decision to introduce solids is very personal and varies from baby to baby...the absolute last thing I was anyone reading this to think is that I don't approve of giving younger babies solids.  This is just what was right for us.  To each his own.  There are enough things we as mamas guilt ourselves over...this doesn't need to be another one.

So...now that Kiddo will be six months old this week {OMG....where did the time go??} the Hubster and I thought it would be about time to buy a high chair and some feeding essentials.

Are these not the cutest spoons ever?

Ok, I know what you're thinking..."they're just spoons"...but let's be honest...anything baby is cute {well almost...} and I'm super excited about feeding our guy new foods.  So just humor me.

And to go with the green spoons are green silicone trays for freezing those homemade purees!

I had so much fun at Babies R Us picking these out...but I have to say I felt completely overwhelmed.  That store has way too much.  It's the only store I know who can take meal time and turn it into a gadgety event.  {Tommy Tippee, I'm talking to you with your fancy suction cup trays and bowls.}  So I attempted to keep it simple with these spoons and trays and that's it. 

Except for the high chair, of course! 

Doesn't he look so serious?  It's like he knows this is a big deal and he's put on his big boy serious face for the big event.  :)

So, ready or not, solids here we come! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

For Emily:: My Meatless Monday

My soon to be sister-in-law has fabulous, make you drool staring at the screen, Meatless Monday ideas every week.  Today for lunch I decided to try to clean out my fridge a bit and get creative...and low and behold it was meatless!  So, for you Emily, here is my meatless-creation-which-happened-to-occur-on-a-Monday.  ;)

1. First, I dug around in my fridge and came up with the following ingredients:

 {organic spinach, leftover homemade french onion soup, organic carrots, homemade white bread, mushrooms, Duke's mayo, and home-grown organic squash, and sliced provolone...which didn't make the photo shoot}

2. I peeled the outer layer off of a couple of carrots...and then kept peeling to get carrot curls.  Tossed those into a skillet with some extra-virgin olive oil on medium heat.

3. Sliced 3 slices off the ginormous squash and added those to the skillet.

4. Sliced one big ol' mushroom...and tossed him into the pan as well.

5. Added one ladle-full of french onion soup to the pan and let simmer down {you know you want to say it..."simma'-down-now"}.

6. Sliced off 2 pieces of bread and toasted in the toaster while my pan was simmerin' away {simmer is really just a fun word...don't ya think?}.

7. Once the soup was reduced by half, I tossed in a good handful of spinach {probably about a cup for you measuring folks}.

8. Cut my toast in halves, added mayo and started to stack...veggies on the bread...provolone on the veggies...more bread...more veggies...more cheese...more bread...and you're done!


Now for you sticklers, this is meatless but it's not vegetarian because my french onion soup was made with beef broth.  What can I say?  I'm carnivorous.  You can add sliced onions with a splash of veggie broth {about 1/3 cup I'd say} as an alternative to the french onion soup if you like.

And a word of caution...this sandwich needs a fork.  It is fabulous and worth every bit of the 8 minutes it took to make.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5 Months

Isn't he a cutie?  We had unseasonably cool weather this week which gave me the opportunity to bundle him up one last time for awhile.  That beanie barely fit on his head.  I kept pulling it down over his ears and it kept riding back up.

Here's how it used to fit::

He still tries to scrunch up in my arms.  At night before bed he pulls his legs up into his chest and nestles his head on my shoulder and tries very, very hard to be small.  

But during all his waking hours he is very much a growing boy.  

He has an ever-expanding vocabulary of sounds {his newest one is dadadadadadadadada, which he has yet to use properly....crayons are dada...his bear is dada...and on and on}.  The hubster and I sneak into his room on all fours when he is conversing with his stuffed animals and sit quietly next to his crib to eavesdrop.  He likes to stand holding onto the coffee table.  Baxter is his favorite family member...and he reaches out to pet him all day long.  He loves splashing in the bathtub and the washcloth is his favorite bath time toy {the rubber-duckies come in for a close 2nd}.  Next month he will be starting solid foods, and his first tooth is slowly but surely beginning to make an appearance {with all the fun teething symptoms along for the ride as well}.  

My sweet, tiny bundle of baby joy is growing into a sweet, joyful little boy.

He has his mama's eyes and his daddy's jaw and the most infectious smile and cheerful disposition that belong entirely to him.

It is such a joy to get to be his mama.

And I've realized the irony of Mother's Day.  It really isn't at all about cards and gifts and flowers...even though those are nice.  The only thing in the world I would ever want for Mother's Day is my child.  He doesn't have to do anything special...the hubster doesn't have to do anything special...just living out our life as a family is the best gift I could ever receive.  

I wonder if that's how God feels about us?  All the gifts we could ever bring to Him...our best efforts in life...are nice.  And it isn't that He doesn't enjoy our efforts.  But really, He just wants us.  Bad habits, quirks and all.

Not a perfect analogy, but you get the picture {I hope!}.

Happy Mother's Day, friends.  I hope your day is truly special.  :)