Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Babyfood Recipes

A few months back I posted how I was going to attempt to make all of my daughter's food. She is 10 months old now and I have been successful at it.  Yay!  It's been a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I thought I would share a few of my recipes and tips with you all.

Chicken and Veggies

I usually buy a rotisserie chicken when I go shopping to use in meals.  To use it with baby food, I take about a cup of meat and chop it up.  I add it to a baked squash or a few baked sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add a little bit of chicken broth and puree with a hand blender.  She loves it.

Beef Stew

1 pound stewing beef - cut into 1 inch slices
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 cup frozen peas
enough water to cover the food
1 tbsp beef boullion

Boil everything together until the meat and veggies are soft.  Add water as necessary.  Puree with a hand blender.

Apricots and ?

To make a good apricot puree, re-hydrate dried apricots with a enough water to cover them up.  Boil for about 10 minutes.  Puree right in the pot.  I like to make apricot plus another fruit mix.  To make apricots and bananas, I take 2 bananas, slice them and lay them out on a piece of aluminum foil.  Scoop a good portion of the apricot puree on top.  Add a little bit of vanilla (1 tsp).  Wrap the fruit up into a package and bake it at 325 for 20 minutes.  Once the fruit is all soft, empty the packet out into a mixing bowl and puree everything together with a hand blender.  I do the same with apricot and apple, just substitute a couple of peeled, cored and sliced apples for the banana.  And yes, I've done this with just the apple and banana and it works great too.  Very tasty!

How to store your baby food:

Spoon into ice cube trays.  I label the trays with a dry-erase marker so I remember what's in there.  The next day pop the cubes into freezer bags, make sure to label them and date the food, so you know what you have and when you made it.  Baby food in the freezer can be kept and used for 3-6 months.  Thawed food can be kept refrigerated for a couple of days.  The great thing with the cubes is that there is very little waste.  You get a good sense of how much your little one will eat and you just need to defrost/heat that much.  I usually microwave 2-3 cubes for about 40 seconds.  But be sure to stir and check the temperature before you serve it.  You don't want your baby to get a burnt tongue from a hot spot.  Have fun and be creative!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Authentic Tacos with Pico de Gallo

A classmate of my husband is from Texas.  He came home rather excited last week because he got it.  What did he get?  Her taco recipe.  We are not talking tacos with the package mix here.  We are talking real, good tacos.  The best tacos I've ever had, ever!  He was kind enough to write out the recipe for me to share with y'all too.  Here it is:

1 lb of Ground Beef
2 Jalapeno Peppers (For a medium heat. You can add more if you want more heat.)
2 Onions
4 Roma Tomatoes
½ Bunch of Cilantro
1 Lime
½ Red or Yellow Pepper
Iceberg Lettuce
¾ can of Whole or Diced Tomatoes w/ juice.
1 Tablespoon of Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
a pinch of sugar
Beef Stock

Make Pico De Gallo:
Dice one onion, four Roma tomatoes, ½ a Jalapeno Pepper. Finely chop ½ bunch of Cilantro, and squeeze all the juice from the lime. (A trick for juicing a lime is to roll it along a surface, such as a cutting board, using the palm of your hand. Apply enough pressure onto the lime to break it up inside without breaking the skin. Then cut it open and squeeze the juice out into the bowl). Mix ingredients well and refrigerate. It is best to make the Pico de Gallo a few hours before you plan to serve the Tacos.

Taco Beef:
Dice the other onion, ½ red or yellow pepper, and finely dice 1 ½ Jalapeno Peppers. (Be careful when cutting or grating Jalapeno peppers by hand as the oils on your hands can will cause a burning sensation when anything your hands come into contact with (eyes, nose, face, etc.) Saute the ground beef with the onions and peppers, until the beef is almost browned. Add the canned tomatoes, Cumin, Oregano, sugar and beef stock. (I mix the beef stock with water and just add 1 tablespoon of liquid.) Bring mixture to a boil, and then turn down and allow it to simmer for 20 min.

Serve the taco meat with shredded iceberg lettuce, grated cheese (we like sharp cheddar), Pico de Gallo, sour cream, warmed taco shells. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inside Out Caramel Apples

Like a lot of good recipes, this one was passed on from a friend who saw it somewhere else.  My friend found it on Random Thoughts of a Supermom (original post here).  They looked easy and yummy and seeing as I haven't had much success making real caramel apples, I thought I'd try it out.  Okay the picture does not do the yumminess of this justice at all.  But trust me, it's tasty.  My 6 year old thought so to.

Basically you take an apple (or several apples).  Slice the top off, scoop out the inside core.  Put a few sliced mini carmels inside with some chopped peanuts, a little dab of butter and bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes (until the apple is soft).  Very tasty on a fall night.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Apple Banana Bread

Wow, I am really behind on my posting.  It's a funny cycle food blogging isn't it?  I get inspired by all the wonderful recipes you all post and start experimenting in the kitchen.  And then I get busy with the kids and everything else going on in my life and suddenly I realize I have a stack of photos waiting to be posted on.  Oh well, after a couple of years of food blogging I have come to the conclusion that I don't enjoy it if I pressure myself to be posting all the time.  The recipes will still be there for when I get a good chunk of time on the computer.

Here's a lovely recipe I found last month on Lauren's Kitchen (original post here).  My son loved it so much that I made it twice within a week.  He wanted it for breakfast and in his lunchbox for school.  It's really easy and a great way to use up those bananas you've got frozen in your freezer.

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter - I had to look this up, 1 stick = 1/2 cup butter, the 2nd time I made it I substituted applesauce for the butter and it worked great.
  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 peeled, chopped apples
Beat sugar, eggs and butter. Add bananas and mix together.   Add baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and flour. Mix.  Fold in chopped apples. Fill greased and floured bread pans 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour - I have a slow oven so I baked this for a little bit longer, just keep checking for when the top is nice and golden and a toothpick comes out clean when you insert it in the middle of the bread.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars

I am a Reese's Pieces addict.  I absolutely love munching on them - too much!  These squares were my attempt to make something similar in my own kitchen and they were a pretty good match.  Very yummy.  As you can see my 3 year old loved them too.

24 Graham Crackers, crushed finely
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/4 cup melted chocolate chips

Mix everything together and spread out over an 8 inch square baking dish.  Bake at 350* for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything together. *Add the sugar to the peanut butter one cup at a time to get a good consistency.  Spread over the crust once the crust is cool.

1/4 cup melted chocolate chips

Spread over the middle while the chocolate is still hot.

Allow the squares to set for an hour in the fridge.  I've been keeping these in the freezer which works great too.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Just because Oct. 31st has passed does not mean that the time for eating pumpkin is through (esp. you American friends of mine with your Thanksgiving coming up!). Roasted pumpkin seeds are an easy, healthy snack that are so tasty.

Here's what you do:

As you scoop out the 'pumpkin guts', comb through with your fingers to lift the seeds out (they come out pretty easy).  Set them in a bowl of water and allow them to soak to help clean them off.
Rinse the seeds, take off any remaining bits of orange.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray (I know we are going to use a little oil later, but this part helps too).
Spread the seeds over the baking sheet.
Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil (don't drench them)
Sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
Bake at 300* for half an hour-45 minutes - check every so often to flip them so they don't catch and burn.
Set the seeds in a bowl lined with paper towel (this will blot off any excess oil)

*I like the basic olive oil and salt, but you can have fun with other seasonings too, like garlic powder, cayenne, season salt, onion powder, or mixed seasonings (Cajun, Tex-Mex etc).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making Pancakes Better

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that our family loves pancakes.  I decided to spruce up the regular Saturday morning pancakes a couple of times this past month.  The first surprise my kids were delighted with.  I remember having Mickey Mouse pancakes as a kid and loving them.  They are really east to do.  Pour the larger centre first and the two smaller ears.  My youngest called them "Toodles!"  (which you'll know if your own is a fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).  The letters I've been wanting to try my hand at for a while.  I filled an icing dispenser with pancake mix and did the writing.  Everyone got their own letter (1st initial).  They were cute (and yummy) and the kids loved them!

The next big of sprucing up I did was for a box mix.  I'm not big on box mixed pancakes (I prefer mine from scratch).  But we had some in the house that needed eating up.  I made them better by:
-grating a peeled apple into the mix
-adding a little vanilla
-adding a little cinnamon
They were so good!  It reminded me of eating churros in Disneyland.

They were also my daughter's first pancakes - I think she liked them!

For more pancake fun check out this guy: Jim's Pancakes