Monday, October 22, 2012

Potato Leek Puree and Family Fun Pizza Night!!

When my son was just starting out on purees, I had tried to flavor some of them with onion, and he spit it out almost immediately.  To this day, he despises the taste of onion, even if they are caramelized and sweet.  It is a no go around here.  However, to get the onion flavor into some dishes I decided to try Leeks, with much success, and as a result, I cook with many leeks now. 

Many times my inspiration for recipes comes from soup.  My husband and I both love potato leek soup, so I thought ok why couldn’t I take the flavors of it and make it into a puree.  Yes, you also can take potato leek soup, puree it down, and feed it to your baby.  However, I had a serious craving for mashed potatoes so I then said ok hey wait what about Potato Leek Puree, and so it was born!

This is also a great puree for early eaters, it is mild in taste, and it is a root vegetable, which usually goes over well with young babies.

Potato Leek Puree

1 large leek, chopped
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
Olive oil
¼ cup of milk if you are making this for an older baby and ½ cup of milk if it is for a younger baby (if you are only making this for a baby please use formula or breast milk)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Parsley/Dill/whatever you prefer to use in your house, I used parsley
Put water on stove on high heat.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, prep your vegetables.  (Insert Food Network food prep montage here)

In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil and add leeks.
  Cook for about 5 minutes, and add the chicken stock.  Season with salt and pepper as desired (babies do not need salt, so keep the salt to a minimum). Cook on low to medium heat until all of the liquid is evaporated and the leeks are softened.  This took me about 25 minutes.

In the pot of boiling water, put your garlic and potatoes.  Boil until softened.  My grandmother used to stick a fork in the pot and if the potatoes fell apart they were done, therefore, that is my technique as well, also about 25 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and garlic and put it back in the hot pot (thank you Rachel Ray). Keep the pot on low heat and add your leek mixture.  Here is where you add the milk. 

If you are only making this for a small baby I suggest putting this in a food processor or an immersion blender so it gets a smoother texture, and add milk as needed to thin.  For smaller babies make sure there is no large pieces of potato floating around, they cannot chew it and they will probably gag if they get one.  Older babies that have developed that ability to chew can handle small pieces.  Since my baby is older, I mashed it with a potato masher.  

Sprinkle with herbs and serve or freeze in trays.
That was part of our dinner Saturday night, but Friday night we had fun.  My quick disclaimer is that the below I am just posting for a fun idea to do with your family and you should NOT PUREE pizza, I do not imagine it would be very good.  With that said, we decided to do a make your own pizza night.  Hubby cooked, I took pictures.

I really want to hear from the people that have tried this, and see pictures of their babies eating Real Food!  Please email me


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oh Sweet Fall

I know I have said this, I really just love fall. This coming Friday is my 4th anniversary and we are spending the day Friday apple picking as a family, then dropping the baby off with my parents to have a weekend alone, aka sleep in past 7 on a weekend! I am very excited. Then Apple Fest is coming to town (, so we go to the farm to pick up our vegetables. The squash is taking over my cabinet! It actually got me thinking that this is a great time of year for babies to start baby food. Almost all of the produce you will find at the farmers markets now makes a great first food. A first food is something low in allergen and easy to digest. These foods include: Apples, Pears, Winter Squash, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Banana, and Avocado. I read somewhere that orange was a good color to start with for babies, so moms whose babies are starting out food now, or moms whose babies will start in the future, orange is a good place to start.
Since the Squash has taken over, I have been cooking a lot of it lately. Good thing my son loves it so much.
Sweet Fall Acorn Squash Risotto
Roasted Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
1 tbsp. butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out the guts. Get in really good with the guts, those strings like to stay attached. Simply put the butter and spices on the squash, and roast cut side up for an hour.
While this was going on we decided to play outside!!!
Once the squash was roasted the peel came off very easily, and I simply cut out the insides. I then cubed it. If you were making this recipe strictly for a baby 4-8 months old you can stop here if you would like (but continue reading anyway =)). Simply puree in blender with breast milk, formula, or milk until you have the desired consistency.
I admit, risotto is labor intensive, I am not going to lie, but it is so worth all that stirring!!!
1 Leek, chopped, make sure you wash really well
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of dry Arborio rice
4 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken, no salt!), hot, must be hot stock. I kept the stock in another pot on the stove while I was doing this
1 ½ of cinnamon
1 tsp. of ginger
1 ½ tsp. of nutmeg
1 tbsp. of maple syrup
Cubed Roasted Acorn Squash (see above)
1 ½ sage
Salt, Pepper, Parmesan cheese to taste
In a sauce pot, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the leak. Cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and cook 5 minutes. Now is the time to run to the bathroom or do anything you have to do, because the rest of this will be standing over the stove stirring. Ready? Ok, add 1 cup of the stock, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir constantly until the liquid is dissolved. You will see it begin to get creamy. Once the liquid is gone, add in the next cup of stock, maple syrup, and squash. Again, stir, now you will really see this begin to get creamy goodness happening. Once the liquid is gone there, add the third cup, I feel like this is Passover here with the 4 cups, and add the sage this time. I added dry sage because that was what I had, but if you are using fresh then double the amount of sage. Cook that, stirring constantly until the liquid is gone. Then add the last cup of stock in. Here is where I added any salt and pepper, but not the cheese! Stir until the liquid is gone and you should have a big pot of sweet fall goodness! Sprinkle some cheese on top of each bowl.
My son had this for dinner Sunday night, and I went to have some as well, he stole the bowl from me and proceeded to eat my portion as well. This was a big hit in my house and I know it will be in your house as well. This is a great recipe for an older baby learning to eat textured food. For an older baby not yet ready for the full on chew simply puree half his or her bowl, and stir in the other non pureed half.