Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Day and Leftovers!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving in my house is always fun, my husband does most of the cooking which means I get a nice break. We were hoping that our son would eat the turkey, but he made a face and spit it out (he is more or less a pescatarian). Instead, he enjoyed the sides, a lot. Our table this year was Turkey Breast Roullade, Mashed Potato, Sausage Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts Lardon, Garlicky Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cranberry Tart, and Pecan Pie.

If this is your little one's first Thanksgiving and they are old enough to have solids, potatoes are a great way to allow them to share in on the festivities. If they are a bit older they can partake in the whole meal. And, if you are adventurous... yes folks, you can put Thanksgiving in a blender.  This can be made any day of the year and it freezes beautifully in ice cube trays!

Thanksgiving
1 Turkey Breast
1 large Sweet Potato
1/2 cup cranberries
Cinnamon
Salt
Pepper
or season as you wish

Preheat the oven to 350. Place all your ingredients, including seasonings on a sheet of tin foil, add a capful of olive oil. Wrap the tinfoil up into an envelope so that it is closed on all sides. Place the foil packet on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for approximately 45 minutes- 1 hr. depending on your oven. Everything will steam up nicely and all the flavors will infuse with each other.

While this is in the oven, heat up 1/2 cup of turkey or chicken stock, breast milk, or formula, your choice on the stove. When pureeing meat it is much easier to do so when all the ingredients are the same temperature.

When your foil packet is ready there is going to be some juice in the foil packet, keep it, that is the flavor! Put all of your contents, including the juice into your blender and puree until desired consistency is reached (depending on the age of your baby), as you are pureeing slowly add in the warmed liquid as needed, it will help to incorporate the baby food.

After Thanksgiving I had decent amount of leftovers, mainly a lot of mashed potatoes. The first night I made potato pancakes with the mashed potatoes, but they weren't going fast enough. I really just wanted to use them all at once. So, my brain though of trying to make gnocchi! How hard could it be? NOT HARD AT ALL! SO EASY!!! Here is all I did:

Gnocchi
2 cups cold mashed potato
1 egg
1 cup flour/gluten free flour (I made them gluten free but your choice)

I put all the ingredients into my mixer and mixed until a dough formed. About 5 minutes. Quarter the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out each quarter into a 3/4 inch thick log and start cutting into 1 inch pieces. Take each piece and roll it with a fork. I did not cook these right away, I layed them out on a baking sheet and flash froze them for about 15 minutes in the freezer. Once they were frozen and hard I put them all into a Ziploc bag and cooked them when we were ready to eat them (which was last night). Simply boil until they float and add a little marinara sauce or olive oil and Parmesan cheese and enjoy. My son cleared his plate, which lately is a big accomplishment. These are a great make ahead meal and now that I know how easy they are to make, I think they will become a regular dinner in my house. The other great thing about these was that they already were seasoned from the mashed potatoes we ate on thanksgiving.

Well I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving! I hope your babies and toddlers enjoy these!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's for Breakfast?

My son loves breakfast, OK, I mean who doesn't? I have been playing around with various breakfast ideas for him and came up with two really great ideas. The first can be given to young babies (just swap the adult oatmeal for baby fortified oatmeal), or can be enjoyed for a nutritious breakfast for an adult! I know these recipes are rather tropical for Thanksgiving time, but I happen to love anything that reminds me of laying on the Shore.

Mango Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
1 Mango, peeled, pitted, & chopped
1 Banana, chopped
1/2 cup of Oats
Juice of 1 Orange/formula to thin if giving to younger baby


Very simply, put all ingredients in your blender and give it a whirl!






My son ate it in his Sili Squeeze and LOVED IT!!



Please remember you can buy your child their very own Sili Squeeze at http://thesilico.com/

Now last night for dinner I decided to do breakfast for dinner, I thought that would be fun since it was just my son and I for dinner last night. I made us Orange Scented French Toast! It was delicious, I can vouch for the taste myself, and there was not a piece left on my son's plate either.

Orange Scented French Toast
4 slices bread of your choice
2 eggs
1 egg white
1/4 cup of milk
1/8 cup of orange juice
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Mix the ingredients together and let the bread soak for about 1 full minute. This gives you the time to get the pan nice and hot. Cook em up like you would french toast, a few minutes per side so they are nice and crunchy on the outside and moist and delicious on the inside. I served this with some sliced banana, but you could do any fruit you want.

ENJOY!!!

























Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Squeeze and The Cake



First off I would like to say that I hope everyone reading this is safe after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Northeast. If anyone is seeking ways they can help, please donate your food, time, or money to the Red Cross so they can help the people that really need it.

My son recently discovered his love for the squeezable pouches found in the baby food aisle. He loves them because they are easy for him to eat and I love them because they are great for on the go, and great for a way to ensure he is getting his fruits and vegetables. However, as I saw myself buying the pouches more and more I realized I really wish that I could find a reusable pouch that I could fill with homemade purees. I would save myself a ton of money. I scoured the internet and finally found the Sili Squeeze made by the Sili Company. It was exactly what I was looking for, a reusable pouch. They had an offer, 2 for $27, so I ordered them in red and green. I will say that I do think it is a little pricey, but if your child eats as many of the pouches as mine does then you will easily make your money back. They came to my house about a week later just decided that I had to try it immediately (after I wished them of course, wash them before use). The packaging said that the first time you use it put in a food you know your toddler likes so they get used to it, so I put in yogurt. The yogurt alone was too thick and my baby got very frustrated and could not get anything out. I washed it out and tried applesauce and he ate the entire thing. He loved it!! I will say just a few tips, don’t fill it too high otherwise it is difficult to squeeze out, and don’t put in anything too thick. The next day I made my son a spinach and banana puree for breakfast http://realbabieseatrealfood.blogspot.com/2012/04/going-green-for-breakfast.html and again, he thought it was great! It was very easy for him to squeeze, and he knew exactly what to do with it since he was used to the grocery store pouches. He ate it all. Sili Squeeze is very easy to clean also, it comes apart in 4 parts and all parts are top rack dishwasher safe! It is very easy to put back together also. I truly love these pouches; I have been giving him about one a day of either a fruit or vegetable, depending on what I was making. So if you have a toddler that loves the grocery store pouches, I highly highly suggest buying these pouches. You will save a ton of money, and you can continue giving your baby homemade food. You can order them here: http://thesilico.com/.


The weekend before Hurricane Sandy came to town I had a large amount of butternut squash in my fridge that I needed to use before it went back and before the power went out. I found this great recipe on another blog, “Whole Eats and Whole Treats”, and adapted it. The original recipe made bars (think lemon bars) and had a vanilla icing, but I wanted more of a coffee cake type cake. This cake turned out so good, that I have made it 5 times in the last week and a half, no joke. I sent it with my husband to a Halloween party, made some for my house, and made some for my neighbor and we hate it post Hurricane Sandy during the day. So here it goes.  For each cake you need 1 cup of butternut squash puree. The butternut squash does not need to be cooked. Just cube, put into a blender with apple cider until it comes together into a smooth puree. The leftover puree went into the Sili Squeeze for my son to gobble down =). 

1 cup butternut squash puree
½ cup sugar (I made one of my cakes with Splenda and it tasted just fine as well, so for you sugar free people, this is just as tasty with Splenda)
6 tbsp. Canola Oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, mix together the butternut squash puree, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Keep the mixer on while in another bowl you sift together the dry ingredients. For this cake sifting the dry ingredients does make a different, I tried it both ways and found the cake lighter in the sifted version. Simply add the dry ingredients to the wet and give it a good stir together. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I made this as a loaf cake, a bundt cake, a rectangle cake, and a round cake, the cooking times differed ever so slightly with the bundt cake taking the longest. The cake rises very nicely, so don’t worry about it not looking like enough batter.
This cake is so incredibly easy to make, and so incredibly tasty, you have to go try it.  

ENJOY!!!
And for those of you that tries the Sili Squeeze, send me an email, let me know if your kids like it as much as mine does.

And again, there are a lot of people in the NY and NJ areas that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, pick up the phone and see how people are if you can reach them, offer them shelter, food, a hot shower, or donate. Be safe.