Monday, March 18, 2013

Cottage Pie

Hi All,

Sorry for the long delay in a post. I have been brainstorming and testing some recipes out. In honor if St. Patrick's Day I decided to make Cottage Pie. After I made it and my husband praised its goodness, I realized that it is a perfect food for a Stage 3 or 4 eater! It is chunky enough for them to chew and smooth enough with the potatoes so you don't have to puree it! Viola! Unintentional Baby Food :)

1 LBS Ground Beef
1 Packet of onion soup mix
11 oz frozen peas and carrots
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt
pepper
chicken broth
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayanne pepper
2.5 Lbs red potatoes
1 cup warmed buttermilk
4 TBSP melted butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 375.

While you are waiting for the water to boil, add onions and garlic to a large sautéed pan. After about 5 minutes add the ground beef. Break it up nicely using a wooden spoon. Once it is broken up, add the onion soup mix and all the spices and frozen veggies.

By now your water should be boiling. Add the peeled potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Back to the beef. Cover the beef mixture with chicken stock. Cover your pan, bring to boil and simmer until more than half the liquid is dissolved. This should take about the time it takes you to prepare the potatoes.

Once the potatoes are done bring them to a mixing bowl. Either using a stand mixer or hand mixer beat the potatoes. Add the buttermilk and butter. Beat until fluffy and season with salt and pepper.

Pour your beef mixture into a prepared baking dish. Cover the beef with the potatoes.

Bake for 25 minutes and serve!

This is great for the whole family as well.

I have been playing around with different purees to send to daycare with my son. I plan on posting one here this week, super easy peaches!

Hope everyone has a good first day of spring!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Stage 3 Foods

Hey mamas and papas!

The weathermen were so clearly wrong with their forecasting! They said I was going to get 1-3 inches, well I nearly crashed coming home last night and we are on about 6 inches and I see no sign of stopping.

I am going to answer a question here that I got asked recently and that is about transitioning between the "stages". Commercial baby food is grouped by stage, ranging from smoothest and thinnest, to chunky and thick. This allows babies to get used to textures. The question being how do I transition my child when I am making my own food.

I am going to focus on "Stage 3" foods because that was the actual question. I found that the food processor became my friend when I needed to add texture to my son's food. You have a lot more control over texture.
 
Also, a great little tool that you all have already... wait for it... thats right a fork. Mash your babies food up with a fork or a potato masher.



Do not use as much liquid when thinning. Add a very little amount.

Be prepared for your baby to gag when you are adding texture to their food, it is their natural way of protecting themselves from choking. That is why it is best to introduce texture slowly. Start by pulsing it a little less than normal, and eventually leading up to a thick chunky puree, and eventually non puree food. When you are starting stage 3 foods you can with the approval of your doctor begin to introduce cheerios and puffs (they melt in their mouth)

A mashed up banana is great first stage three food because it is soft, there is little choking hazard and you have the ability to make it "chunky" or creamy, as desired. 

Mashed potatoes come in great here as well. You can add things like ground beef, peas, carrots, broccoli, really anything and it will add texture but give your baby the ability to get use to the texture slowly. 

Here are some of my recipes that I think are great stage three recipes to try with your little one:

The First Peas
Chicken Pot Pie
Minestrone

Also a great thing to start doing is to give baby a little bit of what you are eating. Follow your baby's cue. as you introduce table foods you are going to see how much of a change your baby's pallet will go through, but remember a little at a time. If you go too quickly then they will refuse food all together.




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Honest Toddler

The Honest Toddler is a Montreal based mom who thought it would be funny to tweet what could be going through a toddler's head. She started it for fun, and out of frustration and it is really funny! Definitely check her out!!

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts...


Spring is so close I can feel it, but of course Winter has one last storm for us in the Northeast this week, possibly. With Spring here my husband and I are itching to go out on a date, and finally folks, after 18 months we finally got a babysitter that isn't a friend or family member!! (Everyone cheer for me, this is huge :)) A friend of mine recommended I check out Sittercity to find a babysitter, so I did. They are running a great special so if you need a nanny or an occasional sitter like I did or a really any domestic help click the link below and use the coupon code LUCK40. They run all the background checks for you it takes the work out of finding someone reliable and safe. I cannot wait for my dinner date!


I have been trying to come up with the perfect way to introduce coconut to my son. I knew it would be something he will like, I just was unsure the best way to give it to him. Coconut milk is great for building up your immune system, preventing heart disease, and keeping your hair and skin looking great! As with other foods I have tried with my son, and this is a great way to introduce new foods to your own kids, is to add it to something they already like, in this case I added it to mango and carrots. 

This was so easy, this recipe filled one Fresh Baby Tray and one large Silli Squeeze Pouch. On a side note I am testing a different set of pouches with my son this week, so stay tuned for my review.




6 Carrots, washed peeled, chopped, and steamed



2 mangoes, sliced
Since my son eats SO many mangoes I decided to get a mango gadget, best thing ever!

 

1 cup Coconut Milk

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Prepare the carrots and steam in a steamer pot for approximately 15 minutes. While those are steaming prepare your mangoes. Put all ingredients into blender and puree until desired consistency is reached.




ENJOY!


Friday, March 1, 2013

AND THE WINNER IS.....

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER OF THE FRESH BABY CONTEST:


DEBBIE REED PERKINS!!!!


This contest was run using a random number generator to determine the winner.

Thank you all for entering!