More Baby Food

People keep joking about how I must have to much time on my hands if I’m able to make most of Colt’s food.

Honestly, it’s super easy.

I thought it would be this time consuming, all afternoon kind of stuff, but it really isn’t.  I take 15 minutes here and there and Colt has a variety of foods to eat every day.

First, I stumbled upon a website that really helps.  http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com.  The contributors have done a great job organizing the site so that it’s easy to understand and use.  You can search for foods your thinking about offering your child, it will tell you all about its nutrients, when to offer it, how to prepare it, and various recipes.

Second, I use my stick blender a lot! I don’t have a fancy one, it’s really basic, has 2 speeds, and came with a tall container that is perfect for blending things in.

Third, I have a streamer. One of those separate units that has 2 baskets that you can stack and steam multiple items at once.

Both of the above gadgets were things we already had, and used pretty frequently.  I keep them in a place that’s handy to get to so that I don’t have to convince myself to get it out.

Whenever I have a free moment, I know that sounds silly coming from a first time mom of an infant, I make something. When do I find these moments? I set Colt in his high chair, usually just after feeding him something, I can fill a sink full of water and soak the days bottles. He drinks his bottle, and I peel a few apples and cut them into cubes. Toss those into the steamer for 15-20 minutes. Grab a half a bag of frozen peas and toss them in the microwave with some water. While I wash the bottles, Colt plays with his blocks, and I periodically check on the foods. Once the dishes are done, I blend the peas, pour into ice cube trays. Wash the stick blender and then puree the apples.  Pour, freeze, done.

A few days later when I think about it again, I pop the food out of the trays and put them in ziplock bags.  Every night, I just put cubes of whatever into bowls for Colt to take to daycare. And to have at home.

Not only does he eat apples and peas, but he likes pears, bananas, avocado, peaches and watermelon. Green beans, sweet potatoes and squash. I also keep containers of Pre-made Gerber cereals around, (as I haven’t found an easy way to make that in advance). And now, yogurt is also in rotation.

As he gets older, I’m looking forward to adding new foods to his diet, and offering more finger foods.  He seems to really like the teething cookies I made for him.  And he’ll use the self feeder when it’s handed to him, but he’s still not great with his pincer grip. We’re working on that daily with the introduction of “puffs”. He loves to eat, and I’m hoping that’s a trait he keeps up into his toddler days.

6 Months: Update

Since I posted his 6 month post we went to the pediatrician.

Looks like we’re moving right along on track.  He’s weighing in at 17 pounds, was 27 inches long, and had a head circumference of 17 inches.  Still chugging along in the 25-50 percentile for head size, and 50-75 for weight and length.

A lot of people don’t understand what the percentile stuff means.  I know I had to look it up.

According to babycenter.com the percentile indicates how your baby compares to other babies his age. There isn’t anything really to worry about, unless you’re child switches percentiles drastically.

wpid-wp-1439124014592.jpeg

As you can see from the charts made with the Baby Connect app on my phone, he’s keeping along the same arc for the most part.

I’m not worried about the smaller head at this time, as I’m an adult who can still wear kid hats.

The pediatrician also gave us the go ahead to pretty much eat whatever, and that he’ll be in to finger foods by the next time we see him at the 9 month checkup.

Speaking of food, I got busy making more purees for him yesterday. I made peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pears. And I actually got up the nerve to make a dough and use the woodland animal cookie cutters to make teething biscuits.

wpid-wp-1439124555222.jpeg

I used this recipe I found on Pinterest. They smell great, from the cinnamon and bananas, but as someone who appreciates sweeter things, they lack in sugar. Appropriately.

My shower this morning was thwarted by a lack of hot water. Mike moved my washer and dryer into the new laundry room yesterday. He forgot to reignite the water heater after turning off the gas.  I may feel motivated to make some more baby purees while Colt takes his early nap.

Momma vs. Gerber: Round One

wpid-wp-1437345556045.jpegToday I decided to try my hand at making baby purees for Colt. How hard could it really be right? I guess I will let you know when Colt actually eats it.

Mike’s mom had picked up this Baby Chef at a thrift store and while I didn’t need another appliance in the kitchen, I figured the price was right.

I got it all cleaned up. Plugged it in. It made a beep noise. I added some ripe mango to the blender side and… Nothing. Mike played around with it. Nothing. Well, so much for that.

wpid-wp-1437345542471.jpegI dug around and got out my well used steamer, and my little food processor and got started. In the amount of time it took Colt to nap, and Mike to install a light and a medicine cabinet in the bathroom, I chopped, steamed, puréed, and portioned out; 1 mango, 1 sweet potato, 1 apple, 1 pear, and one banana. I figured I would start small and see how it goes.

I purchased freezer trays from Amazon a few weeks ago. They are one ounce portions and they are a silicone tray that sits in a hard plastic tray and they stack well. Once they are frozen I will pop them out and put them in bags in the chest freezer. I also bought 4 lidded glass dishes. I figure I can throw a cube into a glass jar and let it defrost over night to be taken to daycare. And if need be the glass will allow them to be warmed in the microwave or the crockpot of hot water they use for bottles.

I ended up with 16 portions of sweet potato, 8 portions of mango, 7 banana, 3 apple and 2 pear in the freezer and then another 1 apple and 2 pears in the fridge. If those seem to go ok I’ll be trying other foods.

Today, my mom fed Colt some green beans, and after we warmed those up a smidge he seemed to enjoy them. I am looking forward to trying all kinds of new foods over the next few months. They say it’s best to give him a taste of as many foods as you can before they turn one. It’ll help make them a less fussy eater.

Inspiration for purées came from the Baby and Toddler Cookbook and Pintrest. As he get’s older I will try out some new foods, textures, and combinations. I’m also keeping my options open for some baby led weaning finger foods.

Pitzy (Sort of) Cooks! Reese’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars

wpid-wp-1426353461854.jpegI got a fat head the other day when I made the Corned Beef and Cabbage IN A CROCK POT because I thought, “Gee, that wasn’t so hard, Mike is cooking dinner, why don’t I try to make dessert!”

First off, let me start by saying that the title of this recipe makes them seem more like oatmeal cookies than they really are.  There’s very little oatmeal in them.  They are pretty much peanut butter brownies.

Second, baking and taking care of an infant is not easy. Half way into mixing the sugar and butter together it became very apparent that this was a bad idea.  Mike was busy outside frying fish and chips, and I was feeding a fussy baby.  The oven had been preheated for longer than necessary.

Every once in a while, Mike would come back into the house, bring me some chips to try, and give me a hand stirring or mixing. I was definitely in over my head.  Eventually, I got out the Mai Tei again and tied Colt to my chest. I was able to finish getting the bars into the oven.

Regardless, these bars came out pretty good. They are really sweet, and full of peanut butter flavor.  And I learned my lesson about trying to do more than I can handle without backup.

Oh, and Mike’s fish fry dinner turned out pretty well too!

Recipe: Reese’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Pitzy Cooks! Corned Beef & Cabbage

It has been a really long time since I blogged about food. Or anything other than baby stuff really.

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up soon and I am home all day so it was the perfect time to get out the crock pot.

Here is the recipe I found on Pintrest: Corned Beef & Cabbage

wpid-wp-1426096864192.jpeg

Baby Wearing Momma

Today started at about 6am when Colt woke up for a bottle and a diaper change. I have gotten into the habit of taking care of him, and then while Mike gets ready for work, I make up a days worth of bottles, enjoy a cup of coffee, and pump for 15 minutes. This morning I also got down the crock pot. Diesel, Colt and I laid back down for another few hours and at 8 got up for good. Another bottle, diaper change and we got out of our jammies. Unfortunately, Colt wasn’t in the mood to be left to play in his crib, so I decided to strap him on using my mei tai wrap. Of course then Colt was comfortably snoozing.

wpid-wp-1426096859268.jpeg

Corned Beef & Cabbage: Before

I got started on the Corned Beef by prepping all of the ingredients. I chopped celery and red potatoes, and used baby carrots and frozen pearl onions. Into the crock pot it all went and 4 cups of water. Topped the veggies with the corned beef, and poured over top of that a Murphy’s stout. Sprinkled on the season packet and on high it went for 6 hours.

Of course then it was just wait it out. Taking care of Colt, doing some laundry, and waiting for Daddy to get home!

After about 5 hours I checked the internal temperature of the beef and found it to be done. I removed it from the crock pot and tented it with some tinfoil and let it rest. I cut the cabbage into wedges, submerged them into the crock pot, and added another hour onto the timer.

Almost an hour after putting the cabbage in, it started to cook down nicely and the house was smelling great.

Mike got home at around 4:30 and at that time there was a half hour still on the timer. He turned the crock pot to low while I got Colt bundled up for our first walk outside. We headed to the park with Diesel, the little guy in his car seat and snapped into his stroller. It wasn’t quite as warm out as it was predicted, but with the canopy over top, Colt was able to enjoy a quick nap as the rest of us strolled along the Clinton River.

Back at home, Mike carved up the Corned Beef and served us both a big bowl of veggies. And honestly, the broth would make a fine soup! I would say today was a success.

wpid-wp-1426113475830.jpeg

Finished! The only picture I got because it smelled too good to wait.

Pitzy Cooks! Summer Vegetable Soup

IMG_20140804_171920
I had a craving for some kind of vegetable soup the other day. I really wanted something tomato-y, and summer like, and I didn’t want it to come from a can, but didn’t really want to spend all day cooking it either.

And then my neighbor said he had a bunch of green beans to give us!

And by a bunch I mean I have no idea what I am going to do with them all!

A quick Google search for Summer Vegetable Soup pulled up this recipe, I checked the pantry and I had nearly all of the ingredients on hand. Well, kind of. I had can tomatoes, which would bring some flavor without the hassle of pealing and dicing a store bought tomato. And I had cannellini beans but not navy beans, which the cannellini are nice Italian beans anyway so, perfect fix.

Mike and I headed to Meijer and picked up our staples for the week and a few other things, and I had this pot started before Mike had the groceries put away.

It didn’t take long, and it smelled and tasted great! It was exactly what I was looking for!

Pitzy Cooks: Tuscan Pot Pie

Last weekend I came down with a wicked cold. I fought it all weekend, and of course, managed to pass it along to Mike.

On my drive home from work Thursday night, I called Mike to see how he was doing and ask what he wanted for dinner. He was feeling quite miserable, and the best remedy for that is some good old home cooked comfort food.

I really wasn’t in the mood for chicken and dumplings or turkey pot pie again. But one dish that I haven’t made in a while is Tuscan Pot Pie.

It’s super simple and came from a recipe book I got on the cheap at Barnes & Noble called, Simple 1-2-3 One Dish Meals.

IMG_20140215_140833

Ingredients:
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
1 jar (26 to 28 ounces) chunky vegetable or mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1‑1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove sausage from casings. Brown sausage in medium ovenproof skillet, stirring to break up meat. Drain fat.

2.Add spaghetti sauce, beans and thyme to skillet. Simmer uncovered over medium heat 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

3.Unroll crescent dough; divide into triangles. Arrange in spiral with points of dough toward center, covering sausage mixture completely. Bake 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and meat mixture is bubbly.

This last time I made it I added mushrooms, and was going to add some fresh green pepper but the store had shitty looking peppers.  Also, when you lay out the crescent triangles, be careful not to overlap them too much in the center. Trim some of the points or it won’t cook all the way through.

Mike was very happy with this “spicy pile of mush” as he put it.  It was flavorful enough that he could taste something (which his stuffy nose wasn’t helping with) and it was that warm kind of awesome that you like when you’re sick.

Pitzy Cooks: Left-Over Turkey Pot Pie

Yesterday, I was driving home from work at 1pm thankful to have gotten the golden handshake telling me to enjoy my holiday.

My phone rings.

“Hi Sweets!”

“Hiya! I am at Meijer, did you need me to get anything?”

“Well, actually, I was thinking, we have turkey left over from the other day, how does pot pie sound for dinner?”

“Sounds great, uh…”

“I’ll meet you there in 5”

We picked up all the ingredients and headed home. And promptly decided it was probably a better idea for New Years Day.

New Years Day was snowy and turned out to be a great day to stay in and warm up the house with some great smelling food.

I started with this recipe: http://tinyurl.com/osmkjjg

Rather than using a bag of frozen veggies, I opted to use fresh produce. I cut up some onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes and added it to some sliced mushrooms. Into the pot with the butter and some garlic, I let those cook until tender. Added the flour, cooked some more and then added the remaining ingredients.

Turkey Pot Pie

I have never made a pie of any kind, so I was a bit nervous about using the refrigerated dough for the first time, but I let it come to room temperature and didn’t have any trouble.

I let it bake as directed and only set off all 9 smoke alarms 4 times.

Yea, so part of that building a new garage meant bringing the rest of the house up to code by installing more wired together smoke detectors. Only there was a communication break down and Mike installed one in every single room. Which is nice but was not necessary.

Back to the pie. It was amazing. It came out golden brown, we let it sit and cool for quite a while. But it was still steaming hot when I cut a few slices for us both. It had great texture, was nice and savory thanks to the thyme and sage. The crust was perfect, buttery and perfectly cooked.

I am definitely making this one again.  My only future wish is to try and not use a prepared turkey gravy, not sure if I really trust my kitchen skills yet to make my own crust, but the least amount of prepared food I can use, the better off it will be.

Cooking good in the new year!

Pitzy Cooks: Applesauce!

applesauceSo what do you do when your boyfriend buys 400 pounds of late season honeycrisp apples?

Make applesauce of course!

Our neighbor works for a produce warehouse in Detroit. He came home with two truckloads of apples that were no longer suitable to be sold in stores. Worse case, our deer up north are going to love them. They’re not the greatest looking apples, but they’re great for cooking.

The first thing on the menu is applesauce. I had heard it was pretty easy. I checked the internet, and my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, and determined this was even going to be easy enough to pull off without a recipe.

I started with about 10 to 12 apples, cut them into chunks around the core, and threw them into a large pot. Added about a half cup of apple cider, about a half cup of dark brown sugar, a tablespoon or so of cinnamon, and a teaspoon each of cloves and nutmeg. Covered it and placed it on med-high heat for about 15 minutes. Came back, stirred it, and gave it another 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

The house smells amazing! Truly a wonderful aroma for this autumn Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

Pitzy Cooks: White Bean Chicken Chili

I realized that one thing that I love to do is cook, and I usually take photos of what I make and post it on Instagram, but I never write about it.

So here is the first installment of Pitzy Cooks!

White Bean Chicken Chili

IMG_20130923_182932_273

 

 

 

 

 

I got this recipe from a co-worker of mine years ago.  It’s still a favorite of mine every fall.

Ingredients:

  • 64 ounces of Randall’s Great Northern Beans
  • 16 ounces salsa (your heat, your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper (again, your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pound chicken, cooked/browned, cut into chunks
  • 16 ounces shredded cheese, 4 cheese blend

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients except cheese into crock-pot or stock pot. If crock-pot, heat on low for 3-4 hours. Stock pot, heat on medium-low for approximately 2 hours, stirring frequently.

Before serving, add cheese.

I like to also garnish with sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips.

IMG_20130923_171951_098 IMG_20130923_171254_856

 

 

IMG_20130923_172232_374

 

Note: I usually end up buying one 64 ounce jar, and one 24 ounce jar of beans.