Sunday, October 28, 2012


When we had our first son I never even considered making baby food.  My hubby had other ideas...he made it known that it was ubber important to him that our baby be fed only the best!  Well, of course, I agreed I wanted him to have the best, so I would buy organic?!?  What ended up happening was me buying only the best, organic fruits and veggies and pureeing those to give him super wholesome and yummy food that were straight from my kitchen so I knew exactly what was in salt, no sugar, no chemicals! 

I bought a couple of books and LOVED and went to work!  Now that I am on baby #4 I have perfected my method and am able to fit baby purees into my regular kitchen time!  I am happy, Liam is happy and my chef is REALLY happy :)

This is what you will need:
big pot, with lid
ice cube trays with lids (or baby food freezer trays like this)
freezer gallon sized bags
fruit or veggie

I have pictures of making apples so I'll use those as my examples.  The first thing you want to do is wash your produce really well!  Then prepare for cooking.  I don't peel apples when I make them (except with Braydon I did because he would gag over the tiny specks of skin), so I just remove core and cube them and throw them in the pot!  I add a couple cups of water, you don't need to cover the apples, you need just enough that the bottom of the pot is covered and the water should go about an inch up from the bottom of the pot.

cutting up lots of gala apples
ready to cook!
 Cook on low/medium heat, covered, and stir occasionally until very soft.  Now its time to puree them!  Put in blender with a little bit of the cooking water.  Blend on high, taking time to stir the apples so the food gets fully pureed.  Depending on the strenght of your blender this might take some time :)  I normally blend for about a minute!  I also try and keep mine pretty thick( not chunky, but thick)!  Babies can handle thicker foods faster than you might think so I make mine thick and thin with water or breast milk at each feeding...that way you can get the consistency you need each time! 

*When pureeing HOT food remove lid slowly!  Contents have a tendency to pop!  Ouch!*

 Leave out enough food for that feeding and then transfer pureed food to ice cube trays, then put those in the freezer!  Once frozen, pop out cubes of food and transfer to gallon freezer bags and label with type of food and date you made it!  Each ice cube slot is normally an ounce, so when your baby is ready for a meal grab out however many cubes ounces you need! 

I normally make about 5 pounds of baby food, which will make 80 or more ounces of baby food (depending on how much water is used).  From start to putting it in the freezer it normally takes me about an hour and I make one new food each week, slowly adding to my collection.  Then I can also mix foods...grab 2 cubes of peas and 2 cubes of carrots, mix them together and its like a whole new food!  If you have a little one, why not give it a try?!?!  It doesn't take much time, is super healthy, saves a lot of money, and gives you a sense of accomplishment! 

This was a SUPER long post, I hope I didn't scare you off!!  Please let me know if you have any questions, or if your going to give it a try!  I love talking about cooking and I love talking about babies...put the 2 together and I'm a happy girl :)

Liam's 1st solid meal...SWEET POTATOES!

First Foods Cheat Sheet
Sweet Potatoes-peel, cube, steam, puree in blender
Pears- cube, steam in a little water, puree in blender
Peas- I buy frozen (make sure only ingredient is peas...a lot of companies add salt!), steam, puree
Apples- peel (or not, but there will be flecks of peel which some babies don't like), cube, steam, puree
Bananas- cook to order, (if brown just mash and serve) peel, microwave for 20 secs then mash
Avocado- must be soft, just mash and serve (can add water or breast milk to make creamy)
Green Beans- remove ends, steam, puree...for a long time :)
Acorn Squash- cut in half, remove seeds and lay cut down in baking dish, fill baking dish an inch up the side with water, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 mins or until soft, scoop out flesh and puree
Carrots- peel, chop, steam or boil, puree
Butternut Squash- same as acorn squash...see above!
Parsnips- peel, chop, steam or boil, puree
Peaches- chop, steam, puree
Pumpkin- same as acorn squash...see above!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm BACK...Sort of :)

Well, its been about 11 months since I have shared my cooking with you all, and what a crazy 11 months it has been!!  I endured an extremely dificult and painful pregnancy and was rewarded with the most beautiful little bundle, Liam Matthew! 
4 days old :)

Being a mommy to 4 little boys and being the wife to a very busy chef has been so joyous and so CRAZY HARD!!  I am loving it and exhausted, basically all the time!  The hubs has become quite the celebrity making 5 tv apperances in the last 11 months, his restaurant was named one of the top 10 in Orange County and he has been BUSY!!  Cooking with a new little one has certainly added some challenges, but my goal remains the same: healthy, flavorful meals that I can find time to make and that my whole family will enjoy!

Well, since I'm here I might as well share what we had for dinner last night :). Super easy, super yummy and healthy too! 

Southwestern Chopped Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped 
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 ears of corn, corn removed
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed thoroughly
1 avocado, diced
Handful crushed tortilla chips

For the dressing:
1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
1 tablespoon ranch packet
2 tablespoons milk

Put all ingredients for salad in a large bowl.  In separate bowl whisk together ingredients for dressing.  Add dressing to the salad and toss.  
Stay tuned....tomorrow will be a blog all about making baby food!!