Friday, July 30, 2010


I don't know how many people listen to Food Network Humor (FNH), but if you watch the Food Network you NEED to check FNH out.  It is hilarious!  Basically everything you are thinking while watching the shows, becomes a topic on FNH. 

Check them out! Follow this link...Food Network Humor

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cheesy-Broccoli with Pasta

I have been trying to get more vegetables into my sons diet, right now it seems I always have a lot of fruits on hand and not as many vegetables, or maybe just not enough of a verity.  The staple vegetables that I have are carrots and sweat potatoes, I tend to get a lot out of just a little.  This past week at the farmers market I loaded up of summer squash and broccoli.  As you know from the last post the squash was a hit.  The broccoli I haven't tried yet, it has been steamed, pureed, and frozen; now i am just trying to figure the best combination to serve it.  Broccoli on its own with no seasoning can be pretty bland and gross if you are a kid (or my husband), so I want to jazz it up a bit.  I grew up with my parents adding cheese sauce on our steamed broccoli, and in college I added a pasta to the mix for a complete meal.  So using that as my starting point, I will try Cheesy-Broccoli with Pasta. Simple? I hope, but I think I am going to add a bit more for more nutritional value.

Here is the recipe that I am going to try out (may get adjusted once I actually prepare the dish):

Cheesy-Broccoli with Pasta
10 oz. frozen or 1-2 heads fresh Broccoli
1 1/2 cups of a small Pasta (cooked)
5 medium carrots, cut into small 1/4 cubes
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

First start off by steaming the vegetables, you can steam them together if you want to just mix and store everything as one.  As the vegetables are steaming in a separate pot start to cooking the pasta (you could even use Israeli couscous if you would like).  While both the pasta and vegetables are cooking, start the turkey by adding about 3 tablespoons of water to a frying pan, add the turkey.  Break the turkey up into small pieces and cook until no longer pink.

Drain the vegetables, pasta and turkey (reserving some of the cooking liquid).  Set the pasta and carrots aside.  Puree the broccoli and turkey, use some of the reserved liquid to thin out the puree if you need to.

In a bowl, mix together the puree mixture along with the pasta and carrots.  Add the shredded cheese into the mix.  Serve, refrigerate or freeze as desired.  Since there is meat in this meal, use within 1-2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Since I mentioned the nutritional value, I figured I should look it up and report my findings.  (I did my research on

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Squash & Couscous

This is a new recipe that I came up with for my son, since it is summer, summer squash is in abundance. You could do this recipe with any of the different types of squash, I tried it with zucchini, yellow squash and pattypan squash.

This will make a lot of food, about 12-15 cups. It can be frozen for up to 3 months, or you can refrigerate it and use it within 3 days or so. This is also a good adult recipe, just don't puree the squash, use a skillet or roast it instead.

Summer Squash with Israeli Couscous
2-3 large Zucchini*

1-2 large Yellow Squash*

1 large Pattypan Squash*

3-4 fresh Basil Leaves

1 1/3 cups dry Israeli Couscous

Clean and cut up squash, (I removed the seeds and peeled some of the tougher skin off), place in your steamer or steamer basket and steam until very tender. Transfer to your food processor and add basil, pulse/puree until smooth or your child's desired consistency.

Prepare couscous as directed on the box, I use Trader Joes brand and it made about 2 1/2 cups prepared. Mix the couscous and squash mixture together and serve or spoon into freezable trays.
*Use all, one or any combination of squash. If your child is new to squash, I would recommend only using one and follow the 4 day wait rule.

For more information on Summer squash and the different types you can go to

Organic or Not?

I struggle over buying organic and natural over just whatever is available every time I'm at the grocery store. I do however try to buy from the local farmers market when ever I can, and what is in season. But sometimes I just need to settle with what ever is at the grocery store. And I have to be honest, I would buy natural, organic, free range all of that all the time if it wasn't for the price of it all. There are times where I am just not willing to pay two extra dollars a pound. So for food I make for myself or husband I am not usually as picky since frankly neither of us grew up eating organic and so far we are fine; but, for our son I try to pay better attention.

There are foods that are usually higher is pesticides that are better to buy organic and there are some that aren't. But my personal rule is if he will eat the skin, I buy organic. Right now he doesn't eat the skins of apples or peaches but they tend to be high with pesticides so those I buy organic (but he will eat the skins when he is older.)

Below is a list to use as a reference:

The "Dirty Dozen", these have the highest pesticide and insecticide contamination. (Listed from highest amounts to lesser amounts)

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes - Imported

Source: Environmental Working Group. Go to for updates.

For more information visit

Friday, July 23, 2010

Play dough

Growing up we always made our own, or my mother always made our, play dough. There is no reason to buy the containers when you can have fun with your child while making then playing with the dough. You can split up the batch and make it any color combinations you like with food coloring. Below is the recipe:

Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 T oil
2 cups water with a few drops of food color

Mix all ingredients in a pot. Stir and cook over medium heat until mix pulls away from side of pot. (Make sure you stay with it) Put on wax paper or just on counter, and knead until smooth. Cool.

Keep in covered Tupperware ( I use zip lock bags) Not anything metal.

On a side note, it is safe to eat, but I would not recommend it.

Baby Protiens

When it comes to protein for your baby you have the small jars that always look like mystery meats, dairy, and certain grains. I had a mind set that making and pureeing meat would be gross and that I would probably just purchase the jarred meat. Well after using the first jar, the color was weird and the smell was unappetizing. I decided to give making my own a try. Believe it or not it isn't as gross as you would think and definitely better than the jar. Meats to start off with first, around 7 months but always check with your doctor; are turkey, lamb and chicken.

Baby Turkey
1/2 pound Ground turkey
1/4 cup water

In a non stick frying pan, over medium heat, combine the turkey and water. Cook, breaking
up the turkey until no longer pink. Let cool and drain. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.

Puree the turkey in a food processor and add water as needed to get a texture that your baby can handle, it will look paste like.

You can freeze for about 1 month or refrigerate and use within 1-2 days.

When it comes to dairy, and your child is old enough, baby yogurts, cottage cheese, ricotta and even some cheddar could be good options. (Yogurts are always good when your child is having really loose stools also.) You can mix fruit with the cottage cheese or ricotta to make a parfait or just something sweet that can be used for breakfast or snack. A little cheddar mixed with broccoli and/or pasta would also make a nice meal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fruity Parfait

So because there are so many great fresh foods to choose from this time of year, I have been able to make a lot of food for my son. I was freezing every thing in 1/4 cups but have since gone to the simple ice cube tray, why? Well I don't mix anything before freezing and by using just the ice cube tray you get a small cube and mix different cubes to make different combinations. (I have even cut cubes in half.) Now there are times when I take short cuts, like with Apples, it is just some much easier to buy a jar of applesauce, I still freeze it in cubes so it will last longer. I have also done the same with pear sauce.

The most recent recipe that my son loves is apples, blueberry, and banana. The only cooking that is required is the blueberry sauce. Mix all the ingredients together and add cereal, cottage cheese, or ricotta if you child is old enough. This is something I would eat for breakfast.

For the blueberry sauce:

10 oz frozen or 1 qt fresh blueberries

Steam the blueberries for about 10 minutes, discard most of the liquid reserving some of the now blueberry water.

Purée the blueberries to a desired consistency. At this point you can strain the purée or leave the skins in. Pour purée into a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken slightly. Pour into the ice cube trays and freeze for up to 3 months or refrigerate and use within 2-3 days.