Saturday, July 31, 2010

fork skills

B. and I both reached new milestones this morning. I made sweet potato pancakes (with this recipe) with just one hand--he was in the other arm. I can't cook anything these days without him saying, "up, up," since he wants to supervise everything and occasionally stir or splatter the ingredients all over the counter and kitchen floor. And B. speared all his own pancakes pieces with a fork--eating like a big kid until he finally got impatient and just jammed the pieces into his mouth with his hands.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

best banana bread ever

Now that we need to keep the house constantly stocked with food (funny how babies want to eat every fricking day) I always have bananas around. But we don't always get to them before they go bad. So have been perfecting my mom's banana bread recipe to deal with all the overripe fruit and I think I nailed it with this one (baked during B.'s one and only nap Sunday). Plus I baked it in a bundt pan, which takes less time and guarantees it'll be cooked in the middle when you take it out.

Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 eggs
2-3 ripe mashed bananas (seriously the darker the better)
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (sorta optional but makes WAY moister)
*chocolate chips (very optional and I don't use when baking for Ben)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and mashed bananas and blend all together. Add half the flour and all of the salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until just combined. Add the milk, vanilla and sour cream and beat until just combined. Add the rest of the flour and beat until just combined. Add chocolate chips at this stage if you want. Pour into a large bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top if firm and a straw comes out clean.

baby puree ideas

So exciting, K.'s just about to start cooking for her baby soon so we got around to talking about what to serve. I never got really sophisticated with my purees. B. did sweet potatoes when he was five and a half months, followed by pear, apple, carrots and broccoli over the next four weeks. I tried doing peas but found them too fibrous and had to push through a strainer to get it smooth enough. And zucchini was too watery. So we did a lot of the same old for a while and then chunkier food by the time he was eight months. (Plus discovered the Peter Rabbit organic purees which sorta took me off the hook. Except T. recently ordered a case of 30 and now B.'s stopped eating them. LOL.) But after talking to L. I was totally impressed by her combos and wished I had asked her about this a year ago: pear-pea (she has a Blendtec which obviously kicks the crap out of my little hand held mixer) apple-strawberry, apple-prune, apple-sweet potato and pear-blueberry. Yum! I might even try the last one at this stage because I think I could convince B. to eat blueberries this way.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

bottle weening?

It seems like there are a million and one rules when it comes to feeding babies and you practically need a PhD to keep it all straight. You're supposed to try bottle feeding at a month otherwise he'll have nipple confusion (has anyone actually had this problem?!). Strawberries and eggs are highly allergenic. Citrus is too acidic. Honey is deadly to babies. No milk till a year but yogurt is fine at 6 months (never understood this). And I've stuck to the plan. We waited five days--not three--before trying each new food. So maybe I'm just getting lazy but I haven't weened B. off bottles yet. Yep, at 15 months we're still using bottles of milk instead of serving it in a sippy cup. I tried a couple of times and he wasn't going for it so I just gave up. I know it's going to get harder the longer we wait but there are so many other battles--eat your vegetables, self sooth to sleep, yada yada yada--this is the one thing I'm just going to let slide. I can't be the only one cutting corners, right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

no double dipping!

We have officially become a household that needs to put out two serving bowls when guests come over. One for grownups and one for kids. So judgmental (who knows how I'll feel the next time I actually host a party?) but I hate people who let kids slobber all over the crudites. I fed B. hummus this weekend, sucked off the end of a long carrot stick (seriously, a huge carrot so it couldn't be a choking hazard). And he could not get enough. Granted the giant dipping carrot might have been part of the appeal but I also read that dips come in as one of the Top Nutritious Foods Kids Find Delicious.
To be honest, I prefer white bean hummus when I have time to make it--it's just sweeter and smoother. You can add tahini and fresh herbs and all that good stuff but I go with a pretty simple version in the food processor:

White Bean Dip
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small garlic clove

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, July 12, 2010

stuff b. spit out today

Can't win for trying today: salmon, carrots, steak, ravioli (pasta, you fail me now?) chicken and pears all got rejected.

*It's like the pod people visited July 1st (incidentally the same day we fired the nanny for being unreliable) and swapped B. out for a new, equally cute, but fussier kid. He hates the crib and suddenly doesn't want foods he's been eating for months. Gah! And the worst part is I was just feeling smug the other day because he was eating all his vegetables. And, bam! Karmic retribution for parental smugness. That'll teach me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

my friend the tupperware queen

Every woman I know excels at some part of parenting. My sister is the most patient person I know. L. knows more songs than a nursery school teacher. And KDS has the best stocked fridge. Ever. I swear this is what she offered (via email) the last time I was prepping to take B. over for a visit:

I have a freezer full of organic spinach cakes, sweet potato cakes, pasta-veggie bowls, mac and cheese etc and then baby yogurt, string cheese, cheerios, milk, tofu, juice boxes, snack crackers, fruit bars, fresh blueberries, bananas, avocado, peaches, apples etc...all organic.

Plus there was chicken, pork loin and pasta for the kids, too. And an arugula/goat cheese/pear and hazelnut salad for the grownups. (Simply drizzled with olive oil. It's a combination I am currently obsessed with.) Insane. Granted the fridge in our condo wouldn't hold all this stuff even if I could get organized enough to go out and buy all this food but it did inspire me to go out and buy a bunch of Tupperware to fill with a bunch of finger food.