Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Favorite Homemade Baby Food Purees

Caroline is a garbage disposal these days when it comes to food. If she sees you eating something, she grabs for it. There are very few foods she dislikes and thankfully she's not a picky eater (yet). She's mostly on table food now but we still send a container or two of pureed foods with her to daycare as well.

Anyway, I noticed as her appetite picked up so did our grocery bill. I was spending upwards of $50 a week on organic squeeze packets of food for her until finally I threw in the towel and decided to make it myself. I started with cubes of single fruits and vegetables purees and experimented mixing them into different combinations until I found what she loved the most.

A few of Caroline's favorite purees these days include Sweet Potato, Apple & Corn Puree, Blueberry & Chickpea Puree and Butternut Squash, Apple & Carrot Puree.
Before I jump into recipes, a few items necessary for making baby food include a good blender (I use the Ninja blender found here), ice cube trays (here), freezer bags and tape for labeling.
As for my shopping list, I purchase all my groceries from Harris Teeter (out of convenience) but recommend stocking up on the frozen food from cheaper places if you don't mind making an additional trip. You can also save money by purchasing the butternut squash and sweet potatoes whole and washing/peeling/dicing them yourself...but I've found the extra few bucks is well worth the time saved! Total cost for my ingredients is usually around $20 (or less if items are on sale) and last me a few weeks.
 
Grocery Shopping List
1 Container Butternut Squash {washed, peeled, diced}
1 Container Sweet Potatoes {washed, peeled, diced}
1 Bag Gala Apples {washed, peeled, diced}
1 Bag Frozen Corn
2 10 oz Bags of Frozen Blueberries
3 Ripe Bananas
1 Bag Carrots {washed, peeled, baby cut}
1 29 oz Can Pumpkin
1 16 oz Can Chickpeas

Note: I purchase my fresh vegetables already peeled and diced with the exception of apples. I don't peel my apples to save time and my mini doesn't mind small pieces of skin in her purees.
Sweet Potato, Apple & Corn Puree
Wash, peel and dice sweet potatoes and apples. Boil apples until tender. Steam sweet potatoes until tender. Boil corner until no longer frozen. Mix desired amounts of each item into your blender (I use equal parts) and blend until pureed. You may need to add water (1 tbsp at a time) to reach desired consistency. Pour into labeled ice cube trays, placing a layer of wax paper in between trays and freeze. Run warm water over bottoms of trays to pop out the frozen cubes. Place in freezer bags and transfer labels from trays and add the date. When you're little is ready to eat, heat cubes in the microwave until warm and melted.
Blueberry & Chickpea Puree
Run frozen blueberries under warm water until thawed. Drain chickpeas. Mix desired amounts of each item into your blender and blend until pureed. You may need to add water (1 tbsp at a time) to reach desired consistency. Or, if too thin you can add baby oatmeal (1 tbsp at a time) until you reach desired consistency. Pour into labeled ice cube trays, placing a layer of wax paper in between trays and freeze. Run warm water over bottoms of trays to pop out the frozen cubes. Place in freezer bags and transfer labels from trays and add the date. When you're little is ready to eat, heat cubes in the microwave until warm and melted.
Butternut Squash, Apple & Carrot Puree 
Wash, peel and dice butternut squash, carrots and apples. Boil apples until tender. Steam squash until tender. Boil carrots until tender. Mix desired amounts of each item into your blender (I use equal parts) and blend until pureed. You may need to add water (1 tbsp at a time) to reach desired consistency. Pour into labeled ice cube trays, placing a layer of wax paper in between trays and freeze. Run warm water over bottoms of trays to pop out the frozen cubes. Place in freezer bags and transfer labels from trays and add the date. When you're little is ready to eat, heat cubes in the microwave until warm and melted.
Making Caroline's food takes me several hours on a Sunday afternoon but it is so much fresher and healthier for her. I can't believe it took me so long to kick the packets to the curb and home make her food. Truth be told, I was pretty intimidated by the whole process but once I jumped in I realized I kind of enjoyed it! It makes me a little sad that this will be our last batch of purees as Caroline has been showing less and less interest in them and prefers food she can feed herself now.
What is your mini's favorite puree combination?
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Charlie is NINE!

Charlie is officially 63 dog years old! Saturday we celebrated.

In all honesty, these past 10 months have been rather rough on our fur baby as he's had a hard time adjusting to having a human sister and sharing our attention. Don't get me wrong, he is sweet to Caroline and we are very thankful that he's also very protective, but he really doesn't love her yet like we'd hoped. In fact, I think she kind of scares him. These days she comes barreling down the hallway after his furry tail and it freaks him out. He loves her most when she's sleeping.

Saturday afternoon we put the baby down for a nap and surprised Charlie with his favorite peanut butter birthday cake from Canine Cafe. His excitement was uncontainable and he ate his 4 inch cake in one large bite while we unsuccessfully chased him around trying to remove the doily from the bottom of it. Good times.
The Birthday Boy!
A few of my favorite photos of our furry boy..
Previous Birthday Pawties:
Charlie Turns Eight {post}
Charlie Turns Seven {post}
Charlie Turns Six {post}
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday!

Currently...

- ONE // EATING - Last weekend I threw together a Baked Spaghetti dish that fed us through 4 dinners this week. By last night I was pretty tired of spaghetti but Matt can eat pasta every night of his life so he was pretty happy. Anyway, I started with Six Sister's Baked Spaghetti recipe and adapted it from there, eliminating meat and onions, swapping out cottage cheese for ricotta, etc. I also was able to make two large meals from one batch and chose to freeze one for later.
Baked Spaghetti

Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat. Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a large greased baking dish. Top with half of the ricotta cheese, sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

 - TWO // WEARING - Well, I'm not wearing these adorable items but I do have a little man who will be come July! This week we received our first few gifts for Thomas - seersucker shorts (Matt is ridiculously excited about matching with his son all summer) and a newborn hat from Infanteenie Beanie (here). I also picked up a cute Feltman Brothers outfit for him. I'm learning that boy clothes can be fun too!
- THREE // READING - I've already told you all about my obsession with Jim Gaffigan. In fact, Matt and I have already decided that our first date night after Thomas arrives will be the Contagious show in Charlotte on August 15. Anyway, lately I've been reading Dad is Fat (find it here) and laugh until I cry. For those of you who are parents, you will find this book especially funny.
 - FOUR // LISTENING TO - It only took 3 months but I'm finally on the last episode of the Serial podcast. This podcast has been perfect for listening to during those nights of pregnancy insomnia. But now that I'm about to finish the podcast I need recommendations on what to listen to next. Help!
 
- FIVE // CHASING - This munchkin around...
video

Wanna join Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

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