Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I sound like a broken record when I recount how cheap The Good Husband is, but it is true. I am lucky he doesn't turn 2 ply toilet paper into 1 ply to save money. I would divorce him then.

So along with cloth diapering, breastfeeding and getting most of The Good Baby's clothes from yard sales, we decided to make most of TGB's food.

The first thing I did was buy Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby by Annabel Karmel. I really like this book. It has all the recipes broken down by age. There are some funny recipes in there for dinners like "My First Fish Puree" and "Pasta with Butternut Squash, Tomato and Cheese". Not meals you generally think of for babies, but I like the author's idea that babies don't have to eat bland foods.

In fact, we are tying to expose TGB to a wide range of foods.

We are tying to limit TGB's exposure to chemicals in every way possible. The biggest factor being what she consumes. So we are trying to buy as much of her food organic if possible.

It isn't easy. There are a lot of foods I just can't find organic. When was the last time you saw an organic parsnip? So without the aid of the Farmer's Market and using The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, as a guide, I have decided to make all of TGB's food at home and for super cheap.

Here is just a sample of what I have made so far:

The Veggies

From left to right: back row -Sweet Potato, Corn, Carrot, Cauliflower. front row - Green Beans, Parsnip, Broccoli

The Fruits
From left to right: Pear, Peach, Apple, Blackberry
Not pictured: Zucchini, Apricot, Rutabaga, Spinach, Butternut Squash
(This picture strikes me as some work of modern art. It has to be the lighting.)

Making your own baby food has several benefits.

First, I can control the quality. As I mentioned, we tried to get all organic produce.

Secondly, it is cheaper.

Consider, I can buy one jar of organic baby food on sale for $1. Right now, that is two servings for TGB. For $2, I can buy a bag of frozen corn on sale and that will produce about 2 ice cube trays of corn puree, or 14 2 once servings. So it costs $0.14 for one serving of homemade baby food, versus $0.50 for organic jarred.

That alone should be reason enough to make your own.

But making your own baby food also produces less waste, since you don't have to have multiple single use jars lying around. You could make cute Halloween decor with them, but still, most people just recycle them.

Making your own baby food is also super easy. Basically all you have to do is steam and puree all the foods and freeze. Fruits like peaches and blackberries, you can just puree directly from the frozen and then refreeze. I use ice cube trays to freeze them and each cube is about one once.

You can also experiment with several foods. I noticed that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini didn't seem to be popular baby foods. Either was parsnips or rutabagas. But now I can make my own and TGB can eat a wider range of foods.

She loves peas and carrots and all the root veggies, so far, so I am a happy Good Wife.

So for anyone looking to either save money or control the quality of food your baby consumes, I would recommend making your own baby food.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beer Bread

I gave this bread mix to my friends and family for Christmas this year. While making it, I remembered how easy it was to make.

Here is what it will look like once you have made it.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic and herb seasoning
12 once beer at room temperature

Directions to make:
~Mix all the ingredients and pour into greased pan.

~Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How I Know The Good Baby is My Daughter

While driving home from daycare the other day, The Good Baby was babbling to herself in the back of the car.

I overheard the following:

"Blah blah blah. Pfhhtttttt. Ba, ba, ba, ba. Eeeeee-yahhhhhhh.
Ha ha ha ha hahahahahaha!"



Already she is telling jokes that only she finds funny. Just like her Mama.

Product Review Coming Soon!

I am very excited to announce my first ever product review! I was contacted by CSN Stores, which have more than 200 stores with everything from the perfect bar stool, to the latest cookware, to discounted dining room furniture, and allowed to choose one product from any of their stores and review it for my readers.

I will admit that it took me a while to decide what product to review. I wanted to find something that would appeal to the foodie reading my blog and those that are eco-conscious. But I think I found the perfect product.

Please stay tuned for the product review.

I will add that while I am being supplied the product to review (thank you so much CSN Stores), it will no way influence the review.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Are What You Eat

I came across this post today and it was very thought provoking. What does your fridge say about you? Are you a reflection of your fridge or is your fridge a reflection of you?

What does my fridge say about me? If you could, could you guess anything about me from the contents on my fridge?

Working Mother | IL | 3-Person Household | Enjoys PBS and America's Next Top Model| 2009

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Feeding The Good Baby

I was flipping through an issue of Parents magazine a while back - standard reading for all new parents - and I saw an article about feeding your baby. The article included an excerpt to a new book, Feeding Baby Green, by Dr. Greene.

While I haven't bought the book, I did put the article on our fridge. The new suggestion from Dr. Greene is to try and feed your baby from each of the 21 plant groups before their first birthday so you won't have a picky eater.

The Good Husband couldn't support this more since he is so picky and hates it. So we are hoping to expose TGB to all the plant groups.

A commenter pointed out that your baby doesn't need to eat every food listed in the group, just one food from each group. That is an important calcification.

shitake - 5/2
crimini - 5/2
oyster - 5/2
portabella - 5/2


Woody trees
banana - 12/25

Cruciferous vegetables
broccoli - 1/14
cauliflower - 1/23


carrot -1/5
celery - 6/24
cilantro - 4/6

Heath plants
blueberry - 1/23

black beans -2/11
peas -1/2

- 1/28
watermelon - 6/20

lettuces - 5/20
sunflower seeds

sesame seeds

asparagus - 5/20
garlic - 4/6
onion - 4/11

Rosy plants
apple - 1/10
apricot - 2/3
blackberry -1/17
pear - 1/6
plum - 1/1
raspberry - 2/15
strawberry - 3/12


orange - 5/2

white potatoes - 3/4

avocado - 2/23
- 1/31

spinach - 2/1
swiss chard


True grasses
oats - 4/11
brown rice - 4/23

sweet potato - 1/10

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vanilla Cream of Wheat

There is nothing better than a nice warm bowl of cream of wheat on a cold winter morning. It's what us Yankees eat instead of grits. It is delicious and I can also feed it to The Good Baby, making my mornings easier.

Ingredients (for two servings):
2 cups of milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup cream of wheat
1 tablespoon butter
Cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

~In a medium saucepan, combine milk, vanilla, salt and sugar. Bring to a low boil and slowly add cream of wheat.

~Reduce heat to simmer and stir until thickened. Add butter and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg and serve warm.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nursery Decor, Part 2

Another cheap and easy way to decorate any room in the house is to make a hand-painted sign. However, if you lack wood or any skill needed to cut, sand, paint and hang a wooden sign, you make the next best thing:

I had originally wanted vinyl wall letters for The Good Baby's room but since we have textured walls that wasn't happening. So I decided on the sign instead.

I bought the frame, matting and a few pieces of card stock. I wanted to print the phrase onto the paper and then paint over it, but the paper was too thick for my printer. Instead I had to trace the words onto the paper in pencil and then paint over it.

The letters are a little shaky in some parts, but that just makes it all the more unique. I tell myself that is a sign of a good, handmade craft.