Busy-ness

Busy, busy, busy.  That’s how the last two weeks have been!  I always have the best intentions of blogging but just can’t seem to fit it in.

I’ve been busy in the kitchen, but making some new recipes that I wouldn’t want to try again.  I made these Thai Chicken Egg Rolls that I just wasn’t crazy about it (though I did love the peanut sauce!) and I cooked up this Chicken Carbonara but again, not anything to write home about (or on a blog!).  I did make some delicious Banana Squares, but that one’s a family recipe 😉

I also discovered this amazing Maryland happening called TotSwap and oh my gosh…life will never be the same 😛 I’ve been bitten by the TotSwap bug.  It’s this HUGE consignment sale that’s held once in a year in four different locations.  Anyone who lives in MD but doesn’t know about TotSwap yet, you’re welcome.  I loaded up on really CUTE discounted baby clothes and some cool toys too.  I’m thinking of making the drive to hit up the Frederick and Howard county locations when they arrive.  It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

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So maybe things will slow down in the next few days and who knows, maybe I’ll even get in a Onesie Wednesday again! 🙂

Mushroom and Gruyere Bruschetta

Made this tasty little appetizer the other day.  Delish 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 Tbsp cooking Sherry (or Marsala)
  1. Lay ciabatta slices onto a nonstick baking sheet.
  2. Mix melted butter and garlic, then brush onto pieces of ciabatta.
  3. Generously layer shredded Gruyere cheese onto ciabatta slices.
  4. Dice mushrooms, and sauté in skillet with Sherry.
  5. Layer mushrooms on top of Gruyere.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serve HOT and enjoy!

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

Last night’s dinner: one of my favorites, baked southwestern egg rolls.  Thanks to Nutritious Eats for the original recipe and awesome photo.

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Here’s my version with a few edits…

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 package (5 ounces) fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg beaten for sealing egg roll

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Place ~1/4 cup mixture in the center of one egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold sides toward center over filling and continue to roll tightly to seal (see directions on egg roll wrapper). Using your finger, moisten remaining corner with egg. Repeat.

Place seam-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush tops of egg rolls lightly with olive oil. Side note, don’t use too much oil!  I made this mistake a few times.  The rolls came out a little slimy and not as crunchy!

Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. Turn them halfway through baking.  Serve warm.

65 Baby Finger Foods

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As Ellie approaches eight months, I’ve been scouring the internet for good finger foods to introduce.  There’s lots of information on baby led weaning and which foods to start with.  It was exciting to start her on purees around month 5, but now I’m looking forward to something new.

Here are 65 ideas for finger foods to start with baby…

Fruits and Veggies

  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Cooked, cut up asparagus
  • Cut up green beans
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Steamed cauliflower
  • Steamed carrot slices
  • Cut up cucumbers
  • Cut up avocado
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Cooked Squash
  • Steamed zucchini
  • Cut up celery
  • Cut up tomatoes
  • Diced cantaloupe
  • Diced peaches
  • Cut up grapes
  • Cut up grape/cherry tomatoes
  • Cut up strawberries
  • Blueberries, cut in half or slightly mashed
  • Raspberries, cut in half or slightly mashed
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Diced watermelon
  • Cut up fruit crepes
  • Cut up plums
  • Cut up prunes (to aid with digestion!)
  • Cut up Kiwi
  • Cubed mango
  • Cut up Cuties
  • Cut up cherries
  • Dried cut up cranberries
  • Diced apples
  • Diced pears
  • Olives (diced)
  • Chickpeas
  • Raisins
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Freeze dried fruit/veggies
  • Hummus on crackers or veggies

 

Meats

  • Cut up turkey
  • Mashed meatloaf
  • Cut up meatballs
  • Cut up chicken strips/nuggets

 

Grains

  • Diced soft cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, colby)
  • Diced whole wheat bread
  • Cut up quesadillas with cheese or meats
  • Cut up pancakes
  • Cut up waffles
  • Cut up muffins
  • Rice
  • Oyster crackers
  • Cut up spiral or elbow pasta
  • Cut up cheese tortellini
  • Guacamole with crackers
  • Cheerios
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Small pieces of cooked spaghetti

 

Other Ideas

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Yogurt Dots
  • Graham crackers
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cut up boiled egg
  • String cheese

 

I know I’ll blink a few times and it will be time to start these with Ellie!  It really is true that the time flies by.  Yesterday Brian and I were discussing daycare options!!

And as always, consult with a pediatrician before implementing a new food regimen.  Don’t you love how everything has to have a disclaimer these days? 😛

Happy New Year and Aligot!

Happy 2017!  I took a little blogging hiatus to enjoy the holidays.  We took a road trip to Ohio to spend Christmas with family.  Now back to the grind…

I spent part of New Year’s Day making aligot.  Challenging recipe but sooo rich and delicious.

  • 1 bag (3 pounds) Peewee Potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound shredded Gruyere
  • salt and peper to taste

Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water and add salt and potatoes.  Bring water to a boil, then turn down to simmer and leave on heat for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft and tender.

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When potatoes are soft, remove from heat and pass them through a potato ricer and into a large saucepan 2-3  at a time.  Don’t try too many at once, or the ricer may clog.  I speak from experience! 😛 Also, leave the potatoes in the warm water until you pass them through the ricer.  While pressing the potatoes, the skins will remain in the ricer and you can scrape them out as you go.  This process takes a LOT of patience and some practice.  I really messed it up the first time I made this!

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When you’ve finished with all of the potatoes, stir in the garlic, butter, and heavy cream and simmer on medium heat.  Gradually beat in the cheeses and stir until completely melted.

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The end result is stringy, cheesy, goodness!

 

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Aligot is often served on top of meat.  I served ours with tilapia and some fresh green onions.

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Happy New Year all!

 

Baby Foods

So even though our little one has suddenly turned picky and will only eat store bought food, I enjoyed making homemade for a week or two.  It’s really super easy, and you don’t need to use a recipe of any kind.  Just throw into a blender and add some water, formula, or pumped milk.  Here are the foods I made…

Avocado – I scooped the insides of two avocados into the blender, and added water to reach desired consistency.  I learned the hard way, make sure the avocados are ripe!  If they aren’t a little squishy, you get a really chunky puree.  The second time I made this, I bought the avocados and waited a few days to puree.  The end result was much smoother.

Banana – I mashed up three bananas and mixed with three ounces of pumped milk.  Creamy and smooth texture, perfect for an introductory food.

Pumpkin – This was the easiest one to make!  I popped open a can of pumpkin, mixed in a little water to reach desired consistency, and viola.  This one is a little chunkier, so I recommend starting with a smoother puree as a first food, and introducing this one afterward.

Sweet Potato – This one didn’t go over so well…it’s definitely chunky like the pumpkin and I think Ellie just wasn’t quite ready for that.  First I washed and peeled the potato.  Then I cut it into small cubes and steamed it for about 10-15 minutes, until I could mash it up in a bowl.  I mixed in water to make it a little “soupier”, but this would also be great to mix with formula or breastmilk for a more creamy texture.

Prunes – Thank God for prunes…they’ve really helped “loosen up” our babe! 😉  I found dried pitted prunes at Wegmans and boiled them for about 10 minutes to add water back in.  Then I mashed them up and blended them with some additional water.

With each recipe, I poured the puree into a NUK tray, stuck in the freezer overnight, and then popped out the cubes the next day.  The tray isn’t airtight, so I stored the cubes in ziploc bags labeled with type of food and date made.  Each compartment is a one ounce serving, so there’s no guess work in measuring our your prepared food.

Tilapia and Ranch Tacos

Well this morning I was in the kitchen washing dishes, just like any other day.  The water in the sink started to back up, so I reached for the disposal switch.  But when I turned it on, the disposal didn’t start.  Instead, the lights in the kitchen and dining room shut off, in addition to the microwave and oven…?  Some kind of electrical short which now has us waiting on a call from an electrician. 😦 I had planned to do some cookie baking tonight, guess that’s not going to happen!

Anyway…I was able to whip up these super easy fish tacos for lunch.  Thank goodness for a gas stove! 🙂

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Tilapia and Ranch Tacos

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tilapia filets per taco
  • 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning per taco
  • 1/2 teaspoon cilantro per taco
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice per taco

Pour olive oil into a skillet and cook tilapia filets until white and flaky, about 4-5 minutes on each side.  When finished, mix tilapia, taco seasoning, and lime juice in bowl, shredding tilapia into small pieces while stirring.  Fill taco shell with tilapia, and top with shredded lettuce and cheddar jack cheese.  Drizzle with warm ranch dressing and enjoy!

I made two tacos using four pieces of fish.  Just remember to adjust the amount of ingredients you use according to how many tacos you need.