Okay, I admit it. Even though I am a food writer/blogger and have a cookbook coming out soon, I don’t make all of Maverick’s baby food. I really feel like I should because buying the organic jars/pouches is pretty expensive, especially since I have a big eater on my hands. The bottom line is being home 3 days a week with him and trying to work in between naps, on top of making sure the house doesn’t look like a bomb went off is about all I can handle most days. However, I had some time this week, and I decided to dedicate a couple of hours to making some baby food for him, using some fun and unique flavors. So, if you’re a stay at home mom and don’t make your baby’s food, don’t feel bad, my job revolves around cooking and creating recipes, and I don’t even do it all of the time! I’m working on not feeling guilty about this…
Anyway, if you can carve out a couple of hours one day, I do think it is worth the time if you are trying to feed your baby organic, pure food. It’s much more affordable to make your own, plus it’s kind of fun and rewarding to create something for your baby and watch them explore new flavors. Which brings me to the three new recipes I made for my little man this week. I decided to add in a few spices and even herbs to these purees, but they are totally optional. Since I cook so many different things, I am eager to expose him to new flavors now, so (hopefully) he’ll be open to trying more foods as he grows. For now, Maverick is just really into all baby food, and so far we have not found anything he doesn’t like or has had a bad reaction to. Which is really not surprising at all, since his dad is the least picky eater on the planet. Yay for me!
Here is a little video of Maverick trying the “Bunny Bait,” a little unsure at first, but he ended up loving it!
Even though it may take a little extra time, baby food really is easy to make, and you certainly don’t have to be a great cook to pull this off.
Here are the items you will need to make your own baby food…
Steamer Basket – I actually just bought one at Kroger when I was grocery shopping for about 8 bucks.
Food Processor – Grab one at your next Target outing, a must in the kitchen in my opinion!
Ice Cube Trays (about 4) – This is an easy way to store the food in the freezer.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or expert in what to feed your baby, so be sure to consult your pediatrician before trying any of these recipes and feeding them to your child.
makes about 24 cubes
Ingredients ( organic ingredients are best)
2 1/2-3 cups zucchini, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 cups baby carrots
1 teaspoon garlic
water as needed
Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water bring it to a boil. Place the steamer basket into the pot and fill it with the zucchini and garlic. Place the lid on the pot and steam for 10-15 minutes until the zucchini is very tender.
Repeat this process with the carrots, but steam them for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
Add the veggies to the food processor and puree them. Add a couple tablespoons of are at a time until the puree has reached the consistency you prefer for your baby.
Note: The zucchini already has quite a bit of water in it, so you may not need much water for this recipe.
Minty Peas, Please!
makes 24 about cubes
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
10 ounce bag frozen peas
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1/2-3/4 cup water
Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water bring it to a boil. Place the steamer basket into the pot and fill it with the peas. Place the lid on the pot and steam for 7-8 minutes until the peas are very tender.
Add the steamed peas, brown rice, mint, and 1/2 cup of water to the processor.
Puree this as much as possible, adding more water as needed. This will probably have a little more texture to it than the other recipes, so again be sure to consult your pediatrician and use your own discretion.
Spiced Apples and Sweet Taters
makes about 24 cubes
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 medium apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4-1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes and place them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Bake the potatoes for 45 min to an hour until very tender when pricked with a fork. Once the potatoes have baked, allow them to cook completely and then peel them.
Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water bring it to a boil. Place the steamer basket into the pot and fill it with the apples. Place the lid on the pot and steam for 12-15 minutes until the apples are very tender.
Place the cooked potatoes, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water into the processor and puree.
You know those people on Facebook who just seem to “do it all?” They are up early, like really early, starting their day with a workout, devotional, and positive thinking quote. They are successful in their work, whatever that may be, and they seem to still have time for their family and a social life. Pretty obnoxious, right?! Ha, just kidding…sort of.
Well, since having a baby, Zach and I have often wondered how in the world can we do all of the things we really want/need to do? It just doesn’t seem like there is enough time for all of it, but then we see these people who seem to have way more on their plate than we do, and they are still doing it all. I am not saying these people have perfect lives, and I know we can’t see behind the scenes. However, they do seem to know something or be doing something different to be able to juggle daily time with God, a workout regimen, quality time with their family, quality time with friends, and successful careers on top of all of that.
Unfortunately, the one thing we have noticed that these people have in common is that they all get up early, like in fives, like it’s still dark outside early. Yikes. We are not morning people…at all. The thought of waking up at 5am, is frankly a little terrifying. It means going to bed earlier, and the problem is, we are night people. We like to stay up and watch TV, talk, laugh…stare at our phones. But the people we feel like God is calling us to be are early risers. We need that extra two hours in the day to do all of things that will honestly just make us better, more productive people. We want to be the kind of people who get the most out of life.
We have big dreams, and we really see God doing something new, stirring out hearts, and we just want to be a part of it in whatever way He wants to use us. But to be a part of it, we need more time, which means, we have to get up in the dark.
So today was Day 1. And I have to say it’s 8am, and I have already made a new recipe (this super delicious Tropical Green Smoothie I’m sharing) spent time in the word, had some unrushed time with Zach, and worked out. I’m pretty amazed at all I could do in the 2 hours before Maverick woke up for the day at 7am. I know in a few days, the excitement will wear off and 5:30 will get really tough. The good news is we are in it together, and I’m hoping we can push each other and stick to this. I think it could be a game changer, pray for us!
As far as the smoothie recipe, I wanted to change up my typical morning smoothie. So, I made this tropical themed green smoothie today, and it was really yummy! I am such a cheerleader for smoothies in the morning. For over 2 years, we have had a smoothie almost every morning, and it has really changed my diet and helped me maintain and even lose weight. There is something about putting fruits and greens in my body first thing in the morning, it just sets me up for success in how I eat for the whole day.
So enjoy this tasty blend, and if you are an early riser, any tips on how to stick to this routine?!
Tropical Green Smoothie
Makes 2 smoothies
1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
2 cups frozen pineapple
1 half of an avocado
1/2 of a can of coconut milk (keep the other half in the fridge for the next day’s smoothie)
1/4 cup unsalted cashews or almonds
1/4 cup almond milk
Place everything in your blender and blend until smooth!
I’m back! Back to making recipe videos that is, so you can expect a new one to be uploaded to my Youtube Channel every Wednesday!
So, to kick things off we have everyone’s all time favorite soup during these cold, winter days. I have seriously been trying to make a low fat version of Broccoli Cheese Soup for years. I have managed to make them “skinny,” they just haven’t been thick and creamy like the ones at the restaurants…until now!
This recipe is to die for, it has everything you want in a Broccoli Cheese Soup without any of the butter, heavy cream, or half and half. Check out the video below for my tricks on how to make this low fat soup so rich and creamy!
Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup
1 large russet potato, scrubbed and dried
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken broth/stock
1 can low fat evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12 ounce) bag frozen chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Coat the potato with 1 teaspoon of oil and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Place it directly on the oven wrack and bake for 1 hour. Allow it to cool slightly and peel the potato. Mash the peeled potato with the cream cheese as if you were making mashed potatoes. This step can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to make the soup.
In a large pot, cook the bacon until it is crisp and then drain it on a paper towel.
Pour the bacon drippings out of the pot and then the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook it for 6-7 minutes, or until softened.
Add the garlic and flour to onion, stirring for about a minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and evaporated milk, stirring continuously to break up any chunks.
Next stir in the mashed potato mister, salt, pepper, and broccoli. Bring this to a low simmer for 8-10 minutes until it has thickened.
Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese until it has melted. Serve the soup with the reserved chopped bacon.
Well I’m back at it! I made my first Youtube video in 4 months, yikes, it’s been so long! This was just a quick informal video to kickstart my regular videos again, which I will be posting every Wednesday beginning next week. So be sure to look for those on Wednesdays, and Subscribe so you will get the videos in your inbox every time I upload a new one.
Go ahead and watch this one to see me in mom mode, made this one during the little man’s nap! I have shared a healthy snacking idea for new/busy moms and dads. And the star ingredient is…EGGS!
No Fail Hard Boiled Eggs
Place the eggs in a medium to large saucepan.
Cover them with water, and bring the water to a boil.
Once it begins to boil, set a timer for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes, drain the eggs and put them in some ice water.
That’s it, just refrigerate them and peel before eating!
1/2 of an avocado
1 hard boiled egg
1 piece of toast (whole wheat)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
dash of salt and pepper
With the back of a fork, mash up 1/2 of a ripe avocado and squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Spread this on a piece of whole wheat or Ezekiel bread, I prefer it toasted.
Slice up one hard boiled egg and place the slices on top of the avocado spread.
Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Power Chicken Salad
1 cup diced chicken breast
2 hard boiled eggs
1 ripe avocado
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Dice up 1 cup of cooked chicken breast, 2 hard boil eggs, and 1 avocado.
Place the ingredient in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
Well, it’s 2014 friends and things are looking good from here! I love the feeling that a new year brings, it’s like a fresh start, a clean slate. Now is the time when the gyms will fill up and diet books will be bought. I think that’s great and all, but what happens in March or better yet next December?
It seems like most of us are pretty good at losing weight, there are thousands of programs out there to tell you how, the hard part seems to be maintaining that weight loss. So, with that in mind, I have made a video sharing with you 5 tips to have you feeling great this year, without fad dieting or feeling deprived.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a nutritionist or exercise expert, I certainly don’t claim to have the perfect body. However, I have come to a place where I feel good about me – flaws and all, so I am simply sharing with you what has worked for me this past year.
I am thrilled to announce that my first cookbook, "The Outdoor Table," published by Thomas Nelson Published is available to purchase wherever books are sold! This beautiful book includes 175 EXCLUSIVE recipes, not found on this site, perfect for all of your outdoor entertaining! Find out more and order your copy here...
Hey Y'all! Well I'm a southern gal, raised in Tennessee, where I still live with my husband and baby boy! Creating fresh and simple recipes with a southern flare, while sharing bits of my life with y'all on camera is what this site is all about. Also, my very first cookbook with Thomas Nelson Publishers will be out Spring of 2015, and I just can't wait to share it with you all! Read more about April...