Friday, July 27, 2012

Banana Bars

It's a toss up over whether I prefer to eat the bananas fresh or if I like them baked into things - especially things with chocolate!  So next time you buy some bananas, accidentally let some get overripe and then make these little gems.

2/3 C margarine
2/3 C sugar
2/3 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 C mashed banana
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips

Cream margarine and sugars until fluffy.  Add vanilla, egg, and banana.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Add chocolate chips.  Pour into greased jelly roll pan (10x15).  Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Option:  Bake in a 9x13 for thicker bars.

Baby has eaten cauliflower.  He's no longer eating it because, as mentioned in the last post, we've pulled a bunch of foods out of his diet to see if some digestive problems can be fixed.  So now we have a bag of frozen cauliflower puree in the freezer.  Oh well.  We'll figure out something to do with it.  I'm thinking I'll mix it into mashed potatoes some day (but don't tell my husband).

For Baby Cauliflower just steam or boil the cauliflower in a little water until tender.  Puree with cooking water.  Add water as necessary. Freeze in ice cubes or silicon muffin tins, depending on desired size.  Isaac liked cauliflower mixed with carrots or peas.

If you're reading this blog with the intention of making baby food, hopefully these recipes are starting to sound super repetitive and you see how easy it is.  It takes 45 minutes once a week to have more than enough food and enough variety on hand for him.  And as he gets older he's eating more of what we eat so soon it should be even less time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gooey Goo for Chewy Chewing and Wheat Bread

That's what that Goo-Goose is doing.

In an attempt to help our little boy have a happier digestive experience we have pulled a handful of foods out of his diet.  Unfortunately, this included pulling rice out entirely (goodbye convenient baby rice cereal) and anything fortified with iron (goodbye convenient baby oats).  While rice is gone completely for the foreseeable future, we're still giving him oats so long as they are not fortified with iron.  This means cooking him his own little pan of baby oats.

Start by blending up dry old fashioned rolled oats in a food processor or blender until it resembles a coarse flour.  Then add 1/2 C oats to 1 1/2 C boiling water.  Simmer, whisking continuously for 10 minutes - or I should say, whisking as continuously as a wild little boy who is set upon playing with the dog dishes will allow.  It will resemble goo.  Not blue goo mind you, but goo none the less.  I'm storing it in the fridge and hoping it will be enough for a few days worth of cereal.  Not terribly thrilled about making him oats all the time, but I'd still like him to consistently eat some grains.

Note:  I first tried just mixing the coarse flour with some hot water and mixing it with fruit.  He ate it fine but it didn't digest - just came straight out still looking just like it had going in.  On the bright side, at least it came out - already an improvement.  Anyways, the hope is that cooked oats will digest better.

(Update: Now we are just throwing 1-2 Tbsp oats in the microwave with a bit of water.  3 Tbsp water per 1 Tbsp oats.  Cook for 30 seconds.  Turns out perfect everytime.)

One day I had stepped into the kitchen while baby was crawling around in the living room.  I heard him fuss a little but didn't worry about it but as the fussing gradually increased I poked my head over the ledge to find him like this.  He had crawled into the bottom of the excersaucer and couldn't get out.  He was not impressed with the situation but it certainly warranted shooting a picture before helping him get out.

Wheat Bread

This wheat bread is phenomenal.  The recipe is from my mother, who I think got it from my grandma, though I'm not certain.  Anyways, living in humid Houston, I know that I need to use a little bit more flour than she does in dry Colorado.  (1-1/2 to 2 Cups more than she uses).

Also, I use fresh ground wheat.  My grinder produces a flour that is finer than the flour you can buy at the store.  I don't know if that makes a difference.  So add flour cautiously so you don't add too much.

1/3 C oil
1/3 C honey
1/3 C molasses
5 1/2 C warm water
1 Tbsp salt (plus maybe a pinch more)
2 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 C vital yeast gluten (or dough enhancer or gluten flour)
2 1/2 Tbsp vinegar

Mix all the above ingredients together in a big stand mixer and let rise 5-10 minutes until bubbly.

Add 10 C wheat flour and 1/2 C old fashioned rolled oats.  Cover and let rise to the top of the bowl.

Gradually add 2-3 C flour (I add white flour here, though you can do white or wheat) until the sides of the bowl clean.  Don't add too much too fast.  It will need to beat for 7-8 minutes.  Let raise to top of the bowl again.

Divide into 5 greased 8x5 bread pans.  Shape.  Let the dough rise for another 10 minutes.  Bake at 365 for 40 minutes.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chicken and Blue Cheese Spinach Salad

Another delicious salad.  Geoff and I aren't always the biggest blue cheese fans, but this salad was quite tasty.

Chicken breast(s) (One breast should be enough for 2-3 people)
1 egg
Italian breadcrumbs

Dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg, and then dredge in breadcrumbs.  Heat olive oil in skillet.  Cook chicken for 4-6 minutes per side or until done.  Let sit for a few minutes, then slice against the grain.  Serve on salad

Apple slices
Blue Cheese
Walnuts, chopped
Poppy Seed dressing

Little Boy is as wild as ever.  He loves whacking Jenga blocks on things to hear what sound they make.  What a good little music major's son.  He particularly loves whacking them in the bottom of the built in bookcase.  I think he must like the echo in there.  And then, much to his delight, he figured out how to climb into the bookcase.  Brilliant.  (Yes I am aware of the non-baby proofed cord in the back of the bookcase.  We bought a cover for it since taking this picture.)

And, in adding to our baby food collection, baby has been eating Peaches for sometime now.  Just like pears, we cook the peaches in just a little water until tender (8 minutes or so) and then blend them up with some of the cooking water.  Delicious.  Though, now that he's older, we've given him pear chunks, which he likes just fine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Combine and let stand 2 hours:
3 eggs, beaten
1 C raisins
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together:
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
1 C butter

Add to sugar mixture:
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp soda
2 C oatmeal

Mix well.  Add the raisin mixture.  Bake cookies at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Little Boy is crawling around and has found some great new toys.  Some of his favorites include shoes, electrical chords, anything that belongs to Tina (toys, dog food, water dish), and door stoppers (the things on the wall that make a "spring" noise when you accidentally kick them).  Here he has successfully gotten to the shoes and it was so cute I had to take a picture before removing it and replacing the shoe with a toy more acceptable for putting in his mouth.

Also, Little Boy recently had his first Spinach.  We steamed some spinach for 10 minutes or so and then pureed it with some of the water from steaming.  He liked the spinach ok the first time we gave it to him (I tried some, it was very mild).  After freezing it in cubes and then thawing it, though, it separated and had an odd watery texture with lumps which wasn't too impressive to our little boy.  So we mixed it with carrots and the mixture was devoured with vigor.

And finally, here is Tina looking brave in her Thundershirt.  Tina is terrified of many things.  For example, she has jumped in fear from dandelions, branches, tall weeds, and leaves.  While her jumping in fear at greenery on our walks doesn't bother me too much, her throwing up (or worse) in fear during thunderstorms or fireworks does.  As preventative action, we got her this stylish Thundershirt for the fourth of July.  Fireworks are legal here and as we all know, Texans like things bigger and louder.  Especially louder.  The first time we put her in the Thundershirt for a thunderstorm a few weeks ago she hobbled around, unsteady on her feet as if she were a little drunk dog.  Now she's more accustomed to the shirt and walks normal.  She doesn't shake during storms or insist upon being comforted and pet.  And the best part, no cleaning up throw up after the very loud fireworks show put on by our neighbors.