Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tomato and Egg Bake

This was super yummy, and even Geoff liked it (and if you had asked him 5 years ago when we were first married he would have told you he disliked tomatoes and squash).  So give this a try, even if you think you have picky eaters.

2 C red onion, chopped
1 1/2 C red bell pepper, diced
1 lb yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2-1 C cooked quinoa
1/2 C thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 C milk
3/4 C Gruyere cheese, shredded
3 eggs, beaten
small chunk French bread baguette
2 beefsteak tomatos, sliced

Preheat oven to 375

Saute onion in a little oil over medium heat.  Cook 3 minutes.  Add bell pepper and cook 2 more minutes.  Add squash and garlic and cook 4 more minutes.  Combine vegetables with cooked quinoa, 1/4 C basil, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and the black pepper.

Combine remaining 1/2 tsp salt, milk, cheese, and eggs.  Stir with a whisk.  Add milk mixture to vegetable mixture, stirring until just combined.  Spoon into a greased baking dish (11x7 or 9x13).  Arrange tomato slices over quinoa mixture.

Place bread in a food processor and pulse into crumbs.  Toast breadcrumbs on the stovetop in a little olive oil.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over tomatoes.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until browned.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C basil.

Baby Pumpkin

Today I saw pie pumpkins in the store.  We rarely get the pie variety of pumpkins so I was tempted to buy one (or two) just because we may never see those pumpkins again.  However, when I made baby pumpkin it was in the middle of the summer and there were certainly no pumpkins in the store, so I used canned pumpkin.  Much to babies dismay, I was particular in making sure it was just canned pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling. 

1 large can pumpkin
¾ cup milk
1 tsp. fresh ground cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. The recipe I was following instructed that you heat the mixture to 160 degrees.  I did so, but I don't know how necessary that step was.  Cool.  Freeze in ice cube trays.

And now, our final post with pictures from Maryland.  On one of my last evening there, we went and picked 10 pounds of blackberries and 5 pounds of rasperries.  It was a delicious evening.  And I got the smashed blackberry stain, courtesy of one Little Boy I know and love, out of my shirt.  The following morning we had banana pancakes with fresh berries on top.  Delish!

This Desmond smile looks just like a little Robbie grin.  All he needs now is a bright yellow mario shirt.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Salsa Shredded Chicken

This was a great slow cooker recipe.  We had a serious amount of chicken left over - 3 meals worth and then we froze a container of chicken that we can use for rice bowls again or we can throw into burritos.

1 lb chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C salsa
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 C sour cream (I didn't have a full cup, but it turned out fine)
1 Can Black beans

Garnish (optional):  cheese, avocado, cilantro, diced tomato

Put chicken, soup, salsa, and taco seasoning in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  Pull out chicken and shred with two forks.  Stir in sour cream and black beans.  Heat on low for another 30 minutes.  Serve on rice.  Garnish, as desired.

Isaac did eat some of the chicken, beans, and rice.  He liked it pretty well.  But, as per habit, I'll include another baby puree recipe that we made several months ago.

Baby Chicken

This puree was a different consistency then the others I've made so I added rice until it was the right consistency.  The benefit to having some pureed chicken is I can make any manner of "main dish" mixes now.  So for dinner, Isaac might get a mixture of 1 cube chicken, 1 cube cauliflower, 2 cubes carrots.  The mixture can change every night depending on the purees you have on add.  Also, you can add seasonings or spices as desired to change it even more.  This way, he gets a larger variety of meals without me making millions of different mixes a head of time.

Directions:  Cook a chicken breast (do not salt).  Puree with some water.  I also added some rice to puree with it.  Freeze in ice cubes.  

And now, for Babies visit to Maryland, part II:

We took the boys swimming a couple times at this awesome pool with a lazy river, a splash pad, a vortex, and water volleyball and basketball.  The second day was cloudy and so the water was a little chilly (Anna, the fish, loved the cool water) but the first day was perfect. We also went to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, walking briefly on the Appalachian Trail and reaffirming my belief that West Virginia is beautiful and we need to take a vacation there so that the mountains and trails can be thoroughly explored.

Isaac LOVES swimming. 

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lentil Enchiladas

Once upon a time I lived with a fabulous roommate who has great taste in food.  This recipe came from her and it is really easy to make, makes a lot, and is delicious to boot.  Added benefit: lentils, unlike other legumes, don't need to soak overnight and cook up in 10 minutes.  Thanks for the great recipe, Caroline!

1/4-1/2 C onions, diced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus some for garnishing
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 C red lentils, rinsed (I've made this with both red lentils and brown lentils.  Red was my favorite but both work)
3 C water or veggie broth (or any combination of the two) (can also use chicken broth if you're not worried about having a vegetarian dish)
Taco seasoning or mixture of cumin, corriander, red pepper
8-10 corn tortillas (I had enough lentils for 15+)
30 oz green enchilada sauce
Cheese, grated
Tomato, diced

 Preheat the oven to 350.

Bring water/broth to a boil.  Add 1 C red lentils and cook until al dente (~10 minutes).  Drain and set aside.

Saute onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and half of the bell pepper.  Add lentils to the pan with the onions and peppers.  Stir in some taco seasoning or other spices to desired spicy-ness (I didn't measure, just shake until it tastes good).  Add 1 C of the enchilada sauce.  Heat through.

Pour 1 C of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Put several spoonfuls of the lentil mixture into each tortilla.  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of cheese, if desired.  Roll the tortillas and place them seamside down in the baking dish.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas.  Top with a little bit of cheese and remaining diced bell pepper.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Top with tomatoes and cilantro.  Enjoy!

Baby Prunes

I mentioned a few posts ago that baby was on some specific foods to help with digestion.  That's where this recipe comes into play.  Baby prunes are a regular at our house.  Every day, in fact.  Recently, while we were visiting Austin, we were feeding Isaac some prunes at a pizza joint when a lady walked up and said, "He sure likes that chocolate!  He is eating it fast."  I said, "Oh, I'm sure he wishes it were chocolate."  She then asked what we were feeding him and was shocked at how well he ate prunes.  She then preceded to have a loud conversation about how prunes must keep the baby regular and ended by singing Isaac a song about eating prunes.  Very strange conversation.  But what entertains me is she thought I was giving my 9 month baby chocolate for lunch.  Really?

To make prune puree:  Place prunes in a sauce pan.  Fill with enough water to just barely cover all the prunes.  Bring to a boil and cook until prunes are soft (about 8-10 minutes).  Pour entire contents of the pan into blender or food processor.  Puree.  I usually need to add more water so the prunes don't have the consistency of tar (sure sounds appetizing, huh).  Feed to baby and take delight with every dirty diaper.

And finally, I'll give you the first set of pictures from Babies trip to Maryland to visit his cousin.  We went to DC, successfully maneuvering Anna's double Bob through the metro and through a museum.  For the most part, baby traveled like a champ.  Sleeping at nights was a little to be desired but it was worth it to go have fun with family.