Winter Magic

Winter Magic
"Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall." ~ Ray Bradbury

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just for Baby

One thing I've learned about myself as a mother is that despite the fact that I can be very stubborn and often overly assertive, I am also very flexible about things as well and I have an ability to "go with the flow" that I never knew I had.  One area that surprised me was with baby wearing.  I am a baby wearing mamma.  I love my baby bug being close, snug, and secure.  I love the freedom it allows me.  However, I am also a stroller mamma.  I like that it carries shopping bags at the mall and at Disneyland.  Baby bug likes looking out at the world from her stroller when walking to the park.  I like that I can incorporate both baby wearing and the stroller into our lives.  That said, I have been in search of a carrier that I can fold up and put in the diaper bag so I don't have decide ahead of time if I plan on wearing baby bug or pushing her.  I have a nice Balboa Baby sling, but it starts to hurt my shoulder after about 30 minutes of carrying  her and I've recently learned that this type of carrier isn't safe for younger babies. I have an Infantino carrier that is also very uncomfortable and difficult to store, and after doing research I learned that this type of carrier is not good for baby. So, my quest began.  After lots of research on the internet, talking to mammas, and testing out various carriers, I narrowed it down to a Mei Tai (MT) style carrier.  I fell in love with the designs of Obimama on Etsy and decided to have her design my carrier using the Eric Carle fabric I had left over from baby bug's room.  She has finished making my carrier and it is now in the mail to its new home...I can't wait to use it!  Below are pictures Obimama took of the carrier before sending it off to me :)  The carrier is reversable...

polka dots and caterpillar


purple with fruit

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cooking for Baby and Family: Butternut Squash & Cheese Sauce

Baby bug loves to eat pasta and most children I know love mac & cheese.  My good friend Kara gave me the idea to use butternut squash as the main ingredient instead of cheese.  This sauce can be used with any pasta you or your child likes.  I used the acini di pepe pasta I posted about earlier.  Once the sauce is made, you can freeze portions of it for later use.  It is nice to always have on hand for a quick and easy meal.  It works well over rice too!
butternut squash & cheese sauce over pasta

Ingredients: (note: amounts are not exact - play with it!)

6 - 8 oz butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped (or frozen)
1 - 2 tbs unsalted whipped butter (use less if cubed and not whipped)
1/2 cup - 1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese


Directions:


Boil squash for 10 - 15 minutes (until soft) in unsalted water.  Once squash is done puree until creamy and set aside.

cooking the squash

puree cooked squash
In a small sauce pan under med-low heat add butter and cheese.  Continually stir with a spatula until butter and cheese is melted, then slowly stir in your pureed squash.  Continue to stir until squash is blended evenly with the cheese sauce and the mixture is smooth and creamy.

melt butter and cheese
stir in puree until smooth










 



Serve over pasta of your choice.  Freeze 4 oz portions for later use (best if used within 6 weeks of freezing).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cooking for Baby: Quinoa

I was introduced to Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) in conversations with other moms about feeding baby, then I found a recipe in Healthy Meals for Babies and Toddlers that looked good, so I decided to give it a try.  I improvised a little with the recipe and was very happy with the way it turned out.  I will be posting my improvised recipe rather than the one in the book.


Ingredients:

1/4 cup quinoa (rinsed)
2 large handfuls of organic frozen peas & carrots
1/4 finely chopped onion
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp tomato paste
2/3 cup unsalted organic vegetable stock
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cubed or finely chopped boneless chicken breast (baby bite size)
5 fresh basil leaves
oregano to taste



Directions:









Heat the oil in a saucepan.  Add the onion and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until soft.  Add the peas, carrots, and chicken and cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until chicken is white.  Stir in the quinoa, tomato paste, water, and stock.  Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the quinoa grains are soft (they will be translucent with a little "curl" on them). Stir in the basil and oregano and cook, uncovered, for 2 - 3 minutes.













I served this "as is" to my baby bug and she loved it!  You can also puree or mash it if necessary.  I froze 4oz portions to give to her daycare.  It is best if served within 4 weeks of freezing.