Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Old Fashioned" Baby Oatmeal

Hmm such an exciting topic. The trick to this is grinding a whole bunch of oats up so you do not have to drag out the food processor every time.
















Start with good ol' fashioned quaker oats.
















Grind them up in the food processor. If your baby is older, you can leave it a little chunkier.
















You are supposed to sprinkle and stir at the same time. Hard to do when taking a picture and sprinkling at the same time. And that burner behind the pan is stained not dirty.
















I mixed in a cube of banana/blueberry puree. Pretty purplely goodness!
















Extra points if you can spot what is wrong with this picture! Hint: It was something he was snacking on while I was making his oatmeal.

Oatmeal Baby Cereal
Courtesy of wholesomebabyfood.com

1/4 cup of ground oats (do NOT use instant or Quick Cook), ground in blender or food processor
3/4 cup - 1 cup water

1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the oatmeal powder while stirring constantly.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes (I did mine for 7 minutes), whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired
3. Serve warm.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Exciting News!

I have two exciting topics to blog about this evening! The first is that this blog was listed on the "Green Mom Finds" blogroll! Yeh!!

Next, Anne Sage from "The City Sage" is going to help me with the house remodel. For those of you that do not know, we just moved into our house last November and it is a project. I will post pictures later but needless to say, I am very excited to have some input from someone as creative as Anne!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Don't Make Me Shoot You With My Fossilizer!















Yeah the show Dinosaucers only lasted one season and, yeah, they were no where near as cool as ThunderCats, He-Man, or the freak Turtles..but c'mon! They were talking dinosaurs that fought the other "evil" talking dinosaurs and used humans as their "Secret Scouts".

I bring up this blast from the past because I found the coolest shoes ever.










Oh yeahhhh..no need to adjust your screen Just let the total awesomeness of these shoes sink in. Think I am kidding? With its 3-D dinosaur on the side, dinosaur track leaving soles, and the whole eyeball light thing, I can picture the struggle to get these shoes off Jack's feet. Allo would be proud.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

If only my baby could sumo wrestle...



Running out of ways to keep your baby entertained? Here are some links to help you out:

Unclutterer has fun ideas for cheap homemade baby toys.

Try the Dollar Stretcher if you like making crafty toys.

Robyn's Nest has recipes for kool-aid, cinnamon, and frosting flavored play-doh. Interesting.

The soft block tutorial on make-baby-stuff.com looks very doable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That kid...

In third grade, we had a kid in class that would bring blue tortilla chips to school in his lunch. We all thought he was crazy (sorry Donegal) and teased him unmercifully.

Jack is going to be that kid.

We are lucky to be part of Baker County's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program called Horsepower Organics. In case you are wondering, the program works by members buying a share in the farm for the season. This lets the farmers know how much produce to grow and gives them a guaranteed price for the efforts. I love it because we receive fresh, organic produce every week. However, I was not ready for what we got last week.

As I was pulling out produce from our wooden bin, I noticed some potatoes on the bottom. They did not look like regular potatoes and when I cut them open, they were purple. So exciting! Purple potatoes! Even more exciting, I found a recipe specifically for purple potatoes. So here it is, purple fork-mashed potatoes with garlic-chicken skewers.







Michael Anthony’s Fork-Crushed Purple Majesty Potatoes

New York Magazine

1 lb. Purple Majesty Potatoes, washed
4 small shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
Fleur de sel to taste
White pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

In a large pot, cook potatoes with skins on in heavily salted boiling water until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Remove potatoes from pot, and peel them while still warm. (1) Place potatoes in a large bowl and, using a fork, gently smash them, maintaining a fairly chunky consistency. (2) Fold in minced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, fleur de sel, and white pepper. (3) Finish with parsley. Serves 4.


Garlic-Mustard Chicken Skewers


Garlic-Mustard Glaze

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 3/4 cup of glaze, or enough to cover and baste two pounds of skewered meat.

1/4 cup whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before using.

Grilled Chicken skewers
4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
12 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes (I used 8 skewers)

Marinate cubed chicken in garlic-mustard glaze for 30 minutes. Skewer than grill.



Supposedly these spuds have an abnormal amount of antioxidants and other good things. Just in case you were wondering.



Jack thinks they taste good...then again, he thinks his sock is pretty tasty too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pear Crostata-Part Duex



Last weekend around this time, Loran and I were munching on the leftover pear crostata makings from the week before (see "moving to the country post"). If you checked that post out, you will remember me mentioning all the almond filling I had left after filling the crostata... and also griping about how labor intensive the freakin' thing was. Well, after taking some steps out of the recipe, I have since changed my mind. The biggest problem was roasting the pears in a butter/ginger/sugar jacuzzi for 45 minutes. I wasn't impressed with the results and there was really no big taste payoff for doing that.
In the next try, armed with leftover almond filling and 1/2 pie dough, I skipped the roasting pear part. Instead, I chopped up 2 pears, mixed in 2 tsp. sugar and about 1/2 tsp. ground ginger and just used that on top of the almond filling. Once cooked, this left a nice semi-firm pear in the crostata that packed a lot of taste. Much better.
Next, just to be different, I rolled out the dough and cut it into 6 squares and made mini-crostatas. I followed the directions from there, putting almond cream down, then pears and folding them all up. When you first fold them up, don't worry because they will look ugly and uneven. After you bake them, they will smooth out and if any almond cream spilled out, you can trim back the brown edges. Yum.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wait! Don't Throw Away Your Diapers!

You throw your diapers in the trash? That's weird.

Cloth diapers are almost a forgotten tool, with almost 95% of parents in the US using disposables (abcnews). Let's go over why you should rediscover cloth.

Cost: You can save between $540 and $1350 over 2.5 years if you use cloth diapers (WEN). This includes the cost of water, electricity, and wear and tear on your washer!

Diaper Rash: Disposables are designed to absorb the most moisture possible, thereby extending diaper changes. Efficient and convenient, right? NO! Leaving that on your baby's sweet little bottom will irritate his/her skin. In fact, according to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes. Mark Fearer in "Diaper Debate - Not Over Yet," stated that "Several independent medical studies document an astounding increase [in diaper rash]: from 7% in 1955 to 78% in 1991. Critics of disposables say this parallels the increase in usage for disposables." Read this for more info.

For some reason, there are a lot of statements saying that there is no difference in diaper rash occurrences between disposables and cloth, but the studies tell us differently. Beware "Big Diaper" and it's twisting of the truth! Jack's bottom is always pale and pasty, never red and irritated!

Environment Impact: If you believe that the environmental impact between disposables and cloth is equal, then you are a gullible tool of "Big Diaper". Did you know that you are supposed to wash the solids out of a disposable before you throw it away? Human waste has to be treated, not thrown in landfills! Also think of these facts:
  • 49 million diapers go into US landfills or the ocean each day! And these take 550 years to decompose. (source)
Health Impacts: If the previous facts aren't enough to make you want to use cloth, I found some other interesting tidbits during my research. Disposable diapers contain dangerous chemicals, namely dioxin (carcinogenic), sodium polyacrylate (numerous negative health effects), and trybutiltin (hormone emulator). (source)

There is a lot more information out there that I couldn't fit on this page, if this isn't enough to convince you then please check it out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And the frog says "RIBBIT"...





















I would love to take all the credit for these blocks but I actually saw this craft on The Martha Stewart Show. Ashley Stewart (I don't think she is any relation) came up with the idea and has line of baby blocks. I have fretted so much over the ones I've made that I don't have interest in making any more...well, for awhile at least. Anyways, this is a pretty basic project that just requires some color coordinating (that is the part I fret about).



















You will need:
square wood block (available at craft stores or cut your own from a 4x4 or any size piece of wood)
Sandpaper
Scissors
Acrylic paint
Mod Podge (I used gloss-lustre)
Paintbrush
Decorative paper or illustrated books
Emery board
Letters and other fun block decorating supplies



















You can sand down the corners of your blocks as much as you want. I took quite a bit of edge off mine because Jack is able to handle them better that way. Next, take your sponge brush and paint all the edges of your blocks. Let dry.



































Cut 6 pieces of paper to the size of the side of your block. Using the Mod Podge, glue the paper to the blocks and let dry. I did a very poor job of cutting my paper to the size of my block. This is ok, but it does mean that you will have to sand on the edges for a very, very long time.


















Sand the corners and edges with the emery board. Repeat this process on all sides.









































Paste decorations and embellishments on using the Mod Podge. Then sponge paint around the edges to give the block an antiqued look. Let dry then cover entire block with a coat of Mod Podge. I found that this pretty much drool-proofs the block.








I made these blocks for a friend who has a baby that is a week older than Jack. She is also a little girl so I can get all cutesy on them. For Jack, I have started an alphabet block series by collecting old nature books from the local Salvation Army. If you happen to have any stories about a yak, x-ray fish, or anteater (armadillo or aardvark would work too) please send them our way. Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

So Much Zucchini...So Little Time

I am going to make this post short and sweet since a) I do not feel very inspired to blog and b) I am blogging about zucchini. What I lack in enthusiasm I make up in pictures! On to making baby food...

Recipe #1: Pureed Zucchini
Since Jack has started eating meat, I still like to keep pureed veggies on hand to get his meals the right consistency. You can take any veggie, steam it, puree it, and then pour it into ice cube trays to make up a quick healthy meal.





Steamed Veggies


In a large pot, bring an inch or two of water to a boil over high heat. If you're using a steaming rack or a bamboo steamer (works great!) make sure it's clean and have it ready.

If you don't have a steamer, use aluminum foil to make balls about the size of a baseball. Make enough to cover the bottom of the pot you're using and make sure the water level is well below the tops of the balls. You can use this as a bed for for the veggies.(This tip was off of e-how...I have never tried it but it sounds interesting)

When the water is boiling, trim and cut your vegetables It's best to do this as close to cooking as possible so they won't dehydrate or oxidize. Try to cut all the vegetables the same size so they'll cook evenly.

Place them in the steamer, on the steamer rack or on the bed of foil balls and cover.

Steam them only until they're done; most cut vegetables only need to steam for a minute or two. Thicker pieces might steam for two to three minutes. Potatoes take 15 to 30 minutes.

Scoop out vegetables with slotted a spoon and put into a blender or food processor.

Puree baby! No really, you need to puree them. If they are too thick then add some water. If too watery, I like to add a little rice cereal to help thicken it up.

Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours. Then crack them out and label them in a Ziploc bag.

This is definitely my favorite step... re-heating the food. But not only do you re-heat it, but you can make up all kinds of fun combinations ...like "Summer Medley" (green beans, squash, and zucchini with a side of sweet potatoes and peaches) Just pop it into the microwave and you have a gourmet meal for your little one!

Now for the fun part...recipe #2...chocolate zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. But first, a little history on chocolate zucchini cake. The first time my mom made a chocolate zucchini cake, we (my two brothers and I), were absolutely mortified! What was mom thinking when she ruined this perfectly good chocolate cake with zucchini? You can't mix chocolate and zucchini?!

We were so very wrong. It was awesome.

This recipe makes a very moist chocolate cake with just a hint of cinnamon. It is not overly sweet so the cream cheese frosting is a nice touch. You could also serve it with a light dusting of powdered sugar. The zucchini inside the cake can be tampered with as well. If you are trying to disguise it (like my mom did) then rip it through the food processor. I wanted small zucchini strips in this cake so I used a large grater.









Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Yields 12 Texas size cupcakes + 3 regular size or a 9 x 13 in cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used 1 c. oil plus 1/2 c. applesauce)
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray 12 Texas size baking cups and 3 regular size baking cups.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

Warning: This cream cheese frosting is no joke. I changed up the original recipe quite a bit to get it really "cheesy" tasting. Hmm I don't know how many people would describe their frosting as cheesy tasting but I am going out on a limb and doing just that. It makes enough to cover all the cupcakes but if you are a frosting fiend, I would double the recipe.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday DAD!!

This one is for you!

video

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby Food Jar Contest!

Before I started making all Jack's baby food, we bought little bottles of it from the store. Now I have tons of little bottles but no use for them. If you can think of a fun/crafty/chic idea let me know. There is no real prize except admiration for your very original idea. However, if you suggest making a Christmas Tree light thing out of them..you will be blocked from this site.




(Hmmm...Christmas Tree light thing)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Moving to the country...we're gonna eat a lot of peaches...

Oh if only every blog would start with lyrics from The Presidents of the United States of America. So simple and easy...not at all like the recipes I tried out yesterday. Let us start from the beginning, Monday was my mother-in-law's birthday so I needed to make a scrumptiously delicious dessert to celebrate. I turned to one of my favorite cooking blogs for inspiration, SmittenKitchen. Deb just happened to have what I was looking for, a Nectarine and Blackberry Galette. I had peaches and blackberries...perfect.

So I started writing down directions when I noticed another recipe in the "comment" section of her page. It was for a Pear and Cranberry Crostata...also the perfect recipe because I had a whole bag of pears that were almost overripe. Killing two birds with one stone...that is what I am all about.

Or not.

I should have known this was going to be a struggle as soon as I started measuring flour for the two different recipes. The two cups of coffee I downed before trying to do this did not help. Caffeine shakes, left-over-pregnancy-brain, and unhappy baby led me to do this:


Oh yes my friends, this is a mark of a crazy woman. When one can not figure one recipe from the other by saying to themselves, "steel bowl is pate sucree, glass bowl is crostata", it is going to be a long day. Thank god for sticky notes. Moving on to the recipes...








This Galette was the easier of the two to throw together. Make the dough, chill, roll out dough, chill, stir up fruit mixture, let sit, dump fruit into middle of dough, brush with egg, fold, brush with egg and sugar, bake. The original recipe called for a pate brisee dough but I switched to a pate sucree because I wanted a dough that was a little easier to work with and that was on the sweeter side. (For a explanation of the difference between pate brisee, pate sucree and pate sablee, visit
nook and cranny.) I like the "rustic" look so juice leakage is not an issue.


Peach and Blackberry Galette
Adapted from Deb at SmittenKitchen who adapted it from Bon Appetit, July 2002

Makes one smallish galette, good for 4 to 6 people

1/2 recipe pate sucree (below)

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-1 1/2 large peaches, each pitted and cut into 16 slices
1/2 -pint basket blackberries
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but I liked it in there)
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Raw sugar crystals (Sugar in the Raw works well)

Peach preserves, heated

Roll out dough on lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to 12-inch round, turning dough occasionally to prevent sticking. Slide rimless baking sheet under parchment. Transfer dough on parchment to refrigerator. Chill until dough firms slightly, about 30 minutes.

Make filling: Stir sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl to blend. Mix in fruit and vanilla. Let stand until juices are released, stirring fruit occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer baking sheet with dough to work surface. Let stand 8 minutes to allow dough to soften slightly if too firm to fold. Spoon fruit and juices into center of dough.

Arrange fruit in even 9-inch-diameter layer in center. Brush 2-inch border of dough with egg glaze. Lift about 2 inches of dough border and pinch to form vertical seam. Continue around tart, pinching seam every 2 inches to form standing border. Fold border down over fruit (center 6 inches of fruit remain uncovered). Brush folded border with egg glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar.

Place baking sheet with tart in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling at edges, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven; slide large metal spatula under tart to loosen from parchment. Brush fruit with preserves. Slide tart onto rack. Cool 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.



Flaky Pate Sucree
Politely borrowed from Nook & Pantry

1 C flour
1/3 C confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, chilled cut into 1 in pieces
2 Tbsp beaten egg or 1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp milk, cold
1/2 tsp of vanilla

Pulse the flour, confectioner's sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with no large butter pieces. Alternatively use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in the butter, or freeze the butter and coarsely grate it then use your fingers and rub the pieces into the flour. It is very important to keep the butter cold otherwise it will melt and make the crust really greasy and you'll lose all the flaky layers. ( I cut the butter up into pieces and freeze it until I am ready to add it to the flour mix.)

Mix the vanilla into the beaten egg or beaten egg yolk. Drizzle the beaten egg and about 1 Tbsp of the milk over the flour and butter mix. Pulse again until the dough just comes together, forming large clumps. If it looks too dry add a little more milk.

Press all the dough clumps together and form a round disc, cover in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour up to overnight. I dump the pieces onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and hold the plastic wrap as I push the dough together. I let it chill and then cut it in half and that gives me a good surface to start rolling the dough out.


















Now this is where all hell broke loose... you see I have this problem. I think it might be a slight case of ADHD or something along those lines. I have this terrible habit of finding a recipe, deciding to make it...and not actually reading through the directions beforehand. I would like to believe that I do this because I am so excited to try something out... right.

I made the dough for the Pear and Blackberry Crostata and then moved on to the almond cream filling...which is to be made with almond flour. Huh. Almond flour? I thought that said almond flavoring. What the hell is almond flour? Oh crap. Where am I going to get almond flour in Baker City Oregon? After a moment of anxiety, I checked the Internet and found that almond flour is just ground up almonds. Good to know.


















Without further ado, here is the most laborious free-form tart I have made to date:

Pear and Blackberry Crostata
Adapted from Johanne Chang

Pie Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 egg yolks
5 tablespoons milk

Almond Cream:
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups almond flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Roasted Pears:
6 pears, peeled, halved, and cored
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 (1-inch) piece fresh, peeled ginger, cut into 4 pieces

1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 egg, beaten

Make the Pie Dough: In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to combine. Add the butter and continue mixing until the mixture holds together when you clump it, and there are pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible.
Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and milk in small bowl.

Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap well and store in the refrigerator for several hours. (The dough will keep for several days in the fridge and several weeks in the freezer.)

Make the Almond Cream: In the standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add almond flour and mix until just combined. Add eggs and mix until combined. Add flour, vanilla, and salt and mix. Store covered in refrigerator for up to a week. (This recipe makes A LOT of almond cream and you only need about 1/2 cup for the crostata. I now have the left over in my fridge. Feel free to half this recipe unless you want almond cream sitting in your fridge too.)

Make the Roasted Pears: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the pears with the ginger in a roasting pan and arrange them in a single layer. Sprinkle the sugar on top and dot with the butter. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool. (Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

Assemble the Crostata: Using half of the pie dough (reserve half for another use), roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface into a circle about 12 to 14 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered baking sheet. ( I rolled if out on parchment paper and slipped it onto a baking sheet... much easier.)

Preheat the oven to 375. Using a spatula, spread a circle of almond cream about 8 inches in diameter in the center of the dough (use about 1/2 cup of the almond cream). Arrange the pears in concentric circles in 2 layers on top of almond cream circle. Sprinkle the blackberries on top of the pears. Fold the edges of the dough in, slightly covering the pears, to form a free-form tart. Brush with the beaten egg and bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve.

Here is where the picture of the finished tart goes...except I do not have a picture of the finished tart to go here because I forgot to take a picture of the finished tart. So please use your imagination and place the magnificent pear and blackberry tart *here*.

Happy birthday Linda!




Friday, September 5, 2008

Jeepers Peepers!



I often have daydreams about our backyard and how, one day, it will be a little garden of Eden. In this paradise, I will have lilac trees growing up past the neighbor's fence line (check), a wooden compost bin (check) thats cuteness offsets any odors (check), a garden that looks wild but is some how contained and made to grow copious amounts of veggies that Jack will snack on raw (still in the works), and beautiful chickens running around eating all the bugs and laying huge orange-yolked organic eggs. Well I have the chicken part but we are still a ways from any sort of egg laying. Here are our little Peepers all snug in their stock tank.


(They are chasing an ant that I threw in.)

I feel like I should be a good mother and let them have a little fresh air and sunshine. So I take them out into the dry grass and let them do their chicken thing. In case you are wondering, these guys are Wyandottes. More specifically, two gold-laced Wyandottes (the blonds) and eight silver-laced (all the little brunettes). After hours of trying to decide which breed to raise, I came across this great website, mypetchicken.com. They have a complete listing of different breeds plus chicken coop plans and other chicken related paraphernalia. Check out these other great chicken raising sites:
Backyard Chickens (you got to love their "chicken of the week" photo)
My Pet Chicken (I am a sucker for their breed selection tool)
Ideal Poultry (chicks arrived vibrant and healthy from Texas)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Banana Bread Teething Sticks

It is getting to be that time! While feeding Jack, he has started grabbing for his spoon and (prepare for gross out) taking food back out of his mouth to examine it. After battling him at lunch time yesterday, I decided to make him his first batch of teething biscuits to give him something to work on between bites.


Rule #1 my mother taught me: The browner the banana the better the bread. These are not very brown because I was impatient. To get little chunks of banana throughout the stick, do not mash them up too much.


Batter ready for the oven.




You are supposed to wait until the bread cools completely before you cut it up into sticks. You could also freeze the loaf before slicing it to help combat any crumbling. I did neither of these things hence the uneven sticks.

Banana Bread Teething Sticks
From: wholesomebabyfood.com
Yield: Depending on how you cut them, a lot of little sticks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil (I did 1/4c. oil and 1/4c. unsweetened applesauce)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana
1 3/4 cups flour (white, whole wheat, or a combination)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine ingredients and stir only until smooth. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until firmly set. (Mine only took 35 minutes so you need to watch it)

Cool, remove from pan, and cut into sticks. Spread sticks out on a cookie sheet and bake at 150 degrees F for 1 hour or longer until the sticks are hard and crunchy. (Once again, the time on this was a little off...mine took nearly two and a half hours to get crunchy) Store in a tightly covered container.

Now for the moment of truth... will he like them?



Hmm..failed test #1. They don't bounce.



Success! He likes them and just as important, so does our dog in charge of floor clean-up. Yum.






Wednesday, September 3, 2008

These socks rock!

I can not recommend these socks enough. Yes they are slightly more expensive then regular baby socks in the store but there is one HUGE difference. They do not come off! No amount of wiggling, squirming, or kicking will get these bad boys off your baby's feet (exaggerating a little bit here). They come in all different styles and patterns for both boys and girls. If you know a baby on it's way, do something nice for the parents and get them a box of Trumpette's. I can almost guarantee that you will get a call after the baby is born with a thankful parent exclaiming "they don't come off!"