Showing posts with label Baby Love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baby Love. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2014

Three

Again this year I am blown away by the fact that my kid had a birthday. Is that going to happen every year? I just don't know how it is possible that we have a three year old, despite the obvious passing of time. Another year closer to pre-K, and school buses, and bike riding and all of those big boy things that will future cement the fact that our Bean is not even close to being a baby. It should be obvious since he is huge and talks like he's twelve, but it's like I'm the last person to figure it out.

This year's birthday celebration was art themed, since we spend a good chunk of our time getting crafty, and he loves it! I also figured that since most of Jude's buddies have come to our craft workshops at least once, it would be an easy way to corral them all into something organized and almost noise/motion less for at least ten minutes. With 30 people in the house and gloomy weather all day, that was a necessity.

We did a little bit of prep every day the week before the party and Jude helped with a lot of it. That way it kept him happy and busy during the day and kept me from getting overwhelmed by last minute stuff! One nice thing about his being a big boy is that he is actually incredibly helpful! So now you can get ready for the barrage of party photos and details... or just skip it:)


We spent an afternoon splatter painting with watercolors, and the big sheets became the base for the invitations. They are based on the idea of a gallery opening notice, so I kept the texts and design very simple. I wanted it to be bold, but didn't want to obscure the spatter paints. We stuck with primary colors so that became the color scheme for everything else! If you'd like to order invites, please visit the shop!


I covered all of the kitchen art with art of our own to make a little family gallery wall. The hearts and truck drawing (yes, those are trucks spraying out a fire!) are Jude's, the peach is mine, and the scene in the window is E's. He's actually very artisitic (just don't tell him I told you).


Kitchen decor was really simple, just primary colored streamers and balloons, a paint brush banner wrapped around the light fixture, and inexpensive table cloths. I spread some kraft paper on the table for people to draw on, and the paint dripped mason jars were another kid craft project. Again, if you'd like to order a banner, you can visit the shop!


Food is obviously the most important part of any party, and we stuck with brunch items since it was early! Bagels and different spreads, a big fruit salad, danish in primary colors, mini strata cups (which were in the oven at the time I took this photo), "creative juices," a paint dripped cake, and parfait push pops.




The cake was a version of my mom's lemon layer cake, but only one layer was lemon. I added a layer of cherry filling and a layer of blueberry filling to follow the primary color theme.


It was gooood. This is all that's left, so I may be having it with coffee later!


I didn't have a lot of decorating to do in the craft room, either, since it is basically decorated all the time with giant tissue pom poms and banners, plus our big art display board. I hung some balloons and drew up a little faux gallery wall background on kraft paper during a "Call the Midwives" marathon one afternoon, and that was it.


The kids worked on monogram canvases, which was super fun, and they came out so cute! I used green painters tape to make it easier to pull off, and it was kind of a PIA honestly. Most of Jude's buddies have curvy initials, so cutting and lining up all of the pieces of tape for 13 canvases took me forever. It was the most time consuming thing of the whole party! In the end it was worth it, since it kept them busy and they all had a ready to hang work of art to take home in the end!


We spent another afternoon making playdough favors, which Jude loves. We used my favorite playdough recipe (which I will post later since I have a few tips to add to the original!) and colored it red, yellow, and blue. I added a little color blending chart (similar to the ones that are on the parfait stand) and stamped tags from the scrap paper leftover from cutting the invitations.


Don't know why I don't have a clear shot of these, so use your imagination!


I stenciled a shirt for Jude to wear with a Basquiat crown, since he's one of my favorite artists, and this is the only photo I have of it somehow! It's probably just as appropriate for my child to wear Basquiat as it is for him to wear his Old Dirty Bastard shirt, so I'm cool with it. Only one of the parents knew what is was anyway, so we didn't have to delve into how fitting it is to use my toddler to pay homage to one of the 27 club members.


And the obligatory blowing-out-the-candle shot. He didn't even spit on the cake! 
But he didn't eat it either. He still prefers bagels.

*If you like this post, please take a moment to head over to the party post on Project Junior
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click the stars to add your rating! 

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

M's Honey Bear Baby Shower



We could start a rugby team with all of the new babies that have been born to our crew over the last few months. It's been a bonafide baby boom, and there appears to be no end in sight. My sister M will be the next mama to join the crew, welcoming her first bambino in just  a few weeks time. To celebrate, we had to throw her a baby shower fit for our cuddly baby bear to be, and it was a little too much fun. 

Typical of my craft addicted ways, I went slightly overboard making fun paper goods, but in the end it all looked so adorable that it was worth the last minutes of inky fingered mania. 

My mother made a gorgeous set of crib bedding for M in vintage teddy bear prints, and that became the inspiration for the party theme. Since Baby's gender is still a surprise, honey yellows and browns were a perfect neutral color scheme. I used as many personal touches as possible (that's Jude's favorite teddy in the center), and really wanted everything to be reusable  in the nursery (I think you all know how this girl hates to throw anything away).


The invitations, printed on plantable seed paper in lemon yellow and available here.

The favors were small jars of local honey made by my pal Leeann. They were a huge hit, wrapped in tulle and tied with plantable seed tags. You can find the honey bears in Lee's Etsy shop, and the tags in mine!


Each table was decorated with pint sized mason jars wrapped in kraft paper and tied with yellow striped bakers twine. Place settings were set with these fun game cards. Each had a Baby Shower Bingo game on one side and a Celebrity Baby Name Matching Game on the other. 



The gift table was adorned with paper pinwheels and little honey and bear themed baby onesies on a line. They were a last minute addition, so the onesies are just iron on images of designs used for other pieces of the decor! Hopefully they hold up through the many washing of a newborn babe! On the top of the table we set another of Jude's teddy bears with a large mason jar. The sign says "What will it bee?" and guests were asked to place their votes for Baby's gender. The majority vote was a boy, but I'm still holding on to hopes for a little lady!


No family party is complete without my mother's maids of honor, a recipe handed down from my great grandmother. They are my favorite thing on earth, and the inspiration for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes I posted from E's birthday. Sadly, they had a bit of a mishap on the way to the party, and all of the cute coconut grass meant to be set beneath them on the stand ended up on top. My mom was a little bummed, but they still looked so cute! I made tiny paper flags for them and I still can't get over the perfect little bear candies she stuck on top. She found them at WalMart of all places.


And an obligatory 'smiley preggo opening presents' shot. 
Because no one is cuter than a pregnant girl, at least not until the baby is born.



Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New twists



I am going through a serious food boredom phase. Blergh. After I started the Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse in January, I had a solid two weeks of being excited about everything I was cooking, followed by a quick plunge into carbaholic overload. This girl just can't get by without the occasional bagel with cream cheese, so a week of withstanding the temptations ended up leading me down the slippery slope into binge town. It has lasted about two months. Yup. That isn't to say I have eaten nothing but junk for two months, but I haven't been all that diligent. E is also training for the NY half marathon. His Sunday afternoons are taken up by 14 mile training runs, which means Sunday evening visits to our favorite pizza joint where we inhale penne ala vodka, grandma's pies, and garlic knots like our lives depend upon it. I do always order a salad, so there's that.

This ridiculously cold weather, constant snow, and desire to do nothing but cuddle on the couch with my kiddo doesn't help. It has all led to my feeling a bit blah, so I did a big fridge clean out, got back to my meal planning and borrowed some new workout DVD's from the library. Time to regroup. I'm kick-starting some new food fun with a couple of new recipes, including these fritters. I have seen all kinds of Paleo zucchini fritters floating around, but I'm just not ready to jump on board that Paleo train just yet (note the aforementioned carb addiction). They also all seemed to be lacking a bit in the flavor department, so I did some adjusting and ended up with a really delicious veggie packed fritter that you could serve as a main dish or a side. You can also make them smaller for little fingers and use them as a kid friendly snack. Love.



Carrot and Zucchini Fritters
Ingredients:
3-4 zucchini, to make 3 cups shredded
1 large carrot
1 small shallot
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 Tbls. butter

Preparation:
Using a food processor with a shredder blade (or a box grater), shred zucchini and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, toss to combine and set aside for a few minutes. Shred carrot and shallot and place in a separate bowl. Using your hands, squeeze all excess liquid from the shredded zucchini. There will be lots! Keep squeezing by handfuls even if you think you are finished! Add to the bowl with the carrot and shallot. Add flour, cornmeal, seasonings and egg and toss to combine.

In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbls of butter over medium high heat. Using a large batter scoop (about a 1/4 cup) scoop up the veggie mixture and press gently into the scoop to mold. Flip the scoop out into the hot pan and press lightly with your fingers to flatten. Don't crowd the pan, start with 4 or 5 fritters. Cook on one side until crisp and well browned, about 4-6 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the other side is crisp and browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Melt the remaining butter before adding more fritters to the pan. Serve hot with a dollop of plain yogurt and some hot sauce. That's habanero green enchilada sauce in the photo, to which I am currently addicted. That recipe can be found here!


Linked to Healthy Roots, Happy Soul, Premeditated Leftovers

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lucky duck

I'm pretty lucky.

I tell myself this often.

Most often on the days when my normally wonderful toddler decides to do a fully normal toddler behavior, like slither into the bottom of a police-car-shaped shopping cart and lick the possibly-E.coli-covered steering wheel that is sticky with week old who-knows-what. Moments after he intentionally dumped a cup of water on his shirt, shorts, shoes, and the floor of the market. All while singing loudly about how "luck" rhymes with "duck" and "cluck" and "tuck" and, you guessed it, "fuck", and smiling at old ladies. Yup, I'm lucky.

I have a healthy, happy, active little boy who keeps me on my toes every day, and it's awesome. The trials are minor for the most part, and a healthy dose of added patience mixed with a touch of creativity goes far to keep me from forgetting how great we have it. Being grateful is something I wasn't always good at, but having a kid put that into perspective for me. I have nothing to complain about.

Don't worry, there is a recipe coming :)

In a moment of creative problem solving, we took a visit to the library. We checked out the book Oliver's Fruit Salad and now Jude is obsessed with making big bowls of fruit
salad. This is nice, since for months the only fresh fruits that he ate consistently were apples and bananas. I was forever buying pineapples, berries, or melons when he asked for them at the market, only to have him ask for something else once we were sitting down to eat. I started getting irritated, bothered by throwing away spoiled fruit, stressing about wasting a few dollars, worrying about the lack of vitamin C in his diet.

And then I realized I was being stupid.

Almost every time I feel overly stressed or worried about something with Jude, it's because I am being stupid.

I take a deep breath, remind myself that he is fine, and I am lucky. Then we have a big bowl of fruit salad with a little of this incredible fruit sauce on the side, because nothing makes my kid happier than dip. We whipped up a batch of this to bring to dinner with friends, after I realized every recipe for fruit dip on Pinterest had cream cheese and marshmallow fluff in it. This is better for you, yummier, and prettier, and your little can help. Jude especially likes squeezing lemons, since I tell him he has to do it with his eyes closed. He gets it everywhere, but he also gets super excited. "I am SO LUCKY to have a lemon!"

Banana Cream Fruit Sauce

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c. sour cream
1 frozen banana
zest of one lemon
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbls. powdered sugar
1/4 c. vanilla soy milk

Preparation:
Add all ingredients, except soy milk, to your food processor bowl or blender. Pulse just to combine. Your mixture should be thick and may be a bit chunky at this point. While processing on low, add milk in a thin stream until sauce has reached a smooth, pourable consistency. Serve drizzled over fresh fruit or cake, or as a dip.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bean's First Cake


Move over, Christina Tosi, there's a new baker in town!

It'll be a few year before we know if the Boy is really into baking, but his first attempt went pretty well! I have been wanting to give him a more hands on baking experience, and the rainy, gray weather earlier this week was perfect timing. Sadly, every recipe I found for a "dump cake" as they are often unappealingly dubbed, required canned fruit fillings, pudding mixes, or boxes of cake powder. Not quite what I had in mind.

Leave it to the French to have exactly what I was looking for. French yogurt cakes are very popular, and kids there learn to make them very young. Now I'm only half French,as is E, so that makes the Bean half French, too. Maybe he channeled a bit of his French roots while we put this cake together, because he really didn't need much help. He also, in a stunning turn of events, didn't even make a mess. That bit of spilled flour on the floor by his bowl? That was it. He's keeps a cleaner kitchen than I do.

I adapted a recipe from Montessori Works and got to work. I intended to spread a plastic tablecloth on the floor, fully prepared for the upcoming flour and sugar hoo-rah, but I decided to skip it last minute. Half the fun is the mess, right? I set out all of the ingredients, a wooden spoon, large bowl, scoop and spoon. Our "scoop" was a small yogurt cup, which measures approximately 6 oz. and our "spoon" was a measuring teaspoon. The recipe is very forgiving, unlike most cakes, so if your little goes over or under on the measuring, it won't make a huge difference! I cracked the eggs and poured the oil into the scoop while he held it, but Jude did the rest! He even mixed it pretty well with a big wooden spoon, but I did scrape the bowl into the pan and put the cake into the oven while he hung onto the freezer door handle (that's his 'spot' when the oven is open). He kept running into the kitchen to watch the cake through the glass, and yelling, "It's readyyyy!"

His favorite part was drizzling the icing over the cake once it cooled, and he couldn't wait to tell E about it when he came home. He even had to call my mother to tell her about it this morning. He wanted to make another. Maybe I do have a kid with a sweet tooth after all.

French Yogurt Cake 

Ingredients:
3 scoops whole wheat flour
2 scoops sugar
1 scoop plain, whole milk yogurt
1 scoop vegetable oil
1 spoon salt
3 spoons baking powder
1 spoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

For icing:
1 scoop powdered sugar
1/2 spoon almond extract
2-3 spoons water

Preparation:
Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Allow your kiddo to do as much of the scooping and dumping as possible into a large bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon and pour into the pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

With a whisk, mix sugar, almond extract and water to make the icing and drizzle over cooled cake.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Caution! Mudslide Birthday Cake



  • This cake was the big hit at The Boy's birthday party this weekend, but it's chocolate, so that wasn't a big surprise. Everyone loves chocolate! I doctored up my favorite Devil's Food cake recipe to make it taste like a mudslide and work with the party theme. No worries, of course, as the alcohol bakes out, so it is still safe to serve to children! Just don't eat to much of the batter as you are making it, or you'll find yourself with a happy buzz:) This makes a big cake, so make sure you have enough people to eat it or pack it up to take home or else it will be your breakfast for the next week. Which actually may not be a bad thing.

  • Chocolate Mudslide Birthday Cake

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 3 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 6 cups of your favorite fudge frosting. I ordered mine from ShopRite (gasp!) but it's hella good, yo. Better than any recipe I have tried, honest!

Preparation:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in center of oven. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with cocoa powder; tap out any excess. Sift cocoa and espresso powder into a medium bowl, and whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides twice. Beat in vanilla. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating between each addition until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides twice.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk milk and Bailey's into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour mixture. 

Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of each layer comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans for even baking. Transfer layers to wire racks; let cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes, and return to racks, tops up, until completely cool. 

Remove parchment from bottoms of cakes. Sliceone cake layer in half, from top to bottom, set aside. Place one full cake layer on a serving platter; spread 1 cup chocolate frosting over the top. Add the second full cake layer, and spread with another 1 cup frosting. Add one of the half layers, spread with frosting and top with remaining half cake layer. Using a serrated knife, carve the top two layers on the diagonal to create a hill shape. Cover outside of cake with the remaining 3 cups frosting. Decorate with chocolate graham cracker crumbs, malted milk balls, and trucks! Serve with Rocky Road Ice Cream!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jude!

Somehow in the midst of our crazy life, our Little Boy Who Was Once The Bean turned two. E-freaking-gad! I have no idea how he is a two year old who is over three feet tall, driving trains and singing "California Dreamin'." It's kind of insane. He is one of the oldest in his little kid crew of 12, so of course we had to have a party. Inspired by his current favorite book, I'm Dirty, we went with a construction truck theme. And yes, I gleaned the internet for everything truck-ish, Pinning as I went, until I had a plan. E happened to be out of town on business the entire week before the bash, so I did one thing each day to keep The Boy and I busy, and to prevent a stress-filled weekend of last minute mania. Here's the picture laden run down...


The invitation: A big ol' dump truck complete with coloring page envelopes and washi caution tape. 
They are not yet in the shop, but just hit me up if you are interested until I post them:)

We asked Jude's friends to make donations to St. Jude's Children's Hospital instead of bringing him presents, since with an in home day care in our basement, he pretty much has everything a kid could ever want. This is definitely going to be our annual thing. St. Jude's is the best childrens' charity ever.


 The decor: Jude and I built a paper mountain to cover the oh-so-pretty wall AC unit that currently resides in the dining room. He had a blast rubbing glue sticks on paper (and then his face) while we worked on it. 


The food: Dirt cups, pretzel lumber, Pirate's Booty, a bacon jalapeno cheese mountain, a tool box veggie tray, dried pineapple rocks, Boulder Cookies, and a Chocolate Mudslide Cake
I will try to post a few more of those recipes soon!
 

A closer view of the cake, decorated with chocolate graham cracker crumbs and malted milk balls.


I made a table runner from the coloring pages left over from the invitations.


Luckily we had gorgeous weather, so the kids got to play with the split pea and rice sensory boxes on the deck. It took only minutes for them to start tossing it, so I am thrilled we didn't have to do it inside!


In case of rain, we set up a demolition city in the basement playroom. 
It was great motivation to get my craft room in order and unpack the last lingering boxes from our move!


I painted this dump truck based on the one from his invitations. I think it will hang around a while!


He actually ate sweets! Well, this is yogurt, but it has chocolate crumbs on top!


This morning I finally let him pull some of the decorations off the walls. 
He has been driving cars on this road all day!

Best.Party.Ever!





Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last Minute Love

Well, folks, Valentine's Day is tomorrow. If you have been a Last Minute Larry, no need to fret! There are plenty of shops that will be open late for you procrastinators looking for an expensive gift, and I'm pretty sure Hallmark will be able to hook you up in the early AM if necessary. However, if you are looking for a tiny something, a handmade little crafty something, maybe for a kid or a pal, here you go. These little bird seed valentines make a great last minute craft project for your kiddos and work as a sweet gift at the same time.

I found several recipes online for making bird seed cakes, but some of them actually required baking, and some included weird ingredients. I ended up with a modified version of a recipe like this one from Folk Lifestyle, a blog to which you will now become addicted. You're welcome.

Anywho, I had to add an additional ingredient to the mix because we happen to have a squirrel issue. By issue I mean serious-frigging-problem-with-giant-house-cat-sized-squirrels-who-dig-up-and-eat-anything-they-can-get-their-dastardly-paws-upon. So I added a generous 1/4 cup of red hot pepper flakes. Take that you little punks. We made lots of sizes and shapes, including bird seed beads in my mini muffin tin. These we strung along a length of twine and tied up in a tree as garland, hoping the little birdies would feast. Sadly it rained like crazy that night and most of the seed cakes dissolved and fell in a heap to the ground. I suggest hanging these outside where they won't get too wet:)

If you plan on giving these as gifts, decorate them with little tags! I stamped ours on plantable seed paper and tied them up with baker's twine. They just happened to fit into the heart printed treat bags I send out with my shop packages. Kismet!

Birdseed Ornaments
Ingredients:
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
4 cups mixed birdseed
5 Tbls. corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup red pepper flakes
wax paper
baking sheets
baking molds/muffin tins/cookie cutters
a chopstick
ribbon

Preparation:
Line your baking sheets with wax paper. Spray any tins or cutters with cooking spray. Place cookie cutters on the wax paper. In a large bowl mix all ingredients until sticky and combined. Pour into molds/tins/cutters and press firmly. Poke a hole with the chopstick for hanging your ribbon. Let sit for 3 hours, remove from tins and flip over, let sit another 3 hours or until very dry. Add twine, ribbon or string to hang.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Presto Pasta

My little man is being weird about his veggies again. Weird in the way that makes me have to plan new meals and try new recipes and actually COOK something I haven't cooked for him before. Holy moly cow (as Jude loves to say these days)! Holier molier cow, I'm actually in love with it. It isn't the olden days of sifting through Food and Wine magazine looking for drool worthy photos or perusing the aisles of Whole Foods sniffing miso pastes and fennel powder. It's more like, "Shit. I have mushrooms that will go bad in 2 days, not enough spinach for a salad, and 20 minutes to make a meal of it. FML." Those moments always bring me back to pasta. It's the easiest and fastest way to stuff veggies into a kid without fail and it's done in 20 minutes. Jude powered through two bowls of this with a side of turkey meatballs dunked in yogurt (because why wouldn't you dunk a meatball in yogurt?) and begged for more. Sadly there wasn't any more to give him, because E and I had powered through the rest already. It's that good.

If your toddler (or anyone) is averse to chunks of mushroom or spinach leaves, just puree the whole batch of sauce until it's smooth and no one will know it has veggies in it. Wanna double up the veggie punch? Serve it with the Piccolini pasta Barilla makes. We love that stuff!

Fusilli with Spinach and Mushroom Cream Sauce 

Ingredients:
16 oz. sliced button mushrooms
2 c. baby spinach
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbls. butter
4 sage leaves, chopped or 2 tsp. dried sage
1 c. cream
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cups cooked fusilli or other short pasta

Preparation:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant and mushrooms are beginning to brown, stirring often. Add spinach and toss until wilted. Add cream and sage and bring to a simmer. Continue stirring and simmering until cream thickens and mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a large spoon, transfer half of the mixture to a blender and pulse until smooth. Return to the pan and stir into remaining mixture. Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Serve immediately.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bean! Beans! The... oh, you get it.

Beans are awesome. Protein powerhouses so versatile and delicious that I could probably eat them is some form every day. The boy who was once a bean himself is confused by them. He loves them, he just doesn't know it. Give him a bean of any kind in its original form and he'll likely flick it across the room. Attempt to feed him a partially mushed bean and he will somehow swallow all but the skin, which he will then pull out of his mouth and flick across the room. Pureed food is not his bag anymore, but that's the only way he'll eat a bean. Luckily beans from a can are practically mush anyway, so a few additional ingredients makes for easy mealtimes. I fricking love black bean soup. I love making it from scratch with dried beans, but this way is just perfect for babies. Quick and easy, and you can adjust the seasonings of course. But really, this is a great way to introduce a little kick, so go for it!

Baby Black Bean Soup
Ingredients:
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 quart chicken or veggie stock
1 small can of tomato paste
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, but why wimp out?)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Add beans, stock, tomato paste, and pepper to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender or food processor, pulse a few times to crush most of the beans. If you have a wee little one, blend until smooth. Serve with a good dollop of whole fat Greek yogurt or some shredded cheese.


Friday, June 29, 2012

The Artist

 OK, not so much. But we did have a blast finger painting for the first time today! I made a batch of paints (one part flour to one part water with a few drops of food coloring) and gave Jude two little bowls so he could get a little texture and color play in before nap time today. I highly recommend it as long as you don't mind messes:) Yeah, it's definitely messy.

What is this stuff?

Ooh squishy!

And pretty!

And fun to smear!

And fun to fling.

The inevitable taste test.

Yummy? Not so much.

Bathtime!

Don't forget to save a bit of art for your memory books!