Category Archives: Recipes

Tips for Two – Freezing Homemade Baby Food

I have recently been making and freezing a lot of baby food.  This weekend, we decided to really encourage our first-born to use the potty.

You may be asking yourself, “So what do baby food and potty training have in common?”  They both require lots of time at home, of course!

Some people buy baby food.

Some people make baby food combinations to reheat.

I prepare several different vegetables and fruits and warm up my own mixtures daily.  Why?  Because I like variety (I have a tendency to be a bit indecisive and like to make things difficult for myself).

Here was my baby food goal list for today:

  • 1 mango
  • 2 pears
  • 10 figs
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peas
  • 1 butternut squash

I try to buy all organic foods for my babies but I know there are lists that tell you which foods you don’t necessarily need to purchase organic.

Freezing home-made baby food (1)

For the pears and figs, I tried to pick the riper ones so that I could simply peel and puree them without cooking them.

Freezing home-made baby food (2)

For the apples and frozen peas, I first steamed them (I peeled the apples before steaming) to soften them up before pureeing.

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For the butternut squash, I cut the entire squash (peel still on) into approximately 2-3 inch pieces and steamed them.

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* The bowl of seeds is for me.  I always like to save the seeds so that I can wash them, dry them, and then throw them out a few days later because I failed to make this recipe again!  Someday… someday I will have this tasty snack!

Once the butternut squash was steamed, I waited for them to cool before I took a spoon and just scooped out the flesh from the peel.  Kind of like what you would do with a mango or an avocado.  (Side note: My mother-in-law got this steamer for us when my husband and I got married and, at the time, I thought, “When will I ever use this?”  Now I know.  Oh, the wisdom!)

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After pureeing each fruit or vegetable, I poured the contents into separate freezer bags.

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Be sure to fold the sides of the freezer bags out so you don’t get food all over the ziplocking… ziplocing… part of the bag.

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I don’t think I scraped enough.

Once the food was poured out, I took all the air out of the bags and flattened the contents.  (This also works for leftover rice you want to put in the freezer.  The flatter you make it, the faster it reheats.)

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I took some clear tape and wrote what each bag contained with a sharpie.  A word of advice: try really hard not to write on the countertop with your sharpie.  But if you do, don’t worry… it comes off.  Well, most of it, anyway.  (It helps if you have a countertop that has lots of black marks on it already.)

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Then I just piled up the bags and placed them in the freezer for tomorrow and beyond.

Hmm… what should we eat tomorrow?  Mango and pear with yogurt?  Butternut squash with figs, egg yolk and a splash of breastmilk?  The possibilities are endless!

Lena’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables and Chicken Surprise

I just realized something.  I have a blog.  Does this mean I can write about anything?

Considering I am the first link when you search “photographerhood” on Google (I made that word famous!) I thought I would take a moment to talk about the joys and wonders of the latter part of my made-up word: parenthood.

My friend once told me that  getting married doesn’t really change your life; having a baby does.  She was absolutely right.  Becoming a mother has changed everything, from the things I think to the way I dress.  Life will never be the same.

One of the major changes for us has been to our food: what I cook and what we eat.  Long gone are the days of fancy dinners out (e.g. Chili’s) and picking up fast food on the way home from work.  Instead, we now eat in almost every meal and those meals need to be prepared fast.

So, in an effort to share some ideas on the types of meals we eat (as well as remind myself of simple recipes when it’s 6pm on a Tuesday night and I have no idea what to make for dinner again), I thought it would be an interesting exercise to write down some simple and quick recipe ideas for dinner.

Lena’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetable and Chicken Surprise (I never measure anything when I cook so take my measurements as a guideline.  The surprise is that, everytime you make it, it never tastes the same.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables
  • 1/2 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 pounds of chicken legs or other dark meat
  • salt to taste

Preparation:

Place the bag of Trader Joe’s Multigrain Blend with Vegetables in a pan with grapeseed oil and sautee until it is less frozen (this needs to be very precise; don’t mess this up).  Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of water.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer until the liquid is completely reduced.

Simultaneously, in a separate pot, place chicken in with 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water (enough to cover chicken).  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.

When both are done, combine and eat!

I also want to note that another major change of parenthood is that you will most likely lose touch with many of your friends.  In order to fill that void, you will make one very best friend: Joe… Trader Joe.  He helps you make semi-homemade meals.  Accept this.