Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hippie Mayo

I'm a Miracle Whip girl. I married a Mayonnaise guy. I have no idea what will happen with Jude. Except that so far I won't feed him either one. I read the ingredients for the first time on the back of the jar of MW and decided he wouldn't get to taste it. Enzyme modified egg yolks didn't sound all that yummy to me. But then neither did whipping up some raw egg yolks to make real mayo for my little man.

I decided to make some soy mayo using a recipe I found in an old recipe collection my boss got when she did Outward Bound in the 70's. Hand typed, thread bound, and full of gritty vegetarian and vegan fare that would make a hippie proud. I made a few adjustments for Jude, and was actually pretty impressed with the outcome. I quartered the recipe and it was still enough for his portion and a big bowl for me. Once you make your baby's salad, feel free to add a bit of spicy dijon mustard or more vinegar to your own. It's awesome on a bed of greens with some walnuts and dried cherries!

Baby Chicken Salad with Soy Mayo
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped finely
1/4 c. cold soy milk
1/2 c. oil
2-3 tsp. white wine vinegar
dash of hot sauce
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Pour soy milk into a blender. With the top off and the blender set on medium speed, pour oil into the blender in a very thin stream. Mixture will thicken to the consistency of whipped cream. Turn off the blender and stir in remaining ingredients. In a bowl, add a few tablespoons of mayo to the chicken and toss to coat.

Serving Ideas:
Stuff into a whole wheat pita or bread.
Serve over rice or cold pasta with yogurt.
Add finely chopped veggies or a little vegetable puree to make this a full meal. Jude likes his with beets!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Jude's favorite animal is a pig. He carries his tiny Little People pig all around the house and snorts enthusiastically. He snorts so much that I worry about his nasal passages. He will do it on command, like when you ask, "What sound does a pig make?" He will also do it random. Or at moments that border on the embarrassing, if they weren't so perfect. Like when an obnoxious lady at Target got all up in his grill in the carriage and shouted at him that he was "SOOO daaarling!" 
"SNORT!" She gave him a funny face, but I think his message was loud and clear. 

I wonder if he'll continue eating pork, once he eventually learns it comes from a pig. How do you teach kids about things like that? Take them to a farm to pet animals and then tell them how tasty they are? Traumatizing much? I guess I'll face that hurdle when I get to it in a few years. In the mean time, I'll continue prepping recipes that can be eaten by all of us, even if it's from a cute little pig.

Pulled Pork with Couscous
2 lb. boneless pork roast
2 apples, peeled and cored
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 ounces molasses
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
3-4 Tbls. water
1 cup couscous
1/4 c. golden raisins

Place pork apples and onion in slow cooker. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over the pork. Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for three. Remove pork from the slow cooker and shred, return to the pot. Remove apples and cut into chunks.

Place couscous and raisins in a bowl. Boil 1 cup of water and pour over couscous. Let sit for five minutes and then fluff with a fork. Spoon a portion into a bowl for baby. Add some apple, pork and sauce. 

*NOTE: Pork is wicked hard to chew. Jude has a lot of teeth, but without molars, chewing pork is like chewing bubble gum. He looks like a little cow. After shredding the pork, I set aside a portion for him on a cutting board and run the big knife through it a bunch of times until it is well chopped. Problem solved.

Also, here's an updated menu sample for you:) How things have changed since I made the last one!
Jude's Sample Menu - 12 Months

Monday, May 14, 2012

Going Nuts

Deciding that your baby is ready to eat nuts can make you nuts. Ask your own mom and she'll likely give you a quizzical stare (did you know anyone with a fatal nut allergy as a kid? I didn't.). Ask your pediatrician and they may say anything between 9 months to 36 months. Ask your friends and you'll get the same vague answers. Don't even think about searching online because the range there will just make you more dizzy. Personally, I take every warning I hear with a grain of salt, weigh my options, and do whatever I want. I'm lucky to have a child with no known food allergies, who has yet to ever have a big reaction to anything (knock on wood!). Nuts and seeds are such little protein powerhouses that I can't think of any reason not to include them in his diet. If you are ready to give nuts to your little, this recipe is perfect for a snack that includes protein and fruit, and it's delicious. It's actually like Baby Crack. If you aren't ready, bookmark this one for later, because it'll be a huge hit.

I made these based on the fact that I'm obsessed with Lara bars and have meant to make my own for ages. The name is a bit deceiving, because they actually don't include peanut butter. They taste like they do, though!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Baby Truffles

10 oz. pitted dried dates
1/2 cup dried strawberries
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Place everything in a food processor and pulse until a ball forms. Using a one inch cookie scoop (or fine, use a spoon) scoop into balls and roll in your palms. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and chill for an hour. Then you can transfer them to a container without them sticking to each other and store in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze them if you won't eat them that fast. Depending on how many teeth your kiddo has, you may want to let them come to room temperature before serving!

Substitute almonds for the cashews and apricots for the strawberries. That's my favorite:)
You can also use raisins, cranberries, prunes, dried pineapple with coconut... Let me know if you come up with any yummy flavor combos! 

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Slacker Cake

Good Lord, I'm a slacker lately! The last time I waited a month between posts was when Jude was born. I have at least half a dozen baby food recipes sitting in a pile to be blogged, but haven't gotten around to it, yet. I have a pile of shop updates to do, but I haven't gotten around to that either. I think I've just been having too much fun with my kiddo and the shop to blog lately, and I'm not going to feel bad about it. If you want a shop update, you can pop over and visit:) If you want some new recipes, I swear I will get to them! Or email me, and I'll send you some:) If you want to bake a little monster cake, here you go! You'll need this ridiculous Big Top silicone cupcake mold for the shaped cake. Or get crafty and see what else you can come up with!

Jude's Monster Mash Birthday Cake

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. white vinegar
For decorating:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup shredded carrots
White and dark chocolate melts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients. Fold in wet ingredients until well combined. Pour into a well greased pair of cake pans or a 9x13 inch glass baking dish if you are not using the Big Top cupcake mold for the monster shaped cake). Bake 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. If you are making a monster, you'll want to bake it longer and keep checking every ten minutes or so, the top took at least 40 minutes and the bottom almost an hour! Allow to cool for ten minutes before inverting out of the pan to cool completly on a wire rack.

To create your monster:
Draw your monster arms, horns, mouth and eye onto a sheet of paper. Top with a sheet of wax paper. Melt candy melts according to the package instructions and pour into a squeeze bottle. Draw your monster parts according to the pattern you made and let them harden for at least an hour. Don't stick them in the fridge or they get all dewy! 
Beat powdered sugar into cream cheese. You may need to trim the top and bottom of your cupcake halves to make them flat. A serrated bread knife does this nicely. Smear a bit of frosting onto the top of the cupcake base and top with the em, top, duh. Frost with most of your icing, leaving a few tablespoons for just in case. Press the monster parts into your cake and secure with extra icing if needed. Press carrots into the icing to create fur. And done.

Good luck getting your kiddo to eat it. Mine just pulled off the carrots to snack on, so I ended up eating it all! How did I have a child with no sweet tooth!