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.


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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Temper Temper (and a Giveaway!)

To all of you who downloaded my digital cookbook, Foodie Baby, thank you! If you haven't, what's stopping you? It's free for Pete's sake! The button is at the top right corner of this blog:)  If you did, I'd love to know what you think of it! You can leave a review on the book or comment here if you have suggestions.

My kid is going through a thing right now. A weird veggie thing. As in he won't eat any of them. Actually it isn't just veggies. Fruits, too! One day he'll house a bowl of blueberries, the next we throws them at me. He seemed to love sauteed summer squash, now he turns his nose up at it. Or yells at it while squeezing fits of fury. My mother claims it is because he's had so much yummy variety that he refuses to be bored by the same foods day after day. If that's true, I suppose it's all my own fault, trying to get this kid to be a foodie baby after all.

In the meantime I have had to get creative about including veggies in his diet. Any pureed veggie instantly becomes pasta sauce or quesadilla filling, which seems to do the trick. He also has a weird love for winter squash, even though it's out of season and not that good. But whatever, he's a bit young for the seasonal foods talk, so if he wants to eat acorn squash in June, so be it. Here's my new favorite way to make it. It's barely a recipe, and it's creamy and a bit sweet without adding butter or sugar. Love.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Coconut
1 small acorn squash
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
salt and pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash into quarters and remove seeds. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil and bake for 35-45 minutes or until fork tender. Scoop flesh into a bowl (or a blender if you are preparing this for a littler baby than mine!) and mash with the coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Don't have any coconut oil at home? Not to worry! You can win some! Yup, who doesn't love a giveaway? Tropical Traditions has a huge quart sized jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil for me to give to one of you lucky lovelies. They sent me a jar and the stuff is incredible. I love coconut oil. Delicious, organic, versatile, and I can't wait to whip up some hair tonic with it, too! 

To enter, sign up for the Tropical Traditions Newsletter and then leave me a comment. I will choose one winner at random by midnight EST on July 8th. Don't forget to leave me an email address to contact you if you win.

Want more than one entry? You can earn an extra for:
1. Following this blog publicly via Google Friend Connect
2. Liking Jojobean Designs on Facebook
3. Following me on Twitter and tweeting this giveaway
4. Follow on Twitter @troptraditions and @ttspecialdeals
5.   “Like” Tropical Traditions on Facebook (Please no, “I was sent by…” posts or posting a link to your blog, they will be removed
6.  Follow on Pinterest
7.  Follow on Google +
8. Find Giveaways and Deals! and

Just leave me a comment for each thing you do so I can keep track. I have perma-baby-brain.
Good Luck!

*Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Foodie Baby, The Cookbook!

Are you a BakeSpace member yet? If you aren't, I have no idea what's stopping you. I've been using BakeSpace to catalog my recipes for ages, and was once a total sucker for chatting it up about flour substitutions, wine reviews, Velveeta cheese and other high brow food issues with fellow members. Sadly my time is shorter nowadays, so my chatting is limited to occasional flybys. But I did find a whole hour this week to do something I've been dying to do.  I published a digital cookbook! Foodie Baby is now available for download, for free!

Yup. BakeSpace now has an amazing feature called Cookbook Cafe that allows you to organize your recipes and photos into a digital cookbook. You can choose to sell it, use it to raise money for a charity group, or just offer it for free. Your pals can download it online or on their iPads:) The app is awesome for those of you with iPads, but the online version is just as fun! Here's a sneak peek of how some of the app features look: 

Check me out! Right next to Annette Starbuck from Cupcake Wars! She's so cute :) 

This is how a recipe appears in Cooking Mode. I love how everything is lined up with
highlighted steps as you go!  You can't forget a step that way:) Take that, baby brain!

Even if you don't have a baby, you'll want this Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe. Trust me. I couldn't get Jude to keep his little paws off even though he just finished eating a bowl. Piglet. 

Now what are you waiting for? Go download Foodie Baby! It's free! Feel free to Pin, Tweet and Share away to show some love:) 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So Very Berry

I'm so excited for summer. I can't even stand it. We have so many incredible new things going on at once that I think my head may explode! We're in the middle of buying a new house, I'm getting ready for my first ever craft show, opening an in home day care, and today was my last day of work. Like, the last day ever, of a job I've held for 2.5 years. So freaking psyched about it all that I had to bake to celebrate. Usually celebrations call for chocolate, but E is travelling and I won't let Jude have chocolate or sugar yet for fear of creating a mini junkie. Thus, I went the healthy route and created these no-sugar, whole grain baby cakes. A full serving of whole grain and fruit in each little cake. Plus they are cute! I baked mine in a mini bundt, mostly because I like to say bundt, but you can use a muffin tin!

Cherry Berry Baby Cakes
3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
3/4 c. spelt flour (you can substitute soy, chick pea, millet flour, anything you like!)
1/2 Tbls. baking powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 c. grape juice concentrate
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. soy milk
3/4 c. blueberries, divided
1/2 c. pitted cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin. In a food processor, pulse cherries and 1/2 c. of blueberries until almost smooth. Set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients and blend until well combined. Gently fold in remaining 1/4 cup of whole blueberries and 1/4 c. of the puree, just until the fruit is swirled through the batter. Divide evenly among twelve muffin cups and bake 15 - 20 minutes or until tops are golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan before inverting.

* Use the leftover puree to top Greek yogurt, whole wheat pancakes, or to replace jam in a PB&J!