Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Perfect Summer Side

I like to plant my vegetable garden from seeds.  It's less expensive and so much more fun.  London helps me dig the holes and then places the seeds in.  We check and check and check in the next couple weeks until we see green poking up out of the dirt.  The one thing I buy started are tomatoes.  I don't have a good spot in my house to start them indoors and I've never had success starting them outdoors by seeds.   (The never get big enough to get tomatoes on them when I do.)  I will keep trying though.  We like to buy our plant from the Farmer's Market in Boise.  We also like to buy the Early Girl variety. We have had great success with this type and like today we are always drowning in fresh tomatoes come end of July.  Right now at this moment after making a delicious side of tomato salad I still have 10 on my counter looking juicy red.  I like to the extras whole or can them diced.  I wait until towards the end of the summer to do that because right now I am still loving eating tomatoes every day.  Nothing tastes better than a warm fresh picked garden tomato.  Yum yum.  We have been having sliced tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic on them almost every night.  I also have basil that is doing really well this year.  Here is my summer time Tomato Salad recipe:

Tomatoes, how many you use is up to how many you are feeding and how much they like tomatoes.
Big Bunch of Basil
Fresh Chives
Clove of garlic
salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Chop up the tomatoes and place in a bowl.  I didn't dice them but chopped them so they would be larger chunks.  Don't forget to add the juice from the chopping board, it adds lots of tomato flavor.  Chop up the basil and chives and add to bowl.  (I used about 8 chives from the garden but how many you use depends on how big of a serving you are making.)  Dice up the clove, or slice it really thin, and add it to the bowl.  Sprinkle salt and pepper.  Drizzle the oil and vinegar over top of the ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Let marinate for a couple hours to intensify the flavor.  I had mine marinate from 3 until 6 pm and it worked fabulously.  

Super easy and super tasty.  Happy Tomato Eating!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oatmeal Muffins


I am on a muffin kick. Well for the last two days I have been. There is a local natural food market that I go to once in a while that sells bags of bananas for .99 cents. They are overripe and browning. Perfect for banana bread or muffins in my case. So yesterday I made banana oatmeal muffins. I followed my banana bread recipe except I subbed the egg with flax and threw in 1/2 cup of oats. Yummy! They were gone yesterday. I know! I made them yesterday!

Today Lucca has been having poop issues, too many bananas most likely. :/. So I figured blueberry muffins would counter that. :). I made oatmeal muffins, half with blueberry and half without. They just came out of the oven and we are two down. Better save at least one for daddy!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg (or in my case I used flax. 1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water and set aside. Do this before anything else so that it has time to set up. )
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 and get your muffin tin ready Mix all dry ingredients. Mix all wet ingredients except milk. Mix together. If batter is as thick as mine was add the milk a little at a time Add blueberries if you would like, gently. :). Place in tins and bake for 18-20 minutes. Take out and enjoy.

The great thing about replacing egg with flax is that you can lick without feeling worried about getting sick. It also adds extra fiber. :). Which my little one really needs right now.


So safe that I let both kids lick the bowl clean!  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Sides

Today I went out into my garden and picked a large yellow zucchini squash and a handful of peas. Yesterday I went to the farmers market and bought a bag of skinny green beans and a red onion.

Here is my recipe:

Pad of unsalted butter
Two handfuls of Green beans
Handful of Peas
Clove of garlic
Thin slices of onion
Salt and pepper

Boil a pot of water. Submerge beans, peas, and squash for three minutes. Scoop out and submerge in ice water. Empty hot water and melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add the veggies and salt and pepper to taste. I like to grate the garlic over the pot and add the 'zest'. Sauté.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Dinner in China

Dinner was really good in China tonight. We have a friend who lives 30 minutes away and says we live in China. I guess Patrick invited him to dinner and he turned us down because we live "in China". Well let me tell you it was really good "Chinese" food. You missed out Max! :) There is always next time.

I made Portobello summer squash lasagna. I found the recipe on pinterest. You can find it here. I didn't put as much cheese. In fact I put probably half the cheese. The recipe called for a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan for each layer. I only did that on the top. I also half baked it around 3 pm. Then finished it before dinner. It worked great and was super yummy and best of all vegetarian!!! I love cooking vegetarian meals. They just don't have that heavy feel to them after you finish. This is a really bad picture of it because I only decided to take a picture last minute once the dish was already cold. :/. Sorry.

Anyhow, just an update on my dinner. What did you eat tonight? :)

Side note: my garden is doing awesome even for starting so late. Here are some pictures of my tomato plant, pepper plants, corn and yellow squash. Tomato salads are days away.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

107 degrees

Okay. The other day it reached 107 degrees. HOT. It hasn't been that hot in Idaho on that date for 20 years, or so they said on the news. It has been over 100 for the last 5 days. It is a dry heat so more tolerable than humid heat, at least for me. We have been hot and wishing we had a pool. An in ground nice pool. For now our blow up pool will have to do. I still don't get in but London loves it. Pure torture is when I have to sit in the sun and watch while London swims in a nice in ground pool during lessons at the hottest time of the day, 4:30. Bleh. It is then that I have little pools of sweat accumulating in those little spots on my body. Oh and nice arm pit sweat too. Pure torture! As so many people I know are into watermelon right now, we are too. It is the time of year when mass quantities of watermelon are sold. We were going to grow watermelon this year but got a late start. On a side note, I picked my first red tomato yesterday! Super stoked about that and the millions more to come. Back to watermelon. I like to make it into a drink but this time I decided to cut some up and to freeze some on Popsicle sticks. If you know me, you know my obsession with Popsicles. It has passed on to London and her friends that come to play. I get into so much trouble if I don't have any made. So I sliced some melon and placed sticks into them. Placed them on baking sheets lined with wax paper and stuck them in the freezer.

Watermelon before freezing

So easy peasy. No molds or pureeing. Girls came over, melon was frozen and they were stoked! Lucca was too. Then they jumped in the blow up pool. In a while it's time for torture mom time but for now I'll stick my feet in and cool off.

Lucca loved it too!
London enjoying her melon.


Sunday, July 1, 2012


Some days I don't drink enough water and I feel dehydrated.  No silly, that's not what this post is about!  It's about playing with my friend Kerry's dehydrator, and fruit of course!  I know I said I wasn't going to go on about cherries anymore but I still had some in the fridge and I had to do something before they went bad.  I even made more pop tarts.  My neighbor and friend Kerry mentioned that she had a dehydrator in her pantry.  I asked her if I could play with it and she so nicely said yes.  I have had a dehydrator on my wish list of some time now, at least 2 years.  I've researched them and forgot and researched them and forgot and the cycle goes on.

Fast forward to yesterday and I got the dehydrator from my friend and started to use it.  I got to work pitting the rest of the cherries.  After I pitted the cherries I pureed some raspberries, that I picked, strawberries that I bought and cherries that I, well you know the answer to that.  I also wanted to try my hand at fruit leather.  I looked up how long to dehydrate for and the answers varied tremendously.  One site even said 90-100 hours for dehydrating cherries!!  That's a LONG time!  Someone else's blog said 8 hours.  So I figured I would wait until morning and see how long it took.  That way they wouldn't finish in the night and then keep going until morning and I wouldn't wake to ashes.  :/  That wouldn't be very tasty.  Well I put the puree on the special mats and I think I will need to try my hand at leather another time.  This batch didn't turn out well.  Some of it did.  I didn't make sure it was all even thickness.  So some parts of the leather were too dry and others too moist.  I couldn't peel half of it off and some was still mushy.  I did get some and the strips that I did get off were tasty.  In the future I will try it again so that I can get good at it.  Maybe when I get my own machine?  (I hope my husband is reading this although he already bought my birthday present.  Maybe anniversary? hint hint)  Did I mention I love him?  A lot?  :)

The berries before puree.  

The fruit leather dehydrating.  (I did get a picture of the actual leather but on my other camera.  It's getting late, so they will have to wait.)

This morning I halved the pitted cherries and placed them skin side down on the trays.  I turned on the machine and let it go and looked at the clock, 8:30 am.  At around 5 pm was when I finally liked the texture of some of the cherries.  Some where done and others needed more time. I took the ones that were done out and let the others keep going.  I think they are finally all done, it's 9:00 at night now.  So I'd say anywhere from 8-12 hours for all my cherries.  (Some were fatter than others.)  Now, I have not too many but some delicious dried sweet cherries.  I am going to put these into my granola bars right away.  If I have more left over I think we will just eat them as snacks.  Maybe if I have my dehydrator by next cherry season, ahem!, I will be able to dehydrate a bunch more and then we will make them last and I will figure out the best way for us to store dried cherries.  For now, I'll just gobble them up and I bet both kids and the husband will help.  (I'll be out by tomorrow night!)

The pitted cherries before dehydration.
During dehydration.
Finished product in a bowl 1/4 the size of the original blue bowl.  Yummy!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Cherry Mania

By now I am sure you have all had it with my cherry posts.  If not, read on!  Now that I have my true loyal readers I will let you know what I've been up to with my twelve pounds of cherries.  First I made the crisp.  Then for Father's Day, except we celebrated Saturday, I made Patrick ribs.  I never make ribs but I made them and not only did I make them but I made cherry BBQ sauce.  Well I cheated and didn't make the sauce from scratch but I bought my favorite no high fructose corn syrup sauce and added pureed cherries into it.  Basted the ribs over and over again.  They were pretty good.  Then Sunday I made jam.  I like to make my own jam whenever possible.  A few reasons for this is high fructose corn syrup.  As most of you know, HFCS is in everything now.  It is very hard to find jams, preserves and jellies made with sugar.  Even the sugar free kind is made with aspartame, even worse!!  I find some good jams at Cost Plus World Market and also at this barn that sells fresher produce and during the summer local produce.  If given the chance though I like to make my own.  Not only do I make sure it is cane sugar in my jam but I dictate how much, which is usually less than other people use.  So I made some jam.  I didn't can it though because I was just going to use it for my pop tarts.  Which I made today!

I love pop tarts, but hate how horrible the store bought kind are for your health as you might remember, I blogged about it a couple years back.  I even gave you a recipe for them that I got off of Smitten Kitchen's blog.  I made some chocolate ones.  Well this time I made cherry pop tarts.  Not only did I make cherry pop tarts that were so so so so good but they are soy, dairy and egg free!  (I am amazing!)  ;)  If you have been following me I was on a very restrictive diet for the baby and am now able to eat anything.  However, I still am trying to avoid most dairy and like to substitute to make things healthier even more than I did before.  Today I decided to play around with an already fabulous recipe and try to change it.  Here is my new recipe.

Soy, Dairy and Egg Free Pop Tarts

Jam Filling:
3/4 cup jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 tablespoon cold water mixed (TIP: cornstarch and flour mix better with cold water as opposed to hot.)

Put both jam and cornstarch water mixture into pot over medium heat.  Bring to boil and let simmer for a few minutes stirring until thickened.  Turn off heat and let cool.

The jam with the cornstarch before mixing.


2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup Earth's Balance soy free butter substitute (Butter if you don't care about being soy/dairy free)
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with three tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dairy free milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

In a small bowl mix the ground flax seed meal with the 3 tbsp water and let sit.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter substitute or butter cut into small pats.  Mush with hands until dough is crumbly but sticks together when squeezed.  Now add the flax seed meal and milk.  Mix together with a wooden spoon.  If your kitchen is warm place the dough in plastic wrap into the fridge to cool it off.

When ready roll out dough and cut into desired shapes.  I used a small Ikea bowl to make the shape I wanted.  You could do circles or rectangles too.  Place one cut shape onto your lightly greased baking sheet.  Because I was doing egg free, using my finger I dabbed a bit of water all around on the edge of the dough.  Place a dollop or two of jam in the middle.  Place another piece of dough on top and seal the edges together.  Using a fork, poke some holes onto the top to let the steam rise out while baking.  You can crease your edges or not.

Place in fridge and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Once preheated take the pop tarts out and bake for 20 -25 minutes.  Take out and PLEASE wait to bite into one.  It will be soooooo tempting to just take a big bite, but then your mouth will be on fire and you will end up either burning your esophagus, because you swallowed so fast, or spitting out a perfectly good piece of pop tart.  So wait, and then you can enjoy the entire tart.

London, Lucca and I were on our way out the door but had to wait for these babies to get out of the oven.  I grabbed a quick picture of the pop tart finished, super duper hot and on a paper plate in my car.  It's not the most elegant picture of the finished product but if only you could taste through picture you wouldn't care.  :)

London and I enjoyed these and we agreed they tasted like personal cherry pies.  So yummy.  And remember if you only want to bake a few you can freeze the rest, pre-made but not baked, in between wax paper and in a plastic bag.  Then when you want one or two you can take them out of the freezer and place into the oven to bake.  Or bake them all, place them on a plate and watch them disappear faster than it takes you to wash all the dishes and clean the counters off.  Freeze them, they'll last longer.  :)

(Off the topic of pop tarts, tonight for dinner I made pork chops.  I used a red wine as the liquid and some cut up cherries and it came out divine.  One of the many uses for cherries.)

I think I am done blogging about cherries.  What will my next topic be about?  Stay tuned!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Cherry Rhubarb Crisp

First of all we had to take a trip to Target to buy a cherry pitter.  I saw ways I could do it without this handy device but I figured I would spend the $12. on a pitter that got good reviews, OXO brand, since I have so many cherries to pit.  This is the coolest device!  I love a good kitchen gadget and this one works like a charm.  London and I had fun pitting some cherries just to eat this afternoon.  She thought the pitter was "awesome".

For my first cherry recipe I followed a recipe I found on twopeasandtheirpod.com.  I followed it almost exactly except I added vanilla to both the crumble topping and the cherry rhubarb filling.  I can tell you this, the topping is excellent but the filling was too tart for my liking.  (I ate my serving anyways, all of it.)  If I were to make this combination again I would add sugar to the filling.  But I think in a few days I will try a crisp again but only cherry.

The cherry pitter in action.  The only sad part is that it pops out a tiny bit of cherry on the other end that had I put that cherry in my mouth would end up in my tummy instead of the pit jar.  : /

The pit jar, with tiny bits of good yummy cherry in it.

The pitted cherries

Chopped up cherries!

3 cups chopped cherries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small bits
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 375.  Prepare an 8 x 8 pan or similar sized pan.  In one bowl mix cherries, rhubarb, cornstarch and vanilla.  Set aside.  In a new bowl combine oats, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add butter bits and mix by hand until crumbly.  Then add honey and vanilla.   Stir with a wooden spoon.  Pour cherry mixture into pan and then top with oat topping.  Place in oven for about 30 minutes.  Until the top is golden and the cherry rhubarb filling is bubbly red.  :)  Eat warm plain or with ice cream.  We ate it plain.

Finished crisp.  

Like I said before, for me it was tart but London ate it up and said it wasn't tart but perfect.  She can be sweet at times.  Oh and my baby boy is the best!  He is an avid reader at 13 months and will drop any tantrum if you offer him a book.  I'm serious.  So I wanted to bake.  I plopped him down in front of his book collection and kept checking back only to find him in the same position.  Love this baby!

Tomorrow I will make another cherry recipe.  I think it will be another sweet one but I am thinking on Monday we will try a savory cherry recipe.  Hmmmm, did I mention that a few weeks ago I won 10 pounds of organic pork?  Stay tuned!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Raining Cherries!

I am so so lucky to live in Idaho.  (I never in a million years would have thought that statement would have come out of my mouth but it just did.)  When my parents moved to St. Croix in the USVI my Dad told me that in his mind he was going to give it 5 years.  If after that they didn't like it they would move.  At 5 years he liked it and didn't hate it so they decided to give it 5 more years.  After those 10 years he said he was stuck.  He loved it so much he never wanted to move away.  When Patrick and I moved to Idaho he gave me that advice, give it 5 years.  Well we are now on 6 and I would have to say that at year 5 something magical happened.  I realized that I had made friends, discovered places that I love to eat and frequent, we had two children that have friends, well the older one does at least, and I have decided I really like Idaho.  :/  (Still can't believe that is coming out of my mouth!  I'm freaking out a bit as I write this, really!)  Anyways aside from the freak out going on right now, I do, I really like it here.  Part of this is because I've moved to Eagle and into an awesome neighborhood.  We always lived in West Boise.  I liked it okay.  Actually I was pretty miserable.  I was begging Patrick to let us move, hoping he would want to move to an island that has a lot of mosquitos that leave me alone and bite the hell out of him.  At one point he was seriously considering it.  He even interviewed at some jobs and was offered one.  But life changed in a big way and we decided to stay put.  We moved to Eagle and magic happened.  I love it here.  A simple change in scenery and I was hooked.  Eagle is close enough to downtown Boise but far enough away to feel more country.  The downtown is quaint and the library only 10 minutes away by bike.  The neighborhood has lakes and ducks and geese, there is even a resident beaver that they are trying to get rid of but we've been lucky enough to spot it.  London can fish in the lakes, catch and release and we can bike to our hearts content, which is never enough for Lucca.  Even better is that Emmett, Idaho is only 25 minutes away.  What is in Emmett you may ask?  Orchards of course!

Tyler's Rocky Point Orchard in Emmett Idaho
Cherries, Apricots, Apples and Plums
(We will be going back for Apricots.)
Cherries are in season.  In fact the orchard just opened on Wednesday for u-pick cherries.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pay $1.05 per pound for cherries.  (At the store they range from $2.98 - $4.98 per pound.  I know because I bought some two weeks ago and almost fell to the floor when I saw the total.)  So I got London super excited and used the opportunity to re-teach pollination to her.  This helps her to also understand why we should be kind to bees seeing that they help our garden grow.  (Wasps are another story.)  Off we went, leaving the house at 9:30 am to beat the heat and pick some cherries!

A few hours and a picnic later, we were done.  We took our time, Lucca strapped to my back made the picking slow and we both had to stick to the lower branches which was actually just fine for us.  As is the case with most children, London ate more that she picked, well maybe it was a draw.  Either way she had a blast, I had a blast and Lucca enjoyed my back.  No he liked it.   We played peek a boo and stuff like that.

The Cherries were pulling the branches down so far that some were touching the ground.  Easy picking for a 5 year old.

London picking, she either put it in the cup "for Daddy" or ate it.  Not sure which but both are probable.

Trying to get a portrait of Lucca on my back by myself is hard.  London was too busy eating, I mean picking, to help.  (Where did her helping spirit go?!)

At this moment in my extra fridge in the garage, which we were just about to unplug since we've gone through all our organic beef, is twelve, 12!, pounds of cherries.  I guess we picked enough.  I'm not sure yet if we picked enough but I will soon find out.  Tomorrow I am going to buy a cherry pitter and get to work.  What is in the works?  Well you will have to tune in to find out.  I promise I will post more.  I have some things planned and guess what they involve?  You guessed it!  Cherries!!

The cherries in my fridge right now.  (Or course this is not all 12 pounds but a close up so you could be jealous of me being able to grab a handful and eat them if I wanted to, which I do and will when I am done with this blog.  Now.)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Salsa Verde

We have been having a great few weeks here at the Palmer home. Lucca is gaining weight! We are so happy it's contagious. He is barely spitting up as well. Can you say miracle?! He is still spitting but the change is huge. (He went to the store the other day with no bib on and didn't spit up the entire time!)

I am still on my restrictive diet but have come to embrace it, except when I don't feel like cooking and we go out to eat. Most restaurants have few options that I can actually eat and we've even gone somewhere before counting on them having gluten free corn tortillas just to find out they were out. This was after the other food was ordered and being made. I got to come home and eat cereal after watching my family eat super yummy food. That is the extreme though and for the most part I am loving this diet. I feel like I have more energy. I am not hungry between meals and for that reason I am not snacking. I have lost all the baby weight plus some. This has me feeling fabulous!

For the last month I've been trying to perfect my Salsa Verde. I think tomatillos are in season somewhere because there are big boxes of them at my grocery store.

I think I've done it, for now at least. Here is my Salsa Verde recipe, with little to no quantities since I really don't like measuring:

a bunch of tomatillos - try and pick them up individually. It takes more time but if you just grab a bunch you will end up with some moldy ones or some that are almost bad.
one small onion
one clove of garlic
one jalapeno

Preheat your broiler in your oven.
Line a baking tray with foil, for easy cleanup.
Peal the husk off of the tomatillo and cut in half.
Place the tomatillo skin side up on the baking tray.
Dice your onion and place on tray along with the clove of garlic.
Quarter the jalapeno and take out the seeds and veins. (Be very careful to not get the juice in your eye and to wash your hands immediately after or to wear gloves.)Place the pepper on the tray skin side up.

Place the tray in the oven and check back until the tomatillos are browning on the top. I left mind until they were pretty brown on top. (Your kitchen will smell delicious!) I don't know how long this took because I forgot to look at the clock but just keep checking. Remember, with broiling food can burn very quickly so if it looks almost done, don't walk away, stay put and check often.

Take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Now you can blend the ingredients together. (I only used 1/4 of the jalapeno since I am nursing a baby, I have a 4 year old that was going to eat this salsa and my husband is not Mexican.) I used my immersion blender and it worked wonderfully but you could use a regular blender or a food processor to get the job done. Blend until the consistency that you desire.

Now taste and then add salt if you need it. Remember that it is going on food that you might have already salted so don't add too much.

Last night I made my salsa to use on my enchiladas but the last time I made this salsa I used it on pork chops. The nice thing is that you get leftovers to use as dip for chips. YUMMY!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Baby Food Making Time!

Well the little one is now 8 months old. It is a new year and I have yet to blog consistently. I will again soon, promise. :) Right now we are concentrating all our efforts on helping Lucca gain weight and grow. He still is spitting up a whole lot but thankfully he is gaining. Slowly I might add, but any gain is good gain in my opinion. Part of helping him to gain weight was to let go of a goal of mine. I originally wanted to breastfeed exclusively until the little guy was 6 months or even 7. I almost made that goal until he decided to not gain any weight for two weeks. Not a single ounce! So I made the decision a week before his 6 month date to start him on solids and to not take my time with them.

Like most women, I had ideas of what I was going to do with my babies before I even had them. One of those things was to breastfeed. My Mom breastfed both my sister and me, and my sister breastfed her daughter, and now son, before I had my first. I never thought any different, I knew I would breastfeed my daughter the minute I found out I was pregnant. Another thing I knew I would do with my babies was to make their baby food. Again both the prominent women in my life did it so I figured it was normal and just what I was going to do. My Mom used to tell us how she would take along a food mill to restaurants or wherever and just grind us our food right then and there. (No wonder both of us love food and were never really picky eaters.) My sister made her daughters food using a great book which she then passed on to me. I've mentioned it before, it's by Ruth Yaron and called The Super Baby Food Diet, or something along those lines. So when I decided to start Lucca on solids I knew just what I was going to do. Start making food!

Making baby food is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen. It is also one of the most rewarding things you can do in the kitchen. Watching your baby eat fresh, not canned, food that you prepared with love is a great feeling. This mini blog isn't really a cooking recipe or anything like that. Just a little information on how you can easily make your own baby food. The first food, and a staple that he has every night, was avocado. You heard me right! It is one of the best foods for babies. It has so many healthy fats that help babies brains grow smart, and help babies that are trying to gain weight to put on some ounces. :) Seriously, he eats it every single night, HALF an avocado!! (Patrick and I constantly tell each other that if he didn't spit up so much, he would be a sumo wrestler. He loves his food!) With avocado, just buy a ripe one and mash it with a fork. Add breastmilk or water to make it not so thick and voila! Baby food!!

For most foods you would steam the vegetable until soft and then puree in the blender. Adding the steaming liquid to thin it out. After I puree the vegetable or fruit I then place into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen I pop out the cubes of food into a labeled freezer bag and there you go. Individual cubes of food. Depending on age and likes they can eat just one cube or two or more. Most of the time Lucca eats two, I tell you he would be fat if we could just put a plug in him!! (I wish it were that simple, I really really do.)

Here is a picture of my freezer today. (Not in order, Squash, Papaya, Prunes, Pears, Apples, Green Beans, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes.) He's got some fresh spinach in the fridge too. Yummy. What baby would love to taste fresh homemade foods!!

NEVER add sweetener, not even fruit juice. NEVER add salt or spices. Let your baby taste it for what it is. Their tongue doesn't need to be trained to need sweets or salt. Let them try it the way it is supposed to be tasted.

NEVER assume baby doesn't like it. ALWAYS keep trying. One bit of advice my Mom gave us is to never say anything negative about food in front of a baby or little one. (For example if you don't like green beans don't offer that information up, just smile and tell your little one how yummy it is. And force yourself to eat a bit of it too, it whole form.) This advice has been great! I think it's the best thing you can do for your kids. Give them no judgement but their own. Let them decide what they like or don't like. But remember, just because they might not want it one night doesn't mean they won't like it or want it the next.

On another note, I got to participate in the Target Nurse-In!! (This is where breastfeeding moms get to band together and go nurse in public at a location that was not tolerant or kind to a fellow breastfeeding mom.) I have wanted to participate in a nurse-in since London was born but have never had the opportunity. I ended up being the only one at my location but let me tell you how great it felt to know that I, along with thousands of other moms, were at Target last Wednesday nursing our babies to send a message. Nursing in Public is perfectly acceptable with or with out a cover! I have nursed both my babies everywhere and have never thought twice about it. (I thank my sister for that courage. She knows what I'm talking about. I used to be uneducated on that topic but she set me straight!) I took along London and she got to learn how important the topic is just by seeing Mommy stand up for what she believes in. She even took this picture of me.

What a great little girl. (So great in fact, that today she nursed the doll at the Chiropractors office while we were waiting for our turn. Lifted up her shirt, found her nipple and placed that doll on! YEAH for nursing in public!)