Taco Soup

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I love this taco soup recipe, because its literally fool proof! I suggest using your own homemade seasonings, instead of packets. (They are full of MSG and sodium!) This is something I can make in a pinch, because I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry. A little too spicy for baby right now, but I’m sure she’ll love it in the future! (Or just use a mild taco seasoning!) Today I used a pre packaged ranch mix, but used my own taco seasoning. Here’s the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/ Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1- 15oz can Ro-Tel
1- 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cups water

Add a small amount of olive oil to your soup pot. Cook onions and garlic, then add ground beef. Brown and drain excess fat.

Rinse corn and black beans under water in a colander. (This will help cut down the sodium in this recipe!) Add all your ingredients into the soup pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla strips! (A dash of lime would be a great addition.) This is a super quick and easy dinner that’s FULL of flavor!

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Veggie Orzo

This recipe is soooo simple, and soooo good. I can’t stop eating it. It’s supposed to be making it into my freezer molds, and yet it keeps ending up in my mouth. So good for baby, but also a quick and easy side for mom and dad. (To be honest, I’d eat this for lunch or dinner on its own!)

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Ingredients

1/4 lb orzo
32 oz low sodium veggie or chicken stock
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
2/3 cup broccoli, diced
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Season your diced veg, toss in a large sauté pan along with your orzo. Cover veg and orzo with stock. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on medium/low for 15 minutes. Drain mixture. Add butter to the pan and melt. Remove from heat, and add veggie orzo back in the pan. Toss with Parmesan cheese till melted and serve!

I’d say this yields about 6 servings. I fed one to Scarlett, froze 4, and pretty much one whole serving myself while tossing lol. Enjoy!

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– Stephanie

Zucchini Parmesan Fritatta

Baby an I are both eating this one for lunch. Yum!

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Ingredients

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 small cooking onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium zucchini (2/3 cup) thinly sliced
1 medium/large tomato, skinned deseeded and chopped
5 largeeggs
1 Tbsp heavy cream
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a 9 inch, nonstick frying pan. Add onion and zucchini, season, and cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium/low. Add tomatoes and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Beat eggs with cream and 1 Tbsp of Parmesan. Season. Pour over veggies and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. (Or until the eggs are set underneath.) Preheat your broiler on high.

Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over frittata and cook briefly until the broiler until golden. (If necessary, wrap your pan handle in foil to prevent burning.) Cut into wedges and serve hot or cold! I’d say its about 6 servings. Great recipe for a family brunch! Everyone can enjoy this frittata.

You can do many variations with a frittata. Try meats, potatoes, cheeses…etc. Holds up great in the fridge! Enjoy 🙂

– Stephanie

Cha Cha Chicken

Scarlett could not get enough of this tonight! Super yummy, with a hint of sweet. (Thanks to the apples!) Could totally eat a “big people” version of this myself lol. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
2 medium (1 cup) carrots, peeled and sliced on the thinner side (you can also chop or dice!)
1/2 sweet apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock

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Heat the butter in a pan, then add onions.

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Saute for about 3 minutes, then add chicken. Cook chicken till it turns opaque, then add in your carrots.

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Cook for about 2 minutes longer, then add apples and chicken stock. Bring everything to a boil, cover and cook on medium for about 15 minutes.

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This is freezer friendly, and makes around 2 servings. Can be blended or puréed for younger babies!

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Adapted from Annabel Karmel’s “Fruity Chicken with Carrots”, First Foods, Original Edition

Quick Vanilla Buttercream

Scarlett will be turning 1 on the 29th, so of course, it’s time for cake smash pictures! Made a mini cake last night for the occasion! Here’s the recipe I used for her buttercream frosting. Super easy and super delicious! Will post her pics as soon as I get them!

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Ingredients

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk if needed for spreading consistency.

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I made a mini cake, so I halved this recipe and it was plenty. Follow this recipe, as is, to frost a regular sized cake!

Recipe adapted from Gale Gand’s “Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting”, The Food Network

Yogurt Pancakes

Tried this yogurt pancake recipe this morning…not quite sure how the texture is supposed to be. I have never made a yogurt pancake before! They were somewhat doughy in the center, but that could be from the yogurt. Either way, Scarlett gobbled them up! Will most likely try some tweaking at a later time. Let me know if you try this recipe and get a different result!

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I had a yummy pumpkin muffin from Great Harvest Bread Co. for breakfast! Enjoyed this tasty treat while working on Scarlett’s pancakes.

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Ingredients

1 egg, lightly beaten
2⁄3 cup mild, full-fat natural yogurt
2⁄3 cup milk
11⁄4 cups self-raising flour
1⁄4 tsp salt or 2 tbsp maple syrup (for a sweeter version)
vegetable oil for frying

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Here’s my batter after mixing all the ingredients:

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I wasn’t super precise with my measuring, which could have played a part in the odd texture. (Also, I see in later instructions that I should “flatten slightly with a spatula”…my batter was too liquid for that.)

Heat a little oil in a frying pan until sizzling hot. Drop heaped tablespoons of batter into the pan, leaving plenty of space around each one, and flatten slightly with a spatula.

(Here’s some frying in more oil…)

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(And here’s some frying in less oil…)

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They should spread to about 6cm (2 1/2in) across. Cook for 1–2 minutes until lightly browned, then turn and cook for a further 1–2 minutes until browned on the other side and set in the center.

Drizzle maple syrup over the pancakes and serve sprinkled with fruit.

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I froze these in packs of four. Just layered plastic wrap between them and then put them in sandwich baggy! Reheat in the toaster!

– Stephanie

Yogurt Pancakes, recipe by Annabel Karmel, First Food Original Edition

Breakfast Bananas

Good morning! Decided to try this scrumptious banana recipe for Scarlett. Super easy, and man did it sure look tasty! You could also substitute apples for an extra special apple pie-esque treat! Needless to say, Scarlett ate every last drop!

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp butter
1 small banana, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp of REAL maple syrup (I used a dark amber syrup)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

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Melt your butter in a saucepan and add your sliced bananas.

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Sauté for about a minute, then add your maple syrup and cinnamon. Sauté for a minute more, and you’re done!

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I spoon fed this to my daughter. Could be a finger food, but she’s a but finicky when it’s comes to sticky stuff. Added a chopped strawberry for even more yummy!

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Also served it with some toast and cream cheese. Now that’s breakfast!

Ps…you can always purée for younger babies! What a treat 🙂

– Stephanie

Mac N Cheese (the blue box rebellion)

I have never been a fan of a certain blue box (who shall remain nameless), neon orange mac n cheese. Even when I was a kid, it just wasn’t my thing. I’ve tried a lot of mac n cheese over the years, but nothing tastes as good as homemade. It may take a little extra effort, but in my opinion, it’s totally worth it!

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Ingredients

1/4 pound soft cooked pasta (elbow, rotini, shells etc…)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon flour

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Topping

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs
pinch of paprika

Cook your pasta according to the package directions. (Don’t forget to salt the water!) Drain and pour into a square casserole dish.

In a saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat. Slowly add in flour and whisk, to make a roux. (Get all those lumps out!) Add milk to the roux slowly, whisking constantly. Slowly bring to a boil, then turn heat to low. Add in cheeses and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce thickens. Pour over your pasta and stir to coat!

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After you have made your sauce, melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown.

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Spread over the macaroni and cheese and sprinkle with a little paprika.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Voila! Cheesy goodness!

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I love this recipe, because it’s something the whole family can enjoy! (Makes about 4 servings.) If your baby is not quite to the pasta stage yet, leave out the breadcrumbs, and pulse a few times in the blender. A chunky purée is a great way to get them used to new textures!

-Stephanie

Surf’s Up Chicken Salad

I originally intended to make this dish for my daughter, but ended up loving it so much, that it also made it’s way into my adult lunch repertoire! (Add a little extra salt and seasoning if making it for yourself.) Fresh, quick and healthy. Doesn’t get much better than this!

Ingredients

1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and chopped into bite size pieces (Leftover rotisserie chicken works great too!)
1/2 – 1 medium tomato, deseeded and chopped
1/2 – 1 full avocado (Depends on the size, I usually use I medium or 1/2 large)
1-2 Tbsp of mild, full fat all natural (preferably organic) yogurt
2 Tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese

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Chop up all your ingredients, and mix in a bowl with the cheddar and yogurt. (You can always leave the cheddar out if your baby is not a huge fan!)

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And…that’s it. Told ya it was easy!

I put less yogurt in this when serving more as a “finger food”, I go with more if I’m slapping it between two pieces of bread. Same goes for the amount of each ingredient. I put a rough estimate of what I usually throw in the bowl 😉 ! If you like less tomato, use less. Want more avocado? Go for it! Whatever you prefer! This also makes a great blender meal for the younger crowd. (Just make sure to skin the tomatoes.)

This is not a freezer friendly meal, but it’s so good, there won’t be any leftovers!

– Stephanie

Adapted from Annabel Karmel’s California Chicken recipe, First Meals Original Edition

A little about myself

Hi everyone, my name is Stephanie, and I made the decision today to start my own food blog! My main focus will be on baby and toddler meals, but I’m sure I will throw in a few “big people” recipes every now and again 🙂

I’m a first time mom, and nanny by trade. I am so blessed to have been given such a wonderful and beautiful daughter! Her name is Scarlett Rose, and she’s our everything!

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My food journey began not too long ago. I’ve always been very interested in cooking, and of course, love to eat!

I decided that cooking healthy, homemade meals for my daughter (and husband!) was a path I really wanted to take. Scarlett is 11 months old right now, and I am having a great time trying new and fun recipes, specifically catered to her age and development. I focus on fresh, natural ingredients, and try to go organic as much as possible. I’m also a nursing mommy! We are in the process of starting to wean, so milk is on the horizon!

Please enjoy my blog. I will try to update and add recipes a few times a week. As any mom will tell you, there are days I barely make it to bed! Thanks for visiting, and please feel free to leave some feedback!

Sincerely,
Stephanie

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