Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby's Stock

This is such a great recipe to make for your little one because you can use it alone or as an ingredient in so many other baby recipes (to follow!). The veggies can really be your choice, just be sure that at least 2 out of the 3 you pick, you've already introduced to your baby. Mix it up, you can add leek, or squash and even add some tasty herbs like basil or chives. Your baby may even like this in a bottle as a substitute for water, and get all the nutrients from the veggies at the same time!

Makes about 2 cups

6 spears of asparagus
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks (1 cup)
1 zucchini (1 cup)

Put 4 cups of cold water in a medium pot. Add asparagus, sweet potato and zucchini and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cover pot. Simmer until vegetables are very soft and cooking liquid is light flavored and colored, about 1 hour.

Strain the broth, reserving veggies. Save them and puree for another tasty dinner! Serve stock lukewarm or cooled in a bottle or sippy cup or use in other recipes.
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Baby's Oatmeal

I love having this in the fridge for Jules so she and daddy can have their oatmeal together in the's seriously the cutest. She loves to feed herself (we almost never use a baby spoon with her anymore!) and this is thick enough that she can grab chunks of it off of her high chair tray. I love introducing new spices and flavors to her, like the cinnamon and vanilla in this oatmeal.

Makes about 2 cups

Baby's Oatmeal

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine 2 cups of water, cinnamon and vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in oats.
When mixture begins to simmer, cover, turn off heat and let stand until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Serve with breast milk, formula or throw in some of your own add-ins. Jules loves mashed bananas in hers!

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Ahhh...Chocolate Cherry Cake...the easiest, most delicious cake you will ever eat! You are basically jazzing up a cake mix from a box, although it will taste like it took you hours. This past birthday (because it's a staple on birthdays!), my sister was visiting and we made this cake. We devoured it in a weekend's time...ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! This cake is very moist and will stay for days in the fridge. A tip about the milk for the icing...I've used everything from skim milk to heavy cream depending on what I had in my fridge. They all work just fine, it will just depend on how thick you want your icing. Obviously, the thicker the milk or cream, the denser your icing!

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 box of Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs, beaten

Combine the ingredients by hand and pour into a greased 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool before adding icing.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk or cream
5 tablepoons butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix first 3 ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chocolate chips, stir until melted. Pour over cooled cake.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Basic Pizza Dough

I love making my own pizza dough...not only is it super simple, but it's so good.  This will make two balls of dough, each one big enough for a pizza, calzone, stromboli...whatever your preference.  

There are so many recipes out there for pizza dough, but this one is by far the best that I've tried.  Just a few ingredients, about 10 minutes of your time (minus the waiting for the dough to rise) and you're good to go!  Also, I also use the fast rising yeast, one less thing you have to wait for (see notes if using regular yeast).  I've made some pretty fabulous pizzas and strombolis with this dough...those recipes to follow...

Makes 2 dough balls (about 1 pound each)

Basic Pizza Dough 

1 package of Fast Rising Yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)*
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/4 cups bread flour (approximately - add more a couple of tablespoons at a time if dough is too sticky)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar.  Add water and olive oil and mix.  Continue mixing the dough with the dough hook until it completely pulls apart from the sides, about 5 minutes.  Lift the dough out, spray the bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place dough back in bowl, turning to coat the surface.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.  Place on cutting board or baking sheet and cover again with towel, let rest for 30 minutes.  If you are not going to use both, wrap one in plastic wrap and put in fridge for no more than 3 days.  If you want to freeze it, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.  Place in the fridge the night before you want to use it and let come to room temperature before using that day.

* If using regular (not fast rising) yeast, dissolve the packet into 1/4 cup of the warm water and add the tablespoon of sugar.  I do this right in the bowl I'm going to use to mix the dough.  Let sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture foams and doubles in volume.  Then add all of the remaining ingredients, mix and knead as directed above.

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Black Plums for Baby

I've said this before, but plums are a favorite fruit of mine, so I pretty much always have them around. Jules really enjoyed this, too! After I steamed them, they really just fell apart enough for me to mash them up with a fork. And, if your babe is not ready for chunks, puree your cooked plums in your food processor.

Makes about 1 cup

Cut 2 plums into quarters and remove pit. Add about 1/2 inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; add plums and tightly cover. Steam for about 5 minutes, until they are very tender and drain if necessary. The skins should peel right off, make sure to remove before pureeing or mashing with a fork.

Will keep in your fridge for 3-4 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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