Monday, December 26, 2011

And the Food Processor Winner is…

A fellow Reece’s Rainbow Warrior and very deserving sweetheart! Justine Hood Foster Smile.  I am very excited that she is our winner.

food processor winner

So please ma’am contact me through Facebook and let me know your color preferences and mailing address!

Kelly and I want to thank every one of our readers and nonreaders who opened their hearts and wallets to help out the least of these.  We are truly grateful.  We know that it won’t be long before the money that you gave will help Kai’s family bring him home.

Thank you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Basic Spinach Puree

When Little Joy was around 12 months, I started looking for anything and everything I could make that was iron rich.  Since she was not formula fed, by the time she was 12 months her iron levels were slightly low.  Spinach was a obvious solution, but as I read about spinach I had no idea it was not only iron rich but also calcium and vitamin A rich too!  Basic Spinach Puree is super easy!!!

NITRATE WARNING:  Homemade spinach should be used in moderation before the 8 months of age.  And DO NOT USE ANY WATER used in cooking the spinach to thin your puree.

  • Spinach (washed, long stems removed and damaged leaves removed)
Steps using a steamer:
  1. Place spinach in steamer
  2. Steam for 15 minutes
  3. Allow to cool slightly
  4. Remove from steamer and place in pureeing device
  5. Puree to desired consistency adding fresh water or breast milk to thin as needed
  6. Serve warm
  7. Freeze using cube method or refrigerate  
Steps without a steamer:
  1. Steam in a pot with a steamer basket insert (water should just peek through the holes of the basket).
  2. Leaves will shrink and appear wilted when done.
  3. Remove from pot and place in pureeing device
  4. Puree to desired consistency adding fresh water or breast milk to thin as needed
  5. Serve warm
  6. Freeze using cube method or refrigerate  
Storage:  Using freezer cube method 1-2 months; refrigerator 2-3 days

Timing:  8 months

Difficulty:  1 out of 5

Epicutie Rating:  Little Joy never had plain spinach puree, but when Epicutie Asher tries it, we will review it!!

Green Eggs

Little Joy LOVES Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" so when I noticed Jessica Seinfeld had a recipe for green eggs I knew we must try it.  The recipe that follows is inspired by the recipe and book!

  • Olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 oz spinach puree
  • 1/8-1/4 cup milk
  • Grated Parmesan 
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in small skillet on medium-low
  2. Meanwhile, beat eggs, spinach, milk and salt and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl.  Use as much milk as you need to make the eggs as fluffy (or not) as you want; this is a matter of preference.
  3. Pour egg mixture in hot skillet.
  4. Scramble eggs until cooked through
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with desired amount of Parmesan cheese
  6. Serve warm with toast
Yield:  This made enough for myself and Little Joy

Storage:  I do not recommend keeping this as a leftover.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5; super easy if the spinach puree is made ahead.  This is about a 5-10 minute breakfast!

Miscellaneous:  Fun activity idea---read Green Eggs and Ham while you enjoy your very own GREEN EGGS!

Epicutie Rating:  Yummy In the Tummy---see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy LOVED this the first time she had it, but the second go round it was just "ok".  She tends to have a love/hate relationship with eggs.  She eats them, but really just wants the toast that always comes with it.

Also, don’t forget about our fundraiser for Kai!  For a donation of ANY AMOUNT (even $1), you can be entered to win a 13 cup Kitchen Aid Processor!  For details, click here:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lisa’s Pizza (Dough)

Most pizzas are all about the toppings!  This recipe, however is all about the dough.  This is a fun, unusual recipe that you will love.  I don’t know where it came from other than my mama.  She used to make it for me when I was a kid, and yesterday I pulled it out again… I don’t know how I forgot about it for so long because I think this will become a new old favorite!


  • 3 cups of flour                        
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt                          
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil                 
  • 1 cup tomato juice (warm)
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper                
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Tomato/marinara/pizza sauce of choice
  • Cheese of choice, I use mozzarella
  • Toppings of choice


  1. Stir sugar and yeast into warmed tomato juice and place in warm, draft free place for
    5 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, salt, basil and pepper in a bowl. 
  3. Combine olive oil with tomato juice mixture and stir into flour mixture.
  4. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes).
  5. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place to double its size (about 1
  6. Punch down and pat into a greased 12 inch deep dish pizza pan.
  7. Let rise for about 30 more minutes covered with a towel in a warm place. 
  8. Preheat oven to 475 F.
  9. Brush pizza lightly with olive oil. 018 (640x425)
  10. Top as desired. 020 (640x425)
  11. Place pizza on bottom rack of oven and bake for 5 minutes.
  12. Lower the temp of your over to 400 F and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden.025 (640x425)

Timing: Because of the cayenne pepper crust, I would wait until 1 year to introduce.

Difficulty: 3 out of 5, its not that hard, but I am always nervous about how much the dough “rises”.


  • You can also make this with whole wheat flour without sacrificing flavor, but you must make it with a little less flour.  I recommend first making it with white flour so that you have an idea of the dough’s consistency.
  • It is very important that you put the dough in a WARM place.  I put mine on the radiator.
  • I make this on a baking stone, not a deep dish pizza pan, and it works fine.
  • I also find that it does not need to cook quite as long as the instructions say, but I know that each oven is different.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy! ----See right side of the page for descriptions

She gobbled it right up that day and the next! Hooray.

028 (640x425)031 (640x425)032 (640x425)

Also, don’t forget about our fundraiser for Kai!  For a donation of ANY AMOUNT (even $1), you can be entered to win a 13 cup Kitchen Aid Processor!  For details, click here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How I Do It: Cooking

I am really intrigued by the “How I Do It” series that the Chronicles of a Babywise Mom is doing over on her blog.  One of the reasons why Kelly and I started LTY was so that Mommies could share their experiences and their recipes.  I am going to share how I do it, cooking wise that is, and I would LOVE it if you could share how YOU do it in the comments below!

I would also like to add that I only have one 19 month old at home and I live within walking distance to a good grocery store.  This going to look differently for every person depending on how many kids you have, their ages and where you live.  I am definitely hoping to hear from Kelly how she does it with a newborn and an under 2 year old, when she gets finished with her rest period after the birth of Epicutie Asher! It will help me know what I will be facing when my time comes.

Our Routine – we eat at approximately these times everyday

  • Breakfast – 8 to 9
  • Lunch – 11 to 12
  • Snack – 3:30 to 4
  • Dinner – 6 to 7

***In case you can’t tell, Little Frances is a SLOW eater!

General Tips:

  • Like the Babywise Mom, I keep breakfast and lunch simple and dinner is my time to experiment and cook big meals.  Even at dinner, I would not call myself an adventurous cook!  I don’t like big messes or having a lot of half ingredients that I have to remember to use later or else they will go bad.
  • Even though Little Frances is way past the phase where she needs purees there are still a few that I keep on hand to give her as a side, especially carrot and butternut squash.  I still use a lot of purees in my cooking, in case you can’t tell!
  • I have also been occasionally buying the fruit mix of a European organic baby food – where I live, good fruit in the winter time besides oranges can be hard to come by (even bananas and apples!) or extremely expensive when I do find it.  Little Frances loves this chilled! Even with that said, I have been realizing that I need to challenge myself and Little Frances to try new fruits or go and look a little harder for them.
  • I live about a 5 minute walk from the best grocery store in town, and as a result, I don’t usually need to do much planning ahead.  I usually decide what to do for dinner in the morning and I stop by and pick up the ingredients on my morning walk with Little Frances.
  • Little Frances doesn’t seem to mind it when I mix up my list of compatible foods. However, I still try to keep the foods compatible – for example, I don’t like to give Little Frances veggies with peanut butter and jelly because to me, those just don’t seem to go together.  Sometimes its necessary though when you are getting to an empty pantry.

Breakfast is usually one of the following options, drink options in parenthesis:

  • Oatmeal cooked in whole milk, sweetened with a mashed ripe banana (water)
  • A baby omelet with carrot/spinach/cauliflower puree and cheese (orange juice)
  • Yogurt with a banana or other fruit (water)
  • French toast with butternut squash (milk)
  • Banana bread or zucchini bread with fruit or yogurt (milk)

Lunch is usually one of the following options:

  • Leftovers from the night before
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with small yogurt, raisins and apple (milk)
  • Grilled cheese sandwich with butternut squash, pureed carrots and fruit (water)
  • Lunch meat and cheese, crackers, fruit and raisins (water)


  • A small or half milkshake with crackers or baby cookies
  • Banana and crackers or baby cookies (milk)
  • Cheese and crackers (juice mixed with water)
  • Banana bread or zucchini bread (milk)


  • Anything from the LTY’s “family food” option!
  • I am a huge fan of the Jessica Seinfeld cookbooks, the recipes are healthy and simple without a ton of ingredients.
  • I usually have Little Frances “cook” with me.  She gets a couple of bowls mixed with raisins and goldfish crackers and a wooden spoon, sometimes I use uncooked elbow macaroni.  That keeps her busy so that I can cook!

You can read about The Babywise Mom’s “How I Do It: Meals” HERE.

Please share! I would love some tips.

Also, don’t forget about our fundraiser for Kai!  For a donation of ANY AMOUNT (even $1), you can be entered to win a 13 cup Kitchen Aid Processor!  For details, click here:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ground Chicken Mini-Pizza Burgers

I cannot remember how I came across this recipe (with modifications), but it met all my criteria for a good meal – healthy, not too many ingredients, and easy for little ones to self feed with, so I thought I would give it a try!  And as a BONUS, it’s a combo of two of Little Frances’ favorite foods – pizza and hamburger.


  • 1 pound ground chicken (although any ground meat will work)
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of marinara or pizza sauce of your choice (divided into two 1/2 cup portions)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 3 dashes black pepper
  • 2 dashes garlic salt OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I used garlic salt)


  1. Pour 1/2 cup pizza sauce in bowl and combine with bread crumbs, cheese, pepper, garlic salt or powder and Italian seasoning.107 (640x425)
  2. Add ground chicken and mash together for 2-4 minutes to insure that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. 106 (640x425)
  3. Spoon mixture into a 12 serving muffin tin.
  4. Make an indentation into each pizza-burger with the back of a spoon..
  5. Use the remaining pizza sauce to evenly fill the dents in the pizza-burgers.110 (640x425)
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees; cheese and sauce will be bubbly.
  7. Remove pizza-burgers from the muffin pan and set on a paper towel to let any fat drip off.102 (2) (640x425)

Yield: 12 pizza-burgers

Timing: This one is tricky.  According to some baby food makers, all of the ingredients can be introduced as early as 9 months, however with all of the spices, I would not have given it to little Frances until she was 12 months so I will mark it as both below and you should use your best judgment.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5, easy peasy, especially if using premade marinara sauce.


  • I made my own bread crumbs by putting brown bread into a chopper.  I have to do this with any recipe that calls for bread crumbs since you cannot buy them where I live.  Usually I season them with Italian Seasoning, but as this recipe already had a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning. I didn’t do it.
  • In addition, I thought that the recipe as is, called for too much Italian Seasoning so I only used half a tablespoon.  I find a little bit of it goes a very long way.
  • The next time I make this recipe, I am going to add 1/2 cup butternut squash to the mixture along with 1/4 cup milled flaxseed.  I bet it would be just as good and be even healthier!
  • I also have not found a bottled marinara or pizza sauce that I like where I live so I always just make my own.  Its so easy!  Just put a 26 oz jar whole, peeled tomatoes in a blender with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup carrot puree (optional), 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne powder and blend.  Then add 1 bay leaf and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.  Its super easy. For this recipe I just skipped the bay leaf and didn’t cook it because I knew that it would cook for a while in the oven.101 (640x425)

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat Yummy --- See right side of the page for description

I think Little Frances would like this better if served first thing.  She is usually not as receptive to new foods when she has a tummy full of foods she already likes, although the first couple of bites she seemed to like it.

Also, don’t forget about our fundraiser for Kai!  For a donation of ANY AMOUNT (even $1), you can be entered to win a 13 cup Kitchen Aid Processor!  For details, click here:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Roasted Vegetable and Red Lentil Soup

As you may have read from a few posts ago, we welcomed epicutie Asher to the world about 3 weeks ago.  Friends (some people we knew, some people we did not know) blessed with dinners for the past few weeks.  While there were many dishes that we loved, I wanted to highlight this one brought to us by Rachel.  Epicuite Joy was I-N L-O-V-E with this dish, as was I!!  I am posting this before I personally make this dish, but it was too good not to share now.  I will try to make it with a few of my own alterations when I am back into the swing of cooking as a good Little Tummy Yummies author should.

  • Approximately 4.5 pounds of your choice of vegetables (red onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips, carrots etc.; Rachel used butternut squash, sweet potatoes, red onion, carrots and a bit of tomato)
  • half a head of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chermoula spice mix (OR Rachel did a combination of cumin, tumeric, and paprika adding up to 2 tablespoons)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 6 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup red lentils

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Peel and cut all the vegetables into even cubes. Place in a large bowl with the olive oil, spice mix, salt and pepper then combine.
  3. Pour into a roasting tin and roast slowly for an hour or two until tender. Turn them from time to time. You don’t want the vegetables to brown and go crisp.
  4. Puree or mash up veggies slightly (depending on what texture soup you want).
  5. Pour into a big pot
  6. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  7. Add red lentil and bring the soup back up to the boil then let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked/tender.
  8. Serve warm.
Timing:  I think this could be served as early as 9 months depending on how much you puree the veggies.  This does not require teeth.  Use your judgement and remember to always introduce foods individually first.

Serve:  We ate this along side a salad and bread.  Little Joy enjoyed the soup along side some turkey loaf (my go to), although this soup could stand alone for a little one.

Potential Alterations in the Future:  When I make it, I will try adding some red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.  I had a friend, who is a great cook, suggested always adding these two ingredients to lentil soups.

Epicutie Rating:  YUMMY IN THE TUMMY--see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy ate THREE kid sized bowl fulls and she even fed herself!!!  Although it was messy, it was wonderful to see her scarfing this down!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Fries

Who doesn’t love fries???  I know I certainly do!  And I love butternut squash, so this recipe is a win-win for me, its so good.  This is a great side to almost any meal, although we have a great suggestion to pair it with below.  Its also one of the earliest finger foods that you can start your baby on!


  • butternut squash
  • seasoning of choice, such as salt, season-all, or my personal favorite, Tony Chachere’s


  1. Peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler.Old Photos 100 (640x425)
  2. Slice the squash into fry form. For the bulb part, make sure to scoop out the seeds.Old Photos 106 (640x425)
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and lay the squash pieces as a single layer.Old Photos 107 (640x425)
  4. If your baby is very young (at least, less than 8 months), set aside a bit of the unseasoned butternut squash, and season the rest for your family.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning the fries over at the halfway point.

Timing: Without seasoning, this can be introduced as early as 6 months.

Meal Suggestions: Consider pairing with salmon, which is so easy to make!  Simply sprinkle the salmon with the seasoning of your choice, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Timing of fish introduction varies, but I started Little Frances on salmon at 9 months.  Click HERE to gather more information to make your decision.

Old Photos 113 (640x425)Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy --- See right side of the page for descriptions

Little Frances loves these two together!

Also, don’t forget about our Fundraiser/Giveaway. For a donation of ANY AMOUNT (even $1), you can be entered to win a 13 cup Kitchen Aid Processor!  For details, click here:

Friday, November 11, 2011

CRAZY about Cauliflower


Cauliflower, like butternut squash, is something that I had never made before I started making my own baby food.  And also, like butternut squash, its has become a staple in our house.  It has a great mild flavor, and tastes great as a puree mixture or just steamed with some season all.

Cauliflower is jam packed with vitamin C, and is also a great source of Vitamin K, folate, and dietary fiber, and its also very low in calories for the mama’s out there trying to lose that baby weight!

Because cauliflower is so mild is flavor; it blends well in other foods without even tasting it.  I primarily give it to Little Frances in the following foods:


  • 1 cauliflower, you can also use frozen cauliflower florets


  • Cut the florets from the base of the cauliflower.
  • Steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender.  If frozen, steam for approximately 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Puree in a food processor or blender, add water as needed to help it blend.
  • Store in baby food jars (approximately 1/2 cup per jar) or ice cube trays (approximately 1 oz per cub).

Yield: 1 cauliflower will yield approximately 2 1/2 cups of puree or 20 oz.

Timing: Wholesome Baby Food recommends that you introduce this at 8 months although you may introduce it earlier.  It can cause gas in some babies with sensitive tummies.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5

Epicutie Rating: Confused. ---See right side of the page for descriptions. Little Frances will usually eat a few bites of this, but she definitely prefers it blended with other foods.

And if while you are making this, you think… hrmmm, it would sure be nice to have a Fancy Kitchen Aid food processor to help me when making all of this yummy cauliflower puree!  Well you have a chance to win one!

For a donation of ANY AMOUNT (even $1), you can be entered to win a 13 cup Kitchen Aid Processor!  For details, click here:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Help Kai and Win a 13 Cup Kitchen Aid Food Processor

We at Little Tummy Yummies have decided to partner with a very special organization called Reece’s Rainbow that helps special needs children in foreign countries find their way to their forever families, often in the US and Canada.

We have been asked to help raise the funds to bring one precious little boy home!  Isn’t he adorable? His name is Kai, and we are proud to be his Christmas Warriors.


Look at that precious face!  Doesn’t he deserve a home and family to love him?

These children live in terrible conditions in their home countries, and God is raising families up from all over the US and Canada for these precious kiddos.  The only thing standing between them and their forever families is MONEY. International adoption is very expensive, often $25k+.

We are setting a goal for $10,000.  I have been told that this is the tipping point that nudges families who were on the fence because of the expense, to trust that God will provide the rest of the money and take the step towards adoption.

Ok, this is the Fundraiser Giveaway for Kai.  If you donate ANY AMOUNT to his fund through Reece’s Rainbow, even just a dollar, you can be entered into a drawing for a NEW 13 Cup Kitchen Aid Food Processor in the color of your choice! They’re so pretty y’all.


Here’s how you do it:

  • For your FIRST entry, Click on the link on the right of our blog and donate to Kai’s fund through Reece’s Rainbow.
  • Then leave a message below stating “I have donated money for Kai” WITH YOUR NAME. You do NOT have to be a follower of this blog, just enter the comment as an anonymous person with your name inside the comment and if you are comfortable, your email address.

Its that simple!  On Christmas day, I will do a drawing and announce a winner.  The winner must then contact me, and I will have the Food Processor shipped to them.

But there’s MORE, you can earn additional entries in order to win the Food Processor.

Here’s how you do it:

Second Entry

  • For your SECOND entry, If you have donated, please do a blog post on your own blog promoting the fundraiser with a link back to my blog.
  • Then, leave a message on this blog post stating “I blogged about Kai’s fundraiser” along with a link to the blog post.

Third Entry

  • For your THIRD entry, if you have donated, Like our Facebook page “A Family for Kai” - And then share it on a Facebook status update with the AFamilyForKai page tagged in your status.
  • Then, leave a message on this blog post stating “I shared about Kai’s fundraiser on my Facebook page”.

Fourth Entry

  • For your FOURTH entry, if you have donated and if you are a Tweeter (I am not), share this blog post on your Tweets.
  • Then, leave a message on this blog post stating “I tweeted about Kai’s Fundraiser” with your Twitter ID.

Fifth Entry

  • For your FIFTH entry, if you have donated, become a follower of this blog.
  • Then, leave a comment on this blog post stating “I am a follower now”.

Even if you cannot donate, please consider sharing about the fundraiser on your blog, Twitter or Facebook, however, please do not enter to win the Food Processor.

Some entry rules:

  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry.
  • You don't have to do all five entries, but you must do the FIRST one to enter. I will know if you have donated or not, although I will not know the amount.
  • One entry per comment.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. I will check.
  • Entries will be accepted until Saturday, December 24th.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at
  • The winner will be announced here on the blog on Monday, December 26th.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Monday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have two weeks to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!
  • US Shipping addresses only please.

Thank you thank you thank you!

Oh, and PS.  If you donated money, feel free to hop over to my personal blog for the chance to win a 32 GB iPad 2, found HERE!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Meet Epicutie Asher!

Baby Manna is a BOY!

2011-10-29 09.05.21_Alexandria_Virginia_US


Caleb Asher arrived on October 27th, 2011 and he’s a BIG one, just like Mama Kelly wanted Smile.

His stats:

  • Time of Birth: 8:55 pm
  • Length: 21.25 inches
  • Weight: 9 lbs 6.7 oz

We are rejoicing at LTY over the healthy mom and baby, especially Epicutie Joy, who is crazy over her little baby brother.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

7 Grain Bread

Yet another recipe submitted by my friend Heather.  I give the bread SHE made a 5 of 5 stars, but mine was not nearly as good!  I do not have a bread maker so it takes several attempts at making the bread from scratch to get it right so I am posting this recipe exactly how she sent it to me (using the bread machine).  My family and friends still enjoyed the bread, but it was really dense and did not rise well; the flavor was still there though!


  • 1 1/3 c water
  • 1/2 c Grape Nuts or other 7 grain cereal, like Kashi
  • 1/2 c rolled oats, blended finely in a mini-food processor (or oat flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 T molasses
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 1/2 c bread flour
  • 1 pack active dry yeast

I mix all these together in a bread maker first on the dough setting, but if you don't have one, you can start by hand: Heat water to 130 degrees, add to cereal in large bowl, let stand 10 mins. Add yeast, oat flour, salts, molasses, and oil. Beat well. Cover, let stand 15 mins. Slowly add bread flour, and beat until smooth. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and springy about 5mins, adding flour if necessary. Grease another bowl, place dough in bowl and roll until greased on all sides. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Here, either take dough out of bread maker or bowl and do the following (or you can just bake whole thing start to finish in bread maker and skip dough cycle): Grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Turn dough onto lightly floured board. Punch dough down and shape it into loaf. Place with smooth side up into pan. Cover and let rise again in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 25 to 30 mins, until loaf is golden. Remove from pan immediately and cool on rack.

Yield:  One loaf

Timing:  This is just bread so as soon as your little one has eaten grains with no issues and can gum foods, this is perfect.  I would say about 9 months

Difficulty:  5 out of 5; not using a bread machine makes this very time consuming, but I still think its worth it it's YUMMO!

Epicutie Rating:  YUMMY IN THE TUMMY--see right side of page for descriptions.
I had to make Little Joy stop eating this stuff.  She has taste buds like her Daddy.....BREAD :)  She used to hate bread now it is her best friend---go figure!

Lentil Minestrone Soup

This recipe was submitted by my dear friend Heather; she always cooks fresh, healthy, organic and FUN things. I LOVE dinner parties with her family :) Her Epicutie Little Ray is still a little young to be sampling something like this, but I have a feeling very soon I will be featuring some of her recipes!!! Heather adapted this Lentil Minestrone Soup from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison.

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • 3-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2-3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 c green lentils, sorted for rocks and rinsed
  • Aromatics: 2 bay leaves, 8 parsley branches or celery leaf stalks, 6 thyme sprigs (or whatever herbs you have on hand)
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 c small pasta, cooked
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 T Dijon mustard (KEY ingredient)
  • 1 T red wine vinegar (KEY ingredient)
  1. Heat oil and onion in soup pot over high heat, stirring regularly, until lightly browned, about 10 mins.
  2. Add tomato paste, parsley, garlic, veggies, and salt and cook 3 mins more.
  3. Add lentils, aromatics, and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Add pasta, stir and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Remove aromatics from soup before serving.
  8. Serve warm.
Yeild: About 8 servings

Serve: Serve with 7 Grain Bread (post coming soon!) or other bread along with a salad for the adults.

Timing: Everything in the soup is very soft so if your little one demonstrates the ability to chew and has several teeth I would think this appropriate. Keep in mind, there is a lot going on in this dish and it can be messy since its a soup. So it might be more appropriate for the pre-toddler (12-18 months). Since Little Joy had teeth and loved finger foods, I would have offered it to her as early as 10-12 months I think.

Variations: Although I have not tried it, I think sliced mushrooms or lima beans or cut up green beans would be a great addition to the soup. Be adventurous and add more veggies your family likes!!

Difficulty: 3 out of 5; I only give it a 3 vs 2 because of the overall time involved including cook time. This is VERY easy and worth the effort.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy loved this...especially the lentils, she calls them beans (and she loves beans for some reason). She made a big ole mess with it, but really liked it. Little Joy is starting to like leftovers so by the third day she was kinda over it :)

No pictures this time, with Baby #2 due TWO DAYS AGO I am not totally on my game with documenting our food adventures!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Streusel Topping


This another one from Deceptively Delicious!  I promise this blog is not just for Deceptively Delicious recipes, but I was looking through my cookbooks last night and I had all the ingredients on hand for this one so I couldn’t resist.  I have a history of my banana bread not turning out, and once upon a time, I tried every banana and banana nut bread recipe that I could get my hands on and I was never happy with how they turned out.  After making this, I still feel like I am searching for that perfect recipe, but in the mean time this healthy, easy version will definitely scratch the itch!

Cinnamon Streusel Topping (Optional)


  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine


  1. Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the butter or margarine. Set aside.
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Banana Bread


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups banana puree
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

***I used 4 thawed frozen bananas to make 1 1/2 cups and I did not puree them beforehand.

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan or 2 mini pans with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl or a zip lock bag, mix the flours with the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, if using. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and oil with a wooden spoon until well combined. Mix in the egg whites, banana and cauliflower purees, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.018 (640x425)
  4. Pour the batter into a loaf pan.  Cover evenly with the streusel topping if using.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes for the large loaf, 25 to 30 minutes for the mini loaves. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn the bread out of the pan to cool before serving.

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Timing: This could be given as early as 9 months, but be aware of the egg whites if your little one has an egg allergy.  Usually it does not affect children if it is cooked in something. I personally would not give

Difficulty: This was pretty simple, but I am giving it a 3 out of 5 because I had to get so many pans and bowls dirty!  Very few dirty dishes is a requirement for me to give something a low rating Smile.


  • I used 3 mini loaf pans instead of 2.  I have a history of not evenly cooking my banana bread so I wanted to be cautious and not put too much batter into the pans.
  • When I put the cinnamon streusel topping on the batter, I gently mixed it with the top layer of the batter so that it would stay on the bread once baked.  It turned out very well.
  • To make cauliflower puree, simply steam raw cauliflower florets for 10 to 12 minutes and then puree.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy!!! ---See right side of the page for descriptions.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach

This is another recipe from Double Delicious, my second favorite cookbook!  This is such an easy, super healthy recipe, and I love that it gets Little Frances (and her Daddy) to eat such a large amount of spinach.  Plus, its delicious too.  This is one of my favorite things to cook (and eat)!
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (about ¾ lb)
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t pepper
  • ½ c sweet potato puree or carrot puree
  • ¼ c sour cream
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 (9 inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • ½ c spinach puree
  • ½ c mild tomato salsa
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a 9 x 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder and pepper.
  5. Cook the chicken 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.
  6. Off the heat, mix the sweet potato or carrot puree, sour cream, and half the cheese into the skillet.
  7. Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.
  8. Dot the tops of the enchiladas with spinach puree. Spoon the salsa over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. DSC_0008
  9. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the cheese melts and filling is hot, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • When I am in a hurry, I just buy rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and use the meat to skip steps 3-5.  Then I warm a skillet to melt the cheese mixture.
  • To make a 1/2 cup spinach puree I steam 1 large back of baby spinach for 2 minutes and then puree.  This purees easier with an immersion blender (which I don’t have).
Yield: 6 enchiladas
Timing: Because this is a difficult food to chew, I recommend no earlier than 15 months or until your baby has at least 8 teeth. I would NOT think that this would puree well for smaller children.  This is definitely a toddler food.
Difficulty: 2 of 5… super easy, super delicious!
Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy! --See right side of page for descriptions
Little Frances LOVES these!  It is her favorite food next to hamburgers.
Little Joy gave this a YUMMY IN THE TUMMY as well!  She gobbled it up and asked for more!  We served this along side some Mexican rice.

But before she will eat it, we must first feed baby!
Ok, now Little Frances will eat them. Smile Yum yum.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Butternut Squash Puree

I realized we have never posted the basic Butternut Squash puree recipe!!!

  • One Ripe Butternut Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut squash lengthwise
  3. Scoop out seeds
  4. Place flesh side (squash meat side) down on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish
  5. Add 1-2 inches of water to pan
  6. Place in oven for 35-45 minutes or until the skin begins to pucker and when a knife is inserted its soft.
  7. Allow to cool slightly.
  8. Scoop out meat and puree to desired consistency using water (not from the pan) or breast milk to thin as you feel necessary.
  9. Place in ice cube tray, cover and freeze for 24 hours.
  10. Remove cubes from tray and place in freezer bag for long term storage.
Storage: Refrigerator for 3-5 days; freezer for 1-2 months.

Difficulty: 1 out of 2

Timing: 6 months; this is a great food to introduce as a first or second veggie

Miscellaneous: This puree (without any thinning) can be used in a number of other dishes too!!

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy has always loved squash!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

Thus I continue on my adventures in cooking through the "Double Delicious" cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. I have made a dozen or so recipes from this cookbook and have posted hardly any of them! I am determined to catch up before Baby #2 arrives (due in 10 days)! Also, most of my posts here on out will be geared for family meals.

Ingredients for Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed OR about 10 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins which is what I use (about 1 lb; add more or less depending on how much you need)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup carrot puree (can also use pumpkin or sweet potato puree)
Ingredients for Biscuit Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup trans-fat-free, soft tub margarine (you can substitute any butter, if using regular butter it should be softened)
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  1. Heat oil in an dutch oven or flame proof casserole dish.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with pepper.
  3. Add chicken to the casserole dish until it begins to brown.
  4. Stir in soup, milk and puree until all ingredients are well combine.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Prepare the biscuits by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  8. Rub the margarine into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  9. Add egg, honey, cream of tarter and buttermilk all at once.
  10. Mix just until soft dough forms.
  11. Dot the dough over the chicken mixture.
  12. Bake 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until the biscuits are cooked through and golden on top.
Yield: 6 servings

Storage: 3 days in the refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing.

Timing: I would wait until your little one has teeth to grind and chew through the bread and chicken. For us this was 12 months. We gave it to Little Joy at 17 months.

Serve: Serve immediately. This is a great family food and goes great along side sauteed green beans or steamed broccoli. OR a green salad for the adults, YUM!!!

Difficulty: 3 out of 5; easy and fast but does require a little prep time so I gave it a three vs. a two.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy seems to like everything the first 2-3 times she has something, then if we have it several days in a row as leftovers, she is waving us off saying "All done" in sign language and verbally saying "All done chicken. No Thank You". HA!

Step 3: Cooking chicken in oil

Step 5: Remove from heat; all chicken ingredients combined.

Step 10: All dough ingredients combine

Ready to serve

Served to Mommy and Daddy with salad :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Milk Shakes!

Little Frances is crazy over milkshakes, although for obvious reasons, she does not get them that often.  I developed or found three alternate healthy, banana-based recipes that your little one will love.  I like to serve it in a parfait glass with a straw so she feels like she is getting the real thing!

This is also a great way to get Little Ones to drink milk, who would not drink it otherwise.  You can also replace the whole milk with skim milk to make a healthy, delicious breakfast smoothie for the bigger kids in the family Smile.

Allergy Warning: Two of three of the recipes contain extreme allergens.  We have no history of food allergies in our families and even so I waited until Little Frances was 15 months old before I gave her peanut butter, and even then, only in small amounts.  Once I was certain that she was not allergic, she was allowed nut based products in larger quantities.  As always, if you are concerned, consult your Doctor!

Recipe 1: Blue-Banana Milk Shake

  • 1/2 frozen, chopped banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup whole milk

Recipe 2: Peanut Butter Milk Shake*

  • 1 frozen, chopped banana
  • 2 teaspoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon milled flax seed
  • 1 cup whole milk

Recipe 3: Nut-N-Honey Milk Shake

  • 1 frozen, chopped banana
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup whole milk


  • Mix in a blender until well blended!

Yield and Storage: This depends on how hungry your Epicutie is.  Sometimes I save half of the milkshake in the freezer for Little Frances to eat the next day.  This would yield one adult sized milkshake or half of a milkshake for your toddler… it all depends on appetite.  This stores well in the fridge overnight.

Timing: Due to the possible milk, nut and honey allergies, give NO EARLIER than 12 months.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5! Easy and delicious.

Miscellaneous: I always buy a bunch of banana, slice them, and freeze them in individual baggies so that I have them on hand for smoothies.  Freezing them before hand means that you don’t need to use ice cubes, which can make your smoothie too watery… this way they stay nice and creamy!  This is also a great use for older bananas that you wouldn’t want to eat on their own.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy! --See right side of page for descriptions

Little Frances loves to crawl into her Daddy’s lap in the morning and have a taste of his morning milkshake!  I love her little milkshake goatee.


Smiley Girl

*This recipe was taken from Jillian Michael’s weight loss website.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Easy At-Hand Blueberry Muffins

A few weeks ago we were coming off of a week long family illness and I had not been to the grocery store in ages… our cupboards were bare!  I had no idea what I was going to make my family for breakfast since I was down to one egg, had no yogurt, and very little milk.  Thankfully I remembered this easy recipe from my Wild About Texas cookbook (one of my favorites!), and I was able to prepare something for the whole family.  The great thing about this recipes is that you probably already have every single ingredient on hand.  I always make certain to have frozen blueberries in my freezer for this and other recipes. 

This recipe is not what I would classify as “healthy”, but it is a healthier alternative to most blueberry muffin recipes and certainly less fatty than what you would buy in the store.  I like to make this occasionally when I am in the mood for something really sweet, like chocolate chip cookies.  This still satisfies my sweet tooth and is much better for me than what I would have normally eaten!


  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (I always like to add a few extra.  I love blueberries!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and milk.
  4. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until moistened.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon batter in to 10 well-greased muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. (I just add the frozen berries.  I do not bother to thaw them and it works fine.)
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Yield: 10 muffins

Timing: I would use your best judgment, although I think that these could be given as early as 9 months considering the eggs and milk are mixed and cooked. 

Storage: Refrigerator for 1 week, freezer for up to 2 months.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5!  These are so, so easy.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy! --See right side of page for descriptions

I know you are thinking… of course Little Frances loved them! Who doesn’t love blueberry muffins?  Actually she has been such a picky eater since her molars have been slowly, slowly, slowly coming in.  She has even been turning down sweets, so I was delighted with how quickly she gobbled this up, and kept asking for more.  I didn’t think she would ever get full! Her happy face says it all.

Happy Blueberry Girl

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Creamy Whole-Grain Risotto

Up next in my review of recipes from Jennifer Seinfeld's "Double Delicious" is her Creamy Whole Grain Risotto. This is another of her recipes that boasts its quick, which always catches my eye! I encourage all of you buy her book(s); they are great, healthy and live up to their DELICIOUSNESS!!!! Here is the recipe with a few of my minor alterations.

  • 2 cups short grain brown rice (this took me a week to find and it is not cheap; check your health/organic food aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 large onion pureed or very finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves pureed or very finely chopped
  • 2 cups low fat, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup cauliflower puree (if you are using the ice cube tray method, the conversion is approximately 1.5 cubes=1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup carrot puree
  • 1 spring fresh basil (big sprig, especially if it is from your backyard like mine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoon trans fat free tub butter (can substitute with regular butter if you want)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  1. In medium saucepan, add brown rice and 4 cups water; bring to a boil, immediately cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.
  2. Cook for 45-50 minutes (this is longer than the recipe said, but I wanted to be sure it was soft for Little Joy) or until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and allow the rice to steam with the lid on for 5 minutes.
  4. Drain, if needed (I did not need to).
  5. Puree onion and garlic together, set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a large pot/skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. When oil is hot, add purred onion and garlic (step 5).
  8. Cook until onions soften (10 minutes) but not brown.
  9. Add rice (prepared in steps 1-4), broth, both purees, basil, salt and pepper.
  10. Simmer on low heat until 1/4 of liquid evaporates (about 5-10 minutes).
  11. Remove from heat, stir in butter and remove basil.
  12. Serve immediately.
  13. Sprinkle with Parmesan after you plate the item (to make sure each serving has Parmesan since this is a key ingredient if you ask me).
Yield: The book says 6 servings, but it was more like 7-8 for us.

Storage: Refrigerator for 2-3 days; freezer for a month. I have not tried heating from the freezer yet though!!

Timing: Based on your child's ability to chew, this can be given as early as around 10 months I would say.

Difficulty: 2 out of 3; if you do not count the separate steps of making the purees, this pulls together quickly and easily.

  1. Make the rice ahead of time and set aside (steps 1-4).
  2. I puree the onion and garlic vs. chop since I know my fine chopping skills are lacking and Little Joy like onion and garlic but not a BIG OLE chunk of it.
  3. If you are using frozen purees, thaw them in the fridge the night before and ensure they are completely thawed before adding. This saves on the time the risotto has to cook in step 10.
  4. Although this dish can stand alone, you may decide to serve with chicken on the side or mixed in if you want some variety. I would recommend making the chicken from the Pasta with Pea Pesto and Chicken Post; it went along nicely with it. Guys like the meat with this dish.
Epicutie Rating: Yummy in The Tummy--See right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy thought this was a funny finger food. She gobbled up over half what we served her right away and then slowed down. I beginning to learn Little Joy loves EVERYTHING the first 2-4 times she has something, then the newness wears off :)

I am not sure what I did with the pictures; I will add once I find them!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken and Apple Balls


I found this recipe in The Healthy Baby Meal Planner and it looked like fun!  These healthy and delicious balls would work well for a variety of ages.  They make a great meal for your baby, and healthy snack for any older children.


  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil, and extra for frying 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or sage
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled (from 1 year)
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs, may substitute 1 cup of oatmeal
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (from 1 year)
  • all purpose flour for coating


  1. Cook chicken chunks in skillet on medium high heat until cooked all the way through.
  2. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan and sauté half of the onions
  3. Peel and grate the apple, squeeze out excess juice with your handDSC_0097
  4. Combine all ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until well mixedDSC_0098DSC_0099
  5. The mixture should be nice and pasty and stick together fairly well.  Roll into golf sized balls.DSC_0103
  6. Fill pan with light layer of olive oil and bring to medium-high heat.
  7. Lightly coat balls in flour, and pan fry for approximately 5 minutes.DSC_0104
  8. Finished product!DSC_0106

Yield: Between 20 and 25 balls.

Timing: If omitting the above mentioned spices, this could be given as early as 9 months.  12 months if using all the spices.  The apple and chicken balls are very soft, and can be easily mashed in your babies teeth.

Misc: Whenever making any type of meatball or loaf that calls for breadcrumbs, I usually substitute it for oatmeal.  It tastes just as good, and it’s a little healthier!

Storage: I have saved half of the apple and chicken balls for the freezer (before coating with flour), where I will keep them up to one month in air tight Tupperware.  The balls that I have already cooked up will stay in the fridge for one week.

Difficulty: I give this a 2 out of 5!  There were a lot of little side steps before you get to the final mixture, but they were easy… even for me.

Epicutie Rating: Not so sure I like it… yet! Little Frances is coming off getting her first set of molars which has made for much pickier eating that usual.  However, I was encouraged by the several bites that she took, and I will try this again tomorrow.


I am a warrior!

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About the Authors

This blog was started by two Babywise pen pals to document our adventures in high chair manners, making our own baby food and doing our bests to raise happy, healthy, thriving little ones!

Epicutie #1

Epicutie #1

Little Joy at 2 years, Sept 2012

Epicutie #2

Epicutie #2
Little Frances

Epicutie #3

Epicutie #3
Little Asher at 11 months, Sept 2012

Epicutie #4

Epicutie #4
Little Elizabeth, July 2013
  • Yummy in the Tummy: Epicutie thoroughly enjoyed each bite
  • Somewhat yummy: Epicutie seemed to somewhat enjoy the food at first, but seemed to like it less with subsequent bites
  • Not so sure I like it...yet: Epicutie somewhat rejected the first bites, but seemed intrigued. The next exposure may be better!
  • Confused: Epicutie rejected the first bites, perhaps due to texture or strong flavor.
  • Sour Puss: Epicutie gave a sour face indicating she did not like the food. However--if at first you do not succeed, try, try again!

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