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.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

To continue with theme of pumpkin, today's recipe was again submitted by Jen and her daughter Claire with a few alterations I made to it.

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar (Jen uses honey which makes the bread softer, but please ask your pediatrician before introducing honey before 2 years old)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree/organic canned pumpkin (FYI you should have exactly one cup of canned pumpkin left after making the pumpkin waffle post we published recently)
  • ½ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup of water (cut this in half if using honey instead of sugar)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional, I would omit for small babies)
*Jen uses 1 1/2 cups aramanth instead of the two flours I listed above

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar (if using honey, mix with second phase not dry mix) and baking soda.
  3. Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices (and honey, if using honey) together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not stir too much!
  4. Stir in the nuts.
  5. Pour into a well-buttered or sprayed loaf or mini loaf pan . Bake 50-60 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using a mini-loaf pan, check it at 40 minutes.
  6. Cool for 10 minutues then turn out of the pan and cool on a rack.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature.
Yield: 8 mini loaves or one loaf pan

Timing: This is very soft and if omitting nuts, it could be easily given at 12 months.

Storage: Store in an air tight container or wrapped in plastic wrap for few days. I wrap some of my mini loaves in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; anything that requires me to wait nearly an hour as I smell it bake is at least a 2 on the difficulty scale!

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the the max!!! See right side of page for descriptions.
Little Joy cannot eat enough of this stuff! This makes a great dessert or snack to throw in your bag when you are in a pinch.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pumpkin Waffles

This recipe was submitted by Jen and her little cutie Claire (as a side note, Little Claire has THE prettiest hair color EVER). Jen is wonderful about cooking creatively, deceptively and organically for her Little One; so I had to feature this easy breakfast recipe she has been raving about. The cinnamon in these makes them so unquiely different than the pumpkin pancake recipe I reviewed last week.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (Jen substitutes amaranth flour, but use whatever you like; I think half all purpose white and wheat would be good)
  • ¼ cup sugar (Jen substitutes honey* here)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (Jen substitutes soy/rice milk due to an allergy)
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ cup canned organic pumpkin (PS this may be hard to find/more expensive right now since it is off season, check your health food aisle)
*If you use honey instead of sugar, waffles will be a bit softer.

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In medium sized bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
  3. In separate bowl, beat eggs then add rest of wet ingredients, except butter.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  5. Add butter to combined mixture and stir.
  6. Coat waffle iron with cooking spray.
  7. Pour appropriate amount of batter into center of waffle iron.
  8. Cook for 4-5 minutes (or to recommended time of your waffle iron) or until crispy and light brown.
  9. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8-10 square waffles (see my pictures to see what size mine were)

Serve: Serve warm topped with maple syrup or if you are like me and do not like the mess, serve plain. We also sometimes put fresh fruit puree on top. Serve followed by fresh fruit.

Storage: 2-3 days in the fridge.

Timing: Due to the eggs, 12 months. Cut into bit sized pieces appropriate for your little one's ability to chew.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; quick and easy. The hardest part is waiting for the waffle iron to finish!!!

Epicutie Rating: YUMMY IN THE TUMMY---see right side of page for descriptions
YUMMY IN THE YUMMY rating for our submitter's daughter Little Claire.
Little Joy LOVED these!! She ate almost 1.5 waffles plus TONS of cantelope. When she likes something at a meal, she eats SO much. I still wonder where it all goes on my long and lean lil thing!

This gives you an idea of the size waffles I am talking about.

Listen very carefully, she can say WAFFLE!!!

Pasta with Pea Pesto and Chicken

I am loving Jennifer Seinfield's "Doubly Delicious" cookbook; it has some very interesting recipes! I will be the first to tell you peas are one of my least favorite vegetables, but I eat them when I need to (only after drinking a lot to get them down!). This recipe for Pasta with Pea Pesto and Chicken caught my attention because I always welcome a way to get peas into my diet AND it somewhat similar to our "Buttered" Noodles post which I love. Also, traditional pesto is my favorite thing ever and this is exactly how you make traditional pesto except for peas substituting the basil. Below you will find the recipe with some of my minor alterations.

Ingredients (pesto):
  • 2 cups frozen peas (be sure to read the label to ensure there is no added salt)
  • 1/2 cup grated 100% Parmesan
  • 1/2 pine nuts (these can be expensive but are essential for a good pesto)
  • 2 medium to large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Ingredients (chicken):
  • 10-12 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins (I use this vs chicken breasts because I freeze mine and these thaw much faster and cook faster)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
Ingredients (pasta)
  • 8-10 oz whole wheat spiral pasta (fun and easy for little ones to pick up)
  1. Pesto: Blanch peas (boil water, add frozen peas, cook for one minute, shock in cold water bath). Combine peas, Parmesan, pine nuts, pressed garlic, olive oil, water and salt in a food processor or a chopper. Blend until well combined and a you have a sauce that is the consistency of toothpaste. If you use a chopper, do it in two batches.
  2. Chicken: Combine garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle thawed chicken with spices on both sides. Heat oil in skillet, add seasoned chicken. Cook until browned, flip and cook until other side browns. Be sure the chicken is cooked through. Chop chicken to the size appropriate for your little one.
  3. Pasta: Cook according to package directions. I always cook extra noodles in cause I have too much sauce.
  4. Assembly: Toss pasta, pesto and chicken together and serve warm/immediately.
Yield: 6-8 servings depending on serving sizes. Looks like it is serving closer to 8 for us.

Serve: Serve warm. Cut chicken into sizes appropriate for your little one. We served with a side salad and bread (Little Joy did not have salad, hehe).

Storage: Refrigerator for several days. I froze some left over pesto for future use and I plan to keep it frozen for up to 1-2 months.

Timing: Since this has nuts in it, I would wait until 12 months. If you family has a history of ANY nut allergies, please consult with your doctor before serving this dish. The chicken is very tender, so even if your little one does not have molars, they should be able to eat the chicken--just use your judgement on the size of the pieces.

Tips: You can make the pesto a few hours before the rest of the meal if needed; that is what I did. If so, refrigerate the pesto in the meantime. Making it ahead is great when you have a kids running around because you can make the pesto during naptime and the rest of the recipe is very quick. Even though my pesto was refrigerated, the pasta was so warm, when tossed the dish was just the right temperature! Also, I cooked about 8 oz of pasta and I felt like there was too much pesto, so just use your judgement on the amount of pasta to cook.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; this is an easy and surprising yummy recipe. It only took about 20 minutes to make the entire thing from start to finish.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions.
At first I thought Little Joy was not liking this dish, but she eventually dug in. I also try to test the food on her as a leftover the next couple of days and she seemed to like it more and more. She is going through a funny stage where she does not want to independently feed herself so it was hard to tell if she just did not like it or she was being funny about self-feeding vs. me helping her.

Parental Rating: We liked it as well. I loved it, my husband just liked it. This is a health food thing so we did not expect something fatty and dripping with buttery goodness. We wont have it once a week, but it is on the short list for sure.

Pesto Only.

Ready to serve!

First Bite.

"These are not the noodles I am used to having...hmmm"

She's in the middle of trying to give me a kiss so I will stop asking her to smile for the camera.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tilapia Cakes with Avacado Tomatillo Sauce

Today's recipe was submitted by Jennifer and her daughter Sara. This is a super yummy twist to fish. It is especially good to make when having company so your little one can partake in the same thing as the group. Although I do not recommend the sauce for your little one, my husband and I LOVED the sauce, especially with a little brown rice too. Have fun with this one and thank you to Jennifer for submitting your recipe.

*If you would like to submit a recipe please email us at and you might see your recipe featured here!*

Ingredients (Sauce) I do not recommend the sauce for your little one, it is a bit spicy:
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tomatillo husked and quartered (about 3 oz) -- (I used tomatillo sauce since I already had it on hand)
  • 1/2 medium vidalia or other sweet onion, quartered
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded (I left this out)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 9 T chopped ripe peeled avocado (about one small avocado)
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients (Cakes):
  • 2 cups bread crumbs divided
  • 1/2 C finely chopped vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 C finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 C finely chopped and sauteed zucchini or yellow squash
  • 2 T fresh cilantro
  • 2 T capers, drained
  • 2 T fat free mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 oz chopped skinless tilapia
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp butter
  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Sauce: Combine first 4 ingredients on jelly-roll pan coated w/ cooking spray. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened, stirring once. Cool slightly. Place tomatillo mixture in blender, add remaining sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Cover and chill. (alternatively, I used tomatillo sauce and omitted the jalapeno, so I sauteed the onion, garlic and tomatillo sauce until browned and then followed the rest of the steps)
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  4. Cakes: Combine 1 C bread crumbs, with onion and next 9 ingredients (through egg white) - stir until well blended. Divide tiliapia mixture into 12 patties, dredge in 1 C remaining bread crumbs.
  5. Melt butter in non stick skillet, cook cakes 2 min each side, then bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes or until done.
  6. Serve warm over brown rice---I do NOT advice the sauce for your little ones, that is for mom and dad to enjoy :) I gave Little Joy plain avocado to go with her cakes
Yield: 12 cakes (approximately 216 calories per cake)

Storage: Refrigerator for 3 days; fish does not normal refrigerate well, but this seemed to do fine when reheated. Just be sure to reheat on a low power level.

Timing: 12 months; be sure to watch them closely if they do not have many teeth.

Changes for next time: If I make this again, I will nearly puree the fish. Although I tried to chop it small, the chunks were too big and made the cakes fall apart.

Difficulty: 5 out of 5; this is relatively time consuming especially since your sauce needs to chill. Its a fun change of pace though and a great meal if you are having company!!!

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat Yummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Yummy in the Tummy for Little Sara (whose mommy submitted this recipe)
Little Joy gobbled up several bites and then wanted nothing to do with the cakes after that, even the next day. We have been struggling with her exerting her will at the table, so I am not surprised. She has been trying to reject favorite foods too. We do not allow her to do that, but it means sometimes she only has a bite or two of some foods. All in all I believe she liked it somewhat.

Cakes before dishing up.

This is how we served the cakes for us. Little Joy just had a cake, a bit of rice, some veggies and avocado.

First bite.

Second bite. Still looks a bit skeptical :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

I have been dying to try this recipe since it appeared in a May 2011 issue of "Parents" Magazine, but apparently canned pumpkin is quite the novelty in the off season! A friend on mine happen to find a store that carries it all the time, so we were finally able to sample this simple yet delicious recipe.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk (alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice with one cup of milk; let stand about 5 minutes)
  • 1/3 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • Maple syrup (Little Joy did NOT have syrup, too much mess)
  • Fresh berries
  1. Preheat griddle to 225 degrees (alternatively, use a non stick skillet on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon melted butter in pan).
  2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter
  4. In a separate small bowl whisk together butter, egg, buttermilk and pumpkin; whisk just until combined.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until combined, not too much! Mixture maybe slightly lumpy.
  6. Spoon 1/8 cup of batter onto a griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, flip. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. Serve warm with fresh berries.
Yield: 12 3 inch pancakes; about 228 calories per THREE pancakes---not bad.

TIP: Love this recipe has a 5 minute version......Whisk together 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix, 2/3 cup lowfat milk, and 1/3 cup canned pumpkin. Cook as directed above and it yields about 8 3 inch pancakes!!!

Storage: Refrigerator for 3 days.

Difficulty: 2 out of 3; love this! I can whip it up in about 15 minutes!

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Although I was skeptical because I COULD taste a lil pumpkin, Little Joy gobbled up two pancakes along with several strawberries in no time!! We will make these again.

Next up in the pumpkin world---Pumpkin WAFFLES submitted by a reader and friend of mine!


Cooking on the griddle.

Ready to eat!

First bite's YUMMY!!!

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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