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!!!

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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