Monday, December 31, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Pork Roast

I love slow cooker recipes   LOVE them.  The time just leading into dinner is so crazy-Daddy getting home from work, Little Asher just getting up from nap, Little Joy finishing nap and video time, dinner getting finished-its like a giant chaotic convergence!  Slow cooker meals allow me to do all the cooking/prep during a quiet time and minimize the chaos.

This recipe is inspired by one from Parents Magazine.  Enjoy!


  • 2.5-3 lb pork loin roast (tenderloin if its on sale)
  • 1-2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion cut into thin slices
  • 3/4 apple cider (or apple juice but cider is better)
  • 2 Jonagold apples, cored and thinly sliced (save the core)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 16 oz bag coleslaw mix (half the bag is actually plenty)
  1. Trim edges of roast if it will not fit in your slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle roast with salt, pepper and thyme.
  3. Heat oil in large pan.
  4. Place roast in hot oil and sear on all sides (until slightly brown) .
  5. Layer onion in bottom of slow cooker and place roast on top.
  6. Pour apple cider over roast.
  7. Cover and cook on high for 2-2.5 hours.
  8. While the meat is cooking, core apples and thinnly slice.  Toss the cores in the slow cooker.
  9. Place apples in a ziplock along with lemon juice and cinnamon.  Shake the bag well to coat the apples.  Place the apples in the fridge (this way everything is ready to serve).
  10. After meat is cooked (2-2.5 hours), remove cores, add apples and add slaw mix.
  11. Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  12. Remove roast and place on a platter.  Allow to rest for ten minutes.
  13. Using a slotted spoon transfer veggies to the platter and drizzle cooking juices over meat and veggies.
Timing:  Meat can be chewy, I would wait until one year.  Our pork was very tender though so depending on how experienced an eater you have, it could be offered earlier.

Storage:  Fridge 3-5 days.

Yield: 8 servings

Difficulty:  2 out of 5; Like I said, I love slow cooker meals and this one was different than the usual over cooked veggie slow cooker meals.  It cook about 15 minutes to prep everything and then a couple hours to cook---I would say that's easy!

Epicutie Ratings:
  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the Tummy minus the slaw.  I figured the kids wouldnt be keen on the slaw, but she loved the apples, onions and meat!
  • Little Asher:  Somewhat Yummy minus the slaw.  He liked the meat and apples ok...he doesnt LOVE anything thats not a fruit :/  He is my strong willed one, LOL!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Banana Cinnamon Waffles

I buy bananas a lot because my whole family loves them, but sometimes I buy a batch that seem to brown really fast.  That's when I want to have plenty of banana recipes in my arsenal. Furthermore, I am constantly looking for breakfast foods that will freeze well so that I can break up the week's breakfasts which are usually filled with cereals and oatmeals.  This recipe was inspired by one I found on a Cooking Light site.


  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (you could replace 1/4 of this flour for 1/4 cup buckwheat flour for a nutty flavor)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (I used Earth Balance dairy free, soy free butter alternative)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 large ripe banana, mashed
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Combine Dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flours, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt) stirring with a whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl combine milk, butter, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry stirring with a whisk; mix until combined but not too much!
  5. Fold in mashed banana.
  6. Coat iron with cooking spray
  7. Spoon batter onto hot iron spreading the batter to edges.
  8. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter.
  9. Serve warm.

*Allergy Alert:  Contains Egg*

Timing:  One year due to the eggs however I would have given this as early as 9 months to my Epicuties because its soft and easy to chew; even my texture sensitive Little Asher thought they were soft and yummy.  Most pediatricians recommend avoiding whole eggs until one year.

Storage:  Fridge for 4 days and freezer for a month.  Wrap each waffle individually in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag.  Thaw in microwave or toaster oven.  Quick and healthy on hand breakfast!

Yield:  14 waffles (see photo below)

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; the only recipes I give a 1 to are those that require NO cooking.  This was quick to whip up; I even made it after I had both kids up and dressed and no one starved while waiting :)

Epicutie Rating:

  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the Tummy; She proclaimed "Oh mommy, this is good" after this first bite.  She did not consume as much as she usually does of foods she loves but we are learning with a toddler---some days they cannot eat enough to be satisfied while others they require very little food.  
  • Little Asher:  Yummy in the Tummy; after a liquid feeding and puree prunes he still ate an entire waffle.  He tends to be particular about textures, but this was soft enough for him to find YUMMY!
It made 14 of the smaller square so 7 of the big double squares

Signing MORE

Let me try one more to see if I like it



I said "Give me your I like it smile if you like it" LOL!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sage Scented Fettuccine and Butternut Squash and Chicken

I found this recipe on and tweaked it to work with the ingredients I had on hand.  WE LOVED THIS!!!  And it felt so....FALL!

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 Pound Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and dice into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock (mine was homemade using a variation of this recipe: Chicken Stock)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar**
  • 1/2 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar**
  • 2 Teaspoons Rubbed Sage
  • 6 Ounces Fettuccine 
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (I could not find this so I omitted it, but it is a great substitute for cheese, I plan on ordering some and trying this again)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Fresh Sage Leaves, optional
  • 6 chicken tenderloins
  • garlic powder
**Alternatively use 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar instead of Raspberry Balsamic and White Winne Vinegar; the original recipe called for this but I had to improvise because I did no realize I was out!

Steps (fettuccine):
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the squash, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 5 minutes. Don’t worry if the squash starts to break apart.
  • Add the chicken stock and cook, still stirring gently until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the onion and season with a little more salt. Cook until the onion begins to soften, 3 minutes.
  • Add the wine, and cook until moisture is almost evaporated and mixture is caramelized.
  • Stir in the maple syrup, vinegars, and sage. Keep warm.
  • Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the hot pot.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to taste; toss to combine.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to the pasta and toss again to combine.
  • Serve hot garnished with fresh sage leaves, if using.
Steps (chicken):
  • Cut chicken into bit size pieces.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder--this is to taste.
  • Flip chicken and sprinkle again.
  • Remove from heat when cooked through.
Serve:  Serve the chicken and the pasta tossed together or the chicken on the side; we served it separate and just mixed some bites together and others not.  We did remove the larger pieces of onion before serving it to our 11 month old; our 2 year old did not notice the onions mixed in.

Yield: 4 servings

Timing:  Due to the wine and spices I would recommend around a year.  Little Asher was 11 months and is still cutting 6 teeth on top (not all the way in) and he ate it all fine.  He ate the chicken chunk-ed up just fine too!

Storage: 3-5 days in the fridge.  I am going to attempt to freeze the "sauce" to see if it reheats well; I would imagine so.

Difficulty:  3 out of 5; I ONLY give this a 3 because I had to stand over it and stir.  Anything that I have to stand over while I have a 1 and 2 year old running/crawling around automatically gets difficult.  However, no kids---this is a 2 easily.

Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for descriptions)

  • Little Joy:  Somewhat Yummy; she joyfully ate it but like most two year olds she just acted difficult when she saw we were thrilled she loved it (because we loved it too).  She ate a big helping of noodles.
  • Little Asher:  Yummy in the Tummy; Little Asher has been funny with finger foods.  Around 9 months he did not want anything to do with purees and then around 11 months he decided purees were preferred (we chalk it up to cutting 8 teeth the past month). BUT thats how we knew he loved this---he gobbled up a TON even after a full meal of purees.  SCORE!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Zucchini Muffins

I am always looking for quick and yummy breakfasts for my family.  When I make a batch of muffins, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag and pull them out as we need them.  Currently we have whole wheat blue berry, pumpkin and zucchini muffins all stocked in the freezer.  This might not be THE healthiest muffin recipe, but I have not tried altering it too much yet.  It was too yummy not to share this version of it.  Next time I will try 1/3 oil and 1/3 applesauce as well as decrease the sugar some r replace some of the sugars for honey or maple syrup.  At this point, I will take just about anything that's dairy free though!


  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flower
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot


  1. Grease and flour or paper 12-16 muffin cups.
  2. Heat oven to 375°.
  3. In mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil with eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract.
  4. In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients; mix on LOW until blended.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini and carrots (the mixture was REALLY thick)
  6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full; sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
**Allergy Alert** contains eggs

Yield:  12-16 muffins

Storage:  Serve immediately or at room temperature same day.  After the first day, refrigerate for several days or freeze for up to a month.

Difficulty:  2 out of 5; the most "difficult" part is shredding the carrots and zucchini.  It only took me about 15 minutes to get these mixed and in the oven so its pretty quick.

Timing:  One year due to the eggs, however I gave these to Little Asher at 11 months.  As always, ask your pediatrician before introducing ingredients that are common allergies.

Epicutie Rating:  (see left side of page for rating descriptions)
  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the Tummy--she gobbled up 2 muffins and licked the platter clean!!!
  • Little Asher:  Yummy in the Tummy--boy has a sweet tooth!!  
My husband and I both LOVED them as well!!!

Minestrone Soup

This recipe was adapted from one I found on  I love soups, there is something so homey about this one.  I particularly enjoyed this one because 1) its easy, 2) its a crock pot recipe and 3) it made my house smell awesome.


  • 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or combination
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils (sorted first)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (ditalini or other small pasta)
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1-9 oz package chopped frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (omit for dairy free)
  1. In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, lentils, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add pasta, zucchini and spinach.
  3. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top (omit for dairy free)
Tip:  I chopped my onion, celery and carrots the night before cooking and placed them in an air tight container in the fridge.  This really expedited the cooking the next morning when my house was filled with the usual morning chaos!

Yield:  The original recipe says 4, but I say more like 6

Storage:  Fridge for close to a week or freezer for 1-2 months.

Timing:  10 months; This is mild and since it is a soup everything is very soft.  When we served it to our 10 month old, we just pulled everything out of the broth.  Assuming each ingredients has been tried individually on your little one, I would say 10 months is plenty old enough to try this.

Difficulty:  2 out of 5; its a dump and go recipe---easy and fast!!

Epicutie Rating:  (see left side of page for descriptions)
  • Little Joy:  Somewhat yummy; we are at the fun age where Little Joy likes to exert her will.  She liked it, but did not want to admit she did.  My husband and I LOVED IT.  And when I eat it as leftovers for lunch, Little Joy is always asking for bites.
  • Little Asher:  I refuse to comment on his ratings lately.  He is cutting eight teeth and only want purees.  So annoying!!!  I am ready to be DONE with teething!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is in the air and that means PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN!! I love pumpkin and the spices that go along with it. Each inhalation of the goodness takes me back to my grandmothers house each thanksgiving. I hold some of my fondest childhood and early adulthood memories from this annual family gathering so I welcome all the fall smells (especially the baking kinda, ha ha).

Not only did the pumpkin in the recipe catch my eye but the oats and maple syrup did too!!! This recipe was inspired by one I found on believe it or not.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 15-ounce can canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Optional (I didn't add these because I wanted little Asher to be able to enjoy them with us):
  • ----1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • ----1/2 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a one to two 12-cup muffin pan with liners or lightly oil.
  2. In a medium-large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, maple syrup and eggs until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined. Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.
  4. Portion into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 18 muffins-ish
Difficulty: 2 out of 5; it's pretty much a dump and bake recipe
Storage: Air tight container for several days. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag. I freeze them for a month or two and take them out as we need it; it's great!
Timing: One year due to the eggs however since its cooked egg and we have no history of food allergies and Little Asher was breastfed so long, we gave it just shy of 11 months.
Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):

  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the Tummy; she tore through nearly two muffins at breakfast
  • Little Asher:  Somewhat Yummy; he is getting like 6 teeth in so he does not want anything near his mouth.  I suspect had his teeth not bothered him he would have followed suit and gobbled it up.  He ate more of this than any other food the past day or so though!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tofu Nuggets with Dipping Sauce

Admittedly, I am running low on good finger foods for Little Asher.  At first he was all about finger foods and gobbled them up then recently he has gotten lazy and just wants to be fed.  Awkward age I suppose.  He did seem to really like these as did Epicutie veteran Little Joy.  My husband and I both like them, they taste every similar to a chicken nugget with slightly less flavor on the "meat".  This was adapted from a recipe on

Ingredients (Nuggets):

  • 1/2 package firm tofu
  • 1/8-1/4 cup flour (more or less)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup fine dry bread or cracker crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • A few grinds of pepper
Steps (Nuggets):
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut tofu into whatever size/shape you would like (perhaps fun shapes for toddlers)
  3. Spread flour on a small plate or flat dish. 
  4. Beat egg yolk in a shallow dish. 
  5. Mix remaining ingredients in shallow dish. 
  6. Coat each piece of tofu in the flour to cover, then into the egg, then crumbs, and then to a baking sheet.
  7. Chill for 30 min to an hour to set the coating (you can just bake right away if you want this isnt a totally necessary step).
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes until crisp.
Dipping Sauce:  I used peach puree.  For my 10 month old I dapped a little on each nugget and for my 2 year old I gave her a little dab on her plate to dip from.  I made the peach puree too (I will have to post about that later).

Storage:  I did not try to freeze them but I imagine it would freeze well and could be thawed and reheated in the toaster oven.  I kept mine in the fridge for about 4 days before it was used up.  I reheated in the toaster oven.

Timing:  8-10 months; these are very soft but watch your little one because they may try to swallow them whole depending on the size you cut them.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5.

Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):
Little Joy:  Somewhat Yummy; She liked it but I would not say she ate it with her usual zesto.  Course she is a 2 year old and most 2 year olds do not enjoy change.
Little Asher:  Yummy in the Tummy; I had to make Little Asher slow down because he was not chewing well enough.  He had them several times before they were all eaten up.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lovely Lentil Stew

This is another great one from Dr Joel Fuhrman.  Its probably the easiest family food I’ve made, and can be eaten at as young as 8 months (as long as you leave out the pepper)!


  • 1 cup lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped


  1. Cook lentils in water for 30 minutes with onion, pepper, and basil.
  2. Add tomatoes and celery and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5!  Its so easy and only takes one pot, my kind of dish!

Timing: 8 months.  I would leave out the pepper and add it later if serving to children under 1 and using it as a family good.

Epicutie Rating: (See left side of the page for descriptions) Somewhat Yummy.  Little Frances ate this like a champ, but I wouldn’t say that she loved it.  For the record, mom and dad liked it pretty well for such a healthy food with no salt added!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tofu Bites

Tofu is full of protein so I like the idea of eating it, but even after all the time I spent in China--I still do not love it.  However, just because I do not love a food does not mean I should push my preferences off on my epicuties; my worst food nightmare could be my children's delight.  It is my responsibility as a parent to provide them opportunities to experience new things (including food) even if my personal preference is against it (i.e. tofu, cheerleading for Addison, football for Caleb, brussel sprouts, peas, tatoo artistry, etc, you follow me).

Here is a simple way to serve up tofu as a finger food.  It is a great food as an early finger food (particularly those without many teeth like Little Asher) because its super soft.

  • Firm tofu
  • Dusting of your choice (crushed graham crackers, cherrios or infant cereal; wheat germ, etc.)
  1. Crush your dusting in a ziplock bag.
  2. Cut tofu into cubes or shapes of your choice.
  3. Place tofu in ziplock bag and shake until well coated.
  4. Serve immediately, discard left overs.
Difficulty:  1 out of 5; super easy, no cooking

Timing:  8 months; Some books say 6-9 months for tofu so I suggest somewhere in the middle around 8 months.  It is soft so it does not require any teeth.

Storage:  Storage any left over tofu according to the package instructions, however I would not save any leftovers of this food.  It seems like the dusting would get mushy--yuck!

Tip:  I would air on the side of too much dusting at first.  I think my children did not like it because it was too lightly dusted.

Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):
Little Joy (2 years):  Sour Puss; she was a great sport.  She TRIED her hardest to like it but she just did not enjoy it; poor thing.  She rarely turns her nose up at a food so I felt bad she hated it so!
Little Asher (9 months):  Sour Puss; he tried several bites and his face got more and more sour.  It was a texture thing I believe.




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Alien Patties (Avocado Soy Patties)

My husband is much better about adding the fun spin on foods to encourage our little epicuties to eat hence the name of this recipe--ALIEN PATTIES.  I was not at home when our little ones sampled these peculiar patties, but I heard it received rave reviews.

The dairy free recipe hunt is on for our Little Asher; I have noticed that dairy (cheeses, yogurt, milk, etc.) tends to be a common ingredient in foods that are good finger foods so the search can be difficult at times.  However, I am determined to conquer this challenge!

Again, I was skeptical about this recipe, thinking it would taste terrible.  Why am I always so skeptical, because it was surprisingly delicious?  Little Asher is still young enough that every new food is exciting and Little Joy tends to like most foods the first go round.  Little Joy tends to get bored with the same foods unless its mac and cheese or PB&J.  She still eats what is presented, the quantity she eats varies if monotony  exists :)

This is adapted from a recipe in "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron.

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 cup cooked soy beans (I used fresh frozen and steamed them in my steamer)
  • 1/2 cooked brown rice (I prefer to use short grain brown rice, it is simply delicious in taste and texture)
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (I used stone ground mustard, see picture)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup (give or take) bread crumbs (I use the kind with herbs/spices already in it)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Cook brown rice according to package instructions (this takes the longest).
  2. Steam/cook soy beans according to package instructions; I steamed using a steam.
  3. Coarsely chop onion and place in small food chopper; I almost make a puree out of my onions when feeding it to my kids because I am not the best chopper.  Place in medium bowl, set aside.
  4. Place cooked soybeans in small food chopper **you do not need to rinse the chopper between uses because all the ingredients will be mixed together at the end** and chop as finely as possible (without adding water); place in bowl with onion
  5. Place avocado meat in small food chopper and puree; place in bowl with onion and soy beans.
  6. Mix remaining ingredients together in the medium bowl; add more or less bread crumbs to make the mixture into patties.  Make them thinner than you think so they will hold together while cooking.
  7. Heat olive oil in large skillet.
  8. "Fry" patties in hot oil until browned on both sides.
  9. Serve warm.
Serve:  Warm

Yield:  Depends on the size you make the patties.

Difficulty:  2 out of 5; pretty easy as long as you have made the rice and soy beans ahead.

Tip:  Make the patties a little thinner than you think because the crispy outside is the best part!

Storage:  I have not tried to freeze these, but I imagine they would freeze well.  If I froze them, I would thaw and then toast in the toaster oven.  They would be fin in the fridge for several days.

Timing:  10 Months; Since I pureed the soy beans, avocado and onions it was very soft.  Little Asher only has his two bottom teeth all the way in with the top just barely poking out and he gobbled this up just fine.  As always, be sure to introduce the ingredients individually before testing this on your Epicutie.

Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):
Little Joy (2 years):  Yummy in the Tummy; she liked it the first time but did not enjoy it as much as a left over.
Little Asher (9 months):  Yummy in the Tummy; he loved this every time I served last week!


Avocado puree

Soy bean puree

Not a great photo but this is them cooking; not sure why it looks so yellow in the pan; there was not much olive oil in there.

Plating/presentation has never been my strong suit



Pretty good stuff.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cream of Spinach (revised for Dairy Free)

I love the Cream Spinach with Lentils Over Brown Rice that we posted in April 2011; I have made it countless times for Little Joy and still do!  Little Asher cannot have dairy at all until he is 15-18 months so this limits me on what I can cook for him and I prefer not to cook separate meals for my two epicuties (even though I know it is inevitable as this stage).

I decided to really test my cooking abilities and wing making this recipe dairy free, below is what I came up with and it was quite tasty, surprisingly.  If you look at our previous post, you will see it is very similar.  

Oh and for the record, this tasted great to me too!

  • One bag baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon grated sweet onion (about 1/3-1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup imitation cream cheese (see photo below)
  • 1/4 cup firm tofu
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried fresh basil
  • Cooked red lentils (cooked according to package)

  1. Cook red lentils according to package instructions or if there are not any, check out this website about cooking lentils
  2. Wash and trim  spinach (if needed), place in food processor along with minced/pressed garlic and grated onion.
  3. Pulse it in food processor several times until the spinach reaches your desired consistency.  Be careful not to over process it, the goal is the finely and evenly chop it (in the previous post I said to chop it with a knife, but I found the spinach gets to a better size for a younger baby when the food processor is used--not to mention its MUCH quicker).
  4. Combine cream cheese and tofu in small chopper and puree until smooth (you might be able to use 1/2 tofu and omit the imitation cream cheese but I wanted the consistency to be smooth since the original recipe called for yogurt).
  5. Place spinach mixture in large sauce pan (spinach cooks down a lot so if your pan looks not worry).
  6. Cook over medium heat covered for approximately 5-8 minutes. Be sure to shake the pan often to ensure the veggies do not get burned.
  7. Drain veggies well (if needed).
  8. Stir in Olive Oil and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, continue to stir constantly (I am not good at doing anything constantly when the epicuties are awake, so just do your best)
  9. Remove from heat and stir in tofu mixture, salt, pepper and basil.
  10. While warm, mix in about a 1/3 lentil to 2/3 spinach mixture.
Yield: 3-4 servings

Serve:  Warm; can be served over cooked brown rice.  I spoon fed this to my 10 month old (Little Asher) and my toddler fed herself with the cream of spinach on a cracker.

Variation for a Toddler:  Little Joy enjoyed the dairy version of this on top of crackers (in the original post it was served over brown rice, but tried something new to liven things up).  So it was kinda like a dip!

Timing: 10 months or later; there are some strong flavors in here and lentils are best to wait to introduce until 10 months. This food does not require much chewing/grinding so if your Little One does not have many teeth, do not despair!

Storage: I would say 3-5 days in the fridge; freezer for about a month.  I froze the dairy version of this and it tasted fine frozen and reheated.
Difficulty: 2 out of 5 using the food process made this quick and easy

Epicutie Rating:  (see left side of page for rating descriptions)

  • Little Joy:  Yummy in the Tummy: She loved eating this as a dip.  We also tried it in a quesadilla and she was not as keen on it.
  • Little Asher:  Yummy in the Tummy:  He kept opening his mouth for more!!!  He even loved it on the second day.
Step 3:  Pulse spinach, onion and garlic in food processor

Step 9: After adding tofu mixture

Step 10:  Add lentils and stir

Little Asher's Meal; served with lima beans and tofu cubes dusted with graham crackers (post for that coming soon)

Little Joy's meal; cream spinach served over crackers with tofu cubes, cheese and lima beans

Little Joy trying it

She's saying "Its gonna be yummmmy"

"I like it Mommy" she said

Little Asher getting ready for the first bite

Seeing if Big Sister liked it

After several bites, he got into it and he liked it!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sweet Potato "Fries"

This was fairly easy and Little Joy LOVED them. She never eats much quantity of a finger food since I usually give it to her after a nearly full meal, but she gobbled down several of these after dinner one night.

Of course this Sweet Potato "Fry" recipe comes from; thats where I get most of my recipes. I need to test some from "Super Babyfood" soon; the book has so many it is overwhelming!

Updated on 7.3.12
*I am re-posting to share that Epicutie Little Asher these on July 3, 2012 and gave them  a YUMMY IN THE TUMMY*

  • 3 Sweet Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Brown Sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and peel potatoes (if your baby can eat skins, you can leave them)
  3. Cut potatoes to the size you want to serve and set aside. I cut mine in strips so that I had the option of breaking them into small dices or leaving them large for Little Joy.
  4. Mix olive oil, some cinnamon and a tiny bit of brown sugar in a large bowl (amount of oil and cinnamon depends on how many sweet potatoes you have, you want the potatoes to be lightly coated) .
  5. Add sweet potatoes and toss to ensure they are well coated.
  6. Pour mixture evenly on a large baking sheet and drizzle any remaining oil over the potatoes on the pan.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until tender
  8. Allow to cool and serve; freeze and extras
Yield: See pictures, LOTS!

Storage: Refrigerate for a few days and freezer for 1-2 months. This is not scientific fact, just what I plan on doing.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy - see left side of page for descriptions
LOVE LOVE LOVE, that is all I can say about how much Little Joy enjoyed these treats! She could not shovel them in fast enough!
Little Asher gave these a yummy in the tummy too almost 18 months later!

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; its a bit time consuming to peel and chop and a tad messy but worth it!!

Step 2: Wash potatoes
Step 3: Cut potatoes into the desired size

Step 8: Allow to cool. They look the same before and after cooking. They will NOT get crispy like white potato french fries will

I think she likes them!

***Epicutie Little Asher these on July 3, 2012 and gave them  a YUMMY IN THE TUMMY***

Little Asher, YUMMMM!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes (Gluten, Soy AND Dairy free!)

We are still Gluten, Dairy and Soy free over here so a friend sent me a link to a pancake recipe that nearly fit the criteria.  I altered it so that even I could enjoy this dish with my family!  AND we LOVE LOVE LOVE this!  It will be great to try on Little Asher in a couple of months since we are avoiding all dairy and gluten with him. Let me know how you all like it!

  • 1 very ripe medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg (you can substitute a flax egg here, COOL---1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon natural Jif peanut butter (Jif natural peanut butter has no dairy or soy; you could use any nut butter like almond butter, hazelnut butter etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil (or other oil such as coconut oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or molasses
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk (or substitute any other milk such as almond or rice; if you do not care about being dairy free regular milk is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (or substitute other flour; if you do not want to be gluten free use whole wheat flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips (non-dairy kind)

  1. Preheat a griddle to medium heat (about 225-250 degrees.
  2. **IF you using Flax eggs prepare those here by mixing flaxseed meal and water and letting set for 3-5 minutes.****
  3. Mash banana with baking powder.
  4. Add egg, oil, salt, vanilla, butter, honey, milk, and stir.
  5. Stir in oats and flour until just combined.
  6. Sprinkle in chocolate chips and fold gently.
  7. Scoop scant 1/4 cup measurements onto griddle.
  8. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  9. Serve plain or with a small drizzle of maple syrup.
Yield: 7-8 2 inch pancakes.  I will double this next time I make it.

Serve:  Serve immediately and warm. 

Storage:  Refrigerate leftovers and use within 2 days.

Timing:  Since there is honey in here I would wait until 2 years.  BUT if the honey is omitted I think a skilled 12 month old could easily eat these and be ok with all the ingredients.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; this does not take any longer to make than any other homemade pancakes.  Easy and delicious!

Epicutie Rating:  YUMMY in the Tummy<---see left side of page for rating descriptions
Little Joy LOVED these, in only made 7 pancakes and she ate three leaving my husband and I only 2 each.  She ate more than us!  But let's be honest, what toddler does not want a few chocolate chips in their breakfast?


Little Asher---Eating Gluten and Dairy free puffs while we enjoyed the pancakes.  It wont be much longer that he will be spectating!  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs-Slow Cooker

It has been a while since I have posted and it's because Little Asher has been a handful!!!! We found out that he has reflux and my diet exacerbates it. In our journey to determine the culprit and have a happy baby, I eliminated diary, soy, gluten, wheat and all derivatives. Doesn't seem too bad until you read labels, these ingredients are in everything!!!!!! The quest to a happy Little Asher, has brought about a new way of eating and I happy to post this recipe which is dairy, soy and gluten free EASY (the best part). This recipe is from two sites: Once A Month Mom (my new favorite site) and Cooking Gods Way.

Chicken Ingredients
1 1/2 to 2 pounds Chicken thighs, without skin (about 4 to 6 thighs)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup soy sauce alternative (recipe below; if you want you can use soy sauce in lieu of the soy sauce alternative)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

Soy Sauce Alternative Ingredients
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons unsulphured molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch white pepper
1 pinch garlic powder
1 1/2 cups organic chicken broth
salt, to taste (if needed)

Soy Sauce Alternative Instructions
1) In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together all of the ingredients, except salt.
2) Bring to a boil. Continue to boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, for about 15 minutes.
3) Store the sauce tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake before using
Use as a substitute for Soy Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce

Chicken Instructions
1). Use a 4-quart slow cooker (if using a 6-quart, this will cook faster. Check after 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low).
2) Put the chicken into your cooker.
3) In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly over the top.
4) Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 (Low does a little better)

Serve: Serve warm with basmati rice and steamed or roasted vegetables.

Difficulty: 1 out of 5. EASY EASY. Just dump and go!

Timing: 12 to 18 months, your little one should have some teeth to mash and grind the chicken, but the chicken is very very soft!!!

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in The Tummy (see rating descriptions on right side
Little Joy loved this with some if the sauce of rice. Everyone in the family liked it. The best part is Little Asher loved that my milk had no diary or soy or gluten!!!

Note: This is a great freezer meal! Put the chicken and sauce in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight the night before you want to cook it, them dump it in the crockpot the next day and you are set!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bean Nachos with Enchilada Variation

This yummy little recipe was taken from Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and modified to my tastes and kitchen ingredients. It also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free if you are interested in that! This recipe seems like it would be great for working moms as it makes up in such a short amount of time.


  • 2 medium bell peppers, any color
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans black, kidney or pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed or fresh corn off the cobb
  • 1 tablespoon dried or fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • 8 corn tortillas OR a bag of corn chips


  1. In a food processor or chopper, dice bell peppers and onion
  2. Combine all ingredients on low heat until warmed through (approximately 10 minutes)
  3. For nacho variation: Sprinkle bean mixture over nacho chips and serve.
  4. For enchilada variation: Spoon bean mixture into corn tortillas, wrap and put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove and serve.

photo (27)

Yield: Approximately 4 servings.


  • The original recipe called for the veggies to be more thoroughly cooked, but these particular veggies are so delicious and fresh tasting raw, especially with the cilantro, that I recommend just letting the recipe heat up enough to be warm.
  • The original recipe also called for more corn, I do not like corn so I reduced the amount of corn.  I also used canned corn instead of frozen or fresh.
  • I pureed one can of beans before adding it as Little Frances has been so picky about eating beans lately!
  • Although Little Frances and I had this completely dairy free with some avocado on the side (I also added some jalapenos to mine), her dad added shredded cheese to the top.  I find that the flavors are delicious enough without the cheese.

Storage: Store bean mixture or enchiladas in the fridge for up to one week, reheat before use.

Timing: If you wanted to puree the bean mixture after cooking, this can be introduced as early as one year, however in its normal form, I recommend waiting until your child is a toddler as some of the chopped veggies and chips require molars to grind.  As with many foods, it is not ingredients, so much as how finely you chop them that determines how easily your little one can eat them.

Difficulty: I am giving this a 1 out of 5, although since it does involve using your stove I probably should give it a low 2.  It’s so easy – just chop, mix, warm, serve!

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat yummy! (See left side of the page for descriptions)

This gets a solid Yummy in the Tummy in enchilada form from Little Frances, however in nacho form she realized that she could hold the chip a certain way and all of the bean mixture would just slide right off so that she could get to what she really wanted – the chips!

Daddy, with his mountain of cheese!


Little Frances, so excited because she managed to get her hands on some of it!

Little Frances

Here is Little Frances eating this at a previous time in enchilada form (with white tortillas).

Bean Enchiladas

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sweet Carrots

I love the idea of eating steamed vegetables, but sometimes they are just too bland for me--I want a little extra flavor.  Carrots is one of those veggies I seldom eat as a side dish by themselves, but I always want to because I expect Little Joy to!!  So I stumbled upon a few ways to "season" carrots and the recipe below is where we ended up; they sorta taste like sweet potatoes served this way!


  • 5 carrots, washed, peeled and cut in to large bite size chunks
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 shakes cinnamon
  1. Place carrots in steamer and stem for approximately 23 minutes (until soft but not mushy) (This would also be a good time to steam some extra carrots and puree to use for other recipes or as baby food)
  2. Place carrots in a large bowl, drizzle with honey and lemon juice and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Toss until carrots are coated; serve immediately.
WARNING:  Honey is not recommended by many pediatricians until 2 years old.  Please talk to your doctor before introducing this to your little one.

Yield:  About 5-6 servings as a side item depending on the size of your carrots.

Serve:  Serve immediately and the leftovers are not NEARLY as good as they are fresh from the steamer.

Timing:  2 years.

Difficulty:  1 out of 5; super easy side dish.

Epicutie Rating:  Yummy In the Tummy; see left side of page for rating descriptions.
Little Joy gobbled these up and in fact hardly wanted anything else BUT these for dinner!!!  This will be a regular in our house!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sweet Potato Puree

I am pleased to share Little Asher's very first Epicutie review on his first food other than cereal---Sweet Potatoes!!  And BONUS, I have shared how to make this puree for your infant AND toddler!!!  I forgot how fun making purees is and how much fun it is to try new foods on a very young Epicutie!!


  • Sweet Potatoes (however many you want)
Steps (Steamer):  
  1. Wash and Peel sweet potatoes.
  2. Dice into 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes.
  3. Place in steamer.
  4. Steam for approximately 30 minutes or until soft.
  5. Puree in food processor until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Spoon into ice cube tray (or whatever your freezing method is) and freeze for 48 hours.
  7. After frozen, remove cubes from tray and place in freezer ziplock bag.
  8. *When serving, thin using breast milk, formula or water to desired consistency.
Steps (Oven):
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash sweet potatoes.
  3. Using a fork, poke holes in sweet potato.
  4. Wrap in foil and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30-60 minutes or until soft (time depends on size of potato).
  6. After cooling, cut the potato lengthwise and scoop out the meat.
  7. Spoon into ice cube tray (or whatever your freezing method is) and freeze for 48 hours.
  8. After frozen, remove cubes from tray and place in freezer ziplock bag.
  9. *When serving, thin using breast milk, formula or water to desired consistency.
*The reason I did not thin BEFORE freezing is two fold; 1) the puree can be used in other recipes particularly those used in Jessica Seinfeld's recipes and 2) the puree can be used for your toddler as well!

Next Steps for Toddler Food:
  • After thawing or pureeing the sweet potatoes, heat to warm.
  • Add a little cinnamon and butter, stir and serve with big sibling as a great side item!  YUM!
Timing:  As early as 4 months; great choice for a first food after cereal!  Little Joy still loves sweet potatoes baked or as fries; so I am looking forward to making this food something the whole family can enjoy whether its a puree or a fry :)  We started Little Asher on sweet potatoes at 5 months and 5 days, it was his first food.

Serve:  As with every puree, when you reheat be sure to cook it through and then allow to cool to the proper temperature.

Difficulty:  1 out of 5; easy and fast especially since at this point there is only one ingredient!!

Epicutie Rating:  Yummy in The Tummy <---See left side of page for rating descriptions
Little Asher LOVED sweet potatoes; this was only his second food to taste (second to RICE cereal) and after one tiny bite he was opening his mouth for more!
Little Joy loved the sweet potatoes mashed up with a lil cinnamon and a tad bit of butter.  Its great for toddlers fine tuning their utensil abilities because it sticks to the fork well!

Allergy Reminder:  Please remember that as you begin to introduce foods to your infants to be sure to 1) talk to your doctor first about when to start and 2) wait 3-4 days before introducing any other new foods.


Ready to Steam

This is right after the first bite...he wants MORE!

Can you tell he loves it?  I think he is gonna be an EATER!

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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