Sunday, October 17, 2010

We're on solids!!

About a month ago we started solid foods.  Mollyball could not be happier as she was ready to rip the food straight from our mouths at dinner every night.  With my other children, I never did the stupid rice cereal.  I think it's bland and yucky, especially compared to mommy milk (which according to an anonymous husband "tastes like whip cream only lighter" ;) ).  So I tend to make my own baby food and use covered ice cube trays.  We start with pureed bananas and move down the fruits and veggies lines.

I just picked up this great OXO one at the Container Store a few weeks ago -- I love it, it lets you just pull out 1 or 2 without dumping the entire container.  And you can save a lot of money.  I pureed a can of Great Value carrots - 67 cents for the can, and it made an entire ice cube tray full.  I'm guessing based on the amount this is equivalent to about 4 jars of baby food versus about 42 cents for 1 jar of carrots. 

Once we move from the single veggies and fruits, I just use my mini Cuisinart and puree whatever is for dinner and freeze the leftovers in the ice cubes for another day.  I truly think this has given my children a great palate for food because they are not picky and will eat all kinds of veggies and try all kinds of things.   

In the last week Mollyball started getting bored with just single foods, and I wasn't sure what to do.  Then I saw some stew meat on quick sale at the grocery store Thursday and got a craving for beef stew, so that's what I made Friday night.  It was delicious, and absolutely hit the spot to my craving.  I sliced up a giant zucchini and let it and the potatoes cook down.  The potatoes were still around, but the zucchini cooked down to nothing and really thickened up the broth and made it so delicious.  She was not thrilled with just peaches, so I started giving her little spoonfuls of the broth of the stew, and she was in heaven.  After we were done, I pulled out the last little bit of meat and pureed everything that was left.  She LOVES this meal and with the zucchini cooked down to nothing, the puree is thickened to the right consistency for baby food, perfectly.  What I really liked about this was how hearty is tasted and how super fast it cooked -- it was done in about 2 hours.

Quickie Beef Stew
5 small Russet potatoes - peeled and cubed
1 can of sliced carrots (I usually put in raw, but this made it cook faster)
1 large zucchini - peeled, quartered then sliced
1 can of french style green beans
1 small package of stew meat
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c ketchup
salt and pepper to taste

Cut up potatoes and zucchini and started boiling in about 2 cups of water.  Brown the meat in a bit of olive oil.  Throw in the carrots and green beans while meat is browning and get it to a rolling boil before adding the meat.  Add enough water to cover everything.  Then, add spices, garlic, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer for about 2 hours on medium, checking to see if you need to add more water.

Serves a family of 4-5 easily.

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