Cooking for Kam: Baby Food Storage

April 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Posted in Baby Food | Leave a comment
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I remember when I first started making baby food for Kamran. I was at a loss for how to store the stuff. I knew I was going to freeze it, but how–in what containers? There were a few different options and they all seemed good. At first I thought it would be best to buy a ton of containers with lids, make the food, portion into containers and both freeze and eat from them. That was just plain expensive in my book. I also had a hard time finding good reviews on those containers.

We ultimately decided to make the food, portion out into covered freezer trays and once frozen move to freezer bags complete with food label and date. This way, we just grabbed a few cubes of food we needed, put them into baby Tupperware, defrosted and off we went!

If you are trying to decide on which freezer tray to go with, I HIGHLY recommend the Mumi & Bubi Solids Starter Kit. Sure, in comparison to the other freezer tray options, this one is expensive. If you use the same food storage method we opted for, these are the only freezer trays you will need! They hold a ton of food. We could make 3, sometimes more different types of fruit or veggie purees at once and they would all fit within the 2 trays.

To be fair, we only tried one other type of freezer tray. A friend lent us the kidco trays and I didn’t like them quite as much. The food is a ton harder to get out of the kidco trays, in my opinion and though cheaper, it holds much less food. You will notice in the Amazon reviews that some people try to crack the Mumi & Bubi trays like you would an ice cube tray then say they are no good. Good luck, you’re right. It won’t work…because they are made for you to push down on one end of the food so it slides out the other end.

We don’t use freezer trays as much anymore because Kamran can eat typical, whole foods. Now we just cook and store directly in freezer bags.

Kitchen Upgrades

April 28, 2012 at 1:58 AM | Posted in Our Home | 8 Comments
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Kayvan and I really enjoy working on our home.  We intentionally bought a house that was very plain and without upgrades so that we wouldn’t feel bad when we wanted to make changes–and so we could make improvements in an effort to gain equity.  Our remodel projects have been really small thus far.  The first project we tackled was our half bath in the basement, Kayvan built our fence when we got Sookie 2 years ago and this year we put on a deck.  We’ve been in our home almost 3 years and we are pretty happy with the slow progress we have made.  I have to share our newest home update.  Our Kitchen.

When we bought the house, we had nice hardwood floors, but crappy, laminate counter tops and standard white appliances.  Our dishwasher stunk and the refrigerator died the week I was admitted to the hospital so those were easy upgrade decisions.  We also installed a microwave above our stove which was a humongous counter space saver!  My favorite updates have come this year.  New counters and finally, a back splash.  The kitchen is ALMOST done.  Here is the progress thus far.  We will grout the tile tomorrow and eventually install pulls on the drawers and doors.  I LOVE it.  what do you think?

You will notice that we installed the back splash all the way down to the counters and opted for no granite on the back splash at all.  We really weren’t sure we were making the right decision regarding how the back splash would look at first.  Now that I can see it, I am happy we made the decision that we did.

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Cooking for Kam: Quinoa Burgers

April 23, 2012 at 3:16 AM | Posted in Baby Food | 4 Comments
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Quinoa Burgers

I’m a working mom so all of my cooking for the boy is typically done on weekends.  I didn’t do a very good job of planning out meals for the week this week and tonight was at a bit of a loss for what to feed Kamran at daycare tomorrow.  I have a few meals still frozen from previous weeks and technically could have given him turkey meatballs a few extra times.  I don’t like to be as low on food options for Kamran as I currently am so I whipped something up.  Tonight’s recipe is brought to you by my “oh no, what do we have in the fridge” moment.

Quinoa burgers. Quinoa is one food I can’t get my husband to eat but Kamran and I both really like it.  I love that it is such a versatile food and is packed full of nutrients.  You can really mix it with anything.  So, what did I have in the fridge?  Quinoa, carrots, asparagus, egg and bread crumbs.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded asparagus
2 medium eggs (I buy medium because Kamran never eats all of a large egg)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
small diced onion (optional)
pinch turmeric
1 tbsp olive oil

Cook quinoa per instructions on the box.  Basically, just like you would rice.  Shred all veggies (carrot, asparagus, onion (optional)) then saute in olive oil with a pinch of turmeric.

Add quinoa, cooked veggies, bread crumbs, wheat germ (optional), 2 eggs to large bowl and mix well.  Flatten quinoa into small patties by first rolling into a ball then flattening as you would hamburger patties.  To cook you can either fry in a pan or bake on 350 for 20 minutes.  I had Kamran sample these before he went to bed and he LOVED them.

As I mentioned, one great thing about quinoa is that you can cook it so many ways.  It also tastes great with several different ingredients making it really easy to just throw something together using the stuff you have on hand in the fridge. Try these alternates:

Sweet –  Substitute veggies (carrot, asparagus, onion) for shredded apple and raisin.  Lose the turmeric.  You could add cinnamon.
Savory – Substitute veggies for butternut squash.  You could keep the carrot if you wanted.  Lose the turmeric and use cinnamon instead.
Zucchini is also great with these instead of asparagus.

Cooking for Kam: Chicken Broccoli Quesadillas

April 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Posted in Baby Food | 2 Comments
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Chicken Broccoli Quesadilla

Kamran has established that he is going to exercise his option of being a picky toddler.  He is a pretty inconsistent eater but has made one thing clear.  He does not like chicken unless it is mixed with something.  He will eat my homemade chicken nuggets, no problem but plain cubes of chicken are for throwing on the floor.  That left me with the question of what to do with all of the left over cubed chicken I froze but know Kamran won’t eat.  He seemed to like my solution.  Quesadillas.

Here is what you need.  I only made 1 serving.
1 tortilla
1.5 oz cooked chicken (shredded, cubed, however you prefer)
1.5 oz broccoli–I used frozen organic broccoli and just diced from frozen.
Shredded cheese, as much or little as you like

Heat your tortilla on a pan, flipping until it begins to puff a bit.  Add broccoli, chicken and cheese on top to one 1/2 of the open tortilla.  Fold the tortilla in half, allow cheese to melt and flip to cook the other side.  Cut into finger sized strips and serve. 

Kamran has decided that he is now a big boy and wants whole pieces to bite off.  You could also cut these down to bite sized pieces if your child prefers.

The Day Kamran FINALLY Came Home

April 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM | Posted in Baby Romaezi | 3 Comments

Yesterday marked the 1 year anniversary of Kamran coming home from the hospital for the first time ever. He was in the NICU for what felt like an eternity (every NICU parent says that) 33 days.

There is a lot about NICU life that will stick with me forever. One thing it seems I will always remember is the feeling that I would never get to bring my baby home. The neonatologists and nurses do a good job of not giving NICU parents false hope. They don’t say “I think you will be here X days.” Actually, they make every effort NOT to set deadlines or tell you what you want to hear. When you ask questions to that effect, you are quickly reminded that you are on the baby’s time. We learned that quickly when Kamran was in the NICU. he was certainly in no hurry.

After about 10 days in the NICU, the nurses started to get Kamran ready to go home. He was showing signs of being close to ready. He got his hearing test done and other fun baby things. We were urged to take our infant CPR class. The most encouraging part was when his nurse actually said to us “I think you will get to take this guy home soon.” We were so happy to finally hear it!! She was wrong. To go home, Kamran had to go 72 hours with no brady spells. What we didn’t know at the time was just how hard that would be for him to do. Waiting was the worst part for us. When we woke up in the morning, I would call for Kamran updates. After providing his record number (which I still remember), I would always ask if he had any spells. The answer would inevitably be yes. Eventually he started going 48 hours only to Brady a few hours later.

When the time came, we actually didn’t tell anyone that Kamran was coming home until we were on our way to get him from the hospital. Most friends and family found out via text on the way home. This was because we knew that until discharge papers were in hand, there would be no discharge.

Kamran was so teeny in his car seat. He was only 6 lb 7 oz when he came home. It’s insane how small he was…and he was a big preemie!

Tonight Kam learned to throw and spent about 30 minutes throwing his toy, chasing it and repeating. Watching him grow and learn is simply the best. To think of where he was this time last year just boggles my mind.

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Cooking for Kam: Lasagna Roll Ups

April 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Posted in Baby Food | Leave a comment
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Now that he’s getting older and can “eat what we eat” as everyone keeps telling me I’ve been working on finding baby friendly recipes. If I come up with them myself I’ll share the recipe. If it’s from a book I’ll just share the photo. Some of these will just be inspired by something I saw, not measured out and loosely thrown together. Like this one.

Lasagna Roll Ups

I saw the recipe for spinach and cheese roll ups in a baby cook book, was inspired and threw these together.

1 carrot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, minced
Pinch basil
Pinch oregano
4 tomatoes
Ground beef
Lasagna noodles
Shredded mozzarella

Boil water for lasagna noodles, place noodles in water and removed when fully cooked. Drain, lay flat and cut in half.

As noodles cook, brown ground beef. Drain.

In a separate saucepan sauté carrot, clove, onion, basil and oregano for 5-10 minutes. Add diced tomato and simmer until a chunky sauce. (short cut to this is to use the stuff you can buy in a jar–I wanted to go easy on the tomato and heavy carrot) Blend in food processor, return to pan and add fully cooked ground beef. Stir.

Now we assemble. Place a layer of shredded mozzarella into the middle of the noodle, add beef and sauce mixture and roll. Do this for all noodles and bake on 350 in the oven until cheese is melted. Let cool then refrigerate or freeze for later.

You could probably use shells to stuff instead if you wanted.

Now that I made them, Kamran might be too young at 13 months to eat these often. It’s just going to be a really messy meal.

For bigger kids I would probably serve them in extra sauce and more cheese on top.

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