Homemade Baby Food

The Plan

While I was pregnant I would lie awake at odd hours of the night just totally awake. I figured this was preparation for night feedings. HA! That’s another story. However, during these times awake I would research everything pregnancy related. I don’t recommend doing this, there is some scary stuff out there. However I found a few good things and one of them was making homemade baby food. I decided I wanted was to try this with Lyanna.

I received the book The Amazing Make Ahead Baby Food Book, a silicone ice cube tray, and small food storage containers from a co-worker for my baby shower. With my Ninja blender and my trusty pressure cooker with a steaming rack I was all set!

The premise of the book is that in three hours you can make three months of baby food. With Lyanna present in our lives for 5 months at the time, I knew we wouldn’t have three hours to set aside. Instead we tackled our project one month at a time.

The Execution

Matt and I got to work preparing the fruits and vegetables we would introduce to Lyanna in her first month of eating solids.

While I peeled and cut the fruits and veggies, Matt steamed and blended them. Once a smooth consistency was reached we poured the blend into the ice cube trays and let them cool on the counter. The mush was piping hot but after its temperature dropped we placed the entire mold in a large ziplock bag and left it in the freezer to set. A few hours later we had baby food ice cubes, and lots of them! It was very simple and it was a project we enjoyed doing together.

The Results

Lyanna’s first food after oatmeal was sweet potatoes. I still remember the look on her face when she had her first taste. She seemed confused at first but then it seemed as though she realized ‘hmm this is pretty good.’ I tried all the flavors too. Some where delicious, some were pretty good, I’d eat them all.

Homemade Baby Food | North Loves South

The book provided a calendar which scheduled Lyanna to eat each food three to four times before introducing a new food. After sweet potatoes she tried sweet peas. The first day she did not want any part of them. I even tried mixing them with her oatmeal. She somehow sucked away the oatmeal and spit out the pea part. The next day she actually ate some. On the third day she ate all of her sweet peas! Next up, bananas! She loved them. She had a little previous experience with bananas because her grandpa gave her a little taste one day when mom and dad weren’t home. Let the spoiling begin!

Bananas are definitely her favorite. She went on to try butternut squash, apples, avocados, and carrots. She didn’t really like apples which surprised me because I love apples but she really enjoyed avocados which also surprised me because they seem like more of an adult flavor. My Mom couldn’t believe she didn’t like apples so while we visited New York she asked if Lyanna could try a jar of applesauce. She got her a jar of sweet potatoes just in case. To my secret joy, she didn’t like either. Mommy makes the best food I guess. 🙂

Besides my own lame confidence boosting, it just goes to show that Lyanna is her own person, and just because I like or do not like something doesn’t mean she will feel the same way. I will try my best to remember this, and give her the opportunity to make her own opinions on flavors without me putting my likes or dislikes in her head.

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We have really enjoyed introducing her to new foods. The Amazing Make Ahead Baby Food Book has been great because it widend our vegetable choices. For example, I would not have even tried sweet peas with Lyanna, and forget about parsnips. I love the calendar too because sometimes when you have a billion things going through your head you jut need someone else to tell you what to do. ‘What are we feeding her today?’ ‘Uhhh… cherries!’ We have some good stuff in the future. Mangos and pears, yum. Kale is on deck too. I can’t lie, I’m skeptical about that one but I’ll let her decide!

Homemade Baby Food | North Loves South

Until next time,

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup

Babylon Panthers

At the beginning of 7th grade, I changed school districts. I remember when I was given the tour of my new school I thought, ‘They have the ugliest school colors! Orange and black? Why?’

I went to a school in a small town named Babylon. The town was so small that the junior high and senior high shared the same building. It was quite intimidating as a shorter than most seventh grader to share the hallways with senior football players.

I spent many years in that building and grew to love the sense of community and pride! We were so proud of our small school, and I was proud to be a Babylon Panther!

My sister and brother both worked their way through Babylon, and now it’s my youngest sister, Rori’s turn. I love to listen to her talk about her teachers, and what is going on in the community. It’s nice to hear the familiar teacher’s names. I always ask her what she thinks of them, and she speaks of them fondly, just as I remember them.

Rori is a Babylon Panther through and through. She is proud of her school and her school colors. So it was fitting that she bought me an orange and black Le Creuset French oven as a gift, especially as orange is my favorite color, go figure…

This pot has been dying to be christened. I thought a soup would be a good start! I figured I would just throw together some ingredients I had lying around and would see how it went. That’s how I make most of my soups. This one however, came out blog worthy! It’s a Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup with shallots, kale, and whole wheat pearl couscous. I made a pot that could serve six people but Matt and I ate it all in one day. We were in soup heaven! This recipe is simple, delicious and I will be making it time and time again!

Thank you Rori, for the wonderful gift! Go Babylon! 

Serves 6


Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dried Marjoram
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Israeli Pearl Couscous
  • 2 cups Kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil, and butter  in a dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, onion, and garlic, and saute until the onions become translucent. Add the salt, pepper, marjoram, and oregano. Toast the spices for a minute or two.

Slide the contents of the pot to the side and add the chicken thighs skin side down. Cook for three minutes without moving to sear the under side.

Add the chicken broth, honey, and lemon zest and stir to combine the ingredients. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the soup to simmer for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, remove the chicken. Peel off the skin and discard. With two forks, shred the chicken into bite side strips. Return the chicken to the pot and add the heavy cream, and couscous. Cook for another 10 to  minutes until the couscous is tender.

Add the kale and blanch just until they begin to wilt but the leaves are still a little crunchy. Stir in the parsley and serve in a large bowl. I know you are going to enjoy this Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup as much as Matt and I did! 😀

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Sea Salt Butterscotch Pretzel Brownies 

Are you ready to be spoiled? 

Have you ever had a craving for a snack but you couldn’t exactly decide what you were in the mood for? When I feel like that I ask myself two questions. ‘Do I want something soft or crunchy?’ and ‘Do I want something sweet or salty?’ Well sometimes I still can’t make up my mind. I hate to settle on just one flavor so there are times when I find myself with a bag of tortilla chips, a jar of salsa, and three chocolate chip cookies. It’s a bit of a strange combo.

Well now I have been spoiled by the wild imagination of my amazing husband and I am never looking back to my salsa and cookies days. If you have ever been in this conundrum, Matt and I have the perfect solution for you. Sea Salt Butterscotch Brownies will meet all of your snacking desires in just one bite. Once they hit your tongue all of your taste buds will be awakened!  You may ever cry a few tears of joy because these brownies are just that amazing.

So seriously, are you ready?

Sweet or salty? Soft or crunchy? With these Sea Salt Butterscotch Pretzel Brownies you never have to choose!

Prep Time: 15 Min   |   Cook Time: 45 Min   |   Makes 12


Ingredients:

  • 1 box Brownie Mix and the extra ingredients it calls for
  • 1 box Blondie Mix and the extra  ingredients it calls for
  • 1 cup Sea Salt Pretzels, crushed
  • 1/4 cup Butterscotch Chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 by 12 inch brownie pan.

In two separate mixing bowls, prepare the brownie mix and blondie mix according to the directions on the box. Add the butterscotch chips to the blondie batter.

First, pour the crushed pretzels in the brownie pan. Alternate between pouring the brownie batter and the blondie batter into the pan in large blobs. With a butter knife, swirl the different batters together.

Place the brownies in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Let the Sea Salt Butterscotch Pretzel Brownies cool for 20 minutes before slicing. Cut yourself a piece, sit back and indulge in sweet and salty perfection!

Sweet or salty? Soft or crunchy? With these Sea Salt Butterscotch Pretzel Brownies you will never had to choose again.

Don’t these sound outstanding?! You should spread the love and share this recipe with your friends and family. Thanks for supporting North Loves South ❤

A Brussels Sprouts Recipe So Good Even Kids Will Eat It

I have lived 29 years without ever even trying a brussels sprout!

The time has come for me to overcome my fear. I mean, how bad could they be, right? They look like adorable little heads of cabbage. I knew I was on to something when my husband, yelled out “Mmm! Something smells good!”

Please check out my full article with recipe: A Brussels Sprouts Recipe So Good Even Kids Will Eat It featured on Sheknows.com

Not a fan of brussels sprouts? Well neither was I until I tried these!

Schnitzel Sandwich with Homemade Pickles and Horseradish Mayo

“Let’s have an Oktoberfest party and ask everyone to wear lederhosen!”

Wilkommen friends! Fall has arrived and it’s time to celebrate this beautiful season. One of the most famous fall festivals is Oktoberfest! This year Oktoberfest begins Saturday, September 19th until Sunday, October 4th. This party has already begun so it is time to get on board. Continue reading