Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Feeding Your Baby the Greene Way

There is no mistake about how I spelled 'Greene' in my title. This is a post that was inspired by a book that my Daughter purchased when she became a new Mother. More than 2 years ago my twin Grandsons were born, and my Daughter, Aubrey, wanted to get her babies on the right nutritional path. So, she purchased a book written by Pediatrician, Dr Alan Greene, called Feeding Baby Green.  

More on Dr. Greene and his impressive efforts on behalf of baby wellness here:

Aubrey, and her Husband Eric,  used this book as the inspiration to feed Jude and Graham only Fresh Fruits, Vegetables ... start them early on the right path to lifelong good nutrition and health. As their Grammy, and as a Nurse, I was thrilled to be a small part of helping to meet their nutritional needs. The following are just a few ideas, tips on what we did to prepare and store wholesome meals for our precious boys.

One of the best ways to prepare the Fruits and Vegetables for puree is to just simply roast them. Generally at 350' for about 10-15 min., depending on how powerful your oven is.

The fruit is adequately roasted when they become fork tender.

Simply toss the fruit into your food processor and puree....
Avocado lends itself to puree even without pre-cooking.. simply peel and toss into the food processor for  wonderfully creamy baby food.

Steaming Apples, Green Beans, Carrots, Sweet Potato on stovetop also is a great method to ready for  puree. I can say that I had a lot of fun coming up with interesting baby food combinations to make mealtime fun for our boys. Once pureed, you can freeze your baby food, then thaw, and keep in the refrigerator on the day you are ready to feed your baby.  

No matter how you decide to prepare your Baby food, this is a marvelous way to get your Child's nutrition and healthy eating habits off to a great start....

If you are a new Mom or Dad and looking for a healthful way to feed your baby...keep it Green... and consider checking out Dr. Greene's wonderful guidance... A caveat : always check with your personal Pediatrician and discuss plans for dietary changes for your baby, ensuring safe and timely advancement of your baby's dietary needs.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Could Give You Wings


There can be so many trials and inequities in our World today... it is sometimes not difficult to feel downtrodden or overwhelmed by circumstances we encounter in our day to day living. I was thinking about my own personal desire to lift up the spirits of others.. Even in a small way... I am happy and contented knowing that a tiny act, or a single word by me can bring comfort, joy or hope to someone else along life's path.

I Could Give You Wings    

Take hold downtrodden Spirit
And once set free
I could give you Wings
To go, to do all you are meant to Be.  

Take all tenacious Promise
And soothe cross winds
I could give you Wings
To have, to hold as a healed Soul ascends.  

Take hold heightened Sense
And share inspired View
I could give you Wings
To see, to feel, borne of days we Live anew.  

Take my Heart
Take my Hand
Take all our Possibility
When clouds have cleared and we take Flight
Away from hindrance and hostility
I could give you Wings
And in our every act we will See
The reality that when we Save each other
Lifting you is lifting me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Bit of the Tropics with Seafood

 A wonderful alternate side dish for Seafood involves a little bit of the tropics.  Grown in Costa Rica, Mexico and Brazil, the Chayote Squash steams up beautifully and I stuff it with breading that has been infused with Bacon, Asiago Cheese and Cilantro. Here's what I do....
Steam the Chayote Squash....
 For the stuffing: In a small saucepan, Saute 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup of diced onion and 1/4 cup of diced Celery until soft and translucent. In a medium sized mixing bowl, place 2 cups of lightly seasoned, dried Stuffing Bread. ( you can use ready-made from the grocery, or dry your own bread cubes in the oven) Add 2 tablespoons of Bacon bits, 1 Teaspoon of Cilantro, and 1/4 cup of grated Asiago cheese. Add the sautéed Onion/Celery. Toss. Moisten the mixture further with a can of Vegetable broth to desired consistency. You want the stuffing to be moist, soft, but still well defined. Too much liquid will make a pasty mess... so add the broth gradually as you toss the stuffing.  
When the Chayote squash is steamed to fork-tender... place the squash on a cutting board..
 Cut the Squash in half, as shown. Remove the softened 'nut' from inside the squash, scoop out the pulp and lightly chop the pulp. Then, add the pulp into your stuffing mixture. Toss.. ...

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray .. lay the squash halves into the baking dish and stuff with the stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the stuffing has a light crunch on the top.
                                                                     Enjoy these with your favorite Seafood... one bite ... and ... well....You're welcome...... :P ...... Vitamin C never tasted so good..... ;)

Carry the Best of Times Forward

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season! It was a time to spend with my loved ones... so, very special for me.. Lovely to get away from the daily grind and just 'be' for a change... the following are just a few vignettes from my holiday cheer and a recipe for you to try out... Love to you in this New Year.. xo 
Morning is a favorite time of day for me... and a day that has time for Breakfast ...well, all the better :) I spent my holiday mornings with my Grandsons... enjoying the Christmas tree and making our boys awesome 'Gammy' made Breakfasts.... Try my ..
Cranberry Orange Muffins
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup All Purpose Flour
( You can do entirely with All Purpose, but I used some whole wheat to unobtrusively increase the nutritional value..... shhhhhhh.....don't tell my boys...  :)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Fresh Cranberries
1 egg
2 Oranges
1/4 cup Canola Oil
Slivered Almonds for topping

Mix together Flours, Baking Powder, Baking Soda. Set aside. Into a Medium sized mixing bowl, microplane or finely grate 1 teaspoon of Orange zest from the oranges.  Cut the Oranges in half and juice them into a measuring cup.( You should have 3/4 cup of juice for this recipe. If you need, you can add a bit of water to the correct liquid level. ) Add the 3/4 cup Juice to the mixing bowl. Scoop out as much pulp as you can from the oranges ( little pulp pieces only!) and include this in the bowl. Add in Sugar, Egg and Oil. Whisk or beat the wet ingredients together. Then add in the dry ingredients mixture. Stir until moistened. Fold in the Fresh Cranberries. Spoon the batter into a greased Muffin pan. ( Fill each muffin slot about 3/4 full). Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with slivered Almonds. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

Drizzle each muffin with a simple glaze... I make mine with Confectioner's sugar, Vanilla extract and water to a consistency that 'drizzles' off of my spoon. Enjoy!

No greater joy at Christmas time
than excitement in our Children's eyes
The days become the more sublime
Play, Laughter and Song!! ..and our Spirits arise.

I recall the days of Childhood anticipation.. of singing Christmas carols as we put up the tree....of gazing into the Christmas balls with my Sister, and making funny faces... of reveling in the unknown of what was beyond the wrapping paper...

Oh Santa! Be good to us... or We won't add 'nipp to your nogg! ...  :P

New Years eve at home with an intimate dinner and wonderful music to ring in the New Year...   
We generally do Lobster Tail ... and I have come up with a nice Seafood side dish. I hope you will try my Stuffed Chayote Squash...The usual breading... that I infuse with Bacon bits, grated Asiago Cheese and Cilantro... did I mention Bacon?! :P  it goes so well with Seafood! ( Separate blog to follow)
The best meals, I find are those made by our hands... at home... no amount of money can buy that in a restaurant... an important ingredient is missing there... 
The greatest gift of any holiday is time spent with loved ones... making special memories... reviving cherished traditions... and if we can carry the best of those times forward... insert the joy into our daily living.... the gift just keeps on giving.... xo  


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