Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Homemade Baby Food - Pears

As I mentioned in this post here, I knew for sure that I would make Rex's baby food when the time came to introduce solids into his diet. The main reason driving this desire was my passion for cooking and feeding that homemade food to the ones I love. But of course, there were other benefits that would go along with making his meals. I would know what he is getting in each meal and could be sure there are no preservatives or additives in each serving. I also wouldn't have to store tons of those mini glass jars in our pantry or worry about stocking up at the grocery. And of course it would be cheaper. I think that last benefit is one that could have been easily thrown out the window if I chose to do it the wrong way though. If I were to give into the urge to purchase all of the fancy baby food making accessories that are on the market today, telling myself it was cheaper would be a lie. Don't get me wrong - these homemade baby food products for assisting in this endeavor are super cool. There are appliances, cook books and snazzy ice cube storage trays. All of which I am sure would be helpful, but I was determined to make it work with what I had. After all, I have a fully equipped kitchen for making adult food and I figured I would be able to pull it off sans any unnecessary purchases. Pear puree (Rex's all time favorite so far) is the perfect recipe to showcase how I used what I already had in my kitchen to make baby food without the aid of any baby food specific kitchen items.

Homemade Baby Food - Pears


4 Ripened Pears


1.) Peel Pears using a vegetable peeler. Cut pear into cubes; discarding stem and core.

2.) Place a colander over a small sauce pan filled with 2 inches of water making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the colander. Place over medium heat. When the water begins to boil, place the cubed pear into the colander

3.) Cover with the top of a pot cover that will fit inside the colendar. Steam for 10 minutes.

4.) Remove steamed pears and puree using an immersion blender, a food processer or liquid drink blender.
5.) Store in small containers and cover immediately to avoid browning. Let cool and refrigerate or freeze.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bread Buddy

This is a recipe I made to accompany my fabulously delicious Boeuf Bourguignon Soup. I was really impressed with the ease and uniqueness of this recipe. I have had thousands of bread variations with soup before, but have never seen it done like this. The horseradish was perfect with the beefy flavor of the soup, but I see no reason why you couldn't substitute other things in place of the horseradish to complement different dishes. I have visions of fresh herbs, citrus, cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes. I think the possibilities are endless with this super simple way to jazz up a loaf of bread!

Horseradish Chive Bread
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living December 2010

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 large French bread loaf

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mash butter with horseradish and chopped chives

using a spatula until smooth. Season with sea salt.

Slice bread on an angle, without cutting all the way through.

Generously spread butter mixture evenly onto each piece,

and wrap loaf in foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cooky Cookie

I love when I find a recipe that takes a dish and uses it in an unexpected way. Anything that is typically sweet and given a savory twist is always fun. I love serving dishes that are new, different and warrant a response of, "I've never seen it done like this before!" This recipe is just that kind. A typical Italian cookie, most often served with coffee remixed with savory ingredients and served along side a bowl of chili. Now that is unexpected!

Savory Two Cheese Biscotti
Adapted from Cooking Light March 2005

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 biscotto)

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl.

Combine milk, oil, and eggs; stir with a whisk.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well blended (dough will be dry and crumbly).

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8 times. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into an 8-inch-long log. Place logs, 6 inches apart, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment; flatten to 1-inch thickness.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Remove from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Cut each roll diagonally into 12 (2/3-inch) slices using a serrated knife.

Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake an additional 10 minutes (biscotti will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

Serve with Chili or other savory meat dish.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe