October 16, 2009

Cooco for Couscous

Milk and soy allergy you say?  How can that be?  But it’s true my little guy is allergic to soy and and dairy, which sent me reeling a few months ago.  I had to kick the dairy habit, which for a yogurt and butter lover such as I was hard.  I’m sorry did I just whine? 

Well, now little guy is a seven month old with two teeth and ready to move on from strained peas.  What do I feed him?  He’s not quite ready for table food, and quite frankly, with two other children in the household prepared baby food is so handy.  Don’t you know I have to read the labels of baby food for milk as well???  I just didn’t think baby food would have dairy in it since so many kiddos are allergic, but they do.
So what are my choices…there’s Gerber of course.  But the ones I found have dairy in them.  Organics' Best had a couple of choices.  Then there is Nestle which owns Gerber, they seem to be an option, but I can’t find them in the states.  I have a couple of samples from mDSCF5308y parents brought back some from their trip to Sweden this year.  Which brings me to the title of the blog, they brought back Couscous with Chicken.  Couscous for babies?  Babies can eat couscous?  They sure can, and little guy loves it.  Since I only had one jar, I am now making couscous with chicken at home, and it’s pretty yummy.  He loves it, and it wasn’t that bad to make.  Here’s the recipe if you would like to try it at home.  Big people like it as well, you just may want to add some salt and pepper and maybe a spice or two.  Enjoy!

Couscous with Chicken
1 lbs.  Ground Chicken
1 package couscous, cooked according to the package
1/2 cup pureed mango
1 zucchini
1 red pepper
4 carrots
1/2 onion
Heat about a Tbs. olive oil and sauté the onion and brown the chicken at the same time.  When the chicken has browned, set it aside (remember to break up the chicken into very small pieces).  Meanwhile I pureed a mango, with a little bit of water.  I cubed the zucchini and three of the carrots and boiled them until they were very soft.  Then using a food processor, I essentially pureed the vegetables.  The remaining carrot, I cut, into very small bite size pieces, just big enough for the baby to have something to chew on and boiled those pieces until they were extremely soft.  Then I combined, the chicken, prepared couscous and the vegetables, and the mango and we had a ton our own Couscous with Chicken.

Now I have to say, that it doesn’t have the same jelled consistency that a lot of baby food has.  I think that’s because I didn’t use any cornstarch and flour to make a gravy, but it really wasn’t needed.  He loves it just the way it is.  So, I’m not changing a thing.  In my mind if it works stick with it.

So this is the start of my baby food making journey, how long, and how intense of a journey it is going to be is still in the works.  This or one other recipe may be the entirety, you just never know.  But so far it’s been fun and rewarding.

October 12, 2009

An Award, who me???

My first award, and I don’t think any other will ever mean the same.  My friend, Hurst burst, just game me the “You are my sunshine” award and said the kindest things about me.  I’m speechless, really they were some of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten.  Go check her blog out, she has the greatest stories and makes me laugh daily.  In fact, she is pretty good at spreading sunshine herself.


So it is my turn to bestow the sunshine award, the best that I can.  As far a crafting website goes, Little Cotton Rabbits deserves this award.  Every time, I visit her site, I am amazed by her talent and inspired.  In fact, her Knitted Cupcake pattern decoration, inspired me to embellish a t-shirt for my daughter with a knitted heart.  Two Valentines later, she still adores it. I can’t wait to make the cupcake someday.

Every time I look at Lotta’s garden, I smile.  The photos are always beautiful, and let’s me get a taste of home every once in a while.  And to top it off, I have a chance to practice my Swedish with every one of her posts.

Karen, at And So I Sew, makes me smile.  I love the glimpses into her life, it reminds me how I want to parent, and she even has time to sew.  Her sewing Pledges for 2009, made me laugh, because in my mind I have the same goals.  I hope she reaches her goals. 

Lastly, there is Overseas Living.  I love to read this blog, it reminds me how wonderfully exciting the whole world is.  Through her eyes you get to see the craziest things, then the next day she’s busy parenting her children, just like any other American mother.  It’s a big adventure, that I have the privilege to see through her blog.

Ladies, thank you for filling my life with sunshine, I really feel honored to peak into your lives.

October 11, 2009

Unrequited Love

P1010013 I have to confess I have an unrequited love, my Brio stroller, baptized “the Cadillac” by my father. Of all the material things in my life, I have to say I love this the most. I used to think it was plain snobbery. I liked my Graco stroller I had when my daughter was first born, but it was hard to walk with unless the pavement was next to perfect. The wheels began disintegrating immediately, and I couldn’t see Pumpkin, she faced out into the world. But in the end, the Graco just didn’t hold a candle to the Cadillac. You see, my stroller is made of steel, has a suspension system (which means my children don’t have whiplash every time I drive them over a crack in the pavement), and the seat can face forward or backwards whenever I choose. But no, it’s not snobbery… it’s a cultural thing.
100_1268 For those of you who don’t know, I spent most of my childhood summers in Sweden and I lived there for a few years as well and every once in a while my Swedish side pops up in the strangest ways. After reading Linköpinglivin' I had an aha moment last Spring. It’s not just the engineering of my stroller I love, but just what it represents. If you read that post, it really sums up how I feel about parenting. Growing up strollers were just a part of life, you see them shopping, at restaurants, on boats, trains and trams. Everyone helps you through a door if you have a stroller, upstairs, and into the bus. In fact, trams and busses have a special place for strollers. If the baby falls asleep while shopping, so be it, you wheel it into your house, and that is where the baby sleeps. Babies are just an integral part of the culture. Now, I know most Swedes live in a walking culture, that American’s don’t have, that’s for another blog. Back to my unreasonable, undying love, it was rekindled this past week.

In the search for better mileage last year, we downsized our minivan to a Mazda 5 before baby number three showed up. To my great sadness, I haven’t been able to use the Cadillac as much as I like, because it’s only drawback is that it’s HUGE and doesn’t fit in the car when I have all three kids with me. However, things changed this last week, I was giddy, my kids began to walk to school and I follow right behind pushing my stroller. I love it, I forgot how great it rides, it can take uneven pavement, it even has a raincoat, and just like the Swedes, in my hallway, my baby took a cozy nap in the stroller. Cadillac, I love you even though there are newer and fancier strollers out there, even the US has the Bugaboo now, after nine years, there is no other stroller.

October 4, 2009

Chokeables Everywhere!!!!

There is this cute little guy, that came into our lives about 7 months ago.  He’s cute and sweeDSCF5124t, but he won’t stay put.  As of this morning he likes to play sitting up more than laying down.  He rolls, he crawls, he scoots, you name it he moves that way.  Sport thought his police car, that was 20 feet away and behind a chair, was safe…oh no, not for our little caboose.  Needless to say we are in a rush to baby proof the house before he decides to walk, oh I don’t know tomorrow.  Among many things that means LEGOS, are now restricted to the kitchen counter or our rooms.  And it means I have to tackle the kid’s art table, UGHHHH.

The art table, was a wonderful present from Santa, I guess about 5 years ago.  It’s been great.  The kids draw, paint and periodically have lunch on the table.  But the stuff that goes with tDSCF5295he art table, yikes!  I have paint, pipe cleaners, beads, you  name it stuffed in closets and cute little bins beside the table.  But as with everything else my kids seem to have, if it’s not out they don’t use it.  So today, in the interest of the little one’s safety, I proclaimed it was time to get rid of the art table or at least move it out of the kitchen.  I lost.
So, this is my happy medium.  I decided to put everything in this little chest from my grandmother.  The chest is going to be right beside the art table and if they have to get anyDSCF5299thing it is right there.  The paper bin will sit on top, because if the baby gets into that he won’t choke immediately and it’s heavy, so it will make a large sound as it hits the baby to the floor before he reaches the chokeables.  I may have to find a lock…. we'll see.
I have told the older angels, that I want wonderful little art projects from them, since they have all types of creative stuff at their fingertips.  But, if there is one chokeable left out it is getting ditched.  All for the safety of the baby.  Seriously, I’m not sure if this baby is going to survive…