Friday, April 29, 2011

That face

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It gets me every time.

I cannot stop kissing those cheeks and chomping those ears and smelling that skin and

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holy moly, somebody save me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Carrot & Parsnip Puree

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I love parsnips for many reasons. They look like an albino carrot but differ in both taste and texture. 

The flavor of a parsnip is very sweet with a bit of spice that I love.  I can't put my finger on it but the spice reminds me of cinnamon? Cardamom?  Cooked parnsips also mash or puree easily.
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Parsnips are very high in folate, calcium, potassium and fiber.  All of these factors and you have a perfect candidate for baby food.
Peel and then slice 2 or 3 carrots and 2 or 3 parsnips.  Steam the slices until tender.  This took me about 15-20 minutes.  Poke them with a fork to see if they are soft enough to mash.  Reserve cooking liquid in case you would like to use it to thin down the puree.  Place them in a food processor and blend or mash by hand. 

I decided to steam them separately so that I also had plain parsnip puree for Peanut.
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You can blend the carrots and parsnips together in the processor or mix them together by hand.

Don't overlook parsnip in your cooking at home.  We love them roasted and they also add a great flavor to mashed potatoes.

Have you had parsnip before?  How do you use them?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Makayla's Easter Cake Pops

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My niece Makayla went thru a great deal of effort to make us some Easter cake pops in the form of little chicks.
These two very special ones were for Daniel and Peanut.  She worked very hard to make them as anatomically correct as possible. 

Hence the reason Peanut's chickadee has a very large head and slanty eyes. 
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She looks so sweet here, you would never know how evil she is.

Oh Peanut, please don't lick your cousin's hand.

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There were boy chicks, girl chicks and baby chicks!

Are these not the most adorable cake pops ever?

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There were Easter eggs!

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OK really, I love these.  They make me laugh every time I look at them.

In real life the boys couldn't be more opposite and this is a perfectly hysterical representation of them.

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What Easter wouldn't be complete without Zombie chicks eating each other's brains?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Peanut's First Easter

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I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter! I have no idea how I keep doing this but I keep scheduling the post to go up and somehow save it to draft on accident.

I wasn't sure about how our day would go as Peanut had been sick for the few days prior.  A sporadic fever, stuffy/runny nose had made nighttime a nightmare.
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The night before Easter he was up every hour or so and woke up Easter morning crying.  I was little nervous about how he would do in church.

We got him dressed up in his Sunday finest.  I love bowties.  I purchased his tie on etsy at The Little Gentlemen's Closet.

Peanut is the best behaved baby in public.  Seriously.  Naptime is another discussion for another day.

He was his usual sweet self during mass and only spoke up during the singing.
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He crashed out in the car on the way to grandma and grandpa's house.

I love that little sucking thing babies do in their sleep.

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We got to the house and started to put the finishing touches on brunch.  Peanut got an Easter basket here also.

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We tried to take some pictures in which both of the boys were smiling at the same time.  Peanut wasn't really interested.
We were doing our best to make the babies laugh.  It involves lots of wild gesturing, contorted facial expressions and wide range of strange noises.

By the end my sister was hysterically laughing.  She laughed until she cried.

oh

This is just a small glimpse of what it looks like from the other side.  I stole this from my other sister.

You're welcome mom, I know you want this on the internet.

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We all had brunch and I'm going to do a post tomorrow on the desserts my niece made.  They really deserve their own recognition.

We changed Peanut out of his church clothes and into this.

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Something about the pattern on the shirt and the fedora gave it a very Cuban feel.  I suppose Puerto Rican would have been more appropriate as he is a quarter Puerto Rican.

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It's like Easter in Havana! 

We felt like all he needed was a Cigar.
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So we gave him one. 

Now before you call CPS on me I just want you to know that I didn't let him smoke it.

We didn't even light it.

I just let him chew on it a bit for the pictures.

What?

I kid, I kid.

There were no Peanut's abused in the making of these pictures :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter everyone!!

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You didn't think I would pass up an opportunity to dress up the babies, did you?

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I have to do it while they're still too young to have a say.

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Look at their little ears in this picture!

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This is one of my favorites, so sweet.

Today after church we'll be heading to my parents for an Easter celebration with lots of family, friends and as always... food!
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I found the bunny hats on etsy, my usual shopping weakness.  The shop is called Ava-Loos and she does custom orders.  She was super friendly and obviously very talented.
You have to check out the apple, acorn and pumpkin beanies.  Anyone having a fall baby?
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Easter wouldn't be complete without a bunny in a basket.
Happy bunny!

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Sad bunny?  Bored bunny?  Sick of mommy taking pictures bunny?

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I hope that today all your bunnies are happy!  We wish you all very Happy Easter!

How are you celebrating today?

Friday, April 22, 2011

ALZ Food Truck Block Party

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List of the trucks on the first street

Last week B and I headed to Irvine for a food truck block party benefiting the Alzheimer's Association.  It featured over 20 fantastic food trucks.

If you aren't already aware of the massive food truck trend then here is your evidence.  The days of the roach coach are long gone!  Maybe that's not true, I know they are cruising around out there still.  BUT there is a huge trend of gourmet food trucks satisfying the cravings of the most dedicated foodies.

We did a little research before we headed in and I had a short list of treats I wanted to try.

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These food trucks are incredibly popular and many have a huge following.  Social media like twitter and facebook enable trucks to announce their locations and fans to plan out their meals (and destinations) for the week.

The downside is that you often find yourselves standing in line for food.  We waited between 15 and 30 minutes for the trucks I was set on visiting.  The trick is to split up and wait in separate lines.

I dropped Peanut off in the Bacon Mania line upon arriving.

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We started with the Bacon Ball Duo.  They were out of the bacon-wrapped Mac'n Cheese so I'll have to hunt Bacon Mania down again.

On the left is the Dog Nut.  Yes, I know.  Its a pepperoncini wrapped in carne asada and then wrapped in bacon.  On the right is a bacon-wrapped pb & j which tasted like a bacon-wrapped pb & j.

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My personal favorite (of course) were the brownie bites.  Bliss.

I don't care if the whole chocolate and bacon trend is overdone.  I love it so very muchly.

This is a brownie wrapped in bacon and deep fried.  It's crisp on the outside and then warm, gooey and rich on the inside.
 
I dream about these.  I am determined to make these.

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Meanwhile B picked up some chili fries from Spudrunners.  I liked the fries and the fact that they topped it with sour cream.

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The trucks themselves are very individual.  They are definitely recognizable and some are really full of personality.

One of the reasons I love food trucks are their relatively small portions which really allow you to try a whole smorgasbord of food.

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I got in line for the Lime Truck.  It was a long line and they had a mishap but they handled it so incredibly that I will be a fan for life.

Plus, the guys working there were hilarious and fun and very into the customers truly enjoying their food.

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On the right is the crispy gnocchi with this really smokey tomato sauce.  They weren't able to fill our original order so they gave us a free ahi tuna poke instead. 

There would have been a time where the thought of raw ahi from a food truck would make me cringe.

May I just say that I am so glad our original order fell through.  I have had a lot of poke in my life and this one was really unique.  Along with the ahi and avocado they add macadamia nuts and a mango/passion fruit puree.  It's fresh and flavorful and I will definitely be tracking them down to have this again.

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B and Peanut stood in line for The Burnt Truck.  You can see the look of anticipation on Peanut's face.

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The Burnt Truck features gourmet sliders of all different kinds.  It was really hard to choose.  So we got 4 of them.  :)

They all come on Hawaiian rolls which I loooove.

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Starting top left and going clockwise:
The buffalo chicken slider.  Fried chicken in buffalo sauce with a blue cheese slaw on top.  Loved this, loved the slaw.

The cheeseburger.  Angus beef, american cheese, avocado spread, grilled onions and B added a fried quail egg to top it off.  I have no idea how this was because somehow I missed a bite of this one.

The spam slider.  We love spam.  I realize it's this gross looking unidentifiable meat product that comes out the shape of the can it's in, but it's good, especially pan-fried and crispy on the outside.  This also has the fried quail egg along with some nori strips.

My personal favorite: The Fried Chicken Slider.  It has buttermilk fried chicken, garlic mashed potatoes AND it's topped with country gravy.  Hello lover.

That concludes our food truck tour for today.  The fact that I broke even at the next day's weigh in was nothing but a miracle.

Having you eaten at a food truck?  Is there a food truck you favor?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Are you listening to me?

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The fact that both boys are more mobile and "hands on" has made taking pictures pretty interesting.

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Who knows where their toes are?!

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Hey look, it's your cousin!

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Now, now, please keep your hands to yourself.

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Excuse me, I said, keep your hands to yourself.

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HEY!  Break it up you two, I said Keep Your Hands To Yourself!

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What part of keep your HANDS to yourselves don't you understand?!

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Alright fine, you got me.

KEEP YOUR MOUTHS TO YOURSELVES!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Puree

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Sweet potato was the first food I made for Peanut.  It's a big flavor after months of breastmilk and formula but we decided to jump right in anyway.  He was a little unsure the first day but ate it anyway.  By day two he seemed less confused and day three he was eating like a champ.

This is the first of what may be many baby food posts.  If you aren't interested just come back tomorrow- I promise not to post 2 baby foods in a row! :)

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There are a lot of different sweet potatoes at both the supermarkets and local farmer's markets so don't be afraid to mix things up and experiment!

Left to right you see a standard sweet potato, Japanese white sweet potato, purple sweet potato and what most people/places call yam.

For the record, the last one is not really a yam.  I've never actually seen a real yam which is highly uncommon in the U.S.  Here we just call sweet potatoes with orange flesh yams. 

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Place your potatoes on the baking sheet and poke a few holes in them with a knife.

I baked all of these at 425 for varying amounts of time.  The 2 on the ends took 45 minutes and the purple took a little over an hour.  After taking this picture I realized that the Japanese white still wasn't done so I placed it cut side down and baked it for another 25 minutes bringing it to about an hour and a half.

You know they are done when the skin looks loose and the flesh is soft when squished or poked with a knife.  Don't squeeze hot potatoes with your bare hands to test them.

I'm just sayin'.

When I cut these I was a bit surprised.  Having picked up the purple and the Japanese white from the farmers market I had assumed that they were actually the opposite.  Come to find out the Japanese white has the purple skin and the purple has the white skin.

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You can scoop the flesh out with a spoon but I just end up peeling the skin off.

Simply blend in your food processor to the desired consistency.  During the blending I went ahead and added filtered water to make it smoother.  When you feed your baby you can dilute it even more with water, breastmilk or formula if you like.

No, I did not edit these photos at all.  Yes, the 3rd one looks blue.  Or even worse, kinda grey.

Left to right you are looking at them in the same order.  Sweet potato, Japanese white, purple and "yam".

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As you start to introduce your baby to more texture, reserve part of the sweet potato and mash it with a fork, then add to your puree.  You could also just pulse the processor a few times leaving some bits in tact.  Ricers will give you a different result as well. 

Each different process will yield a different texture and a new mouthfeel for your little.

Lots of new experiences.

Don't forget that big kids (like us) can eat this stuff too.  I love sweet potato mash.

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Although they are all sweet potato, they do vary in taste.

The Japanese white (the one that looks a bit green) is super creamy and by far the sweetest of the four.  The purple I found to be the least sweet and the most starchy.

Although I think they would all taste great mixed with other food, I believe the standard white sweet potato (bottom right) would be the best mixed with other food from a purely aesthetic view.  I would hate to think what broccoli and yams mixed together would look like.

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Peanut obviously doesn't care that I'm mixing sweet potato and peas and I forget what else.

He still too young to know that the bluish/greyish/slightly purplish food isn't normal either.

I think we all know my poor Peanut is going to grow up with a very different idea of what "normal" food is.  :)

Why is it I feel the need to open my mouth every time I feed him a spoonful?

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Jar up your food or place it in ice cube trays and freeze for later.  I'm passing some to my nephew, keeping some for Peanut and passing some to a friend.  Those 4 potatoes gave me 12 of these jars!  These will also keep in the refrigerator for 3 or so days.

Anyone need some sweet potato puree for your baby?  I'm making more food than I can store :)
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