For my resident monkey, Banana Bread

Let’s chat for a second about the ingredients, specifically the flour. Today, I chose to use basic White All-Purpose Flour, however I use White Whole Wheat a lot. It makes very healthy yet tasty version of this bread. The decision is completely up to you.

The cast of characters are-

2 cups of flour

1 tsp of baking powder

A dash of salt

1/2 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cup of brown sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

3 ripe bananas smashed

1/4 cup of greek yogurt

1 tsp of vanilla extract

(1) Start with peeling the bananas and then mash with a fork. Make sure to get as many of the lumps out as possible. If you find that your banana is a bit too firm add a splash of milk that should help loosen it up. Set the mixture aside. (2) In a mixer add the soften butter and brown sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy.

(3) Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. (4) Once the eggs are mixed completely add the vanilla, greek yogurt and dash of salt. (4) Now slowly add the banana mixture to the batter. (5) Once the bananas are mixed in add the flour and baking powder. Be careful to not over mix the batter at this point. (4) Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.

(6) Bake the bread at 335 degrees for about an hour. (check the bread’s progress after 45 minutes) My biggest tip on bread making is that it will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven for at least 10 minutes. So do not over cook it in the oven.

I couldn’t stop the fam from digging in, so here’s the final product after my Monkey’s got ahold of it. Delicious!

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Baby’s Butternut Squash Stew

All I can say is the babe LOVES this stuff. I can even mix in extra stuff (i.e. greens) in this puree and get him to eat it.

You will need-
-1 small Butternut Squash, peeled and seeded
-6 small yellow Potatoes, peeled
-2 medium Apples, peeled and cored
– 1 tbsp of Olive Oil or Butter
– 1 1/2 c of milk, breast milk or water
(1) Cut all the top three ingredients into one inch cubes, you should have about a cup of each. (2) Heat oil in sauce over medium-high heat. Add the top three ingredients and stir occasionally for 8 minutes or until the apples begin to turn golden. (3) Add the milk or water to the mixer and bring to a slight boil. (4) Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and leave until vegetables are soft around 35 minutes. (5) Mash or ruin through a food processor until it reaches a consistency your baby can handle.

This should make about 3 cups or 3 ice cube trays of puree

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In honor of Dancing with the Stars… Salsa!

I must admit this is recipe is not mine, I did tweak it a touch but the bulk of it is thanks to The Pioneer Women. I need to gush for a moment, she is amazing. I kinda want to be her. Enough of that… onto Salsa. The dadda loves this, maybe if I feed him enough of this goodness he will take a Salsa lesson with me?? That would be hot for sure.

Ok… on to the good stuff. Grab your food processor (for this recipe bigger is better), a big bowl, a wooden spoon, and these items.

::Do a little dance:: That’s right canned tomatoes.

Here’s your listed of needs.

1 28 oz can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 can of Orginal Rotel

1 can of Mild Rotel

1 clove of minced garlic

1/4 of onion

1 seeded  Jalapeno pepper

1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

1/8 cup of sugar

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 whole lime juice

Next do this… aka dump everything in the bowl together.

My food processor makes a big ol’ mess if I do it all at once so I process it in 2 batches. Make sure to not over pulse it or it will be too runny. After a few pulses mix the batches back together. Make sure to stir it a few times to evenly distribute all the spices.  And this last part is very important, do you hear me… I know you want to dig right in and all but don’t! It will taste even better in a few hours.

Now doesn’t that look divine?!?!

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Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet Potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, no seriously they are. Most kids love them and honestly they are a great staple to their diets. My little guy would eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner. But, then so would I  so I can’t blame him. Each potato makes about a cup or one tray of baby puree. I highly recommend cooking them with the skins still on. The skin holds a lot of nutrients in and if you cook it long enough it just falls off which is way easier than peeling.

This recipe also works for a plain potato but you will want to mix it with another puree. Most kids find them boring and refuse them. Lets be honest how many adults don’t at least add salt and butter to a potato.

Sweet Potato Puree

2 or more Sweet Potatoes (makes sure  to the scrub the skins)

(1) Preheat the oven to 425 (2) Prick potatoes with a fork and wrap with aluminum foil. (3) Place in center rack and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It depends on the size of the potato. Just push on the potato (with an oven mitt, please no burning your fingers) if its soft its ready, if its firm keep cooking. (4) While still cut potato in half and scope out the inside. Run through a food processor with either formula, breast milk or water until it forms a consistency that works for your babe. If your child can handle a thicker puree just mash with a fork or potato masher.

Note- you can season with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice. For an older babe you could also use olive oil with a bit of pepper and sea salt. Watch the salt, I promise they get enough in everyday life without us moms adding to it.

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Amazingly good homemade bread

First a note… PLEASE EXCUSE THE LACK OF PICS…. I am still working on remembering to document as I go. I promise there will be lots soon.

This bread is awesome and good for you. Can’t beat that. The dadda told me it was the best bread I’ve made. We shall refrain from telling him its whole wheat. I am also going to pitch King Arthur’s flour, it tastes better… promise. And, yes I spend the extra money on it and no they do not pay me or give it to me. I wish they would I go through lbs of it. We always have a loaf or two of this hanging around.

I use a bread machine. I am entirely to lazy to knead and wait and knead some more. But, if you are good like that you can also make this the good ol’ fashion way.

Homemade Bread

1 scant cup of milk (that means just shy of a cup)

1/4 cup of warm water

1 egg

3 tbsp of sugar

1/4 cup of butter softened

2 cups of King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour

1 1/4 cup of King Arthur Bread flour

2 tbsp of Active Dry Yeast

(1) Put all the wet ingredients in first, then layer the dry with the yeast on top. (2) Put the machine on bread dough setting and let it work its magic. (3) Preheat the oven to 335 degrees. (4) I knead the dough a few times to get the air bubbles out and then place in a greased loaf pan. I always smooth it out and make it even. I am just that OCD. (5) Bake for 30 minutes and then let cool completely on a rake before removing from pan.

If you are wanting a real treat wash a honey milk mixture across the top of the loaf after 20 minutes and then bake the last 10 minutes. Not as healthy but damn is it good.

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Apples!

I promise you this recipe will make your house smell amazing AND your child is gonna love it. I like it and so does the Dadda so I make a huge batch of this and freeze 3/4’s of it. It is also a great way to utilize a good sale and grab the 5 or 10 lb bag. Lets also talk for a minute about peeling the apples. Apple peels have nutrients in them however they will not puree great and will make the sauce red. I generally peel half of the apples and leave the peel on the other half expect when the babe was really young and then I peeled everything.

Apple Puree or Apple Sauce

5 lb bag of apples (I use Red Delicious or Fuji)

1/4 cup of Whole Milk (or whatever you choose to serve your family)

4 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

(1) Grab the crock pot and plug it in on low heat. Spray non-stick spray throughout the pot, I promise its keeps clean up easy if you leave it cooking a bit too long. (2) Peel, core and slice apples. I use a trusty apple cutter. Super easy. **BEWARE of throwing all the peels into a disposal, highly recommend just throwing them in the trash or you may be calling a Plummer** (3)Mix everything  together in the pot and cook on low heat for 4 to 6 hours. Check on it after 2 to judge how it is cooking. The longer you cook it, the mushier it will be. (4) After the apples are sufficiently cooked either let it cool and store it or if you are making a puree run it through a food processor.

This puree also works as a great substitute to syrup on pancakes and waffles for toddlers. Spread it on before you cut it up. I promise the tots won’t miss the syrup.

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I can’t believe it’s not Beef! Turkey Meatloaf

You should make this for the whole family and never tell the Dadda that it is turkey. Just like mom made it but with lots of hidden goodies.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 lb ground Turkey

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped green peppers

1 cup of chopped spinach leaves

1 egg beaten

1 cup of bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 to 1/3 cup ketchup

1 tsp of minced garlic

dash of salt and pepper

(1) It’s real simple mix it all together in a bowl. You can use a wooden spoon or do as I do and mix it with your hands. Here’s the thing about ketchup some love it and some hate it. So if you love it use more, if you hated it just use what you need to get everything to stick together. (2)Throw it in a loaf pan and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (3) Remove from oven and place a thin layer of ketchup on top of the meatloaf. (4) Continue baking for another 15 minutes.

Let rest for a few minutes and then serve it up. I recommend a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.

Its good, its r.e.a.l. good.

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