May 26, 2010

Caston Hits 6 Months

Our little fellow turned 6 months a couple weeks ago and I haven't even had time to post a new photo from the latest photo session with Tiffany Kelly. I swear the older I get the more times flies.

In this picture Caston is on a blanket in the front yard holding an airplane that Charlie's dad made for the wee man. It hangs in his room with another plane. When Tiffany came to do the pictures she went through Caston's room gathering props and saw the latest plane that grandpa made and had to use it in a picture. Which was a great idea!

I've been busy making lots of baby food purees the past couple of weeks. I'm trying to set at least one day every two weeks to make new purees. This way I have plenty on hand in the deep freeze.

I never imagined I would be working at home, raising a baby! My, my how things change. I wouldn't have it any other way though. Working for myself has allowed our family to live a much more fullfilling life and it's so rewarding. I've been able to watch my son grow and learn each and everyday. I am so thankful for that.

My husband's job has allowed us to live a great life and we are very thankful to be living near our families finally.

God blesses us in so many ways, sometimes we just have to open our eyes and hearts to realize it.

May 17, 2010

Making Baby Food...So Easy

When I told folks I was going to make my own homemade baby food..they laughed. "Yeah, we will see how much time you have for that after the baby comes..." Mind over matter people!

Well, come on over to my house and see the bags of baby food I've made over the past couple weeks - in a very short amount of time I might add. Only the best for Caston!

I choose fresh vegetables mostly (how lucky that it's starting summer and I'll be able to shop at the farmers' markets for most all vegetables and fruits), but the fruits and vegs that are high in pesticides typically, I'm buying either locally or frozen.

I look at it this way...why wouldn't I want my baby to have the freshest most nutritious food? Plus, have you smelled some of that jarred baby food- YUCK! I wouldn't eat it.

I made sweet pea puree the other day and looked at how brightly colored the peas were. The jarred stuff looks like a brown-green color and I've never known a baby to like peas. Well, mine does! It's his favorite thus far.

I'm also making sure Caston has an adventurous palate by incorporating things like avocado, salmon, pumpkin, butternut squash and even kale. I think kids are picky eaters bc they aren't shown how fun food is!

And, you save money! Trust me on this or read this.

If you are interested in making your own baby food check out these resources:
Baby Center
Wholesome Baby Food
Cookbook: So Fresh

Once a week I take about an hour and make a couple batches of baby food and freeze the food in ice cube trays and some freezer cups. Then, just pull out the different foods at each meal. Simple as that.

The older Caston gets the more he will just eat what we eat. I whole-heartily believe this is the best food for your preservatives and additives- just fresh and healthy food!

Give it a shot!

May 3, 2010

Muffins with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Some friends and I have been tampering with Weight Watchers recipes because each recipe is nutritionally balanced and I've heard good things about many of the system's meals. So, I had to try some to see if it was worth it. It is!

Since having a baby I've become very health conscious (not that I wasn't before), but I'm really trying to cut back on the butter (Paula Deen would be disappointed) and pump up good oils (like olive and canola).

I want to live a long life and see my babies (yes I meant to use the plural word and no I'm not pregnant right now - I know that would be the next question) grow old, marry and have babies of their own. I want to Live Strong - have you checked out that website?

Our family has always eaten well, but too much of anything isn't a good thing. So, that's why we've decided to make healthier eating choices. Now, don't think that means you won't see deliciously divine desserts or my favorite southern foods- anything fried! It's just I'm going to be trying to combine a little health kick here and there.

Starting with this. The first Weight Watchers recipe I decided to try was of coarse a dessert! I love my sweets. These muffins with homemade strawberry sauce are amazing and healthy!

I was stunned on how good the strawberry sauce was.....I could have just eaten it alone. The best part is it's almost strawberry season in Missouri...look for strawberries to be ripe for the pickin' in about two more weeks!

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Lemon Yogurt Muffins with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 cup(s) strawberries, finely chopped, divided
2 Tbsp strawberry jam
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
2 large egg(s)
8 oz Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free Lemon Yogurt, or similar product
1/3 cup(s) sugar
1/4 cup(s) canola oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-hole muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup strawberries with next 4 ingredients; set over medium-low heat. Cook until boiling, whisking constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup strawberries; set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs; whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth.

Make a well in center of dry ingredients and spoon in egg mixture; gently fold to combine.

Fill each muffin hole 3/4s full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven and serve each muffin with 1 heaping tablespoon strawberry sauce on top.