Katie's Musings

A blog about cooking, knitting, books, and parenting

Emmett’s Favorite Snacks

Our little boy, Emmett, is doing great! He’s growing so fast (he’s now 14 months); it’s hard to believe! He’s running all over the place, and is learning a few words and lots of baby signs. It’s so wonderful to see how curious he is about everything, and how he finds so much wonder and fascination in something as simple as a leaf on the ground. This is such a fun age!

I’ve been keeping a food log for Emmett for the past month and a half, in preparation for our appointment with a dietician tomorrow. Looking back on his food log today, I got the idea for writing a post about toddler snacks!

The things I consider when I choose snacks for Emmett are:

  • It shouldn’t be too messy (especially if we’re taking the snack with us somewhere)
  • It should be healthy
  • It should be finger-sized
  • It should be something I know he’ll like to eat
  • It should be something very quick and easy, with minimal preparation
  • I sometimes use packaged baby food snack items (such as toddler cereal bars or cookies), but I try to avoid these processed foods as much as possible. In general, I use these items when we’re traveling or are out somewhere during snack time, since they’re easy to take with us.

So, looking back on his food log, I see that these are our most successful snack foods:

  • boiled egg, diced in small pieces (this is our almost daily morning snack)
  • avocado slices
  • homemade bread
  • yogurt
  • fruit slices (sliced strawberries, kiwi fruit, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, grapes, plums, honeydew melon, watermelon, cantaloupe…)
  • Healthy Times maple-arrowroot toddler cookies
  • cheerios
  • blueberry muffin pieces
  • dried apricots and prunes (very thinly sliced)
  • biter biscuits (when he’s teething)
  • Gerber Graduates yogurt melts
  • thinly sliced cheese (mozzarella or cheddar)
  • saltines with roasted red pepper hummus
  • saltines with almond butter
  • organic toddler cereal bars
  • goldfish crackers

What are your favorite toddler snacks?

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July 19, 2010 Posted by | baby food, food, parenting | | Leave a comment

Pork Chops with Feta and Herbs

I don’t eat pork very often (I don’t really care for the taste or texture), but tonight I made pork chops with fresh herbs and feta cheese. I used this recipe. The only changes I made were: instead of the herbs listed, I used fresh rosemary, fresh oregano, minced garlic, pepper, and sea salt. Also I used regular feta cheese, and I added some baby spinach at the same time as the feta. I served it with macaroni and cheese, and green peas.

July 19, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Tonight for dinner I made a cream of asparagus soup. It seems like I’ve read a recipe for an asparagus soup somewhere recently, which is why I’d been wanting to make one, but I can’t remember where I saw that recipe! Anyways, I made up my own soup, based on what I had.

I sauteed one whole chopped sweet onion, 1 large bunch of chopped asparagus, about 1/8 cup chopped sage, and two peeled/chopped potatoes, in several tablespoons of olive oil. I added 1/2 tsp. sea salt. When the vegetables were soft, I added some chicken broth and water, boiled it for a few minutes until the vegetables were done, and then pureed the soup. Then, I stirred in about 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, and added about 1 tsp. of dried dill. I probably could have used less cream, since the soup was already thick from the potatoes. But, it tasted great!

July 13, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , | Leave a comment

Summer Reading

Early this summer, I finished reading the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. I absolutely love those books!! I started reading the first one a year ago, while I was waiting for my son Emmett to be born, and I’ve consistently read about 1 or 2 books in the series every month since then. I was really sad to finish the series; I felt like I have shared such exciting adventures with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin! I felt ambivalent about jumping in and reading any other books after these; I felt like I had to have a little time to just finish absorbing the wonderfulness of Patrick O’Brian’s excellent adventures!

So, for most of the summer so far, I haven’t been reading novels– I’ve been mostly just browsing recipe books, knitting or craft books, and parenting books. My local public library has an excellent stock of such books, and they are constantly buying new books, which is exciting! And, just this past week, I decided I was finally in the mood for reading novels again. I wanted something light, easy, and readable– just a good summer reading book. In the past, before my O’Brian craze, I’d favored heavy literary books, but now I feel like I just need something fun and easy to read. I discovered the books by Kathy Reichs, and I’m having fun reading those books now. I love the show Bones (which are based loosely on the ideas/characters in her books), and I’m thoroughly enjoying these books. I’m not reading them in order, just getting whichever ones are available when I’m at the library. Last week I read Cross Bones, and it was great! It was an archaelogical mystery involving ancient bones from Israel. This week I’m reading Death Du Jour, and I’m finding it a lot harder to read in some ways– it involves darker themes, and some really gruesome, disturbing images. But, I really like her writing style, and I’m caught up in the story– I want to find out what happens in the end!

I currently also have a few other books checked out:

  • Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day has some delicious-looking bread recipes. I feel like I don’t have much time to bake these days (I usually just use my bread machine), but I may have to try some of these recipes.
  • Eco-Craft: Recycle-Recraft-Restyle by Susan Wasinger is a very clever book of crafts made with repurposed household items/trash such as plastic grocery bags, wine bottles, baby food jars, plastic take-out containers, and plastic milk cartons. There are several really clever, creative items in this book, and I definitely want to try making some of them!
  • Jamie’s Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver is a fabulous cookbook!! I think I may have to eventually buy this book, after I return it to the library. There are so many incredible recipes that I want to try from this book: Baked Camembert Pasta, lots of amazing curries, Ground Beef Wellington, Lasagne, wonderful soups and stews, and beautiful roasts…. yum!!

As you can see in the picture above, we have a sweet little cat! His name is Shadow, and he follows me everywhere! In fact, it’s often hard to type on the computer because he thinks I’m trying to play with him. His favorite spot is sitting right behind my computer!

July 13, 2010 Posted by | books | , , , , | Leave a comment

Easy Italian Dinner

Tonight I threw together an easy, quick dinner involving leftover spaghetti. I made a vegetable dish of sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, and summer squash, with olive oil, sesame oil, dried oregano, and fresh sage. I also made a really easy eggplant side dish. I sliced the eggplant, dipped it in milk, and then dipped it in a cornmeal coating (actually, it was a fish fry cornmeal packet!). I baked it at 450 for about 30 minutes, then lowered it to 350 and baked for another 30 minutes. About 20 minutes from the end, I added sliced tomato and shredded Italian 3-cheese blend on top of the eggplant. It was such an easy throw-together weeknight dinner!

July 13, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eggs Benedict

This morning I again took advantage of some of my lovely finds at the farmer’s market the other day! I made eggs benedict, for the first time ever! I used the delicious eggs we got at the farmer’s market. I didn’t have any ham, so I used sliced heirloom tomatoes (from the farmer’s market) instead. I poached the eggs, put the eggs and tomato slices on top of bagel halves (instead of English muffins), and topped with a homemade hollandaise sauce. I reduced the recipe to about 2/3 (using two egg yolks instead of 3), and I substituted sour cream for part of the butter. It was great! It was such a filling breakfast, however– I was only able to eat one egg!

July 10, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salmon and Farmer’s Market Vegetables

For dinner tonight, I cooked some salmon with vegetables that I got yesterday at the Farmer’s Market! I cooked the salmon in a mixture of toasted sesame oil and olive oil, with onions, half an heirloom tomato, and summer squash. I also added fresh sage, powdered garlic, powdered cumin, and sea salt. We also had some (store-bought) ravioli, and a bottle of wine from our trip to Napa last weekend. It was absolutely delicious!

Unfortunately, Emmett (our almost-14-month-old toddler) was so sleepy at dinnertime that he refused the salmon and ravioli (even though he’s eaten both in the past, and loved it!). All he would eat was some cheerios, orange slices, and bagel with almond butter. Oh well… we have a few leftovers so he can try again tomorrow!

July 9, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Farmer’s Market

Tonight we went to our local farmer’s market!

We got almond butter, eggs, onions, dried pasilla peppers, tomatoes, some squash, and a cucumber! I also bought two beautiful honey-scented candles from a local candlemaker. I’m going to give the candles to my brother and his wife as a housewarming gift (hopefully along with some knitted house items, if I have time); they are in the process of buying a house!

We’ve decided to temporarily put our veggie-box subscription (from a local farm which has a vegetable delivery service) on hold for the summer. It’s partly for economic reasons (as an orchestral musician, I don’t get many gigs during the summers), and partly because the Farmer’s Market is so convenient during the summer. I feel so excited to have such a great local source for fresh produce!! Plus, going to the Farmer’s Market is just so much fun– they have a band playing each week, and it’s a fun, festive atmosphere. I love summers!

July 8, 2010 Posted by | food | , | Leave a comment

Soy-Peach Chicken

Tonight for dinner I made up a soy-peach chicken recipe, and it turned out quite well!

I marinated the chicken for about 3 hours before cooking it, in a mixture of:

  • about 1 cup soy sauce
  • about 2 tbsp. citrus-flavored soy sauce
  • 1/2 can peaches, diced, with most of the liquid from the can
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • juice of one lime
  • about 2 tbsp. finely chopped sage
  • about 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

After marinating, I removed about half of the liquid, and then cooked the chicken at 400 for about 25 minutes. It was delicious!

I will probably make this again in the future, but with a few changes. I would add more lime; I would probably use 2-3 limes. Also, I didn’t have any ginger on hand, but I think that would be delicious too! And, I think this would be even better with really ripe peaches instead of canned peaches. All in all, though, this is definitely a recipe worth keeping!

July 7, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Blueberry Muffins

One of my new favorite things to make for breakfast is blueberry muffins! I’ve made this recipe several times now, and they’ve always turned out great. The only change I’ve made is that I use 3/4 cups of sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups. It still tastes sweet, but not overly sweet. I’ve made it using both frozen and fresh blueberries, and it tastes great either way! I also tend to make it with soy milk (either plain or vanilla flavored), since Scott is lactose sensitive. These muffins are great; I make these about once every two weeks!

July 7, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , | Leave a comment