Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Five Favorites!

Somehow it's already Tuesday night, and because I have nothing pressing to blog about (do I ever have anything pressing to blog about?  I think not...), here are some of my current favorite things!
 
ONE
 
 
Major kudos to all you moms who cook and puree your own baby food.  And even if you just feed regular purees, whatever - you're doing what works for you.
 
But can I just say, baby-led weaning is freaking awesome?  We have finally sort of started the twins on solids and do you want to know what they've had so far?
 
They shared half a strawberry (MAYBE half - we just let them suck on it a little bit and I say WHATEVER to this as a common allergen because my kids aren't allergic to anything ever and the AAP can't make up its mind about when to introduce this stuff anyway), sucked some guacamole off my finger (Elizabeth LOVED it, Mary Claire thought it was death), and tonight we actually let them hold their own food to try it:
 
 
That's Mary Claire with a grip of steel on a giant hunk of flank steak.   Would YOU want to eat that pureed?  I think not.
 
But seriously, she was the calmest she's ever been during dinner because she was just sooooo happy to be sucking on some beef!  Elizabeth liked it too, but not as much.  She prefers toes:
 

 
Disclaimer:  We started John Paul & Cecilia with unseasoned fruits and vegetables.  But I just don't care this time around - I really don't think they're going to get addicted to salt if I give them salted food in the beginning.  John Paul's addicted to salt already and he didn't get any for his first several months of solid foods.  Kids get addicted to salt because it's delicious.
 
TWO
 
This marinade for our delicious flank steak (from some magazine at some point, but I cut it out and cut off the info!):
 
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 sprigs rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
lots of pepper
5 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar
 
Smash together first four ingredients in freezer bag.  Add remaining ingredients, and steak.  Marinate 4-24 hours, flipping occasionally.
 
Cook 5-7 minutes per side on grill, or broil.
 
And it's delicious enough that babies who have not tasted solid foods will love it!
 
THREE
 
Source
 
 
Um, don't buy it on Amazon.  Go to the actual store and avoid the $3/pound price they charge...
 
But seriously, kosher salt is one of the best things EVER.  You don't need to use nearly as much of it to make your food satisfactorily salty, and it's prettier, flakier, and it tastes better than regular salt, and Alton Brown swears by it and I pretty much do whatever he tells me to do...
 
FOUR
 
 
Braids!!!
 
Yes, her bangs take up half her head...  But she stayed still long enough for me to braid tiny little pigtails AND she kept them in for a few hours because I told her that Uncle Michael wanted her to wear her hair in braids for his birthday.  But seriously, how cute?  And when did she get so OLD???
 
FIVE
 
Source
 
SUCH an easy tape measure to use, and John Paul loves playing with it.  A little too much actually, since it's lost and I need a new one...  But it's only $5, so no biggie!
 
There we go, baby-led weaning, Alton Brown, what else do you need?
 
Check out Moxie Wife for more inspiration!

31 comments :

  1. I had to laugh at the picture of Mary Claire with the flank steak...I've reached pretty much the same point as you with #3...I've gotten so much more relaxed about their first foods. Mine was chewing on a steak bone the other day and he absolutely loved it!!

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    1. I know, it's just so much easier not to have to worry about one extra thing when you've got enough on your plate! And I've realized that as far as seasonings go, I use so little salt that I really don't think there's anything to worry about. I'm looking forward to seeing how they like everything we cook!

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  2. I think I did baby-led weaning without meaning to, b/c I'm too lazy to be methodical. . . . but I'm pretty happy with the results. Girl 1 is picky now but she wasn't for the first two years. Anyway, cute kid pictures, as always! :-)

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  3. Alton Brown knows what he is talking about. Seriously.

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  4. your little one are so cute, that pic of take advantage of opportunity is so funny. cute pics! How do you manage to take such lovely natural pictures?

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    1. I'm still learning, but we got a nice DSLR camera for Christmas and I try to take pictures in natural light as much as possible. Regardless of camera type, I think natural light is key!

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  5. I also love baby led weaning! Just a note on the salt - as far as I've read, it's not so much a concern as the kids liking it too much, but actually a potential problem of their kidneys not being able to handle it. Granted, I've found that there's conflicting information out there on just about everything baby-eating related (like you mentioned with the allergens!) but this one seemed legit enough when I read it. The amount to damage their kidneys is likely more than you're letting the twins have, but I wanted to mention it just in case!

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    1. That makes sense - I used a tsp of salt in the marinade for the steak, and salt things pretty lightly when I cook because a little kosher salt goes a long way! I don't really feed any processed foods, which I think is where the majority of the salt issues come from!

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  6. Perfect caption for the foot-sucking and how is Cecilia such a big kid??? Tell her to stop growing until I get there. If her voice is less squeaky next time I see her I don't know what I'll do.

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    1. If anything, she's even more animated and squeaky than she was in March!

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  7. You're right ~ steak, strawberries and sweet braids; what more do I need.

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  8. My goodness, Cecilia looks like a tween in those braids! Yes, Meg, she still squeaks. And anyway she uses the entire range of emotions in her voice in two words, so you will be delighted by that as well!

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  9. I am excited to try baby-led-weaning this time around. This might be a silly question, but did you use any resources to lay some ground work? I think I will still be nervous to let Amelie gnaw on meat right off the bat -- not opposed, just nervous. And I am so totally trying that marinade!

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    1. There's a pretty good book that I linked to right at the beginning of the post - that's what I used, although information differs all over the place! The key is that you give them pieces so small that they can't choke on them, or so large that they also can't. Medium-sized pieces are the dangerous ones, but babies have an overactive gag reflex that moves back on their tongue as they get older and we've never had a single issue with anything more than gagging. But definitely check out some online videos on infant CPR if you're nervous!

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  10. Do you know we can get Maggie to do anything just by threatening that we're going to braid her hair? She is like deathly afraid! Cecilia looks so cute! I am waaaaaaay to nervous about choking to do that food thing you're doing, but I know plenty of people who swear by it and have had great results. No judging, just admitting my own hangups :)

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    1. I'm the same way when it comes to choking. I still cut the older kids food into really tiny pieces because it scares me so much.

      I bet she did enjoy the steak, it looks yummy! Oh, and Elizabeth biting her sister's toes is too cute.

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    2. Kids still have such a strong gag reflex at that age! They naturally keep foods in the front of their mouths so choking isn't to be feared if you are with them and helping them hold it!

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    3. Exactly, Kaitlin! Their gag reflex moves back further on their tongue as they get older - I've read that it's actually better to let them try real food when they're younger so that they aren't all of a sudden confronted with their gag reflex when it's far enough back that choking could occur more easily!

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  11. i love me some alton brown recommendations! yeah, kosher salt!

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    1. Heck, I should have made HIM a favorite!

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  12. Yes, yes, yes to baby-led weaning! Life. Changing. :)

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  13. I'll be curious to try baby led weaning, I have heard good things. And oh yes in order to tame my oldest daughter's curly hair, I braid it pretty much every other day. And yum to kosher salt, we use it for seasoning everything just not in baking.

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  14. Love the foot eating pic! So precious!

    I also love everything I have ever made from Alton Brown, so thanks for the recipe.

    And, I have a secret drawer I keep my not as cool measuring tape in because the kids think it is the greatest thing in the world. Have to get this one, or six of them.

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  15. I love baby-led weaning as well. And, that flank steak picture is funny. Elsa once grabbed half a hamburger off my plate and woe to anyone who dared to take her hamburger away. I don't worry about salt or spice either..she just eats whatever we are eating (with the exception of sugar, I tell everyone that sugar is not to cross her lips before her first birthday).

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    1. I know, I love salt but I really don't use that much when I'm cooking - they don't get processed foods until they're way older, which I think is where most of the sodium issue comes from!

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  16. "addicted to salt because it's delicious" haha!

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  17. I love little girl braids. And waterspouts too!

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    1. Yes! I just wish she'd let me do her hair more often, it's so adorable!

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  18. Those braids are adorable! You have me hungry - that marinade sounds similar to one my mom uses. Yummy!

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  19. So I *think* we're doing baby-led weaning but I've never read up on it so I don't know! I gave up on baby food long ago (like when my first refused to eat it) and just let them at whatever we're having within reason. Oh and messiness factor also plays in depending on how much energy I have. I thought Luke would be different but my kids are such light eaters until they wean at two or so...which is actually okay by me since it's certainly easier! And you're right about the choking. Their gag reflex is amazing and I don't even freak anymore. I'm sure some people would be appalled at the things we let our babies eat!

    I don't worry at all about the salt either. I'm more of the natural salt is actually a really healthy thing camp so we don't restrict it. (Sodium is different!) :)

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    1. Yup, when we're eating something super-messy and I don't want to have to give baths, I usually sub something easier to clean up or only let them have our food if they let me spoon-feed them!

      And good point about the salt - I always forget that salt != sodium!

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