Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Baby Food

Well I'm not Martha Stewart or anything...but I did try and venture out to make some of Briggs' baby food. I'm not one of those really organic moms who is going to make everything that goes in his mouth. neighbor has a garden and has given me some fresh veggies. Or if I have left over veggies from what we are eating, I might mix them up and freeze them for my little buddy.

In case any of you are interested in how to do that...thought I would share. Warning: lots of pics, but I thought that would be more fun than trying to type out how to do it.

First thing..if your gonna make your own baby food...gotta have one of these puppies...a Magic Bullet. I use this blender to make myself smoothies all the time and it also does a great job making baby food. I have seen and heard about the "Baby Bullet" but since I already had this one, I just used it. Works great for me so why go out and buy another contraption....just saying (this works for our family). And...from comparing the two...I think you get more bang for your buck by getting the Magic Bullet b/c it is more functional for more things than just making baby food.

Start by steaming whatever it is you're making. Below you can see chopped up apples. I peeled them first, cored and chopped into bite size pieces. I also went the cheaper route with the's just a metal insert that fits into your pot. Fill the bottom of your pot with water, place the steamer insert into your pot, the chopped apples and steam for about 5-7 minutes (until tender).

Below you can see spinach leaves that I'm steaming (from my neighbor's garden).

Once your food is steamed, put into the magic bullet and blend until smooth. Some things require more water than others to make them smooth. I used the water from the bottom of the pot that I just steamed in.

When everything is blended good...pour into an ice cube tray and pop into the freezer overnight. Once all your cubes are frozen, transfer the cubes into a freezer bag (so they don't get freezer burn)...which is illustrated later.

Sweet potatoes are a little different. They just need to be cooked in the oven until very tender. I think I did read you can boil them as well...I just popped them in the oven while I was working on the other food.

Note: Be very careful when handling the veggies and transferring to the blender...THEY WILL BURN YOU!...ask me how I learned that tip.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked tender, blend in the Magic Bullet until they are a smooth puree consistency. These required a good bit of water, but I added in small increments so the consistency didn't become too runny.

When the potatoes are blended to your desired consistency, transfer to the ice cube trays (the green cubes are green beans I had made...I didn't document doing those b/c they are the same process as apples and spinach with steaming, blending and freezing).

Last but not least...transfer your frozen cubes of baby food into a freezer bag. You have to use a little muscle to pop them out of the tray. Now they are in good serving sizes for your little one. I take a cube or two out of the freezer about 1 hour before Briggs eats. I might have to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to knock the chill off.

Hope this little process helped somebody. Like I said...I don't make all his food, just when I have free veggies from my neighbor or leftover food from what we are eating. It's kind of fun if you have a little time on your hands.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Fruit Cake Cookies

Fruit Cake Cookies

2# dates (chopped)
1/2# candied cherries
1/2# candied pineapple
1# pecans
2.5 C sifted flour
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 C margarine
1.5 C sugar
2 eggs

Cut fruit and nuts in large pieces. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Scatter about 1/2 C over fruit and nuts. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually creaming until mix is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.

To creamed mix, add fruit and nuts and remaining sifted dry ingredients. Mix well, drop from tsp onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake on 350 for 10 minutes (it took mine 11-12 minutes). Remove from oven, cool slightly.

Makes 150 cookies. These also freeze really well if you cook, package and freeze in an airtight container or freezer bags.

These are the cookies I made for the new play group in our neighborhood. Since the recipe makes so many...plenty to share. If you're looking for a good dessert to take to a holiday gathering or just something to share with friends, this is a good one. Just FYI...the candied cherries and pineapples are hard to find outside of the holidays, so if you think you might make to get the ingredients now (they do have a pretty good shelf life).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Favorite Things - Part 2

Just wanted to share some more of my favorite things again:

Since I went on bedrest with baby Briggs, I had cancelled my gym membership. I had every intention on going back but it's true when people say your priorities change when you have a kid. The money it costs for a gym membership, gas to get there, and loading a baby up to get 20 minutes away...we just decided to start our own workout at home. It was my goal to lose the baby weight quick and here is one of the tools I have used to do it. This workout video will seriously kick anybody's booty. It has 3 levels and she has good modifications for some of the hard moves. It's a 20 minute video...I mean who doesn't have 20 minutes a day. I have been known to do it twice to make a 40 minute workout.

Tip: If you're trying to lose need to do a 40-50 minute workout 4-5 days a week. Once you've met your goal, you can slow it down some to maintain with a healthy diet.

One positive...this 30 Day Shred video is only $6.87! That's a deal! I would have put a picture of my "shredded" results but didn't want to put Jillian Michaels to shame :)

This has been my new toy. It makes my heart pitter patter, brings a smile to my face and happy dreams in my sleep. I've been having some issues with our old vacuum cleaner and seriously...vacuuming is, in my opinion, one of the hardest (physical) jobs in the house. So when your vacuum cleaner doesn't work's discouraging b/c you feel like your work is in vain. So...I broke down and got this lovely machine. Since it came in...I have been vacuuming every day (I'm serious), even made a demo video on how the attachments work and sent to my family. As J says...get the girl a new vacuum and everybody else has to wear earplugs the rest of the day. Oh well, sorry I can't help it, this piece of machinery takes me to my happy place.

Do you like your house to smell good? I LOVE these candles. I had discovered them when we lived in Baton Rouge and have recently only found one vendor who sells them in Birmingham. So, you can purchase them at Charming Charlies at the Summit, or you can go here and order them online. There are lots of different kind of candles out there but these are by far my favorite. They smell up your whole house and last a really long time. So even though they are a little pricier than most, I personally think they are worth it.

This Iphone app I just discovered, the Cozi App...has changed the way of life in the Poland household. Just a few of the sinks our calendars and sends reminders via email and text of upcoming events and appointments, place for grocery list and to do list with options to email those as well. If I plug in a grocery list of things I need J to pick up...he can access my from his phone without me having to send it to him. Love it!

So those are just a few more of my favorite things I though I would share with you all.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kisses From Katie

I was introduced to this precious girl and her blog a few years ago. It was before I was really familiar with blogs and into following them so even though I was completely amazed by Katie's heart...I kind of lost touch with her and her blog.

We are walking through the lobby at church this past Sunday and there is a big kiosk with these book stacked up everywhere

and then this cute little girl sitting behind the counter signing books for an enormously long line of people. I was so excited that Katie Davis was here in person. Much to my surprise she spoke during the majority of the message at church.

Just to enlighten yall on the summarized version of this kid...Katie is from Brentwood, TN and she visited Uganda as a senior in high school. That spiraled into her moving to Uganda to teach Kindergarten which eventually resulted in her staying there permanently. She is now 24 years old and is a mother to 13 little girls she has adopted, she started a child sponsorship program which provides food, education and medical care for over 400 children daily. In the course of her time in Uganda, Katie has also founded and runs a non-profit organization, Amazima Ministries, which meets many needs of the people surrounding her in Uganda. It includes a feeding program that feeds 1600 children Mon through Fri and provides medical care, Bible study and general health training to the community. There is also a vocational program that has been developed to help the women work and provide for their families. My little summary does not even do justice what the Lord has been using this girl to do in Uganda with the people there. Please check out the links I provided to learn more about the ministry and needs in Uganda. Even in times at our worst here in the United States, we are still wealthy compared to the living conditions of the people there.

I just finished reading the book Kisses From Katie. What a powerful compelation of Katie Davis' time in Uganda and the ways the Lord has used her to reach the people there just from her being willing to be used. How convicting it has been to read and realize that we may not live directly in a place with starving children, disease and crippling poverty, but we do live around people with real needs who need to see, experience and know the love of Jesus.

It also brought to my attention how inexpensive it is for us to help the people in Uganda. Through the links provided, there are different ways you can support Katie Davis and her work in Uganda. You can sponsor a child, donate to Amazima Ministries or buy some jewelry handmade by the women she is working with. We live in so much abundance when there are people in this world who literally can't afford one meal a day!

I also attached a link to a video they showed at church this past Sunday. The book is awesome and I highly recommend it, but the video is a good introduction to it.