Saturday, March 20, 2010

Volunteering

So, I have always enjoyed volunteering.  I like to spend my time doing something that benefits other in some way.  For the past few years, my volunteer time has been with Southern Nevada Pug Rescue, whom I adore.  Since getting pregnant I have not been able to help nearly as much as I would like to.  And since Bridget arrived, we haven't been available to foster or help at all it seems.  *sigh*  So, I really wanted to get into volunteering again.  It was one of the things on my 101 in 1001  list (which I really should update).
So today, I volunteered at Three Square, which is a non-profit organization that helps get food to people that need it here in Vegas.  They are an amazing organization and their new facility is beautiful.
I spent the morning with a few teachers from school organizing and repairing packaging for items that had been donated.  Holy cow it was a lot of stuff.  Apparently, Three Square doesn't just give food.  We were sorting everything you can think of: boxes and boxes of paper towels and TP, zipper plastic bags, dog food, blankets, area rugs, kitchen items, and some things I didn't even know about, like the Nana Saver which, now that I type out, seems like an even more stupid name than I originally thought.  (Is anyone else picturing a floaty for grannies?  No?  Just me?  Okay then.)
Anyway, it was a great time and I hope that I'll be able to go back again soon.  Volunteering is definitely more fun when you go as a group. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day


Hope you had a great day being green!


From our family to yours. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I love food.

Not that this should come as any surprise. Really, who doesn't love food? I also love cooking. I rarely do it for lack of time, but I love to cook meals at home. What I don't like is the prep work before and the cleaning after. Seriously, I need to be a chef so I can have people to do those parts for me. I tell you all of this because I have been cooking all of Bridget's food since she started eating solids. At first, it was a breeze! Steam some veggies, puree them in the food processor, freeze, and you're good to go. Woohoo! Supermom!

However, now that she's eating things that are more complex than mashed peas and carrots, it's starting to take its toll on my time and my kitchen. Truly, making one or two meals for her takes the better part of 3 hours start to finish. And that's not counting in the time to make the stocks or whatever is needed prior to making said meal. A few weekends ago, I took on two meals: Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Apples and Mini-Minestrone (recipes from Top 100 Baby Purees which I borrowed from the library and absolutely love). Both sounded appetizing to me so I figured Bridget would like them too. She's an awesome eater and the only thing we've found so far that she doesn't like is avocado (I know, crazy right?).

Anyway, I set to work around noon last Saturday. I had make the stock needed for both recipes the day before (because holy cow, have you seen how much sodium is in store bought stock?). Cleaning, chopping, prepping, etc took about 45 minutes and then cooking and pureeing was another hour or so.

This is the chicken, sweet potato and apple cooking. Yum!


This is the minestrone. I think the potatoes sucked up more liquid than expected but eh, it still smelled delicious.

After cooking and pureeing, you pour everything into ice cube trays and let them freeze. Then, you pop them out and store them in baggies. This is the awesome part about homemade baby food. I have individual little portions of many different meals available to me at all times. No feeling bad about opening a jar that she only eats a little from. No disgusting smells that don't seem to fit the food you are serving (which for the record is why I started doing homemade food in the first place).

Bridget's shelf in the freezer. From left to right: Chicken w/ sweet potato and apple, Minestrone, greens mix, sweet potato and carrot, strawberry and apple, cauliflower w/ cheese sauce, peas, and plain carrots. (and yes, that is a sock in the freezer at the bottom. We fill it with rice and use it as a cold pack.)

So I suppose in the end, for all my whining and complaining, I still love making Bridget food. I know exactly what's in it and it makes me feel good to know that I'm giving her a good start with good foods. Because I make her food, she's been exposed to several foods even I haven't had much experience with (parsnips anyone?). It has also expanded my comfort level with cooking. I'm no longer afraid of leeks. Bridget loves them. And I'm learning to love them too. Bell peppers on the other hand...blech.

Now, the next big step is to get her to eat finger foods. She's really not a fan of anything whole except her puffs.

How/what have you all been eating?