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Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby Constipated?


After a particularly long stay with my in-laws filled with lots of mac 'n cheese and bananas (A's favorites!), we noticed she just was not going number two. She's always been very regular so after a day or two we called the doctor.  They gave us very practical advice~ try foods that start with P: prunes, pears, pumpkin, peaches...

  • Offer small amounts of 100% juice~ apple, prune, pear. We always cut it with water.
  • For the time being, lessen dairy products like milk and cheese, and increase water.
  • High-fiber baby foods. If your baby is eating solid foods, try high-fiber baby foods — such as barley cereal and pureed pears or prunes. Avoid rice cereal. (Mayo Clinic)  Raspberries, strawberries, rye, green beans, whole apple, grounded whole wheat, walnuts peanuts, turnips and broccoli. By including lots of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet you can get relief from the recurring problem of constipation. (OMT.com)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Snap! There's an App for That!

Welcome to our new Friday Edition~ Oh Snap! There's an App for That!!!!

This will be a simple weekly post that points you to my new favorite app! I'm a new iphone user and am just in heaven!!!!
Price: Free
Why it's Awesome: Thanks to my buddy Nicole for turning me onto this awesome app!  I can now easily make my shopping list, AND share it with my hubby so I can make sure he home with the right products- without fielding 20 phone calls during his 15-minute-trip!  I can share my list with him and we can even use coupons! Hear that, Mama Cheaps?


Make Your Own: Carrot-Raisin Muffins


1/2 c raisins
1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/5c honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 c whole milk
2 tbsp of unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp of oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c grated carrots

Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a muffin tin or insert paper liners.

Soak the raisins in a bowl of hot water and set aside while you prepare the batter.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, oil, applesauce, honey and vanilla; mix with a wooden spoon until just combined (be careful not to overmix). Fold in the grated carrots. Drain the raisins and fold into the batter.

Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, using a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Cool in the tin for about 3-5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack (avoids sogginess).

These are perfect for breakfast, and you could dress them up with some cream cheese icing for a special treat!


Adapted from a recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  
Thank you to our reader Melissa for submitting!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mars Needs Moms: Giveaway!!!

Are you just in giveaway heaven over here? I know I am;)!

Today's fun giveaway comes from Disney's new movie, Mars Needs Moms due everywhere in theaters in 3D on March 11!

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli—who needs moms, anyway?  Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases Milo’s quest to save his mom—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom—in more ways than one.  

 Check out the movie's trailer here!




ITEMS FOR GIVEAWAY:

- MARS NEEDS MOMS T-Shirt (Adult Size)
- MARS NEEDS MOMS T-Shirt (Youth Size)
- MARS NEEDS MOMS Temporary Tattoos (3-pack)

This giveaway is open to all US residents and the winner will be chosen randomly by using random.org.
The winner will be emailed so please remember to include your email address!

Contest Dates:
Wednesday, 2/23/11- Sunday, 2/27/11 at 8pm

How to enter:

#1 is mandatory. #2 and #3 are optional, so there are three total entries available.

1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me who you will take to see this movie!
2. Become a fan of Mars Needs Moms on Facebook! Leave a comment on this blog post telling me you did!
3. Become a fan of Baby in the Kitchen on Facebook!  Leave a comment on this blog post telling me you did!



Wordless Wednesday * Breakfast in the Sun

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Make Your Own: Almond-Cranberry-Pear Pancakes

In my ever-growing quest to become Super Mom (kidding), I have had making homemade pancakes on the list for awhile now. I finally came across a healthy recipe on Family Bites.

I used it as a base and modified!

Homemade Whole Wheat Pancake Mix (in a jar)
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
3 tbsp brown sugar (I used less)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
My additions:
Handful of dried cranberries
3 ripe pears, peeled and died
Handful of chopped almonds (I always keep some roasted almonds on hand in the cupboard)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the oats on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside and allow to cool.
  • Combine all dry ingredients, including cooled oats, in a bowl and mix well.  Store mix in refrigerator for 2 weeks, or the freezer for 3 months.
To make pancakes:
  •  In a small mixing bowl whisk together 1 egg, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3/4 cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla.  Add pears, cranberries and almonds.  Stir in 1 cup of the homemade pancake mix.  Let mixture stand for 2 minutes.
  • In a non-stick pan set over medium high heat, drizzle a small amount of olive oil to coat the pan. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour the batter into the pan.  Cook for approx. three minutes or until bubbles break the surface.
  • Turn the pancakes with a spatula and cook until the bottom is slightly browned.  Repeat with remaining batter until all of the pancakes are cooked.

Toddler Tip: HUMMUS!

Kate left me a comment on here, telling me that her daughter (who is the same age as Ava) LOVES hummus. She dips everything in it!

I will admit. I have not yet made my own, for two reasons, 1) I was waiting until I learned how to use my food processor and 2) We have not really bought it often.

Now that I have it on my mind, I will definitely be making it, and will continue giving it to Ava-- she cannot get enough of it. She actually CRIED when our carrot sticks and broccoli was "all done" the other day! What a great source of protein (the main ingredient is chickpeas)!

Do you have a good recipe for hummus? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Three Hours Left to Enter!!!

Click to enter!

Go Visit: White Dog Cafe


White Dog Cafe is located in University City, in Philadelphia (right on Penn's Campus). White Dog Cafe is known for it's environmental sustainability, and they are not among the crowd newbie-restaurants popping up along the Philadelphia scene--they have been in operation since 1983, the year I was born! So it was fitting that we celebrated my 28th birthday by enjoying a delicious breakfast there this weekend.

I first heard of the White Dog Cafe while I was in college, my most favorite professor and social activist, Dr. Marie Conn, was smitten with the restaurant and the ideals it promoted. When considering where to eat for my birthday this year, I knew I wanted to eat somewhere that offered fresh, local fare, somewhere that supported their farm community, and somewhere that offered delicious food! White Dog Cafe did not disappoint.

Here are some facts about their food:
  • 95% of farm purchases are made from local farms located within 50 miles of the restaurant.
  • They use only the finest organic ingredients from farms that pasture feed their animals, that treat their livestock humanely and that practice sustainable farming methods.
  • All of their seafood comes from sustainable sources.
  • The wine list includes quality varietals and blends from American vineyards.
  • They only offer fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate.
  • They use all-environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Pretty nice, huh?

My husband enjoyed the Chihuahua Steak and Eggs:
Duet of Sunny Side Cage Free Eggs, Jack and Cheddar Cheese
Griddled Fresh Corn Tortillas, Sliced Painted Hills Steak
Black Bean Salsa, Ranchero Sauce

He was silent from the moment his plate arrived..until the end when he proclaimed, "THAT was good!"
My daughter enjoyed a huge buttermilk pancake, maple syrup, and an egg.

I ordered the Crab & Spinach Benedict
Cage Free Farm Fresh Poached Eggs, Super Lump Crab,
Toasted Everything Bagel, Baby Spinach, Home Fries, Lemon Dill Hollandaise

It was delicious, down to the last bite!

The servers were friendly, the atmosphere was family-friendly while still being city-chic, and the food was worth writing home about! For hours and more information, click here. To follow them on facebook, click here.
White Dog Cafe is located at 3420 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3404.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mixing Cream Back into Whole Milk

Trickling Springs Creamery has a wonderful article about un-homogenized (cream-on-top) milk.  Every once and awhile, the cream can be difficult to mix back into the milk.  Here are their suggestions for mixing it back in:


To mix the cream back into the milk, the first step is to break the cream top so you can shake the milk; take a kitchen knife and break the cream cap that is on the top of the milk. You may want to pour some of the milk out to make some room at the top of the bottle to shake it. Get a good grip on the bottle; shake it very well. If the non-homogenized cream still does not want to mix back in try some of our suggestions below or you can skip to the next section on ways to use the cream without shaking it back in.
If the cream is too hard that shaking it won’t mix the cream back into the milk, you can try one of the following ideas:
  1. The best suggestion we had was by Lynn on our Facebook page who suggested using an Immersion Blender to mix the cream back into the milk.
  2. Another similar method is to pour the milk into a mixing bowl and use a hand held wire whisk or electric blender on a low speed to break the cream back into the milk.
  3. You can also pour the milk through a wire strainer. Using the back of a spoon press the cream through the strainer back into the milk; stir or shake the milk, it should mix back in as the cream was broken down while going through the strainer.

Click here to read the full article.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tip: Using a Blender when Making Soup

One of my girlfriends giggled when I told her I puree my soups in a blender, not a processor.  Is that weird?

If it is, oh well, because it totally works! I have a food processor but do not know how to use it. I actually pulled it out last week, determined to teach myself, and I have misplaced the instruction manual!!! NOOO! 

Anywho, I found myself with a ton of broccoli last week, so I whipped up a quick batch of Broccoli, Cannellini Bean, and Cheese Soup!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday * Bathing Beauty

Last Day to Enter our Giveaway!!!


Today is the last day to get your entries in on MamaCheaps.com!

We are helping her celebrate her second anniversary by sending YOU a copy of our favorite book~ and a gift certificate to our favorite store!!!

Click here to enter today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Everybody is Sick!

I came across this article tonight and thought it was especially pertinant since it seems like everybody's kids are sick right now!  We have been doing just this, including the honey and Ava LOVES the taste of it!


It’s winter - a time for beautiful snowfalls, cozy sweaters, soup for dinner… and a variety of winter illnesses. On average, children catch between three and eight colds per year, most of them during the fall and winter months. Amy Marlow, RD and HAPPYFAMILY’s Nutrition Advisor, offers some tips to help boost your family’s immunity this winter.
  1. Serve superfoods. Make every meal count with superfoods that are packed with nutrients like kale, yogurt, blueberries, and Salba. Avoid overly processed foods with lots of calories but very little nutrition as these will fill up your child and leave no room for nutrient-rich health foods.
  2. Season with onions and garlic. By adding onions and garlic to your toddler’s meals, you’ll be serving up quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent upper respiratory infections. Also, garlic’s antimicrobial effects against gastrointestinal bacteria and viruses help to prevent diarrhea. Introducing these flavors early helps to shape your baby’s tastes for great-tasting healthy foods.
  3. Give a boost with probiotics. Many nasty invaders in our bodies enter through the lining of the stomach. Strengthen your child’s defenses with probiotics – “friendly” bacteria that naturally help the body fend off infection and stay in balance. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut. Also look for foods that are fortified with additional probiotics (like HAPPYBELLIES cereals).
  4. Get enough zinc. This mineral plays an important role in the formation of white blood cells, which fight infection. The best dietary source is beef, but if your family doesn’t eat red meat, you can find zinc in yogurt, green peas, dark leafy greens, and broccoli.
  5. When colds strike, open the pantry, not the medicine cabinet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-prescription cold and cough medications are no longer recommended for children under age 4 because of the risk of serious side effects. Luckily, there’s an equally effective remedy in your pantry: honey. Rich in antioxidants, the thick syrupy texture helps to dissolve mucus in the throat and is very soothing. Studies also found it to quiet children’s coughs as effectively, if not better, than medications. (Note: never feed honey to a baby under age 1).
What’s your favorite natural way to keep your family healthy this winter? We’d love to hear from you!

Visit us at www.happybabyfood.com and don’t forget to enter our Generation Happy Video Contest!

Amy Marlow MPH, RD, CDN and Nutrition Advisor for HAPPYFAMILY Amy is a registered dietitian (RD) and New York State certified nutritionist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Public Health degree. In addition to her work with HAPPYFAMILY, Amy currently helps manage a Fortune 100 company's employee wellness program and sits on the Board of the Greater New York Dietetic Association. She is a published health writer and has presented on a variety of nutrition and health topics. Amy is the proud mother of Noah and Alana. Full bio.

Ten on Tuesday

  1. I am writing to you from the depths of croupy-ear infection hell! My poor sweet Abers has been sick since Friday! Arg! I have not been to work yet this week, and am really, really grateful for my students and their understanding parents!
  2. I started using a Nike + iPod Sport Kit while running (thanks, hubby for the sweet bday gift!) and it is awesome!!! I ran on Sunday and logged my first day in the Bridge to 10k program~ and went my farthest ever: 4.7mi!!!!!
  3. We are in the middle of a three-week trial with Organics Delivered (thanks to my sister!). It is awesome. I LOVE it! It's all organic, though it's not local produce. It isn't something we would choose to do year round, but man is it sweet in the cold days of winter!!!
  4. Be sure to enter our current giveaway~ Happy Baby- The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months
  5. Speaking of giveaways, you still have one more day to enter to win Real Food (book) and a Trader Joe's Gift Certificate at Mamacheaps.com!!!!
  6. My hubby has been helping me cook lately and I must say I LOVE IT! Together we've concocted two rather gourmet meals and it's so thrilling!
  7. Since I have been home sick with my little mama, I have been raiding our freezer stash (soups, pasta sauce, applesauce). I am so thankful to have it all on-hand! I have not purchased any canned soup in over a year and actually cringe at the thought now-a-days. We used to LIVE on it.
  8. Does it annoy anybody else that you can order a meal on a menu that says it contains crab, yet when it arrives at the table, it's imitation crab??? Blech. 
  9. One of my good friends and my sister have gotten on board with me and have joined my CSA! I am thrilled and cannot wait to have some partners in crime this season.
  10. I think I am going to buy a yogurt maker since I didn't love my crock-pot yogurt....do you own one?  Which one? Why do you love it?  Thanks!!

Go Visit: Tilly Mint's Tea Room


Tilly Mint’s Tea Room is a British-Style Tea Room in Souderton, PA.  If you’re tired of the same-old fast food experience, then this is the place for you.  Dress up a little, make a reservation (or just walk-in!), and let your senses be delighted by amazing teas, beautifully prepared tea sandwiches, delicately created desserts, or even some pink lemonade! The savory soups boast seasonal ingredients and local produce is used whenever possible.

While you are there, be sure to check out the St. James Gift Shop- it’s filled to the brim with “all things tea-related” including tea accessories, jewelry, children’s tea sets, books, and of course, tea!
Tilly Mint’s is available for private parties and often hosts special events, such as The North Pole Tea (Tea with Santa) and The Sweetheart Tea (for Valentine’s Day).

Hours:

Wednesday-Saturday, 10:30am to 4:00pm
Private Parties are held on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

Contact Information:

20 West Chestnut Street
Souderton, PA 18964
215.723.2620

This was written for, and published on Eat Local Philly :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Baby - The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months: Review and Giveaway!

I am so excited to tell you about the book that arrived on my doorstep this week!  HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months. A book after my own heart!  This book was written by the founders of HAPPY BABY, Robert W. Sears, M.D., FAAP, and Amy Marlow, MPH, RD, CDN.  The book is deliciously thick (399 pages!), yet easy-to-navigate.




The book is broken up into logical sections which hold several chapters each:
Part One: The Happy (and Green!) Family (How to be a Green Family and Taking Care of Mama)
Part Two: The Happy (and Well-Fed! Baby) (Breastmilk & Bottle Feeding, Eating for Two, Solid Food, Healthy Foods, Mealtime Challenges and Practical Solutions)
Part Three: The Green and Happy Home (Green Products for Baby, How to Make a Green Home for Baby)
Part Four: Check, Please: A Checklist for Baby and Toddler Wellness

Pretty awesome, right? I love that it covers such a wide range of ages, because as you know, babies change so much, just day-to-day and it's hard to keep up with what's-what sometimes!



One of my favorite parts was the chart that detailed different types of food and their vitamin contents!  What a great resource!

Want to hear some exciting news??  

Happy Baby is offering YOU the chance to win a free copy of Happy Baby- The Organic Guide to Baby's First 24 Months!  In addition to the book, the winner will also receive Product Coupons, Happy Baby Recipes, The Happy Baby Nutrition Guide, and Happy Baby FAQ

One winner will be chosen randomly by using random.org.

How to Enter:

Mandatory Entry #1- Leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you would like this book. Be sure to include your email address.

Optional Entries:
#2 Become a fan of Baby in the Kitchen on facebook. Leave a comment on THIS BLOG POST telling me you did.

#3 Become a fan of Happy Baby on facebook. Leave a comment on THIS BLOG POST telling me you did.

This contest will run from Monday, February 14 at 8pm, until Monday, February 21 at 8pm. Winner will be emailed.  This contest is open to US residents.

Make Your Own: Nutella Crepes

Happy Valentine's Day! Treat your sweeties to this simple and delicious recipe today!

My husband's cousin passed this awesome recipe along to us. I had never made crepes before but man are they EASY!!!!

 Nutella Crepes
4 Large Eggs
2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
10 Tbsp Nutella (about 3/4 cup)
Sliced strawberries and bananas

1.) Beat the eggs with a whisk until they're smooth. Add the milk, and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture. Set aside for at least 15 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Before using, whisk the mixture to dissolve ant remaining lumps.

2.) Heat an 8 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat; brush with butter. Add 1/4 cup batter and tilt the pan to stir it around. Cook until lightly golden on the bottom (about 1 1/2 minutes) Use a large spatula to flip the crepe; cook until lightly golden on the other side. Transfer to a plate. Brush the pan with butter again. Repeat, using up all the batter. As the crepes cook, they may be placed in a single stack. (Crepes may be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight, or be wrapped and placed in foil and frozen for up to one month) Bring to room temperature or warm slightly int he microwave covered with a damp cloth before proceeding.

3.) Working one at a time, spread surface of a crepe with 2 tsp of Nutella. Add fruit in a single layer on one quarter of the crepe. Fold the crepe in half and then in half again forming a wedge shape.

4.) Enjoy!!!


Dec/Jan 2011 Issue of Parenting Magazine....page 82....
Thanks, Christine!


Make Your Own: Kale Smoothies!

Baby girl came down with croup and an awful cold this weekend, so I whipped up a kale smoothie to help soothe her throat and boost her vitamin C.

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen fruit (tropical blend)
1/2 cup milk
1 banana
1 tsp flax seed
1 orange
1 cup water (add more if needed)
1 cup kale

1. Place all ingredients in blender, puree until a smooth consistency.

This made enough for J and I to have large glasses, and for Ava to have a small cup.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Giveaway!!! Real Food + Trader Joe's GC


Have you seen our giveaway over at MamaCheaps.com??? We are helping her celebrate her second anniversary by sending YOU a copy of our favorite book~ and a gift certificate to our favorite store!!!

Click here to enter today!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ledamete Grass Farm


Ledamete Grass Farm is located in Schnecksville, PA, in Lehigh County. Pronounced, "Let 'em Eat", Ledamete Grass Farm believes in raising their animals naturally in a way that benefits the local eco-system. They raise pastured Cornish Cross chickens, Narragansetts and Bourbon Red heritage breed turkeys, Broad-breasted turkeys, and pasture and forest raised Tamworth heritage pigs.

According to their website:
When eating meat from our farm you can feel good knowing that the animals lived a healthy and happy life, the local ecosystem is enriched and protected, and your food dollars are spent with local farmers who are invested in the community where you live.
Ledamete Grass Farm practices pasture-based farming -- from their website:
In factory farming manure is a waste product requiring storage and transportation and often leading to pollution while in pasture based farming manure is a wonderful source of organic fertilizer spread by the animals themselves. In addition, well-managed pasture-land provides natural erosion control and creates wildlife habitat for a multitude of plant and animal species.
Chicken, turkey and pork are available by appointment at the farm, or through the CSAs they partner with.

You can contact the Fix Family here: April and Rob Fix 610-767-4984, ledametegrass@gmail.com.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Eat Breakfast!

As you local readers know, we are neighbors with the nation's top Children's Hospital~ CHOP. Did you know you can sign up for newsletters on their website? My favorite is the Children's Health Tip of the Week.  Last week's advice is simple and good. Eat breakfast.

Sweet Ava Dee loves breakfast!

Children's Health Tip of the Week

January 24, 2011

Morning Munching: Getting Your Kids Off to a Good Start

Ask your teenager if he’d drive the car with an empty gas tank. Now ask him if he eats breakfast. According to studies, more than 40 percent of kids today skip the most important meal of the day. Just as a car requires fuel to run, the body requires its own fuel to provide the energy a student needs to get through a day of learning and other activities.

Breakfast eaters have the performance edge

According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are able to concentrate better, work more quickly, make fewer mistakes, think more creatively, and score higher on tests. In addition, kids who “fuel up” with a nutritious start to the day are more likely to meet their daily nutritional needs, maintain a normal weight, and perform better in sports and other extracurricular activities.

How passing up breakfast affects your children

Conversely, children who skip breakfast are subject to suffering hunger symptoms, including headache, fatigue, sleepiness, irritability and inability to concentrate.

Why breakfast is the meal kids love to hate

Research has proven over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, why do so many kids opt out in the a.m.? Many report being too rushed in the morning. Others say they simply don’t feel like eating.

Grab-and-go breakfasts make it easy

The key is to provide a quick, tasty, nutritious meal that kids will want to eat.
The American Dietetic Association recommends the following “on the go” breakfasts:
  • Ready-to-eat cereal with fruit and milk
  • Toasted bagel with cheese
  • Fruit-filled breakfast bar and yogurt
  • Toasted waffle topped with fruit and yogurt
  • Fruit smoothie (fruit and milk whirled in a blender)
  • Peanut butter on whole-wheat toast
  • Prepackaged protein drinks (can be taken on the ride to school)

A healthy alternative for home breakfast skippers

If you can't provide a healthy breakfast for your child at home, many schools and daycare facilities offer a breakfast program.

Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date:
January 2011


Do you eat breakfast? I never did, but now I take a few pieces of fruit, some yogurt, or a homemade muffin (or a combination!).  I teach during the week and have a photography business on the weekend, so I am often eating while driving, so cereal is not usually an option.  What do you eat? Do your children eat breakfast? Baby A always eats breakfast, a banana and then anything from eggs, pancakes, fruit, yogurt, muffins, cereal or a good combination of above. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Free Gardening Kit for Kids!

I love the idea of getting children involved in gardening/farming from a very young age, so when I saw this, I knew I had to share with you guys!!!

If you have UPC codes from 2 Annie’s Homegrown products, you can request 

The kit comes with veggie seeds and gardening gloves.


Thank you to Mama Cheaps for sharing this deal!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

  1. I turned 28 yesterday! Dang I feel old!
  2. I got my first iphone today! I am hooked! What are your favorite apps???
  3. Sometimes I think about going on a whole food/ real food/ non-processed food cleanse. I'm not sure if I could go 100%...could you?
  4. I am giving something special away on Mama Cheaps tomorrow! Make sure you check her site!
  5. A radio dj mentioned the movie Dead Poets' Society yesterday and now I really have a hankering to watch it!
  6. Thanks to weelicious for the AMAZING chilli recipe they posted last week! I made it this weekend and it was a huge hit at a party we attended.
  7. I think people think I eat much better than I do, based on my interests. Believe me, I still eat my fair share of m&ms and all that. If it's in the house I WILL eat it. :-x hahah
  8. My little honey fell off a chair today and busted her lip. I was impressed with my ability to stay calm while her lip was shooting blood. I am very grateful for boo-boo buddies. Ava certainly won't hold ice on her face, but she will hang out with Elmo!
  9. I am going to force my hubby to finish off the delicious cake my sister & brother-in-law baked for me so I will STOP eating it!! :)
  10. I'm venturing out in my soup-making world this week--making chicken corn chowder! Mmm. I will let you know how it turns out!

An Ode to My Steamer

I have a confession to make. I JUST got a steamer. Like two weeks ago. What was I doing before this?!?!?! Holy mackerel, it's so easy to use, and the veggies taste delicious in it!!

All you do is place it in a pot, fill the pot with water so that the water is JUST peeking through the holes. Pop some veggies in it, cover, and turn on the heat. Within minutes, your food is completely ready!!!!!!

What do you like to steam?


Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Visit: Betty's Speakeasy


Ava, JP, and I had the pleasure of visiting Betty's Speakeasy in Philadelphia last weekend. We were spending the day in the city celebrating my birthday, and wanted to end the day with some treats! Betty's Speakeasy was the first place I thought of, I have been following them on facebook for a few weeks and knew it was right up my alley. Betty's Speakeasy uses local, organic and fair-trade ingredients whenever possible.

They offer over 30 kinds of fudge, all homemade, with fun names such as the "Bomb Diggety", "Lava" and "Madame X". They also have a full line of cupcakes, more than ten to choose from! In their store, they have select flavors available daily. There is a breakfast and lunch menu which boasts local seasonal meals like cream of broccoli soup, eggs with smoked cheddar and arugula, and potato pancakes. If you're planning a wedding, birthday party, or other special event, they are available for catering, too (ask about their cheese plates!).

There is no sign outside, so just look for the building number (by the door). Betty's staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They are passionate about serving their community in a positive way. As I was checking out, we began talking about the benefits and challenges of running an establishment such as Betty's. The woman I spoke to said it gets easier every week. The farmers are very helpful and together they are getting more organized, which leads to consistent service.

We each enjoyed a cupcake, and my husband and I warmed up with peanut butter hot chocolate (heavenly). We bought three different types of cookies to-go, so we could extend our treats just a little bit longer!
Betty's Speakeasy is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9am to 7pm.
Contact: 2241 Grays Ferry Avenue Philadelphia, PA (just off South Street).
215-735-9060 info@bettysfudge.com

My CSA is now offering Chickens!

Palovchak's Produce is a local farm in Doylestown that offers an organic CSA membership from May through October. This week, they announced that they are partnering with Ledamete Grass Farm from Schnecksville, PA. Ledamete Grass Farm truly believes that the animals they raise should be happy, healthy, and allowed to eat a diet rich in natural foods -- bugs, grass, and maybe some organic grain. The animals rotate pastures which allows them to naturally fertilize the land.

In addition to weekly produce pickups, members will now be able to sign up for a chicken share. The shares range from one to five chickens per month.

The Palovchak Family is still accepting CSA members. Email or call them for more information: palovchaksproduce@verizon.net / 215-272-2200.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

A little cross-posting action...I published this on my photography blog this morning and thought it would be fun to share here, too. I am going to do write ups on Betty's and White Dog Cafe, so stay tuned for those!

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Yayyy! Sunday Snapshots! Where have they been, right? I stopped my "extra" segments in the fall when it was the crazy-busy season and then just kind of forgot about it! Today's Sunday Snapshot is a special edition, for yours truly turns the big 2-8 tomorrow!!! Since my birthday falls on a Monday, we decided to celebrate it on the weekend and make a day of it! I got to choose our route, so I did, with JP and Ava in mind.

Itinerary:

  1. Breakfast at The White Dog Cafe in University City
  2. Shopping at Philadelphia Runner (I had a $50 groupon to use!).
  3. Taking in some exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, mainly the photography exhibit by Mark Cohen
  4. Cupcakes and peanut butter hot chocolate at Betty's Speakeasy
Despite the dreary chilly weather, we had a blast together. Ava really held up and only fell asleep right before Bettys (at 2:30pm--way past naptime!), though you know she rallied for treats! We got home around 5pm and Ava slept from 4pm (starting in the car, then being transferred to her crib at 5) until 6:30 am!!!!
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It was a very happy birthday, indeed! :)

Go Visit: Tabora Farm and Orchard

I wrote this post last week for Eat Local Philly and knew I had to share it with you guys!!!

Tabora Farm and Orchard is nestled in the heart of Bucks County, in Chalfont on Upper Stump Road. Whenever I have somewhere special to go, I always stop at Tabora for some treats. My mom and aunt have gone there for years, so it was a natural choice when I started buying for my family! Tabora Farm has an adorable country store that is packed with homemade baked goods (my husband's favorite is the apple turnover; mine are the pumpkin cupcakes), a full-service deli that has soup and quiche, their own produce, homemade jams and sauces, gourmet chocolates, homemade breads, fair-trade coffee, and a gift shop filled with cool trinkets and kitchen accessories. Seasonally, they offer pick-your-own fruit in their orchards.

On their website, you can choose from a variety of gourmet baskets that are absolutely perfect to send to friends and family for any occasion (my favorite is the Dinner Basket and Taste of Tabora basket).

Also to my delight, they now offer their own wine! The wine is made from their fruit and their stipulations by Peace Valley Winery which is quite literally right across the street.

Tabora is owned and operated by the Torrice family. I met Caleb when I was (extremely) pregnant with Ava and he was very kind and helpful.

Follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date with happenings around the farm! Tabora is open daily from 7am until 7pm. **During the months of January, February, and March, they will be closed on Tuesdays.
1104 Upper Stump Road, Chalfont, PA 18914 USA
Phone: 215-249-3016 • Fax: 215-249-0417

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Make Your Own: Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the easiest soup I have ever made!!!  I made it on the heels of a dinner I had prepared, so it may look like a lot of steps, but once you read through, you will see you have two meals at the end!  



1 whole roasting chicken
Desired spices for seasoning
1 box chicken stock
Veggies! We used carrots, mushrooms, onions.  Potatoes and celery would also be delicious!
2 cups water, divided
1 cup egg noodles
  1. Season chicken inside and out.
  2. Stuff the chicken full of veggies. 
  3. Place chicken in crock pot
  4. Add remaining veggies to crock pot. 
  5. Add 1 cup water and enough chicken stock to fill the crock pot to about one inch high.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  7. When the chicken is finished cooking, carefully pull the entire chicken out (I use a serving fork and a serving spoon). Immediately place it in a colindar, and place the colindar back over the crock pot so the juice can drain.  Serve the chicken with veggies for dinner. 
  8. After dinner, separate the remaining chicken from the bones. Discard the bones or make stock with them.  Place remaining chicken into crock pot.
  9. Add remaining water and fill with rest of stock. Add egg noodles. 
  10. Cover on low for an hour. 
  11. VOILA! Chicken soup for tomorrow's lunch:)  When you take it out of the fridge the next day, be sure to check for any fat and skim it off the top.

Friday, February 4, 2011

11 Cooking Secrets From a Spa Chef: Thanks Oprah

In conjunction with her 2011 Feel Good Challenge, Oprah has enlisted the help of a spa chef to help us make healthier substitutions when cooking.  You can see the whole article here, but here is a list of suggestions:

  1. Make Veggies and Grains the focus of your meal, not meat.
  2. Vote with your dollar- avoid awful-tasting out-of-season produce!
  3. Eat better quality meat.
  4. Whenever possible, buy local, seasonal, and organic. 
  5. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken.
  6. Use potatoes, rice, cornstarch, or barley—not cream, butter, or flour—to thicken soups and sauces.
  7. Add flavor to a dish with fresh herbs and spices rather than fat.
  8. Substitute applesauce or prune puree for oil in cakes.
  9. Use egg whites rather than yolks as much as you can.
  10. Don't change a thing on your mother's mouthwatering holiday menu—except the portion size.


I do many of these, but I generally use chicken stock. Hmmm. 

I do thicken my cheese sauce with whole wheat flour when making mac and cheese. Maybe I will investivate other means. We don't make mac and cheese all that often so it's not a big deal.

Lastly, everything I have read lately tells me to eat the whole egg, in moderation of course.


Which ones will be easy for you? Which will be difficult? Thoughts?


Thank you to Steph for sending this site along!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tellurian Baby Review and Offer

Have you heard the awesome news- Tellurian Naturals has launched a baby line of natural products!!!  Tellurian Naturals was created by Jane Leeves (of Frasier fame!) and Ron Lewis (founder of Cosmetic Technologies) and the name means "pertaining to the Earth".  Jane and Ron have teamed up to create line of natural body care that is both people and Earth friendly.
I am really excited about their latest venture--a Baby Line!!!

I had the pleasure of reviewing the Baby Oil, 2-in-1 Shampoo & Body Wash, Shampoo, Body Wash, Lotion, Diaper Cream and I must tell you I am VERY happy with the results.

Baby Oil: I tested the Unscented, Scented, and Soothing-Calming varieties. The oil was a nice consistency- not too watery, not too oily, not too thick!  Both the scented and soothing-calming oils smelled DELICIOUS.  The scents are light, airy, soothing, and not overwhelming at all.  You have to take a good inhale to smell it when you open the bottle---there is no nasty wall of perfume waiting to pummel your nasal passages, just sweet and simple goodness!

Lotion: I tested the regular lotion and use it everyday on Ava. The lotion has a very faint, warm scent and leaves skin feeling nice and moisturized!  I love the consistency, I think it's just right for baby---not too thick! I don't know about your kid, but mine is a wild lady and does not lay long for any type of lotion rubdown. She giggles, squirms and rolls away!  I find that with this lotion, I am able to get it all rubbed in quick enough- before she's gallavanting down the hall.


Diaper Cream: The diaper cream is nice and thick and treats diaper rash really well. The main ingredient is Zinc Oxide, and then contains soothing and protecting emollients to help baby heal.

Body Wash: This tearless body wash is mild enough to use on babies and smells really good. Again, the smell is not overwhelming, it's really sweet and simple.  I love that it comes in a bottle with a pump.  When you are juggling a toddler, a wash cloth, and a slippery bottle of body wash, the bottle always seems to go flying into the tub!  Not so with Tellurian Baby! It sits nicely on the tub and makes washing much less stressful (for mommy!).

Shampoo: The shampoo had more of the same goodness- tearless, gentle, mild scented, and even has ingredients that help shine and condition hair!


2-in-1 Shampoo and Body Wash: You already know what I am going to say---it's awesome. There's a pump to make bathing easy, and you can use it on the body and hair which is very convenient for those quick bathtimes!

Body Wash: The Body Wash is more goodness, soapy but not too soapy, yummy-smelling, but not overwhelming. It's mild enough to be tearless and comes in a pump bottle which I probably will never ever be able to buy a normal bottle again because I love this so much!!!!!


These products are not tested on animals and are manufactured in an organic factory!  Check out the website for more information regarding specific ingredients and to purchase.


Good news! Tellurian Baby has provided you guys with a 25% off coupon code that can be used on their website! Just enter: BTK when checking out. Enjoy!!!!


Thank you to Tellurian Baby who provided us with samples to help facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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