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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Make Your Own: Steamed Clams


These are SO easy and delicious!!!!!
Ingredients:
2 tsp salt 
1 container filled with water (enough to cover the clams)
a dozen clams (throw out any that are already open)
1/2 cup water
lemon wedges

3 tsp butter (See clarified butter recipe here)


  1. Add salt to water container. Add clams. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, rinse and scrub clam shells.
  3. Put 1/2 cup water in a pot. It should be enough to cover the bottom of the pot.  Heat the water to a boil, place clams in the water.
  4. Reduce heat, place lid, and simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, all clams should be open. Serve with clarified butter and lemon wedges. Mmmm!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Phillies 5k

On Saturday, my husband and I ran a 5k down in South Philadelphia at Citizen Bank Park~ home of the Philadelphia Phillies!!  The race supported Phillies Charities and over 3,000 people ran!

It was JP's first 5k and my second and it was soooooo cool to run with him! It was about 30 degrees out, with a cool breeze, but it felt great while we were running.  Two of our best friends came to hang with Ava so that she could be there to cheer us on (THANK YOU, J and K!!!!).

We finished in 35 minutes with just a few short walks, and I couldn't be happier. My first 5k in January was 39 minutes~ that was the one I ran in 14 degrees and SNOW, so I just knew I had to beat that time! We have another one 4/30 and we're excited to shave even more time off our "record".  It's pretty awesome that we were able to finish in 35 minutes~ J had not quite finished the Couch to 5k Program, in fact, I think he was only in week 5 out of 9 and had not yet run 3.1 miles! I'm so proud of him, he really kicked BUTT!

Here are some pictures~ enjoy!



Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh Snap! There's an App for That!



Price: Free
Why it's Awesome: If I could marry an App, this would be it. They are still adding foods to the database, but what an awesome start! You scan a barcode and are presented with a grade based on the ingredients and nutritional values. Amazing! Guess what? Hot chocolate and pancake mix have transfats in them. AHHHH WHAT!? Gross. Into the trash you go, jerks!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Giveaway: Captain Planet DVD!!!!!!!

Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!

Oh. my. gosh.  My brother was OBSESSED with Captain Planet. Like seriously obsessed. He is now 24 and LOVED hearing about this upcoming release, and quite honestly, I think he was a little jealous that I am doing a giveaway instead of letting him review this DVD:)

Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One
Featuring Voice Cast of David Coburn, LeVar Burton, Joey Dedio,
 Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Kath Soucie, Dean Stockwell, Jeff Goldblum, Sting and more!

JOIN THE ACTION WITH ALL 26 ADVENTUROUS EPISODES AND EXCITING BONUS FEATURES IN AN ECO-FRIENDLY-PACKAGED 4-DVD BOX SET

FLYING ONTO HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHELVES FOR THE FIRST TIME
APRIL 19, 2011 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

Move over Iron Man, Spider-Man and Batman, the world’s first environmentally-conscious superhero on the block plans to offer kids action-packed adventure and a chance to help save the environment. He's Captain Planet, the ever-changing eco-hero from within our Earth, who, with the help of five young people from around the globe called Planeteers, fights a never-ending battle against eco-villains out to destroy the world.  Arriving just in time for this year’s Earth Day celebration, Shout! Factory, in association with Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE), will unleash the long-awaited Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Season One DVD set in stores nationwide on April 19, 2011.  Passionate fans can pre-order this DVD set now.

Offering rich animation and engaging storytelling, season one of Captain Planet and the Planeteers is sparkled with all-star voice cast comprise of some of the biggest names in Hollywood and video games, including David Coburn (Captain Planet), James Coburn (Looten Plunder), LeVar Burton (Kwame), Joey Dedio (Wheeler), Whoopi Goldberg (Gaia), Janice Kawaye (Gi), Scott Menville (Mai-Ti), Frank Welker (Suchi), Meg Ryan (Dr. Blight), Martin Sheen (Sly Sludge), Kath Soucie (Linka), Dean Stockwell (Duke Nukem), Jeff Goldblum (Verminous Skum), Sting (Zarm), among others.  Featuring all 26 action-packed episodes and a wealth of bonus content, this collectible 4-DVD box set boasts a specially designed eco-friendly packaging made of 100% recycled paper. It is priced to own at $29.93 SRP.

Poised to attract an audience of kids, as well as the parents and educators who grew up with the television series in the 1990s, each episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers finds the Planeteers on a new quest. Whatever the problem, from garbage dumping to rainforest destruction, the Planeteers are ready to take action. With the aid of rings given to them by Gaia, the Spirit of Earth, they each control one special element of nature - Earth, wind, water, fire and heart. The Planeteers use their powers to take on environmental disasters created by the eco-villains. "You must have faith in yourselves," Gaia tells her newly recruited Planeteers. "You're fighting for the good of the whole world." When the situation becomes critical, they join their powers together to summon Captain Planet.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers work together to prevent the eco-villains from looting and polluting the Earth's resources. Once the problem is under control, Captain Planet returns to the Earth, leaving this message for Planeteers everywhere -- "The power is yours!" Each episode ends with a 30-second tag including tips on how people can be a part of the solution.
This acclaimed animated series motivates today’s youth to get involved in saving our planet and explores the profound impact of environmental activism, and relating it to issues that face all of us today.  Go Planet!
Executive producers of Captain Planet and the Planeteers are Andy Heyward, Robby London, Barbara Pyle and Nick Boxer. The series is directed by Will Meugniot. The idea for Captain Planet was originated by R.E. Turner.


DVD BONUS FEATURES:
Your Powers Combined: The Story of Captain Planet
Original Concept Art Gallery
Animated Storyboards

I have ONE DVD to giveaway to one US resident!!!!!!
 This giveaway ends Wednesday, March 30 at 8pm EST.
There are four total ways to win. Please include your email address in every entry comment. I do not have access to emails used to log in to make a comment:)
Winner will be randomly chosen by random.org.

  1. Leave a comment telling me who you will share this DVD with if you win!
  2. "Like" Baby in the Kitchen on facebook and come back and comment here!
  3. "Like" Captain Planet on facebook and come back and comment here!
  4. Tell five friends about this contest and come back and comment here!

Turn off Your light, Turn on the Earth -- Global Event March 26

I completely missed this event last year and am so glad I got an email reminding me this year! We won't be able to involve our little one as she'll be fast asleep at 8:30 p.m., but I am hoping the hubs and I can participate! Will you take part in this great event? 

 

WHAT IS EARTH HOUR?

Earth Hour is driven by the global community’s will to protect the planet we share. Earth Hour’s exponential growth – from a single-city initiative in 2007 to a global movement across 128 countries in 2010 – is indicative of the growing desire for a cleaner, healthier world that is gathering momentum by the hour.  At 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March 2011, Earth Hour will mark a moment of global contemplation to go beyond the hour; a collective commitment by individuals throughout the world to be the ongoing change they want to see in it. 

Earth Hour 2011 will ask the world to:
·      Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world
·      Sign up and Share stories of your actions that benefit the planet on earthhour.org 
·      Sustain your actions beyond the hourwww.beyondthehour.org 
 
HOW DO WE INVOLVE OUR CHILDREN?

In a bid to extend the message to young children and their caregivers, the Earth Hour organization has appointed the globally loved animated character Pocoyo as the first Global Kids’ Ambassador of Earth Hour, Beyond the Hour.  Pocoyo will reach out to millions of preschool-aged fans across the globe, fostering “Learning through Laughter,” to inform children about environmental issues.

Parent and their caregivers can find a fun activity book, promo, screensavers and wallpaper at http://www.pocoyo.com/earth_hour_2011.html

Here some great GREEN tips to share with your family!


Turn off lights and appliances at the wall when not in use
            Explain to children that lights, TV’s and computers use energy, and that it is in short supply!  This is an easy way to reduce wasted energy and carbon. If you switch off just one appliance at the wall you could save 99 pounds of greenhouse gas!  Ask your child if he can imagine what 99 pounds might look like, and show him/her some examples – like twenty 5 pound bags of potatoes!

Stop using plastic containers
                Explain to your child that every bottle they throw in the trash sits in a big pile at the local dump.  Have your child help you pick out fun, brightly colored refillable or reusable containers.

Make recycling fun!
Make recycling fun by inventing games such as tossing non-breakable recyclable items into trashcans at a short distance!  Use recyclable materials in craft projects, for example use cardboard to make masks, or paper to make airplanes!   Create art projects such as paper mache and mosaics. And donate discarded items to charity!

Have a candlelight family and grab a blanket if it’s cold!
Once a week, have a candlelight family hour and tell stories or play games instead of watching TV.  And if it’s cold, wear an extra layer of clothes or snuggle up under a blanket to read books.  

Use the sunlight to warm up a room
The house pet knows this and you kids will enjoy it too.  Open blinds and drapes on a sunny but chilly day and enjoy the glorious warmth that pours in through the windows!

Close drapes and blinds when it’s too hot!
In the summer heat, turn down or off the air-conditioner to save energy by teaching children how they can keep from getting hot and sticky by closing the drapes and blinds to keep the room cool.   They will enjoy their playtime better and parents will save money too!


Watch your water use
            Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water, and of that, two-thirds is frozen in glaciers and polar ice-caps! Teach kids water-wise habits at home at a young age.   Turn off the water while brushing teeth, take shorter showers, and no water-hose fights in hot weather!  

Throw a green birthday party
            Kids parties generate a lot of trash. Email invitations; choose reusable kid-friendly cups and plates; and create a craft activity for kids to take something home instead of wasteful goody bags.

Walk more
            Walk to pre-school with your kids!  It’s fun to spend the extra time with your children, great exercise and you save on gas too.

Take public transport when you can
            Buses and trains ease congestion, reduce emissions, and allow you to relax with your kids.  Relax and read a book together instead of driving the car!

Car pool
            Double the efficiency of your car by carpooling to pre-school!

Buy earth-friendly back-to-school products
It’s always fun shopping for supplies. Choose recycled pencils and notebooks, PVC-free shoes, hemp backpacks, organic cotton clothes, or re-used clothing where possible.

Take a reusable cloth bag when you go shopping – decorate bags with your kids!
            Did you know that American use 380 billion plastic bags every year? In addition to being manufactured from non-renewable fossil fuels, plastic bags degrade extremely slowly.  Buy a canvas bag, and decorate it with recycled items!
            
Buy local, seasonal produce
            Take the kids for a fun morning out and buy produce at your local Farmer’s Market!   Explain how far much of the food you buy has travelled before it reaches your table. Food produced locally costs less to process and transport, and it’s fresher and better for you.

Cut down on meat
            Try to eat a little bit less meat by having the children help you to make one extra vegetarian meal each week.  It takes only about 723 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of wheat, but 3250 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef.

Plant natives in the garden
            Enjoy some fresh air with the children in the garden and plant native plants!  Kids might like to have their own miniature size garden box to tend! Use native plants, they require less water, care and maintenance. Plus, you will be creating the ideal conditions to attract native species to your backyard or balcony by creating a habitat for them.

Start a compost
            What kid isn’t fascinated with worms? Create a worm composter!  Almost 75 per cent of household waste is compostable. Composting not only saves landfill space, but recycles material and saves money on fertilizers.  Worms to speed up the process.  Ask the children to fill the composter with food scraps and in a few months, they will see how the “garbage” becomes rich dirt they can help you spread around to make the garden grow.

Grown your own fruit and vegetables
            Watching things grow is exciting!  Reduce your footprint and have your kids help you grow their own veggies. Let them choose seeds, plant and tend them together.  Fresh veggies are good for you and for the earth. No packaging and no food miles!

Install a rainwater tank
See how much rain you can catch!  Secure your own water supply and collect water for use in the garden. Rainwater is free, so parents, that means a reduction in bills too!

Share your tips with friends!
Have a weekly contest with friends to see who did the most to help save the planet!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Go Buy: Oneida Stainless Flatware for Toddlers


I had the extreme pleasure of trying out Oneida's Paul Revere Child and Baby Flatware 6 Piece Progress Set.  I am currently in the process of weeding out plastics whenever I can, so this couldn't have arrived at a better time.

The set comes with six pieces in a lovely box, which is just perfect to give as a gift.

There is a set of flatware for babies, and one for toddlers/big kids. My daughter is totally digging her new flatware. They look just like mommy and daddy's, but they fit her tiny hands! 

The flatware is dishwasher safe, and is 18/8 stainless steel with a brushed finish.  Ava LOVES that she is allowed to use a knife- it's little and not very sharp, but is perfect for exploring and strengthening her cutting skills.


This particular set is currently on sale~ regularly $30, it's available for $24.99, check it out today!


Thank you to Oneida for providing my daughter and I with a sample of this set to help facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% our own.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh Snap! There's an App for That!



Price: Free
Why it's Awesome: If you're like me, you love going out to eat with friends and family. It's always easier to ask for separate checks in the beginning, but it's also really easy to forget to ask your server when they first take your order.  My sister-in-law is always really good at adding tip and splitting it evenly between parties but me, not-so-much. I get performance anxiety:)  This app does both for you!

Money-Saving, Time-Saving, Health-Saving Tips from Whole Foods

I found this great little list in my Whole Foods Circular. I especially love #1, #3, and #4, I already do 3 and 4 but want to start incorporating #1 more.

  1. Freeze Peeled Bananas and other ripe fruit for smoothies with no ice needed.
  2. Substitute "soda" with sparkling water- naturally flavored (no artificial additives) or with just a splash of 100% juice.
  3. Keep organic chopped spinach in the freezer for sprinkling into smoothies and soups.
  4. Prep and cook on a day off for an easy healthy week: soup, beans, cut veggies, salad dressing, dips and spreads, steamed and roasted vegetables.
  5. Make herbal teas your main-stay before meals, after meals, and between meals. Discover the wide variety of flavors, some naturally sweet, and brew your own for the best value.
Got any to add?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Make Your Own: Pan-Seared Prime Fillet

Don't ask me why, but I am totally intimidated by ordering meat at a butcher counter. I don't know what cut I want, what size, and I like to know the cost up front.
All that changed last month when I visited the Flourtown Farmers Market. I approached the meat counter and saw a young, friendly looking guy ready to help. "I need some steak but I have no idea what I'm doing!" I blurted out. He laughed. I blushed. The ice was broken.

He pointed out some delicious cuts of beef.  He told me about fillets, prime fillets, and why certain people prefer different cuts and how to prepare them.

"Is your beef local?" I asked.
"Yup!"

"Is it grass-fed?" I asked.
"Yes it is, and you would be surprised how many people ask that!"

"Okay, give me one of those. The big one." 

He wrapped it up, put it on the scale and said, "24.99". 

Gulp.

I smiled, paid and thanked him as my mind raced with thoughts of embarrassment for not even considering price. Holy crap!

Ingredients:
Crushed peppercorns (enough to fill a salad plate)
2tsp olive oil

1. Place cast iron skillet (or non-stick is fine, too) on burner. Turn burner on high, add olive oil, let the pan get very, very hot.
2. Place steak into bed of peppercorns. Flip over so each side is coated.
3. Once pan is smoking slightly, use tongs to place fillet onto pan. Let cook for 3-8 minutes (3 for a thinner steak; 5 for 1.5-2 in; 8 for 2.5-3in). Avoid pressing down on steak to keep juices inside.
4. Using tongs, place steak on opposite side. Cook for same amount of time.
5. Sear the sides of the steak for 1-2 minutes.

You can check to be sure it has cooked to your desired amount and adjust cooking times accordingly. J's steak was HUGELY thick, so we actually had to cook it for more like 10 min per side.

*Make sure your meat is not frozen. It should be completely thawed.

Serve with a red wine reduction sauce. My recipe will come in another post.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tips: Yummy Meals for New Moms


Our friend Jen sent us the link to a great Parenting article aimed at fast and easy meals for new moms.

What are your go-to snacks and meals?

Thanks, Jen!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh Snap! There's an App for That!





Price: $0.99
Why it's Awesome: Don't want to cook with mayo? Do not have any heavy cream on hand? Have no fear, Smart Chef Substitutions is here to save the day!!!!  There are tons of ingredients included in the database so hopefully you'll never be stuck again!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cabot Review and Giveaway!!!

As you all know by now, I am on a constant mission to find good food for my family.  By good food I mean a) Not overly processed b) Local whenever possible c) No fillers, artificial flavors, no pesticides, no hormones, and the list goes on. A few months ago, I decided to tackle cheese. I wanted to find a cheese that supported my values as well as cheese that had a hearty good taste to it.

Enter, Cabot Cheese.  Cabot is a cooperative of 1200 family dairy farms in NY and New England.  That means Cabot is owned by those 1200 family farms.  The cooperative practices sustainability from "farm-to-fork", in the areas of social, environmental, economic impact.  Cabot has field representatives that visit farms daily to test for safety and cleanliness as well as kind treatment of the animals.

Cabot has chosen not to add artificial colors to their cheese, it is naturally white (love that!).

I was lucky enough to try to Cabot Snack-Packs from their new line called Serious Snacking.  We chose the full-fat variety and let me tell you, I don't think my poor husband even got to try these- Ava and I ate all of them! They were so good. We had Seriously Sharp and Sharp. At 80 calories a pack, you cannot beat the burst of flavor and cheesy goodness- perfect for a mid-morning snack with an apple, with breakfast, or on-the-go for a hungry toddler!  These snacks are marketed for grown-ups, since they are available in all kinds of grown-up flavors, but if you have an adventurous kid like I do, you just may be sharing (which isn't a bad thing!).

If you aren't drooling yet, keep reading to see what Cabot is offering to ONE of our lucky readers!!!!!!


Giveaway:
Award-Winning Vermont Cheddar Cheese
Gift Box which includes:

2 pounds Vintage Choice Cheddar...aged undisturbed 18 months, this

limited edition cheese is specially selected by Cabot’s President.
“Complex, opulent and full of flavor nuances.” Waxed.

1 pound Private Stock Cheddar …aged a minimum of 16 months, this

hand-tended and ripened cheese is extraordinarily smooth and elegant.
Waxed.

1 pound Sharp Cheddar...aged 5 to 8 months for full, well-developed

flavor with just the right degree of sharpness for cheddar lovers.
Waxed.

Cabot’s 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar...rated the best of the reduced-fat

cheeses by Cooking Light magazine, this all-natural cheddar offers
great taste, texture and meltability.

Cabot’s Award-winning Sharp Cheddars: 8-ounce bars of Sharp, Extra

Sharp and Seriously Sharp Cheddars.

Wooden cutting board and embroidered apron.


Retail value: $75


Woweeeeeeeeeeeeee, right??!?!

How to enter:
There are five possible entries.  *Please leave your email address IN EACH and EVERY entry!*

(I cannot see the email address you use to sign a comment, must be left in comment field.)

1) Mandatory- leave a comment here telling me what your favorite recipe involving cheese is!
2) Become a fan of Cabot Cheese on Facebook. Leave a comment on THIS post telling me you did so.
3) Become a fan of Baby in the Kitchen on Facebook. Leave a comment on THIS post telling me you did so.
4) Follow Cabot on Twitter.  Leave a comment on THIS post telling me you did so.
5) Tell five friends about this giveaway.  This may be via facebook or email.  Leave a comment on THIS post telling me you did so.

Best of luck!!!! The contest will run from RIGHT NOW until Wednesday, 3/16 at 8pm (EST). Don't forget, you have five total possible entries!  I will email the winner (that's why you MUST include your email address:) ) after random.org randomly chooses the lucky person! This is open to US residents. Cabot will be mailing the prize pack directly to the winner.


Huge thanks to Cabot for letting us try out the snack packs, and for hosting this awesome giveaway! All opinions are my own, 100%.

Want to see more giveaways!? Click here!

Go See: Mars Needs Moms

 
 
Mars Needs Moms was fun filled, heart warming story about a little boy who has this wonderful adventure as he is trying to rescue the very person he took for granted: his MOM! We laughed throughout the movie and teared up at the end...a sign of yet another awesome Disney Movie! My girls loved the characters and I appreciated how life-like the human characters were! That was fascinating! We were last to leave the theater as we enjoyed watching the actors make the movie as the credits rolled along. For what it's worth, this mom is highly recommending  Mars Needs Moms!

The fun did not stop when they turned on the lights...What an exciting day! We enjoyed every activity that followed at the Franklin Institute as well as the movie! My kids were excited to learn about Mars. The science experiments were of high interest. My little one, 7 years, was dressed as an astronaut during a demonstration~Very cool! She was in her glory! My older one, 10 years, soaked up the information on star gazing/star chart. She loves looking for stars with her make and take project. We greatly appreciated everyone's time and effort in making this such a valuable-FUN-experience for our family!

This post was written by our site-contributor, Melissa! Thanks, Melissa! Tickets were provided free of charge to her as a thank you for writing this review. All opinions are 100% her own.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Love this Website!!! Muffin Tin Mom!

I recently came across the cutest website ever~ Muffin Tin Mom! I do a lot of this type of food presentation for Abers, in fact, we have the same heart cupcake cups!

I love all the inspiration MTM provides~ colorful, delicious images!

What are your favorite foodie websites?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oh Snap! There's an App for That!




Price: Free
Why it's Awesome:All too often I just don't know what to make for dinner. I get bored of the same old, or I might be missing ingredients to make what I originally had planned, so this app is just perfect for those times. Pick your type of dish, cooking time, main ingredients and spin! Recipes include cooking directions, ingredients, and reviews. Bon appetit!!

Make Your Own: Veggie-Shrimp-Corn Chowder


Ingredients:
1t olive oil
3t chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4c chopped leek
1/2c chopped cauliflower
1c peeled, diced potato
10 oz frozen corn
1c shrimp~ I used frozen because that's what I had, but would like to use fresh next time!
1t seafood seasoning
2t fresh parsley, minced
1 1/2c chicken stock
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup milk

Directions:
Saute onion, garlic, and leeks in olive oil until tender. Add water, potatoes, corn, cauliflower, seafood seasoning, and salt and bring to a boil.  Separately, steam the shrimp.



Reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. When done remove half of the mixture and blend until creamy and add back to the pot. Stir in a 1/2 cup milk. Add shrimp. Enjoy!


This is adapted from a Veggie Corn Chowder recipe found on Nature Moms Blog.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Make Your Own: Baked Pears

Ingredients:
3 tbsp butter
1 per per person, peeled and cut in half
cinnamon
brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt butter and brush it over a casserole dish so it is well-coated.
  3. Place pears face-down in dish.
  4. Brush some butter over each pear.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon, brown sugar, and cranberries over pears.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until they are tender.
Enjoy over pound cake, with whipped cream, with vanilla ice cream, or on their own!


This recipe was inspired by a friend Charlene's recipe. Thanks, Charlene!

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