Sunday, September 13, 2009

A is for... Fall

First a note about the blog. Please excuse the mess while I work on the perfect template. I am a professional mom; I get paid (in shoes) so that defines professional, right? Not a professional blogger so this will take some trial and error. Thanks for your understanding!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year - the crisp morning air, all the yummy apples and of course the fact that I am not sneezing the piss out of myself from allergies - that might have something to do with it. I thought it was high time I posted some recipes since I claim to make baby food! So here are my fall favorites for apples...

6 months
Applesauce is the quintessential first food because it is mild in flavor, nonallergenic, and naturally sweet. I have found, especially when making a puree, that the best way to cook it is to wash, peel, chop and then steam it. Lisa Barnes in Cooking For Baby suggestes quartering and coring the apple, steaming the quarters and then scooping out the flesh. I tried it and it works great for older babies; however, for a really smooth puree, you will want to chop the apples into uniform sizes. So that's it, steam it until fork tender and then puree. Freeze it in ice cube trays, when frozen transfer to an airtight container and then pull out the cubes when needed.

7 to 9 months
For older babies you can add a little bit of cinnamon or grated nutmeg to the puree for flavor. I have served that as a side dish for the family as well. Also, you can skip pureeing and the cubes are a perfect first finger food for baby. Once Bailey and Clare were old enough to tolerate chunkier applesauce I quit making it and purchased Trader Joe's All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce. It tastes almost as yummy for a fraction of the labor!

9 months to adult
Mix three parts applesauce to one part pureed raspberries for a yummy family dessert or to mix into oatmeal or plain yogurt. For the grand finale, a "stew" for lack of a better word. I was inspired for this recipe by Lisa Barnes's (in Cooking For Baby) Potato and Butternut Squash Stew and Annabel Karmel's (in Top 100 Baby Purees) Potato, Carrot, and Corn.

Apple Stew
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 cup water

Saute the onion in the melted butter over medium heat until just starting to soften. Add the apples, potatoes and squash and cook until everything turns golden. Add water, bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer until the potatoes and squash are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve as a side dish for the whole family and finger food for baby. You can mash this up if baby isn't ready for food pieces but has tried all these ingredients individually; or put this through a food grinder. WARNING: Do not put this in a blender or food processor. The potatoes will turn to glue...unless you are all out of Elmer's.


No comments: