Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another barley risotto recipe

Tonight I made a particularly good recipe. Should be baby-friendly if the baby has had most of the ingredients. All the meat and vegetables were organic, and local if I could find them. I'm getting a little better.

Bison Barley Risotto: (makes two extremely generous adult portions and enough baby food for about 4 toddler meals)

1 lb ground bison (can substitute beef)
2 Tbsp butter
~3 Tbsp minced garlic
1 quart carton of vegetable broth
~1 cup water
~1/2 cup milk
1 cup dry pearled barley
1 zucchini
2 shallots
3 portabello mushroom caps
spices to taste: salt, pepper, thyme, sage, bay leaves, coriander, oregano

1. Melt butter. Add meat and shallots to pan. Brown meat.
2. Add garlic and barley and saute for one minute.
3. Add broth just to cover barley. Add spices. Cook, stirring, until broth is almost evaporated. Add more broth. Continue this process until carton is empty, about 25 minutes.
4. Add zucchini and mushrooms. Cook until soft and barley is desired texture, adding water whenever risotto begins to stick (about 15 minutes).
5. Remove bay leaves. Add milk, remove from heat, stir and let stand for 5 minutes. Puree baby's portion and serve.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Happy birthday, happy fall

I'm 28 today. Last year at this time I was worrying aloud to Matt over the phone that Thomas's hands and feet were cold and I couldn't warm him up. He was sleepy and didn't want to eat.

Today Thomas is a bit sleepy but was also energetic and single-minded. I don't anticipate a trip to the emergency room or a stay in the ICU, so this year should be better than last year. Now I have something new to worry about: how to keep him from touching the radiators that just came on yesterday and are unexpectedly hot. (It's like a sauna in here. The sunroom is actually the only room at a comfortable temperature, and I have a sleeveless shirt and a skirt on, with bare feet. Thomas is taking a nap in the nude, sans even a diaper.) Anyone know anything about childproofing radiators? Maybe my former nanny will know something. She's coming to babysit tonight.

While visiting Matt's cousin in Texas, I came up with a new, appropriately fall-themed, family recipe. It should be ok for babies 8 months and up.

Chicken, chickpea, and pumpkin stew: (serves four adults plus baby food for approximately 1 week of meals)

1 cup dried chickpeas, washed, soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
4 cups low-sodium broth (I recommend Pacific Natural Foods brand low-sodium vegetable or chicken broths, which are much lower in sodium than the average low-sodium broth: I used the vegetable)
2 cups water
5 chicken drumsticks, deskinned (or another cut; dark meat has more iron than white meat)
1 medium pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into large chunks
cinnamon and ginger to taste (I used 5 or so sticks cinnamon and a bunch of ginger)
salt and pepper

Put everything except salt and pepper in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about one hour or until chickpeas are soft. Debone chicken and take out bones, then return meat to pot. Ladle out baby's portion and puree to the right consistency for your baby. Add salt and pepper to taste to adults' portions and serve. Baby's leftovers can be frozen in ice cube tray.