Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gadgets for First Foods!

Lou is 4 months old now and we have started her on rice cereal and stage one fruits. Last week I tried out a new gadget and I love it! No mess, no fuss!
It is the Boon Squirt spoon. You simply place the food in the bulb and when ready to feed squeeze and out comes the perfect amount! I don't think this will work so well with stage 2 foods or thickened cereal preparations but for the first stages and thinned cereals it works great!
It comes in hot pink and orange. Of course, for my little girl, it had to be hot pink. I am thinking we might even need another one!
The cool part is the spoon has a cap so when you are done you can place the cap on and pop it in the fridge. Or, when on the go, I think this would a great alternative to the baby food jar and spoon in the diaper bag.
Here it is:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Aida's Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad="Bite"

Ask Aida is a show featured on the Food Network. I tested her corn salad over Memorial Day weekend as a replacement for coleslaw. What I found was not only is the salad a great replacement for slaw, but a staple for summer meals (no oven required ladies!)

So here is Aida's Recipe:

For the dressing:
1 1/2 cups packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
4 ears corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced
2 medium avocados, diced
Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender, using 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste; process until smooth. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Lesley's Take:
-Ok, NIX the dressing. There is too much cilantro in it and placing cilantro in a blender is a no-no as it makes the cilantro turn bitter (burns it actually). If cilantro is your thing, I would suggest to cut the amount in half , tear by hand and throw it in dressing at the end!

Instead try my dressing, or heck use a bottle of Italian, Balsamic, or Rasberry Vinegrette. It will still be yummy.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon or orange juice (fresh or bottled is OK!)
2 tablespoons fresh zest of lime, or lemon, or orange.
1-2 tablespoons of creamy dijon mustard (or mix 1 tbsp of mayo with 1 tbsp regular mustard, I prefer the creamy dijon though)
1/4 cup of honey

-Use 3 cups frozen corn (1/2 white corn and 1/2 yellow) thawed or cook from frozen in a skillet (roasting it bascially) until slightly brown and cooked evenly.
-Cut the grape tomatoes in half
-If you like avocado, add it on top of the salad at the end, do not mix it in with other ingredients as it does not keep well and turns brown (oxidizes) quickly. If you are not a fan of avocado or do not have it on hand, the salad is good without it.
-Fresh mozzarella is best, but if you have shredded, throw it in.

We have eaten this salad topped with grilled chicken, roasted turkey breast, grilled salmon, and next on the list is with steak. We have even thrown in pasta! It is great as a side or a main even without meat.

Try it and let me know if you like it! Comments always appreciated! If you tried it and tweaked it, let us know your take on it!


I like to cook. Some people...not so much. So what I do is take a recipe (from books, foodtv, web sites-all of which will be given credit!), test it, tweak it, and rate it for those who like the no muss, no fuss approach to figuring out what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I also will offer tips along the way for preparing meals for a crowd, sneaky nutrition for kids meals like carrot mac n' cheese (and if my 4 year old ate it!), preparing homemade baby food (saves you $$), and many others!

Looking at the time I have and how often I can give my words of wisdom (having been there and cooked that), I will share a new recipe with my test, tweaks, tips, and rating once a week. Sooner, if time stands still.

So the way this will work is each week I will share a recipe I have tested. If I feel that no tweaking was needed I will give it an "apple" rating. If I made changes (due to taste, not having the needed ingredient handy, etc), I will give it a "bite". If I tested it and I felt it was not worth my time to make or didn't care for it, I will say it was "rotten" (harsh, I know, but it goes with the theme).

How bout them apples???