Friday, January 30, 2009

Joey's check up

Joey went to the doctor for a well baby visit and left with 3 prescriptions and a referral for blood work! Poor baby!

The stats

19 pounds even and 28 inches. A peanut even compared to his siblings (who were: Ryan - 20lbs 12 oz and 28 1/2 inches, Rachel - well I can't find her stats, but at 15 months she was 20lbs 9oz and 29 inches so her and Joey are on par with each other I guess!)

Anyway, he had an ear infection (prescription #1), she was concerned about his eczema and called it "severe"(prescription #2 and #3). She was also concerned to hear about his runny stinky diapers (2-3 times a day) and agreed that it sounded food related (blood work order). S0 she said take him off dairy and switch to soy and we'll see what happens when the blood comes back.

That night 1/14 we switched him to soy, used the steroid cream on his eczema and hoped for the best! By Saturday 1/17 he was no longer pooping so often, eczema was clear and he was SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!! And then the blood work came back negative for food allergies! HUH?!?!

Anyway we still haven't switched him back to dairy and we are going to the doctor this afternoon because I don't think the ear infection is gone yet (boo!)

We shall see what she has to say!

Overall though he is healthy, happy, and a genius (which we all knew already!)

Week #4 - Tuscan chicken and white bean stew

I got this recipe from a cookbook I own that was clearly manufactured by one of the major food companies since all the recipes call for some brand or another. There are a lot of yummy Italian recipes so don't be surprised when this books shows itself again on my blog!
1 large fennel bulb (about 3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes
1 can (about 14 ounces) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Hot pepper sauce (optional)
1. Cut off and reserve 1/4 cup chopped feathery fennel tops. Chop bulb into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped fennel bulb; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Sprinkle rosemary and pepper over chicken; add to saucepan. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and broth; bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce thickens. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce. Ladle into 4 shallow bowls; top with reserved fennel tops.
variations: I added carrots and celery since I wasn't sure who would like the fennel (turns out just me and Joey), I used diced tomatoes and northern beans (? Great Northern? or am I confusing beans and a pizza place?). I also used chicken breast because that is what we buy usually and added a splash of red wine since we had one open.
I did not garnish it with the fennel but rather served it over hot diatalini.
I'd give it a 6. Well, personally I'd give it an 8 but it wasn't a huge family hit. Again, Joey ate it but he is the human disposal so that is probably why

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mom's birthday cake

For my mother's birthday I made a chocolate mocha cake.
I used the chocolate cake recipe that Joey gave me for Joey's (HA!) birthday cake. I'm not going to re-publish the recipe since it isn't mine to give (but rather Joey's grandma's!) but it was a simple chocolate cake. I added a TBL of coffee to the cake.
I then cut the 2 8 inch cakes in 1/2 to make a 4 layer torte.
The frosting I made myself!
mocha frosting
1/2 cup softened butter
4 cups confectioner sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of melted chocolate (i used chocolate chips)
4-5 TBL coffee

It was delicious! Not very pretty since the layers were kind of lopsided, but tasty none the less!

week #3 - meatloaf muffins with Sweet Potato frosting

Meatloaf. It's one of those things that every family makes differently. I love the recipe I use but I know others who don't. So here is the recipe for the way I make it. the only thing I did differently this time was the presentation.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 slightly beaten egg *
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk *
1/4 cup Heinz 57 Sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Mix well together.
Then I sprayed a muffin tin with cooking spray and put the meatloaf in there (it made 9 muffins). Baked at 350 for 30 minutes.
*since I am taking part in a 6 week boot camp challenege I used skim milk and egg substitute

I topped each "muffin" with mashed sweet potatoes. Served with brocoli
Ryan declared this the best dinner ever and ate 2 servings!

Edited to add a picture:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Joey is one finger old!

That is how Ryan counts ages!
On 6:24am yesterday Joey officially entered the world of toddler-hood. Of course he has been walking since November but we are talking semantics here!

Joey on January 11, 2008:

Joey on January 11, 2009:

He is a total "blankie" baby and has a crocheted bunny/blanket that he sleeps with (and occasionally leaves at church!). In Homage to bunny I made him a bunny shaped cake:

Joey with Bunny and the cake

I made cut outs and spelled out "Happy Birthday Joey" with them as well as some carrot shaped ones with the remaining dough. Everyone seemed to like it!

Week #2 reults

10 out of 10!!! Everyone ate it and loved it!
I used a 1/2 a box of these thin Hungarian noodles that my MIL gave us. They were a nice touch
We ate it for dinner Friday, lunch Saturday, and I have a meal worth in the freezer.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Week #2 - beef veggie soup

I'll have to post the results of this later but I threw this together last night
1 lb ground beef cooked
1/2 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 box of beef broth
1 & 1/2 cup water
1/2 red wine
1 can petite diced tomatoes
soup pasta

I cooked the beef with the onion and garlic and added it to the
broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, and celery. Also, I use organic carrots. Normally I don't buy organic produce because I just can't afford it but for some reason the carrots are just better. And really not that much more expensive.
Tonight I plan on simmering it and adding the pasta. We will have some bread with it to - YUM!
The kids love soup and actually eat the veggies in them usually.
Result to follow.....

Monday, January 05, 2009

Week #1 recipe - Coconut Chicken fingers

I originally saw this recipe in Parents or Parenting magazine but I couldn't find the magazine when I wanted it (most likely it was sacrificed to one of Ryan's many art projects). I used this one from

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves , cut into 1-inch strips
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup apricot preserves (optional)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix coconut, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in medium bowl. Dip chicken strips into egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through, turning once. Serve with Apricot Dipping Sauce, if desired.
Apricot Dipping Sauce: Mix 1 cup apricot preserves and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard until well blended.

So here is what I did differently:
I didn't use garlic powder because I didn't have any
I used spray butter instead of melted butter to cut some fat and calories
I put them under the broiler for, well, too long actually, in an effort to make them crispy!
My review:
They were okay if I had:
1. Used enough butter to totally coat the chicken fingers
2. Not burned them under the broiler - 5 minutes on high was too long! Maybe 2 minutes next time.
They were easy to make, and tasty - I didn't make the sauce, we just used BBQ sauce (and the kids used ketchup). Joey ate them (but he eats everything), Ryan ate them (YAY), and Rachel picked the coconut off and ate the chicken! I served them with tater tots and butternut squash (since it is the only veggie all 3 kids universally will eat!)
Will I make them again? Probably, but I'll use more butter and try not to singe them this time!!!
So on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = the dog won't even touch it and 10 = everyone had seconds!) I'd give them a 6