Friday, June 29, 2012

Independent Feeder?

Since Clark's birthday when he got to feed himself he's been more interested in eating, but not in being fed.

He actually eats some O shaped cereal and doesn't just leave it all chewed on and soggy in his chair for us to find later.  He also spends a lot of time gagging on it.

I've even given him a cracker and he didn't gag on it the first time.  But lately he bites it, gags on it, throws it on the floor, and doesn't want it back.

I'm beginning to wonder if he just doesn't want to be fed.  He wants to feed himself.  Maybe not.

I'll have to see what else I can come up with that he can try feeding to himself.

Do you have any ideas what might be some good foods to let Clark try feeding himself?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Low Cost Recipe Ideas

Thank you for joining my series about staying on top of food costs.  This is my last post in this series.  You can read the other posts I've written on this topic by clicking the orange button below.

Here are a few of my recipe ideas that help keep costs low.

Idea #1:
Taco Seasoning - Makes enough to season about 1# of meat
          1 Tblsp.  chili powder
          1/8 tsp.  cayenne (optional)
          1/4 tsp.  oregano
          1 1/2 tsp.  cumin
          1 tsp.  sea salt
          1 tsp.  black pepper

Mix all together in a small dish add to taco meat after meat is cooked.
*There is no onion or garlic powder listed because I cook my meat with fresh onion or garlic.

When making Tacos I use my taco seasoning and add 1 can of drained black beans/# of meat while I am cooking my meat.  We all like it even my pickiest eaters and we get a few more tacos per pound of meat.

Want extra veggies on those tacos?  chop up any leftover veggies finely and cook them along with the meat.

I've also made black bean tacos using the same seasoning and 3 cans of black beans coarsely smooshed.  Serve with cheese.  The first time I did this my husband asked me for more taco meat and said it was good.  I had forgotten to tell him it was just beans and I had to laugh as I revealed the news to him.

Idea #2:
Roast Chicken
      1 whole chicken - the largest you can find
      seasoning of choice, to taste

Peel onion and cut in half or quarters.  Cut apple in half (you don't have to remove core).  Have seasoning ready to apply.  Sprinkle bottom of baking dish or crock-pot with a little seasoning.  Rinse chicken and place breast side down in baking dish.  Stuff cavity with apple and onion.  Loosen skin on the back of the chicken and rub seasoning under skin.  Sprinkle a little more seasoning directly on top of the chicken.  Cover tightly and bake in 325 degree oven for 2-3 hours or in low crock-pot for about 4 hours, may take longer if a larger chicken.  Cooking it with the breast down helps keep it from drying out.

This chicken should be used for a couple of meals.  Here are my ideas:

Day 1:  Have small servings of Roast Chicken with veggies and salad and potatoes.  If you think you need more to eat serve bread or finish with a dessert.  After dinner remove all the meat from the bones and set it aside in two to four equal amounts depending on what you plan to use the rest of it for.  Put the bones and leftover onion and apple in the crockpot add 1-2 stalks of celery and 2-3 carrots or any other veggies you want.  Cover with water and cook on low for 18-24 hours.  Pour through strainer into a large pot and you have a lot of chicken broth to use for day 2 and 3 or to freeze and use the next time you need chicken broth.

Day 2:  Use some of the chicken and broth you set aside and make chicken and rice.  Add veggies to make it a one pot meal or have veggies and fruit as sides.  You could even add a little cream and have creamy chicken and rice.

Day 3:  Use some of the chicken you set aside and make chicken quesadillas.  Serve with salsa, pinto beans and a salad. 

Day 4:  Make chicken soup or cream of chicken soup.  If I make cream of chicken soup I freeze it to have on have for and recipes that need it.  I make it gluten free by using rice flour to thicken it.

Idea #3:
Make a big pot of pinto beans, serve with cornbread and a salad or spinach for a meatless meal.  Sometimes I flavor the beans with pieces of bacon or brisket, but that's not very often.

Here's the recipe we like for Gluten Free cornbread.

Gluten Free Yellow Cornbread
1 3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/8-1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil or melted butter
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine cornmeal, rice flour, honey, baking powder, and salt.  Add milk and oil, then beat in eggs 1 at a time until fairly smooth.  Pour into a well greased 9 x 13 baking pan.  Bake for 25 min.  Serve hot.  (or bake in 18 muffin cups for 15-20 min.)

*This recipe is adapted from The Mount Vernon Cookbook.

Do you have any special low cost meals that your family likes?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Upcoming Bookworm

It looks like Clark might become a bookworm right along with the other kids.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012 Trip to NY - Part Two

Part One

On Long Island we surprised my Grandpar.  He wasn't expecting to get to see us this time.  We made his day by making him feel special.

We helped pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

We went to the Long Island Sound.  I wanted the kids to see a rocky beach so we have a point of reference when we study the seashore later this year.

 We had a get together with family on Long Island and had cake to celebrate everyone's birthdays.
Clark with Uncle Jimmy
Clark's first taste of birthday cake.
Rebekah and I visited Grandpar's Bottle Shop.

My Grandpar and Grandma's house.This is where my Dad grew up.

Clark with Aunt Rebekah

Auntie Cat with all our kids.

Auntie Cat and Aunt Rebekah with Clark.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Clark's Birthday Cake - in pictures

Since Clark thinks that people eat terrible food, Jeff wanted to see what would happen if we gave him a big piece of cake.  Enjoy!  We had strawberry shortcake.

Yes, my very own bowl!

All right, I'll try it.


That was a mean trick.

I'll try it again.

I don't know what I was thinking.

This is much more fun.
He actually did try it several times and even seemed to begin liking it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day - 2012

We love you Jeff.  Thank you for taking the time to spend with your kids.  They love you and love to do things with you, too.


We can go camping anytime.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 Trip to NY - Part One

A few weeks ago we loaded up our van and started on our Journey to visit my family.

We had a great trip up.  The kids did great in the car and we didn't even watch any movies.  They had their backpack, leap-pad and a few other odds and ends.  I gave them something new to do each day around lunch time.  We also spent a lot of time looking out the windows.

We drove through the Smokey Mountains and saw lots of farms.

We drove through New York City.

 Interesting Parking.                                                                     Chinatown garden center.

After 3 days we arrived at My Aunt's home in Long Island.

This is also the same home that my Grandmother lived in when she was a little girl.