Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

really? already?

April 7, 2010

It’s hard to believe the little mister is already 6 1/2 months.

Here’s a shot of my always-pajama-clad son…in a pile of…hold your breath…clean laundry.

Shocking. I know.

Laundry and I keep our distance from one another…for the sake of the relationship we’ve determined it’s better if we each do our “own thing”.

I wash and dry it.

It decorates our master bedroom.

So far things are working out just fine.


Oh. Seth. 6 1/2 months. Right.

Yep…that means one thing…it was time for these guys to get in on the meal planning action yet again.

When I first started homemade baby food with Hope I went the route of freezing in ice cube trays…seems to be recommended by every site and book I read.

But I did not like them.

Not one bit.

And, one day, as I was feeding the lovey girl a jar of Earth’s Best pears (which, by the way, as far as store bought baby food goes, this is the best), I realized I could kill two birds with one stone.

Recycle the jars AND have perfectly portioned baby food servings.

Done and done.

Needless to say, in a very short amount of time I amassed quite a collection of jars and it was so much easier to pour the homemade goosh into the jars, pop a lid on, and put ’em in the freezer.

And, aside from loaning a handful of them out to a friend, they’ve just been holding up prime real estate in one of our kitchen drawers.


They take up so much space, you know, with all the lids and such.

But their time has come.

To return to the freezer and dinner table because the little guy is really getting into this solids thing.

It took awhile.

I should have started him at 4 months like we did with Hope.

But I decided this time around that it goes by so fast…why rush?

Well, let me pass on my advice. Rush. Rush those little people right to rice cereal.

I have a slew of theories and this is one of ’em. I have two whole case studies to back this one up so it’s even mildly sound.

We started Hope at 4 months and never had one bit of resistance.

Seth…5 1/2 months…and the child was resistant.

As in clenched jaw.

As in I put my pinky in the side of his mouth to get it to open and then, quick as lightening, slipped the food in.

I know what you’re thinking…that adorable face…stubborn? No. You must be mistaken.

Mistaken I am not. Stubborn? Yes. Very.

So, 4 months with Hope, no trouble; 5 1/2 months with Seth, a battle of the wills. My theory is start ’em early before they’re old enough to be too stubborn.


My favorite part of those battles…we’re beyond them so I can laugh about them now…was the day I asked Hope to tell Seth who always wins.

“Mama. Mama and Daddy always win brother.”


The Vitamix has come in super handy yet again. Absolutely earning it’s keep…best blender ever.

And, due to some tummy troubles, the little guy is eating all those rich in fiber foods.

This concoction seems to be his favorite.

Pears, carrots, spinach, and apple juice.

Yum…eat up little man…now that we’re past the I-will-not-and-no-you-can’t-make-me phase (to which I responded “Oh yes I can”), the boy puts food away.

Your Daddy and Uncle Jo have big plans for some intense man time.

And you’re going to need to grow big and strong if you plan to keep up with ’em!

*Making all this baby food…stocking it away and such reminded me to be SO thankful that we have the opportunity to provide adequate nutrition for our little people. So thankful.


cheeseburger bites

March 16, 2010

Have you seen Food Inc.? Well if you haven’t might I suggest you pick it up? You’ll never pass a McDonald’s and simultaneously crave a hamburger again.

It was prior to me watching this flick that my dear friend Sus and I were talking about how gross it is that our little people devour those cheeseburgers like they’ve been starved for weeks on end. It amazed us!

That night I was whipping up some spaghetti meat and sauce for dinner. I still had our conversation regarding the golden arches on the brain so I thought I would make Hope some mini-meatballs to eat with dinner…we’re in a dipping phase…if it can be dipped it will be consumed.

And then I got to wondering what it would be like to put a little ball of cheese in the middle…the rest is history. They’re SUPER yum!



1 lb. ground meat

1/4 shredded cheese (we use cheddar but anything would work)

A variety of seasonings…season to taste


1. Make balls out of the cheese that are slightly smaller than a marble.

2. After seasoning the meat as much or as little as you like, grab some meat and form a meatball around the cheese ball (the more meat/cheese the longer they will take to cook).

3. Once you’ve made the bites, you can cook them one of two ways…either cook them in a pan (which is what I’ve shown here) or bake them at 350 for about 10-12 minutes, turning once mid-way through the bake.

4. Serve hot with your favorite condiment and home fries!


The second time I made cheeseburger bites we had a few extra potatoes in the cupboard and I thought I’d try to make something diner worthy out of them.


1 Baking Potato (vary the quantity based on how many people you’re feeding)

Canola oil

Sea Salt


1. After washing the potato, use a mandolin to slice the potato. While slicing the potato, allow your oil to heat on the stove top.

2. Place potatoes in hot oil and season with a dash of sea salt.

3. After a few minutes, check to see how brown they’re getting on the under side. Cook longer if you like ’em crispy or flip ’em if you’d rather eat ’em soft. Allow to cook on the other side about the same amount of time.

4. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Blot excess oil and serve with cheeseburger bites!

A relatively easy substitution for the .99 cent cheeseburger and they taste so much better…plus, if you’re little people like dipping as much as mine does they’ll be a sure fire hit!

Doesn’t that look like a meal you’d go for???

*Also, I’m thinking that you could use the entire pound of ground meat, make a ton of these little guys, cook them and then freeze what you don’t use immediately. Pull ’em out of the freezer and reheat as you need them. If anyone has thoughts on this or tries it let me know!

The Hayes & Hamburger soup

February 22, 2010

So glad to finally meet this sweet little guy!

This is Moses David…14 months old I might add…and the fastest crawler around! He, his mama, and daddy made the LOOONG trip from Farmington, NM to spend the weekend here in frigid Colorado, which provided the perfect excuse for a big pot of Hamburger soup (recipe below) and I’m so glad they came. We hadn’t met mr. Moses and none of the Hayes’ had met the little mister so it was quite the series of introductions!

Saturday we piled into two vehicles and headed to Focus so Hope could show Mo around her favorite indoor play spot…

After all that playing the little people headed to their respective beds for a nap which allowed Susan and I to get out of the house for some girl time minus the babies (!!!!) We have some pretty sweet husbands I tell ya!

We headed to TJ Maxx Home Store. Sus scored a great deal on this lovely mirror for her new home…

Isn’t she just BEAMING!?! For $39 who wouldn’t be…don’t ya just love those red stickers???

It was a very sunny spot to our long Colorado winter and we’re so thankful they made the trip up! Next stop for the Paxson’s: a jaunt through Farmington to welcome the arrival of baby girl Hayes…can not wait to meet her!

The soup…this was a delish dish we had several months back that I decided to recreate it…it’s become a favorite around here and because the Hayes’ said it was yummy I thought there might be a few others interested in trying it out!


1 lb. ground meat*

5 Carrots (course chop for all veggies)

3 Celery stalks

1 Potato (baking potato or a handful of reds…both are great!)

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Yellow onion

2 Garlic cloves, minced

1 Can corn

4 Scallions, chopped

8 cups water

Cumin, to taste

Garlic salt, to taste

Parsley…I put loads of it in just because I like the way it looks!


1. Bring water and seasonings to a boil with ground meat in the pot; allow meat to cook entirely then remove and set on a plate to cool. Once cool chop meat as much or as little as you like. Place back into pot.

2. Place all remaining ingredients in the pot and cover. Allow to cook on a rolling boil for at least 20 minutes to allow veggies to soften.

3. Serve with warm bread

Could it be any easier? Nope…and I really enjoy the time to think chopping veggies affords me…a little music in the background and I just head straight for la la land :0) Enjoy and let me know what you think!

*if you’re in the Colorado Springs area pick up a pound or two of the lower in cholesterol than white meat chicken, high omega-3 Texas Longhorn meat from Searle Ranch…grass fed without hormones ta boot! It’s so good and good for you the first time Alex opened a package he teased he would eat it raw!

Chicken Soup!

February 2, 2010

2 large chicken breasts
8 cups water or chicken stock
3 carrots
4 stalks of celery
garlic salt (gs) and onion powder (op) to taste
1/2 packet Trader Joe’s Alphabet Pasta…you can sub in rice (a long grain mix is yum too!) or the pasta (chicken and stars anyone???) of your choice but Hope like’s the letters so that’s what I’ve been using lately!

1. Put whole chicken breasts in broth and bring to a boil; season with gs & op…allow chicken to cook through (what’s nice about this is you can actually throw frozen chicken breasts in there if you’re short on time!)
2. Once cooked through remove chicken and allow it to cool on a plate.
3. Place rough chopped veggies and pasta/rice in the broth and boil them as much or as little as you like…for this recipe I like the veggies to be just a tad tender…no crunch but not super soft either…cover.
4. While the veggies and pasta/rice are taking a hot tub shred or dice the chicken…I prefer the look of large chunks of pulled chicken for this soup but if you’d rather, it can be chopped up.
5. Place the chicken back in the pot, cover and simmer all together for another 15 minutes…

*This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled…once it’s cooled a half or third of this can easily go in the freezer for later use!