Thursday, September 13, 2012

10 Best Baby Food Recipe from Ages 4 Months and Up

Pear and Spinach Puree
Ages: 4 months and up

Fresh or frozen chopped spinach (however much you want)
1 pear peeled, cored, and diced
1 teaspoon butter

Simmer spinach gently in butter over low heat until warmed through. Meanwhile, cook pear in a little boiling water until mushy. Drain, mash into the spinach with a fork and serve warm.
Note: Some researchers believe that if you introduce vegetables before fruits, children will enjoy vegetables more later on.

Brown Rice Cereal
Ages: 4 months and up

1 teaspoon rice flour
4 ounces milk (breast or formula milk until about 6 months old)

Mix 1 ounce of the gently warmed milk slowly into the flour to make a paste, gradually adding the rest of the milk stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. If it becomes too thick, add more milk. For variety, mix cereal with vegetable water or mashed vegetables, fruit purees or juices. Flaked millet, powdered oats, and later, semolina can all be used in a similar way.
Note: It is advisable to begin with rice and progress slowly through the other cereals: barley, millet, corn, oats, and finally, wheat. Many children have an allergic reaction to the gluten in wheat which is why it is usually wise to delay its introduction.

Orange and Sweet Potato
Ages: 4 months and up

1 sweet potato
1 teaspoon butter
1⁄2 orange

Peel, chop, and boil sweet potato in a little water, drain and then mash with a little butter. Squeeze orange into sweet potato and stir. If baby is 9 months or older, add peeled, finely chopped orange segments.
Note: Try wrapping pieces of fruit in clear, sterilized muslin secured with a rubber band, for baby to chew on.

Apricot and Apple Puree
Ages: 4 months and up

1⁄2 cup dried apricots
2 sweet apples
Can use less of these ingredients if you do not want to freeze.

Rinse the dried apricots, then cover with cold water and soak overnight. Simmer gently in the same water for about 25 minutes or until very soft and pulpy. Cool. In the meantime, peel and core apples. Cook the sliced apple in a little water or apple juice until it is soft. Puree the apricots and apples. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays.
Note: If possible, buy dried fruit which has been naturally dried and is unsulfured. If fruit has been sulfur dried, the fruit needs to be washed in hot water or soaked and drained before use.

Peas Pudding
Ages: 4 months and up

4 ounces (100 g) yellow split peas, washed and soaked overnight
1⁄2 small onion, cut in half
1 small parsnip, peeled and roughly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and roughly sliced
Sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme
1 pint water
1 ounce (25 g) butter

Before soaking the peas overnight, rinse them in several changes of cold water, then cover with fresh water. Using the water the peas were soaked in, make up to one pint with fresh water. Put this in a saucepan with the peas, onion, carrot, parsnip and herbs. (All the vegetables will be removed later so do not chop finely.) Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the peas are mushy and very tender. Drain off the water and remove the vegetables and herbs, leaving the peas in the pan. Add the butter and beat into a soft puree with a spoon. Serve warm.
Note: This is a traditional British dish served to adults as well. Try adding cooked brown rice and serving to the whole family.

Homemade Yogurt
Ages: 6 months and up

3 tablespoons commercial plain yogurt starter
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
21⁄2 cups milk
Large glass jar

Prepare jar by pouring boiling water into it and letting it stand for a few minutes before emptying. (Put a spoon into jar to ensure that it doesn’t break.) Mix the dried and whole milk and heat in a saucepan carefully until it almost reaches a boil. Set aside to cool until milk is just warm. Mix in commercial yogurt starter and pour into prepared jar. Screw on lid and wrap jar in a piece of clean blanket and place it in a plastic bucket. Put the bucket in a warm spot in the house and let stand for 6 hours. Unwrap and refrigerate.
Note: How yogurt works: Bacteria live on the sugar in the milk and break it down into lactic acid which causes the milk to curdle and become like junket. As soon as the yogurt is the right thickness it must be placed in the refrigerator where the coldness stops the further growth of bacteria. If the milk is not chilled quickly enough, the curds separate and the yogurt becomes watery. If the milk is kept too warm, the bacteria are destroyed and the milk doesn’t thicken into yogurt.

Basic Oatmeal
Ages: 5 months and up

1⁄2 cup rolled oats, unground
21⁄2 cups boiling water

Pour oats slowly into boiling water. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Addmilk or formula for desired consistency. As with all cereals, any fruit, vegetable or meat puree can be added.
Note: Make your initial cereal mixtures very moist when baby is first beginning to eat solids. You can increase thickness as baby gets used to the new texture.

Corn Cereal
Ages: 8 months and up

1⁄4 cup yellow cornmeal
1⁄4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons wheat germ
3⁄4 cup boiling water
1⁄4 cup nonfat dry milk (optional)

Mix together the cornmeal, cold water, and wheat germ. Add cornmeal mixture and nonfat dry milk to the boiling water. Stir constantly, bringing to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes. Serve with pureed fruit.

Vegetable Puree
Ages: 4 months and up

Any vegetable you would like

Peel and chop vegetable into small pieces. Steam or boil them in as little water as possible until they are tender, then blend them with the cooking liquid left over. Mash with a fork or put in food processor or blender.
Note: Here are some great tasting foods to add to your vegetable puree for babies 6 months and older: cottage cheese, plain yogurt, egg yolk and wheat germ. To make a soup, just add extra milk, formula, or vegetable cooking water.

Pumpkin Bake
Ages: 6 months and up

1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1⁄2 cup cottage cheese
1 tablespoon wheat germ

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a small ovenproof dish. Combine pumpkin and cheese and place in dish. Sprinkle wheat germ over the top and bake in oven for 10 minutes.
Note: Wilted, bruised or old vegetables have lost much of their vitamin C, so look for fresh vegetables even if they cost a bit more. Buy the vegetables that are in season and eat them as soon as possible. Avoid canned vegetables whenever possible. Buy organic vegetables whenever possible.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to make Pan-fried Shrimp, Olives, and Tomatoes

The deep tastes of the Mediterranean in this dish highlight the sweet flavor of the shrimp.

Shrimp, or monkfish, scallops, or squid
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
12 large raw shrimp, peeled and tail left intact
splash of dry sherry, or dry white wine
6 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
large handful of mixed olives, pitted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of basil and flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Here's how:
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for a few seconds, then add in the shrimp and cook over high heat, until they are just turning pink.
  • Add the sherry, and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring, until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and olives and cook for a further couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down. Season well, and stir in the herbs. Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread.

Mouthwatering Seafood Risotto Recipe

Replace the scallops and shrimp with squid for a more economical dish.

Shrimp and scallops, or squid, and any mixed white fish, such as haddock and pollock
2–3 tbsp olive oil
1lb (450g) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1lb (450g) mixed white fish, cubed
16 scallops, roe removed
2 knobs of butter
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
8 cups hot vegetable or fish stock
11⁄2lb (675g) risotto rice
1 cup medium white wine
6 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and finely chopped
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
handful of dill, finely chopped
lemon wedges, to serve

  • Heat half the oil in a frying pan, add the shrimp and seasoning, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the fish, and more oil, if needed, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until cooked. Remove and set aside.
  • Season the scallops, add to the pan with more oil, if needed, and cook for 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside. Add a knob of butter to the pan, then the onions, and cook over low heat for 5–8 minutes, until soft. Stir in the garlic. Put the stock in a large pan and keep on a low simmer.
  • Stir the rice into the onions. Season, then pour in the wine and increase the heat. Allow to boil for a few seconds while the alcohol evaporates. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more. Continue until the rice is cooked but still has a bit of bite; it should take about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, seafood, and fish, then the herbs and remaining butter. Taste and season, then serve with lemon wedges.

Easy Haddock, Green Bean, and Artichoke Paella Recipe

Use paella rice if you can find it for this recipe, instead of the basmati. Serves 4-6

Haddock, or cod or any other white fish
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of turmeric
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
7oz (200g) green beans, trimmed
91⁄2oz (280g) jar artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
4 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
pinch of hot or regular paprika
14oz (400g) basmati rice
5 cups hot vegetable stock
11⁄2lb (675g) haddock fillets, pinboned, skinned,
and cut into chunky pieces
handful of dill or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and saute for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the turmeric, then add the garlic, beans, and artichokes. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until the beans begin to wilt, adding a little more oil if needed.
  • Now add the tomatoes and paprika, and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the rice, and stir. Pour in half the hot stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining stock and the fish, cover, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the rice and fish are cooked.
  • Keep the lid on the pan until ready to serve, then stir in the fresh herbs and lemon juice. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

How to make Mango and Snapper Broth

A complete meal in a bowl. Green mangos add bite to a citrussy, fiery soup. 
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
juice of 2 limes, or to taste
1lb 2oz (500g) red snapper fillets, pinboned,
skinned, and cut into 1in (2.5cm) cubes
2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 red bird’s eye chiles, finely sliced
4 scallions, finely sliced
2in (5cm) fresh ginger, finely shredded
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 small green (under-ripe) mongos, peeled
and finely chopped
2 tsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
41⁄4 cups fish stock
8 lime leaves, torn
31⁄2oz (100g) egg noodles
31⁄2oz (100g) green beans, halved
2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbsp shredded mint leaves

Here's how:
  • Combine the soy sauce, half the fish sauce, sesame oil, mirin, sugar, and juice of 1 lime, and spoon over the fish. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Pound the lemongrass to a paste with a dash of water, using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and fry the chiles, scallions, ginger, and garlic for 30 seconds over high heat. Add the mongos and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the sugar until it begins to caramelize. Add the vinegar, lemongrass, stock, lime leaves, and remaining fish sauce. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the noodles, beans, and fish pieces (not the marinating liquid). Simmer for 3–5 minutes, until the noodles are cooked and the fish flakes easily. Season with salt, sharpen with lime juice, and add the herbs.

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Clams must be cooked on the day of purchase, so when you find great clams, make sure you also have all the ingredients in your kitchen for this fabulous soup.

13⁄4 (800g) clams, thoroughly washed
1 tbsp oil
4oz (115g) thick-cut bacon strips, diced
2 floury potatoes, such as Russet Burbank, peeled
and cut into chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

  • Discard any open clams, then shell the rest, reserving the juices (see page 279). Add enough water to the juices to make 2 cups. Chop the clams. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan, and fry the bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until crisp. Remove.
  • Add the potatoes and onion and fry gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour for 2 minutes, then add the clam juice and milk, and season. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Add the clams and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and reheat without boiling. Serve sprinkled with bacon and parsley, and provide saltines or oyster crackers on the side.

Manhattan cod and mussel chowder
Replace the clams with 21⁄4lb (1kg) mussels, adding 1 cup of dry white wine to the juices before topping up with water. When adding the potatoes, add 2 x 14oz (400g) cans tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, and 1–2 tbsp tomato purée. Use only half the flour and replace the milk with fish stock. Add 21⁄4lb (1kg) cod fillets, cut into chunks, at the start of step 3. Omit the half-and-half. Sprinkle with thyme and serve with whole wheat bread.
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