On October 31, 2009, in Kid, by Wendy

Izzy has been a bit congested the last couple of days. She snores like an old man and hasn’t been sleeping well. She won’t let me wipe her nose and she has a near constant stream flowing out. I’ve tried to suction it out, but she HATES it. To my surprise, she tried to operate the Brain Sucker on her own this morning.

I’m still on the fence about taking her Trick or Treating tonight. I don’t want her cold to get worse or have her pick up H1N1 because she’s already run down.

Also, this explains the nose picking from a couple of days ago. I think she was already getting a tickle in her sinus cavaties.



On October 26, 2009, in Kid, by Wendy

Izzy discovered the joys of nose picking today. I’m worried about how far she jams her finger up there. How do we break this before it becomes a habit?


Arata Pumpkin Farm

On October 25, 2009, in Family, Kid, by Wendy

We went down to Arata Pumpkin Farm today. I wanted to start a Halloween tradition with Izzy by picking out pumpkins at a real pumpkin farm. We picked Arata Pumpkin Farm because their website said they had a pig in their petting zoo. We really wanted Izzy to meet a pig since it was the first animal sound she learned to make. Unfortunately, the pig is no longer a resident. The woman selling pumpkins was a little offended when I asked her if he was Christmas dinner last year. Izzy still had fun with the slightly aggressive goats. In fact, she learned how to say “goat” today.

There was a lot to do at Arata Farm in a surprisingly small space. You could rent out picnic areas, there was a small train ride, a hay ride, haunted house, hay bale maze, sword fighting show, bounce house, barbecue. You name it, they had it. Except for clean bathrooms. They didn’t have those.

We walked around the property a bit after the petting zoo and took some amazing photos of our beautiful kid.

Izzy and the wagon full of pumpkins

Izzy spent several minutes trying to move and pick up this pumpkin.

Izzy and the great pumpkin

When she got really frustrated, I helped her find a pumpkin just her size.


Here’s Izzy and her Children of the Corn moment.

Izzy and the corn

Awesome family day out and about.

Awesome Family

Man, we need to get a modeling contract for this kid. She looks really commercial in this photo, but I think she has the potential for high fashion. Look at her eyes! She’s smizing. Tyra would be proud.

Izzy and the pumpkin farm

We were walking around the pumpkin farm, and I was thinking to myself…You know what this place really needs? A giant metal, rust covered gorilla. And like I said earlier, this place has EVERYTHING (except clean bathrooms)!

Izzy, Mitch and the giant metal gorilla

We stopped by the bounce house when we first arrived and tossed Izzy in there. She wasn’t interested, so we pulled her back out. There was a climbing structure with slides and bridges that she was more interested in, so we took her to that instead. Later into our visit, we went back to the bounce house and threw her back in.

She was having a really good time. There were two adorable little girls, sisters, showing Izzy how to have fun in the bounce house. The three of them were great. Then a bunch of rowdy boys showed up and it was absolute mayhem. The older girl was protecting Izzy from the roughhousing until I could get in there and pull her out. There was another little girl about Izzy’s age that I rescued while I was in the house. I have a feeling if Izzy sees one of these again, she’s going to scream to get in.

It was time to pick out pumpkins. I didn’t want any of the big ones from the patch. Not going to deal with carving this year, so I sat Izzy down while I looked through their smaller pumpkins and gourds. They had some really neat looking pumpkins. I wanted to take more photos, but my camera battery died.

Arata Pumpkin Farm

Izzy has been incredibly affectionate lately. She picked up this ear of corn, cradled it and gave it a hug.

Izzy and her corn boyfriend

Here’s my selection of pumpkins and gourds.


I should have gone to bed hours ago. I can’t believe it’s 1:00 in the morning. I’m going to pay for it tomorrow when Izzy wakes up bright and early. I won’t be able to sleep in tomorrow because my friend Kevin is coming over to show me how to make homemade fresh mozzarella. A few years ago, we attempted to make cheese several times with one mildly successful batch. He took a class recently at Urban Kitchen and now understands where we went wrong on all of our other attempts. I’m so excited about the prospect of finally getting this thing done right!

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Carrot Cupcakes

On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

1 Orange
6 oz carrots
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 c unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 c whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 salt
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 c confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 400*F.

Zest orange. Measure out 1 tsp zest (plus 2 tsp more for garnish) and set aside. Squeeze orange and measure out 1 tbsp juice. Set aside.

Shred carrots using large holes on a box grater. You should have about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together oil and sugar until combined, then add eggs, one at a time. Add flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1 tsp orange zest and beat until combined. Fold in grated carrots.

Spoon batter into lined muffin pan, filling half full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. If using miniature cupcakes , bake for 10-12 minutes; for miniature bundt pans, bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan and let cook on a wire rack while making frosting.

To make frosting: in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on low until smooth and creamy. Sift confectioners’ sugar over cream cheese and beat until combined. Add orange juice and beat until creamy.

Once cupcakes are cool, top each with a dollop of frosting and smooth it using a table knife or metal spatula. If desired, garnish each cupcake with a few sprinkles or orange zest.

Store at room temperature for 3 days.

Source: “a href=”” target=”_blank”>Cooking for Baby

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Cranberry Orange Scones

On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

2 1/2 c whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
6 tbsp butter, cut into chunks
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/3 c dried cranberries, chopped

Preheat oven 400*F Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles oatmeal. Add milk, egg and orange juice and process until mixture comes together, about 20 seconds. Transfer dough to a bowl and stir in cranberries with a wooden spoon.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead into a ball. Dough will be sticky and may need to be sprinkled with more flour. With a rolling pin, roll out dough 1/2 inch thick. Flour a 1 1/2 inch round biscuit or cookie cutter and cut out as many scones as possible. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Gather scrapes of dough, knead together, roll out and cut out more scones. Repeat until dough is gone.

Bake scones until golden, 6-7 minutes. With a spatula, transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Store 3 days at room temperature; 3 months in freezer.

Source: Cooking for Baby

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Dried-Apricot Oatcakes

On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

Vegetable Oil Spray
2 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp dried apricots, finely chopped
2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 400*F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with oil.

In a mixing bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the butter and honey. Combine with a rubber spatula until all oats are coated. Mix in apricots and coconut. Heat 1 cup of water in a teakettle or saucepan until very hot, but not boiling. Add hot water 2 tablespoonfuls at a time to oat mixture, stirring after each addition with a rubber spatula, until oats become wet and sticky. You will not need to use all of the water. With wet hands, mix oat dough a final time. Dough will be sticky and loose.

Using 2 large spoons, scoop and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. With wet fingertips, shape dough into 2-inch round, flat oatcakes.

Bake oatcakes until edges turn golden brown and centers are firm and not sticky, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The oatcakes will be crisp while cooling

Store at room temperature up to 3 days. Freeze up to 3 months.

Source: Cooking for Baby

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On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

6 large eggs
1 tsp herb of choice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/4 onion, finely diced
3/4 veggies or meat, diced or grated
1/3 c grated cheese of choice

Preheat oven to 350*F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, herbs, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp water.

In a large oven proof frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add vegetables and meat, if using, and saute for 2 minutes to warm through. Shake pan to spread vegetables and/or meat evenly in pan. Remove pan from heat and pour in egg mixture. Sprinkle cheese over top.

Bake frittata until center is set and cooked and edges are browned and pulling away from pan sides, 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

Source: Cooking for baby

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Orzo with Rainbow Vegetables

On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

1/2 c orzo
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp rosemary, minced
1/2 c red and yellow bell pepper diced
1/2 c peas
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt and the orzo. Cook stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

In a frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add rosemary and saute until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add bell peppers and peas and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add orzo to pan and toss with vegetables. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Store in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Source: Cooking for Baby


Little Vegetable Fritters

On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

1 medium sweet potato
1 large zucchini
1 c corn flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 milk

Preheat oven to 250*F.

Peel and grate sweet potato. Grate zucchini, leaving skin on. Wrap grated vegetables in a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, combine corn flour and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper. Add flour mixture and egg to vegetables and stir until just combined.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Scoop out large tablespoons of batter, form into rounded balls with wet hands and flatten in to cakes. In batches, cook cakes, turning once, until brown and crisp, 2-3 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon and letting the oil drip back into the pan, transfer to paper towels to drain, then placing on baking sheet in a low oven, to keep warm until all fritters are made.

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Turkey Minestrone

On October 24, 2009, in Yummy Goodness, by Wendy

1 leek
1/2 carrot, peeled
1 zucchini
1 handful green beans
1 celery rib
3 medium tomatoes
1 c cannellini beans
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey
salt and pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 qt vegetable broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
t tbsp thyme
1/4 c elbow macaroni

Thinly slice leek. Chop carrot, zucchini, green beans, celery and tomatoes. Set aside. Rinse beans until water runs clear and drain thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add turkey, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with oregano. Cook. stirring to break up the turkey meat, until turkey is no longer pink, 4-5 minutes. Remove turkey with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add leek, carrot, zucchini, green beans, and celery to pan. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and thyme and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Add cannellini beans and macaroni and simmer until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in turkey and cook to heat through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Source: Cooking for baby