Thank you all so much for the feedback. That was extremely helpful (and affirming, which I wasn't expecting, but was well needed). We've started quite a few house projects, approximately 8 weeks before having a baby, one of which will put me out of a kitchen for a few weeks, so we may fall a little quite over here. I suppose this gives me time to process everything each of you said while we are out of order over here. A handful of you chimed in who say you never comment and I appreciate that! Just know from the other side, the comments are huge, so big hugs.
So our little guy is almost a year and a half and while I am so excited to have a little baby that cuddles and snuggles, I love love love the boy Curran is right now. He is so curious and observant and active and smart. He doesn't really cuddle at all, but he is so engaged and enamored with Hugh and I that it makes me feel pretty special. I have however found this to be the most draining stage so far because he is constant and nothing keeps his attention for longer than 5 minutes. He gets frustrated when he can't communicate something and has learned the art of a tantrum. He's so much little boy but still has plenty of baby in him. Quite the crossroads.
As for eating, he is totally over mashed things and prefers to always feed himself. His skills are fair with a fork but a spoon is a complete mess which I believe is pretty standard. The thing about this stage at our table, is that we can all eat a lot of the same things, but there are still a large amount of our stand-bys that he can't eat. I keep trying to give him bites of my salad but he acts like there is a hair in his mouth. I find myself having to think harder about meals that will feed all three of us. I don't have the energy to be a short order cook but I'm still learning what that is going to look like. A few of you mentioned last post that you really liked the extra ideas for kids so a few other items I try to keep ready that, in the right combination, suffice as a meal: tortellini, tofu chunks, cut up bbq'd chicken, string cheese, cooked peas, edamame, pomegranate seeds, grapes, raisins, mandarins, fresh dates. I have found that having food ready is the key to avoiding a meltdown, even if it just buys you ten or fifteen minutes to get something else started. It takes a one and a half year old a long time to get the beans out of an edamame pod and that is helpful.
Even if you don't have little people, or they are of the age that can eat anything, I would make these recipes. They are just easy, versatile snacks or meals.
MUESLI BARS // Makes one 8x8 pan
I love the Seven Sundays brand of muesli and they have a few different flavors to choose from that I use for these. I use a combo of butter and coconut oil because I like the flavor and moisture both give, but either exclusively as the fat will work just fine. Because these have no wheat or strong binder in them, they are quite tender. If you can let them sit for a day, they'll settle into themselves even more.
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, coconut oil or a mix of the two
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter
1 ripe, medium banana, mashed
3 cups prepared muesli
2 Tbsp. flax meal
pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350'. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and coat it well with coconut oil. In a small saucepan, warm the brown rice syrup and butter and/or coconut oil together to melt. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, almond butter and banana and stir everything to mix. It'll be a gloopy mess.
Put the muesli, flaxmeal and a pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the liquid mixture into the muesli and mix well. Press the mixture down firmly into the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden but the bars are still fairly tender. Let them cool completely before cutting. These are very tender. Store them in the fridge and cut off pieces as needed.
MINI SWEET POTATO FRITTATAS ("EGG BALLS") // Makes 12
Curran calls them egg balls and I find that fitting. Here is the thing, the three of us can go through a dozen of these in one day no problem. You could easily make two dozen of these by adding two more eggs to the mixture plus a splash of milk to extend the batter. Potato size varies, but I'm confident you could get two dozen. Or add in cooked and crumbled chicken breakfast sausage if that is your sort of thing.
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
1 cup tender greens, roughly chopped
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese
4 extra large eggs
sea salt and pepper
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced sweet potato and a pinch of salt and saute for 8-10 minutes until tender. Add the greens and saute again to just wilt. Turn off the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350' and generously grease a mini muffin tin. Like, really generous. Eggs have a tendency to stick.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well and then stir in the white cheddar. I put a sprinkle of salt, pepper and dried herbs here but this is optional. Tip the potato and green mixture into the eggs and stir to mix. Spoon the egg mixture into the muffin tin up to the top. Bake on the middle rack for 12-14 minutes until just firm but not overcooked. Cool and then remove them from the tin soon as they are cool to the touch. They can be stored in a covered tupperware in the fridge.