Things My Toddler Likes to Eat

It’s been quite a while, right?  Eleven days.  ELEVEN DAYS WITHOUT ME!  I know my incredibly wide and devoted reading audience noticed, wink wink nod nod.  So where have I been?

Easter

Happy Bunny

Hallelujah!

First Birthday!

Notice me restraining him from the lure of fire.

The Zoo!

BIG KITTIES.

The Stomach Flu.

This is an accurate depiction of what my stomach felt like for six days. SIX DAYS.

First Birthday Party!

“What, am I supposed to do tricks now?”

Suffice to say, it’s been a busy almost two weeks.  Also, I don’t get paid to do this.  Unless you’d like to pay me, in which case I’ll tell you where to send the check/unmarked bills/red wine/chocolate chip cookies that I view as acceptable forms of payment.  Until then, I did have to find time between the vomiting and partying and cupcakes and tigers to do work.  The kind of work that pays the mortgage, provides the benefits and (crosses fingers) gives me an early retirement HALLELUJAH.

Now that I’m sitting down on something other than the toilet, I thought it was time to catch up my writing.  Because of mombrain (this is a real WebMD diagnosis) I have eleventy million ideas in my head, and none on paper.  Until I can get something with some substance together (LOLOL) enjoy this brief list of things my child has discovered he enjoys eating over the past two weeks.

Things My Toddler Likes to Eat (right now…this could change next week)

  1. Spaghetti.  This is a big hit; it took a while to understand the concept of eating noodles as opposed to seeing what they would stick to when thrown, but once he finally stuck the food in his mouth, he loved it.
  2. Leaves.  Yes, he’s eaten leaves before, but now that he’s really mobile and outside play time is a daily event, we simply cannot get enough leaves in our diet.  Yay, fiber?
  3. Strawberries.  We’re 99% positive the outbreak of toddler spots was quite possibly the Honduran Melon Flu, and not an allergic reaction to strawberries.  BRING ON THE BERRIES.
  4. Blueberry Pancakes.  There’s nothing like enjoying a nice family breakfast on Sunday, then looking to your right and realizing you’re dining with Violet Beauregarde.

    MORE PANCAKES!

  5. Soap.  People keep telling me, “Oh, once he tries it for the first time, he’ll never eat it again.”  Well, these people have either a). Never met our (incredibly awesome) son or b). Never tasted Ivory soap.  Because, to toddlers, it’s like chocolate.
  6. Dryer Sheets.  Man, if you set a basket of laundry down in front of Miles, he’s diving in headfirst in search of the delicious dryer sheets hidden among the towels.

And, last but not least…

CAKE.

The cake-love gene is hereditary.

Back this week with more pointless rambling, promise.

XO,

K

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Nap Time and Pound Cake

Like many soon-to-be new moms, I had lots of plans for my maternity leave.  Days of snuggling with our little bundle, then while he napped, I would have a chance to organize the linen closet, finish painting our bathroom, put together his fabulous baby book, and most certainly prepare delicious meals and bake oodles of goodies.  Yes, these 10-12 weeks would be just like a Lifetime movie.  Right?  Right…
During the first few weeks, I was thankful and blessed to have meals we’d frozen ahead, and wonderful friends and neighbors who kindly brought over food for us as well.  The linen closet remains a disaster.  Our bathroom will never be finished (to be fair, it’s been in this state of limbo for about 10 months).  Much like showering daily, I didn’t actually begin cooking until the near the end of week two.
Once I had gotten the hang of cooking in stages (starting dinner at 4pm, knowing when Miles would probably be up to eat next, so I could manage to get dinner on the table at a somewhat reasonable time) I decided to attempt baking.
Knowing that my sweet little boy can have a somewhat unpredictable sleeping/feeding schedule when he hits a growth spurt, I thought that cookies would be a fairly safe choice for my first baking attempt post-baby.  Seems easy enough; mix a few ingredients, pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes a batch.  Simple.  Until I realized that baking four or five batches of cookies (or attempting to) actually belongs on the “ways to wake up your newborn” list.  Putting cookies in the oven inevitably calls for a diaper change, feeding, or general fussy time.  And so, you’ll spend the next hour or two running around like a crazed woman: checking the oven, checking diapers, burping a baby, yelling at the dog (why does she follow us everywhere?!)  And you’ll probably burn your cookies, too.  It will not be the relaxing baking experience you had imagined.
The key to baking and parenting a newborn simultaneously (besides waiting until you’re husband is home so you can have a few glasses of wine while baking…) is to choose a baked good that requires a longer baking time; and something you only need to remove from the oven once.  Preferably while baby is sleeping.  I know this for a fact, after my attempts to remove dinner while hauling Miles around the BabyBjorn ended with a pulled back muscle (but the kid didn’t fall in the oven, so we’ll call that a win). 
My two favorite desserts with lengthy bake times and little follow-up needed once popped in the oven are cheesecake and pound cake.  I have yet to bake a cheesecake while on leave; those require more prep, so we’ll save that for week eight.  But a pound cake is a great choice…pretty simple to throw together, and one of those “no fail” recipes that everyone loves.
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Ingredients:
3 cups cake flower, plus a little extra for flouring the pan
2 ½ cups white sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz. sour cream
*You’ll also need a bundt pan.
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Butter your bundt pan, then sprinkle with flour and set aside.  Sift together all dry ingredients and set aside.  On medium speed, cream your butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, then add your vanilla extract.  Sift half of your dry mixture over your butter and egg mixture, then gently fold with a spatula.  Add your sour cream, and continue stirring gently.  Add the remaining dry mixture, stirring until the flour is completely incorporated.  Pour batter into your bundt pan, then gently tap on the counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake for one hour, or until the top is golden brown and a knife or skewer inserted comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes on a rack before removing.
Tip for removing your cake: once flipped onto your plate or dish, gently tap the bottom of the bundt pan with a spoon or knife handle before lifting.
Marbled Sour Cream Pound Cake: I love a good marbled pound cake, and that’s easy to make with this recipe.  Melt four or five semi-sweet chocolate baking squares in a double boiler (or in the microwave; just set your power to medium, and stir every 30 seconds until melted).  Take about half the cake batter, and in a separate bowl, combine it with the chocolate.  Alternate vanilla and chocolate cake batter in your bundt pan, swirl with a butter knife, bake as usual.
We like to serve our pound cake with fresh berries, and a decent amount of Reddi Whip or sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar.
While I cannot become the Super Suzy Homemaker I’d envisioned while on leave, I have found that enjoying every minute that I can with Miles far trumps testing out a fancy new recipe or organizing towels by size and color (although I have managed to put together an impressive baby book; that was very important to us, as Miles will need to know all about the first time he peed on me, and I’ll need to show all his embarrassing bathtub photos to his future girlfriend).   

In reality, just getting a hot meal on the table is accomplishment enough in a hectic day.  Maternity leave has given me a newfound respect for stay at home moms…you ladies are forces to be reckoned with, for sure.  Happy baking!