Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rosemary Roasted Pears

Everyone is pretty aware that I'm not the greatest cook. My father was the cook in my family and my mother still admits to this day that all of her children left without learning that one essential skill. I have to give him credit though, he did tell me to find a guy who knew his way around the kitchen! It's been a long process of "domesticating Stephanie" and although I have come a LONG way in the 5 years that Brad and I have been together, he still rocks the kitchen. In our home there are a few separation of duties we are both proud of - I make the milk and Brad makes the baby food :)

Joanna started rice cereal just after her 4 month check-up. I was really excited for the stage of solids. We love food (probably one of the reasons why we love/need to exercise) and we were excited to share our love of flavors and textures with her.

Once she got a handle on the cereal, we began introducing small amounts of puree. We were fortunate enough to be gifted a baby food steamer/blender from my previous manager. Did I ever mention that we Brad makes our dog food too? My manager thought we'd be "those people" who'd enjoy making our own baby food... because we make our own dog food.. and dog treats! Well, let me clarify - the boys eat store-bought, dry dog food every day. But instead of can dog food, Brad prepares a rice, chicken and vegetable mix for them. Just like baby food, he cooks this up in big batches and freezes in smaller portions.

Did I hit the husband-in-the-kitchen lottery or what? :)

Well, purees are pretty simple and easy for us. I know there is this big thing about Baby Led Weaning (BLW) where you just give your baby what you are eating at dinner... but thats where the problem started. We've been eating chicken salads or crockpot meals or other things that just doesn't seem okay for Joanna to be eating from the start. But, our go-to-purees are quickly coming to an end and it's making me a little sad. Our little girl is growing and she needs to learn a little independence in the feeding department. She needs to explore with her hands and begin feeding herself (and I'd be crazy to say that I want to feed my child spoon-by-spoon until she is 5 yrs old).

In preparation for finger foods and purees with texture, I decided that it was time to put in some effort. So, I made some roasted pears with rosemary and almond butter. The word roasted and the rosemary makes it sound so fancy (at least to me, ha). But in reality, all I really did was wash/peel the pears, slice them up and throw them in the toaster oven for 30 minutes. Well, I did harvest the rosemary from the garden one day while it was raining (that sounds kinda fancy, right? ... but I can't even take credit there, it's Brad's garden). Oh how I wish making adult food was that simple. 

I've also been steaming carrot, sweet potato and white potato sticks. These have been pretty easy to (again) wash/peel, cut up and throw in the steamer. Joanna's afternoon snacks at school are pretty much that - a snack and opportunity to feed herself. 

Since I lack creativity in the kitchen or any real knowledge about baby food, I purchased a recipe book thats been helping us along the way. Its called REAL BABY FOOD by Jenna Helwig and you can find it here

Rosemary Roasted Pears
makes about 2 cups

4 ripe (but not squishy) pears
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons of almond butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Peel and core the pears; slice into 8 wedges. Toss the pears with olive oil. Spread them out on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly golden brown. Cool slightly.
3. Transfer the pears to a medium bowl. Mash the pears with a fork until you get the desired consistency for your baby. Stir in the rosemary and almond butter.

Chef Stephanita 

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