Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Take One Banana . . .

Human beings love to give advice.  It seems to be an innate trait in our species.  It really comes out when people see you with a new baby.  In this situation it is also 95% unsolicited, often from complete strangers.

Here's the thing, the science & knowledge behind child development is constantly evolving.  What was recommended when I was a baby is vastly different from what is now often recommended. 

It used to be commonly recommended that babies be put to sleep on their tummies.  We now know that this increases the risk of SIDS, so babies should be put to sleep on their backs.

There are also about a million ways to raise children.  This is important because babies/children are individuals.  They have their own quirks and needs, that may be different from another babies quirks and needs.  In other words, what works for one family, may not work for another family.

I admit that I've gone a little granola in my parenting choices so far.  I'm exclusively breastfeeding on demand.  We co-sleep.  I wear my baby in a wrap or sling when we go out most of the time.  We're using cloth diapers (and holy shamoly are modern cloth diapers freaking adorable! Look at this! ). I'm researching baby-led weaning.

You may think I'm turning into a cuckoo-hippy-crazy-lady.  However, my child is happy, growing well, and meeting her developmental milestones.  In other words, this is clearly working for our family (for now at least - babies are tricky creatures and will change it up on you without a moment's notice!).

When I'm out & about with my kid, and she's smiling and enjoying the world, don't tell me what a 'good baby' she is, and then proceed to tell me everything I'm doing wrong.  Same when she's tired & cranky.  Maybe she's been cranky all day due to teething, and I'm taking us both for a walk in order to maintain my sanity.

In any event, after unsolicited advice has hit me in my confidence as a parent, here's a little treat that I make for myself.  It has fruit and protein and chocolate, so I can also pretend there's some healthiness in there.

Take one banana. 
Peel the banana, and break it in half (or thirds, or quarters) and put the pieces in a bowl.
Spread the top of the banana pieces with peanut butter (or whatever nut butter you have in the house - I've also used almond butter to great success).
Cover with chocolate sauce (I usually use the kind you use to make chocolate milk).

It's like taking a homemade peanut butter cup and making it even better.  An added bonus for the summer months is that it requires zero use of any heat generating appliances.
I hope it makes you feel better too.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vegetable Stroganoff

How are enjoying your summer so far?  Despite the heat, ours is going pretty well.  Turns out the kiddo loves water!  Thank goodness my mom bought us a kiddie pool! 

Last night, the baby was being cooperative, so I made dinner before my partner came home (she's usually hungry/needy around the time I would normally need to start dinner in order to have it ready for my partner's usual arrival time).

We had Vegetable Stroganoff.  I don't think I make this often enough.  Here's how you can make it for yourself (sans pictures, sorry).

Noodles (egg noodles are traditional, but I find any noodle will do.  Last night I used bowtie pasta)
1 cube of vegetable or mushroom bouillion
1 heaping tbsp flour
sour cream
butter or margarine
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
an assortment of veggies, that in my opinion must include mushrooms.  Last night, I used about 7 button mushrooms, a carrot, broccoli and frozen green beans.

Put a pot of water on for the noodles.  At the same time, melt the butter in a frying pan and toss in the onions. 
When the onion has softened, add the garlic to the pan.  When the onion & garlic has started to caramelize, you can begin adding your other veggies, starting with those that will take longest to cook.
In the meantime, mix together your bouillion cube, the flour and at least a half cup of sour cream.  Add pepper to taste, and then thin it out with a quarter to a half cup of water and make sure it is well mixed.
If your veggies are mostly cooked, add the sauce to the frying pan, stirring well and being sure to scrape the delicious caramelized goodness from the bottom of the pan.  The sauce will thicken and reduce fairly quickly.  Add water if you want it runnier. 
Add the noodles and toss everything together and then enjoy! 

I hope you like it!