SWEET POTATO CAKES FINGER FOOD

What’s this mama trying to get baby to eat this week?! Sweet Potatoes. I was given some farm fresh ‘taters and was happy to share them with my little man. Sweet potatoes were among the first foods I fed my son. They make nice creamy puree and are sweet, which makes them appealing to most babies. My son still enjoys sweet potatoes when I feed them to him pureed. And of course he loves using a spoon to eat them himself (aka, sling them across the dining room and get very little in his belly). In efforts to move away from me feeding him and the not so efficient mess, I set out on a mission to concoct a sweet potato finger food. I tried serving them to him cubed, but he wasn’t interested. I have not tried sweet potato fries, though I bet he would like those. I decided to try mini sweet potato cakes, something he can hold, dip (the new BIG thing), easily chew and swallow. Here’s what I came up with.

Sweet Potato Cakes:

Ingredients: 3 cups sweet potatoes (about 3 medium sweet potatoes), 1 egg, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, olive oil for frying

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and prick sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place sweet potatoes on it. Bake for 45mins to 60mins until soft.

2. When finished baking, scoop the sweet potato insides out and let cool.

3. Once cooled, mix sweet potato, egg, flour and cinnamon together until smooth.

4. Coat bottom of frying pan with olive oil. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Use a tablespoon and scoop spoonfuls of the sweet potato mixture into the frying pan when oil is hot. Flatten scoop into a patty shape using the back of the spoon.

5. Fry sweet potato cakes over medium heat approximately 3-5 mins on each side gently flipping, cook until golden brown.

6. Serve, refrigerate or freeze.

7. In the spirit of Halloween tonight, I used some left over beet puree to make Jack-O-Lanterns. Bon Appe’tit baby!

These make for good finger foods. My son eats them better when I cut the cakes up into quarters. He also likes to dip them in ketchup. I chalk these up to a win! If your little likes sweet potatoes, may want to give these a try. Check out more finger food recipes here. Happy Halloween!

TRICK OR TREATS FOR LITTLE FEET

For some odd reason I’m excited about celebrating Halloween with my baby. I’m not exactly sure why, as we have no plans as of yet and obviously my one year old son can’t eat candy. So trick or treating isn’t really an option for us. But the excitement is still there and got me thinking. What if homes that welcomed trick or treaters had toddler friendly treats to give out? Wouldn’t that be cool?! I think it’s a great idea! I’m sure there will be some baby and toddler brothers/sisters joining in on the Trick or Treat fun. Here are some reasonably healthy treats they are sure to enjoy!

  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Cheez-Its
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Animal Crackers
  • Veggie straws
  • Pirate’s Booty Cheddar Puffs
  • Small packs of Ritz crackers
  • Captain’s Wafers
  • Graham Crackers
  • Cereal Bars
  • Banana
  • Applesauce cup

*All of these come in individual packets and would be easy to hand out.

If you live in a trick or treating community, maybe have a few of these on hand. I feel sure the little, littles and their parents would much appreciate it! If you do, let me know. We may show up on your doorstep :)!

Cheers to Halloween fun!

8 REASONS TO LET BABIES GET MESSY

Try This at Home Tuesday: Let baby get messy!!

Two things were very important in my son’s first year of life, tatas and his Mimi (grandmother). In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and our Mimi, a breast cancer survivor, we decided to get down and dirty carving our pumpkin to show our support. With our fourteen month old right by our sides, the pumpkin fun began.

SPOOKY MAC N’ CHEESE AND OTHER FINGER FOOD TREATS

What shall I attempt to get in my little man’s belly this week?! I’m thinking something yummy and festive in the spirit of upcoming Halloween. I’ve also been thinking about carrots and what can I do to get my son to eat them again. He used to love carrots. Now he will eat them pureed but no other way. So here’s what I came up with.

Spooky Mac N’ Cheese:

Ingredients: 12 oz. Wacky Mac (or any dry pasta), 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 cups milk, salt & pepper to taste, 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, 1 bunch of carrots, tofu

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.

2.Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

3.Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture, stir continuously until mixture is smooth and bubbling.

4. Add Cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted. I like to go heavy on the cheese (I used 3 cups) for extra cheesy goodness.

5.Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.

6.Cut carrots into penny size and steam using food processor to soften.

7.Gently fold carrots into mac n’ cheese.

8.Cut tofu into bat shapes as pictured below. I use flavored tofu that I buy from Trader Joe’s. Cook tofu in frying pan on medium heat until brown on both sides (about 8 mins). Flip half way through cooking. When finished, gently toss tofu bats into mac n’ cheese.

9. Bon appe’tit baby! This yields a lot of mac n’ cheese so share with the whole family. Refrigerate or freeze to store.

Verdict: I call this spooky mac n’ cheese because the carrots look like pumpkins and obviously the tofu bats. Makes it fun for littles. Making tofu bats takes a little extra time and patience but my mom would have done the same for me. Unfortunately, the carrot pumpkins were left behind however the macaroni and tofu bats were a hit. I served this with tomatoes and blueberries.

Determined to make carrots work, I started thinking. Pumpkin Carrot Dots are where my mind led. So I gave them ago.

Pumpkin Carrot Dots:

1.Pennied and steamed carrots

2.When steaming is complete, drain water, add 1/2 cup milk and puree

3. Puree until smooth, scoop into pint size Ziploc bag, cut a small corner piece of the Ziploc bag off and squeeze dots (I like dime size dots) with a stem for the pumpkin look onto wax paper.

4. Freeze. Serve frozen. Carrot dots thaw and soften quickly, recommend serving just a few at a time. Store in freezer.

Verdict: Pumpkin carrot dots were a no go for my baby, but if your little likes carrots you may want to give these a try! I’m aware they don’t look much like pumpkins, I tried!

With pumpkin carrot dots thrown all over my dining room, I stared at the left over carrot puree in my fridge. Then I looked at the over ripe bananas and banana moons with pumpkins and bats came to fruition.

Halloween Banana Moons:

1.Puree bananas only in food processor.

2. Scoop into Ziploc bag, cut off a small corner and make silver dollar size banana dots on wax paper. (Need to make your dots on a sturdy base that can be placed in the freezer).

3.Freeze banana until hard then use carrot puree to make designs and refreeze .