Tuesday, November 22, 2011

recipe {baby nuggets}

beatrice loves feeding herself.  she never really took to purees, even early on.  so i started out with baby led weaning...giving her chunks of food that she can handle and letting her eat it with her hands.  that said, she didn't really "get into solids" until about 10 months or so...and it wasn't really until her first birthday that the solid food eating really took off...

so most food i feed her is finger food, or something that she can pick up.  lots of pasta, steamed veggies, etc.  however, her favorite food is what we call "baby nuggets."  basically, i find any good veggie patty recipe and instead of making patties, i roll into small little balls that are perfect for her small grip...she LOVES them.  {mamas and papas love them too, so it's a nice food for everyone on the go!}

this is her favorite recipe, by far, adapted from my favorite non-dairy, calcium rich collection of recipes called calci-yum!

{sweet potato mini nuggets}
preheat oven to 350 degrees
makes about 50 nuggets
cookie sheet, lightly oiled
{i bake half the dough and freeze the other half for later}

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped chinese lettuce {i use bok choy, spinach or kale as a substitute if i can't find chinese lettuce}
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced {optional, depending on baby's tolerance, but bea loves it}
2 tsp salt
1/4 dried oregano
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup whole wheat flour {i also use oat flour instead sometimes}
3/4 cup bread crumbs {sometimes i mix in flax or dehydrated kale too}

1.  in a bowl using potato masher or food processor, mash chickpeas to a rough paste.  set aside.

2.  pierce sweet potatoes with a fork; wrap in foil and bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours or until soft.  remove skin and mash together with cooked chickpeas.

3.  in a non-stick skillet with lid, heat oil over medium.  add onion and chinese lettuce {or kale or spinach, whatever you have on hand!}; saute for 3 minutes.  add pepper, garlic, salt and oregano.  cover and cook until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.  transfer to sweet potato/chickpea mixture, along with rolled oats, wheat germ and flour.  mix until well combined.  let cool.

4.  with slightly wet hands, roll into 1 inch balls, roll in breadcrumb mixture and place on oiled cookie sheet.

5.  bake for about 15-20 minutes.

{photo by patty}

Friday, November 18, 2011

mamas who inspire {heidi cicero}

well, now that i'm back in the work force and ignoring this blog, i thought i'd feature a mama who really inspired me to stay at home with beatrice as long as possible!  i love heidi's story for many reasons:  she's so fun and inspired with her child and really creates a sense of wonder and play...oliver is such a great kid and their family is so much fun...i mean they call themselves the chicken family and do a family dress up day as star wars characters!  how can you not love them...

she also never thought she wanted to have kids, so to see her really take on the mama role with all her heart is so inspiring.  we've had many conversations about how important it is to make time for your kids and what priorities are with a family.  although i've joined the ranks of working mamas for now, i know i'll be a stay at home mama again and heidi's immersion in that role is so inspiring...

heidi and i also spoke about feminism before i posted this...she was nervous about the way she portrays her role as a 1950's housewife...and you know, i think that's feminism too!!  feminism to me is making your own choices and loving your life and your role.  and heidi does that with gusto!

have you always wanted to be a mama?
I never thought I was going to be a mama. I was really happy being crazy auntie Mame in rhinestone caftans, and then I fell so in love with my sisters little girl Lily and we decided we would be crazy not to have a little chicken. 

tell me about your kid(s).
My amazing husband Andy and I have one boy named Olivio Kukui Cicero. We call him Oliver.  It's difficult to explain how incredible he is. He is kind and generous, loving and hysterically funny. Smart and and far more patient than me. I love looking at the world through his creative eyes. He is constantly teaching me to be a better person. Oliver is a super cool kid who can hang with the little ones or hold a stimulating conversation with the grown ups at the party (especially if the topic is Star Wars). The big six year old just walked into the room and he wants me to tell you his favorite color is green and his favorite animal is a rhino and that he is going to be a director. I think the Tim Burton exhibit made a very big impression on him. Once we decided to get preggers it happened super fast. 

what does stay at home mama mean to you?  do you miss your working life?

Does any mama really stay home ?  I am a glorified chauffeur between school, Karate and hangout's with his friends and mine. Sometimes I feel like I'm just as busy now as I was when I was working full time. I have a few clients that I dress and I'm starting a personal styling / costuming service for events, halloween, and theme parties. Because every woman or man deserves to be fabulous even if they're not a celebrity. I think everyone secretly likes to dress up, but not everyone loves to shop or has the time to find the perfect ensemble.   That's where I come in.  I kind of fancy myself a 1950's/60's  housewife, somewhere between Lucy and Laura Petrie (from the Dick van Dyke show). I know
 I will get a lot of flack for admitting this ( my sister in law is the editor for Ms. magazine.)  I can't help it though. I love being a mama and taking care of my family. I'm super happy when I can greet my man in the door way with a cool libation after a hard day at work wearing the perfect pink frock and cha cha heels. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in my own John Waters movie . I also appreciate how lucky I am that I don't have to work so I really like to pull my weight around the house.

what's your favorite thing about being a mama? how is your life different?
 I think my favorite part of being a mama is when Oliver looks up at me with those big brown eyes and says the magic words :" I love you Mama."  It's funny It feels sometimes like my life is the same but nothing is the same.

does alone time exist for you?  how do you take care of yourself?  what inspires you?
 During the school year I have lot's of alone time to do my projects and errands.  I am very inspired by mom's who find the happy balance in life.  My own parents were very supportive when I was a kid, even when I announced at the age of 7 that I wanted to be an actress like my older sisters. They always told me you could make anything happen. I think in order to be a terrific healthy mama today you need to have some projects or outlets that make you as an individual really happy. I think that is so important. We teach our kids to be creative individuals and if they aren't seeing you be one, well you get it.  We decided to go with the motto: "one and done." Although I had a really easy pregnancy , Oliver chose not to sleep regular hours for the first two years of his life. He was like a little cute vampire sleeping during the day and not at night.  So needless to say I was walking around like a zombie. Honestly, I love our decision.  We went from having no kids to having the most beautiful loving boy. You can't beat that! 

do you ever think you will return to the workforce?
Hmm maybe I will go back to acting and star in Oliver's first film.