Tuesday, October 23, 2012

War against HFCS

I’ve heard a couple of references that high fructose cornsyrup is about as healthy as heroin and this peaked my curiosity and made myresearch expand.  I never cared for HFCS,but we’ve all seen the commercials – it’s fine in moderation…right?  I buy mostly organic and the times that I don’tthe food would rarely contain HFCS (meats, cheese, etc.), so I shouldn’t reallyhave to worry, or so I thought.

Jason (husband) is a huge fan of sauces.  BBQ, teriyaki, anything that will sauce upstir fry, etc.  He also loves Hershey’schocolate syrup.  And BREAD – have youchecked out bread lately?  The majorityof these that he buys I either end up tossing or just flat out refuse to feedit to our kids (now he knows to check, but we always have a transition period).  Everything has HFCS and most of the time it’seither first or second on the ingredient list. Do you know how difficult it is to find hot dog buns that don’t haveHFCS in the ingredient list?  Our grocerystore has two brands of bread that are made without HFCS.  An entire wall of bread and I have the optionof two!  Now they’re just sneaking it inour staples.

I’ve become very particular about ingredients lists in thepast year.  I am constantly scanning themthroughout the grocery store looking for those four words – high fructose cornsyrup.

I urge everyone to research the ingredients in their food.  Please look up HFCS and find out what it does to your body.  You'll soon find that it wreaks havoc on your entire system and hopefully this will be enough to convince you to stay away.  There are options, you just have to look a little deeper.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I have fourtrays for freezing baby food.  When I amcooking for my little guys, I am constantly wishing that I had 100 ofthem.  When cooking and freezing cubes ofpureed food is not necessary, I want to throw these trays away.  They do not fit in the cupboards neatly andtake up quite a bit of room.  They alsoseem to be the first item that loves to fall out and bonk you on the headwhenever you are searching for something. Or is that just my clumsiness?

Like themajority of 30-something women, I waste quite a bit of time on Pinterest.  I have found many ridiculous ways to reuseand craft with common household goods and rarely find something practical.  When I do, I feel the need to share.  I am a believer of freezer cooking andreusing and have trouble throwing things away. I also buy organic, which makes my grocery bill a bit higher than thosewho do not.  I love to save money andcoupon and I am constantly looking for a deal. I was elated when I found a post on Pinterest that not only gave me usefor my baby food freezer trays, but also gave me an idea for saving food.

I cook withbuttermilk, whipping cream, etc. when needed and always find myself throwingaway a portion of the carton.  Of course,this is after it sits in my refrigerator long after the expiration date.  Now I take my baby food containers and fillthem with the remainder of the carton and freeze.  Each of my containers are one-ounce cubes, soit’s easy to pull out what I need for a recipe and thaw.  It has never occurred to me to freezeleftover dairy and I’m delighted by this idea. It’s saving me tons of money (especially since I bought a new cartonevery time I needed even the smallest amount) and has given me new uses for myfreezer trays long after my baby food days (although I’ll probably downsize tomy favorite two).
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn comfort food for toddlers

The birthdaycake once again received rave reviews.  I’mthinking of making individual servings to bring into work.  The cream cheese icing was much richer thanthe milk-free version that I made for my first son.  I think that it was preferred.  It also made it feel a bit more breakfast-ywhich fit into the brunch theme.  Give ita try - it really is a delicious cake!

I’mactually making quite a bit of baby food again. I’m going to make my favorite pumpkin polenta recipe this week (now thathe can have milk!)  This recipe is adapted from The Petit Appetit Cookbook and I usually double it.  Below is the original recipe size (before doubling). 

2 cups milk(we use organic whole milk, but I have used goat’s milk before)
1 cup canned pumpkin

½ teaspooncinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
½ cup organic polenta (aka cornmeal. I buy Bob’s Red Mill online)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or butter substitute
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Combine thefirst six ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.  Add in the polenta and whisk to combine (becareful – polenta will “jump” out of the pot).  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whiskingoccasionally until thick.  Remove fromheat and stir in butter and syrup.

My firstson loved this so much that I fed it to him long after he was eating solidfoods exclusively.  I love that both ofmy boys were born in autumn and I could make this for them when they turnedone.  There is just something comfortingabout that pumpkin spice flavor when the leaves are changing.
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