Good Goo

Annabel Karmel is like the Julia Child of the baby and toddler food circuit. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. She's like the Nigella Lawson. Or at least the Little Big Head of kiddie food. I'd like to say she was the Paula Deen of baby food, but then all our babies would be perpetually covered with butter, and eating mayonnaise right out of the jar with their plastic-coated spoons.

(But Paula, if you're reading, I still love you like nobody's business! And also, your sons.)
Anyway, I first saw Annabel on The View about six months ago. (Incidentally, with Rosie gone, I shall no longer be tuning in, and if this is any indication, neither will a lot of other people.) She was promoting her new book and was making alligators out of cucumbers, or some such thing. And all the food she was demonstrating was extremely kid-friendly, although it looked like it would take 17 hours and an advanced degree in structural engineering to create.
So, in my unending pursuit to ensure my child does not turn out with my piss-poor eating habits, I decided to check out one of Ms. Karmel's books from the library. The food photography is gorgeous, the recipes varied and interesting, and I found several to try on Isabella.
Both were big hits with the little girl, and that's saying something since most of her recent meals end up in my hair, or on the floor, and most certainly not in her mouth. They weren't very difficult to make either, considering the fact that I don't cook. As in, hardly ever. (Unless, of course, you count pouring milk on top of boxed cereal. Because if you do, then I'm a freakin' gourmet.)
These work for little babies and for toddlers as well. Just adjust the texture accordingly.

Cheesy Pasta Stars
Recipe by Annabel Karmel

Ingredients
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup boiling water
2 TBSP butter
1 cup tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and chopped
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 TBSP soup pasta stars (stelline)

Directions

1. Place carrots in small pan, cover with boiling water, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
2. Warm the butter in a separate pan, add the tomatoes, and saute until mushy.
(So this was the first time I've ever sauteed tomatoes. Or really ever touched tomatoes for the purpose of cooking them. Look, I'm cooking!)


3. Remove tomatoes from the heat, and stir in the cheese until melted.

4. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then drain.

(I used some nice organic pasta from the motherland.)
5. Mix together the cooked carrots with their cooking liquid and the cheese and the tomato sauce.
(Mmmm...looks vile, tastes delicious!)

6. Blend to a puree.

7. Combine with pasta stars.

8. Shovel into baby's mouth before she has the chance to realize that the sauce contains carrots, her food arch-enemy.

California Chicken
Recipe by Annabel Karmel

Ingredients
2 oz (about 1/4 cup) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked
1 tomato skinned, deseeded, and chopped
1/4 cup avocado
2 TBSP mild, full-fat natural yogurt
1 1/2 TBSP grated cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Chop the chicken, and then combine it with the remaining ingredients.

2. Blend (I used my food processor) or chop the mixture to the desired consistency.

3. Serve it up!



I also made Isabella Chicken and Vegetable Soup, from a recipe I found here. I figured, "Hey, who doesn't like chicken soup (besides me, of course)," and I thought it would be a good introduction to soups, which Isabella hasn't had yet.

There was only one small problem. I didn't really think of the logistics of attempting to load soup onto what amounts to an almost flat baby spoon. Couple that with a baby who likes to swat at your hand while you're feeding her, and you have a very messy meal on your hands.

I stupidly doubled the recipe when I made it, so I froze most of it and will pull it out when she's past the swatting stage, which, from what I hear, will likely happen sometime in 2015.

12 Responses to “Good Goo”

  1. # Blogger M

    Oh this post cracked me up! :) Glad to see you are branching out from baking and cooking now too! :) I am actually making that yummy oreo pie recipe you sent me for the 4th. I had to dig through my emails to find it-- but low and behold-- I have it! :)  

  2. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    I forgot you take pictures of the food as you're making it. Oh no, the pressure is on me now!  

  3. # Blogger kenju

    I am amazed that you do all that, but your baby girl is definitely worh it!  

  4. # Blogger Damselfly

    Those dishes look amazing! Don't tell my baby....

    I know what you mean about serving up "soup." I thicken all that stuff with some mixed-grain cereal so it stays on the spoon better.

    I expect you'll be coming out with a baby cookbook of your own soon?  

  5. # Blogger l

    That's cool that you're trying so hard to make sure Isabella has diversity in her diet. Did Rich get to have any?  

  6. # Blogger Beagle

    You're such a good Mom!  

  7. # Blogger My Wombinations

    you continue to amaze me. How do you find the time to do it all? Seriously. I want a detailed schedule with hourly breakdowns. You are my hero.  

  8. # Blogger Christine

    It's been a bit since I've been by, but holy moly the site looks gorgeous!

    And you are such a good mom! Although the avocado one looks plenty gross. But the thought of pureed food is enough to do that.  

  9. # Blogger Ramona

    I'm so proud of you! You are amazing!
    And I LOVE the new look of your blog!!!  

  10. # Blogger Shannon

    when I feed soups to Lore I add instant mashed tators... so it is just thick enough to cover the spoon and shovel it in... also we had great success at Isabella's age with just plain old plastic spoons... Lore loves plastic spoons of all kinds... not to sure of those evil metal ones... but plastic is a-ok with her lol...  

  11. # Blogger Kristi

    M-I'm so proud of me, it's ridiculous. And how cool you're making the Oreo pie again. Guess what? I'm making it for my family for our 4th of July picnic too!

    Pru-Nah, no pressure. You don't need to take pictures unless you want to.

    Kenju-She is. :)

    Damselfly- Great idea about using the baby cereal to thicken up the soup. I tried it, and I was able to feed her the soup much more easily! And no baby cookbook here, but a baby food blog is in the works!

    L-Rich can have some, but I think he's terrified of most of it. :)

    Beagle-Nah. Just a paranoid one!

    Sasha-My secret is that I don't sleep. ;)

    Christine-Yeah, pureed food seldom looks appetizing. I sicken myself with it most days.

    Ramona-Thanks!

    Shannon-Good idea about using instant potatoes. I'll have to give that a try.  

  12. # Blogger Binulatti

    Wow, bravo! You do realize that you can no longer say that you don't cook. I'd forgo the frosted tips and shaggy bangs look, however.  

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