Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Pancakes - Homemade Baby Food

    Sweet Potato Pancakes   

We made Sweet Potato Pancakes this morning. I used to make these for Jack all the time. My friend Mandy told me about an awesome website years ago and I use it all the time for my boys: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/
 It really has great info for making your own baby food. I make Will's food for many reasons - it's way cheaper, healthy and I suffer from Mom Guilt since I did it for Jack. I also thought this would help my kids be great eaters. Both are still pretty picky eaters.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (use graham flour for a nice taste.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk (or more)

Mix sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl with egg. Stir in the flour and add the baking powder.
Add up to 1/3 cup of milk while stirring. Stir in 1 tbsp butter.
The mixture should have the consistency of thick, lumpy sauce like an "instant" pancake mix.
Place a non-stick or heavy iron skillet over medium heat on top of the stove and add 1/2 tsp butter.
Spoon batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles rise to the surface of the pancakes and break. Approx. 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove pancakes from the skillet and keep warm on a covered plate in the oven. Freezes Well.

I usually double the batch and freeze a bunch. 

Will did pretty well. Jack loved them and eat three!

Making My Own Baby Food

Here's how I make it:
1. Cook it.
2. Puree it.
3. Freeze it in ice cube trays.
4. Put all the cubes in a labeled freezer bags.
(The above website gives great tips.)

The only thing that really differs is really how you cook the food. Almost everything I steam in a basket in my pot. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash and pumpkins I bake in the oven. The easiest ones to cook are frozen green vegetables and frozen fruit (like peaches and strawberries - just because you don't have to chop anything.

Carrots (which buy organic due to nitrates) I chop and then steam. I also do this with apples and pears.

Carrots and Pears steaming.

Puree in food processor.

 I bought these ice cube trays at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The lids make a real difference, especially for stacking.

Yummy, yummy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Unbelievable, Crazy Weekend

What a day!! We started the day excited to get on the road to head from Little Rock to Anniston, AL to see my new baby niece and family... my two boys, Nana, D'Bob (my mom and dad) and me.  The bumps began when I felt sick when I woke up. I didn't want to be sick on a road trip or bring sickness to a new baby so I rested a for a little while. Decided I was feeling better so we began the process of loading up ALL of our stuff into my Tahoe. As we were about the walk out the door Will threw up. Mom and I decided it was just congestion so we cleaned him and stuck him in the car. Laughing about how late of a start we got...the car started making funny noises and then the engine shut off - about 2 miles from my parents' house. Luckily it started and we turned around and headed back to the house to make a new plan. We finally decided to take my parents' car; my dad and I switched the car seats and all our stuff. My father-in-law graciously agreed to come and get my car to take it to the shop (turns out it is fine - my husband was so sweet and had my oil changed before my big trip and the shop didn't put the cap on tight.)

At 11:20 we successfully pulled out of the house and officially began our trip. Several long stops, 2 pull-overs to change dirty diapers, short naps and a little bit of fussing (mostly from me) we cruised along pretty well. About 2 hours from my sister's house we felt Jack and he was on fire. His faced was flushed and he looked pretty pitiful.  So here I come to my sister's to see her month-old baby with 3 potentially sick people. But she let us come. A little after 8pm we finally made it! It was such a sweet reunion and we were so thankful to be there.

Nana graciously rode in the back with my sweet boys.

Hannah - she was worth the drive.

The next morning was so sweet. Jack and Abby love each other so much. They played together all weekend.

They played with Playdoe.

We made foam puppets.

Will played.

So cute I can't stand it!

Will watched all the action and tried to join in when possible.

He hung out with Justin (Misty's husband)

Abby takes great care of her baby and calls her "Hannah" - such a precious girl.

Jack loves Scout. Hope he enjoys these moments, Mommy can't handle anything else to take care of - don't think a dog is anywhere in Jack's near future.

They colored.

We went for a walk (the first time we walked out of the house in almost 48 hrs.) Then Jack played on Abby's tricycle.  Next we dressed the kids and took our pictures - this is a Crawford tradition.

Now that Will is mobile he doesn't like to cooperate with pics.

It turned out to be such a great weekend with a few bumps along the way. Nana (my mom) also ended up sick. Jack's fever lasted through the next day. Will's short napping continued. But we all had such a great time. We laughed, enjoyed watching the kids play and ate way too much food (Justin is an awesome cook - he made us smoked turkey and salmon.)
If you noticed that there aren't any pictures of the adults, we didn't get out of our pajamas or put on make-up for the entire 2 days.  My family continues to make me so thankful!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Woo Pig Sooie

Go Hogs! Since the Razorbacks were playing in the Cotton Bowl we had to spend our day dedicated to all things Hogs. The March Family, also a Hog-lovin' family, came over for a play-date. The kids played hard and all earned good naps. Plus, I love any excuse to break out the Razorback gear.
Will, Jack, Brayden and Connor

Jack and Brayden

These cute boys are about the same age as my boys and they play so well together. Lindsey and I have been friends for a long time so it is always fun (and a little wild) when we get all these boys together.

We made Razorback sugar cookies. Cami bravely came over to play with all these boys. Her mommy and daddy had an errand to run so we just added another little one to the mix. The kids were too cute and loved eating the dough and icing. I have learned over the past couple of years that it isn't the final product but the whole process that is the most important and fun.

Of course, we had to let the whole neighborhood know that we were fired up for the game with our Razorback wreath on the door. One of my friends, Kristy Hunter, made the Game Day sign. I added the wreath. I used some netted ribbon, floral wire and a cheap grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby. I love big decorations.

Since it was a late game we left the kids at home to go to bed and my honey and I got to have a little adult time. My mom and aunt graciously agreed to watch my babies. Our good friends, the Porbeck's, had some friends over to their house to watch the game. Our great day ended perfectly as we concluded such a great season with a win over Kansas State! Go Hogs!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Top 10 of 2011

10. My family took their annual trek to Gulf Shores. Will saw the ocean for the first time. Jack preferred to play in the pool (very cautiously.) And I treasured the few hours that I spent reading on the beach with a cold Diet Coke while the boys napped.

9. My Razorbacks had an awesome season. While there was some heartbreak and anxiety-filled games, it was so exciting to watch some awesome football! I'm holding my breath for the Cotton Bowl.

8. I finished my Bible read-through provided by Fellowship (my church.) I gave myself 2 years; I knew that other things might take-up my quiet time sometimes. It is really sweet for me to think that I started when Jack was about Will's age and finished with my new sweet baby. Probably a really crucial time for me to be reading God's Word.

7. Family Reunions! My family never tires of a reason to get together. Each year my dad's family comes to Northwest AR and we spend several days together playing at Devil's Den and one afternoon at the Jones Center. My mom's side of the family gets together at a shabby little place on the lake by Branson (we have stayed at the same place since I was Jack's age.)

6. Watching Jack grow into a sweet and caring older brother has melted my heart in so many ways. Everyday I witness them both love-on each other and develop a bond that I know will grow forever.

5. I did a Bible Study this past summer - Called to be a Keeper with some of my closest friends and some new girls. It was life changing. The study itself was eye opening to the type of wife and mother that God has called me to be. Each week a new mentor came to share their life experiences, they included some awesome Christian women like Michelle Duggar, Amy Hannon and Julie Robinson. I learned so much.

4. Many of my best friends have moved away but I am so grateful that we all remain close. In 2012 we will all celebrate our sweet Sommer as she gets married!! I'm married with 2 kids and it still feels that we are all too young to be getting married.

3. My sister and her family moved so much closer (to Alabama) and now she has blessed me with a new niece!

2. My hubby and I got a chance to get away alone to Mt. Magazine for a weekend before Will was born. (We also did this 2 years ago before Jack.) Not only do I love him more now than I did the day we got married, I like him more. He makes me laugh, get giddy and feel safe.

1. Top Event of 2011 - My baby boy Will was born. He smiles constantly and lights up my life. I have a feeling that he is going to keep me on my toes. His little personality is already shining through!