Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

The Littlest Pioneer Girl’s 1st Words

New Frontiers In Speech

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Today, our Littlest Pioneer Girl, Anna Elizabeth, uttered her first spoken words.  She is exactly 7 months old today, at exactly 6 months she got her first tooth (followed closely by the 2nd tooth less than a week after the first.)  The Littlest Pioneer Girl, seems to like being right on the mark with major milestones and making it easy on Modern Ma to remember the dates (‘cuz who has time for scrapbooking just now???  With a garden to plant, animals to care for, house to clean and 3 children and a husband to feed, Ma sure doesn’t!)

Anna’s first word was “Mama” plain as day this afternoon and often repeated and well practiced, especially whenever “Mama” left her sight.  Pioneer Pa was a teeny bit miffed, the boys 1st words were always “Dada” and he expected his daughter to follow suit.  Her second word, so close on the heels of the first, was a very good attempt at “love” and a budding effort at her third word a slightly shreiky “I”.  Then after Mama repeated them in correct gramatical order, Anna kept trying to repeat “I love Mama.”

I, Ma was of course thrilled, Henry was about 9 month before he tried “Mama” (I remember him saying “Dada”, “Dog” and Meow (at the time we had a cat and meow=cat) well before he said mama.)

Charles first word was “dada” as well, followed by “wawa” = water/swimming, dog, duck, peep-peep (chicks), fish and egg by a year old.  Then Charles began losing language rapidly between 18 and 24 months.  Charles had to be re-taught all over again to speak at about 4 years old and did not finally say “mommy” until he was 4 1/2 years old (a huge milestone.) Prior to 4 1/2 Charles always used and understood, but silent “hey you” to address me.

So having my only daughter’s first word be “Mama” is a huge reward for all those years I waited to hear her oldest brother say it.

Pureed Beets

(A Gluten Free & Casein Free Baby Food Recipe)


4 medium sized beets, washed and stems removed

Water (enough to barely cover beets in saucepan)

Equipment needed:

cutting board, disposable gloves (beets stain EVERYTHING), paring knife, chef’s knife, small to medium sized saucepan, Baby Bullet or other powerful blender, ice cube trays made of silicone (regular  ice cube trays will work but cubes may have to be slightly thawed to release them from the trays and I’ve had a few of the cheapo trays crack on me), 1 qt. zip-top freezer bags.


PUT ON GLOVES!  Wash beets and remove tops. Peel beets with paring knife (if you have chickens, other poultry or a hog, reserve peelings and tops for a treat for your livestock).  Using cutting board and chef’s knife, dice beets into 1/2 inch pieces or smaller (smaller pieces cook faster).  Place diced beets in pan, use just enough water to barely cover them.  Put pan on burner and bring to boil.  Cover with a lid, reduce heat to a simmer and allow beets to steam until very tender to a fork test.  Turn off heat and allow temp to drop until they can be handled comfortably, but are still warm.  Place 1/2 of the beets in the bowl of your blender or Baby Bullet, along with approx. half the water.  Secure lid and puree as per the appliance manufacturer’s instructions until of baby food consistancy, add a little cool water if neccessary to thin.  Pour into trays and place in freezer.  Repeat with other  1/2 of beets and cooking water.

To thaw for use:  Remove 1 or 2 cubes from freezer place in a small covered dish such as a recylced baby food jar or yogurt cup.  If to be eaten at next meal, allow to thaw at room temp for an hour or two.  If to be eaten in the next 2 days, thaw in the fridge.

Number of servings will depend on size of beets used and age of your baby.

Pureed Beets are also an awesome addition to vanilla or chocolate cakes, lending their rosy color, vitamins/minerals and a bit of fiber to your family’s diet (an idea I borrowed from one of my favorite cookbooks, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, long before our family went gluten and dairy free.  Do check out a copy of her book from your local library or bookstore for more ideas on adding veggies and fruits to you kids’ diets, even if your family has special diet needs, many of the recipes can be adapted to your needs.  We draw inspiration from this book pretty often.)  Pureed beets in a vanilla or yellow GF cake mix and a little organic Chocolate Extract and frosted with coconut yogurt frosting makes AWESOME Red Velvet Cakes/cupckes. Red Velvet is Charles, favorite cake flavor, so we will be posting this before the end of the school term when his class celebrates the summer birthdays.  Stay on the look out for a from scratch GF/CF version of that.

Beets are one of Anna’s all-time favorite foods!

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