Tuesday, April 27, 2010

100th Blog Post (and recipe)

So I just realized that yesterday's post was my 100th post on Bites with Brandi! Woohoo! I am so glad that my blog has lasted this long (and a little surprised!). It has been very exciting posting recipes and restaurant reviews and such. I hope to continue posting for a long time!

To celebrate my 100th post (although technically this one is 101), I am posting a "secret recipe" of mine that is requested by many people for Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays. Actually, the recipe is not really a secret, there is just a trick to getting it to turn out right. :) Here it is:

Peanut Butter Fudge

3 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
1 small jar marshmallow cream
1 small jar peanut butter, melted

Melt butter in saucepan. Add sugar and milk. Stir well. Cook until soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and marshmallow cream. Stir well (mixture will begin to get stiff.) Pour into buttered 9x13 baking dish and let set. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Have you figured out the trick yet? It's melting the peanut butter! This makes the mixture so smooth and it incorporates well into the sugar and marshmallow cream. It is SO yummy!

Thank you, blog followers, for reading my posts and I hope you will continue to read them! I also hope you enjoy this recipe (it is so easy!). :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baby Food - Snacks

Isaiah (my little one) LOVES his snacks! Fortunately, nutritious snacks are easier to come up with than his main meals. And, since his palette is becoming more and more interested in different tastes, I am finding more and more foods for him to snack on. For example, I just found these the other day at Walmart. They are $1 for a bag of all-natural dehydrated fruit (this one is strawberry-banana):
Some other snacks that he loves are string cheese, crackers, graham crackers, fruit cups, fresh fruit, Kix cereal, and yogurt. This yogurt is his favorite:

There are two flavors in the pack, strawberry-banana and peach, and the texture is perfect for little ones. The yogurt is thick and sticks to the spoon, so it is great for toddlers who are learning to self-feed. Isaiah loves to hold a spoon and "dig" the yogurt out of the container. It's messy, but I just love watching him learn. :)

Oh, and another thing he likes for a snack (which are also great if traveling) are these:
I really wish Gerber made more flavors than just strawberry-banana, but these are great for now. I really like the Gerber Graduates snacks that are for toddlers, but they can get kind of pricey.

Any ideas for other snacks I can give to my little one?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baby Food - Lunch

Just like breakfast, it is also hard for me to come up with good meals for lunch for my little man that are also healthy and nutritious. It would be so easy to give him chicken nuggets and french fries, but he needs some veggies in there too. By the way, has anyone been watching the show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? In one of the episodes, a french fry was actually considered a vegetable on the school menu!! What has our food world come to?

Anyway, I try to make sure that he has at least a fruit and a vegetable for lunch every day...although some days it may be one or the other. Some of the fruits he loves are diced peaches, pears, pineapple tidbits, grapes, and mandarin oranges. One thing I like, which I recently discovered, is that Walmart makes a Great Value brand of canned peaches and pears that do not have any sugar added. Instead of heavy syrup, these canned fruits are packed in 100% pear juice.

Another thing I like about the Walmart Great Value brand is the veggies. They make several kinds of canned veggies that are No Salt Added (I've only found peas and green beans so far), and they also make little take-along packs of veggies that are perfectly diced for little mouths. I've found carrots, green beans, and corn in these packs.
I know fresh veggies and fruits are the best way to go, but sometimes you need the convenience of canned foods. Although, I am a lover of frozen fruits and veggies as well, and sometimes they are considered even more nutritious than fresh.

Some other things I have been feeding my little man for lunch are: Grilled Cheese sandwiches, rice, soup, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, spaghettios, and Chef Boyardee microwaveable meals (although not that often). One of the Chef meals that I don't mind feeding him, though, is this one:

It has rice, chunks of chicken, peas and carrots in it. The only thing I am not too crazy about is the sodium content.

Okay, so I know a lot of the food I listed is either canned, processed, or not as healthy as it could be. That's why I need ideas and suggestions! What about you? What do you feed your children? What do you eat for lunch?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baby Food -- Breakfast

Since this blog is all about food, and my little one eats food, I think it is appropriate for me to post about some of the food that he eats (for a change). :) He just turned a year old this month and is now eating table food, but it is so hard to find things to feed him for breakfast, especially since I am not a breakfast person. And, since he is no longer on the bottle, I have to make sure that he is getting sufficient nutrients, vitamins, etc. from his food.

For breakfast every morning, he eats this (mixed with lactose-free Vitamin D milk):

and this:

There are actually several different kinds of the Healthy Harvest applesauce, and he loves them all. You can see all of the different kinds here. One of my favorite things about this applesauce is that it is just applesauce and pureed fruit with no added sugars. Plain and simple.

I try to have something in addition to these things for breakfast for my little man. Sometimes I will fix him blueberry pancakes (so easy! recipe below), regular pancakes, scrambled eggs, muffins, toast, or waffles. This morning we had pull-apart biscuits (his first time having biscuits!). He loved them. I've tried turkey bacon, but I don't think it agreed with him, and sausage is just too greasy for him right now. Anyone have suggestions for other breakfast items? Like I said earlier, I'm not much of a breakfast person.

Here is the recipe for blueberry pancakes (and they do turn out blue!):

Blueberry Pancakes

Pancake mix (prepare according to directions on box)
Frozen blueberries

Put about 1/2 cup blueberries in a microwave-safe bowl (or more if you like more berries). Heat in microwave for about 45 seconds or until thawed. Pour blueberries, juice and all, into pancake batter and mix well. Batter will be blue. :) Pour onto hot, greased griddle. Flip when one side is light brown and brown other side. These pancakes will be a little more brown than regular pancakes because of the density of the batter. Enjoy with maple syrup, blueberry syrup, or by themselves! (My little guy eats them plain - too much sugar = one hyper little baby!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

My friend, Holly, told me about this recipe and actually made it for me as a frozen dinner back when I first had my little boy. It. Is. Delicious. And easy!! I made it tonight for my friend, Sarah, who just had her little boy a couple of weeks ago. :)

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

3 or 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 small can Rotel (tomatoes with green chilis)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 small can refried beans
1 bag shredded Mexican cheese (or colby/jack blend)
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 bag large flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and shred chicken breasts. Add Rotel and sour cream and mix well (you can also add some cheese to the mixture if you want). Spread a tortilla with refried beans, then add a heaping spoonful of chicken mixture. Roll tortilla up like a burrito and place in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle cheese all over and bake for app. 30 minutes.

**This meal is excellent for freezing. Just follow the recipe and even bake it, then transfer it to the freezer once it has cooled. A-mazing!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Blog Look! ... and Dip recipe

I realize that I haven't been a very dedicated blogger lately, so I have decided to give my blog a face-lift. It doesn't look much different than before, just a new photo, some new colors, and eventually some new gadgets.

I am also going to try my best and be a better blogger. I plan to devote some time each day (or at least every couple of days) to blogging. And, since this is a food blog, I plan to post some new recipes, restaurant reviews, and even have a few giveaways.

To start things off, here is a recipe I made recently for a friend's baby shower. It's a great dip for parties, showers, and other get-togethers.

Sausage-Queso Dip

1 lb. pork sausage, cooked and drained (mild or hot, depending on your heat level)
1 block Velveeta Cheese, cut into cubes (Kraft also makes a Velveeta Pepper Jack and a Velveeta Mexican Mild variety)
1/2 lb. hamburger, cooked and drained
Milk to thin it out
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Cook over low heat until all ingredients are incorporated and cheese is melted. Transfer to a crockpot and keep on low so dip stays warm. It is best served with yellow corn tortilla chips or corn chips.