Seafood Risotto

I like rice. I like seafood. This recipe is two good things that taste good together, what else do you need to know? Definitely my own version of comfort food, and fairly easy to make if you don’t mind putting in the elbow grease. Back home in Cali, I’d use fresh shellfish and go with larger shrimp and clams, but we are in Finland so I use what I can. My base recipe is from Allrecipes but I made several modifications due to either preference or Finnish availability. I have also provided Finnish measurements where applicable in the recipe below.

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The 2014 Ramen Review

Wow, has it really been almost 4 years since my last ramen review? So much for this being the annual post I’d intended. But I had intentions, yes! Here are the pictures and notes that have been sitting on my computer all last year to prove it. While I have tried to eat healthier over the past couple of years, there are still some days when I really needed a noodle fix. Pregnancy cravings are a thing, yo. So, as a public service to those of you in Finland who would like to know what’s what in the world of …

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Ella’s Kitchen Stage 1 Vegetable and Fruit Puree Pouches

After a month of only giving solids for breakfast, I decided it was time to expand into another meal. I didn’t particularly feel like giving cereal for dinner, so we went with these 4 month+ fruit and veggie purees. I picked up a lot of hints from these pouches for how to blend my own versions, such as combination ideas and what ingredient proportions gave the most baby-attractive results. Basically, it came down to using a lot more “filler” fruit (banana, apple, pear) than I would have thought. No wonder these were so happily devoured while my homemade pure veggie …

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Applefest 2014, Part 3: Apple Jelly

Jelly is one of those things that I rarely use, but will usually stock for the occasional irrational craving (which often leads to my using a whole jar in a week). I can’t say I’ve looked very hard for it at the supermarket these past few years, but I’m pretty sure that the majority of stuff on Finnish shelves is berry preserves. Which is just fine most of the time, but it hit me last autumn that I really wouldn’t mind some apple jelly in the pantry. Lucky for me, there was a glut of apples to process. Part of my apple …

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White Leek and Pear Soup

Another recipe from Karen LeBillon’s “French Kids Eat Everything” book, which I had to try because I absolutely love leeks. Wasn’t as sold on adding fruit to it, but figured the baby would certainly enjoy it. He’s got a big thing for fruit and veggie combos, probably because of the sweet factor. This is the Baby’s Vichyssoise (White Leek Soup) recipe, as excerpted by Bon Appetit magazine. Please refer there for recipe and method. The two first veggie soups happen to be the only things that are suitable for feeding a baby under 1 year, so I probably won’t get around to cracking that book …

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Ella’s Kitchen Banana-Blueberry, Pear-Apple, Peach-Pear, and Banana-Apricot Baby Rice Pouches

A couple weeks after we started with the Valio gruels, I went browsing the shelves for other brands and flavors that looked interesting. Blob was so enthusiastic about his new non-milk breakfasts that I wanted to get in as much variety as possible while the getting was good. They also came in those handy little sippy pouches which both babies and moms seemed to like so much better than jars. So I brought home a sampler and we started going through them 🙂 These 4 month+ fruit and baby rice pouches were the perfect consistency for our beginner breakfasts, providing a stepping …

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Spinach Zucchini Soup

Taking a break from reviewing storebought foods today to share a fast and tasty pureed spinach soup I found last week! This was excerpted from Karen LeBillon’s “French Kids Eat Everything” book, which I have only scanned but do plan on reading thoroughly one of these days. You can never have too many tips on healthy eating habits, as far as I’m concerned. I’m also curious to learn how Europeans encourage adventurous eaters, since I’m sure it’s completely different from the way my mom went about it. Same results, different paths — I’m hoping there are gentler options than what I grew …

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Valio Onni Blueberry-Oat and Banana-Lingonberry Yogurt Snacks

Here’s something different from the long list of porridges and gruels I’ve been presenting – yogurt and fruit snacks! These were actually what gave me the idea of adding yogurt into my own baby smoothies — Blob developed a huge fondness for these particular blends but there were only two flavors available from this line, so we improvised. Blueberry-oat yogurt snack. Ingredients listed: grape juice, organic yogurt (23%), fresh milk whey, blueberry (8%), rice starch, wholegrain oat flakes (1%), rapeseed and sunflower oils, calcium, vitamin C. What I am translating as “blueberry”, by the way, is most likely bilberry since blueberries as we …

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Valio Onni 4-Grain, Raspberry-Blueberry, Lingonberry, and Raspberry Porridges

So after a month of gradually thickening the gruels (both pre-mixed and powdered) with additional baby cereal, we were pretty much at porridge consistency. This coincided with the 5-month+ age recommendation for these porridges above, so I started serving them up as well. Although I started playing fast and loose with age recommendations for lots of foods after the 6 month mark, I tried to go a bit more slowly in the beginning since we were still mastering the whole get-it-into-the-mouth-and-swallow routine 🙂 Four-grain porridge. Ingredients listed: fresh milk whey, milk, wholemeal flour and flakes (oat, barley, rye and wheat; 10%), …

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