Blueberry Pea Baby Smoothie

So yes, peas. I’ve been getting more adventurous with my smoothie combinations and wanted to do some spring cleaning with my freezer stash. The baby has mostly graduated from purees, so I figured this was a good way to use them all up. A bit of balancing is still required, of course, since the resulting combination has to be sweet enough to still be attractive for tiny taste buds. To be on the safe side, I went with one the stronger tasting fruits available, and it ended up working quite well. 400 grams of frozen Finnish bilberries. They are like blueberries, …

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Pumpkin Nectarine Baby Smoothie

In my last post, I mentioned that I had strayed from making pure fruit smoothies for the wee one, so here is one of those examples. Although strictly speaking, a pumpkin is a fruit. Also by the same logic, tofu is made from soy beans, which are also technically a fruit. Not that the baby cares — he’s just all, “Orange goop, yay!” We also gave a couple pouches of this concoction to his little baby bestie, who seemed equally happy to slurp it down with hardly a pause for breathing. With plenty of fruity sweetness and a punch of protein, what’s …

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Kiwi Pear Baby Smoothie

My baby is a smoothie addict. Not a bad thing to be, since it makes his five-a-day fruit/veggie quota easy to fill, but it can be a bit hard on the pocketbook if we only use ready-to-eat pouches from the supermarket. Which we obviously don’t, since I enjoy making my own baby food, but there definitely are situations (any outing longer than a few hours, for example) where convenience and shelf stability trump freshness and low costs. Having a few of these in my bag when we’re on the go during a mealtime has saved my butt on more than …

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Applefest 2014, Part 2: Cinnamon Applesauce

As I mentioned in Part 1, applesauce was high up on my to-do list for canning this year. As baby food, snack, or ingredient — there’s really no bad in having lots of applesauce around. Although I had previously made it before, I never had such a glut of apples that I was able to try more than one recipe. This year, I did at least five and half our apples are still in deep freeze for later processing 😀 The first time around, I just washed and halved the apples before tossing them into the steamer. This was the only time …

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Applefest 2014, Part 1: Homemade apple juice!

I mentioned last year that we had a few apple trees on our property. Two large ones that produce very decent cooking/eating apples and two smaller crabapples. All of them were very prolific this year, owing to a gentle spring followed by generously long growing season. For the past two years, I’ve been using a blend of these apples to make a very nice juice. Which is great, since apple juice is something we like to have in the fridge all the time and that can get spendy with Finnish grocery prices. Our two larger trees in flower earlier this …

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Lame harvest is better than no harvest.

So yeah, the garden thing? Didn’t so much happen this spring/summer, due to our new foofy-haired addition to the family. We have a lot of fruit bushes and trees, however, and the long, warm summer means lots to harvest now. I’d been fretting over the logistics of doing this with baby in tow and didn’t feel up to it until this morning. Not that I had any special breakthrough — it just seems that sometimes the best time to try something new is when you’re just too fed up to care about the details. Now, we have been having a few …

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Sugar-Crusted Raspberry Muffins

A few years ago, I visited a friend who took me to see her friend, who had just recently had a baby. I remember being totally impressed with how together this woman was, despite her chaotic schedule, recovering health and our last-minute visit — to the point where she sat us down and busted out fresh baked goods in what seemed like mere minutes. It was like magic! Just make a pot of tea and that’s that. I promised myself that I would learn from her and stock up on frozen pre-prepped items to make entertaining guests stress-free. Never did get …

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Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie)

Whilst digging through the downstairs freezer for smoothie ingredients the other day, I came upon a bag of wild bilberries (the juicier European cousin of blueberries) that I’d picked in the forest surrounding our house during our first year living here. Cue excited glee, since I’d thought they were all used up ages ago and they’re not the cheapest things to buy frozen at the supermarket. Last year was exceptionally bad for wild berries and mushrooms, since we didn’t get much summer rainfall in our area — I went out with my berry bucket and came back with 2 (count them) …

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2012 Summer Garden Review: Fruit & Veg Edition

This gallery contains 23 photos.

Right around now, when your eyes are inundated with the glare of white snow as far as you can see, it’s nice to think about the equally blinding green that will take over a few months later. Seriously, I’m looking at these pictures and squinting from green overload. I don’t remember it being quite as overwhelming in person, but then again, I was probably wearing sunglasses for most of the time. So, as I did last year, here is our summer garden in review. Edible things edition first.

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Homemade blackcurrant juice and a shiny new steam juicer.

So back in Cali, the main thing I knew about blackcurrants were that they were a strongly-scented European fruit that was used to make booze and Ribena. The main thing I knew about Ribena syrup was that it was really handy to use when mixing up blood substitute for film and TV productions. Never actually drank any of the stuff until a couple years ago, since it was usually relegated to some obscure specialty shelf. First winter we were here, then, T’s grandmother merrily handed me a bottle of homemade blackcurrant juice and I thanked her, despite looking somewhat puzzled. We …

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