Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is something that I've literally wanted to make for years and for some reason never took the time to do it!
Ever since I cleaned up our garden and brought all the remaining squash into the garage, I've been searching for squash recipes to try so I could use up some of what I had laying around. If you ask me, fall weather screams SOUP!
So, if you like squash.. and you like a good 'ol cup of soup... then this recipe is a must try!
2 medium sized butternut squash (or you could buy pre-cut squash or use already pureed squash)
2 tbsp EVOO
1 small onion - diced
3 cloves of garlic - minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
3 tbsp. butter (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
• Half and clean squash - Place in baking dish with a half inch of water - Cover with tinfoil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
• While squash is cooling, heat EVOO in a small pan - add diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté until tender.
• Begin spooning squash into blender - Add garlic and onion mixture - Add 1 can of broth - blend. If mixture is still thick, begin adding second can of broth until you reach the desired consistency.
• Put squash mixture into a pot on medium-low heat - add butter, if desired.
• Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste.
I feel like I'm forgetting something... but nope, it's really just that easy! I served myself a bowl with some warm garlic bread. Yummm!



Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekending | Guns + Teething Baby

 Happy Monday!
I couldn't tell you the last time that...
a) I posted our weekend recap
b) I did a link up (I kind of forgot what I'm doing)
c) I am happy on a Monday morning... but the hubs is home for an extra day! Yay!
So on that note, I'm linking up with the beautiful Biana for some weekending fun!
This weekend was the opening day of gun season. Which is one of our favorite weekends of the year! So of course I planned ahead and made sure my Mom would be able to come over for the weekend to help with little Miss Sass!
Remington was ready to cheers to the weekend! Stinker pie grabbed this shot of buttershots out of the freezer Friday afternoon. Anything cold on the gums is her happy place lately! (No worries, it was still unopened)
Saturday morning we worked on some baby proofing. The kitchen cabinets and electrical outlets throughout the house officially had to be safety proofed since this little stinker pie is into everrrrrything!  
I also worked on our Christmas Cards! I usually design my own on Picmonkey and have them printed at a local shop, however I just don't have time for that this year. I did some shopping and comparing prices and wound up going with Vistaprint. I used a 50% off coupon (BRIGHT15) and scored cards for 57 cents a piece! I really wanted to try Minted this year for their envelope addressing... but even with a coupon, I still would have been spending over $150. Which I just can't phantom doing. We're trying to be more savy with our money and spending money on something that's most likely getting thrown away is hard for me to do! The hubs tried to talk me out of sending any at all... (which I couldn't imagine not doing that) then he tried to tell me to just buy cheap basic holiday cards at Walmart. Men... they just don't get it! Haha!
Saturday afternoon we headed out to sight in our guns. Nothing like last minute, the day before gun season starts. I guess that's what happens when Michael is always working. We headed over by the farm rather than by our house where we hunt. It was windy as hell, so it took longer than expected. Remington wasn't a fan of the ear muffs and a spoon is her new favorite thing to play with.

Saturday evening was pretty low key. The girls arrived for the night and we all just relaxed. Remington has been teething pretty bad in the evenings. Plus she fights sleep like no other so between the two, she was pretty crabby. Therefore, we I drank wine.
Sunday morning Michael and I headed out to the hunting blind bright and early. Waking up at 5am after being up with Remington twice, wasn't very fun. But I survived. The morning sit was pretty uneventful. Heard lots of gun shots though. We headed in the house for a break for a few hours. I begged made Michael take a selfie on our walk back into the house. He likes to protest pictures. But I like to have memories to look back on. Therefore, I win.
If I didn't take pictures, we couldn't look back on our first season of hunting together in 2010. Babies. Thinner babies. ♥
I worked on packing away Remington's clothes that no longer fit. It made me kind of sad that she couldn't wear any more of it. It also made me kind of sad to think about how fast she's growing!
Then we headed back out to the blind for the afternoon/evening hunt. Which was much more eventful. Even though we didn't get to tag a deer, it was still nice to be out in the woods and also to spend some time together. Even if we were silent or whispering, it was still probably the most time we spent together in 6 weeks.
We rounded the evening up with saying goodbye to the family before they headed home. Remi sure does love when the girls are around!
Despite the teething baby, I'd say we had a pretty good weekend! How about you?!


Friday, November 6, 2015

What Remi Wore: Hunter Green + Camo

Even though I'm faaaaar from a fashionista... I'd like to think I make my daughter look like a stylin' babe! Seriously, so fun!
It's no secret that the Joy's love hunting. We can only hope that we pass that onto Remington as she grows up! For now, I can at least force her to wear camo and call it cute! ;) I'm especially loving the color hunter green this fall, which works out perfectly with camo. 
Michael has been hunting out of state and he'll be coming home this weekend sometime! Earlier this week when it was gorgeous out, Remington and I got outside to enjoy the sunshine. She more so enjoyed eating leaves, but that's besides the point. Remington showed off her "big buck" and sent some good luck wishes to her Daddy to get one bigger than hers. ;)
Any other outfit ideas what to pair these camo mocs with?!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Homemade Baby Food

I've been asked a few times about my experiences with making Remington's food. Today I made a few trays of Raspberries since my MIL still has lots of berries in her garden, so it reminded me of sharing this post!
Making baby food was something I knew I wanted to do once I had little ones. We always grow a garden and can or freeze everything so I figured it couldn't be too complicated to make baby food! Once I got the "all clear" from Remington's pediatrician to begin fruits/veggies, I of course resorted to the internet for recipes and tips. The Wholesome Baby Food website was definitely my go to. This and this were helpful articles. So was this baby food chart.
I've never been one that was "all natural" or strictly organic, but providing my baby the best and most affordable nutrition possible was something I definitely wanted to aim for. Also, it's nice to know exactly what is in her food. It's scary to hear about all of the preservatives and chemicals that are in our foods today.
Side note: A jar of baby food typically costs $1 for 4oz. It may have cost $20 for the plants in my garden that were strictly for baby food. The peach and pear trees we have produced free fruit. Overall, I probably have 500+ ounces of food in my freezer that cost me next to nothing! How awesome is that?!
There are many different options on making baby food. From the food processor, to the way you cook the food, to the way you store the food. This is just what I found worked best for me and allowed me to use items that I already had on hand without having to go spend money.
What you need:
• Ice cube trays
• Ziploc freezer bags
• Plastic wrap or aluminum foil or wax paper
• Blender (I use my Ninja or magic bullet depending on the amount needed to puree)
• Water (distilled/purified/drinking)
How to make puree via steaming:
(I will use carrots for this example)
• Pick/purchase your carrots
• Clean skins well
• Peel carrots
• Slice into smaller pieces if necessary (the smaller they are the faster they will cook)
• Place in steamer for 5-7 minutes or until tender (don't overcook to avoid losing nutrients)
• Remove carrots from steamer and place in blender
• Add a little bit of water (1 tbsp at a time)
• Puree carrots until they are at the desired consistency - add more water if needed
• Pour carrot puree into ice cube trays
• Cover ice cube tray with wrap/foil/wax paper - place in freezer for 24 hours
How to make puree via baking:
(I will use butternut squash for this example)
• Pick/purchase your squash
• Clean skins well (I chose not to peel the squash because the skins can be tough sometimes)
• Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds
• Place squash skin side up in a baking dish or cookie sheet with a small amount of water in the bottom (the water will steam the squash)
• Cover dish with foil (this will avoid the squash getting dried out)
• Bake in oven at 350 for an hour or until squash is tender
• Remove squash from oven and let cool for a few minutes for easy handling
• Spoon squash out of skins into the blender
• Add a little bit of water (1 tbsp at a time)
• Puree squash until they are at the desired consistency - add more water if needed
• Pour squash puree into ice cube trays
• Cover ice cube tray with wrap/foil/wax paper - place in freezer for 24 hours
How to store the cubes:
• Remove ice cube trays from freezer - remove covering
• Fill kitchen sink with 1/2" - 1" of hot water
• Set one ice cube tray in sink for 5-10 seconds. This will loosen the cubes. Don't leave the tray in the hot water too long otherwise your food will begin to turn back to liquid form
• Pop the cubes out of the tray into a large bowl
• Once all cubes are removed, begin placing in labeled freezer bags
** I chose to put the majority of the cubes into vacuum sealed bags to avoid freezer burn and then I put a small quantity for immediate use in a regular Ziploc bag. This is just what works for me with items I already have on hand.
That's it! Just like that, you have some delicious, homemade baby food for your little one! I know it seems like a lot of work, but once you get going, it's really easy! So far I have made carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potato, butternut squash, pears, peaches, and raspberries. I've also got corn and zucchini that I'd like to incorporate into some mixed recipes eventually and I'm hoping to pick some apples to make apple sauce soon!

So far I would say that pears, squash, and sweet potato are Remi's favorites. She's not a fan of the peas or green beans at all! So I mix those with another vegetable to make her eat them! :)

Check out my pinterest board - Baby Food for more inspiration and tips!
Do you make your own baby food? What are your favorite baby food recipes?!