Baby food is really fun to make... For the first couple of weeks. Then it becomes one of those, "Um, what is Emma going to have for dinner tonight... pureed pears it is. Again!" I would make big batches of pureed fruits and vegetables (ok, basically just pears and sweet potatoes) and freeze them in ice cube trays. We'd be good for a couple of weeks, then I'd run out.
The truth is, making your own baby food can be really easy if you are organized and have a little extra time. Which I was and did. Until we moved. During the transition, we resorted to store-bought baby food. I found myself only wanting to buy the fruits, knowing that she would like those and not being sure how good the vegetables would taste to her... or me.
Now that Emma is a little older, it is now my goal to be able to feed her from what I've fixed for our own dinner. Modified of course. I think this will help her to be an adventurous eater, and so I'm not cooking macaroni and cheese or chicken strips along with every meal in the future.
She had a little cold over the weekend - we all have. So this week I made us chicken noodle soup. I found it to be the perfect combination for her - vegetables she can eat (cooked carrots and peas, cut up), tiny bits of chicken and noodles. I made her her own version with diluted chicken broth, as I though our broth would be too seasoned. I cut her vegetables up extra small and over cooked them. I even used smaller egg noodles that I cut up to make it easier for her to chew. While I did actually make two separate batches of soup for us, it was easy and done at the same time. I made a big batch for her (and us) and put them in individual freezer containers to get out next time we have something not so Emma friendly for dinner.
In this recipe, I start by making the broth from scratch, but if you'd prefer, you can just use store-bought chicken stock. Starting from scratch is a lot easier and quicker than you might think - it is just boiling chicken in water with a bunch of vegetables for about 20 minutes. The entire thing can be made in 30 minutes.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
3 split chicken breast halves, bone-in (about 3 pounds)
For the stock :
8 cups of water
1 small white onion, quartered
1 carrot cut into chunks
1 head of garlic, cut in half exposing the cloves
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
2 tablespoons of sea salt (more or less, per your taste)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper (more or less, per your taste)
4 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 bag of egg noodles
salt and pepper to taste
Begin by placing the bone-in chicken breasts in a large stock pot with 8 cups of water. Add onion, 1 carrot cut into large chunks, garlic head, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes on medium until the chicken breasts are fully cooked.
Remove the chicken breasts and put them in a bowl while the stock continues to simmer.
Let the chicken set until they are cool enough to handle, then remove the chicken meat from the bone and skin, then shred it with a fork. Put the chicken bones and skin back into the stock and let it continue to simmer for 15-30 more minutes, or until you're ready to make the soup.
If you're making the stock in advance, strain and discard the bones, skin, vegetables and herbs, then put the stock in freezer containers.
|The mini version and the big version cooking away at the same time.|
If you are ready to make the soup, strain and discard the bones, skin, vegetables and herbs. Add in diced carrots and bring the soup to a boil. Then add noodles and cook for 5-8 minutes until the noodles are tender. Reduce the heat and add in chicken, peas and fresh parsley. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.