Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cooking for Baby: Apple Cinnamon Cream of Millet.


Nothing brings my boys to the kitchen like the sound of our food processor whirring away! Since the day my youngest son was fed his first taste of solids a couple of months ago, my older two son's interest in everything he eats has not waned. They beg to try anything their baby brother is eating and I, being fully aware of the amount of nutrients I try to cram into each of those baby meals, am more than happy to oblige. 

This Apple Spice Cream of Millet is the first breakfast cereal I feed to my babies. It is similar in consistency to Cream of Wheat and Gerber's Prepared Baby Cereals but since the millet is freshly ground, all the iron, protein and other vital nutrients it contains are maintained without the use of preservatives. 

I have found that by adding fresh fruits and vegetables like grated apples or carrots and chopped spinach or kale to their breakfast cereals, I'm able to sneak some extra flavor and nutrients into my babies tummies first thing in the morning.

Growing up, my mom made Cream of Wheat for breakfast frequently. My favorite part was meticulously arranging the raisins and brown sugar on top to create a happy face. With so many different nuts, seeds, and dried fruits so widely available these days, my boys and I have a lot of fun each morning coming up with different, healthier variations on my traditional raisin and brown sugar happy face. 

{Apple Spice Cream of Millet}

3 T. whole millet 
3/4 c. coconut milk, unsweetened 
1/2 apple, grated
fresh baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. all spice
a pinch of salt

Grind whole millet in a food processor using a milling blade until it is the consistency of flour. Bring almond milk and spinach leaves to a light boil over low heat. Add millet, 1 T. at a time while whisking continuously to avoid clumps. Add apple. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let stand 1 -2 minutes until thickened. Add spices. Pour into bowls. If desired, sweeten with maple syrup or honey and top with fresh berries, chopped nuts and/or dried fruit. 

makes 2 -3 servings.

{notes:}
*for babies 12 months & older, prepare as is;
*for babies 12 months & under, prepare as is & omit toppings;
*for babies 9 months & under, substitute coconut milk with water & omit apple & spinach;
*any dairy or plant based milk can be substituted for the coconut milk;

Friday, April 15, 2016

Shop: Damask & Polka Dots.


There is something about the soft pastels and delicate pattern of this Love Birds Damask fabric from Carousel Designs that just makes me want to have a baby girl. Backed with a polka dot decked flannel and I'm ready to design a whole nursery around this blanket.

I first made this blanket in the Summer of 2015 as a gift for my husband's cousin's new baby, a little girl named Lilly Grace. Elegant and preppy, but with a touch of eclectic, I thought this blanket suited her beautiful name quite nicely.

Once this baby blanket was wrapped up and delivered to its intended owner I quickly ordered more fabric and whipped up another one because I knew I wanted it for my shop. You can check out the listing for this Love Birds Damask/Pink Polka Dots Swaddle Receiving Blanket here.

And until the day God blesses me with a daughter of my own, I'll continue to come up with the girliest blankets I can envision for everyone else's. ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Beginning.


I always loved the idea of a tightly swaddled baby but, with my first two children, I never had the correct size blanket to make a good swaddle.

While pregnant with my third, I happened upon some adorable clearance fabric at Ikea and snatched up all the panels they had left. I decided to make matching blankets for my two boys out of the vegetable theme fabric I had found and a blue and white pinstriped flannel.

I gave the blankets to my boys for Christmas and was thrilled by how much they loved them! Measuring just about one yard, these blankets were the ideal size for them to carry around, cuddle with, play on, tuck their stuffed animals under, transport on long car trips & stroller rides, etc.

 A month or so later, I decided to make a themed blanket for one of my best friends who was expecting her first baby. She and her husband are avid bikers so I went with a bike pattern on one side and a sweet polka dot flannel on the other side. While stitching away it occurred to me that the blanket was the perfect size and weight to swaddle a baby.

With only a couple of weeks left before my own little bundle was due and my nesting instincts in full swing, I was determined to complete a blanket in time for it to be the very first blanket he or she would be wrapped in at birth.

Since I have always loved the classic look of toile, as soon as I found this 'Nursery Rhyme Toile' fabric online I knew it would be the perfect pattern for my baby, regardless of gender.

As for the flannel, I went with bright white not only because is it gender neutral but also because it feels so fresh and clean for a newborn.

My excitement over this blanket doubled once I realized how perfectly it coordinated with the old-fashioned cradle I had purchased at a thrift store just before my second son was born. My original intention had been to paint the cradle bright white but, this busy mom to little ones never got around to it. Well, I'm so glad I didn't because I love the contrast of the brown wood against the crisp white and taupe toile.

Luckily that little bundle arrived a couple of days late so this blanket was finished with plenty of time to spare.

And oh, how perfect he looked!

My midwife was the first person to compliment bis blanket. Once our son's initial, post-birth physical was complete, she asked if I had a specific blanket I wanted him in. As soon as she finished swaddling him, as she handed that cozy little baby to me, she commented on what a beautiful blanket it was. A couple of weeks later, as I started bringing the blanket with us, out and about, I began to receive so many compliments that my husband suggested I start selling them.

And that is the story of how cotton & may began! :)