Vanilla Pumpkin – Homemade Baby Food Blog


Homemade Baby Food Recipes – Pure as babies

Haunted Gingerbread House

Looking for a fun kids’ project this weekend? You’ve done gingerbread houses at Christmas, but have you ever made a haunted gingerbread house??

Haunted Gingerbread House Project

Filed under: Uncategorized

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I’ve recently roasted a few pumpkins and pureed them for use in baby foods and probably a few breads and cookies in the next few months. My toddler loves oatmeal, and even though we have been using apples primarily, we’ve started using pumpkin, both roasted and canned. She now asks for “punka” almost every morning! Great way to get baby some veggies first thing in the morning. First time roasting pumpkin? Click here to read instructions.

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup soy milk (or you can use regular cow’s milk)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (if you’re using puree that you’ve stored in ice cube trays, 1/3 cup equals 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon, so use either 5 or 6 cubes since a cube is roughly a tablespoon. Either way, you really can’t go wrong here.)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, note that if you’ve already spiced your pumpkin cubes using this recipe, you don’t need the ground cinnamon)

1/2 tsp agave nectar (in a pinch, you can use honey or brown sugar to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. If you’re using frozen pumpkin puree cubes, just throw them in frozen
Heat over medium heat, stirring consistently about 8-10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

I’ve found that this makes about 3 meals for my little one, each about 3/4 cup. Enjoy!

Filed under: Cinnamon, Dairy, Grains, Herbs and Spices, Oatmeal, Pumpkin, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY Travel Baby Monitor

My husband and I had friends and their newborn staying this weekend and they shared a great idea for traveling parents:

Instead of packing the baby monitor, we use our cell phones. Call one phone with the other, put both on speaker phone, leave one in the baby’s room and mute the other. Be sure to mute the one you are using as the receiver, otherwise you risk waking baby!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Introducing New Foods: A Workshop

All of the sudden, I’m having a little trouble getting Baby K, now 11 months, to try anything new. Actually she resists eating anything but bananas. Even oatmeal with bananas, and her favorite,  Banana Veggie Blend, are no longer welcomed at her high chair. What do you think? Any advice for a first-timer? Please comment!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Please excuse the mess

So I thought I’d try out’s newest theme, Grid Focus. I’ve found that switching themes is a little like letting Baby K rearrange the bakeware cabinet…her way. Sounds like a great idea since ultimately it’s going to be reorganized, but them when it comes down to it, it might have just been better off the way it was. So while I really like the clean look and minimalist design, I’m having a MAJOR issue with restoring the sidebar widgets back to their full glory. So, while I’m busy trying to figure this out, here are a few things you might be missing:

Follow me on Twitter (I promise I’m not too boring, and I just don’t spew links back to my mediocre blog.)wrecked

Subscribe to this site’s feed

Fan me on Facebook (All the cool kids’ moms are doing it.)

Fave Vanilla Pumpkin on Technorati

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Enter a giveaway

Depending on which page you’re on, you may or may not see the most popular posts, like the recipes for Sweet Potato Bites, Avocado and Pear Puree, Chicken, Brown Rice and Peas Medley, or the Baby Dipper Bowl Giveaway. Or you may be looking for freezer friendly recipes or recipes the entire family can enjoy.

And if this is your first visit to Vanilla Pumpkin, welcome! Take a second and read why I write about what I do, when to buy organic foods,  and my finds around the giant play yard known as the internet. Thank you!

Photo credit to twodolla on Flickr.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Carrots and Stars in Tomato Sauce


  • 2 organic carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1Tbs no salt added butter
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2Tbs whole grain pasta stars
  • 1 tsp dried parsley


  1. Steam carrots until tender
  2. Meanwhile, saute tomatoes in butter until tender
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese
  4. Cook pasta in water in another sauce pan until tender.
  5. Combine carrots with cheesy tomato sauce.
  6. Add desired amount of cooking water from carrots.
  7. Blend until you reach desired consistency.
  8. Add pasta stars and dried parsley, mix well.
  9. If freezing, pour into ice cube trays, cover and freeze overnight.

Filed under: Carrots, food, Freezer Friendly, Grains, Herbs and Spices, nutrition, Parsley, Pasta, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stork Craft Baby Crib Recall

From US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Stork Craft Recalls More Than 500,000 Cribs; Mattress Support Bracket Failures Create Risk of Entrapment and Suffocation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Stork Craft Baby Cribs

Units: About 535,000

Manufacturer: Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., of British Columbia, Canada

Hazard: The metal support brackets used to support the crib mattress and mattress board can crack and break. When one or more support brackets break, the mattress can collapse and create a dangerous gap between the mattress and crib rails, in which a child can become entrapped and suffocate.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC is aware of 10 incidents in which one or more mattress support brackets broke. In several incidents, the support bracket broke causing the mattress to collapse and create a gap between the mattress and crib rails. CPSC received a report of a toddler who sustained bruises to his forehead. In another incident a child reportedly became entrapped in the gap between the mattress and the drop side rail with no injury.

Description: This recall involves Stork Craft Baby cribs. All cribs with manufacturing and distribution dates between May 2000 and November 2008 are included in this recall. The cribs were sold in various styles and finishes. The manufacture date, model number, crib name, country of origin, and the firm’s name, address, and contact information are located on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board. The firm’s insignia “storkcraft baby” is inscribed on the drop side teething rail of some cribs.

Sold at: Major retailers including J.C. Penney, Kmart and Walmart stores nationwide and online at,, and from May 2000 through January 2009 for between $100 and $400.

Manufactured in: Canada, China and Indonesia

Remedy: CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately stop using the recalled cribs and find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. Consumers should contact Stork Craft to receive a free replacement kit, with new mattress support brackets.

Consumer Contact: Contact Stork Craft toll-free at (866) 361-3321 anytime to order the free replacement kit or log on to

Filed under: Family, Recalls, Uncategorized, , , ,

Lasagna: Italian Dinner for the Whole Family

As Baby K gets older and is able to eat more complex meals, I find it easier at times to prepare parts of our family meals for her. Lasagna is a family favorite at my house, and I’ve adapted my tried and true recipe to suit her needs as well. As a bonus, both the family portion and baby’s portion are freezer friendly!


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 jar of organic, basic tomato sauce
  • 12 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 12 oz container of cottage cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat oven ready lasagna
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat tiny pasta for baby (I used acini di pepe)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/4 finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 whole bay leaves


  1. Brown ground beef (or turkey) in pan, drain excess fat if any and return to pan.
  2. Add chopped onions and continue to cook on low for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently
  3. As onions start to turn translucent, add chopped mushrooms, garlic and tomato, continue cooking for about 5 minutes
  4. Stir in tomato sauce and bay leaves, bring to a boil
  5. Remove mixture from heat
  6. Remove bay leaves

Baby’s Dinner

  1. Cook baby’s pasta, drain, rinse and set aside
  2. Remove about a cup of the beef and sauce mixture and place into a mixing bowl
  3. Add 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, mix well
  4. Blend this mixture into a puree
  5. Combine with baby’s pasta
  6. Add 1/2 tbs of dried parsley if desired
  7. Serve, or pour into ice cube trays, cover, freeze overnight and store

Family’s Dinner

  1. In an ungreased 9×13 pan or 2 9×9 pans, spread a layer of about 1/3 beef and sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add a layer of lasagna noodles
  3. Add a layer of 1/3 of the cottage cheese
  4. Add a layer of 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  5. Sprinkle with parsley if desired
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees

Filed under: Bay, Beef, Chicken, Family, food, Freezer Friendly, garlic, Herbs and Spices, Parsley, Pasta, Proteins, Turkey, Uncategorized, Vegetables, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Around the play yard – Week of Jan 4

CrazyLittleFingers Rewards Your Toddler’s Curiosity, from LifeHacker

CrazyLittleFingers is a keyboard locking application. Unlike some of the previous keyboard lockers we’ve covered, CrazyLittleFingers corresponds the keystroke to a picture and sound related to the key. Press L and you see a picture of a lion. Press R and you see a movie of a rooster…continue

Baby Smash! Kid-Proofs Your Computer, from lifehacker

Windows only: Programmer and dad Scott Hanselman wanted an easy way to let his toddler play on his computer without deleting files or quitting programs, so he put together baby-proofing software, Baby Smash!. Start up Baby Smash! and let the little one go to town on your keyboard…continue

Three Mommy Bloggers Give Back, from Bloggers Give Back

My BFF Heather sent me links to three mommy bloggers (sorry to whomever is offended by that label) who shared stories about paying it forward…continue

31 Daily Goals or one Honking Resolution, from

Asha from asked this seemingly innocuous question via twitter (she’s @parenthacks if you want to follow her) yesterday: What if, instead of unrealistic resolutions, for Jan 09, we set 31 daily goals, 4 weekly goals, and 1 monthly goal?continue

Haley’s Homemade Play Kitchen, from ohdeedoh

You just have to see how adorable this play kitchen is…continue

Wanna help share good parenting reads? Follow me on Twitter @vanillapumpkin.

Filed under: Around the Play Yard, baby, Family, Reading, Reviews, Uncategorized

Love Ice Cream?

strawberry_sorbetWho doesn’t? But with a dizzying array of choices – low fat, lower fat, less sugar – I honestly sometimes just skip it altogether.

To help out those indecisive yet health conscious types, Baskin Robbins is stepping up to the plate. They’re kicking off 2009 with the introduction of BRight Choices treats.better-for-you light ice cream options including fat free, dairy free, no sugar added and light ice cream offerings. BRight Choices flavors have all the great taste and quality customers expect from Baskin-Robbins but with less guilt. It’s a great option for moms looking for a healthier option while out with their kids.

To celebrate the launch of BRight Choices, Baskin-Robbins is celebrating the bright choices customers make each day with BRight Choices Day on Jan. 15, 2009. On BRight Choices Day, participating Baskin-Robbins shops nationwide will offer a free BRight Choices scoop to any customer with proof of a gym membership. BRight Choices flavors are indicated by a pink star decal.

Filed under: Family, Reviews, Uncategorized, , , ,


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