Can any of you working parents out there appreciate my anxiety at abandoning the office at the stroke of 5pm. to get to the daycare by cut off time…6pm.?Luckily for me, my husband works from a home office most days which is 5 minutes from the daycare so he can pick up our son seamlessly. It’s only the odd day here and there, or if he’s away on a business trip that I tag in as one and only pick up parent.
If the anxiety at the thought of my little one longingly staring out the daycare window asking the cleaning lady, the only other person left there, why I haven’t shown up yet isn’t enough, there’s the added stress of how to plan my impending escape from a meeting that was scheduled for 11am. but started at 4:36pm. Do they not understand the gravity of my situation?If I don’t get to the daycare by 6pm. there is a firmly broadcast rule that you will pay a $ amount for every minute past and get tarred and feathered. Maybe the last part was made up but I bet that’s what they would like to do.
4:57pm…I make the announcement…”I really do have to get going to pick up my son”. The initial response is, “of course, that’s fine”, which is then followed by a lackadaisical subject change delaying the meeting wrap up and ultimately my exit to on time pick up.Luckily this live re-enactment of The Amazing Race only has to happen once in a while for me. I don’t know how some of you out there face that stress every day. BRAVO!!
Wow…I just re-read that and my blood pressure is starting to rise. I think I need to switch gears and get me some baby food making therapy.This week I’m going to incorporate an ingredient that may seem like an unusual addition to a baby food dish…mushrooms. Mushrooms can be safely added as an ingredient to a dish for babies over 8 months old. They are fungi so it’s best to make sure they are cooked well to be on the safe side. They don’t pose a high allergy risk, but they could cause a digestive issue in some over sensitive tummies. If you are watchful for signs of a reaction, just as you were when introducing all first foods to baby, it should be fine. Use them pureed in a sauce to add some great flavour and nutrients, including potassium, to baby’s meal. More info. on mushrooms and other unusual ingredients that can be safely used in baby food dishes can be found at Momtastic’s Wholesome Baby Food website…a great on-line resource for all things baby food.
Don’t Be Saucy Mushroom & Chicken Risotto
Age – 8 months +
· 1 ½ tbsps. of butter
· 1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast
· ½ cup chopped onions
· 2 cups sliced mushrooms
· 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
· 1 cup of milk
· 1 tbsp. of flour
· 1/3 cup of homemade or low sodium chicken broth
· 1/3 cup of frozen peas
· ½ cup of rice
1. Cook rice according to package instructions, leaving out salt and set aside.
2. Chop chicken breast into small pieces.
3. Melt ½ tbsp. of butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
4. Add chicken to pan and cook for approx. 10 minutes until cooked through stirring as required.
5. Transfer cooked chicken to a large bowl and set aside.
6. In same sauté pan melt 1 tbsp. of butter over medium heat then add onions and mushrooms. Cook until tender, approx. 5 minutes.
7. Whisk flour into milk and then add to mushrooms and onions along with the chicken broth and thyme.
8. Increase heat to medium high and cook, whisking occasionally, until creamy, approx. 4 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender and puree to a smooth sauce.
10. Return sauce to sauté pan and add in the peas. Cook over medium heat for approx. 5 more minutes until peas are tender.
11. Remove sauce from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
12. Dice the cooked chicken that is set aside into tiny pieces that baby can handle.
13. Add cooked rice and mushroom sauce to the chicken in large bowl and combine well.
14. Let cool for a few minutes then transfer to freezing trays to keep in the freezer to use within 3 months, or to a food storage container to use within 48 hours.
Makes – Approx. 10 servings (1 serving = 2 tbsps.)
Note: If you, like I used to, enjoy using canned mushroom soup in various family dinner recipes, you can use the mushroom sauce in this baby food recipe instead. Just add some salt and pepper to boost the flavour for adults and older children. This sauce is great with chicken and rice or pasta, or even as gravy on mashed potatoes and pork chops. Up to you if you want to puree it smooth, or leave it as a chunky mushroom sauce.
Another little tip when using a blender to puree…rinse/clean it right after you use it otherwise it can be a pain to get it clean. If you clean it right away with some hot water and dish soap it really just takes a few seconds instead of a lifetime to get the dried on ingredients out.
It’s amazing how getting back into my kitchen helps me de-stress. I hope it does you too. In the meantime, may the force be with you as you plan your next meeting escape to avoid the hypothetical tar and feathering ceremony at daycare.