Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Helpful Tips for New Mothers

Thank you very much to Katie Moore for this great post on Tips for New Mothers. I can say from personal experience, I fully agree! Take a look through my recipes on this blog for easy, healthy meals for someone to make for you.

The biggest question a woman will ask herself after delivering a first child is, “Does motherhood
come with instructions?” Although this is a common fear among many new mothers, there are a
few tricks out there to make the transition into motherhood less stressful.

Once a new mother arrives home with her sweet bundle of joy, she will quickly learn that the
baby will only sleep for short periods of time. Since most newborns will sleep in two-hour
intervals, it is recommended to sleep when the baby sleeps. The tiny size of the newborn’s
stomach requires them to eat more often, causing them to only sleep in shorter bursts of time.
As their bellies grow, so does their ability to go longer without food.

Many mothers will face the emotional effects of delivering a baby after returning home. “Baby
blues”, sadness felt after having a baby, are common feelings but it is important for a new
mother to be able to identify the difference between normal post-delivery emotions and post-
partum depression. If a mother’s feeling of weepiness develops into more serious emotions,
consulting a doctor is the first step.

Learning the art of swaddling is a great tool to have for a new mother. Babies under the age
of four months, enjoy the security and boundaries that are found in a womb-like swaddle.
Swaddling will not only assist in helping baby to fall asleep, but will also keep them from waking
themselves up from involuntary spastic movements. Hospital nurses are swaddling pros and will
gladly offer a quick training session to curious new moms.

Keeping all items needed for late night feedings and diaper changes handy can make life easier
for a sleep-deprived mom. Waking up every few hours those first few months will leave a mother
feeling worn out. By having evening items handy, a new mom can quickly care for the baby and
return to sleep to catch up on her sleep.

When babies are in utero they are soothed by the sounds of the mother’s body like as her
heartbeat, muffled voice, and even her breathing. Noise machines are excellent alternatives to
mimic these sounds and place near, never inside, the baby’s crib. Hearing a heartbeat will make
a swaddled baby feel like he is back in the womb and will rest better for it.

New mothers often have running lists going on in their heads as they prepare for their first child.
By organizing these thoughts before delivery, new moms can keep themselves more organized.
There are even some important things that new parents may not consider, such as health
insurance coverage for the infant and umbilical cord blood banking. The first thirty days of a
newborn’s life will be covered by the mother’s health insurance plan; however the infant must be
added to the health insurance policy within thirty days of birth; otherwise some families will have
to wait until the next enrollment period.

Overall, the transition into motherhood can be a challenging experience. Yet with a little
planning and by remembering some of these helpful tips, the joys of motherhood are sure to be

"This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Black bean, corn and arugula salad

Summer is coming and fresh vegetables will be plentiful. Try this delicious salad as a side dish or even a main. It's light and satisfying.

Use the ingredients list as a guide. If you don't have peppers, use what is on hand. If you don't like cilantro, it's fine not to use it at all; many people don't like it. Use any lettuce, even finely sliced cabbage. See the tip below for how to make your red onion a little more mellow. Enjoy!

Black Bean, Corn and Arugula Salad

1/4 medium red onion, diced or sliced
1/2 cup pepidas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
2-3 cups arugula, washed
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (and thawed)
1/2 - 1 ripe avocado, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1 tomato, quartered
1-2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta, cojita or 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons safflower or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Juice from 1/2 lime
Optional: 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar*

Soak onion in ice water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Drain.

Toast pumpkin seeds in a small saute pan without any oil. Cool.

Add salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Pour dressing ingredients into bowl and toss. Serve immediately.

*My kids aren't big fans of arugula...yet. For them, I would make this salad with spinach or romaine, put in their favorite veggies and add the little bit of sweet (honey or agave) to round out the acid from the vinegar and the lime. I have found that most kids like a little this in their salad which is ok by me!