To say I suck in the kitchen and pretty much hate cooking is an understatement. It’s not for lack of trying. I watch the freaking Food Network all the time, hoping it will seep into my brain and inspire to me julienne and saute exotic ingredients and fresh produce I happily fill my cart with every time we are at Central Market.  I have no problem buying the stuff I need to produce delicious meals, I just have a problem actually making them, and a HUGE problem cleaning them up. Fact is, it’s a lot easier to clean up after a one pot frozen Stouffers meal than a made from scratch casserole.  In addition, I’m clueless around the kitchen. I will look into a pot of bland rice and chicken and have no idea what spices or herbs would make it taste better.  I’m pretty sure I just buy spices based on how pretty they look in the jar…where they will stay. Forever. I have about 4 recipes that are *mine*, mostly stolen from cookbooks that pride themselves on quick and easy dishes, and none of them have more than 7 or 8 ingredients. 

I will say, though, that I have never felt like more of a rock-star-domestic-goddess in the kitchen then I did when I made Kendall’s baby purees.  I was AWESOME at steaming and mashing and freezing fruits and veggies.  He LOVED my food, so I loved making it.  I enjoyed the 3 hours it would take every two to three weeks to prep and freeze new batches, and I was at such a loss once he transitioned to table food. Table food, believe it or not, is not nearly as fun/easy to make as baby purees.  Table food is just like tedious grown up food in smaller pieces.

I’ve made the occasional batch of baked sweet potato fries and mini-banana pancakes, but, I have to admit, the majority of Kendall’s meals now come directly from the freezer by way of a bag of frozen veggies or frozen chicken nuggets, or by way of the pantry in the form of a can of Annie’s Organic Bernie O’s. Yes, the fact that it’s organic makes me feel a little better about it coming from a can.  It’s not so bad when Scott is home since there’s almost always some acceptable leftovers hanging around, but the weeks that he travels, well, it’s pretty pitiful. 

I saw the idea for Muffin Tin Mondays posted on TheBump.com last week, and, I’m not going to lie, I initially thought it looked like a giant PITA.  But, the more I read about it, thought about it, looked at the pictures, the more I figured it could be kind of fun to participate in. It would give me an excuse to think outside the box, bag and can for at least one of Kendall’s meals, but didn’t look like I had to be to terribly talented and didn’t look too messy. It was worth a shot.

According to the author of Her Cup Overfloweth, the purpose of Muffin Tin Meals is this:

Serving a meal in a muffin tin to kids have many benefits including: breaking up the lunchtime routine, serving foods in smaller more manageable portions for little mouths and introducing them to new foods in a fun and interesting way!

From what I gather, you just put different food in each muffin spot of the muffin tin and have fun with it. The blogger also hosts a blog carnival of sorts every Monday where people post links to their own MTMs based on predetermined themes, but I’m not quite there yet.  I just figured I’d make one on my own for fun out of what we have laying around already.

I present to you my very first Muffin Tin Meal, inspired by Kendall’s book du jour, Brown Bear, Brown Bear:

 


I decided to fill each spot with a different color represented by one of the animals in the book. Starting in the upper left corner, we have a brown “bear” shaped PB&J sammich, watermelon to represent the red bird, banana to represent the yellow duck, blue sippy of milk to represent the blue horse, avocado to represent the green frog, shredded mozz to represent the white dog and goldfish crackers to represent, well, the goldfish. I skipped the purple cat and black sheep since I didn’t really have anything those colors for Kendall to eat, and I didn’t have the room.

I have to say, it was pretty fun to put it together! It really didn’t take that much time or preparation, and it definitely got Kendall’s attention. I read the book to him as I pointed out the colors of each food, then he devoured his selections, but made sure to carefully place pieces he didn’t want back in their correct spots. Beginning of tiny OCD? Perhaps he’s at least inherited that from his father.

I’m a little inspired now. I think this will help with my feeding the child funk.

Kendall is 14 and a half months old

Oh! And just an FYI, there is no Memos From Mommy this week.  Sorry! Hopefully it will be back next week.

15 thoughts on “Yes, I thought it was ridiculous at first, too.”

  1. Love this idea. Not to mention LOVE Eric Carle books. My little girl is turning 9 months so I am just starting table foods after making her food- which I loved doing as well. This has definitely inspired me- thanks!

  2. I just had a whole discussion about this exact topic tonight with the hubby. I don’t cook either and am totally in a baby feeding rut with my 14 month old. I’m totally going to have to try this. 🙂 Now to teach my little to actually chew his food rather than swallow it whole like a alligator….

  3. What a fabulous idea! We’re just now transitioning to ALL table food as my nearly 10 month old is rejecting the purees, and I’m terrified that I won’t be able to keep up with making healthy meals night after night especially when I start back to work full time in another month. Thank you for sharing this, hopefully it will inspire me on those nights I’m completely drained and yet have to put together dinner.

  4. In a pinch, try HAPPYBITES frozen organic meals for older babies. The kids can pick them up and they have hidden veggies. Great for babysitters.

  5. First, you already know this is a good idea because all of the comments say so. Do kudos to you! I especially love the picture of the muffin tin and the foods. I will have to feature you on our blog… and will provide linkbacks to you and all that good stuff. Way to go!

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