Monday, February 28, 2011

Why I love cloth diapers

So when we found out we were pregnant, like all parents we started thinking about the things we would need to get for our little joy. One of the big discussions we had was cloth vs. disposable diapers. Believe it or not Jarrod was the one who first got me even considering cloth diapers. In KC we had a few friends who used them and really liked it. So I did my research and found that the world of cloth diapers is not only different from what I expected but it is vast! There are flatfolds, prefolds, all in ones, pocket diapers, organic cotton, the list goes on. And there are so many brands!! After months of research both online and with friends, I finally decided on a combination of flatfolds, prefolds, and pocket diapers. My thanks definitely go out to Heather at for all her help and for creating my registry. Even if you don't live in the KC area she is a great person to get cloth diapering info from.

Here are the ones I ended up using and why.

Econobum: I got 4 sets (a set consists of 3 prefolds and a diaper cover). We use these throughout the day. I get to use the cover over and over (unless it gets poopy) and just change out the cotton diaper.  I also use a Snappi to fasten the diaper.

BumGenius 4.0: I ended up with 5 of these. This is a pocket diaper which means you stuff a cotton insert into a pocket in the back of the diaper. The more you stuff the more absorbent the diaper is. We use these at night so that I don't have to change his diaper every time he gets wet. It holds as much as, if not more, as any disposable. This diaper should fit babies 7lbs-35lbs. It adjusts by snapping down the front.
Diaper and Insert

 FuzziBunz One Size: These are my favorite. We have 11 and as little man gets bigger, I plan to get more. They are similar to the BumGenius as far as being a pocket diaper but the way the size adjusts. It also fits 7lbs-35lbs. Instead of snapping down the front, it has adjustable elastic in the legs.
So I know what you're thinking. What about washing and having to touch the messy diapers? No big deal! I put a Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner in my standard diaper pail, have a Diaper Sprayer for when it comes time to clean out the poopy diapers, use Planet Wise Wet Bags on the go, and use Charlie's Soap to wash the diapers. I do wash diapers every day but don't necessarily have to. I just prefer to keep things clean and that way I don't get behind. 

So that's my two cents about cloth diapers. I never imagined I'd use them but I'm glad I decided to. I don't have to worry about buying diapers, taking out bags of diaper waste, or about guessing what size to buy. I just reach in the drawer and pull out the perfect diaper every time!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Soup's in the Pot

In an attempt to be resourceful and use ingredients I have on hand rather than purchase groceries for a specific recipe, I made "Ham and Bean Soup" for dinner tonight. I started with this recipe but made a few changes to my liking and to reflect the contents of my pantry. The first and most important step is to cook a whole, in bone ham a few days prior. When you carve up the ham make sure to leave a good 1 1/2-2 inches of meat on the bone. So here's the recipe I ended up using. WARNING: It makes a lot! (Which is why I plan to freeze about half of what's left.)

  • 1 package (20 ounces) 15-bean soup mix
  • 5 quarts water, divided
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
Rinse dry beans and place in a Dutch oven with 3 qts. of water. Bring to a boil; boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Drain and rinse beans.  Return to pan; add remaining water and everything but the tomatoes and green chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until beans are almost tender. Remove ham bone. Remove as much meat as you can and return meat to pot.

Add tomatoes and chilies; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with cornbread. Yum!  Yield: 18 servings (4-1/2 quarts).

Word to the wise, I let the beans sit in the water too long and the lentils pretty much fell apart. Still tasted good, but a little mushy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh the Snow!

In case you have been completely oblivious to the weather lately, our neck of the woods has gotten record-breaking amounts of snow. The new state record is 24.5 inches! I have never heard of such a thing. I thought when we moved back south we wouldn't have to deal with such winter weather, but little did I know that the snow followed us.

Even though we got more snow than anticipated, that didn't stop us from enjoying it. Even little man played in the snow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Recipe Success

So part of my Sam's purchasing was a large container of ricotta cheese to use to make lasagna. After making two lasagnas, one for freezing and one for eating now, I had just a little ricotta left over. I wasn't sure what to do with it so I went to my favorite recipe website and found a recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Now Jarrod's not much of a pancake eater but I thought what the heck if it's awful he won't eat it and if it's good he'll eat at least one.

Something I've discovered, a little late at times, is that I really should gather all my ingredients first and group them by wet and dry ingredients.

So after gathering what I needed I first combined the wet ingredients, then added the dry. The recipe actually asks you to mix the two separately but I don't like to dirty too many things so I mix the wet then put all the dry in the bowl, swirl the dry stuff together, then mix with the wet.
Now onto the griddle and time to eat! The true measure of success with this recipe is that Jarrod who doesn't like pancakes declared them delicious and ate three of them!

I found them best with a side of bacon and topped with powdered sugar. The pancakes were moist enough that syrup wasn't needed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The first of many...

And so begins my blog. The idea is that I will share not only a little bit about my life in hopes of keeping family and friends who are far away posted on important happenings in the Heathcote household but also my attempts at cooking and crafting. I have been greatly inspired by one particular blog and hope that I am able to perhaps pass on the same inspiration. If not at least I will have had fun doing it.

For a while I've been wanting to make more things myself as opposed to buying it prepared. So on Monday I ventured to Sam's to stock up on a few bulk items to get started on my homemade extravaganza and first attempt at freezer meals. My first attempt was to make my own granola and my own hummus. I used the recipes from the blog mentioned above and have to say they both turned out great. I had the ingredients for the granola so that was easy, but I had to search a while for the chickpeas for the hummus. After searching the aisles at the grocery store and finally ended up at the organic foods store. Once I found the dried version I read on the package that chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, something I could have found in the Hispanic foods section at the grocery store for a lot less than I paid at Olde Fashioned Foods Market.

The hummus and granola turned out great and we've been snacking on both. As for the freezer meals, today with the help of my mom I managed to make spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and meatballs. My goal for tomorrow is to finish my sauce for porcupine meatballs and make taco soup. This will provide me with several meals that I can just grab out of the freezer and make for those days that my little man demands all my time.